Sport Fantasy Baseball Takeaways: John Means and the changing shape of MLB
Fantasy Baseball Today: Alex Kirilloff arriving, Cristian Javier wows, don't leave Carson Kelly on waivers
On Fantasy Baseball Today, we recap everything you need to know from Thursday's actionFORT MYERS, FL- MARCH 08: Alex Kirilloff #76 of the Minnesota Twins bats during a spring training game between the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox on March 8, 2020 at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Florida.
Congratulations if you had John Means in your first week of May no-hitter pool. Head to the window, and don’t forget two forms of identification.
Offense is hard, man. Hitting ain’t easy. We’re going to have more days like this.
Only a wild pitch on a strikeout — leading to a Seattle baserunner —. He struck out 12 in all, no walks, no hits of course. Total domination. Lawnmower Man.
Means is up to 4-0 on the year, 1.37 ERA, 0.67 WHIP. This is what a breakout season looks like. Means was drafted in a late pocket all spring (Yahoo ADP: 229), but he’s graduated to set-and-forget status. He’s— missing bats, throwing strikes, baiting hitters to chase, inducing weak contact. Even the career trajectory lines up, with Means putting it together in his age-28 season.
Angels, Yankees reportedly discussed Aaron Judge trade in offseason
The Angels had trade talks with the Yankees about Aaron Judge this winter, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports, but it sounds as if the discussions were little more than due diligence. “It was the lightest of flirtations,” as Olney put it, “and perhaps a door-opener for other names.” No details about the specific nature of the talks were mentioned, but it’s safe to assume the Angels explored some bigger outfield names like Judge before eventually landing Dexter Fowler in a salary dump of a trade from the Cardinals.
But speaking globally, I wonder how many mound dogpiles we’re going to see this year. How many no-hitters are to come? And what’s the fantasy takeaway to all this?
I eyeballedin the post-expansion era and found four different years with seven or more no-hitters. It happened in 1990 and 1991 — remember when Baseball Tonight was appointment television? — and fairly recently, 2012 and 2015. There were two no-nos in last year’s truncated season — Lucas Giolito and Alec Mills. (Mills isn’t even in the Cubs rotation this season; he grabbed a relief win over the Dodgers on Wednesday.)
By now you’ve heard about the curious offensive shape of today’s game. The current MLB average is .233,. The last time a season was this hit-unfriendly — the league batted .237 in 1968 — the mound was lowered the following season. An influx of expansion pitching also boosted offense in 1969.
MLB DFS: Best DraftKings, FanDuel daily Fantasy baseball picks, strategy for April 26, 2021
SportsLine's Mike McClure, a DFS pro with nearly $2M in winnings, gives optimal lineup adviceIs Trout, who will cost $6,300 on DraftKings and $4,500 on FanDuel, in line for a big night against the Rangers? And are either Burnes or Rogers smart choices to anchor your MLB daily Fantasy lineups? Before setting any MLB DFS lineups for Monday's action, be sure to check out the MLB DFS advice, strategy and projections from SportsLine daily Fantasy expert Mike McClure.
Home runs and strikeouts smother baseball like never before. If you look at the highest per-game strikeout counts in history, the Top 16 are all from the 2000s. We’re currently at 9.04 per team, a new record. The average had never climbed past seven until the 2010 season; it’s been a runaway train since.
A 2021 team homers an average of 1.16 per game. That’s the fifth-highest clip in history, for whatever we take from about five weeks. The record came two years ago; 1.39 dingers per game in 2019.
Warmer weather will help somewhat, but this toothpaste isn't going back in the tube. The game has changed. We have to accept reality.
So what’s a fantasy manager to do? Recalibrate expectations, and consider different roster constructions.
The, with daily moves. We’re getting the best players on the field that we can, every night. The median batting average in the F&F is .242. Remember all those old jokes about Kris Davis batting .247 every year? That average would help you in 2021.
