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A.L. West

“In Lou Of”- West Coast Notes- Week 2

Heading into week 2 of the MLB season there are some interesting players on the west coast to discuss. Some are for good reasons, others not so much, but one way or the other, all are note worthy in my opinion. Some people will say it’ has only been a week and not to put much thought into anything a player has done and they’d be right to say that. Some players can play everyday and go an entire month with only 1 hit. In fact, it happened last April with Shin Soo Choo of the Texas Rangers, yet his final 5 months of the year were fantastic. It just goes to show that baseball is a long season with ups and downs. With all that being said though, I have the privilege of writing a weekly article so I’m going to ignore the “norm” and comment on what I’ve seen so far.

Hitters:

Trevor Story- SS- COL:

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Story is a top prospect in the Rockies organization and has been given the reigns for the starting SS position there. Jose Reyes was acquired last season to fill that position, however, due to a domestic violence situation, Reyes is not even on the Rockies roster, which opened the door for Story. I don’t think it’s possible for Story to have gotten off to a better start in his MLB career. 4 HR in his first 3 games is quite impressive, especially considering the games weren’t even being played in Colorado. I know what you’re thinking now and no I don’t think Story is going to hit 162+ HR this season, however I did think he had 20/20 potential entering the season and he is looking like quite the steal in drafts so far. Like most young players, he will have his struggles but hitting in the Rockies lineup will give him plenty of opportunities to do damage at the plate.

Yasiel Puig- RF- LAD:

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There’s no shortage of criticism surrounding Puig. We all know the talent is there, the question is will be live up to the hype and return to all-star form? I’m going to say YES. I touched upon it in my season preview of the Dodgers team and I’m sticking to it. New manager Dave Roberts is exactly what the Dodgers and Puig need. He will not allow these players to give a mediocre effort. Roberts is the type of manager who will expect the most out of his players and he is not afraid to bench them if he feels that they aren’t giving 100%. It’s quite early as I mentioned above, but Puig has already shown how dynamic of a player he can be and assuming he stays healthy, I expect him to have the best season of his career. He went later in drafts than in seasons past and may prove to be a great bargain .

Corey Seager- SS- LAD:

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This kid certainly needs no introduction. He’s one of top young players in MLB and was a dominant hitter in his limited AB’s in 2015. So far in 2016, he’s been an on base machine and the perfect table setter for the Dodgers line up. I truly believe that he will be a top 5 hitter in the NL this season and could even lead the league in runs scored. He went relatively early in drafts but was still the 5th or 6th SS off the board and by seasons end he very well could be ranked as the 2nd SS right behind phenom Carlos Correa.

Robinson Cano-2B-SEA:

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I talked about Cano in last weeks article saying that he’s definitely primed for a super star caliber season in 2016 after a rough first half in 2015. So far he is making me look like a genius with 4 HR in the first 3 games including his 2 HR performance in the rubber match of the Rangers Series. Of course like Story, Cano isn’t going to end the year with 162 HR lol but it’s certainly promising to see the return of his power. Much of the Mariners success this season will be determined by what Cano does at the plate and although I had them ranked third in the AL West entering 2016, there is no shortage of talent on their roster and they could definitely make a case for 2nd place and a wild card spot.

Carlos Correa-SS-HOU:

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I wrote this in my article last week about Correa;
“He is a once in a lifetime caliber talent who has the potential to hit .310, with 35 HR, 100 R, 100 RBI, 30 SB….”
He had 3 home runs, 4 RBI and 2 SB in his first 2 games this year including a 4 for 4 in game 2. Needless to say, this kid is the real deal and is looking like a top pick in all fantasy formats. It’s only been a few games but after seeing how amazing he really is, I’m already thinking that he is going to be named the 2016 AL MVP.

Pitchers:

Johnny Cueto- SP- SFG:

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Not only was Cueto impressive in his Giants debut but also has the added bonus of being a 2 start pitcher next week. When Cueto was in the NL he was constantly a CY Young award candidate and I have no reason the believe that he cannot pitch at the elite level of years past. In my opinion, the Giants have the best 1-2 punch in MLB and will ride it to the playoffs, maybe even a West Division crown after the D-Backs lost A.J. Pollack last week.

