“Joe Talkin’ To Me?!” AL West Fantasy Baseball Manifest Destiny: For The Man Who Has Everything
What would you get for the man who has everything? You can never really go wrong with a Swiss Army Knife. 1) Men like knifes. It’s just a fact. 2) Even if it sits in a drawer and gets used once a year on a camping trip, it is still worth owning. How about the fantasy owner who has a complete roster (I know this is extremely rare)? What can he get that he will actually get some use out of?
I give you fantasy baseball’s version of the Swiss Army Knife…Marcus Semien. In most leagues, Semien is eligible to play 2B, 3B, and SS, the three shallowest positions in fantasy baseball. There are players that can be had on the waiver wire who are eligible in those three positions, and more. But, none of those guys have an every day gig on their real life team, and none of those guys are producing (hence no everyday gig, 1+1=2). The second point brings us to the main point for Semien; He is producing. He is producing at a clip good enough to start in fantasy at any one of the positions listed next to his moniker. The beauty is that the Semien owner probably got him late in drafts or off the wire in the opening weeks. This means he is a bench guy, accumulating stats on days off for higher drafted players and filling in for injured players. In some cases, if you drafted a player who flopped, he might even be starting by now. Let’s take a look at the meat and potatoes.
OK. Now that you are all hungry, I’ll quit #@$%&*! around. The “meat and potatoes”, of course, are the stats, or the lifeblood of your fantasy squad. Semien is serving! He has played in every game for Oakland this season, slashing .307/.353/.521. His counting stats sit at 43 H, 20 R, 8 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, 15 RBI, and 6 SB. This dude is helping fantasy teams everywhere. Now, he is hitting in the two hole, in front of the smoldering hot Josh Reddick. I wish I picked him up in more leagues when I was telling you all to get him. If you have a good team in place, Semien is a great target to round out a roster. I would give up a more productive player for the versatility of Semien, in the right situation.
AL West Headlines
Dallas Keuchel for Cy Young. I have not given enough love to Keuchel in recent weeks. The 27-year-old southpaw came into his own last season, posting a 2.93 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP in 200 IP. For some reason, lefties seem to bloom later than righties on the mound at the big league level. That, coupled with a less than stellar K rate, led owners to a draft day steal as he appears on 23.8% of first place fantasy teams. A 4-0 record with a 1.39 ERA (best in MLB) and 0.85 WHIP will do that. The most impressive stat is his .163 BAA. He has surrendered a meager 1 HR after serving up just 11 HR last year. Dallas is for real, and is taking over Houston.
Colby Lewis picking up the slack. When Yu Darvish and Derek Holland both went down for the season, the Rangers seemed doomed. So the Rangers sit at 14-18 and are still doomed, but Lewis has been a bright spot in the rotation. Through 45 IP he is posting a 2.40 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and .220 BAA. If you own him, give yourself a quick pat on the back, then sell high…NOW! Stop reading and go do it! This is a 35-year-old with a career ERA of 4.73 and a record of 57-60. Get something of value for him before the summer heats up and balls start flying out of the park in Arlington.
Garret Richards got that swag. After starting the year on the DL, Richards has rewarded patient owners. Through 31.2 IP, he has posted a 2.27 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. He is still struggling with BB, passing out 16, but no one can hit him, as evidenced by his 1 HR allowed and .165 BAA. As the BAA goes up, the walks will come down, and you will have the same pitcher from a season ago. Richards is in the midst of cementing his place amongst the leagues top hurlers.
Jered Weaver don’t. Weaver has started the season 1-4 with a 4.98 ERA in 43.1 IP. Just when you thought it was time to bring Ol Yeller out back, he throws a complete game, zero BB gem. This is the patience I have been telling you to exercise with Weaver. If an owner in your league sees this last outing as a “sell high” opportunity, pounce!
Waiver Wire Rescue (All Oakland Edition)
Coco Crisp, OF, OAK – Personally, I prefer Count Chocula. But, if you play in a deep league, Coco Crisp should be in your cabinet. Despite the 1-for-28 start, he is a veteran who will get you steals, and the all important GP.
Ike Davis, 1B/DH, OAK – Believe it or not, Ike is having a nice season. He is slashing .284/.351/.431. Most impressive is the mere 16 K to 11 BB. I know you will see the 2 HR and probably pass, but HR come in bunches, and he has real power. The 9 2B he has posted is two off the league lead, and when he gets hot, those will start going over the wall.
Those were not cheap.
Sean DooLittle, CL, OAK – This is a shallow league special, as he is surely rostered in all deep leagues. Doolittle is doo to come off the DL by the end of the month and should regain his closers role shortly after. As dominant as he was a season ago, put him on your roster. You can cut anyone from the list below……
Matt Joyce, OF, LAA – He is a career .246 hitter, currently hitting .144. If I have to tell you anymore, find another hobby.
Brett Lawrie, 2B/3B, OAK – Oh, the talent is seductive, but one day you wake up and realize, Lawrie is not a good baseball player. 41 K-to-4 BB to open the season has lead to a .291 OBP for Lawrie. With just 2 HR, I’m officially calling it quits.
Mike Zunino, C, SEA – 22 HR are not enough, for my taste, to deal with a .199 BA. These are his numbers from last season. This season is even worse. He is batting .185 and on pace for 20 HR. Let some one else be seduced by the long ball, I’m here to win leagues.
“And Boggs Never Walked Again”
Jed Lowrie, SS, HOU – Thumb, expected return after the All-Star break.
Luke Gregerson, CL, HOU – Family emergency medical leave, day-to-day.
George Springer, OF, HOU – Concussion, day-to-day.
Mitch Moreland, 1B/DH, TEX – Elbow surgery, expected return May 13th.
Leonys Martin, OF, TEX – Returned to action.
Josh Hamilton, OF, TEX – Shoulder, expected return late May.
Ryan Rua, OF, TEX – Sprained ankle, bum heel, no timetable for return.
Derek Holland, SP, TEX – Shoulder, expected return early July.
Yu Darvish, SP, TEX – Tommy John Surgery, out for the season.
Jurickson Profar, 2B, TEX – Shoulder surgery, out for the season.
Coco Crisp, OF, OAK – Returned to action.
Ike Davis, 1B/DH, OAK – Pulled quad, day-to-day.
Ben Zobrist, 2B/SS/OF, OAK – Knee surgery, expected return mid June.
Sean Doolittle, RP, OAK – Shoulder, expected return early to mid May.
Jarrod Parker, SP, OAK – Broken elbow, expected to miss entire season.
Eric O’flaherty, RP, OAK – Shoulder inflamation, no timetable for return.
Chris Taylor, SS, SEA – Hand, day-to-day.
Hisashi Iwakuma, SP, SEA – Lat strain, expected return early June.
Tom Wilhelmsen, RP, SEA – Hyperextended elbow, expected return mid May.
Austin Jackson, OF, SEA – Sprained ankle, no timetable for return.
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Major League Fantasy Sports Radio Show: Join Ej Garr and Corey D Roberts on Sunday May 17th from 7-9pm est for this week’s episode of Major League Fantasy Sports Radio sponsored by the Sports Palooza Radio Network. We will take live callers at 646.915.8596. Our topics this week will be the A.L. East, A.L. West, and everything fantasy relevant within those divisions. Feel free to jump in the conversation.