We’re throwing you a curve ball again this week. With the lack of closer movement that is going on – although Baltimore Orioles Zach Britton is supposed to be back within a week – here is a look at some big name players to determine whether you should Buy or Sell for your fantasy baseball team.
I admit it, I’m a homer when it comes to this guy, but as a Minnesota Twins fan we heard about Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano and how they were supposed to take the Twins to the top. Both have been hit with injuries and outside of Buxton’s defense, there really hasn’t been a lot to cheer about with respect to either of them. Enter Rosario.
He was a Top 10 prospect for the Twins but was always kind of an after thought. He is becoming the 1 or 1A offensive threat for the Twins, along with Brian Dozier. Since May 1st, Rosario has 52 hits, with 12 doubles, 11 homers and 31 RBI and a .364 batting average. Draft season expectations still linger however, meaning Rosario is undervalued.
Fantasy Advice – Buy
As mentioned above, Rosario is the Twins leading offensive producer right now. According to MLB.com fantasy baseball, he is projected to hit 29 home runs, drive in 97 and steal 11 bases for the season. He is prone to go on these hot streaks and usually the team follows. Although that hasn’t been the case yet this year, Rosario is coming into his own as an offensive player and in my opinion will be the Twins lone All-Star game representative.
Yep, Clayton Kershaw, a.k.a. the “best” pitcher on the planet, and the most dominate lefty since Randy Johnson. I’m not much of an, “I told you so,” type of person but in this case, I will be – I told you so. When we drafted back in March, I mocked many times and it always came down to Max Schrezer or Kershaw. I went with Mad Max every time due to the fact I can’t trust Kershaw’s back. It’s happening again.
This is Kershaw’s second stint on the DL this year due to back issues. I’m not a doctor, I just play one for fantasy baseball, but this seems to be a chronic issue for the future Hall of Famer. It makes one wonder how much longer he can continue like this.
Kershaw can opt out of his contract this year and sign for huge money and he’s still relatively young. However part of me wonders if he’ll ride off into the sunset (Texas man) with the money he’s earned, Hall of Fame credentials and the ability to walk and have a pain free life via no more pitching. Another Dodger did it many moons ago (hint: #2), so why not a second lefty?
Fantasy Advice – Sell
When he’s on, he’s obviously one of the top five pitchers in the game (debatable – a topic for another day) but he’s been injured so much these last couple years how can we count on him? I truly think with name recognition only, you can improve your team by offering Kershaw for a solid bat and a solid arm. This may bite you in the long run but for right now, he isn’t doing you any good on the DL. Get something for him while you can. In keeper leagues in particular, try trading him to a contender for some nice future assets.
This may come as another surprise but Ohtani definitely has some warning signs that may lead you to think about dealing him. His pitching, in my opinion, is his biggest contribution for fantasy and for the Angels so far. Some of his pitching success may be due to the newness of him in the Majors, and some might be that he is that good.
The two-way player experiment has paid some dividends for the Angels but I’m not sure to what degree. His six homeruns and 20 RBI are decent but not necessarily for an American League DH (although the Twins would take it). On the mound, Ohtani is 4-1 with a very good 3.10 ERA. He has also struck out 61 batters in 49 innings.
The issue isn’t his productivity when he’s playing. It’s his blister issue that has already caused him be taken out of a couple games this year. It’s a very small injury but when that blister is on your middle finger, it makes it very tough to grip and especially spin the baseball. There have been many pitchers in the past few years that have, I guess you’d call it, chronic blister issues and it definitely effected their seasons.
Fantasy Advice – Buy / Sell
Would you expect anything else? With Ohtani being a two-way player, he has value on both sides of the ball. With that being said, I would SELL him as a pitcher and BUY him as a hitter. With his blister issue, yes, his numbers are good but are you willing to risk the chance that the blister flares up again?
You may be better to use him as a hitter and see if you can get something for him from the pitching side (depending on how your league treats Ohtani as one player or two). Novice fantasy players are still enamored with Ohtani, so his value is especially high to the right person. If you’ve got a situation with the right circumstances, take advantage.
One of the best spectacles in sports is the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The grind these players go through, the traditions, team work, and mental toughness is unmatched in any other sport. Read this recent article from ESPN on why hockey players don’t use “I”.
They say football is the ultimate team sport and maybe it is. You can’t run the ball or protect the quarterback without a good offensive line. Pass rushers can’t get to the opposing quarterback without some coverage by the defensive backs.
Hockey is no slouch though in terms of teamwork to be successful. Five guys out there, in the immortal words of coach Norman Dale from Hoosiers, “working as one single unit”. The second assist, the down to earth personalities and the team first mentality is what makes hockey a great sport. Congrats to the Washington Capitals winning the Stanley Cup.