Fantasy Baseball: Fact or Fiction - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Fantasy Baseball: Fact or Fiction

Fact or Fiction (Source: Raycom Media) Fact or Fiction (Source: Raycom Media)

Joey Votto-1B-CIN- Votto is hitting .377 with 6HR, 13RBI, and 12BB so far in 2015. His numbers are very similar to 2013 in the early going. His walk-rate is sustainable, as well as his high BABIP (Batting Average of Balls in Play). His isolated power will drop, but he is still capable of swatting 24HR. If he maintains his health, we are backing him. FACT

Lorenzo Cain-OF-KC- Mr. Cain is batting a ridiculous .380 with 2HR and 6SB. The homeruns and steals are sustainable, but the batting average is about 80 points higher than where it should be. He is carrying an unsustainable .414 BABP. It is too high considering he doesn't hit the ball hard enough to make his own luck. FICTION

Matt Kemp-OF-SD- Kemp is doing very well in his new home. He is hitting .361 with 1HR, 2SB, and 14RBI. His groundball rate is at 54.7%, which is 13% higher than normal. That may explain the low HR total so far. Expect the balls to start flying out of the park. Kemp also has the ability to maintain a batting average over .300. FACT

Alex Rodriguez-3B-NYY- I keep pushing him down your throats. I can't get enough of the A-Rod defying the odds at his age. Nothing is out of the ordinary, and I fully expect him to keep producing all year as long as he is healthy. He is hitting .267 with 4HR, 11RBI, and 11BB. His strikeout rate is up, but so is his walk rate. I'm very impressed with his at bats so far. He can still get beat inside with good fastballs, but his approach has changed. He knows that he isn't going to hit 40 out. FACT

Adrian Beltre-3B-TEX- Adrian Beltre was ranked as a top-3 third baseman coming into 2015 at the age of 36. He responded so far by hitting a paltry .158 with 1HR and 1RBI. It isn't all his fault, though. I examined the numbers and discovered his .154 BABIP. He is one of the unluckiest hitters in baseball so far. Buy low because Beltre is not striking out, at all. FICTION

Stephen Strasburg-SP-WAS- Strasburg has 1-win accompanied by a 4.50 ERA and 1.61 WHIP (Walks+Hits per IP). His xFIP (Fielders Independent Pitching), which strips out defensive luck and adjusts for expected homeruns, sits at 4.25, up from his career 2.77 mark. His BABIP is also at .383, which means that everything hit in play seems to find a hole. This isn't the real Strasburg. He does struggle against good teams, and pitches great against bad offenses. FICTION

Tyson Ross-SP-SD- Tyson Ross' strikeout total has been impressive so far in 2015. He has a 4.08 ERA and 1.58 WHIP to show from it. Walks have been his problem to start the season. He is walking batters at a 6.11 per 9IP clip. With command issues and baserunners on, he is forced throw more fastballs. Batters are getting more hits with runners on, causing an inflation in his numbers. FICTION

Jon Lester-SP-CHC- The Cub's prized offseason acquisition is getting pummeled so far. He holds a 6.89 ERA and 1.79 WHIP. When we strip down his numbers, his xFIP jumps out at us. It stands at 2.84, a full four points below his ERA. His BABIP is sitting at an incredibly high .434. Plain and simple, Lester has been unlucky so far. Expect a big turnaround from Lester. Buy in all leagues! FICTION

-Zac Barson, www.baseballwhiz.com

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