Luke Gregerson CL- HOU:

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Although it seemed like newly acquired Ken Giles was going to be the Astros closer heading into 2016, manager A.J. Hinch decided to go with his 2015 closer, Luke Gregerson. This of course has many fantasy implications seeing that Giles was drafted relatively high in leagues and for now he is nothing but a set up man. With that being said, if you haven’t already, I would quickly go and add Gregerson to you roster if he is still available . There is nothing like getting a closer off the waiver wire in the first week of the season. The Astros are one of the best teams in baseball and as long as Gregerson is the 9th inning man he will have plenty of SV opportunities.

Kenta Maeda- SP- LAD:

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Maeda made his MLB debut earlier this week and was very impressive. He went 6 scoreless inning against the division rival Padres and rewarded any fantasy owner who took the chance on him. He also added a solo HR in the game which although doesn’t help you on fantasy, is still very impressive and definitely worth mentioning. It’s only one start so I don’t want to get to far ahead of myself, however, traditionally when pitchers come over for Japan they have a couple very strong seasons and there is no reason why Maeda can’t follow suit. He can hit the upper 90’s with his fastball and it helps that’s he’s pitching in front of the MLB’s top defense from 2015.

Rich Hill-SP-OAK:

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I spoke about Hill in the offseason when I wrote my Oakland Athletics preview. He finished 2015 very strong but I still warned people to temper their expectations. He is 36 years old, has not been a successful big league starter for a full season in many years and in my opinion he won’t be this season either. He went surprisingly high in drafts and I strongly urge those who drafted him to start searching the waiver wire for an appropriate replacement. He won’t help your team and based on his performance earlier this week, it’s seems like if anything he will be more of a hindrance.

Shelby Miller/Zack Greinke- SP-ARZ:

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It’s only been one start for each of these guys so far this season but neither one had much success. Greinke signed a massive free agent contract in the offseason and the D-Backs traded away some big name prospects to acquire Miller from the Braves. If the D-Backs want any chance of competing in the NL West this season they are going  to need much better performances from their top 2 starters. I certainly wouldn’t panic yet but this is definitely something to keep an eye on.

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Major League Fantasy Baseball Weekly: Join Lou Landers and Kyle Amore live on Thursday April 7th, 2016 from 8-10pm EST for episode #8 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Weekly. We will discuss player positions and help prepare you for the coming draft season. This will run every Thursday as a live broadcast that will take live callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. Our Thursday night show will do some weekly recaps, player updates, and preview the coming week end games.

Our guests this week are Hernan Batista and Nick DeSisto. Both Hernan and Nick are veteran owners in Major League Fantasy Baseball Leagues. Hernan and Nick will also be frequent guests on our shows this year.

“You can find our show on I-Tunes. Just search for Major League Fantasy Sports in the podcasts section.”

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(Click the RED link below to listen)

Major League Fantasy Baseball Show: Join Corey D Roberts on Sunday April 10th, 2016 from 7-9pm EST for this week’s episode of the Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show. We are a live call in radio show so we encourage callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. This week we will discuss the coming week’s games Mon-Thu, do some recap of the previous 3 days, and general fantasy news.

Our guests this week are Mark Rush and Phil Weiss. Mark is the Professor of politics and law at Washington & Lee University, an author, writer, and a frequent guest on National Public Radio as well as the Arabian News Network. Mark was part of the writing staff at Ron Shandler’s old site shandlerpark.com. Since Ron shut that project down Mark has joined our writing staff here at majorleaguefantasysports.com, and also does some editing.

Phil Weiss’s resume includes working as a CPA with a large public accounting firm as well as private industry (Fortune 500), specializing in international corporate tax planning. Chief Financial Analyst for Independent RIA.

Media Experience: Frequent guest on CNBC and Bloomberg television. Multiple appearances on Bloomberg radio, local and national radio. Regularly quoted in Wall Street Journal, Reuters, New York Times, AP, thestreet.com, local news, Financial Times

“You can find our show on I-Tunes. Just search for Major League Fantasy Sports in the podcasts section.”

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