An MLB hitter posting a season with at least 40 home runs is never not impressive, but is there a time when it’s not as impressive as it should be?
The answer to that question is yes.
Upon seeing players at the top of home run leaderboards for any given year, there could be a tendency to automatically think they’re some of baseball’s best. With regard to 2016, only eight sluggers surpassed 40 homers, but there are four that stand out: Mark Trumbo, Khris Davis, Chris Carter and Todd Frazier.
Despite mashing taters with the best of them this past season, their overall numbers – we’re talking about fWAR, in particular – don’t follow suit. Davis’ 2.5 fWAR is the highest, which just barely squeaks into the top-75 in 2016.
Obviously, this metric brings defense into the equation, but it intrigued me enough to investigate how their homer-rich performances rank against others in recent memory.
Using FanGraphs’ new splits leaderboard, I went all the way back to 2002 to see how the 40-homer seasons from these four stacked up, and it didn’t paint a pretty picture for a couple of sluggers.
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P- Matt Harvey (vs. Washington Nationals): $9,700. Harvey has really struggled this year, but Thursday could be the day that Harvey comes out of his slump. In 134 career at bats against Harvey, the Nationals lineup is batting .209, with only 9 RBIs, and a .271 OBP. Harvey’s price has dropped significantly due to his regression, but this could be time to buy him when he is low. Staying away from the incredibly expensive pitchers (Chris Sale, Stephen Strasburg, etc) has helped my offensive lineup for Friday.
P- Marco Estrada (vs. Minnesota Twins): $8,100. Estrada has been lights out in 2016. In 43.2 innings pithed, he has a 2.89 ERA, 41 strikeouts, and 18 walks. He will be facing a struggling Twins lineup on Friday, so this should be a great matchup for Estrada. In 62 career at bats versus Estrada, the Twins lineup is batting .226, with 12 strikeouts, and a .294 OBP.
To view the rest of the lineup, click the link below: