2016 Recap & 2017 Outlook
Texas made some moves in 2016 to improve their playoff chances, but failed to make it out of the first round. The pitching staff additions made in this offseason are big risks, as two ex Padres with health concerns land in Texas. Moving from Petco Park to Globe Life Park is also a tough transition for a pitcher. Texas reunited with Mike Napoli, who should continue his power trend in friendly grounds. This offense could be even more lethal than their 2016 numbers, where they finished eighth in runs per game. Carlos Gomez could be quite a surprise if he can pickup where he left off in 2016. Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish have a lot of potential, as long as they can stay healthy.
Additions: Mike Napoli, Tyson Ross, Andrew Cashner
Subtractions: Mitch Moreland
Global Life led to one of the best home hitting offenses in baseball, as Texas averaged the fourth most runs per game when at home. When they were on the road, they were middle of the league. They had more than a run drop off. Texas pitchers had a slight advantage on the road, but not by much. Texas ranked 14th in home runs, and was tied for sixth with Toronto in runs. As the weather heats up, Texas is one of the best places to find offense. Expect to see a lot of high totals here, and plenty of stacking opportunities.
|Lineup Order||Player||Position||2016 wOBA vs. RHP||2016 ISO vs. RHP||2016 wOBA vs. LHP||2016 ISO vs. LHP|
2016 Statistics Used
Pitching Outlook & Notes
DFS Rotation Grade: B-
DFS Studs: Cole Hamels, Yu Darvish
It has been a while since we have seen Yu Darvish throw a full season. In 2013, he threw over 200 innings, and had a 32.9% strikeout rate. In 2016, he bounced back after injuries, with a 31.7% strikeout rate, and a 3.09 FIP. Darvish is an elite fantasy arm, and has the upside of anyone in the league, yes even Clayton Kershaw. Darvish has a full arsenal off pitches, and even tosses in an occasional eephus. Needless to say, if we get Darvis for a full year, he is up in the names of Noah Syndergaard and Kershaw for upside. Darvish had a 12.6% swinging strike rate, and carries a 12.2% swinging strike rate in his career.
Cole Hamels is sort of caught in the middle of an ace and dependable number two. He has thrown 200+ innings in seven straight seasons. His strikeout rate has remained above average, sitting at an 8.9 K/9 last year. His walk rate did take a near 3% jump from his career norm. Hamels did suffer from the Texas ballpark. He allowed a .343 wOBA, compared to a .274 wOBA on the road. A lot of that was due to the home runs. Hamels will remain a solid arm in all formats, especially on the road. He will carry some starts where we are willing to stay away.
After those two arms, we get a group of Padres outcasts, and Martin Perez. Now the lefty, Perez, should not be an arm to consider. Nor should Andrew Cashner, who has been trending down for sometime now. Tyson Ross will work himself up from a 2016 injury, and projections have him a shade over a 100 innings pitched. He has a career 8.49 K/9 and a 56% groundball rate. When healthy Ross possessed solid stats to back him as a fantasy arm. He remains an arm to keep tabs of, but wait before deploying.
Lineup Outlook & Notes
DFS Stacking Grade: B
DFS Studs: Rougned Odor, Mike Napoli, Jonathan Lucroy, Adrian Beltre
Texas boasted a top ten offense last season, and killed it at home. Mike Napoli is returning to Texas, and will see a similar role in the middle of the order. He gets a bump in Texas, and is in a good spot to continue what he produced in 2016, just with a different offense. He topped 30 home runs for the first time since 2011, which was in Texas, and only over 113 games. Napoli will be a good tournament source of power.
The other old man on the roster is Adrian Beltre, who consistently churns out top ten seasons at third base. He hit 32 home runs last season, after failing to top 20 in the last two. We can expect him in the lower 20's this year. At 37 year olds we continue to wait for the drop off, yet can't find it. We might start to see a small drop off in stats, but nothing severe. Beltre mashed left-handed pitching, with a .418 wOBA and remains a low strikeout candidate.
The Rangers pushed for Jonathan Lucroy at the trade deadline and landed him. He will see a full season in Texas, which bodes well for fantasy production again. Lucroy enjoyed Texas, hitting 11 home runs in 47 games last season, which he nearly surpassed as a Brewer, hitting 13 over 95 games with them. Lucroy will be a solid hitting catcher, but nothing to overpay for. As we saw last season, catchers pricing up into an insane range is not worth it.
Rougned Odor showed off his immense power last season, hitting 33 home runs. He drove in 88 runs, and will be a solid source of power and run production again this year. He will occasionally grab a steal as well. Odor should remain one of the elite fantasy second baseman this season, especially at home, where he had a .257 ISO.