In a season where MLB hitters are on pace to hit nearly 500 more home runs than in any year in history, four pitchers top the SFRRC Fantasy Baseball League rankings.
Chris Sale, Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw and Corey Kluber are the best players in the league with just less than a month remaining in the fantasy regular season. Sale, Kershaw and Kluber have Warning Track Power, Hapamon and Let’s Play 2 in playoff contention. Despite Scherzer’s brilliance, it hasn’t been enough to lift the league’s defending champions, the Marin Menehunes, into playoff contention.
Second baseman Jose Altuve is the league’s top-rated hitter. He’s hitting .363 with 81 runs scored and 21 net stolen bases. Altuve’s hot bat hasn’t been enough to lift Home Run 101 into playoff contention. Bailey’s team is 17 runs behind in the North Division playoff race and 10 games out of the eighth and final playoff berth.
Paul Goldschmidt’s fantastic offensive season has also been wasted in a season that sees Land Shark out of the playoff race and a whopping 32.5 games behind Everybody Hurts in the East Division. Goldschmidt is hitting .320 with a 1.033 OPS, 93 RBI and 91 runs. He’s the best corner infielder in the game.
Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton has been on a tear lately. Stanton, 27, leads the major leagues in home runs with 43, and has hit 10 home runs in his last 11 games. The fact that he’s finally stayed healthy has lifted the Lower Haighters to the best record in the league.
As good as Stanton’s been, first baseman Joey Votto has been better and the veteran first baseman has powered the JetSetters to the league’s second best record. Votto is hitting .317 with a 1.050 OPS with 83 RBIs and 82 runs scored. He’s struck out just 59 times in 524 plate appearances. If owner David Kahn wins his first league championship in 2017, Votto will likely be the team MVP.
If Votto isn’t the JetSetters MVP, then it will be Cleveland infielder Jose Ramirez. Ramirez is hitting .312 with a .906 OPS and 79 runs scored. Like Votto, Ramirez has excellent command of the strike zone, whiffing just 56 times in 489 at bats.
The JetSetters and Let’s Play 2 are the only teams with two players ranked in the Top 16. While Votto and Ramirez lead Kahn’s team, Kluber and outfielder Mookie Betts lead Louie Bottaro’s squad. Betts has scored 78 runs, knocked in 72, has 14 net stolen bases, and has just 54 strikeouts in 532 at bats. Let’s Play 2 is fifth in the overall standings and look like a dangerous team come playoff time.
Reliever Kenley Jansen and rookie slugger Aaron Judge have Everybody Hurts in title contention. Jansen is the league’s top-rated reliever with a 1.20 ERA, 0.67 WHIP and 31 net saves/holds. Despite a recent slump, Judge still has a 1.038 OPS and 88 runs scored.
Everybody Hurts needs Judge to step up because Chris Frugiuele’s Stadium Mustard team is just four and a half games back in the East Division pennant race. Stadium Mustard needs starter James Paxton and reliever Andrew Miller to return from injury soon. They are the team’s top-rated players.
While the race for the playoffs is heated, it may not be as heated as the race for the Wooden Spoon. High Cheese, Las Estellas Rojas and Land Shark are in a virtual tie for the worst record in the league. High Cheese and Rojas face each other twice in the final four weeks of the season.