Zach’s Postseason Musings (10/21)
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ALCS Game 3 – Royals @ Blue Jays
If anyone other than Josh Donaldson (2-for-4, HR, 3 RBI) wins the AL MVP, it would be shocking. The Blue Jays third baseman is fresh off a career year in which he led the AL in RBI and Runs and finished tied for 3rd in homers. Considering that he plays in a hitter-friendly park and will continue to benefit from a stacked supporting lineup, a strong case can be made for Donaldson as a top-5 pick in 2016 drafts.
Sure, it was in a losing effort, but let’s not overlook the solid job that Kris Medlen (5 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K) did in relief of an ineffective Johnny Cueto. Following his mid-July return from Tommy John surgery, Medlen pitched to inconsistent results down the stretch. But this is a guy who won 15 games while posting a 3.11 ERA and 1.22 WHIP for the Braves back in 2013. After missing one and a half seasons, some rust was to be expected. Medlen figures to open the 2016 campaign in the Royals starting rotation, and as a late-round flier in mixed league drafts, he could deliver a nice profit.
NLCS Game 3 – Mets @ Cubs
Kyle Hendricks (4 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, ND) put up quality numbers in his first full big league season, especially at home (3.38 ERA, 1.08 WHIP). He wore down in the second half, however, registering a 4.44 ERA compared to a 3.55 ERA prior to the All-Star break. Hendricks is still only 25 years of age, so I’m expecting him to improve as he gains more big league experience. For now, think of him as a decent back end of the rotation starter in deeper mixed leagues.
Being that I already discussed each of the top performers from this game in earlier Musings posts, I might as well devote some space to Miguel Montero (0-for-3, K), who has just two hits in 20 at-bats this postseason. I had high hopes for Montero this year, viewing him as an acceptable No. 1 backstop in standard mixed leagues. And while he was a disappointment overall, batting a mediocre .248 and missing a portion of the season due to injury, 15 homers in 113 games is far from disappointing. I wouldn’t mind drafting Montero as my No. 2 catcher next year. He could perform more like a No. 1.
ALCS Game 4 – Royals @ Blue Jays
Ben Zobrist (2-for-5, HR, 2 RBI) is enjoying a stellar postseason, batting .361 with a homer, five RBI, five extra-base hits, nine runs scored and a stolen base through ten games. But despite this impressive showing, Zobrist’s fantasy appeal for 2016 will be mainly tied to his position versatility. Once an elite middle infield option, the 34-year-old is no longer producing enough counting stats to be worthy of a starting roster spot outside of deeper mixed leagues.
After a shaky April and May, R.A. Dickey (1 2/3 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 2 HR allowed, L) actually pitched extremely well in the second half, going 8-1 with a 2.80 ERA and 1.00 WHIP across 15 starts. But he’s still prone to the disaster outing, and you just never know when that disaster outing will come. On the other hand, when his knuckleball is working, he has the potential to dominate any lineup. For this reason, Dickey is tough to use as a matchup-based option. If you own him, you’re better off starting him every time. Personally, I’m passing on Dickey. I’d rather avoid the additional stress.