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History repeats itself. Probably nowhere more than in sports. A player has a certain amount of ability and it is what it is. Once you have been in the league for a handful of years and you’re a 10 home run guy, 95% of the time you won’t have a 30 home run season. If you are a 4.40 ERA guy, odds are pretty good you won’t suddenly make a run at the ERA title in your seventh year. It happens, just a small fraction of the time. Let’s take a look at what history has taught us about Ike Davis, Jon Lester, and Kelly Johnson and what it means for the rest of your fantasy season.
Ike Davis: .163/.243/.253, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 14 R, 61 SO/17 BB
If Ike Davis’ inability to make contact and talk of sending him down to the minors all seem like deja vu, it’s because this exact scenario played out last year. He ultimately went on to have a solid season, batting just .227 but putting up 32 HR and 90 RBI leaving every fantasy player wondering “what if he pulls this crap again next season?”
There is a good chance that’s exactly what happens. Assuming the Mets don’t send him down, I think Ike will be able to turn it around by the end of June. His batting line through the first 49 games is above. Last season, through 49 games, Ike was batting a very similar .167/.229/.290 with five homers, 21 RBI, 13 R, and 50 SO. In the remaining 107 games, Ike would go on to bat .255/.342/.541 with 27 HR, 69 RBI, 53 R, and 91 SO.
He may do that again this season. Few teams offer players the full Triple-A experience without leaving the Majors as the Mets do so they likely wont send him down in the middle of a throwaway year. He certainly has the ability to be a very good power hitting first baseman and once that switch goes off in his head he may yet be a great fantasy pickup.
Fearless Prediction: .197 BA, 28 HR, 83 RBI, 63 R
Jon Lester: 6-2, 3.53 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 65 K/23 BB
When Lester opened the year 3-0 with a 1.73 ERA, many began to wonder just how good he can be this season. Since then, Lester has fallen to a 3.53 ERA after surrendering 13 runs over his last three starts. It’s still a solid ERA and it’s who Jon Lester is. He’s not going to put up a 2.30 ERA. He’s not going to strike out 230 (anymore). He’s going to keep the ball in the park, get outs, and put up solid numbers – but not great ones.
Let’s take last year’s struggles out of the equation, that seemed to be more of a full Red Sox team-wide disaster than simply Lester playing poorly. Poor play is contagious. In the previous four seasons, Lester consistently put up an ERA between 3.21 and 3.47 and a WHIP between 1.20 and 1.27. There’s not much deviation. Those numbers are pretty close to what Lester is doing now and I think he stays at that level. Don’t expect a Cy Young candidate, just expect to have a reliable solid pitcher.
Fearless Prediction: 16-7, 3.40 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 195 K
Kelly Johnson: .287/.352/.541, 10 HR, 34 RBI, 24 R, 5 SB, 42 SO/16 BB
There are some things you can’t tell by simply looking at a player’s career stats. Some things you learn through painful trial and error. I learned the Kelly Johnson lesson three years ago. Then again two years ago. Kelly Johnson is a one-month player.
In his breakout season in 2010, he hit 26 home runs. Nine came in April, seven came in September. He had just ten the other four months, hitting three, one, four, and two. In 2011, it was May. He hit seven of his 21 home runs in May and hit more than three home runs in a month just once (hitting four in July). Last season, almost like this season, he bating .256 with nine home runs, 26 RBI, and 31 R through May. He went on to hit just seven the rest of the season.
Enjoy your Kelly Johnson hot streak while it lasts but once it’s over, it’s over.
Fearless Prediction: .244, 18 HR, 70 RBI, 72 R, 15 SB
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