Rain doesn't dampen Patrick Emerling's Spring Sizzler win
STAFFORD, Conn. — Patrick Emerling dodged the wreck. And then waited on the rain. His reward? The Orchard Park, New York, driver is the 49th NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler winner Friday night. Rain ended the race after 130 laps at Stafford Motor Speedway. To get the win, Emerling had to pilot the No. 07 […]To get the win, Emerling had to pilot the No. 07 Captain Pip Marina Chevrolet through a cluster of spinning cars after Ryan Preece and Ron Silk got together in Turn 2 battling for the win. The wreck also collected Anthony Nocella and Justin Bonsignore. Emerling, who was running fifth, went high and then dove between the pinwheeling Nocella and Bonsignore to get clear.
So try not to be a batting-average snob. If a player is producing and his average is slightly over, I’m not sweating it. Consider Robbie Grossman, who’s batting just .212, but with two homers and six stolen bases. He’s currently the No. 53 outfielder in 5x5 value, and remember position eligibility is extremely liberal in Yahoo. Grossman is a helpful player, even with that low hit count.
The other major change I’m taking with fantasy baseball 2021 is I’m steering into relief pitchers like never before. Just because low ERAs and WHIPs are falling out of trees doesn’t mean we need less of these innings — we need more wipeout innings. And it’s far easier to stuff it down an offense’s throat when you’re only asked to pitch an inning or two. Let it all hang out, pitch with your hair on fire, pick up a strikeout or two, hit the showers.
Wins continue to slide away from starting pitchers, as the non-stars are asked to do less and less. Games are more commonly won in the middle and late innings, by pitchers who weren’t listed in your morning paper. (Oh, right, the morning paper is as much a relic as Baseball Tonight.) My Friends & Family roster only has four starting pitchers on it, and I’m not using Dallas Keuchel for all of his starts. But I have eight relievers I’m happy to deploy, attack them on the world.
Aubrey Plaza Marries Longtime Love Jeff Baena: 'My Darling Husband'
Aubrey Plaza and Jeff Baena have been together since 2011 and often work together
I’ll have to figure out strikeouts, I’m near in the bottom in that area. But I’m third in ERA, third in WHIP, second in saves despite not drafting them proactively — and third in wins. And that’s with eight teams having more innings banked than I do. Add it all up, and I'm in third place, primed to contend. (I know no one really cares about someone else's fantasy team, but I list these things to illustrate the general point.)
Maybe you didn’t get into this fantasy gig to draft Chad Green, or to pick up Kendall Graveman, or to audit Giovanny Gallegos. But this is the way to contention. This is where the wipeout innings are. You need a handful of these guys, and they’re all over the place. Start with the winning teams. Know every reliever on the San Diego Padres.
As for the hitters, don’t be a batting-average snob. If someone offers category juice and a reasonable slot, you can live with all sorts of averages that would have turned your stomach 10 years ago.
There’s a romanticism to baseball that no other sport can really match. It's a blast to draft deGrom and Tatis, a joy to watch Trout every night, a marvel to appreciate Acuna. The Buxton breakout is real and it's spectacular. But the fantasy battle is won in the trenches, in the middle innings, with players who will never headline a network promo. Let’s try to steer into that.
2021 Cleveland Browns Fantasy Team Outlook: Breakout 2020 Creates Lofty Expectations for Baker Mayfield & Co. .
A fantasy football breakdown of the Cleveland Browns by high-stakes legend Shawn Childs CoachingCleveland brought in Kevin Stefanski as the head coach in 2020. He seized the most of his opportunity by going 11-5, giving Browns’ fans their first playoff experience since 2002. They bowed out in the AFC divisional round to the Kansas City Chiefs. Over the previous 14 seasons, Stefanski worked in the Vikings’ system with various coaching jobs. In 2019, he ran Minnesota’s offense for the first time, leading to his promotion to the Browns.