clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

10 fantasy baseball thoughts for MLB Week 9

Give me ALL Matt Olson shares next season

Getty Images/Pete Rogers Illustrations

This week, we’re looking to next year. The following are players who might not be having the best 2020 season but I’m optimistic we are in for better waters next season. Some you might own in a dynasty league, others this is a way too early view into redrafting for next year.

  1. Max Scherzer — Look, I get Scherzer is 36 and one could argue his 4-3 record with a 4.04 ERA is evidence that he’s on the decline. I disagree for a few reasons. First, his BABIP is currently .375 (the worst among any pitcher with at least 50 IP), he’s still in the top 15% in K% and Whiff% and his fastball is actually FASTER this year than last. The only real warning sign to me, his walks are up about 50% but given the fact that he pitched an insane number of innings and strikeouts over the years it’s no unheard of to see a slight regression. I still think he’s a top 5 pitcher next season.
  2. German Marquez — Marquez is off to a 2-6 year with a 4.33 ERA (which is slightly better than his 4.76 ERA he had last season). While his BABIP is slightly inflated from last season, his walks are up and his strikeouts are down and he’s still thriving away and struggling at home, his fastball velocity and curveball spin are still above average. He’s still among the league leader in innings pitched and his LOB% is quite low at 65.4%. At 25, he’s a continued workhorse.
  3. John Means — Means had one good year in 2019 — 12 wins, 3.60 ERA, 1.14 ERA — then one bad year — one win, 5.63 ERA, 10 home runs allowed in just 30 IP. There are some things to hold on to, mainly he started out lousy this season 19.29 ERA across one start in July. Then he dropped it to 6.57 ERA in August and now he’s down to 3.12 in September. His walk rate of 1.69 BB/9 is among the better in the league. You can probably get him for cheap and a potential upswing next season.
  4. Andrew Heaney — It may feel like Heaney is having a down year, but his 4.02 ERA, is his best ERA in seven years! I wasn’t in on Heaney after getting burned in 2014, 2016, 2017 and the start of 2018. Well for 2021 I’m back on board! His curve ball has an amazing 41.4% whiff rate, his walk rate is moving down, his hard hit rate is moving down, and for the first time in seven years, his xERA is below 4.00 as was his FIP which is a 2.92!
  5. Chris Paddack — Paddack’s first year, he was Cinderella with his 3.33 ERA, nine wins, 0.98 WHIP and 9.79 K/9. This year things have been more pumpkin like, especially his 3.95 FIP and .237 BABIP. He has kept a low walk rate this season, his K/9 is still strong but he’s getting hit hard among the worst in the league especially on his fastball. There is a chance this is going in tandem with his fastball going up almost half an MPH this year and the batters launch angle veered down from 15% (Fly ball territory) just past the sweet 12% to 10% creating more home runs. I think he can spend the offseason working on not only his fastball but potentially prepping for more changeups (which he uses 30% of the time) and he saw a nice 33% whiff% on this season.
  6. Joey Gallo — Gallo’s .174 batting average is quite bad but as I mentioned in a previous week, his launch angle is among the highest in MLB which is causing many potential home runs to become fly balls. Give him an offseason to focus less on hard hit and more on contact and we see him back to 2019 levels of batting average between .220 and .250 with a wide spectrum of walks, homers, and doubles.
  7. Keston Hiura — Chalk it up to sophomore slump, simple as that. His .402 BABIP, .302 AVG in 2019 was too high, but likewise, his .265 BABIP, .222 AVG this year is too low. Expect a .270 hitter with just shy of double digit stolen bases, 20 home runs with a decent amount of strikeouts.
  8. Kyle Schwarber — Schwarber has a .194 batting average this season to go with a .231 BABIP. To me, some of this is expected after a 38 home run season where he fell just short of 100 RBI. I will be clamoring to get him next season when he works to bring his K% down from 31.4% to a normal 25-27% he had in 2018 and 2019 when he had a good balance across his stats. He won’t help you with average, that will dance around .250 but he will provide a bunch of other items to his game.
  9. Max Muncy — Same as Kyle Schwarber and same as a bunch of hitters this season. Muncy’s .199 AVG and .220 BABIP will rebound next season as his issue is good contact with the ball. He normally hits the sweet spot around 37% of the time and this season, his 29% regressed back to 2016 level before we saw him rise up the ranks of fantasy hitters. Multi-position, power and a powerful team are too good to pass up.
  10. Matt Olson — I made sure to save the best for last. Olson’s .190 AVG goes with a .200 BABIP and he continues to have a launch angle almost at 20% which is much too high. Most of his other metrics are the same with the exception of chase contact. He’s chasing less than he has the last few seasons but he’s making contact over 20% less of the time when he chases. Additionally, his whiff% is up almost 30%. If he corrects his launch angle, I think everything will fall back into place.