“Joe Talkin’ To Me?!” NL West Fantasy Baseball Manifest Destiny: A New Frontier
After covering the AL West for the past three months, I am now shifting half of my focus over the NL West while MLFS transitions into football. This is a new frontier for me, so I am going to start by talking about some players that I want to talk about, but have not had a chance to through the first couple of months of the season.
Brandon Crawford, SS, SF – Arguably the fake game’s best SS so far, he leads all SS in RBI (38) and is third in HR (8). He was not drafted in most leagues, and if you picked him up you probably have a good place in the standings. He is batting 40 points over his career average, so now might be a good sell high point. If you have an established SS that you drafted, find the owner who is weak at the position and cash in.
Joc Pederson, OF, LAD – If you drafted this young Joc in dynasty or keeper leagues, congrats! He was an absolute beast in the minors, and with 17 bombs is on pace for the MLB rookie HR
record. He has 37 BB keeping his OBP at a cool .377. The 72 K are alarming though, as they will likely lead to prolonged slumps. In a redraft league, I would try to cash in on the hype and acquire a proven fantasy stud.
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, ARI – The #1 fantasy producer to date has put up monstrous numbers, slashing .340/.466/.650, good for a ridiculous 1.116 OPS. The counting stats look tremendous as well; 44 R, 16 HR, 47 RBI, and for good measure, 9 SB. He has done nothing but mash since he got to the bigs. Enjoy owning him.
Jake Lamb, 3B, ARI – Lamb was off to a white hot start, batting .414 before hitting the DL on April 18th. There is some question about playing time at this point with Yasmany Tomas now up, but Mark Trumbo was shipped to Seattle, clearing up some room for Lamb to start the last two games. Lamb raked in MiLB and was raking in April. He is a true 3B and should solidify his spot at the hot corner, while Tomas moves to the OF. He is still a free agent in many leagues, so grab him. It is hard to find a guy who can hit like him on the waiver wire.
Nolan Arrenado, 3B, COL – He was a hotly debated player in the pre season as lots of people had him jumping into the upper echelon of 3B, and others were not willing to spend high on a guy who had never had a full, productive season. With 14 HR and 45 R he has put himself into the top of the 3B ranks. In keeper and dynasty leagues, you can argue he is #1.
Troy Tulowitzki, SS, COL – I don’t really want to say much here, just that the trade rumors are relatively quiet. And no, the Mets will not (smartly) give up any of their young pitching for him.
Carlos Gonzalez, OF, COL – Fantasy baseball, she is a foul bitch! He is finally healthy and playing everyday (for now), but he sucks. Batting .246 with 6 HR and 18 RBI is waiver wire material. If he isn’t careful, he could be a “Roster Zombie” in my next NL West article.
Alex Guerrero, 3B, LAD – I wish they would just give this guy an everyday job. He has done nothing but mash since he arrived from Cuba, plus the Dodgers are paying him handsomely. Averaging a HR every 11.8 AB, it’s time to start the “Free Alex” campaign. I want to see this guy get into a groove.
Justin Upton, OF, SD – Moving to San Diego has not harmed his numbers after all. After the traditional hot start that Upton displays every year, a funny thing happened…he stayed hot. He is putting up MVP caliber numbers in a contract year. With 12 HR and 12 SB, he is going to challenge for 30/30. We all knew he could hit and this seems to be the year he is putting all together. Do not sell high! This is a highly talented player in the midst of a career year that can win you a league.
Nori Aoki, OF, SF – This is another guy you could have plucked off the waiver wire. Batting .321 with a .394 OBP, he has stolen 12 bags. He needs to keep those averages up because his power numbers are non existent. But anyone you get off waivers who will steal close to 30 bases and bat over .300, is money in the bank.
Waiver Wire Rescue
Jake Lamb, 3B, ARI – As mentioned above, he is a free agent in most leagues after spending time on the DL. Pick him up and hope he nails down that 3B job, which he should.
Chase Anderson, SP, ARI – It is hard for me to justify picking up a pitcher with just one win, but for some reason, I like this guy. His ERA (3.12) and WHIP (1.22) are good, but not great. The 7 QS is a good number, but what I really like is the low BB (15) and HR (3) totals. You could do a lot worse with a FA pitcher.
Mike Bolsinger, SP, LAD – With 4 QS in 7 GS and a 5-1 record, he is worth a look. Another help he can add to your fantasy team is a 2.08 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP that he has because of a marvelous .199 BAA. Anyone this hot should not be a free agent, even if it is not likely to last long.
Archie Bradley, SP, ARI – After a hot start, his ERA ballooned to 5.50, and then he got hurt. Unless you are in a dynasty league, cut bait and pick up his teammate Chase. Even in a keeper league, I’m saying goodbye. Do you really want him to be one of you top players headed into next season?
Justin Morneau, 1B, COL – Old, not producing, and now injured. Nuff said!
Carl Crawford, OF, LAD – Old, not producing, injured, and no everyday gig when he is healthy. Nuff said. Actually, I want to tell people to stop chasing the glory years. GIVE IT UP!
“And Boggs Never Walked Again”
Archie Bradley, SP, ARI – Shoulder, expected return late June.
Patrick Corbin, SP, ARI – Tommy John, expected return early July.
Justin Morneau, 1B, COL – Concussion, no timetable for return.
Corey Dickerson, OF, COL – Planter fasciitis, no timetable for return.
Jordan Lyles, SP, COL – Toe, out for the season.
LaTroy Hawkins, RP, COL – Biceps, expected return mid June.
Rafael Betancourt, RP, COL – Vertigo, expected return late June.
Adam Ottavino, RP, COL – Tommy John, out for the season.
Justin Turner, 3B, LAD – Knee, day-to-day.
Carl Crawford, OF, LAD – Oblique, no timetable for return.
Scott Van Slyke, OF, LAD – Back, expected return late June.
Brandon Beachy, SP, LAD – Tommy John, expected return late July.
Brandon McCarthy, SP, LAD – Tommy John, out for the season.
Hyun-Jin Ryu, SP, LAD – Torn labrum, out for the season.
Joel Peralta, RP, LAD – Neck, expected return late June.
Brandon League, RP, LAD – Shoulder, no timetable for return.
Paco Rodriguez, RP, LAD – Elbow, no timetable for return.
Pedro Baez, RP, LAD – Pectoral, expected return late June.
Wil Myers, OF, SD – Wrist, expected return by this weekend.
Brandon Morrow, SP, SD – Shoulder, no timetable for return.
Josh Johnson, SP, SD – Tommy John, no timetable for return.
Cory Luebke, SP, SD – Tommy John, no timetable for return.
Matt Cain, SP, SF – Elbow, expected return early July.
Jake Peavy, SP, SF – Back, no timetable for return.
Jean Machi, RP, SF – Groin, no timetable for return.
I didn’t receive any mail this week. So for you WWE fans, look who I saw at an open mic night in Orlando.
Remember to send questions to [twitter-follow screen_name=’theCiccone’] or firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured in future columns.
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