Ranking the National League East in order of watchability

5. Miami Marlins

64-98 65-97 J.T. Realmuto (2.8 WAR)


Oof. This is … going to be a shame. An unwatchable, contemptible shame. Without Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich, and Dee Gordon – each of them liquidated in Derek Jeter’s barbaric offseason teardown – the Marlins are the baseball equivalent of the second season of “True Detective,” or anything starring Kevin Hart. Assuming he isn’t traded by the time you finish this sentence, their best player is J.T. Realmuto, who j– nope, he just got traded. Sorry. (Amazingly, the Marlins will still have a J.T. in their lineup on a regular basis in 2018: J.T. Riddle, who you probably best remember as the villain from the second Harry Potter book, will be their everyday shortstop once he’s fully recovered from shoulder surgery.) In a sense, the Marlins are the team that could most afford to be unwatchable, seeing as nobody watched them when they actually were watchable, but, like, yeesh. Imagine anyone saying these words in this order: “Man, I’m so stoked for the Marlins game tonight. Jose Urena is starting!”

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4. Philadelphia Phillies

75-87 81-81 Aaron Nola (3.9 WAR)


As the Phillies just proved, it’s virtually impossible to spend upward of $140 million on free agents in a single offseason and still wind up the least watchable team in your division (notable exception: the San Diego Padres). This is still a development year in Philadelphia, their winter spending spree notwithstanding, but aggressive re-investment in the 25-man roster suggests the Phillies think they’re close. Taking a look at their tentative Opening Day lineup, it’s not hard to see why: J.P. Crawford, their first-round pick in the 2013 draft, is a veritable toolshed; Rhys Hoskins, who turned 25 last week, blasted 18 homers in 50 games with the big-league club last year; Jorge Alfaro, who also dazzled in a late-season cameo with the Phillies in 2017, is widely considered the second-best catching prospect in the game. Now, in addition to those could-be superstars, the Phillies also have some legitimate, veteran studs in Carlos Santana, Pat Neshek (yes, he’s a reliever, I know), and former Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta. It’s a compelling mix. Oh yeah, and they still have Odubel Herrera, of course.

3. Atlanta Braves

72-90 76-86 Freddie Freeman (4.1 WAR)


Clearly, the Braves are a little behind the Phillies in terms of their rebuild timeline – following a 72-90 finish in 2017, the only major-league free agent they signed this offseason was Peter Moylan. But with all due respect to J.P. Crawford and Jake Arrieta, the Braves will still be more fun to watch than the Phillies in 2018, mostly because of Ronald Acuna, the consensus top prospect in baseball (non-Ohtani division) thusly summed up by Baseball Prospectus’ Jeffrey Paternostro in November:

Gary Sheffield came up in a discussion of the offensive profile to try to describe Acuna’s combination of bat speed and barrel control. He has potential 70 game power and an advanced, all-fields approach that doesn’t require him to sell out to tap into his mammoth pop. He has enough arm for right if you happen to have a 7 center fielder lying around your roster. This is how you smoke the upper minors as a 19-year-old. This is how you get an OFP 80.

Gary Sheffield! Dude is evoking comparisons to Gary Sheffield! Imagine having a 20-year-old Gary Sheffield in your team’s lineup. Hell, imagine having present-day Gary Sheffield in your team’s lineup. He’d still rake, I bet. Seriously, though, having the game’s most heralded prospect counts for a lot, watchability-wise, even though Acuna will spend at least the first couple weeks of the season embarrassing Triple-A competition for the purposes of service-time manipulation.

2. New York Mets

82-80 80-82 Noah Syndergaard (5.5)


Watching the Mets is probably best suited to horror-movie fans, because the initial serenity of, say, Noah Syndergaard blowing fools away with his 101-mph four-seamer is invariably followed by some gruesome scene, like Noah Syndergaard tearing a lat muscle because the club didn’t force him to take an MRI even after he complained of soreness. Still, while most Mets fans probably don’t care for that whisper of doom around the corner, it does make for objectively good entertainment, especially when you’re watching a team as talented as the Mets. No, really. Between Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, Jason Vargas, and Seth Lugo, the Mets could conceivably have one of the game’s best rotations again, just like in 2016, while the new additions to their lineup – Jay Bruce, Todd Frazier, and, if you will, Amed Rosario – should definitely put them in a position to compete for a wild-card spot. Their grisly midseason demise will be epic.

