Zach’s Postseason Musings (10/15)
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ALDS Game 5 – Rangers @ Blue Jays
Roberto Osuna (1 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, SV) has now tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings in the postseason after finishing the regular season in somewhat shaky fashion. This is an encouraging sign from a guy who restored order to what was a dicey closer situation in Toronto this year, and I think the 20-year-old has done more than enough to open 2016 as the club’s unquestioned stopper. If you’re the type of fantasy owner who doesn’t like to spend big on closers, Osuna is someone who you can draft at a low-end CL2/high-end CL3 price but could pitch more like a high-end CL2.
Although Jose Bautista (2-for-4, 2B, HR, 4 RBI) has been inconsistent from year to year in the batting average department, he now boasts averages of 38 homers, 97 RBI and 95 runs scored over the past six seasons. More importantly, he’s avoided the DL in each of the past two seasons, this after averaging only 105 games played from 2012-2013. He’s a safe investment in the first half of the second round in a 12-team mixed league draft.
Shin-Soo Choo (1-for-4, solo HR) was a huge fantasy disappointment last year and his struggles continued through the first half of this season. It was an entirely different story in the second half, however, as he batted .343 with 11 homers, 44 RBI, 56 runs scored and a .455 OBP. Choo doesn’t run much anymore, but aside from the steals, his final 2015 stat line looks a lot like the numbers he posted during his days with the Indians and Reds. I wouldn’t be afraid to draft him next season as my OF3 in standard 12-team mixed leagues or OF2 in OBP leagues.
ALDS Game 5 – Astros @ Royals
Alex Rios (2-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI) used to be a top-20 fantasy outfielder, and I honestly cannot figure out what has happened to him, especially this season, as he batted just .255 with four homers, 32 RBI, 40 runs scored and nine steals in 105 games. A free agent this winter, Rios will head into 2016 looking to revitalize his career, almost certainly with a new team. While a bounce back isn’t out of the question, I’d still avoid him in all mixed leagues. He hasn’t given us a reason to be optimistic.
Luis Valbuena (1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI) launched a career-high 25 home runs this season. He also batted .224, and his career AVG of .228 isn’t a whole lot better. I can live with a .224 AVG if it comes along with 40 homers, but 25 homers isn’t enough, especially from a player who almost always takes a seat versus left-handed pitching. And there’s a good chance he doesn’t hit 25 home runs again. Even in AL-only leagues, Valbuena will not be on my fantasy radar next year.