There is a time and place to be bold. Perhaps that time is now and that place is here. Perhaps not. It’s also said the meek shall inherit the earth. I’ve always taken that to mean you should hide in a bomb shelter during a nuclear holocaust rather than fighting and looting in the streets. It may also mean your best chance to win your fantasy league is to take no chances.
What follows are my 10 timid predictions for the 2016 season.
1. Brad Boxberger will miss approximately eight weeks – and possibly more
Reports from sources both myriad and sundry state that Brad Boxberger will miss the next eight weeks while recovering from core muscle surgery. I predict that the aforementioned sources know their business and will prove to be correct in an approximate sense.
It’s important to remember that, much like the wage offered at the Burger King next door, eight weeks represents a minimum. Unlike the Burger King next door, Boxberger may possibly “earn” more than this eight week minimum.
2. Somebody will hit at least 30 home runs
The last time a major league baseball player didn’t reach 30 home runs was in 1945. In my opinion, this historically recent streak of power hitting will continue with at least one ballplayer eclipsing the 30 home run mark.
Which specific player will hit 30 home runs, you ask? One or more of them, I reply.
What about 1994, you ask? Matt Williams parked 43 home runs in that partial season.
3. The best pitcher will be Clayton Kershaw or a similarly talented player
Mr. Kershaw is singularly superb at flummoxing opposing hitters. Opposing pitchers, such as only Madison Bumgarner, sometimes get the better of him. In any event, Kershaw or another very good pitcher will be considered the best at throwing baseballs this year.
4. Billy Hamilton and/or the Reds will steal 70 bases
Hamilton is the king of base thievery. As any good king would do, Hamilton has encouraged his subjects, i.e. his teammates, to also steal many bases. While he may not play enough to steal 70 bags this year for any number of reasons (injury, performance, appearance on Ru Paul’s Drag Race), his associates will pick up the slack. In particular, if Hamilton isn’t playing, that means also-very-fast player Jose Peraza probably is on the field.
5. Kevin Kiermaier will continue to be better in reality than fantasy
Kiermaier is the anti-Neo. Keanu Reeves is kind of just blah in the real world, but he’ll stomp a fool in the fantasy realm. Kiermaier’s jaw dropping defense ensures he’ll play every day despite an offensive skill set that elicits descriptions like “pedestrian” and “barely fantasy relevant.” Unlike most pedestrians, Kiermaier can run down a fly ball in the gap. Any fly ball. Any gap.
I have a fantasy league that counts his defensive skills, but I’m willing to bet you don’t.
6. Somebody “unexpected” will save 30 games
Last year, the unexpected saviors were Jeurys Familia, Boxberger, Shawn Tolleson, and Brad Ziegler. It was a surprisingly good year for Brads. This year, other folks will step up. You may ask me who, but I’ll only confirm they’ll be unexpected. Oh excuse me, I meant to say “unexpected.”
7. At least one of the top 15 relievers won’t save more than five games
Last year, Sergio Romo had the second best FIP, eighth best xFIP, and he even had the 11th best WAR. He also saved only two games. Sometimes very good relievers don’t earn saves. Sometimes you should roster these players anyway for excellent ratios and/or the chance to earn saves later in the season. For example, last year Carson Smith and Ken Giles eventually parlayed excellence into a couple handfuls of saves.
8. The Blue Jays, Rockies, and teams visiting Coors Field will continue to be the darlings of DFS owners
The offense is hottest where it’s often the coldest. Coors Field is a haven for fantasy production, and DFS owners love to get a piece of the action. They also enjoy taking a chunk of the Blue Jays ridiculously homertastic lineup. And Canada ain’t so warm either.
These trends will continue into the 2016 season. Meanwhile, I’ll be targeting Phillies and Braves.
9. The author will be correct about all eight of the previous predictions
10. Jose Reyes won’t be the Rockies best middle infielder this year
When visiting Hawaii, one must watch out for career pitfalls. Movies would have us believe the biggest risk is the desire to quit your stupid mainland job to set up a surfing and/or scuba diving shack on the beach. Reality suggests domestic violence is the deeper pitfall; the one with more sharpened spikes in the bottom.
It’s now thought Reyes may be done as a major league player. The Rockies are expected to cut him if he returns. Governmental agencies may prefer to prevent his return on a permanent basis with the help of Spanish language sports deportation service ESPN Deportes.
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