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Sunday, June 4, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL CRISIS POINT: MATT CARPENTER 1B/2B/3B ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

Heading into the 2017 fantasy baseball season St. Louis Cardinals infielder Matt Carpenter was seen as one of the most sturdy hitters in the game.  Having cemented his status as a very solid power hitter, Carpenter also gained a ton of value by being eligible at first, second, and third base.  A veteran at the age of 31 and with a history of durability, Carpenter was as safe a place to put your fantasy baseball dollars to work.  Well as has been the case for just about anything that has gone on this season, Carpenter has been a tremendous disappointment both with the bat and his health.  Having already spent a stint on the DL and endured back problems since spring training, Carpenter also took a .216 batting average with 9 home runs and 27 RBI into Saturday's games.  It is not an understatement to say that Carpenter has been a big letdown and many of his owners are benching him outright.

In digging into the numbers, 9 home runs in 211 at-bats is a very good ratio indeed and 27 RBI and 24 runs are not terrible either.  The big issue of course is the .216 average and that is a very uncharacteristic number for a guy who often has hit above .280.  With that said, Carpenter has suffered from some horrific BABIP luck as his .241 mark is insanely unlucky and is down from .307 and .321 the previous two years.  Thus it is obvious in saying that Carpenter will see his average climb as the luck normalizes and so he makes for a great buy low.  Making things even more optimistic, Carpenter is walking at a crazy good 16.1 BB/9 rate which further helps the average.  Of course Carpenter bears some responsibility with his 23.2 K/9 which if the season ended today, would be a career-worst.  However he is likely pressing and should ease up there when the hits begin to drop.  So as you can see, Carpenter is someone who is as good a buy low as you can get.

When you put it all together, Matt Carpenter should be the guy you target in all leagues given the upside that remains.  He is hitting for power through the average struggles and the latter will climb as the luck normalizes the rest of the season.  Go get him.


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