Stephen Strasburg is a completely different and much more dominant pitcher this season. In 2015, Strasburg struggled with injuries. This led to an 11-7 record, 3.46 ERA, 155 strikeouts, 26 walks, and a 2.81 FIP in 127.1 innings. So far in 2016, Strasburg is 8-0, with a 2.79 ERA, 86 strikeouts, 18 walks, and a 2.29 FIP in 67.2 innings. Something has clicked and Strasburg is thriving in 2016.
Strasburg’s elite strikeout rate is what propels him to a top-five starting pitcher in fantasy baseball. He is averaging 11.44 strikeouts per nine innings in 2016. On top of his strikeout rate, he is also limiting his earned runs, but his FIP suggests that his ERA should reduce even more.
His mid-to-upper 90’s fastball and filthy breaking pitches are keeping hitters off balance and limiting consistent contact. From a statistical standpoint, see the link below that compares some of the top pitchers in the game and helps depict why Stephen Strasburg is a top-five pitcher in baseball:
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Ryan Braun is putting together another successful season in 2016. In 147 plate appearances, he is batting .364, with seven home runs, 28 RBIs, 21 runs, two stolen bases, and a .429 OBP. Unfortunately, he has missed nine games this year due to injury, which isn’t surprising considering his injury history throughout his career. Braun’s success in 2016 could make him a hot commodity on the trade market near the deadline in 2016.
One of many teams who will be interested in Braun is the Washington Nationals. The Nationals’ outfield has struggled mightily at times in 2016. A lot of these struggles have come from Ben Revere, who is batting .182, with zero home runs, five RBIs, six runs, and a .225 OBP. Revere’s backup, Michael Taylor, is batting a whopping .192, with four home runs, six RBIs, 14 runs, six stolen bases, and a .234 OBP.
Clearly, they are not getting the job done, which is why Braun would be a huge upgrade to their lineup. This move makes sense for both sides considering the Brewers are looking to rebuild and the Nationals are in need of a bat since they are trying to win now.
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The Washington Nationals are currently sitting at the top of the National League East standings, but they are starting to slip. The New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, and Miami Marlins are all within two games of the first place spot in the East. In order to hold onto their current position, the Nationals must start creating more run production opportunities. This problem can be easily fixed with one move, call up star prospect, Trea Turner.
In Triple-A, Turner is currently batting .324, with 3 home runs, 17 RBIs, 32 runs, 14 stolen bases, and a .387 OBP. These numbers scream run production. Not only are his numbers fantastic, but the player he would be replacing has done nothing but struggle at the plate. Nationals’ starting shortstop, Danny Espinosa, is currently batting .208, with 3 home runs, 14 RBIs, 8 runs, 1 stolen base, and a .307 OBP. Based on these numbers, many people must be wondering why Trea Turner hasn’t gotten a promotion in 2016, but there is a simple answer to this, service time.
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Daniel Murphy agreed to a three-year deal worth $37.5 million on Christmas Eve 2015 with the Washington Nationals. He was introduced as their new second baseman on January 7th, 2016 and his tenure with the New York Mets was officially over. In fact, the last time Daniel Murphy wore a Mets jersey was November 1st, 2015, so you could say it was over then.
It’s time to let it go. No more Murph. No more #ImWith28. No more errors at second base.
I will admit that when the season started, I followed everything he did. Home runs, RBI’s, .400+ Batting Average – and errors. I wanted to say the Mets made a mistake by letting him walk, but that new guy they got, what’s his name, Neil Walker? Yeah, he never allowed me to talk smack about the move.
Tim Lincecum will pitch in front of upwards of 15 to 20 teams on Friday. He has been sidelined since last season due to arthroscopic hip surgery. He has been rehabbing for the last few months, and it looks as if he is finally ready to showcase his talents in front of scouts. There are reports that he is already throwing in the low 90’s, which is great news for the right-handed pitcher. As of right now, some of the reported teams who will be in attendance on Friday include the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, Oakland A’s, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers, Houston Astros, Miami Marlins, Washington Nationals, and the Baltimore Orioles.
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Note: There are only 8 games on Thursday, which means the match-ups are very limited. There is also a very good chance of rain for the following games, so pay attention to the forecast: Phillies vs. Nationals, Pirates vs. Rockies, Athletics vs. Tigers.
