Friday, March 27, 2015

Fantasy Baseball - Washington Nationals Outfield

Heading into the 2015 MLB season, the Washington Nationals expected to have Denard Span leading off playing center field, Bryce Harper playing right field and Jayson Werth manning left. Injuries to Span and Werth have left the Nationals looking at an opening day lineup with Tyler Moore in left and Michael Taylor in center.  Span is out until at least May, recovering from abdominal surgery and Werth (Shoulder) is optimistic for Opening Day, but manager Matt Williams thinks different.  Moore will fill in for Werth until he is 100% healthy and swinging the bat, but Taylor could find himself playing everyday to start the season, until Span returns.

Taylor just turned 24 years old and is a career .261 hitter across 5 minor league seasons.  He is not going to give you Span's BA and he strikes out nearly 3x as often as he draws a walk (.335 OBP minors). In 39 ABs last season with the Nationals, he struck out 17 times, walking 3 times. However, he can hit the gaps, and has decent power, posting a 23 home run, 20 double season last year.  He hit 41 doubles in 2013 and 33 in 2012.  He can swipe some bases too, with 88 stolen bases over the last two seasons. I think the Nats will have no choice but to let him hit leadoff, as Yunel Escobar is their only other option.

Taylor is taking advantage of Spring Training, hitting .326 with 3 homers, 3 doubles, 2 triples and 6 RBI and scoring 10 runs. 

If you have already drafted, and Taylor is available on waivers, he is worth a roster spot over that backup catcher of yours.  If you are drafting this weekend, he is worth one of your last draft picks and with the injury history of Bryce Harper, Michael Taylor could find himself playing in games well past April!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Throwback Thursday - Twins Sign Phil Hughes

Prior to the start of the 2014 MLB season, the Minnesota Twins signed Phil Hughes to a 3 year $24 mil deal.  He had a record setting season in his debut, setting the Strikeout-Walk ratio record at 11.63.  Hughes beat out Bret Saberhagen (1994) and Cliff Lee (2010) as the only others to have a ratio of 10 or better.  Curt Schilling's 2002 season was the only other time a starting pitcher had 9 strikeouts to every walk issued.  Pedro Martinez had a K/BB ratio of 8.46 and 8.88 in back to back seasons from 1999-2000.

Hughes Ranks 31st in our Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitching Rankings

We took notice in June and recommended that you added Hughes to your fantasy baseball team while people were still questioning him
So which Phil Hughes will we get the rest of the season?  It will be fun to follow, but if he is available in your fantasy baseball league, we suggest adding him for the long haul! - We Talk Fantasy Sports

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Risk and Reward - Valero Texas Open

In what might be one of the best holiday combinations ever, today is both Pecan Day and Waffle Day. Both items are delicious and awesome in their own right, but put the Pecans IN the waffle and holy mother of God is it epic. While the correct pronunciation of the word pecan may be endlessly debated (here's a hint, its "pecan"), there's something undeniable about those weird, wavy nuts inside some sugary, golden dough. I already know what I'm having for breakfast tomorrow, but do you know who's in your lineups yet?

If you're like me and procrastinate everything but your fantasy golf, you probably do, so let me inspire some tinkering for the Rodney Ruxins of the world. For the rest of you, there's a whole heap of talent that didn't make my Power Rankings that you might consider as you ponder whether to start Matt Kuchar or Jim Furyk at the 11th hour. To that end, picking between those two players for this tournament is like picking between pecans and waffles - it's just better to have both.

My Power Rankings draw on statistics only, while Risk and Reward draws more on gut feel and intuition about players who missed my Top 15. In this column, you'll find "Lay-Up", "Going For It", and "Hazard". Look for more subjective analysis here, as opposed to the Power Rankings, where I rely strictly on data. Lay-Up may contain players who, barring a Great Flood, will bank you some points. Going For It is where I'll have players that may have missed the Power Rankings or who I feel present an excellent opportunity to pick up a win, but carry some considerable risk. Lastly, Hazards, where I often find myself on any given Sunday, should be avoided.

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