Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

Pierre Camus' 10 Bold Predictions for 2019


"The best way to predict the future is to create it." If only that were the case in fantasy sports...

Other than tampering with the fabric of time-space, which is a bad idea (ask Marty McFly), we just don't know what the future really holds. We can predict whatever we want, but that doesn't mean it'll come even close to actualization. In fact, the bolder our predictions become, the closer we inch toward becoming easy money in our competitive leagues. Too many sleepers on one roster can prevent a team from ever waking up.

That said, this series is a chance to take our unfulfilled desires and hopeful predictions for the coming season and then take them to a place that nobody would expect. Some are afraid to go out on a limb, but personally I've always been one who likes to go as far as possible, jump up and down on said limb while screaming from a bullhorn, "Lewis Brinson IS YOUR SAVIOR!!!" Now that I've properly warmed you up, here is my 2019 edition of bold predictions for fantasy baseball.

Editor's Note: Get our 2020 MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our draft kit, premium rankings, player projections and outlooks, our top sleepers, dynasty and prospect rankings, 20 preseason and in-season lineup tools, and over 200 days of expert DFS research and tools. Sign Up Now!

 

Nomar Mazara breaks out to the tune of 36 HR

I'll start with the one I'm most confident in. This very well could have happened last year, if not for a thumb injury that not only shelved Mazara for four weeks but predictably sapped him of his power in the second half. Mazara was regularly among the hard-hit and exit velocity leaders in the first two months of last season. You may recall his tremendous run in early May when he ripped seven homers in the first nine days of the month. After his DL stint, he wasn't quite the same and ended the year without a single bomb in the final three weeks of the season.

Many predict the Rangers for a last-place finish, which doesn't really matter for our purposes here, but I can say that I believe their offense will be better than expected. Hitting behind Rougned Odor and Elvis Andrus is going to be hit or miss at times but this is nothing close to the 2018 Baltimore Orioles. Mazara also hits in the ballpark that was fifth-highest in HR Factor for left-handed batters in 2018. Expect a power surge and a great return on investment for someone going outside the top 100 players on draft day.

 

Ronald Guzman earns an invitation to the Home Run Derby

Speaking of left-handed power in Texas, Ronald Guzman flashed some in his rookie season, stroking 16 HR and driving in 58 runs over 387 at-bats. The .235 average and 28.3% K% don't inspire much confidence but for a 24-year old getting his feet wet, there's certainly room to grow.

Guzman not only benefits from his home stadium, he's already got a hold on the first base job with little competition waiting in the wings. Guzman could be this year's Jesus Aguilar, or at least a slightly lesser version.

 

Sean Newcomb is this year's Blake Snell

Here's another I'm definitely personally invested in, as I currently own shares of Newcomb in at least seven leagues (and counting). Newcomb is a hard-throwing lefty who simply needs to keep the ball in the zone more and adjust his pitch mix to take advantage of his electric stuff. Sound familiar?

Snell lowered his walk rate from 12.7% as a rookie to 10.8% in 2017 and then 9.1% last year. That's still above league-average but it was good enough given his jump to a 31.6% K%. His biggest adjustment was doubling the rate at which he throws his curveball and keeping hitters off balance more often. An uptick in velocity helped too.

Newcomb offers four pitches, relying on a four-seamer 63.2% of the time last year. He also throws a changeup, curveball, and slider, just like Snell. Newcomb's K-rate dipped a bit last year, as he relied more on the change and less on the curve, even though it had been a more effective pitch the previous year. If he can find the right mix of offspeed stuff or fully develop his slider, which generated a 42.2% Whiff rate last year, Newcomb could be one adjustment away from a major breakthrough.

 

Yu Darvish recaptures his old form and is a top-20 SP

Let's just throw last year's stats out the window - it was a lost season for Darvish in his first trial with the Cubbies. He barely kept his ERA below five before being shut down in May, never to return. Darvish appears fully healthy this spring and is ready to fulfill last year's promise.

He admitted that he felt extra pressure to live up to his lofty $126 million contract in Chicago, which may explain why he was pressing, adding a little extra velocity to all his pitches. This calls for a mulligan, which means Darvish should return to an ERA in the low threes, a strikeout rate above 11% and 15+ wins.

 

David Robertson doesn't register double-digit saves and is the third-best RP in Philly

When the Phils signed Robertson, many automatically assumed it was to assume the closer role. I have a couple of issues with this. First, skipper Gabe Kapler is the antithesis of the old school baseball manager who feels he needs a set guy in that (or any) role. Nine different pitchers registered a save in Philadelphia last year, the leader being Seranthony Dominguez, who earned 16 saves.

