Fantasy Baseball Final: September 22, 2016
There is a little more than a week left in the regular season and there is still a lot at stake in both leagues. The wild card hunt is particularly tight in the American League where five teams are fighting for two slots. One thing that is not in doubt is who will represent each division in the divisional round of the playoffs. The Red Sox have won eight games in a row and are now six games in front of the Blue Jays and Orioles. The Rangers have virtually clinched the AL West and the Indians are there as well.
In the National League, the Nationals have essentially clinched the NL East, the Cubs have clinched the NL Central and the best record in the National League. The Dodgers have a six game lead in the NL West with ten games left to go. So, thank God for the wild card because otherwise this would be a really boring pennant race.
If you read one thing…
Baseball fans have been understandably mesmerized by the run of Gary Sanchez of the Yankees. He is making the kind of run that would make Kevin Maas blush. He hit his 19th home run on Wednesday night and could hit 20 within 50 games in the big leagues. Obviously, he is the hottest fantasy property coming into the 2017 season, but no one should sleep on Justin Upton either. In his last 30 games, he has 13 home runs, 23 runs scored, and 33 RBI. The overall numbers aren’t quite to his standards, but they are a lot closer than what he was doing in the first half of the season. The .717 slugging percentage is ridiculously high and he might single-handedly be carrying the team on his back into the wild card round.
We kind of expected…
The Boston Red Sox are on a legendary eight game winning streak that has made the division race nearly obsolete. Included in this was a four game sweep of the Orioles. David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez have been the big stars lately. Ortiz is having what many would consider the best final season in the game’s history. He now has 122 RBI and he still has more than a week to go. Ramirez has 12 home runs, 21 runs, and 32 RBI in his last 30 games. He should get to 30 home runs and 110 RBI before the season is done. Those numbers seemed impossible just two weeks ago.
We didn’t expect…
Much like the aforementioned names, Matt Kemp and Nick Markakis have been extremely hot down the stretch for the Braves. Kemp has nine home runs, 24 runs, and 27 RBI in his last 30 games. For his efforts, Markakis has been rewarded with 21 RBI in his last 30 games. He has snuck up on everyone and is threatening to surpass 90 RBI for the season. While Kemp has been a fantasy regular throughout the years, Markakis has been an afterthought over the last several years. That has changed late in the season with his run. More importantly for the Braves, they won their 62nd game and need only one more win to avoid losing 100 games this season.
- Andrew Bailey (5)
- Francisco Rodriguez
- Craig Kimbrel (29)
- Mauricio Cabrera (5)
- Chad Allen (29)
- Jesus Colome (35)
- Tyler Thornburg (12)