P- Jon Lester (vs. Milwaukee Brewers): Through 4 starts in 2016, Lester has been absolutely dominant. In 27.1 innings pitched, he has a 1.98 ERA, 23 strikeouts, 5 walks, and a 2-1 record. The Brewers’ offense has struggled this season. They are currently ranked as the 25th ranked offense in Major League Baseball. Lester will be throwing off of his home mound on Thursday as well. All of these factors should work in Lester’s favor. NOTE: The Chicago Cubs game was postponed on Wednesday night, so Jake Arrieta may take Lester’s spot on Thursday, and if that is the case, Arrieta is a must add.
P- Tanner Roark (vs. Philadelphia Phillies): Roark has been a pleasant surprise for the Washington Nationals this season. In his first 4 starts, he has thrown 24 innings, with a 2.63 ERA, 24 strikeouts, 11 walks, and a 2-2 record. In his most recent start, he threw 7 innings against the Minnesota Twins, giving up 0 runs, striking out 15, and walking 3. He has a favorable matchup against the Phillies on Thursday, so he is a great start in daily fantasy baseball.
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All young MLB players give some thought to their first trip into the free agent market. However, not all get the opportunity to both experience it and maximize their earning potential with the contract they eventually sign. Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg will get to experience what free agency is like, and it appears a perfect storm is brewing for him in a number of ways to get paid even more handsomely than some originally thought.
Despite some inconsistencies, the cumulative numbers have always been there for Strasburg – a decent ERA, elite strikeout-to-walk totals and for the most part, victories. Along with having Scott Boras as his agent, there was little doubt a pitcher with this much raw talent and “results” at the big-league level would get a gaudy, nine-figure contract, but would he truly be able to maximize his earning power?
It is no secret that Bryce Harper and Mike Trout are considered the two best players in fantasy baseball, but Manny Machado deserves to be in that discussion. One of the most discussed questions in fantasy baseball is, “which player is the best?” Prior to 2015, an overwhelming majority would have given that honor to Mike Trout. After a history-making season in 2015, Bryce Harper broke onto the scene and people started to question whether or not he should be considered the best in the business. While Harper and Trout were getting the spotlight, I’m sure Manny Machado was thinking, “well, what about me?” Machado deserves to be in the discussion for one of the best fantasy baseball players after his breakout 2015 season, and his torrid start to 2016. Before discussing Machado, lets take a look at Harper and Trout.
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The Nationals asserted themselves on this leaderboard thanks to a quick start. They were my 2nd best bet last week at +1100. Now the odd at +650 is not worth any money at all.
Since Washington was able to play so well, this has created the perfect storm to put some more cash on the Mets. At +1300, New York is just begging for a wager.
The strength of schedule to which the Nats have played has definitely factored in. 2 series versus the Braves and Marlins and one against the Phillies already, Dusty Baker‘s club has had about a ‘cupcake itinerary’ as you possibly could find.
It gets better for the District’s squad, as they go home for another series with Philadelphia – that comes on the heels of a weekend Interleague series versus the Twins.
If Washington wins those 2 series, they should be about 15 or 16 wins after 22 games. They should cement themselves in the playoffs with an easy NL East opponents schedule all year. I just want to see them play some tougher clubs.
While Washington is leading the Division, they have yet to face the NL reigning pennant winners. The division win could come down to the 19 contests between the two clubs.
Terry Collins‘ team has 16 straight games versus squads with losing records. While the Giants are capable of contending all year, New York should be able to match them well for pitching. Read the rest of this entry
Bryce Harper is on a mission in 2016 to prove he is the best player in Major League Baseball. Heading into the season, many people thought Mike Trout was the best in the game (not me, as you can see my argument in my previous article posted prior to the season:“Fantasy Baseball Dynasty King, Mike Trout or Bryce Harper?”), despite Harper’s incredible 2015 campaign at the age of 22. During the 2015 season, Harper hit .330 with 42 home runs, 99 RBI’s, 118 runs, 6 stolen bases, and a .460 OBP. Those impressive numbers led to his third all-star appearance, first Silver Slugger Award, and his first National League Most Valuable Player Award. While this season is in the record books, Bryce Harper plans to rewrite those exact record books in 2016, as he prepares to sign the most expensive contract in Major League Baseball history in 2019.
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