Fantasy Baseball

2018 Fantasy Baseball Bold Predictions: The Bolder the Better


As each new season approaches, I am reminded of one of my favorite baseball movies, Fever Pitch. As Jimmy Fallon is opening tickets for the Red Sox season in 2004, this dialogue is said between him and his friends. “Hey, come on! God…A new season…a clean slate…Yep, this smells like the year.” All players have high hopes and different expectations entering each year.

This may be the most exciting article that I do all year because anything goes. You may have your particular predictions on how things size up in 2018, while I have my own. With only a few more days until the opening pitch is thrown out, I introduce you to my top ten bold predictions for 2018.

2018 Fantasy Baseball Bold Predictions

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1. Rhys Hoskins will have over 50 home runs.

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I might as well start off with a bang. In 2017, Hoskins hit 18 home runs in just 50 games. I am a math teacher and normally do proportions with my students.

So, if you take 18/50 and equal that to x/162 we will now solve for x. By cross multiplying x times 50 and 18 times 162, you get 50x equals 2916. The last step is dividing both sides by 50 and we get the value to be approximately 58.32.

Now, I don’t think he will play all 162 games this year, but 150 is reasonable, so even if you do three times what he got last year he would have a total of 54. I like his streaks. I like his odds. Which of course means, I like him a lot in 2018.

2. Trea Turner will lead both leagues in stolen bases.

Alright maybe not too much of a stretch here, but with the likes of Hamilton and Gordon controlling the running game, I like Turner’s chances this year especially for where he is going in drafts.

I was at a baseball conference last year and a coach from Boston College was giving a talk on base running. He explained that there was only one player that had the speed to go from first to third or from second to home on any type of base hit. That player was Trea Turner.

The reason this coach knew this is because he was from the ACC where Turner played his college ball at NC State. In 2017, Turner was third in the league with 46 stolen bases.

3. Marcell Ozuna will not get 100 RBI.

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Ozuna made a move this offseason from Miami to St. Louis. This is a move that I personally am not too confident about this year.

In 2017, he had a BABIP of .355. I feel like this is skewed and weighs a lot on how many RBI you get or not. He got 124, which is about 50 higher than his previous career high. His next closest BABIP was .337 which is almost 20 points less than that of 2017.

I will give him credit that he is going to a lineup that does put up good OBP in front of him, but look at what he used to have in front of him. Gordon, Yelich, and Stanton all put up monster numbers too.

Ozuna had almost all career highs in every statistical category. I just don’t see a repeat like it in 2018.

4. Charlie Blackmon will score over 140 runs.

A big portion of why I see this happening is what you will read at the end of my article, but Blackmon is a player that just keeps getting better.

Since 2014, Blackmon has increased his OBP each and every year ending in 2017 with one of .399. This means that Blackmon is on base close to 40% of the time when he goes to bat; which is incredible.

Even with the re-signing of Carlos Gonzalez, it looks like Blackmon will continue to bat leadoff increasing his chances of scoring. A guy who gets on base and big sluggers behind him equal a lot of runs scored. Yea, I will take that.

5. Robbie Ray will lead both leagues in ERA.

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Many doubters are saying what Ray did in 2017 was a fluke. He featured a curveball that helped him strikeout 32.8% of batters he faced. He does deserve everyone’s attention going forward in 2018.

The little concern I have about this prediction is Ray’s high home run to fly ball ratio (15.6%) and his command seems to be a little off at times. He did strikeout 218 batters in 2017 which helped him keep runners from reaching home.

Last season, he had an ERA of 2.89 and was able to keep runners on base 84.5% of the time. His big step as a starter in 2017 makes him a valuable pitcher in 201

6. There will not be a 20-win pitcher.

In the past four seasons, there have only been eight pitchers to record over 20 wins. Last season, there were no 20 game winners. I see this type of trend continuing.

Middle relievers and specialty type pitchers are being used in middle innings more that force starters out of the game early. Almost 1/3 of most games the starters are not even the player on record anymore.

With this being said, I enjoy quality starts as a category in fantasy baseball better than wins. I feel like it shows the true potential of a pitcher rather than relying on what their offense can or can’t do.

7. Clayton Kershaw will have a WHIP over 1.00.

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You know like they say there are three things you can always count on: death, taxes and Kershaw is going to have a very low WHIP. Well, the first two may be true, but not the third.

Since 2013, he has kept his WHIP under 1.00, but he had an upward slide of 0.95 last season. It was the highest in that span. I feel that all the NL West lineups have gotten better overall this offseason that will be putting more pressure on Kershaw and the Dodgers.

While I do see him still having a good season, I see some signs of playoff-Kershaw vs regular season-Kershaw.

8. No pitcher will have over 300 strikeouts.

I feel like I am talking about a lot of different milestones. Well, here is another one. Another major category in fantasy is strikeouts.

The only reason why I say this prediction is because I am basing it on the trends that are happening with it the last few years. Remember the time when the San Francisco Giants would not lose the World Series in even years from 2010 to 2014? This is the same type of deal.

Since 2014, only on an odd year has there been a pitcher that threw 300 strikeouts or more (2015 Clayton Kershaw and 2017 Chris Sale). 2018 happens to be an even year, so I don’t see it happening. Hey, I have to be audacious.

9. Ken Giles will have over 50 saves.

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I don’t think what the Astros did last year was a fluke. With 50 saves being a pretty magical number for closers (it has only happened twice in the past three seasons); Giles with the help of his Astros teammate is poised to pull it off.

I was amazed when the Phillies actually let go of this guy. There has been tremendous growth for Giles in the past two seasons. His saves increased by 21, his ERA went from 4.11 to 2.30, his LOB% increased 10% and his HR/FB ratio was basically cut in half.

I only see this 27-year-old getting better in 2018. The back end of the Astros bullpen is very well off for years to come.

10. This year’s Fantasy Baseball MVP will be Nolan Arenado.

Alright, so this may not be farfetched, but I feel like he doesn’t get a lot of attention as either guys (Trout, Altuve, Harper, Stanton, etc.) do that are being drafted in the first round. In most drafts, I see Arenado going third.

In the past three seasons, Arenado had over 660 plate appearances each year. With half of them being at the hitter-friendly park of Coors Field, I like him to continue the type of pace that we have seen the past few years.

His overall average has increased from .287 to .309 and he has hit 130 RBI or more each of those seasons as well. All these stats are now going to be formidable to make an MVP run in 2018.

2018 Fantasy Baseball Position Previews
CatcherFirst BaseSecond BaseThird BaseShortstopOutfieldStarting PitcherRelief PItcher

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About Tyler Gettmann

You can follow me on Twitter @RedSox_SF49ers for more fantasy news and advice. Also be sure to like us on Facebook, Google+ and Instagram for all updates from Fantasy Six Pack.

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