This is the other problem - Robertson may not even be the best reliever available when it comes to clutch time. He's got the track record but Mr. Tony and his .157 BAA is still there, as is Hector Neris, whose ratios look ugly on the surface (5.10 ERA, 1.30 WHIP), may have the best stuff of all. He pitched to a 2.28 SIERA and had a 19.1% SwStr% which is almost six points higher than Robertson. Don't forget a fastball spin rate in the 92nd percentile and a strikeout rate in the 98th percentile.

Robertson is a fine addition for deeper leagues and a must-own in leagues counting SV+HLD but he shouldn't be counted on for 30+ saves.

 

The Astros don't have a single hitter finish top-five at his position

I'm not writing off the 'Stros as a contender or saying any of their players is going to be a bust. I simply think a few of their studs will provide a lesser return on value for various reasons. Alex Bregman is no longer a future superstar, he is already one of the best young infielders in the league. But offseason surgery on his right elbow could lead to a slow start and decreased plate appearances.

Jose Altuve also had offseason knee surgery and may be hard-pressed to return to his 20-steal ways; his power also took a dive last year, which we can't necessarily blame on the knee. Carlos Correa has only reached 500 plate appearances once in four years and has been inconsistent throughout his MLB tenure.

All told, this is a very talented lineup with the potential for stardom but circumstances may conspire against them putting up elite numbers in 2019.

 

Yasiel Puig is a top-10 fantasy outfielder

It seems like we've been following Puig forever but he enters the 2019 season at just 28 years of age. With another year of maturity, away from the distractions of L.A., Puig could be in line for not only his finest campaign but one that could reward fantasy owners handsomely.

Puig no longer has to compete for playing time and should manage to top 500 AB for just the second time in his career. He moves to GABP, which was the very best in terms of HR Factor (120) for right-handed hitters. He managed a career-high 15 steals the last two seasons but that number should also go up with more playing time.

The Reds, on average, run more often than the Dodgers too. Puig could put it all together for a line of .290/30/95/90/20 that would make him damn-near a first-round value.

 

Wil Myers is wearing a different uniform by September

My man Nick Mariano has a similar notion on Myers but I'm going a slightly different route. On paper, the Padres should be markedly better than last season. They suddenly have too many good players on offense! Where will they put top prospects like Francisco Mejia, Luis Urias, and Fernando Tatis Jr.? How do they fit in all those talented outfielders? Where does Wil Myers stick with Manny Machado holding down third base and Eric Hosmer and first?

He will start the season in left field and hit cleanup behind Machado, which sounds pretty cush. Truth is, he's had trouble staying healthy, doesn't seem to love his manager, and has been bounced around diamond because his defense is a liability.

For a team suddenly looking to win now, if Myers continues to have the same issues and posts another declining BB/K rate (his has gone down four straight seasons), he could find himself on the market in exchange for pitching help that the team still desperately needs if they fancy themselves real contenders.

 

Byron Buxton goes 25-25

I originally had 20-20, which is a nice even benchmark, but this is supposed to be bold predictions after all. Hey, if Wil Myers can do it, why not uber-prospect Buxton?

Buxton is absolutely raking this spring, hitting .423 with four homers and 13 RBI in 26 at-bats as of this writing. Of course, this means absolutely nothing to those who drafted him last year and watched their batting average tank for nearly two months before he was sent down for good. For the record, I was one of those who kept him stashed until damn near August in hopes that he would come back in full force to be a second-half savior. Those were desperate times.

The talent has never been in question. Buxton just needs to find some semblance of plate discipline and move up to a more favorable lineup spot in order to resemble the #1 prospect in baseball. For those still hating, remind them that this isn't just a pipe dream. Point to his second-half stats from 2017 then quietly go find yourself a nice voodoo doll wearing a Twins uniform to imbue with special magic. Not that he'll need it. Now this next one, maybe...

 

Lewis Brinson breaks out! (for real this time)

If you caught my bold predictions last season, you know I'm all about doubling down. I guess you could consider this tripling down. Also, this is for you Kyle...

Needless to say, Brinson didn't exactly match Christian Yelich last year in fantasy value, Then again, pretty much nobody did in the second half of the year. Of course, Brinson was a special kind of bad in his rookie year, slashing .199/.240/338 with a strikeout rate of nearly 30% and a below-average 4.2% BB%. The projection systems aren't overly generous, predicting an average in the .240s and fewer than 20 HR for Brinson in his second campaign.

