Fantasy Baseball Final: May 19, 2016
We are officially at the quarter pole of the season. Most historians have said that Memorial Day is the day when the season really begins. Yet, you can’t help but look at some teams and know their season is already done. The Minnesota Twins and Atlanta Braves have gotten off the dreadful starts and it cost Freddi Gonzalez his job. The Braves were 9-29 under Gonzalez, but they didn’t exactly give him a roster brimming with talent. He found out about his dismissal when the airline sent him an email telling him about his flight back to Atlanta. His team still had games to play on the road trip and because they still had access to a private jet card, they would likely be traveling to these destinations via a private jet, something that Gonzalez would be missing out on. Instead, he’ll be traveling business class on his way back to Atlanta. Oops.
Meanwhile, the Twins have made a few roster moves, but they are more or less staying the course. There is some honor in that for a team that thought they would compete for a wild card berth this season. Obviously, that isn’t going to happen, but they aren’t blaming that on Paul Molitor. In a league of extreme parity, it doesn’t take that much to go from contender to the basement.
The Week in Review
Jackie Bradley wasn’t supposed to be a big time player for the Red Sox this season. They had David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, and Mookie Betts to do that. Heck, there was more hope that Hanley Ramirez would be a major player than Bradley. All of the sudden, fantasy players looked up to see Bradley with a .338/.390/.607 slash line after Thursday night. He also has seven home runs and 32 RBI. It is not shock that they have run roughshod over the league in the past couple of weeks to take control of the AL East.
If we assume that players will approximately produce four times their current numbers than the Nationals Bryce Harper is well on his way to producing a second gargantuan season in a row. He is on pace to walk 180 times this season. He has a remarkable .254/.455/.585 slash line. Bill James came up with a statistic he called secondary average. It essentially was everything a baseball player does outside of batting average. Harper’s .737 secondary average is staggering. It obviously is the highest in the big leagues by a ludicrous margin. To give you an idea, Anthony Rizzo is currently second in the big leagues with a .511 secondary average.
If you read anything
As remarkable as Harper’s performance has been, he may not be the best story on the Nationals team. They signed Daniel Murphy this offseason and he has responded by flirting with the .400 batting average plateau all season. On Thursday night, he had two more hits including a home run to lift his average to .397. He also has six home runs and 27 RBI on the season. The two are combining to carry the Nationals offense so far on the season.
We kind of expected
When you saw the matchup between Chris Sale and Collin McHugh you almost predicted an easy victory for the White Sox. McHugh put up a good fight, but the Astros still lost 2-1. More importantly, Sale moved to 9-0 on the season. He is the first White Sox pitcher to win his first nine starts since Eddie Cicotte back in 1919. Yup, it is that Cicotte and that 1919. He would go to 12-0 before that streak ended. Of course, we know how the season ended as well. If Sale continues on this pace he might single-handedly lead the White Sox to the playoffs.
We Didn’t Expect
Last season, Chris Carter was an absolute train wreck, but he’s come back with a vengeance this season. He is hitting .255 on the season, but he has 12 home runs in the early going. He may not make anyone forget Lou Gehrig, but he has been a dangerous slugger in three out of the last four seasons. So, maybe this is the real Chris Carter and if so he is a Chris Carter that is worth owning.
- Tyler Thronburg (Converted #1)
The Angels took a step to towards fixing their broken starting rotation by singing Tim Lincecum to a one year contract for the remainder of the season. While he may not be the Freak that won back to back Cy Young awards, he could be a decent bottom of the rotation arm for them when he gets up to speed. I wouldn’t necessarily break the bank to add him, but he’s a guy to keep an eye on if you need a decent arm to add to your staff.