Connect with us

Major League Fantasy Sports

“Alluhring Strategy” The (NL) West Coast Bias: State of the Division at the Quarter Pole [PART 1]

The National League West has not been one of the stronger divisions in baseball this season. Since this is an article for a Fantasy Sports website, we can focus in on the fantasy impact and potential on YOUR team, and there is plenty to discuss throughout the NL West. Here is where we stand prior to games starting on May 22nd.

L.A. Dodgers 24 16 .600 186 138 48 17-5 7-11 2-1 2-2 17-13 4-6 L 3
San Francisco 23 18 .561 155 145 10 14-9 9-9 2-2 3-1 14-14 8-2 W 6
San Diego 20 22 .476 5 181 199 -18 11-12 9-10 1-3 3-3 15-12 3-7 L 2
Arizona 19 21 .475 5 189 176 13 9-12 10-9 5-5 0-3 13-12 5-5 W 4
Colorado 15 23 .395 8 150 195 -45 6-11 9-12 2-2 4-2 9-17 4-6 W 1

Over the next two weeks, we will take a look at each team in the division and what was their biggest surprise (good), biggest disappointment (bad) and recommend an Action plan (so it doesn’t get ugly). This week we concentrate on the teams on the north side of .500.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Biggest Fantasy Surprise – Yasmani Grandal, C

The Dodgers best fantasy performer has clearly been Adrian Gonzalez, but his production was expected. Rookie, Joc Pederson, was looking like a lock for this imageshonor until he kind of fell off dramatically. He has now struck out nearly twice as much as ALL other players on the team. His power and OBP percentage has still been fantastic, but the league has made adjustments on how to pitch him. The guy that has really surprised me is Yasmani Grandal. Matt Kemp might have been the big name in that trade, but the Dodgers may have won the trade with the consistent production by Grandal. It’s not easy to find this kind of production from the Catchers position. He has 10 extra base hits this season, including 4 HR and 17 RBI. He is slashing .287/.402/.465 and has produced as a Top 5 Catcher in most scoring formats.

Biggest Fantasy Disappointment – Jimmy Rollins, SS

Reigning NL Cy Young and MVP, Clayton Kershaw, could have easily received this dreaded distinction. His 2.89 FIP, 30.0% K rate and .347 BABIP make me think he imageshas run into some bad luck (and Madbum three times) and his stats will improve as the season goes on. Jimmy Rollins came over in an off-season trade with the Phillies, with one year left of his contract. The veteran leadership was supposed to bridge the gap until superstar prospect, Corey Seager, is ready to take over at Shortstop. The problem is, after a hot first week of this season, J-Roll has been downright terrible. The Dodgers might as well have taken the $10M they are paying him (Phillies are paying $1M) and set it on fire. The former NL MVP is slashing .197/.279/.340 with 4 HR, 13 RBI, and 3-for-6 in SB.

Action Plan

The Dodgers have managed to stay atop the division due to their incredible depth. No Puig, no Crawford, no Ryu, no McCarthy…No Problem!!! Andre Ethier, Scott VanSlyke, and Alex Guerrero are all getting playing time in the OF due to the injuries and all three are batting over .300. Utilityman, Justin Turner has been outstanding playing all four infield positions (though primarily 3B) with only 2 errors in 25 games and is slashing .284/.376/.554.

My Unsolicited Advice…As the OFs get healthy, its time to trade from depth and 2nd tier prospects to upgrade SP and  Middle RP. Idea #1 – Send a package of prospecs headlined by SP Jose DeLeon and OF Alex Verdugo to OAK for Scott Kazmir. Idea # 2 -Andrew Friedman should call up his old friends in Tampa and trade Alex Guerrero for one of their stud RPs (Boxberger, Jepsen, or McGee). Add one of these guys to newly activated Closer Kenley Jansen, and Yimi Garcia, and suddenly the Dodgers have arguably the best back end of the bullpen in the division. Donnie Baseball doesn’t really like Guerrero anyway and he would slot in the middle of the Rays order. 


San Francisco Giants

Biggest Fantasy Surprise – Brandon Crawford, SS

I went back and forth here between Crawford and SP, Tim Lincecum. He certainly imgrescould be considered for Comeback Player of the Year if he continues with his 2.08 ERA. His control numbers are not great and ultimately that could catch up to him, dropping him down in my eyes for this lucrative distinction of “Biggest Fantasy Surprise.” Quick Trivia? Who leads the team in OBP (.391), SLG (.515) and WAR (2.2)? The answer is…Brandon Crawford.  That is a surprise to me. Why is it a surprise? In his four seasons as a Major Leaguer, he has never batted over .250, never had an OBP over .325, or a SLG over .400. I don’t see any evidence that would lead me to believe this is sustainable, but after 150 Plate Appearances, he is the #1 fantasy SS so far in 2015. Ride him as long as it lasts.

Biggest Fantasy Disappointment – Casey McGehee, 3B

This should come as a surprise to no one. In a rare lapse of judgment, GM (at the time) Brian Sabean signed McGehee to a one year deal for $4.8M. He apparently

This is where McGehee should be playing everyday

This is where McGehee should be playing everyday

earned this deal after returning from a one year sabbatical in Japan, producing a slash line of .287/.355/.357 and hitting into a league leading 31 double plays. I would never have thought about having him on any of my fantasy teams heading into the season, and his .190/.248/.276 so far this year isn’t changing my mind. I guess the biggest disappointment is probably to the Giants, who were hoping a light hitting corner infielder would be able to replace the Panda.

