We’ve got just over two months of regular season baseball left in 2016. As the pennant races get interesting, we’ve got some equally interesting decisions to make when it comes to building our DFS lineups.
When doing so, we’re always looking for a value. Here are 10 star players who had an unbelievable first few months of 2016, but could be overvalued as the season winds down …
10. Indians Pitching
Here’s the five: Carrasco (2.45 ERA), Salazar (2.97 ERA), Kluber (3.44 ERA), Tomlin (3.48 ERA) and Bauer (3.65 ERA). All five of them are well over 100 innings aside from Carrasco who will be there in a start or two. Things are looking really good for Cleveland with a lot of games against the Twins and White Sox left on the schedule. I picked the Tribe to go to the World Series, so I’m not predicting a total collapse … but pitching THIS good across the board just can’t hold up for a full season.
9. Red Sox Hitting
The Sox are getting ready to play about two-thirds of their remaining schedule on the road. The idea here is simple — Boston’s offense is built to crush its opponents at Fenway Park, and it has. However, the runs won’t come as easy on the road. The best offense in baseball could be in for a real slide if they’re not careful. Take advantage of any Fenway stack you can the rest of the way out.
8. Drew Pomeranz
Another pretty simple thought process here. Pomeranz looked good in his second start for Boston after getting hammered by his old NL West rival Giants in his Red Sox debut. Moving from that division into the AL East it’s practically impossible not to expect a significant rise in ERA. Pomeranz may not struggle, but he won’t live up to the All-Star first-half he had in San Diego.
7. Stephen Strasburg
Strasburg has a history of falling apart late in seasons. After a 13-0 start, the ace finally got his first loss of the season — allowing six ER to the Dodgers. He came back and dazzled against the Indians in his next start, but we finally saw a weakness in Strasburg’s flawless season. It’s not really going out on a limb to say his second-half won’t live up to the bar he set through late July.
6. Wil Myers
Another Padres All-Star that had a fantastic first-half. Myers got hot in June and wound up in the Home Run Derby. If you watched, you noticed he didn’t belong. There’s no doubting his career year is going to continue, but maybe just not to the degree it has the last few months.
5. Jose Altuve
This little guy is so good. Altuve is my pick for AL MVP, especially if he can lead Houston into playoff position. No two ways about it, the dude’s a beast — hitting .357 with 17 HR and 60 RBI. What worries me is his size. I’m cheering for Altuve to succeed, but at 5’6” is this type of power sustainable over a full season? We’ll find out. Just something to keep an eye on.
4. Chris Sale
Throwback Jerseygate wasn’t just wildly entertaining, it had to have been a cry for help. Sale wants out of Chicago, right? The problem is the price is crazy high, especially after the Chapman deal. Maybe the Red Sox or Dodgers find a way to get it done, but say Chicago really is asking for too much and Sale stays in Chicago. It’s easy to see Sale growing even more frustrated and perhaps it impacts his game. This is pure speculation, but after seeing how emotional this guy can get, I rule nothing out.
3. Mark Trumbo
I’ve been pumping up the O’s offense all year, and recently wrote that Adam Jones has the potential to be one of the best breakout players in the second-half of 2016. I think Baltimore can maintain an elite offense, even if Trumbo starts coming back down to Earth a bit. I mean the dude is up to 30 dingers in 100 games (his high for a season is 34 in 159 games). This is just a wait and see if he can really stay this hot type of deal … maybe he really can do this all season. If so he’s already on my busts list for 2017 given what the expectations will be.
2. Ian Desmond
Desmond is another guy that kind of came out of nowhere to put together a crazy season. He was never a home run hitter coming up with the Nationals until he broke out in 2012 with 25. He’s been slipping ever since, particularly in terms of hitting for average (.233 last season). A change of scenery to Texas has him batting .308 this year, and his 20 homers and 62 RBI have him just above where he finished last season in those categories. Is playing in Texas making all that difference? Doubtful. Let’s see if he can maintain this production.
1. Ian Kinsler
Kinsler began the season on absolute fire. He was hands down the best option at 2B for a while. He’s since cooled down dramatically. Nonetheless, this is Kinsler’s first season with 20+ bombs since 2011 with the Rangers. Since hitting .373 in April, Kinsler’s batting average has dipped each month of the season — although still a healthy .313 in July. He has also homered seven times already in July, so the power is creeping back in. Kinsler feels due for a down finish to the season, but we base things on numbers in DFS, not gut feelings. Like Desmond and Trumbo, if he can keep producing, just tip your cap a career season.
Find me on Twitter @julianedlow
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.