Zach’s Postseason Musings (10/19)
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ALCS Game 1 – Blue Jays @ Royals
As much as Edinson Volquez (6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 5 K, W) scares us due to his inconsistency through the years, the reality is that over the past two seasons, he’s gone 26-16 with a 3.30 ERA and 1.27 WHIP. I’m not saying I’ll draft him next year, but let’s give the guy some credit.
In what was a very balanced Royals offensive attack, Alcides Escobar (2-for-3, 2 2B, RBI, 2 R) was the only Kansas City batter with more than one hit. Following a strong bounce back campaign in 2014, Escobar was somewhat of a disappointment this year as he saw his batting average fall from .285 to .257 and his stolen base total drop from 31 to 17. But he’s now hitting .321 with five runs scored and a .867 OPS through seven postseason games. After carrying the draft day price tag of a starting shortstop in 12-team mixed leagues heading into the season, Escobar should be there for the taking when mixed leaguers begin to address their starting MI slot next spring. At that cost, I’d be more than willing to grab him, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets back to the 30-stolen base level.
NLCS Game 1 – Cubs @ Mets
Matt Harvey (7 2/3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, W) was absolutely dominant in this start after getting by without his best stuff against the Dodgers. It’s good to see that Harvey’s pitching is now the main story as opposed to the whole innings restriction controversy. The Mets righty will enter next season as a clear-cut fantasy ace.
Curtis Granderson (1-for-3, 2 RBI) has been a steady presence atop the Mets lineup this year, and he’s continued to produce in the postseason, going 9-for-24 (.375 AVG) with seven RBI and three steals through seven games. Looking ahead to next season, he’s back in the top-30 fantasy outfielder mix, at the very least.
ALCS Game 2 – Blue Jays @ Royals
After a highly impressive rookie campaign, Yordano Ventura (5 1/3 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, ND) fell short of expectations this season. That said, it’s important to note that in 15 second half starts, he went 9-2 with a 3.56 ERA to go along with 98 strikeouts in 91 innings. Still just 24, Ventura is an intriguing bounce back candidate for 2016.
Mike Moustakas (2-for-4, 2 RBI) finally put it all together in 2015, hitting for both average and power. His second half power surge (15 home runs) suggests that there might be room for further improvement in that department. He’s certainly elevated himself to solid mixed league starting third baseman status.
NLCS Game 2 – Cubs @ Mets
In what has been a magical postseason ride for the Mets, there’s been nothing magical about the play of Lucas Duda (0-for-3, 2 K), who is now 2-for-21 this postseason with 13 strikeouts. Duda has always been a very streaky hitter, so ice cold stretches like this one aren’t uncommon for him. But everything is magnified in the playoffs, and I cannot help but think that Duda’s draft stock next spring could take a hit as a result of his October performance. This might actually present a nice buying opportunity for a guy who has launched a combined 57 home runs over the past two seasons. At least in Roto leagues, streakiness doesn’t matter all that much as long as the numbers are there in the end.
Kris Bryant (2-for-4, 2B, RBI) will enter 2016 as a likely top-5 fantasy third baseman, and that distinction is well-deserved. However, my main concern with Bryant in non-keeper leagues is that there will be someone in every draft that reaches for him, perhaps even grabbing him in the first round. And it might work out just fine, but I won’t be the one who takes on that risk. The track record remains thin, and relative to that price, it’s more likely that Bryant will disappoint. Be careful not to go overboard due to the upside.