The 2020 Fantasy Baseball Week 4 Cactus League Update starts here. Of course, there really was no Week 4 this season, so this is more of a Week 3B.
If you are wondering why baseball hasn't happened then you clearly have been stuck under a rock. No baseball has been played in over a week and the walls are starting to cave in...
Have you read my 2020 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Cactus League Update. , 2020 Fantasy Baseball Week 2 Cactus League Update, or 2020 Fantasy Baseball Week 3 Cactus League Update if not, then you are missing out on some good sh*t.
I will tell you this, watching people on Youtube playing MLB The Show 20 is not nearly as exciting as real baseball. Alas, everyone has to get their fix somehow... This week I am going to talk about some Pitching battles. This is gonna be a good read and it will be a good excuse to keep a "social distance" from your wife/girlfriend.
2020 Fantasy Baseball Week 4 Cactus League Update
Free five-minute mock drafts against industry experts and custom analysis for your team with the FantasyPros Draft Wizard.
Los Angeles Dodgers Starting Rotation
With the first three spots in the rotation locked in by Kershaw, Buehler, and Price the 4th and 5th spots in the rotation, it gets interesting. You have guys like Alex Wood and Ross Stripling who have been in the rotation before. You also have the younger guys in Julio Urias and Dustin May who are looking to be in the next wave of Dodger pitching greats.
Wood who so far in Spring Training has not instilled confidence in Manager Dave Roberts has allowed seven hits. His Era is 6.35 in only 5 2/3 innings pitched. He may carry some value as a long innings guy in NL only formats but I do not see him cracking the starting the rotation.
Embed from Getty Images
Stripling is on the exact opposite side of the coin as Wood. He was not considered as a front runner for a starting rotation spot however, he has put up good numbers so far.
Through his six innings, he has put a respectable 1.50 ERA and his only run was off a home run. Unfortunately, he is not as sexy with is pitches as the other guys for the Dodgers. Even though this is the case, I still believe he nabs the fifth spot in the Dodger rotation.
The once-heralded prospect, Urias I believe has the best chance of being the 4th starter. His five-pitch repertoire ( he really only throws four of those pitches) with a difference of about 20MPH between his Fastball and Curve.
He is primed to have a big season as my projected 4th starter for the Dodgers. With an ADP of 151 expect this number to be lower once he is officially named a starter. I would look at drafting him in the 9th or 10th round in a standard 12-man league.
Embed from Getty Images
The last guy up for a spot in the Dodgers rotation is Gingergard. His red flowing locks are crucial to the power of his Fastball... I don't know if this is actually where he gets his powers from (more likely it's because he is 6'6").
He is the youngest of the group and has the most to prove. Though he has not pitched in 2020 yet, I see him being called down to AAA and eventually called up mid-season ( which would be September now?).
Kansas City Royals 5th Starter Spot
In my opinion, it is between two guys for the 5th spot in the Royals Rotation. It is between a guy I mentioned in my first Cactus League update in Jorge Lopez and Brady Singer. Both of them have has a solid Spring Training and each have their strengths and weaknesses.
Lopez has thrown 12 K's in 10 innings pitched an even though his ERA has jumped he has experience at the major league level of being a starter. Lopez's value on a much better Royals team from last year with Salvador Perez as his battery mate gives Lopez a huge advantage in fantasy. If you are looking to rack up strikeouts and eat up innings Lopez is your guy.
The other guy who could potentially sneak into the 5th starter spot is former first-round pick Brady Singer. Even though his ERA is similar to Lopez with 4.76 his time is now to grab a starter spot.
Time could pass him by if he doesn't become a major leaguer by this season (he is already 23). I would be warry even if he does nab the 5th starter role. His lack of experience in the majors does not make him a good fantasy option. Look at his stuff!
— Josh Norris (@jnorris427) March 21, 2019
Shohei Ohtani, SP, Los Angeles Angels
The enigma that is Shohei Ohtani, has fully recovered from Tommy John surgery so we would see him on the bump again sometime this season. The question is not if this will happen but when it will happen and who takes his place until he is ready to go.
Embed from Getty Images
The guy that I see filling his spot until Ohtani is ready to go is Patrick Sandoval. He has had a great Cactus League with hitters only batting .167 against him. His low ERA of 3.60 puts him on track to be good filler until Ohtani returns.
Keep in mind the start of the season has been pushed back and we still don't know when it will start. If it is pushed out long enough then, unfortunately, I don't think Sandoval will take the fifth spot.
Arizona Diamondbacks, Closer (Archie Bradley VS Kevin Ginkel)
As cut and dry as this closer battle may seem it is still pretty muddy. Archie Bradley is the clear favorite to take over the closer position. While Ginkel is poised to lock in as the setup guy for the beginning of the season. Let's look at their numbers through Spring Training so far to see who has the edge.
Archie had a great 2019 converting on 18 of his 21 save opportunities. While this Spring Training has not been off to a good start with a 5.40 ERA and only two K's. He firmly has a lock on the closer's spot. Fantasy Pros have him as the 22nd best relief pitcher with an average ADP of 167. I expect him to go much higher in standard and NL-only format drafts.
Embed from Getty Images
If Bradley does not fare well at the beginning of the season expect Ginkel to be the next in line for the closer role. In Spring Training Ginkel has not really started off well either having a robust 10.80 ERA. Keep in mind he has only pitched 1 2/3 of an inning before Spring Training was cut short. He should have plenty of time now to tweak anything before the season starts. Thanks, Corona!
Colorado Rockies, 5th Starter Spot (Chi Chi Gonzalez VS Jeff Hoffman)
Hoffman and Gonzalez are both competing for that fifth spot in the Rockies rotation and this will be an interesting competition to see how this will play. This could have some big fantasy implications in an NL-Only league.
Hoffman through only 5 1/3 innings pitched has not pitched as good as he would like to gain the inside edge on the starter spot. His 6.35 ERA and allowing opposing hitters to hit .385 off of him has not looked good. The fact that he only relies on two pitches a fastball and a curve does not bode well for him.
Jeff Hoffman has overhauled his arm action and delivery.
— Lance Brozdowski (@LanceBroz) February 29, 2020
Former top prospect for the Texas Rangers Gonazalez has not had that much better of a Spring. His ERA is 6.30 with hitters having a batting average of .289 89 through ten innings. Chi Chi has four different pitches that he uses frequently that I believe gives him the inside track to be the fifth starter in the Rockies rotation.
This wraps up the Cactus League Updates for the 2020 season. Keep an eye on the guys that I talked about though the four-part series and see that all of my assessments came true! We will revisit once rosters are finalized to review.