1. Washington Nationals

89-73 88-74 Bryce Harper (5.7 WAR)


As usual, the Nationals will be a delight to watch this summer before they slip on a proverbial banana peel in the division series. If you can stomach the cognitive dissonance they inspire with their annual Jekyll and Hyde routine, the Nationals may be the best team in the league from a watchability perspective. Their lineup is totally stacked, with the obnoxiously talented and aggressively pompadoured Bryce Harper parked right in the middle of it all (and if you’re a Nats fan hankering for new drinking game to try out this season, take a shot every time a MASN broadcaster mentions Harper’s impending free agency; you’ll consistently be hammered by the third inning). Their rotation ranks among the game’s best, and each Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg start should be appointment viewing (frankly, neither pitcher gets enough love: Scherzer has as many Cy Young Awards as Clayton Freaking Kershaw, and Strasburg’s 29.0 percent strikeout rate is the second-highest of all time among pitchers with at least 1,000 career innings). And finally, as a division rival, they’ll play a principal role in the Mets’ inevitable combustion. That’s the trifecta, right there.

Posted in MLB

Atlanta Braves Preview Fantasy Baseball

Atlanta Braves Preview 2016 MLB Season

FanPicks is proud to bring you this Atlanta Braves preview. Come enjoy daily Fantasy Baseball news at Fanpicks.com ahead of the MLB 2016 season.

The Atlanta Braves are still completely in rebuilding mode with a lot of potential fantasy baseball players including Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis.


Atlanta Braves preview lineup

The Braves want to be serious contenders for the upcoming seasons and have taken the opportunity to amass as much young talent as possible, which would be also aligned with the opening of their new SunTrust Park stadium next year.

The Shelby Miller trade this offseason can possibly be seen as a franchise defining trade and thanks to the Diamondbacks for that matter. This big deal may not have a direct impact this upcoming season for fantasy baseball owners but it’s important to monitor the prospects in case of a call up to the majors.

Julio Teheran and Bud Norris are the only two sure starters with Miller out of the rotation this season. Norris’ performance the past two years will have fantasy owners’ radar away from him however Teheran will be an enigma coming into 2016. Teheran is solid, durable and has been able to outpitch opponents usually but last season, things seem to have caught up a little bit. Fantasy wise, warning signs such as strikeouts dropping and homeruns skyrocketing warrant owners to take a step back to see if he can recover.

The rotation slots and situation in the bullpen is too clouded right now for fantasy consideration of others starters such as Mike Foltynewicz, Aaron Blair or Matt Wisler.

In the outfield, the best fantasy pick is Ender Inciarte with his 21 bases stolen last season. Nick Markakis and Freddie Freeman are good picks fantasy wise with their constant production and skill sets, shouldn’t have any issue reaching 80+ RBI this upcoming campaign.

The real strength of the Braves lies in their minor league system, one of the most stacked in baseball and is to be thoroughly monitored by fantasy baseball owners.


Posted in MLB

San Francisco Giants vs Atlanta Braves 8-05-15

Fantasy Baseball Preview

Its the last stretch for Fantasy Baseball season and the San Francisco Giants (58-48) are on the hunt for a playoff berth, but the Atlanta Braves (48-59) are in their way. In the series finale, Madison Bumgarner (11-6, 3.39 ERA) will face off against rookie William Perez (4-1, 4.14 ERA).

San Francisco is 2 games behind the L.A. Dodgers for the division lead and half a game back of Pittsburgh and Chicago for the Wild Card. They posess best batting average on the road this season with .276. The Giants are the only National League team right now to reach a 1000 hits. They also knocked 10 HR since august 1st, the most in the MLB.

Atlanta has lost 7 of their last 9 games. They collected 68 HR all season long, placing them last in the league. If things couldn’t get any worse, Freddie Freeman, the only Braves player to have reached more then 10 homers this year (with 14 HR), was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday. The pitching doesn’t fair better, they hold a 7.11 ERA since the begining of august which is the worst in the majors.

Fired Up Fantasy Pickups :

C Buster Posey (SF) is the best catcher out there. He is in the top 3 among MLB catchers for runs (56), homers (18), RBI’s (75), walks (39) and hits (119). He has 4 runs 2 HR and 8 RBI in his last 4 games. Against righties, he hits an average of .339 with 13 HR an 63 RBI’s this season.

1B Brandon Belt (SF) is batting .275 with 13 HR and 46 RBI’s while scoring 49 runs. He has 4 runs, 3 HR and 3 RBI’s since august 1st. Belt has an batting average of .291 with 11 HR vs RHP.

3B Chris Johnson (ATL) shows poor numbers this season with a .233 batting average and 2 HR. He faced Bumgarner 21 times in his career and posted 8 hits (.381 AVG) with 3 RBI’s.

