by Ray Kuhn
Way back in April, this seemed like quite a long way away. But now with three or four games left for each team, we really are approaching the end of the 2016 regular season. Depending on your position in the standings, you either want the season to end (because you are currently in the money or haven’t been in contention since July) or you want the games to continue as you push to progress in the standings. Either way, you shouldn’t stop paying attention, as even if the results can’t help you for this season, there some value for 2017. Let’s take a look at some of the performances that made an impact from the last Wednesday of the regular season.
1) Kyle Seager Goes Deep
It is human nature, but we gravitate towards round numbers. In the case of Seager, that is what we have this season. The third baseman went deep on Wednesday in Houston, and it was his 30th home run of the season. Seager’s three run shot provided some insurance for Seattle to truly put the game out of reach, and it gave him 99 RBI on the season as he has now reached career highs in both categories. After batting between .259 and .268 in his previous four seasons, Seager’s average sits at .281 on the season after a recent cold spell; .175 in his last 15 games. Don’t overlook Seager for next season. Read more
by Will Overton
The season is obviously winding down now as we are seeing a lot of pitchers take the mound for the last time this season. So with that in mind we are doing a lot of reflecting on this season as a whole for these players and keeping an eye out for next season and what that might bring:
1) The Mets Ace Is Clearly Noah Syndergaard At This Point
Noah Syndergaard kept it rolling last night for the Mets and he’s clearly established himself as the number one pitcher on this team. Syndergaard mowed down the Miami Marlins last night with six innings of one run ball, scattering five hits, walking none and striking out eight. This is five quality starts in his last seven outings for Syndergaard and the strikeouts are piling up now too. Syndergaard has 30 K’s in his last 21.2 IP and he’s now up to 218 for the season in 183.2 innings. The Mets have a nice stable of young pitching, but Syndergaard tops the list and will be one of the top starting pitchers off the board in fantasy next season. Read more
by Ray Kuhn
Impossible. Emotionally exhausting. Powerful. We can keep on going all day with adjectives to describe what we saw on the field in Miami last night. While the game itself did bring with it some level of normalcy, it was still like nothing we have seen before. And hopefully like nothing we ever will see again.
It’s hard to pivot to seemingly meaningless fantasy baseball analysis after talking about the sudden and tragic death of one of the best pitchers of our time, but that is what we do. And by that, I don’t mean be insensitive. Baseball, and fantasy baseball, exist to help us escape life and the tragedies that come with it.
As the end of the season draws near, let’s take a look at some of the performances that stood out from a fantasy perspective last night.
1) Justin Bour Just Misses a Cycle
If there was an element of the the cycle you would expect Bour to be missing, it would not be a home run. Well at least compared to a triple, because before last night, Bour had never tripled in his professional career. After missing two months, Bour returned in the beginning of September, and he has yet to find his groove. Including his 3 for 4 effort last night, Bour is hitting just .196 in September with three RBI. There is no arguing with Bour’s power, prior to his injury he had 15 home runs with 46 RBI, and he could be a good source of such over his next few games. Read more
by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Obviously the tragic news that started the day overshadowed what actually took place on the baseball diamond, as we mourned the loss of Jose Fernandez (and we at Rotoprofessor send our deepest condolences to his family, friends and the entire Marlins organization). What the game of baseball lost was irreplaceable, as one of the truly elite stars and transcendent personalities was taken from us far too soon.
1) Has Michael Pineda finally turned the corner…
Obviously it’s too little too late for fantasy owners, but Pineda is finally stringing together some strong starts. Taking on the Blue Jays, in Toronto, he allowed 1 ER on 3 H and 3 BB, striking out 7, over 5.2 IP. He’s now racked up 18 K over his past 11.0 IP and has lowered his ERA from 5.12 to 4.78 over his past five outings. As we’ve said all season long a lot of his struggles have been luck based (he entered the day with a .345 BABIP) and he should be able to improve upon his 1.30 HR/9. Considering his strikeouts (10.59 K/9) and control (2.55 BB/9), he has the upside of a Top 25 starter next season. Considering he’ll likely cost a lot less than that, given the numbers, he’ll likely be a strong buy for 2017. Read more
by Will Overton
The playoff race is heating up in real baseball, while in fantasy baseball the championship run is about to hit high gear as we close in on the last week of the season. Chances are if you are competing for that title in your league you may have a good idea of who did what in baseball last night, but if you missed it we have you covered with our top 10 stories of the night:
1) Did Rick Porcello Lock Up The Cy Young Last Night?
Here’s something we’ve seen a few times already this season, Rick Porcello got a win last night. In fact this was Porcello’s 22nd win to be exact. It wasn’t Porcello’s best outing with three runs allowed on eight hits in 6.1 IP, but Porcello’s “not that good outings” are still better than the average start. This continued the quality start streak of Porcello which is up to 12 in a row now. This did snap Porcello’s streak of 11 straight starts of seven innings or more though. Porcello also kept his nice strikeout total going last night too with nine strikeouts to bring his total to 183, a really nice number, especially contrasted with his 30 BB’s. There are other contenders for Cy Young in the AL, but I think Porcello is the hands down most deserving. Read more
by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Jake Arrieta was dominant against the Cardinals, tossing 7.0 shutout innings allowing 5 H and 1 BB, striking out 10, in what was his first double-digit strikeout game since June 17. Maikel Franco is once against starting to show his power, going 2-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R (his second straight game with a home run). Drew Pomeranz had a strong bounce back performance, allowing 1 ER on 4 H and 0 BB, striking out 4, over 5.0 IP to defeat the Rays. What else happened on the field that we need to know about? Let’s take a look:
1) Did Francisco Liriano simply need a change of scenery…
Taking on the Yankees he tossed 6.0 shutout innings allowing just 3 H and 2 BB, striking out 6. Over his past three starts he’s allowed 4 ER over 18.1 IP and he owned 43 K vs. 15 BB over 43.0 IP as a member of the Blue Jays. Control was his biggest issue with Pittsburgh this season (5.46 BB/9), considering both the strikeouts and groundballs have been there (he entered the day with a 9.08 K/9 and 52.0% groundball rate). Obviously we would think the move to the AL East would be a downgrade, so it’s going to be hard to recommend trusting him, but things do appear to be headed in the right direction. At the very least consider him a matchup play, though depending on your situation he could be utilized in all formats. Read more