We have gotten to the virtual halfway point in the season. When you get to these landmarks it is always a good time to look back and forward at the same time. So, we are ranking the position players according to total points. Total points is the preferred platform for daily fantasy players. DFS has become a multi-billion dollar industry. Since each platform has its own formula we are utilizing our own formula for the rankings here.
Total points has numerous advantages over the traditional five and six category leagues. The primary advantage is that it includes everything a hitter does so that it more accurately pinpoints a player’s value. It rewards them for everything they do well and penalizes them for negative events. Secondly, it keeps everything in proper perspective. Some people end up chasing steals for hitters or wins for pitchers, but total points keeps everything in their proper context. So, you are forced to pick more balanced players. (Statistics through July 2)
TB+Runs+RBI+SB+BB+HBP–SO-CS-GIDP= Total Points
Nolan Arenado–Colorado Rockies
It’s difficult to determine where greatness ends and geography begins. The average hitter in Coors Field is hitting .308/.371/.526. That includes pitchers and pinch hitters. So, it is impossible to say whether anyone in Denver is really an elite hitter or not, but in fantasy baseball we really don’t care. What we know is that Arenado puts up numbers year in and year out and will likely continue to do so well into the next decade.
Alex Bregman–Houston Astros
Bregman is the ultimate new age guy. When you look at him and look at his batting average you would never dream that he is as productive as he is. In short, he has mastered the ability to get as much out of his body as possible. He doesn’t swing and miss often and he uses launch angles to his advantage. The combination has been a devastating rise since he became a full-time player in 2017.
Rafael Devers–Boston Red Sox
I’ve said it on these pages a number of times, but the virtue of patience has been lost for a number of fans and teams. We expect prospects to immediately come up and dominate. It happens occasionally, but for most there is an adjustment period. Devers’ development may seem slow, but he has blossomed into an offensive force and he is doing it under the radar. Add him to Betts, Martinez, and Bogaerts and Boston has a very bright future.
Anthony Rendon–Washington Nationals
Rendon is in an interesting situation. The Nats have been trying to ink him up to a long-term deal, but the two sides are a ways apart at the moment. So, do they continue to negotiate or do they try to get as much for him as possible? They let Bryce Harper walk out the door for nothing but a compensatory pick. As we move closer to the deadline, it will be interesting to see if he moves. If he does, he is clearly the best hitter available on the trade market.
D.J. LeMahieu– New York Yankees
When the Yankees signed him there were no obvious holes for him. They had Torres at second base and Andujar at third base. Injuries to Andujar and Troy Tulowitzki made it necessary for LeMahieu to play every day. He somehow left the friendly confines of Coors Field and became an even better hitter. There is some talk of him being a darkhorse MVP candidate. It might be too soon to talk MVP, but when that conversation starts he should be in it.
Eduardo Escobar–Arizona Diamondbacks
Something strange has happened in the last two seasons. Long outs in 2017 turned into doubles in 2018. Doubles in 2018 have turned into home runs in 2019. He is on pace for more than 35 this season after hitting around 20 previously. If you add him to Ketel Marte you have an impressive power hitting duo for a team that traded away their best power source in the offseason.
Kris Bryant–Chicago Cubs
2016 was the worst thing that could have happened to Bryant in terms of his reputation. He won the MVP award immediately after winning the Rookie of the Year Award. Chicago fans came to expect greatness. Bryant has been merely very good since then. He is still eligible at multiple positions and he still puts up very good numbers, but Cubs fans and Bryant owners seemingly want more.
Matt Chapman–Oakland Athletics
The value Chapman brings to the table can’t be seen here. Yes, he is a top ten offensive third baseman, but he a top one defensive third baseman and it isn’t particularly close. It will be interesting to see how far the A’s get in the wild card race this summer. He currently stands second in the league in bWAR to Trout. The Angels aren’t going anywhere, but the A’s might and if they do he could get some serious MVP love.
Manny Machado–San Diego Padres
One of the things I like about total points is that it does a good job of not only rank ordering players, but showing the distance between two players. The top eight is pretty bunched at third base, but we are noticing some separation. Machado is finally beginning to heat up a little, but his slow start has him lagging behind the field. He is likely still worth the money because he is still very good and very durable.
Eugenio Suarez– Cincinnati Reds
There is a Grand Canyon between the nitnh and tenth slots on the list. The gap can be explained through strikeouts but also because the Padres offense has been more productive overall. Suarez is starting to heat up like Machado, so it would not be a huge surprise to see them both come closer to the top eight before the end of the season. A few hot performances can make a big difference in these rankings.
Justin Turner–Los Angeles Dodgers
I have always liked Turner. He is a professional hitter that always seems to put up solid numbers. His only flaw has been his ability to stay healthy. It isn’t a big deal. It’s just a game here and there, but when you look up it’s six or seven games at the all-star break. Give him two and a half points a game in those six games and he gets himself to 200 points.
Josh Donaldson–Atlanta Braves
Give the Braves some credit. Numerous pundits criticized them this offseason for their failure to add top end talent to the lineup or rotation. They managed to add Donaldson and Dallas Keuchel for bargain rates. No, Donaldson is not an MVP candidate anymore, but he is a solid contributor to a lineup with solid contributors. They are clearly the class of the NL East for the second year in a row.