It’s about time for the 2019 World Series to take off. Ray Flowers shares some thoughts on the Astros and the Nationals. He will also touch on some of the struggles of the Yankees before touching a bit on the performance of Miguel Cabrera and offering a glimpse into how he can still be a useful fantasy performer.
Since May 24th, the Nats are 82-40, the best record in baseball. They have won 6-straight in the playoffs.
Dan Hudson is 4-for-4 in save conversions.
The top-4 arms of the Nationals this post season: Anibal Sanchez 0.63 WHIP, Max Scherzer 0.85, Stephen Strasburg 0.86 and Patrick Corbin 1.58.
Adam Eaton needs to get going. He’s hitting .194 with a .615 OPS in 10 games.
Is Juan Soto hits cleanup, he will he the third youngest player ever to do it. The only who did it at a younger age: Miguel Cabrera in 2003 and Ty Cobb in 1907.
Ryan Zimmerman ends his 15-year run of futility. He finally will play in the World Series. Zimmerman has made some nice defensive plays and he has a passable .796 OPS this post season. Howie Kendrick waited 14 years, Asdrubal Cabrera 13, Gerardo Parra 11.
Since May 24th, the Astros are 81-41, the second-best record in baseball.
They have made the Series in 2-of-3 seasons.
Games 1-3 will be: Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke.
Only one pitcher on the post season roster, one, who has worked six innings this second season, has a WHIP over 1.13 (Zack Greinke at 1.43).
Yordan Alvarez has 19 strikeouts in 41 at-bats. He’s hitting .171 with a .227 OBP and .244 SLG. He looks like he might just be worn down. He will remain in the starting lineup for now.
The Astros are 16-0 in Gerrit Cole’s last 16 starts. Cole has 358 strikeouts at the moment.
Yuli Gurriel has eight RBI in 11 games. He’s also hitting .209 with a .541 OPS.
George Springer has to get going. He has 15 strikeouts in 46 at-bats with a .518 OPS.
THE WORLD SERIES MATCHUP
Here is a position-by-position breakdown.
The Yankees didn’t win a pennant in the 2010’s. That’s the first decade since the 1910’s that has happened.
Edwin Encarnacion may not have been fully healthy, but regardless, the end result was some shoddy work including two RBI and a .536 OPS in eight games.
DJ LeMahieu capped his epic season with continued demolishing of pitches on his way to a .325/.386/.625 effort with three homers, seven RBI and 10 runs scored. He was truly remarkable in 2019.
The world might finally be waking up to the fact that Gary Sanchez really isn’t a very good hitter. He can mash, you lay one in there and it’s going 425 feet, but he’s a poor overall performer. In 31 at-bats he struck out an incompressible 16 time as he hit .129 with a .476 OPS. Lots of folks call Clayton Kershaw a choke artist for his post season work. Has anyone noticed that in 27 post season games that Sanchez has a .176/.225/.382 slash line leading to a .608 OPS? Not a large sample size for sure, but over seven playoff series a .608 OPS is awful.
MIGUEL CABRERA AND HISTORY
Miguel Cabrera moved into the top-30 all-time in MLB history this past season in homers (477), RBI (1,694) and doubles (577). He’s won two MVP awards, a Triple Crown (2012), seven Silver Slugger awards, four batting titles and has made 11 All-Star Teams. You can make a legitimate argument that he is one of the 10 best right-handed hitters of all-time.
Is he still a star? One-hundred percent no.
Was he a fantasy disappointment this season? Yes.
At 36 years of age, is there any hope for a significant rebound? I would say no.
I still think there is value in Cabrera though, and here is why.
Over his last 174 games, the last two years, he has hit .285 with a .357 OBP. Those numbers don’t pop by any means, but consider that the league average the last two years is .252 and .323. Cabrera gives up a solid leg up in those two categories. Let’s compare him to other corner infield options that last two years.
Don’t take the above out of context.
I’m NOT saying Miggy is better than any of the men on the list.
I’m NOT saying Miggy has been as effective in the fantasy game the last two years as the players on that list.
I’m merely pointing out that his AVG/OBP stand up very well against some of the better corner infield options going. Given that fact, Cabrera isn’t going to be the worst late round flier type at the corner infield spot, even if he’s now an Eric Hosmer type hitter, albeit one who lacks the durability of Hosmer.
Ray Flowers can be heard Monday-Thursday 8-10 PM EDT, and Friday’s from 10-12 PM EST and Sunday’s at 9-11 pm EST on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87). Follow Ray’s work on Twitter (@baseballguys) and be sure to listen to his podcast work too.