SS Brandon Crawford (SF) is the leader among shortstop with 18 HR this year. He is hitting .264 and produced 67 RBI’s during the year. He has  4 runs, 3 HR and 4 RBI’s in his last 4 games.

OF Hunter Pence (SF) had a big Tuesday night against the Braves. He collected 1 HR and 4 RBI’s. This season, he has 7 HR, 35 RBI’s and a .288 batting average. In his last 4 games, he posted 2 runs, 2 HR and 6 RBI’s.

P Madison Bumgarner (SF) is looking to rebound from his last performance. He gave a up 6 ER and 9 hits in the loss against the Rangers. In 9 career start against the Braves, he post a 4-3 record with a 3.15 ERA, allowing 19 ER and 5 HR while striking out 61 batters.

Hit the showers

2B Ehire Adrianza (SF) is hitting an average of .188 with 3 runs, 0 HR and 3 RBI’s this season. Enough said.

2B Jace Peterson (ATL) has a batting average of .250 with 5 homers and 47 RBI’s and 38 runs scored. Against lefties, he posted 1 HR and 10 RBI’s and a batting average of .229 in 70 appearances.

OF Nick Markakis (ATL) looks out of his element in Atlanta. He his on his way to hit his lowest total of homers. He has 2 this year.

Posted in MLB

Atlanta Braves vs Los Angeles Dodgers – 5/26/15 MLB Fantasy Sports, Baseball Picks, Odds & Predictions

1 DAY FANTASY SPORTSFantasy mock draft managers can look to the bail out game on Monday May 26th as the LA Dodgers will host the Atlanta Braves in Game 2 of their series. Follow your rosters at 10:10PM Eastern Time on ESPN from Dodgers Stadium.

In the opener of this series on Monday it was the Dodgers posting the 6-3 home victory behind scoring five runs combined in the latter innings. The Braves could not hold onto a 2-1 lead after six innings. The Dodgers power was on display as the team hit three home runs all in their four run eighth inning to lead the club into victory.

The Dodgers are second in the Major Leagues in homers this year with 60 hit in their 44 games on the year. At the quarter point of the year LA sits in first place in the NL West leading the division by three games in the loss column over the second place San Francisco Giants. LA has had major injury issues this year as rotation players Yasiel Puig and Carl Crawford has missed significant time with injuries. The team has winning records with both sidelined. Starters Hyun Jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy are out for the year.

The loss moved the Braves to 23-33 and trails the first place Washington Nationals by 4 games in the loss column. The Atlanta pitching has been rated in the bottom third of baseball in the ERA and WHIP department. They are a middle of the road hitting club.

1 day fantasy sportsAtlanta Braves 1B: Freddie Freeman leads the club with a .302 batting average. He has produced five home runs and 23 RBIs. Freeman turned in a two hit game in the loss on Monday night.

Atlanta Braves RF: Nick Markakis enters play with a .301 batting average with no homers and 12 RBIs. He has drawn 23 walks so his on base percentage is .390. Unfortunately his power numbers have been lacking. His five game hit streak was broken on Monday.

Atlanta Braves 2B: Jace Peterson hits .265 for the club with hits in seven of nine games. Not much power in his bat with one homer and 18 RBIs with four extra base hits. He has just two extra base hits in ten games.

Atlanta Braves SS: Andrelton Simmons has seen his average dip 21 points in his past ten games. No multi-hit games in his past ten games. He has three homers and 18 RBIs season to date.

Atlanta Braves P: Julio Teheran gets the start for the Braves on Tuesday. He puts up much better numbers in his home stadium. In nine starts this year Teheran is 4-1 with an ERA of 3.91 and WHIP of 1.44. The hurler has surrendered nine homers in his nine starts. The right hander has allowed one earned run in each of his past two starts.

Free Baseball Cash DraftFree Baseball Cash Draft Beat the Streak

LA Dodgers 1B: Adrian Gonzalez leads the club in batting at .344 on the year with 9 homers and 33 RBIs. After a hot April Gonzalez power numbers have come down with just one home run in the month of May. He had two hits in the win on Monday.

LA Dodgers 2B: Howie Kendrick has been a consistent hitter as he enters play on Tuesday with a .293 batting average with 4 homers and 17 RBIs. The power numbers are down as Kendrick has produced just one extra base hit in his past ten games.

LA Dodgers CF: Joc Pederson in his rookie campaign and first year as a starter for the club is batting .250 with 12 homers and 23 RBIs. He has drawn 33 walks so his on base percentage is .388. With 20 extra base hits on the year his slugging percentage is .556.

