Fantasy Baseball: American League’s Biggest Surprises

Shawn Childs

Daily Dr. Roto — May 29, 2018

American League’s Biggest Surprises (Both Good and Bad) After the First Two Months of the Season

Baltimore: Chris Davis — I knew Chris Davis had been struggling with his batting average for the past two seasons, but 2018 has been a new low even for him. He is hitting the same .156 as Marlins OF Lewis Brinson which is appalling. Moreover, Fantasy owners would be able to digest his poor average if he were at least hitting home runs which he is not doing this year (he has only four at this point). Sad to say, he looks done.

Boston: Mookie Betts — I had the 8th pick in this year’s FSTA draft, and I debated taking Betts or Clayton Kershaw with the pick. I was glad to have chosen Betts because he looks like he is well on his way to winning the AL MVP. At the rate he is going, he might end up being the overall top pick in Fantasy drafts next season.

Chicago: Tim Anderson — Before the season, Fantasy owners looked at Anderson’s strikeouts and were worried about his ability to get on base, but I always believed that his power/speed combination at the top of the White Sox order would lead Anderson to Fantasy greatness. Right now, he’s on pace for a 20/20 season if he can stay healthy.

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Cleveland: Andrew Miller — Miller’s name is here as it is surprising to see his body break down after his being so good the past few seasons. Miller’s been dealing with a back injury and now a knee injury, and there is no definite timetable for his return. Anyone who thought that he would be in line for a dozen saves is sadly mistaken at this point.

Detroit: Niko Goodrum — Every once in a while, a player comes out of nowhere to produce numbers that are completely unexpected. Goodrum is showing more power in the major leagues than he ever displayed in the minors and has proven to be a good pickup in Fantasy leagues. Can he keep it going? I wouldn’t bet on it, but if I owned him, I would be happy to hold on to him as he qualifies for multiple positions.

Houston: Gerrit Cole — To be honest I am not surprised that Cole has been good in Houston. I am amazed that he has been THIS GOOD in Houston! It just goes to show that when a player is not happy where they are playing it can affect their performance which was clearly the case with Cole in Pittsburgh. He is the early odds-on-favorite for AL Cy Young.

Kansas City: Jorge Soler — Why do I like working at FullTime Fantasy Sports? It’s because I work with people like Shawn Childs and Adam Ronis who are two of the finest Fantasy Sports minds around. I distinctly recall all three of us talking about Jorge Soler being in the perfect spot for a comeback season. Soler is the ultimate post-hype sleeper, and there’s no reason he cannot finish with a great second half.

Los Angeles Angels: Ian Kinsler — I am absolutely shocked at how bad Kinsler’s been this season. This goes to show why I rarely, if ever, draft older players. When their fall comes, I never want to be holding the bag on a player past his prime.

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Minnesota: Byron Buxton — I have seen Buxton get off to bad starts over the past two season, but this is ridiculous. Someone needs to show this kid how to swing a bat before the All-Star break. All we can hope for at this point is that he has another strong second half in 2018. If he does, I will certainly remember that at next year’s draft and will avoid him like the plague until I make an in-season trade for him around June 1.

New York Yankees: Gleyber Torres — When I watched Torres play in spring training, I was very impressed with his maturity at the plate, but I never thought for one second that he would be this good. One thing I think has been working in his favor is that the Yankees’ lineup is so stacked that there is no pressure on Torres to hit. Unlike most rookies, he’s able to relax and take good cuts. Can he keep this pace up? I doubt it, but it is fun to watch.

Oakland: Matt Olson — I felt very strongly that Olson would be competing with Judge and Stanton for the AL Home Run title in 2018. So, it comes as a surprise to me that he only has eight HRs at this point of the season. Olson can hit home runs in bunches, so I do believe that he will hit 30+ for the season, but I won’t get the 50 that I was secretly hoping for when I drafted him in March.

Seattle: Robinson Cano — It seems like some of Cano’s old teammates weren’t surprised to hear that Cano was suspended for PED use, but I certainly never saw it coming, Cano threw out any chances he had of making the Hall of Fame and sullied his name from this point forward.

Tampa: C.J. Cron — Most people don’t remember that Cron was a fantastic minor league prospect for the Angels many years ago. When he came up, however, he couldn’t hit RHP, so he was on the short side of the platoon for many years. Now in Tampa, Cron is getting a chance to play every day, and he has done a pretty good job at 1B.

Texas: Cole Hamels — Every year I refuse to draft Hamels, and every year he seems to figure out how to have another solid season. I still won’t draft him, but I do respect his ability to keep going when other older players have fallen off over the years.

Toronto: Roberto Osuna — I don’t know what precisely happened with Osuna assaulting that woman, but I can tell you that I was not only surprised but shocked when he was placed on administrative leave. Athletes need to understand that they are in the public eye and that everything they do comes under a microscope. There is never a good reason to assault another person, and I am sure that his suspension will reflect that when the time comes. Sadly for his Fantasy owners, it put them in a position of having to replace him, which is virtually impossible to do.

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