Fake Teams Week 1 Fantasy Football Rankings
We recently added fantasy football to the Fake Teams list of sports covered. Our fantasy football writers will be publishing position rankings every week during the NFL season to help you win your league championship this season. Here are the Week 1 position rankings published to date:
Clayton Kershaw: National League MVP?
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw tossed another Kershaw-like start on Tuesday night, limiting the Nationals to just one run on 3 hits, 2 walks and 8 strikeouts in 8 innings of work in the Dodgers 4-1 win. The win moved his record to 17-3 with a 1.70 ERA, 1.89 FIP, 2.07 xFIP, a 0.83 WHIP and an excellent 202-25 strikeout to walk rate in his 169.1 innings. He has made 23 starts this season, winning 17 of them, giving up ONE run or less in 16 of those starts.
He is getting more and more attention for the National League MVP award of late. It would be a huge surprise if he didn't win the NL Cy Young award in a landslide. Kershaw currently leads all starting pitchers with a 6.00 fWAR, even though he has 5-6 fewer starts than most other starters at this point. He has reached 200+ strikeouts already, even though he missed 5-6 starts with the upper back injury earlier this season.
Here are a few other amazing facts, courtesy of the Twitter:
Last starter to have ERA less than 2 AND Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) less than 2: Tom Seaver, 1971. Kershaw's doing it.— Joe Posnanski (@JPosnanski) September 3, 2014
Yeah, Tom Seaver is pretty good company.
1.34 - #Dodgers @ClaytonKersh22's ERA w/o May 17 start at Arizona. Likely unanimous NL Cy winner not scheduled to see #Dbacks this weekend— Jack Magruder (@JackMagruder) September 3, 2014
Jack is reminding us that Kershaw proved he was human for a day back on May 17th where he gave up 7 runs in 1.2 innings vs the Diamondbacks. If you take that one start out of his season stats, his ERA drops to 1.34. Can you imagine?
I am not one to vote for a starting pitcher for the MVP award, but what Kershaw is doing this season is historic. We may not see a season like this in quite some time. Then again, with the way run scoring and offense is down this season, you really never know.
I actually think one can make the argument that he should be the #1 overall pick in fantasy drafts next season. Kershaw had an amazing season on the mound in 2013, and he has been even better this season. No one could have predicted that.
For more on Kershaw and the Dodgers, make sure you check out True Blue LA, SB Nation's Dodgers fan site.
Rockies outfieilder Corey Dickerson had a really good spring training this season, but lost the center field starting job to Charlie Blackmon since Blackmon was the better defensive player in center. But, that hasn't stopped Dickerson, as he has actually been the better hitter this season. Yesterday, Dickerson went 2-5 with two solo home runs, and is now hitting .311-.369-.578 with 22 home runs, 67 runs scored, 68 RBI and 8 stolen bases in 367 at bats (113 games). His 162 game pace would give him 32 home runs and 97 RBI, which would make him a 2nd-3rd round pick in 2015 fantasy drafts.
In a game where there was only one run scored on nine hits, you would guess the two starting pitchers were aces, but that guess would have been wrong. Yesterday, Cardinals starter Shelby Miller looked like the Miller from early 2013, as he shut out the Pirates on 3 hits, 3 walks and 5 strikeouts in 7 innings, but did not figure in the decsion. Miller has been pitching better of late, giving up just 5 earned runs over his last three starts. Miller is now 8-9 with a 4.00 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and a terrible 106-71 strikeout to walk rate in 159.2 innings.
Pirates starter Edinson Volquez matched zeroes with Miller, as he shut out the Cardinals on 3 hits, 2 walks and 5 strikeouts in 6.1 innings. He also did not factor in the decision, and is now 11-7 with an excellent 3.31 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and a 114-60 strikeout to walk rate in 165.2 innings this season. He has been a great pickup for the Buccos this season, and has given up two runs or less in 8 of his last 10 starts.
Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez is not a household name by any means, but he has been very good on the bump this season. On Wednesday night, Gonzalez tossed a complete game shutout vs the Reds, giving up just 4 hits, a walk and striking out 8 to earn his 8th win of the season. He is now 8-7 with an excellent 3.38 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and a 97-43 strikeout to walk rate in 136 innings. Like Volquez, he has given up two runs or less in 8 of his last 10 starts.
Indians young starter Danny Salazer appears to have figured things out on the mound over the last few weeks, as he is pitching much better than he did earlier in the season. Last night, he tossed a complete game shut out, giving up 8 hits, walking none and striking out 9 to earn his 6th win of the season. He is now 6-6 with a 3.80 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and a solid 92-28 strikeout to walk rate in 87.2 innings. Since returning to the Indians rotation back on July 22nd, Salazar has given up two runs or less in six of his eight starts, lowering his ERA from 5.53 to 3.80. If he continues pitching like this, he may enter the 2015 season with as much hype as he entered the 2014 season.
Fan Duel Partnership
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Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $18,000 Fantasy Baseball league for tonight's MLB games. It's $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Jump in now. Here's the FanDuel link.
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If you are looking for more fantasy advice, make sure you check out Fantasy Rundown for all your fantasy baseball and football needs.
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