Overvalued and undervalued MLB fantasy plays
Baseball is increasingly becoming focused on what's known as the "three true outcomes": home runs, walks and strikeouts. These plays in the sport take the defense out of the equation and have increased around baseball.
While a record 6,105 home runs were hit last season, stolen bases declined last season.
Your competitors will be looking for power bats in fantasy drafts, leading to one of several scenarios where players can be overvalued or undervalued when it comes time to make selections.
Marcell Ozuna OF, Cardinals: The 27-year-old outfielder had his best year in 2017, hitting .312 with 37 HRs and 124 RBIs. However, his BABIP of .355 would indicate he's more likely to drop back to his previous career high below .270 than to maintain anything close to .300 this year. Ozuna was also traded along with everyone else from Miami (where he had Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton ahead of him in the order and actually enjoyed the tutelage of Barry Bonds) to a Cardinals lineup that features less protection around him. He's a prime candidate for regression and he's being drafted as the 11th best outfielder. You're better off taking Justin Upton hitting behind Mike Trout in a revamped Angels lineup (49.1 average draft position or Christian Yelich, who also moves from Miami but to a hitter's park with contending Brewers (49.3 ADP). Even Khris Davis has averaged 42.5 home runs and 106 RBIs over the past two seasons (68.07 ADP).
Travis Shaw 3B, Brewers: The Brewer on the hot corner is hot this spring but that's the least important reason to target him this year. Shaw hit 31 HRs with 101 RBIs last year and stands to benefit from the winter spending spree that brought Lorenzo Cain and Yelich to hit ahead of him in the lineup. This likely means more chances for run production, and when you combine that with a walk rate that went up from 7 percent to 10 percent and a strikeout percentage going down 3 percentage points you should go all in. Shaw is a great bet to outperform his 91.3 ADP, which is ninth at the position. He can be a top 6 third baseman, will move up with the recent injury to Dodgers 3B Justin Turner, and may threaten the top 5 of Nolan Arenado (4.7 ADP), Kris Bryant (15.2 ADP), Manny Machado (17.6 ADP), Jose Ramirez (19.9 ADP) and Josh Donaldson (30.5 ADP) in his age 28 season.
You wouldn't normally think this way, but you can get cheap power at shortstop this year, too. Two fine targets are Colorado SS Trevor Story (115.9 ADP) and Didi Gregorius (117.1 ADP) from the Yankees. Story still plays half his games at Coors Field and put up 24 HRs with 82 RBIs last year after his breakout rookie season. Gregorius has a swing made for Yankee Stadium and hit 25 HRs last year, predominantly as the cleanup hitter. The Yanks have more options this year in the cleanup spot but that also means more fantasy production for Gregorius.