These are not in any particular order of importance and by no means comprehensive.
1. Does Pete Alonso hit 2nd for the Mets?
I think this allows for the ideal lineup construction. Nimmo, Alonso, Conforto, Cano, Ramos would be a formidable top 5 in the order. I also think Alonso’s on base skills are a bit overshadowed because of his raw power. If given the opportunity, Pete will quickly show that he’s a very well-rounded baseball player.
2. Does Jameson Taillon’s slider get whiffs?
The breakout was buoyed by the use of his slider in the second half of 2018. Some reports suggest that it has a bit more cut to it this spring than slide…Is that good? We need him to be a slightly above average K% pitcher to justify his strong ADP. I think his floor is extremely high no matter what, but it would be nice to see early swings and misses with the slider.
3. Should you care about the Braves rotation?
Curb your enthusiasm, folks. There are a ton of great options with prospect pedigree, but just because Wilson and Wright are getting the first turn doesn’t solve the inevitable numbers crunch. Touki, Wilson, Wright, Newcomb, Teheran, Gausman (back after the first week), Fried, Soroka (maybe?), Anderson will clearly be the source of frustration for many fantasy owners this year. Watch Wright and Wilson on their first turns, but don’t blow your FAAB budget if one has a big start
4. Yankees lineup and defense?
Defense? We talkin’ bout defense? It matters in fantasy if it leads to playing time. In a perfect world, a healthy Hicks moves Gardner out of the lineup and everyone gets their shot. But, if Voit or Andujar struggle on defense early on…it could matter. It’s hard to quantify, but a few early homers from Tulo and or Bird could make this complicated situation even more so.
5. Dodgers Rotation
If you drafted Rich Hill, don’t panic. If you drafted any Dodger pitcher, don’t panic. Your draft price should have already baked in the fact that 150 innings was closer to a ceiling than a floor. So, it shouldn’t matter to you when you get those innings. Don’t mortgage your team for Urias if he looks good early. If you have Kershaw, Buehler, or Hill, stay the course
6. Dodgers Lineup
Does Max Muncy play and hit against lefties? Bellinger? I assume the platoon comes down to Taylor and Pederson only, but monitor this situation closely. In fact, I’d be willing to buy guys like Muncy or Bellinger if you get a discount if their playing time is spotty early as they ease into the season. This is not a first week situation of importance, but more of a prolonged situation to monitor.
7. Who gets the Twins first save chance?
Trevor May was the trendy pick and he has the best stuff. However, for arbitration reasons and potential innings caps, I could see Blake Parker being the sneaky saves leader at season’s end. If you are desperate for saves and have the space, pounce if Parker is dropped.
8. Does Jordan Hicks throw strikes?
I’m not concerned about competition in the Cardinals’ closing situation. I do want to see Hicks have command of his pitches, however. He has the talent and he’s the guy that makes the most sense at the back-end of that bullpen, but he’s walked a ton of guys this spring and we don’t want that to carry into the regular season.
9. Fill your IL slots
The first week is when injured guys are officially IR/DL eligible. Be ready to act immediately, especially in daily leagues. Fill your roster with undrafted free agents with upside if you are stashing guys like Severino, Aaron Hicks, Ohtani, Polanco, Lindor, etc. With that in mind, if you have open DL slots, fill them. Make sure Morrow, Polanco, Betances (in some formats) are stashed if it doesn’t hurt you too much to do so. Maybe even pounce on a few DL waiver stashes if your team was given a clean bill of health.
10. Remember it’s cold in April
Pay attention, especially in daily leagues and DFS formats, that home games in Pittsburgh, Minnesota, New York, Boston, Cleveland etc.., are often not the best atmosphere for hitters. And don’t overvalue pitchers in those early starts either. They are all most likely on a firm pitch count. If Nelson Cruz doesn’t homer for two weeks and he is playing outside in the cold, I’m not concerned. Context is everything, especially in the first week or two of the regular season.
We made it! Go crazy folks, go crazy.
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