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Skepticism on Orioles’ Dylan Bundy, Early Take on Astros’ Dallas Keuchel

Skepticism on Orioles’ Dylan Bundy, Early Take on Astros’ Dallas Keuchel
George Kurtz Staff Writer April 11, 2018 9:52PM EDT

Who’s Hot and Cold? Could Scott Kingery unseat J.P. Crawford?

I live in New York and I’m still asking the same question, when will spring truly arrive? It’s downright cold outside. It feels much more like football weather than baseball. We are watching so many games in which there is snow or rain involved. Players are wearing hats, hoods, and trying to cover any exposed body part to the elements. Hell, they can still see their breath in night games. It’s just not baseball, not yet anyway. This is the reason why once again I don’t want to overreact to a batter playing in his first few weeks in these conditions (Stanton). They will rebound, you just have to be patient.

Who’s Hot

  1. Jake Odorizzi, Minnesota Twins: One of the reasons that Odorizzi didn’t garner a high package of prospects when he was traded from Tampa Bay to Minnesota was concerns over his health. Odorizzi landed in a good spot with the Twins. They were a playoff team last season and have a much better offense than his former team does. Target Field may not be as good a pitcher’s park as Tropicana Field, but it’s still a whole lot better than pitching in Fenway Park or Yankee Stadium. Odorizzi may eventually be a sell-high candidate as the season rolls along, but for now he’s a solid SP3 for Fantasy owners.
  2. Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels: In my home league I had an owner complain to me that he couldn’t start Ohtani this week as both a SP and a UT. He thought this was “idiotic”. Whether it is or it isn’t, isn’t the point. What is the point is that as bad as Ohtani looked in spring training is he as good as he looks now? Sure, once video gets around on his swing, opposing pitchers will find holes and he will need to make adjustments, but for now, he does look (figuratively) like the next Babe Ruth. I’m not against selling high on Ohtani, but it would have to be at my price right now.
  3. Jeurys Familia, New York Mets: Remember when so many Fantasy owners were worried about the Mets splitting the closing duties between Familia and J. Ramos? Yeah, neither do I. Using your best reliever when it matters most in the game and not just to close a game out is great in theory but not one that is practiced by all that many teams. Familia already has six saves this season and the Mets look like a true playoff contender in the early going. It certainly looks like drafting Familia is going to pay off handsomely this season.
  4. Dylan Bundy, Baltimore Orioles: There have been two problems that Fantasy owners had to deal with in regard to Bundy. First, his numbers seemed to trail off in the second half of seasons, although not quite as much in 2017 as they did in 2016. Second, he pitches his home games in Camden Yards, one of the best hitter’s parks in MLB and about 1/3 of his road game starts could come in other great hitter’s parks like Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, and Rogers Centre. There will be days he gets beat up and will hurt your ratios. It’s for those reasons he will likely never be a Fantasy ace, but he can still be a very good Fantasy starter. You should pay attention to his matchups each week before fully locking him in.
  5. Scott Kingery, Philadelphia Phillies: If you’re looking for this year’s Marwin Gonzalez, a player that can hit and who will likely be a boon to Fantasy owners due to his eventual multi-position availability, then Kingery is your man. When the Phillies announced their signing of Kingery to that six-year $24milion contract, it should’ve told you all you need to know about Kingery this season. The Phillies love him and expect him to hit right away. True, there isn’t a position for him to play full-time right now, but the Phillies are still playing him every day whether it be at 2B, SS, 3B, or the OF. Really, the only position I don’t expect him to play this season is pitcher and catcher.

Who’s Not

  1. Adam Eaton, Washington Nationals: We have seen players like Eaton many times throughout the years in all sports. Someone who is very good when he plays but isn’t always healthy enough to be available or to give his best. Of all the abilities a player can have, I have always believed the most important one to a Fantasy owner is availability. Eaton missed most of last season due to a knee injury. This year he has dealt with an ankle injury and is already on the DL. This could be the first of many injuries for Eaton. I love the player, but he will always be a question mark as to how much he can play or how healthy he is. I’d rather let him be someone else’s headache.
  2. Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros: It is likely just a slow start to the season, but Keuchel does not look like the ace he used to be for Houston. He was never your prototypical ace, as he doesn’t possess the blazing fastball we’re used to but has relied on changing speeds and hitting his spots. So far, he is having trouble hitting those spots, as his 1.80 WHIP will attest to. This should iron itself out as the season rolls along, but if someone if your league is willing to pay a fair price for his services, I wouldn’t be against moving on.
  3. P. Crawford, Philadelphia Phillies: Crawford is very lucky that of all the positions Kingery can play, SS is the one he is least comfortable at. He is batting a robust .077. This is really not an indictment of Crawford so far, but sooner or later the Phillies may decide that he needs more Triple-A seasoning and can live with Kingery’s deficiencies at SS.
  4. Giancarlo Stanton, New York Yankees: Hey, he only stuck out twice Tuesday versus Boston. That’s a step in the right direction. Maybe Stanton is feeling the pressure of playing in New York or maybe it’s just the cold weather, but if he keeps swinging and missing so much, it will be much cooler at the stadium this summer, as Stanton will be providing plenty of free air conditioning.
  5. Lewis Brinson, Miami Marlins: Is there any doubt that Brinson could use some more time at Triple-A? Yeah, I know I’m always saying to practice patience with your batters, but Brinson may only be with the team so the Marlins can try and sell tickets and to justify some of the moves they made during the offseason. If you want to hold onto Brinson because of his potential, that’s fine, but there is very little reason for him to be in your starting lineup right now.

As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and ask any questions you like, @georgekurtz.

 

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