Fantasy Baseball Final: May 5th, 2016
Parity has taken over the American League. With the exception of the Chicago White Sox, nobody in the league even has a .600 winning percentage. For fantasy baseball players, that means they have to pay attention to every team because every team is capable of going through spurts of good play. The Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers met in last season’s ALDS and both are playing virtually .500 baseball in the early going.
The Week in Review
Anyone needing proof of the change in competitive balance in baseball should look no further than the American League East. The New York Yankees are currently in last place despite spending more than 200 million dollars on player salaries. Yet, only six and a half games separates the first place Red Sox from the last place Yankees. Similarly, the AL West is separated by 6.5 games in the standings with the first place Mariners going up against the last place Astros. Unfortunately, the National League is not as competitive as the Braves and Brewers are already double digit games behind.
If you read only one thing
It may be excessive homerism, but Jose Altuve could be on his way to finding himself on the MVP ballot. He hit his ninth home run tonight (the fifth to lead off the game) and had three hits in total. Altuve also has ten stolen bases on the season. More importantly for Astros fans, he also has 14 walks on the season as well. He has a career high of 40 walks, so being at 14 a little more than a month into the season. His OBP is well over .400 early on and his OPS is over 1.000. He likely won’t end up there, but he deserves applause in the meantime.
We kind of expected
Edwin Encarnacion is way too good to be struggle for the whole season. He followed up a strong performance on Wednesday night with another huge performance on Thursday. He had three hits, a home run, and six RBI. That gives him five home runs and 24 RBI on the season. That puts him on pace to have another 100+ RBI season right before he hits the free agent market.
We didn’t expect
The New York Yankees weren’t supposed to be world beaters, but they weren’t supposed to be competing for a playoff berth. That doesn’t seem to be happening and they lost again to the upstart Orioles. It wasn’t the fact that they lost, but the fact that they got shut out. Kevin Gausman pitched eight scoreless innings and lowered his ERA to 1.42. Closer Zach Britton won the game because Masahiro Tanaka pitched almost as well. It was the failure of the bats that kept them from winning this game.
- The Athletics Chris Bassitt will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season.
- Tyson Ross is still recovering from a sore shoulder and probably will miss several more weeks rehabbing.
- The Yankees placed Alex Rodriguez on the disabled list earlier this week with a strained hamstring.