Zach’s Postseason Musings (10/13)
Throughout the postseason, I’ll be sharing my fantasy-angled thoughts on a variety of noteworthy players from each game with the goal of helping you get a jump start on your 2015 draft prep! So keep checking back here every weekday for new posts.
ALCS Game 1 – Royals @ Orioles
–Alex Gordon (3-for-4, 2B, HR, 4 RBI) doesn’t excel in any one category, but he does everything well, and there’s value in that. Gordon will be 31 on Opening Day 2015, so it’s not out of the question to think that a 25-home run season is in his immediate future, but for now, bank on 15-20 homers, at least 160 R+RBI and double-digit steals. In other words, he offers a comfortable floor.
–James Shields (5 IP, 10 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) is sure to make a lot of money as a free agent this winter, and though his postseason performance has been erratic, I’m not too concerned about him heading into 2015. What I would be concerned about is signing the veteran righty, who turns 33 in December, to a long-term contract. Shields has eclipsed the 200 IP mark in each of his last eight seasons. Sooner or later, all of those innings are bound to catch up with him. For now though, he remains a fine SP2 in mixed leagues.
–Chris Tillman (4 1/3 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K) has been far from impressive this postseason, but there’s still a lot to like about him as he approaches his age-27 season. Draft him as a back end of the rotation guy and don’t be surprised if he delivers mid-rotation value.
NLCS Game 1 – Giants @ Cardinals
-Not a whole lot to say about this game other than that Madison Bumgarner (7 2/3 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K) is a pretty good pitcher and keeper league owners of Adam Wainwright (4 2/3 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 K) should not panic. Wainwright insists that his postseason struggles are not injury-related, and at this point, we need to take him at his word.
ALCS Game 2 – Royals @ Orioles
-We have waited awhile for Lorenzo Cain (4-for-5, 2B, RBI, 2 R, SB) to become a household name, and his performance this postseason has certainly helped. But don’t overlook his stellar regular season stat line. Cain should once again serve as a valuable contributor in the batting average and stolen base departments, and hitting in a young and improving Royals lineup, I also expect his runs total to rise. Next year might be the last time you will be able to draft Cain at a reasonable discount.
–Adam Jones (2-for-5, HR, 2 RBI) might just be the most underrated first round talent in fantasy. Over the past four seasons, he’s averaged 30 homers and 92 RBI while batting at least .280. Beware, however, that his lack of walks hurts his value in OBP leagues.
NLCS Game 2 – Giants @ Cardinals
-I’ve already discussed most of the top performers here (Matt Adams, Matt Carpenter, Kolten Wong) in previous posts, so let’s first give a shout out to Oscar Taveras, whose pinch-hit solo home run in the 7th inning at the time tied the game. Taveras enjoyed a strong finish to the regular season, hitting .295 with one homer, six RBI and five runs scored in 44 September at-bats, and should open 2015 as an everyday player for the Cards. I expect him to seize the opportunity.
–Lance Lynn (5 2/3 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) has now posted back-to-back 200-plus inning seasons, and outside of a not too drastic dip in strikeouts (8.8 K/9 to 8.0 K/9), this year was far better than last year. And last year wasn’t all that bad! Don’t forget about Lynn on draft day as a quality mid-rotation starter with upside.