LA Dodgers RF: With Yasiel Puig hurt and on the DL it has been veteran Andre Ethier putting up some All Star numbers. Ethier is batting .313 with 6 homers and 17 RBIs. He had two hits in the win on Monday.

LA Dodgers P: Clayton Kershaw with some crooked numbers may not make the All Star Game. He is 2-3 in nine starts and has an ERA of 4.32 and WHIP of 1.23. He has allowed three earned runs or more in four straight games.

MLB Best Fantasy Cash Real Money League Picks

P: Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers)
CF: Joc Pederson (Dodgers)
1B: Adrian Gonzalez (Dodgers)
C: A.J. Pierzynski (Braves)
RF: Andre Eithier (Dodgers)
2B: Jace Peterson (Braves)

Posted in MLB

Cincinnati Reds vs Atlanta Braves – 5/11/15 MLB Fantasy Sports, Baseball Picks, Odds & Predictions

MLB Cash Draft Picks

From the Major League Baseball diamond for Monday May 11th it will be the Cincinnati Reds at home facing the Atlanta Braves. MLB draft fantasy managers can view this game from Cincinnati at 7PM Eastern Time over ESPN. The pitching matchup features Shelby Miller a right hander squaring off against Red veteran right hander Mike Leake.

This is the second series between these two NL clubs. They split a four game series in early May held at Atlanta. The Braves road trip began with three straight losses at the Washington Nationals as they dropped a 5-4 decision. Like their first series against the Nationals the Atlanta pitching staff got torched. The Nationals piled up 22 runs in their three games against the Braves. The Braves rank 24th in all of baseball in both Team ERA and WHIP. The Atlanta pitching staff has an ERA of 4.47 which is bad for a National League team that sends the pitchers to bat for themselves.

The Reds have lost two straight taking the win on Friday in their weekend interleague series at the Chicago White Sox. Cincinnati is a home run hitting team ranking 3rd in MLB with 39 hits on the year. This is the first home game after a very long ten game road trip that saw the team go 5-5.

Cash Draft Contest

Cincinnati Reds SS: Zach Cozart leads the everyday players on the team with a .324 batting average. He has hits in six of his past seven games with multiple hits in three of the games. On Sunday Cozard had three hits in four at bats with 2 RBI’s. The Reds shortstop had five homers and 15 RBIs.

Cincinnati Reds 1B: Joey Votto is a career .311 hitters. In 2015 he is on right around his career marks with a .315 batting average with seven homers and 20 RBIs. Votto is good at drawing walks and hehas already 19 which raises his on base percentage to .415. On Saturday Votto had a 3 for 4 day with two RBIs.

Cincinnati Reds 2B: Brandon Phillips is hitting nearly 40 points higher than his career mark as he has a .310 batting average on the campaign. He has just 2 extra base hits and has 15 RBIs. He has six multiple hit games over his past ten games.

Cincinnati Reds 3B: Todd Frazier is trying to pull up his batting average in recent games. He was as low as .215 back on May 3rd. Frazier has hits in five of his past six games he is now hitting .241 on the year.

Cincinnati Reds RF: Seven year veteran Jay Bruce is going through a major slump to start the season with a batting average of .167 in his 30 games played. He is just 1 of 15 over his past four games and 4 of 27 for the month of May.

Cincinnati Red P: Mike Leake is 2-1 in six starts on the year. He leads the starters with an ERA of 2.47 in his 43 2/3rd innings of work. Leake has allowed no earned runs over his past two games working 8 innings in each start at Pittsburgh and at Atlanta.

Atlanta Braves 1B: Freddie Freeman leads the everyday starts with a .328 batting average with five homers and 18 RBIs. Freeman has hits in seven straight with multiple hits in five of those games.

Atlanta Braves RF: Nick Markakis his near his career mark with a 2015 batting average of .296. He has no homers and 8 RBIS. He brings a six game hitting streak into Monday’s game.

Atlanta Braves 2B: Second year man Jace Peterson is batting .282 on the year with no homers and 9 RBIs. Only one extra base hit for Peterson on the campaign. He has raised his average from .237 on May 1st as he has hits in six of his past seven games with three of the games a multi-hit game.

Atlanta Braves P: Shelby Miller leads the Braves pitching staff with a 4-1 record and ERA of just .166. Miller isn’t allowing many baserunners this year as he has a WHIP of under 1 season to date.

MLB Real Monday Best Fantasy Picks

P: Shelby Miller (Braves)
2B: Brandon Phillips (Reds)
1B: Joey Votto (Reds)
SS: Zach Cozart (Reds)
RF: Nick Markakis (Braves)
C: Brayan Pena (Reds)

Posted in MLB