Wrapping It Up
The 2013 fantasy baseball season is over, save for one final game between the Rangers and the Rays. And for those of you asking, yes, the 163rd game should count in your league. It's a regular season game. It should therefore count in all fantasy leagues. I don't think you should be able to add players off waivers for the game, but I believe you should be able to change your lineup if you have Rays/Rangers players on your bench (maybe moving Kelly Johnson off the bench into your starting lineup for example). Here is a history of tiebreaker games. By the way, did you hang on to Nelson Cruz?
Now on to some other random thoughts about the 2013 season.
Brandon Belt finally had that season we were expecting of him with 17 homers, 67 RBIs, 76 runs scored and five steals for the Giants. He also hit .289 with a .360 OBP and .481 SLG. Only four other first basemen could match all three of those slash line numbers – Freddie Freeman, Allen Craig, Joey Votto and Paul Goldschmidt. Still couldn't convince more than a third of folks to roster him in Fleaflicker.com leagues.
Bartolo Colon won 18 games with a 2.65 ERA and 1.17 WHIP over 190.1 innings. He's 40 years old. The 2.65 ERA is the best mark he's posted in a season of 120 innings in a career that started in 1997. He won 18 games the previous two seasons. That's all I'm going to say about him.
Chris Davis became the first man in baseball history to hit 53 homers in a season as he led baseball in big flies and RBIs (138). He only hit .245 over his last 65 games, but a .286-53-138 line has only been accomplished 14 times in the history of the game (Sammy Sosa and Babe Ruth did it three times).
Paul Goldschmidt wrapped up his season by knocking in his 125th runner. He ended the campaign with a .302 average, 36 homers, 124 RBIs, 103 runs and 15 steals. Do you know how many first baseman have ever reached all five of those numbers in one season? The answer is five – Goldschmidt, Albert Pujols, Jeff Bagwell, Lou Gehrig and Andres Galarraga who did it twice.
Cole Hamels finished the year with 202 Ks an a 1.16 WHIP. Only eight others could match both those numbers – Clayton Kershaw, Yu Darvish, Max Scherzer, Chris Sale, Cliff Lee, Adam Wainwright, Anibal Sanchez and Felix Hernandez. Hamels also lost 14 games with that 3.60 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 202 Ks. Only three other NL arms – Clayton Kershaw, Cliff Lee and Adam Wainwright – hit those three numbers. All won more than 14 games. Hamels won eight.
Bryce Harper was a disappointment based on preseason expectations. Still, the guy cannot legally buy beer. Remember that. His .854 OPS with the 11th best among NL players with 495 plate appearances, and it was tied for the 10th best mark in the NL since 1900 for a player 20 or younger. His stated offseason goal is to get "as big as a house." It's scary how good he could be.
Ubaldo Jimenez struck out 13 batters in his last start to wrap up a masterful second half that saw him post a 1.82 ERA with a 1.14 WHIP an a 10.71 K/9 mark mark over 84 innings. He was phenomenal. He finished the regular season with 13 victories, a 3.30 ERA and 194 Ks in 182.2 innings pitched. To think he only cost me $1 in AL LABR.
Jim Johnson became the first hurler in AL history to have 50 saves in back-to-back seasons. He jacked up his K/9 rate to 7.17 while keeping his huge ground ball rate (58 percent), but eight loses and nine blown saves tarnish his effort a bit.
Matt Kemp has been ruled out for the postseason with another setback with his ankle. From 2008-2011 he appeared in at least 155 games each year and was 6th in baseball with 637 games played. The last two seasons he's appeared in 180 games. He's making Carlos Gonzalez look like a healthy option. I still believe in the talent of Kemp, but you can't build your team around him next year. Just can't take him anywhere near the top-25 if you ask me.
Do you ever listen to fellas hitting on the ladies at bars? I'm telling you, there's a ton of weak "game" out there.
Clayton Kershaw led baseball with a 1.83 ERA. He led baseball with a 0.92 WHIP. He led baseball the NL with 232 Ks. You really can't pitch any better than that.
Matt Moore went 17-4 with a 3.29 ERA. He also had a league average 1.30 WHIP thanks to an unhealthy, and three year worst, 4.55 BB/9 mark. He's gotta cut a full batter off that mark before we can safely say he's going to be a sub 3.50 ERA type of arm year after year.
Is it possible that I'm not as charming as I think I am? You're right. I am that charming.
CC Sabathia had a 6.08 ERA in the second half (only Jose Saunders at 6.98 was worse). You could add the second half ERA's of Clayton Kershaw (1.59), Zack Greinke (1.85) and Joe Kelly (1.91) together and you would still have a mark lower than Sabathia's.
Max Scherzer was the only 20 game winner in baseball (he actually won 21 games). Scherzer was also second in baseball with 240 Ks, so it's hardly surprising that he's the leader in the clubhouse for the AL Cy Young Award. Still, I don't hear many talking about the guy who led the AL in ERA, Scherzer's teammate Anibal Sanchez (2.57).
Chris Tillman entered 2013 with 16 career wins. He matched that total in 2013 as he went 16-7 for the Orioles. He also tossed 206.1 innings after never having hit 90 innings in four big league seasons. Add in those 179 Ks and he had one heck of a season given his draft day cost.
Eric Young stole two bases in his final game to given him the NL steals title with 46. He stole a mere eight bases in 57 games with the Rockies, but playing every day for the Mets allowed him to swipe 38 bases in just 91 games.
Finally, a quick game of Who Am I? I hit 25 homers with 82 RBIs and 84 runs scored. I also swiped 10 bases. I also hit .318. That means I was one four players to go .300-25-80-80-10 in 2013. The others are Paul Goldschmidt, Andrew McCutchen and Mike Trout. Add it all up and I posted a .931 OPS which was tied with Troy Tulowitzki for second in the NL (Goldschmidt led the way at .952). I'm the Nationals' Jayson Werth.
By Ray Flowers
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Fri 7-10 PM EDT), Ray also hosts his own show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.
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