There are two weeks remaining within the 2018 fantasy baseball season and, until your lineup is in a decent race for a cash spot within the standings, my guess is most of you could have already turned your consideration to Week 2 of your NFL swimming pools, or are starting your homework to your NHL drafts and auctions.
So earlier than we flip issues over to hockey — starting subsequent weekend with our four-part fantasy primer — let’s take one final take a look at the ball season, the highest studs and duds for the yr in addition to some basic traits that is perhaps useful for 2019.
Final season, rather a lot was manufactured from a surge in residence runs, with a document 6,105 balls leaving the yard, or one for each 30.35 plate appearances. The 2018 season has seen an finish to that 2 1/2-year upswing (sorry for the dangerous analogy) with a house run being hit each 32.97 PAs, nonetheless effectively off the 37.41 of 2015 and nowhere near the 43.93 of 4 years in the past. However it’s a begin. Perhaps.
In Could, an unbiased committee put collectively by MLB to test into the rising residence run price, got here away with the scientific conclusion that the offender was “decreased drag” on baseballs, however what brought about that drag was not recognized and continues to be being investigated.
Talking of residence runs the Arizona Diamondbacks, who hit 122 homers at Chase Area final yr, determined to humidor their baseballs for 2018. The end result? In the event that they proceed their present tempo over their last dozen residence video games, they are going to wind up with roughly 76 this season.
Stolen bases, in the meantime, which have been trending within the different path, continued to turn out to be extra scarce. There was a steal each 75.87 PAs this season, down from 74.32 final yr.
From the pitching facet, there have been a number of much less walks in comparison with final yr — eight.5% to eight.Four% — however the general strikeout price continued to rise with a 22.2% in 2018 topping the 21.6 from the yr earlier than.
Right here, then, are our prime fantasy studs and duds from 2018. Once more, these are based mostly on this season’s precise fantasy manufacturing in relation to pre-season forecast. And as common, we’re not together with rookie callups or gamers who missed a lot of the season injured. Yeah, I’ve most likely missed a number of deserving names on each side however we’ll ensure that they’re not missed in our 2019 preview.
Jose Ramirez CLE: His pre-season to current day rating leap isn’t that sizeable as a result of he was already moderately extremely ranked. However he’s had most likely the perfect fantasy season of any hitter within the majors — a cut price at any worth — having already reached 30 HRs and 30 steals with 100 runs and 100 RBIs solely a recreation or two away, all whereas hitting round .280 with a terrific .357 OBP And he’s produced all of that whereas qualifying at quite a few positions from final yr. Pure fantasy gold.
Trevor Story COL: Add an surprising .293 AVG and 25 steals to his 30-plus HR totals and you’ve got the NL’s prime fantasy shortstop in 2018.
Miguel Andujar NYY: Only a high-upside bench man on opening day, Brandon Drury’s April migraines obtained rookie sensation off the bench sooner than deliberate.
Max Muncy LAD: Has damaged out with 32 HRs after 213 forgettable at-bays over three years in Oakland.
Mallex Smith TB: Lastly, he held on to an on a regular basis leadoff function and hasn’t disenchanted with 31 SBs and a .300 AVG.
Honourable mentions: Jurickson Profar TEX, Matt Carpenter STL, Tim Anderson CHW, Nick Markakis ATL, Teoscar Hernandez TOR, Joey Wendle TB, Niko Goodrum DET
Joey Votto CIN: One of many most secure bets for HR manufacturing on draft day, he has hit solely a dozen all season with a 20-point drop in AVG.
Miguel Sano MIN: Season-long strikeout woes landed him all the way in which again to class-A ball for solutions.
Jonathan Schoop BAL-MIL: Take away the torrid two weeks previous to his commerce and his numbers are all however unrosterable.
Willson Contreras CHC: Anticipated to be the NL’s subsequent nice younger catcher, he’s mustered only a .257 AVG and 9 HRs.
Chris Davis BAL: Trending on this path for a number of years, however how may O’s stick together with his sub-.200 AVG all season?
Dishonourable mentions: Carlos Correa HOU, Buster Posey SF, Jay Bruce NYM, Orlando Arcia MIL, Robinson Cano SEA, Domingo Santana MIL
Blake Snell TB: We doubt anybody figured the younger lefty would turn out to be this good this quick. His 19 wins, 2.03 ERA and zero.98 WHIP are actually Cy Younger-worthy?
Miles Mikolas STL: A draft-day unknown in his first season again from Japan, what’s most wonderful is that he owns a 2.99 ERA and 15 wins with solely pedestrian Ok totals.
Blake Treinen OAK: A 50-50 wager in March to carry the A’s ninth-inning job, he turned maybe probably the most environment friendly nearer in baseball.
Honourable Mentions: Patrick Corbin ARZ, Kyle Freeland COL, Trevor Bauer CLE, Mike Clevinger CLE, Zack Wheeler NYM, Edwin Diaz SEA, Mike Foltynewicz ATL
Robbie Ray ARZ: His Four.18 ERA isn’t horrible, however a far cry from his 2.89 of final yr that had him ranked seventh amongst NL starters pre-season. Win totals have plummeted from 15 to 5.
Sonny Grey NYY: His house owners, salivating on the considered a full yr on the Yankees, as an alternative obtained an ERA round 5.00.
Marcus Stroman TOR: Sure, he’s been harm, however the stroll hasn’t matched the discuss when wholesome with a 5.54 ERA over 102 IPs.
Dishonourable Mentions: Chris Archer TB-PIT, Luke Weaver STL, Danny Duffy KC, Lucas Giolito CHW, Dylan Bundy BAL, Ty Chatwood CHC
LAST-MINUTE WAIVER IDEAS
Ji-Man Choi, 1B-DH, Rays * * *
Owned in solely Four% of Yahoo leagues, the 37-year-old is raking this month, hitting safely in 9 of 10 video games, batting .316 this month with 4 HRs and 12 RBIs. With the Rays clinging to the wild-card race, he seems like a dependable bat so as to add in case you want one.
Niko Goodrum, INF-OF, Tigers * * *
If obtainable (and he’s in 84% of leagues) versatile rookie qualifies in every single place besides C and RF and is 14-for-42 the previous two weeks with three HRs and three steals.
Bryan Mitchell, SP, Padres * *
Former Yankees righty’s general numbers (1-Three, 6.07 ERA) aren’t inviting, however he has allowed simply two ERs in his previous two begins protecting 11 innings. It’s include a tidy 1.00 WHIP however a Four-5 Ok-BB ratio. A dart throw to make sure, however he may very well be taking a look at a two-start week, going through San Fran and L.A.