So far, Brinson is off to a good start, with a Grapefruit League-leading five HR and .343 average. While I won't go crazy, I can say that if he reaches 550 plate appearances, Brinson could easily pop 20 homers and combine for 140 R+RBI. As far as average, remember this is a top prospect who hit .382 and .331 in his last two stints at Triple-A in the Milwaukee farm system. I won't say he'll get close to .300 but... aw what the hell, let's go for it! Brinson hits .292 with 27 HR and stays in fantasy lineups all year. Hey, a Marlins fan has to hold out hope for something good, doesn't he?

More Fantasy Baseball Predictions




More Recent Articles

 

Biggest Breakouts Of 2019: Wide Receivers

As we enter the initial phase of offseason activities you have recently completed a painstaking process of creating and managing rosters, with the goal of winning fantasy championships in 2019. Now, many of you have already shifted your focus toward planning your drafts in Best Ball and redraft leagues, while others are contemplating how you... Read More


Tight End ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, as sure-fire players are expected to reward their owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they put up a season-long dud, though, you'll... Read More


Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Conference Championships Matchups Analysis

Welcome to our NFL Conference Championships matchups analysis and start/sit column for fantasy football. We'll be covering both of the AFC and NFC contests from the Sunday slate, helping you make the best decisions for your DFS contests this weekend. Be sure to check back regularly because this article will be updated as news comes in regarding injuries... Read More


Conference Championships Fantasy Football Staff Rankings

Below you will find all of RotoBaller's fantasy football weekly rankings, tiers, player news and stats for the 2019 NFL season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Weekly PPR Rankings Weekly Half-PPR Rankings Weekly Standard Rankings Dynasty League Rankings     Fantasy... Read More


Running Back ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, a sure-fire player is expected to reward his owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they end up as a season-long dud, though,... Read More


Dynasty Players to Sell in 2020

Pierre Camus and Chris Mangano share their top sell candidates for dynasty football leagues in the 2020 fantasy football preseason. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well! Be sure to also tune into RotoBaller Radio on SiriusXM (channel Sirius 210,... Read More


Biggest Surprises of 2019: Tight End

The 2019 NFL season was anything but predictable. I mean, the Tennessee Titans made the AFC title game! Andrew Luck retired right before the season! [Insert one of many, many other things here, because all lists need three items but I couldn't decide between all the possible third options.] One position where things at the... Read More


Wide Receiver ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, as sure-fire players are expected to reward his owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they put up a season-long dud, though, you'll... Read More


Biggest Busts of 2019: Quarterback

The 2019 NFL season is over, and it's time to look back on what happened. 2019 was a year where some quarterbacks -- Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen -- leaped up to the top of the fantasy charts, while other guys faded from where they were expected to perform. Today, I want to talk about three... Read More


Four and Out: Fantasy Outlooks for Divisional Round Losers

For the four teams that were eliminated in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs, the offseason has begun. For many fantasy football owners, the days have already started counting down to next season. Owners in dynasty leagues have started to mull over their decisions.  How some guys perform in the playoffs can certainly alter... Read More


Quarterback ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, as sure-fire players are expected to reward their owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they put up a season-long dud, though, you'll... Read More


Biggest Busts of 2019: Wide Receivers

After a very interesting season of fantasy football action, many owners were left with a bitter taste in their mouth from a few of the “elite” NFL wide receivers. While Michael Thomas dominated and Julio Jones was his usual reliable self, not all was good if you played it safe by taking a receiver early.... Read More


Quarterback Risers and Fallers: 2019 Season Review

This article will examine the biggest risers and fallers at the quarterback position, which proved to be the most impactful in fantasy leagues as is often the case. Of the top-25 players in fantasy this season, 18 of them played the QB position and none of the 18 scored less than 280 fantasy points on... Read More


XFL Fantasy Football Rankings (Preseason)

As of this writing, there is exactly one month until XFL regular-season action begins. On February 8, the latest upstart professional league will kickoff (again) with spring football. It goes without saying that we hope it goes better than the first time, back in 2001, and lasts longer than the AAF. Before you settle in... Read More


Wide Receiver Risers and Fallers: 2019 Season Review

We continue our series covering the biggest risers and fallers of 2019 with the wide receiver position. I'll look at both 2018 and 2019 statistical outcomes from every player, contrast their performances, calculate differences in each category and come up with the most prominent names going forward. This past season, receivers didn't dominate in fantasy,... Read More