Action Plan

The Starting Pitching has held up better than I anticipated (just finished sweeping imgresthe Dodgers with three consecutive shutouts) and Cain might be coming back soon. The Giants have a team ERA of 3.34 for the season. The SP and RP have both been strong, but they need to improve on their 25th MLB ranking of runs scored (3.78 runs/game). There lineup really isn’t as bad as it looked on paper prior to the season. They need more production out of 3B and to tweak the lineup to take better advantage of their 4th ranked .334 OBP.

My unsolicited Advice…Its time to recall Adam Duvall to take over 3B duties. I also like Matt Duffy, but as a utility infielder and defensive replacement. Duvall is not a highly rated prospect, but does have the power tool and is slashing .321/.358/.636 with 12 HR and 36 RBI in 165 AB in Triple A this season. Starting him at 3B would lengthen the lineup, and Duffy could be a defensive replacement and fill in once or twice a week without embarrassing you at the plate. With Crawford slugging they way he is, it is time to move him up in the order. Below is my lineup suggestion for Coach Bochy.

1 Nori Aoki LF Left
2 Angel Pagan CF Switch
3 Buster Posey C Right
4 Brandon Crawford SS Left
5 Hunter Pence RF Right
6 Brandon Belt 1B Left
7 Adam Duvall 3B Right
8 Joe Panik 2B Left

Bryan Luhrs

Major League Fantasy Sports
Writer & Contributor
Real Deal Dynasty Sports
League Developer & Executive League Commissioner

Faith, Family and Fantasy Sports.These are the three words that best describe me. I am a faithful husband and father of 6 amazing children. I work to earn a living, but I live for every precious moment I can spend with my family and a passion for sports.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Help Support Our Growth!

Most Recent Radio Show 6/17/2018, Host Brian Roach Jr., Co-Host Cole Freel, Guest Joe Iannone

Major League Fantasy Fooballl Show, Episode #125 Host Brian Roach Jr., Co-Host Cole Freel, Guest Joe Iannone

Radio Show Feed

Blog Authors

Ben WBen W

I am a recent college graduate from a small liberal arts school in Atlanta, GA. I'm a sports junkie and a diehard Atlanta sports fan.

Brian Roach, JrBrian Roach, Jr

Baseball fan through and through. Follows every team, every player and every transaction. Graduated Lasell College in 2013. Covers high sc...

Bryan LuhrsBryan Luhrs

Faith, Family and Fantasy Sports.These are the three words that best describe me. I am a faithful husband and father of 6 amazing children. I ...

Cole FreelCole Freel

Bachelors in English and History from Indiana University. Borderline-Obsessed Fantasy Baseball Writer who also dabbles in Football, Basketball...

Corey D RobertsCorey D Roberts

Owner and creator of Major League Fantasy Sports. We will provide you with the best tools to be successful in your leagues no matter if ...

Geordie EasterbrookGeordie Easterbrook

I’m a former pitcher from upstate New York, and a proud Demon Deacon. Go Deacs! I’ve been playing fantasy football and baseball for the be...

James WilkJames Wilk

I grew up a Dallas Cowboy's fan in Washington Redskins' country, but I currently reside in Florida. I have played fantasy sports since 1999,...

Jason BlackfordJason Blackford

General IT/Web/Backoffice resource for MLFS. After sitting down with Corey and getting a good look at the time and effort needed to maintain ...

Joe IannoneJoe Iannone

I'm an accountant and an amateur writer of fiction and sports commentary, mostly baseball. I've been a student of the game of baseball since...

John GozziJohn Gozzi

Intense sports lover . a writer who specializes in creative non- fiction almost always challenging the status quo. I've suffered but rema...

Kevin BzdekKevin Bzdek

I've been playing fantasy baseball for 14 years. I am also an auditor and CPA, where I analyze information on a daily basis. Combined, my pas...

Kyle AmoreKyle Amore

I'm a former collegiate and semi-pro baseball player. I underwent successful Tommy John Surgery in 2008, and can give a wide-range of tips on...

Mark RushMark Rush

Unrepentant Red Sox fan and all things Boston. Deflategate was a joke. Boston Latin School is awesome. Harvard and Johns Hopkins alma mater...

Matt BarkmanMatt Barkman

A/S/ the old school AOL instant messenger days...
Elementary Physical Education by day, chasing around my 1 and 2 year old boy...

Mike RiggallMike Riggall

I've been coaching lacrosse since 2002 and playing fantasy football since 2006. I've racked up several championships over the years includi...

Todd NevinTodd Nevin

A business analyst by day, pursuing all things baseball by night. My favorite day of the year is opening day and my favorite sound is the crac...

“That’s Amore!” Building for the Future: MLB AL Central Draft Breakdown 2018…

About 15 hours ago from Corey Roberts's Twitter via

Subscribe for Free

Help Support Our Growth!

More in Major League Fantasy Sports