Fantasy Football Rankings
In case you missed it, we will be covering fantasy football this season. Actually, we have already started our offseason coverage with rankings and fantasy team previews. Below you will find our early offseason position rankings:
2014 Position Rankings
Clayton Kershaw: NL Cy Young Award leader?
Earlier this season, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw missed about a month with an upper back injury, but since his return, he has been even more dominant than last season. With the exception of one bad inning in Arizona back on May 17th, Kershaw has given up just seven earned runs in his last eight starts.
On Sunday, Kershaw dominated the Cardinals, giving up just 5 hits, walking 2 and striking out 13 in 7 shutout innings in the Dodgers 6-0 win. The win moved his record to 9-2 with a 2.04 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and a ridiculous 107-11 strikeout to walk rate in 79.1 innings. He hasn't given up a run in his last three starts, and has given up just 2 earned runs over his last five starts. Over his last eight starts, he owns a 79-8 strikeout to walk rate over 57 innings.
He is quickly creeping back into the National League Cy Young award race with Johnny Cueto, Adam Wainwright and others. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him with the award for the third consecutive season in 2014.
For more on Kershaw and the surging Dodgers, make sure you check out True Blue LA, SB Nation's Dodgers fan site.
The pitcher who is probably among the favorites to win the American League Cy Young award is Mariners ace Felix Hernandez. On Sunday, Felix dominated the Indians, limiting them to just one hit and 3 walks while striking out 9 in 8 shutout innings in the Mariners 3-0 win. Hernandez is now 10-2 with a 2.10 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and a 137-22 strikeout to walk rate in 128.1 innings this season. He has given up two runs or less in 15 of his 18 starts this season, and hasn't given up more than two runs in nine consecutive starts.
Reds starter Homer Bailey has been frustrating to own this season, as he was ranked among the top 20 starting pitchers by some, including me. I own Bailey in the UBA NL only keeper league, and have had thoughts about dropping him due to his inconsistency. On Sunday, he gave us a glimpse of why he was ranked so highly in the offseason, as he tossed a complete game shutout vs the Giants. Bailey, who had his no hitter broken up with two out in the seventh, limited the Giants to 3 hits, a walk and 7 strikeouts in the Reds 4-0 win. Bailey moved his record to 8-4 with a 4.39 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and a 94-32 strikeout to walk rate in 104.2 innings. Here is why Bailey has been so frustrating to own this season: he has given up three runs or more in 12 of his 17 starts this season.
The Rays may be on the verge of becoming sellers at the trade deadline for the first time in many years, but on Sunday, they erupted for 12 runs, and their offensive explosion was led by outfielder Matt Joyce, Joyce went 5-6 with two home runs, a double, 3 runs scored and 4 RBI, and is now hitting .274-.360-.425 with 5 home runs, 29 runs scored and 33 RBI. His power is down this season, thanks to a career-low 4.3% HR/FB%.
Marlins young starter Andrew Heaney was cruising in his start on Sunday, and was one out away from tossing six shutout innings vs the A's, but then gave up three consecutive singles, followed by a three run home run off the bat of Nate Frieman. Heaney got the last out of the sixth, but left the game giving up 4 runs on 8 hits and no walks. Like most young starting pitchers, Heaney will have starts where he has the one bad inning that makes his pitching line look worse than how he pitched overall. Sometimes the box score doesn't tell the whole story.
In his 17 innings of work in his three starts, Heaney owns a 12-3 strikeout to walk rate and a 1.12 WHIP, but has been hurt by the home run ball. That will stabilize as the season goes along, so we should see his ERA drop from here.
The Astrots are not a good team, we all know that. But, they are better than they were last year, showing improvements in the win column and the maturation of some of their young starters. One Astro's hitter who should make the All Star team is second baseman Jose Altuve. Yesterday, Altuve went 3-5 with a run scored and two stolen bases, and is now hitting .347-.386-.452 with 2 home runs, 41 runs scored, 26 RBI and 36 stolen bases in 39 attempts. He has now stolen two bags or more in each of his last four games, and is leading the American League in stolen bases and batting average at the moment.
Altuve's teammate George Springer had a nice day at the plate as well, going 1-2 with a double, run scored, RBI, stolen base and three walks in the Astros 6-4 win over the Tigers. Springer is known to strike out a lot, but he also walks quite a bit as well. The three walks improved his walk rate to 11.6%, and he is now hitting .244-.351-.471 with 15 home runs, 37 runs scored, 41 RBI and just two stolen bases in four attempts. Springer, who stole 45 bases in the minors last season, hasn't run as much as I expected this season, but we still have three months left to go. Springer is on pace for 29 home runs, 72 runs scored and 80 RBI in his rookie season.
Fantasy Sports Network is Coming Soon!
That's right, there is a new Fantasy Sports Network that is close to going live, and will be available on your cable providers real soon.
FNTSY Sports Network is the first television network to have live studio programming, call-in shows, panels, celebrity and expert drafts, reality programming and on-site commentary from sports venues, all specifically targeted towards the estimated 40 million people who play fantasy sports annually and on a daily basis.
Make sure you check out their site Fantasy Sports Network and check out all they have to offer.
If you are looking for more fantasy baseball, and football, content, make sure you check out Fantasy Rundown, as they provide links to some of the best fantasy content on the internet on a daily basis.