The Sportz Nutt breaks down the CST Fantasy Baseball League

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There are some leagues that play for high staked money. I know one league where the grand prize is over $1 million! Yes, there are other leagues that play with “experts”, where people who study this game we call fantasy baseball and offer advice, and meet in convention centers for drafts. However, there is only one CineSportsTalk, and the often imitated, never duplicated website has their fantasy league, and the stakes are as high as ever. Bragging rights are huge, and although they don’t pay the bills, they do offer the feeling of smug knowitallism, which, some would say, trumps everything. What’s better than being the king of the castle, right? That being said, our league began last night with Sunday Night Baseball, and continues today with a full blown slate of games. Here’s a preview:

Movies Division

Team Captain America (Brad Peterson)

C – Molina, Wieters

1B – Belt, Teixeira, Napoli

2B – Cano

3B – Wright

SS – Andrus

2B/SS – Gordon

1B/3B – A. Ramirez

OF – Ellsbury, Rios, Crawford, Granderson, Werth

Util – Beltran

P – Hernandez, Strasburg, Greinke, Shields, Gonzalez, Rodriguez, Fernandez, Bailey

Analysis: Nice balance of power and speed overall with proven guys. Too often (and I’m ;umped in this), fantasy players look for the upside and ignore those who have proven they can produce. This is a team filled with players who produce. It makes it easy (and predictable, in a good way) to know what you’re going to get and where you’re going. His pitching is better than his hitting in my opinion, as he should be near the top in terms of strikeouts and (possibly) WHIP.

Team Joaqui (David Joaqui)

C – McCann

1B – Freeman

2B – Utley

3B – Carpenter

SS – Segura

2B/SS – Prado

1B/3B – LaRoche

OF – Trout, A. Jones, Marte, A. Jackson

Util – Cruz

P – Scherzer, Kluber, Lester, Tanaka, Hughes, Kimbrel, Robertson, Pineda, Rodney, McGee, Benoit, Miller

Analysis: A phenomenal outfield here, as he has two of the best, and one of the future’s best. If they’re healthy, he shouldn’t be dropping any of those this season. The rest of the offense could be interchangeable in a 10 team league, as guys like Carpenter, Prado and Jackson don’t excite me. Perhaps that’s just me though. Some power additions would be helpful. Good pitching, but with only one RP spot, I personally don’t see the need for a plethora of closers, especially when he has the best in the game. I tried trading for one before the season started, but it didn’t work out.

Chino Reloaded (Mike Peterson)

C – Perez

1B – Santana

2B – Dozier

3B – Longoria

SS – Reyes

2B/SS – H. Ramirez

1B/3B – Sandoval

OF – Yelich, Zimmerman, Moss, JD Martinez

Util – Ortiz

P – Carrasco, Weaver, Kennedy, Liriano, McHugh, Porcello, Gallardo, Lackey, Nathan

Analysis: A pretty decent offense, with guys that, should they stay healthy, rack up the numbers. Longoria, Hanley, Santana, Yelich and Dozier especially, could really do some damage. But that’s the thing here, there are some injury prone players. Reyes, Zimmerman, Hanley and Weaver could all miss some time at some point, leaving him with some big shoes to fill. That being said, every team has injury prone players since anyone can get injured at anytime. It’s a good risk to take when you do so with guys of such high caliber.

Can’t Cutch This (Steve Farace)

C – d’Arnaud, Ramos

1B – Pujols, Hosmer

2B – Kinsler

3B – Seager, Lawrie

SS – Castro

2B/SS – Wong

1B/3B – Trumbo. Pearce

OF – Calhoun, Braun, McCutchen, Soler

Util – Blackmon

P – Price, Archer, Sanchez, Odorizzi, Buchholz, Wacha, Sanchez, Richards, Rondon

Analysis: Love the protection here for players that might regress. Pujols could regress, so plug in Hosmer. D’Arnaud could not pan out as expected, so plug in Ramos. Kinsler could lose a step, so plug in Wong. Really solid pitching top to bottom too. Plus, with Braun being back to his old ways, Calhoun poised for a breakout, and Buchholz probably getting better, this team looks great.

Watersmeet Nimrods (Scott Peterson)

C – Lucroy

1B – Abreu

2B – Pedroia

3B – Beltre

SS – Tulowitzki

2B/SS – Kipnis

1B/3B – Fielder

OF – Harper, Springer, Gomez, Puig, Polanco

Util – Castillo

P – Fister, Ventura, Tillman, Hutchinson, Alvarez, Verlander, Smyly, Cain, Miller, Walker, Holland

Analysis: Simply put, the best offense in our league. Period. Top to bottom, he has the most power we’ve seen thus far, but is a bit light on speed. Not to worry though, because his players will be on base so often, the low double digit stolen bases should add up. Pitching is decent, but outside of Doug Fister, there isn’t a true stud or at least very good pitcher. While Ventura looks awesome, I see him having Tommy john surgery this year. Tillman is solid, Walker should be good, but overall, there just isn’t that big #2. However, much like stolen bases, perhaps the peripheral numbers add up to some solid totals.

