2015 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

Fantasy Baseball Final: May 15th, 2015

If you read only one thing…..

I don’t know if it’s Joe Maddon, Kris Bryant, or a few teams in the NL Central underachieving, but the Chicago Cubs have gone from last to second in the NL Central. Before the season, I had been saying that the NL Central was going to be hard to handicap. Everyone in the division seemingly had a case to be made for being a possible contender. The Cubs have an intriguing lineup and now have both Bryant and Addison Russell in the mix. Sometimes, kids are the best kind of players you can have. They don’t know how the odds are stacked against them.

Every once in awhile a good helping of crow doesn’t hurt anyone. I naturally assumed that most of the gains that the Royals saw last October were a mirage. They had lost James Shields and Billy Butler. Those losses may not have been overwhelming, but coupled with a few players playing over their heads, you would have thought they would have come back to the pack. They are 23-13 after Friday night with several players taking a giant step forward. Included in that group is Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, and Alcides Escobar. Kendrys Morales also turned out to be a good signing.

Just as we expected…..

Houston is undefeated when Dallas Keuchel pitches. He moved to 5-0 on the season even though he surrendered four runs in six innings. He was the pitcher of the month in April and while he has not lost all year, he has not been dominant in May. Even with his recent struggles, he has a 1.87 ERA to go along with the 5-0 record. This is all for a guy taken in the middle rounds of most fantasy drafts.

He got off to a slow start, but Brian Dozier is beginning to show why many fantasy owners took him among the top three or four second basemen in the game. He hit his fifth home run on the season on Friday night to go along with 18 RBI on the season. He is off to a slow start on the bases, but if he continues at this pace he will have close to 25 home runs and 90 RBI. I suppose that would be good enough.

But we didn’t see this coming…..

The Phillies have seemingly been shopping half of their roster for the past two years. Jonathan Papelbon has been one of those names on the block. Following Luis Garcia’s two inning outing on Friday night, the Phillies may have found an alternative closer. Now, they just have to find a home for Papelbon. Garcia closed the Phillies third consecutive victory on Friday. Those three wins brought them to 14-23. Barring a winning streak of epic proportions, the Phillies aren’t going anywhere this season.

Would anyone have bet on Jason Grilli having just as many saves (ten) at this point in the season than Craig Kimbrel? This is one of the reasons why I detest relief pitchers in the fantasy game. There is no telling as to who will end up getting the numbers. Kimbrel’s numbers are as surprisingly bad this season as Grilli’s are good. I doubt either of those trends lasts beyond Memorial Day.

The Rest of the Details

Save Chances

  • Luis Garcia (converted)
  • Huston Street (converted)
  • Jason Grilli (converted)
  • Glen Perkins (converted)

Lineup Moves

  • Brett Oberholtzer of the Houston Astros made his first start of the year on Wednesday night and subsequently went on the disabled list with more blister problems. The Astros called up former sandwich pick Lance McCullers Jr. to make the start on Monday night. He has been dominant in AA in his first 29 innings and had been promoted to AAA Fresno. He has struggled with control in the past, so it remains to be seen whether he will stick as a starting pitcher.
  • Hunter Pence is due to come off the disabled list this weekend. The 32-year old outfielder hadn’t missed any time on the disabled list before this season. Getting him back might be enough to shake the cobwebs off of the defending champions.

Injuries

  • It has been reported that Chase Whitley of the Yankees likely has a UCL tear that will require Tommy John surgery. The club and pitcher are going through their due diligence to determine if that is the right course of action. We can’t list a lineup move for them yet because they haven’t made any decisions yet.

Rumors and Transactions

There has been a tremendous amount of intrigue around Troy Tulowitzki the last few days. It was first reported that he had requested a trade from the Rockies through his agent. Later, he came out and denied that he had demanded the trade. Either way, the Rockies are in a state of flux. They seem to be stuck in neutral and trading away their stars might be the only way to break the monotony.

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