Embed from Getty Images
The 2019 MLB season is quickly nearing and that means it is season long player prop time! For the 2018 season, I logged winners on 44 out of 67 (66%) season long player prop bets on their over/under marks in statistical categories. Those bets are undocumented outside of my own records, but those who know me well know I am an honest gentleman, and they also know I have a bit of a knack on this baseball thing.
Laying down some of that hard-earned cheddar to have to wait over six months to see any potential return on these season long props can be quite a drawn out process, but hey, baseball is a drawn out sport that is not for the impatient or for the thrill seeking adrenaline junkies. So if you are one that can truly appreciate the thought, deliberation, skill, and strategy that goes into this game that most grown men can only dream of playing for a living, then you should have no problem waiting the six plus months to see your bankroll additions! But if you are one that thinks baseball is “boring,” a.) I don’t necessarily blame you and b.) then you can still read the analysis below, bet it and forget it, don’t watch a single at-bat all season, then login to your account on September 30 for a pleasant monetary surprise.
These picks are based off my personal hand-crafted statistical player projections. ***Unless noted otherwise, all lines are from MyBookie.
The largest percentage of my player prop picks are on home runs, so the home runs category is going to be broken up into two parts. This post will focus on all picks that have a home run over/under of 24.5 or greater.
So let’s get caught looking at these props!
Aaron Judge: Over 39.5 home runs (+105) – I am not too sure why we are getting plus odds here, but we will most certainly accept it. Last year, your honor was not quite on pace to repeat his monstrous 52 HR rookie season, but he did pop 26 HR in the Yankees’ first 100 games before getting plunked with a fractured wrist in the 101st game. That only equates to a 42 HR pace before the injury, but that still would have eclipsed this 39.5 home run line. The drop in pace was also a byproduct of his flyball% dropping from 43.2% to 35.0%. He is still young and growing as a hitter, so I move for him to gain back some of those flyballs and I think Judge will oblige and grant the motion. The Backwards K projection: 43 home runs
Embed from Getty Images
The third basemen rankings are front loaded with some pretty excellent talent that includes an MVP, a slew of rising stars under the age of 25, and a couple of consistent veterans. Once you get passed all of that fantasy goodness though, the depth of the position really begins to lack as several of the players are also eligible at what are generally considered to be shallower positions like second base and shortstop — with second base lacking star talent depth and shortstop just lacking reliable depth. I certainly would want to come away with one of the first 8 or 9 third basemen listed in the rankings because after they’re off the board, the hot corner won’t be looking so hot anymore.
Below are THE BACKWARDS K 2016 FANTASY BASEBALL THIRD BASEMEN RANKINGS. Included for each player is “The Backwards K Quick Take” and a self-produced player projection for 2016.
***Please note the following:
- The player’s names are color coded to signal different tiers at the position.
- The rankings reflect standard 5×5 roto scoring settings (AVG/HR/RBI/R/SB) with position eligibility requirements as 10 total games played at a position in 2015, or 5 total games started at a position in 2015 (i.e. Yahoo! settings).
- The numerical order is not necessarily a suggested order to draft them in, but it is the order that is calculated based on each player’s listed projections, unless noted otherwise.
- Noted in some players’ “Quick Takes” is if they gain or lose notable value in points leagues that factor penalize hitter strikeouts and reward hitter walks.
Embed from Getty Images
What can’t Mike Trout do? He debuted in the Majors at just 20 years old in 2011 and his official rookie season was 2012, and since then he has won the AL Rookie of the Year Award, been an All-Star in all four seasons, has won two All-Star Game MVP Awards in a row, has won a Silver Slugger Award in each season with another one on the way in 2015, finished 2nd in the AL MVP voting twice, took home the AL MVP Award last season, and is likely looking at being the AL MVP yet again this year. I suppose he hasn’t won a Gold Glove Award yet, but he’s been robbed of that and he still is simply stellar in center field.
On Friday, he launched the third walk off home run of his career when he took Koji Uehara deep into the night. He is now hitting .311 with 27 HR, 56 RBI, 69 R, and 9 SB, and he leads the AL in HR. If we want to nitpick at his flaws, we can look at his gradually declining SB totals over his young career or his less than stellar strikeout rate. But the fact is that he is the best all-around player in the game and he has been ever since he walked onto the field in his rookie season. There are no more words that need to be said to describe him, so just sit back and enjoy the show in Anaheim.
