Zach’s Postseason Musings (10/30)
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World Series Game 1 – Mets @ Royals
Alex Gordon (1-for-5, solo HR) just might prove to be the biggest difference maker in this series, as his ninth inning homer in Game 1 shifted the momentum away from the Mets, who were on the verge of winning their sixth straight postseason game. While Gordon is unlikely to ever reach the superstar status many had predicted upon his initial call-up to the big leagues, he’s been a steady overall player for the Royals and a useful mixed league contributor in fantasy. Even if he declines his $14 million player option for next season, re-signing with the Royals seems like a very real possibility considering the franchise’s success over the past two years and Gordon’s reported preference to remain with the only organization he has ever known.
Michael Cuddyer (0-for-3, 3 K) is starting to look like the next Jason Bay, a big free agent signing by the Mets that simply hasn’t worked out due to both health woes and underperformance. The good news is that the club’s financial commitment to Cuddyer (two years, $21 million) doesn’t come close to the money and years that they invested in Bay (four years, $66 million). And maybe Cuddyer can bounce back in 2016, his age-37 season. But I have my doubts. Fantasy owners are probably better off steering clear of the aging outfielder on draft day.
World Series Game 2 – Mets @ Royals
After getting roughed up by the Blue Jays in his last start, Johnny Cueto (9 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, W) certainly helped both his free agent and fantasy stock with this gem. Still, he has been very up and down (mostly down) since getting traded to the Royals, and I’m not so sure that teams will view him as a legitimate lockdown ace as he looks for a big payday this winter. Expect a hefty contract, but I’d be very surprised if it approaches the six-year, $155 million deal that Jon Lester signed with the Cubs last off-season.
Jon Niese (1 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K) tossed a scoreless seventh inning before taking the mound in the eighth and turning what was a fairly manageable three-run deficit into a six-run deficit. Prior to this appearance, however, Niese was pitching well out of the bullpen since moving into a relief role during the final week of the regular season, and he’s proven to be a quality back-end of the rotation starter for the Mets throughout his big league career. But an off-season trade seems likely, as there may not be an open rotation spot for him heading into 2016. And assuming that the rest of the staff remains healthy, there definitely won’t be an open rotation spot for him once Zack Wheeler makes his mid-season return. Depending in part on the team he pitches for next season, Niese could be a viable mixed league option when the matchup is right.