3 Fantasy Baseball Questions About Your Seattle Mariners
Spring Training is underway! One week from today, Mariners baseball will be back on our televisions! And if all this is true, that means fantasy baseball is back! Here are the answer to 3 fantasy questions about your Seattle Mariners.
Before we begin, let me lay down some frame-work. For simplicity sake, just assume the format we are playing is a standard 5×5 roto league. The 5 offensive categories are batting average, home runs, RBI, SB, and runs. The 5 pitching categories are Wins (yuck), ERA, WHIP, Strikeouts, and Saves.
Also, remember not to be a homer. I love the Seattle Mariners. But I will do my best to have the most unbiased strategy I can. Homers are great in baseball, but not to be a successful fantasy baseball player. Now, without further ado, here are the 5 biggest fantasy baseball questions for you, the Mariner fan.
1. Which Mariner should I draft first?
There are only 2 possible answers to this question. Either Dee Gordon or Nelson Cruz. Using a simple categorical approach, Cruz will absolutely win HR and RBI. Gordon will likely win runs and stolen bases. The question probably comes down to average. Cruz has hit .292 over the past 3 seasons. Gordon has hit .309 over that stretch.
However, the categorical approach has its flaws, and doesn’t account for position scarcity and categorical scarcity. In 2017, 59 players slugged 25 or more home runs. 37 players hit 30 or more. Cruz best category is HR, where he ranked 5th in MLB with his 39 homers.
Dee Gordon’s value comes from 2 places. First, he will have multi-positional eligibility by early April. He enters the season with second base eligibility, a shallow position. He will add outfielder eligibility after he gets 10 games in centerfield.
Second, and perhaps most importantly, is his stolen base value. Gordon led all of baseball in steals in 2017. Only 6 players stole more than 30 bases in 2017, and only 14 stole 25 or more. Baseball is moving away from base-stealers, opting instead for the instant offense of the home run ball.
Simply put, the edge to having an elite stolen base guy is far and away more beneficial to you than power, which is much easier to find. Gordon’s value only goes up in an AL only league. If he can repeat his 60 steal performance in 2017, he would finish 26 steals ahead of the AL leader in 2017, Royals 2B Whit Merrifield.
Both Mariners are valuable, and both are early round picks. Gordon’s current ADP (average draft position) is 28th on NFBC, which is the late 2nd or early 3rd round. Cruz ADP is 46, or the late 4th or early 5th. Cruz is a bargain at that price, but Gordon is the more valuable player in fantasy.