Let’s check out what else happened on Friday as we are now back from the All-Star break!
Embed from Getty Images
Predicting the All-Star teams can sometimes be a hopeless exercise due to the unpredictability, but it is all fun and games. The first pieces that come into play for the All-Star rosters are the fan submitted votes where the leading vote getters at each position (three in the outfield) are automatically named to the All-Star team as a starter. Next, the players vote for 8 pitchers (5 starting pitchers and 3 relief pitchers) and for a backup at each position (if the leading vote getter amongst the players was already voted in by the fans then the second leading vote getter amongst the players is named as an All-Star reserve). Then the managers of the All-Star teams select the remainder of the roster until the roster has 33 players. Finally, there are then 5 players from each league that are put on the “final man ballot” to be voted on by the fans for the 34th and final spot on each league’s respective roster.
The fans can do some pretty weird things in the voting like currently having five Royals players currently slated to be All-Star starters despite being undeserving of it. Also, the players/manager selections can be strange and biased to include even more drama. But I am going to do my best to predict each league’s All-Star roster. What you’re about to read isn’t who I think should be All-Stars, but rather it is what I think will happen with both the fans and the players/manager votes. Continue reading
DFS is an abbreviation for “daily fantasy sports” and sites that offer DFS have daily tournaments or head-to-head games with the chance to win a pretty penny (or lots of pretty pennies actually). I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials for the two leaders of the industry, FanDuel and DraftKings. I signed up for FanDuel years ago when it first became a thing, but I didn’t have much success as it was a different kind of monster to tackle than the season long leagues I was accustomed to. And it was not until recently that I tried my hand at it again, as I got into it in the second half of this past NFL season. After doing some research reading various literature about DFS, I’ve gone on to win a NHL freeroll on DraftKings, beating out a few thousand other people to win tickets to the NHL All-Star Weekend, and I have come close to a couple of big scores where I would’ve gotten 1st or 2nd in large tournaments. In those tournaments, I was choosing between two players to fill one position, but the ones I chose ended up doing nothing and the ones I did not choose did really well and would have won me a lot of money. DRAT!
Last night on a site called FantasyAces, which is definitely not as big as FanDuel or DraftKings but is still one of the top 5 sites in the industry, I constructed a lineup that did very well and I had the top or second best score in each game I entered (see below). So the point of me sharing this is not to brag, but to explain what DFS is all about and introduce it to those who are unfamiliar, and to show that winning at DFS is very much possible. I would highly recommend playing DFS for fantasy gamers out there, as it is a lot of fun (especially when you win!).
But let’s take a look at Friday’s diamond action now.
Matt Carpenter is currently the top ranked third baseman, but we all knew that he is a pure grinder and a great hitter. Miguel Cabrera is proving to be in good health after having some foot issues last year that seemed to sap his power. And there are the young studs who are rising through the ranks such as Nolan Arenado and Manny Machado. But who has been an unexpected find at third base and what can we expect out of the disappointments at the position? Time to dive into the third base position and see what has been going on there so far this season.
Surprises: Marcus Semien, Jimmy Paredes
I talked about Semien in the second basemen post, so let’s skip on to Jimmy Paredes. Paredes began the year on the DL for the Orioles, but was activated a couple weeks in and has been functioning as the team’s DH out of the 2-hole mostly and has so far put up a line of .333 AVG, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 12 R, and 1 SB in 14 games played Is this surprise performance for real? Well, I am not going to call it for real just yet, but let’s just say that I am very intrigued by Paredes, especially because of where he is being slotted in the Orioles lineup. He is a player that has seen some big league time every year since the end of 2011, but has spent the better part of those days as a AAA player where he displayed the ability to be a 10 HR/30 SB guy over the course of a full season. That is useful stuff in fantasy, so when a player with those skills comes along and starts off hot, it does not hurt to pounce on him on the waiver wire and just see what comes of it. At 26 years old, Paredes is just entering his prime and could really blossom. The one aspect of his game that scares me off is that he has an aggressive approach at the plate, so he does not walk much at all. His current mark is at a microscopic 1.6 BB%, but this kind of fits in with the Orioles team philosophy. Nonetheless, I would still look to pick him up in fantasy leagues as he can actually turn out to be this year’s Josh Harrison. Continue reading