Friday, January 8, 2016


Our 2016 Fantasy Sports Boss Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide has set new records for sales this season as we upped the size to a ridiculous 270 pages of rankings, profiles, sleepers, busts, and so much more.  If you haven't gotten your copy yet, (why not???) you can get yours for $21.99 by using the BUY NOW tab below.


Draft Strategy:  Despite some of the impressive breakthroughs among the hitting fraternity last season, we head into 2016 fantasy baseball firmly planted into the era of pitching dominance with no end in sight.  As a result, starting pitching goes incredibly deep once again this season, to the point where you can get a solid fantasy baseball ace-level arm as late as the sixth round.  Such ace starters who fell on average to the fifth round or later a year ago included Cole Hamels, Corey Kluber, Matt Harvey, Jacob DeGrom, Gerrit Cole, Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, Jordan Zimmerman, and Sonny Gray.  In addition, there annually is a batch of hurlers who are middle-to-late-round picks that make the jump to sudden ace level like 2015 cases Chris Archer, Danny Salazar, Hector Santiago, Dallas Keuchel, Jason Hammel, Shelby Miller, Noah Syndegaard, and Carlos Martinez.  As a result, it would be foolish to draft a pitcher before Round 5 and ideally you can wait as late as Round 6 and still get an ace and also be able to build a potent staff.  The numbers don’t lie. 

1.  Clayton Kershaw:  As if there were any doubt that Clayton Kershaw was not far and away the best starting pitcher by a mile, he went out in 2015 and added to his litany of eye-opening numbers by becoming the first hurler since Randy Johnson to strike out 300 batters (301 to be exact) in his 232.2 innings.  Having already won multiple Cy Young Awards prior to turning 28, Kershaw is already opening up talk regarding being of the very best pitchers of all-time.  The numbers certainly back the argument that he is as Kershaw’s career ERA through 8 MLB seasons is an unbelievable 2.43 and his WHIP comes in at a puny 1.03.  Even better, over the last three years Kershaw’s highest ERA was the 2.13 he had in 2015.  Want more?  Kershaw must have been bored the first two months of last season as his April/May ERA’s were 3.73 and 3.97.  Including a 0.27 July mark, Kershaw’s second half ERA was 1.31 with 141 K’s in 109.2 innings.  There is simply nothing more to say that hasn’t already been talked about in terms of the pure domination of Kershaw and while we don’t advise using a first round pick on a pitcher, he is the one obvious exception to the rule.

2016 PROJECTION:  19-4 2.01 ERA 0.95 WHIP 279 K

2.  Max Scherzer:  Having already won a Cy Young Award and established himself as a top candidate for the mantle of being the best pitcher in baseball not named Clayton Kershaw during his stint with the Detroit Tigers, one could only shudder at the thought of how dominant Max Scherzer could be after landing in the easier National League with the Washington Nationals as a free agent for 2015.  Well we got our answer in spades as Scherzer became only the fifth pitcher in Major League Baseball history to throw TWO no-hitters in one season (the second a 17-strikeout assault on the New York Mets to finish the season where he struck out 11 straight batters at one point).  It really was no shock that an already excellent Scherzer recorded a career-best in ERA (2.79), WHIP (0.92), and strikeouts (276) in 228 innings.  Long past early issues with elbow trouble and control issues, Scherzer is just about the toughest pitches to get a hit off of in the game.  Combine that with his insane 10.86 K/9 and another career-best in control (1.34/9) and Scherzer should once again be the second pitcher off the board this season.

2016 PROJECTION:  19-9 2.84 ERA 0.99 WHIP 259 K 

3.  Madison Bumgarner:  So much for Madison Bumgarner having a tired arm.  Long a booster of Bumgarner going back to his rookie debut with the San Francisco Giants, we finally showed some hesitation when it came to his outlook for the  2015 season.  The reason of course was due to the much-discussed heavy workload for Bumgarner during the Giants’ Word Series Championship season in 2014.  Including the playoffs, Bumgarner logged over 270 innings which brought forth legitimate concern about him feeling the effects going forward.  While eventually Bumgarner will have to pay the piper for all those massive inning totals early in his career, last season was not that time as the lefty posted a sub-3.00 ERA for the third year in a row at 2.98, while also winning 18 games.  In addition, Bumgarner struck out a career-high 234 batters as his K/9 IP rose to another personal best of 9.65.  As hard as it may be to believe, Bumgarner is still getting better as his K rate has improved every season the last four years, while his control also came in at a career-best 1.16 in 2015.  We are running out of positive adjectives to describe how dominant a pitcher Bumgarner is and the fact he is still just 26 makes it a good bet he will remain at that level for quite awhile longer.  As durable an arm as there is in the game, Bumgarner’s dependability at the always volatile pitching fraternity makes him arguably the best pitching buy in fantasy baseball.

2016 PROJECTION:  19-7 2.88 ERA 0.99 WHIP 239 K


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