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In this week’s Fantasy Lookout we will give a few words of advice and try and help those in their championship chase. We will then take a look at a three hitters who should have bounce-back seasons in 2016.

Can you believe that there are only 11 days remaining in the regular season? The regular season has just flown by and the playoffs are on deck. Whether it is baseball, football, hockey, basketball, or Fantasy sports in general; playoff time cranks up the intensity to a whole new level. Do not leave any stone unturned, go out guns blazing. Over the remaining few games, it will help to think like a DFS player. Every roster spot is crucial and nothing can be wasted.

Consider all the splits for both hitters and pitchers, whether it is home vs road or righty vs lefty. Look at the weather forecast and be ready to make a last minute change in order to avoid any inclement weather. Look at the hitter’s place in the batting order for that given day, hitting near the top can make the difference in a few extra at bats for your entire roster in a given night. Take advantage of any double headers that could be scheduled due to previously cancelled games. Volume is key, the more the merrier.

Watch the expected probable starters like a hawk. There will numerous starting pitching assignment changes due to a variety of reasons including playoff rotation setting, innings limits, and giving pitchers extra rest or shorter rest as teams make their final playoff push. Your league inning limits and total start restrictions can be skirted with the use of middle relievers who can help with ratios and strikeouts and possibly picking up a rogue save or win.

With a Fantasy title on the line, put yourself in the best position to win and pull out all the stops.

The Fantasy Lookout

Rebound coming?

A couple of weeks ago, we touched on a few hitters to avoid in next year’s draft. This week, we will take a look at a three hitters who should follow up their disappointing 2015 season with a solid campaign next year. All of the players discussed below will finish this year outside of the Top 200 players according to Yahoo rankings. There is a decent shot that each of these hitters will rank within the Top 100 next year.

 

Ian Desmond, SS, Washington Nationals

PA R HR RBI SB AVG BB/K BABIP LD% Hard% HR/FB
First Half 348 36 7 24 5 .211 0.17 .279 15.6% 26.2% 9.7%
Second Half 250 31 11 36 7 .261 0.32 .333 17.1% 31.0% 23.9%

 

Ian Desmond struggled mightily out of the gates this year, but he has come on strong since the All-Star Break. His second half pace looks very similar to the Desmond of old. A portion of the turnaround could be due to luck given his BABIP and HR/FB ratio; however, his batted ball profile suggests a lot of that was earned. Expect the free agent to be to ride his second half surge and regain his standing amongst the top hitting shortstops in 2016.

 

George Springer, OF, Houston Astros

PA R HR RBI SB AVG BB/K LD% IFFB% Pull% Hard% SwStr%
2014 345 45 20 51 5 .231 0.34 15.3% 8.3% 43.2% 39.3% 18.6%
2015 396 52 14 34 15 .263 0.47 25.0% 2.7% 35.1% 33.1% 14.3%

 

George Springer has failed to live up to the hype that followed him at the start of the 2015 campaign, partly due to a wrist injury. However, when you look under the hood, you see that Springer has improved as a hitter since last year. Springer has stopped trying to pull everything, improved his batting eye, hit fewer popups, and has dramatically increased his line drive rate.

All of these things suggest the batting average improvement is sustainable. This all may result in a small sacrifice to his power, but he still has a solid hard hit rate. A large part of the RBI drop-off comes from an unsustainable .164 batting average with runners in scoring position, which is likely to recover next year. A final reason for optimism stems from Springer’s increased aggressiveness on the base paths; a 30/30 season in 2016 is definitely on the table.

 

Corey Dickerson, OF, Colorado Rockies

Corey Dickerson has been plagued by injuries in 2015, having been on three different disabled list stints this year. When he has been in the lineup, he has been crushing the ball. Based on all players with at least 180 plate appearances (Dickerson has 189 PA this year), Dickerson has the highest line drive rate at 33.3% and the eighth highest hard hit rate at 40.9%. Assuming he is healthy next year, 30 homers and 100 RBIs with a solid batting average should be within reach.

These 2015 duds all have shown glimpses and what they are capable of. Make sure you are the one that buys these guys on the cheap in drafts next spring. Until next week’s Fantasy Lookout, enjoy the games!

 

Data courtesy of www.fangraphs.com

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