Before the season started, I took a look at some series from the first month that were going to be big from a fantasy perspective.
Now, here we are a month later, and we probably have a better grasp on things, or we should anyway. Still, this is something worth doing at the beginning of every month, even if the reasons for watching a series close aren’t exactly the same as they were in April.
And before going on, no these aren’t the only three series’ worth watching over the course of the month of May. But from a fantasy perspective, these sets will all carry a great deal of significance.
Friday, May 11-Sunday, May 13.
Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers
There are plenty of big names on both of these teams. Heck, as a baseball fan, this is a great series, as either one of these teams is a real World Series threat. But I am singling this series out for one reason: Albert Pujols.
I have never had Pujols on a fantasy team of mine. Throughout my whole time playing fantasy baseball, I have maintained one thought. If I ever get Pujols, there’s no way I ever trade him. The only possible trades for him would be so immense that you couldn’t even imagine the deal. But that was then, this is now.
If Pujols has not found a consistent power stroke by this series, I would strongly shop him. Remember, a lot of people pay for names, not numbers. I would imagine what you could get for him is far better than what he’s giving you, especially if he doesn’t show signs of getting better.
The idea that Pujols can complete an entire month of baseball with no homers and an average far closer to .200 than .300 would have been completely foreign to me as early as two weeks ago. But this goes back to altering your preconceived notions.
If by the time this series is complete, we haven’t seen a much better version of Pujols, it’s time to look for a trade partner, and do so fast. If he’s starting to drive the ball by now, then hold on to him.
Friday, May 18-Sunday, May 20.
New York Yankees at Cincinnati Reds
If I am being really honest, this entire weekend of Interleague Play action is exciting from the perspective of a “real” baseball fan, as well as a fantasy player. But when you consider the amount of fantasy stars that will be on the diamond in this series, we have the most intriguing of the bunch.
If I can give one piece of advice, it would be to leave whatever starting pitchers you have from these teams on the bench for the weekend. The arms will get a little bit of a break playing in a National League park and not having to deal with a DH, but plenty of offensive talent will be pounding the ball around the live Great American Ballpark.
The Reds didn’t have a great April for what they’re capable of, but by the time this series rolls around, look for them to be in full force. So, look for Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips, and Drew Stubbs will have The Big Red Machine rolling when Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson, Robinson Cano and of course, Derek Jeter roll into town.
Monday, May 28-Wednesday, May 30.
Washington Nationals at Miami Marlins
This series will take on the exact opposite look of the previous one. While the Marlins offense doesn’t lack for big names, they aren’t hitting right now. You would be foolish to think that they will be slugging when the Nationals take their talents to South Beach.
Through April, the Nationals’ pitching staff has been on fire, as they are at or near the top of the league in nearly every offensive category.
While it may sound presumptuous to assume that the likes of Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez, and Giancarlo Stanton will still be cold a month from now, it’s a safe bet. Not only will they be facing a strong pitching rotation (if things hold from now until then, it will be Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmerman, and Edwin Jackson), but Marlins Park is a cavernous yard.
On top of that, the Miami staff isn’t bad, and Washington’s offense leaves a lot to be desired. When you have two good rotations facing struggling offenses in a pitcher’s park, the runs are going to be down.
In the Yankees vs. Reds series, it would not surprise me to see around 40 runs scored between the two teams. In this one, it would not be a surprise to see fewer than 20 runners cross the plate.