Fantasy Baseball Final: September 9, 2016
Thursday night brought the official beginning of the NFL season. Most fantasy fans have moved on from fantasy baseball and have pushed all of their chips in on fantasy football. If you are reading this then you are at least somewhat interested in fantasy baseball still. You can use that to your advantage since most of your opponents have probably stopped worrying about their fantasy roster.
Unfortunately, most teams’ fate has already been decided. They are either firmly in the playoffs or firmly out of the playoffs. If you are up against one of those teams you can steal a point or two while they pour over their fantasy football rosters. In particular, with a number of teams playing young kids, you might be able to make a key roster addition or two before the end of the season to give you a boost.
If you read one thing…
We’ve said it before and it deserves repeating, the addition of the second wild card has been a very positive thing for baseball in general. It has expanded the list of possible playoff teams and kept fans in the game because of it. In the American League, seven teams are within four games of being in the playoffs. This doesn’t even count the three teams leading the division. That means that two thirds of the league still has a legitimate chance of being in the playoffs with twenty games remaining.
The National League is far more stratified than the American League. There are six teams within five games of the playoffs. Realistically, only the Cardinals have a chance among the teams that are on the outside looking in. Still, the overall picture is fairly breathtaking. Fans should keep their heads in the game because there is a good chance that their team has a chance of being in the playoffs.
We kind of expected…
We saw another great example of why the Cubs are the best team in baseball. Rob Neyer and Eddie Epstein collaborated on a great book about baseball’s best dynasties. They developed a method where they looked at run differentials instead of overall records. The Cubs have scored the most runs in baseball and have allowed the least. They shutout the Astros last year behind seven strong innings by Jon Lester. He is one of three Cub pitchers that have a legitimate chance at winning the Cy Young Award in the National League. He moved to 16-4 with a 2.51 ERA. They also arguably have the best closer in baseball in Aroldis Chapman. Anything can happen in a short series, but at this point it’s hard to see anyone beating them.
We didn’t expect…
The Yankees signaled to the baseball world that they were essentially surrendering at the deadline. They traded Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman, Ivan Nova, and Carlos Beltran in separate deals to bring in a bevy of prospects. All they have done since then is win. They won again on Friday night to move with a game of the wild card. At the heart of their run has been young catcher Gary Sanchez. He hit his 12th home run of the season and he hasn’t even been up for two months. His presence certainly makes Brian McCann expendable as the remaking of the roster continues. Mark Teixeira announced his retirement and since then he has been hot as well. He hit his 12th home run and drove in four more runs. It has been a disappointing season overall for him, but if he can help lead them to the playoffs it will be a nice swan song for the venerable switch hitter.
- Aroldis Chapman (#33)
- Dellin Betances (#10)
- Francisco Rodriguez (#40)
- J. Ramos (#33)
- Jeurys Familia (#48)
- Chad Allen (#27)
- Sam Dyson (#33)
- Adam Ottavino (#3)
- Edwin Diaz (#14)
- Cory Gearrin (#3)
- Seung Hwah Oh (#17)