Sports Division

Stanton Like My Daddy (Won Choe)

C – Posey

1B – Encarnacion

2B – Kendrick, Baez

3B – Frazier

SS – Danny Santana

2B/SS – Gyorko

1B/3B – Rizzo

OF – Brantley, Dickerson, Harrison, Hamilton, Gordon, Bruce

Util – Gardner

P – Zimmerman, Cobb, Cole, Keuchel, Kazmir, Melancon, Rosenthal, Jansen, Allen

Analysis: Very solid offense with guys who will produce. I’m not sold on the outfield just yet. Brantley had a career year, Dickerson is too young to predict, Harrison broke out and will play, but we’ll see a full season, and Hamilton is a one dimensional player. Pitching is decent, but there are too many closers in my opinion. One slot for four player, one of which is hurt. Danny Santana could be a sneaky good pick this season.

Team Orange (sportznutt)

C – Gattis

1B – Mauer, Morneau

2B – Altuve, Gennett

3B – Donaldson, Alvarez

SS – Desmond

2B/SS – Zobrist

1B/3B – Arenado

OF – Stanton, Heyward, Martin, Pollock, Arcia, Revere

P – Cueto, Hamels, Samardzija, Wood, Quuintana, Pomeranz, Fiers, Perkins

Analysis: I always like to draft guys on the cusp of greatness, so my players are typically young. I need to learn to draft established guys too, as many of my players aren’t that. However, I think I have a decent balance of power and speed here. I don’t have a true ace pitching-wise, but I think I have enough K’s to get me through this. Looking through my roster I see a few players I will either drop or trade. I just dropped Adam Eaton for Glen Perkins this morning.

Team Metsies (Keith Lares)

C – Gomes

1B – Gonzalez

2B – Odor, Murphy

3B – Machado, A-Rod

SS – Flores, Esobar, Bogaerts

2B/SS – Peralta

1B/3B – Duda

OF – Holliday, Cuddyer, Betts, Ozuna

Util – Carter

P – Kershaw, Wainwright, deGrom, Colon, Harvey, Cecil, Dickey, Latos

Analysis: Looking at this roster, I can tell that Keith is going to enjoy watching his fantasy team play this year. Current and former Mets (and Yankees) galore, he should have a ton of fun cheering his team on. I can’t say I’m completely sold on some of his players, like Colon, Peralta, Dickey, Odor….but he does have some upside in Machado, Gomes, Kershaw (yes he could be even better), Wainwright and Harvey.

Juicy Juice (Rafael Laury)

C – Mesoraco

1B – M. Cabrera, Lind

2B – Walker, Rendon

3B – Headley, Bryant

SS – Aybar

2B/SS – Lowrie

1B/3B – Adamns

OF – Bautista, C. Gonzalez, Kemp, Choo, Pederson

Util – Me. Cabrera

P – Bumgarner, Gray, Ross, Arrieta, Cashner, Betances, Rodon, Paxton

Analysis: Simply put, best pitching staff. Period. Sure his ace is Bumgarner, and there’s a chance he regresses as some Giants pitchers do after a long playoff run, but he has so much upside it’s incredible. He also has a super deep outfield, and potential for greatness with Rendon and Bryant. This is a team to be reckoned with. Some improvement for his infield could help him win the whole thing.

27 Rings 40 Pennants (Aaron Molina)

C – Martin

1B – Goldschmidt, Martinez, Butler

2B – Phillips, Alcantara

3B – C. Davis

SS – Ramirez

2B/SS – Rollins

1B/3B – Votto

OF – Cespedes, Upton, Myers, Pence

P – Sale, Teheran, Ryu, Iwakuma, Lynn, Miley, Chapman, Uehaara, Cishek, Britton

Analysis: Gotta love some of these players. Goldschmidt, Chapman, Cespedes and Sale all offer stud-like potential one way or another. Batting average could be a problem for him overall with some drains on it. A lot of closers that will probably never play with only one RP spot, but his WHIP should be quite low this season. Hopefully the injuries he is suffering now don’t linger on.

Well, there it is, our league for this year. Do you agree with me? Hate my analysis, and, even worse, my team. Let me know what you think.

And there you have it.