Fantasy Baseball Preview

Week one of the fantasy baseball season has now been completed and there has been an interesting trend to start the year. Just because you may get a quality start from your starting pitcher, does not guarantee a victory.

There was numerous occasions this past week where fantasy owners should have been proud with the performances of their starters. However they had nothing to show for it in the wins category because their team’s relievers just could not get the job done.

A prime example this past week was Julio Teheran of the Atlanta Braves. In two starts this past week against the New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates, Teheran threw 13 innings of shutout baseball with 10 strikeouts and a very respectable WHIP of 1.08. However the Braves bullpen pitched poorly in both contests and the Braves lost 6-0 to the Mets on opening day and 6-5 to the Pirates on Sunday.

Offensively, it was an outstanding week for Texas Rangers outfielder Nomar Mazara. After having a respectable rookie season where he batted .266 with 20 home runs and 64 runs batted in, Mazara batted .417 with two home runs and a Major League Baseball leading nine runs batted in. The Rangers have great starting pitching led by Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish, and it will be interesting to see if they will be able to bounce back after a slow start where they have only won twice in their first six games.

Staying with the American League, there are two surprise division leaders so far. I don’t think anyone expected the Minnesota Twins to be leading the Central and the Los Angeles Angels to be leading the West. In Minnesota, the player you need to watch out for is third baseman Miguel Sano who is a beast in the heart of the Twins lineup. Sano is batting .350 so far this season with five extra base hits. In Los Angeles, infielders Yunel Escobar and Andrelton Simmons both carried the Angels this past week to an impressive 5-2 start and a sweep over the Seattle Mariners. Escobar and Simmons both batted over .400 this past week and combined for 12 Angels runs.

In the National League, the most interesting team was the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are 6-1 to start the year. Interestingly, the Diamondbacks are coming off a three game sweep of the American League champion Cleveland Indians and three wins in four games over the San Francisco Giants. Zack Greinke has bounced back in 2017 so far after a miserable 2016 season, while four Diamondbacks players (Paul Goldschmidt, Yasmany Tomas, Chris Owings and Brandon Drury) have had a minimum of 20 bats each and are each hitting a minimum of .346.