It’s fantasy baseball playoff time, and if you made all the right moves during the regular season, you’re battling for your league title. Now is not the time to be timid. Holding on tightly to veteran pitchers may seem like a good strategy, but it can backfire.
When you follow rosters, keeping up with the MLB lineups using information from sites such as FantasyAlarm.com, you know there are young pitchers making their way to the big show. Some of these pitchers clearly realize this may be their one and only chance to shine.
First, you need to appreciate a couple reasons why these young pitchers have a chance to do really well. Then you calculate which ones have the highest chance of catapulting you to your league championship.
When there are three on the same team, it ups the competitive level of each one. Here’s why three Chicago White Sox pitchers could help you whitewash your competition all the way to a fantasy league championship.
Is it Now or Never?
Look for pitching reports on young hurlers that indicate whether this may be their chance to earn a rotation spot in the future. While it may not be their last stand to warrant a place on a Major League roster, their immediate prospects depend on what they do with this opportunity. There was a list of hitters and pitchers projected for success back in early May, but they either fizzled or are probably already on other rosters in your league.
While you may think this pertains only to a young pitcher striding to an MLB mound for the first time, this is part of the equation for another reason as well. Young hurlers who have thrown very few pitches, if any, for the big league club, are unfamiliar to veteran hitters. Their motion, delivery and pitch repertoire will be unfamiliar territory to a large percentage of the bats they face.
Triplets to Take Your League Title
Now that you appreciate the potential for new young arms to succeed, here’s a trio of Chicago pitchers that could take you to your league title. Each of these prospects is currently on half the rosters in standard fantasy leagues, so they’re out there for the taking.
- Carson Fulmer – The White Sox have three strong prospects for their future. They are going to play out the string in 2017 looking at which of these pitchers steps forward. Fulmer is one of the more intriguing of this trio of pitching prospects.
Much of his minor league difficulty has centered on control issues. Too many free passes have lead to a balloon in his ERA. At times, he has used his mid-90s fastball to mow down hitters, while at other times he can’t seem to locate with consistency.
Fulmer had tossed 6 innings with only three Ks out of the bullpen since his call up, but nailed 9 San Francisco hitters in his first start. He has his future in front of him, and his 3 hit, 1 run performance in his first start turned the heads of the White Sox brass. Look for Fulmer to pitch his final opportunities with a sense of purpose.
- Lucas Giolito – Giolito’s fantasy numbers in his first four starts have accounted for two masterful performances, sandwiched in the middle of two defensive collapses by his fielders. He allowed 1 earned run, scattering only a half dozen hits over 14 innings in two victories. He maintained his 1K/inning rate in those two wins.
In his other two starts, the White Sox defense fell apart. It led to a momentary loss of concentration against San Francisco, leading to 4 walks. Giolito still gave up only three hits in 5 plus innings of work, so the potential is obviously there.
Giolito may have the toughest final test of all three White Sox prospects. He draws the Royals twice, partially negating the benefits of unfamiliarity, plus will pitch against the tough Houston Astros lineup. In all likelihood, his last start of the 2017 season will be in Cleveland, against the vaunted lineup of the Tribe.
- Reynaldo Lopez – Lopez was the second high profile prospect pitcher that Chicago received in the trade of Adam Eaton to Washington. While Giolito comes with the highest pedigree, Lopez is beginning to turn heads as well. The White Sox staff is starting to notice a rare sense of confident composure in the 23-year old Dominican.
He’s regularly clocked in the mid-90s with his fastball, but batters say it seems like it is getting to the plate even faster. He has deceptive movement on all his pitches, making his low strikeout totals over his last three starts, probably an anomaly. Look for the strikeouts to rise in two of his last three starts, once each against the Tigers and the Angels.
Like most of Major League Baseball, the Chicago White Sox are testing their prospects out for future potential. While most teams have a handful of high-hope pitching stars, few have three in their rotation to finish out the season.
There will be an inherent sense of competition between these three pitchers, so expect strong performances to be a strong possibility. Grab these three White Sox hurlers off your waiver wire, and you may just whitewash your way to a fantasy league championship.