An Eye on the Houston Astros Who Should be Starting Week 1 in Fantasy Baseball
Even though the regular season was supposed to start yesterday for the Houston Astros, fantasy baseball season cannot be delayed and started today with the other teams. Each week, we will take a look at who are the best fantasy options for Astros hitters and pitchers. In each post, after week one, we will check and see how the predictions made fared in the previous week and explained the reasoning behind their performance. Here is Week 1.
Although it may be risky to put a rookie facing his first big league action as the fantasy hitter of the week, Tyler White has the potential to fill the stat sheet even this early on in his career.
White has shown consistency throughout his minor league career. He has a career .311 batting average and a .911 OPS. White has also shown that he has some power in his bat. Last season between Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Fresno, White had 40 extra base hits including 25 doubles and 14 home runs. Through those extra base hits, he has been able to drive in a plethora of runners, driving in a total of 99 in 2015.
So what makes White a valuable fantasy commodity here early in this season? First of all, it will depend on his amount of playing time. Marwin Gonzalez and Luis Valbuena both have the potential to play first base decently, which could affect White’s playing time at first. Second of all, if he does get a chance to play, his production will depend on where AJ Hinch will put him in the starting lineup.
If White is placed in the sixth or seventh spot in the batting order, he will thrive behind the likes of Carlos Correa, Carlos Gomez, and Colby Rasmus, receiving plenty of opportunities with runners in scoring position to potentially boosting up his RBI total early in the season.
With White being a rookie, I could see a bit of a learning curve for the first week of the season. However, if he has a chance to show people what he can do against the Yankees and the Brewers this week, I believe that he will exceed expectations of fantasy owners.
This is a little more of an obvious pick. As the reigning American League Cy Young award winner, Dallas Keuchel looks to pick up where he left off last season. Keuchel, the 13th best starting pitcher and 41st overall player in fantasy baseball for ESPN, gives fantasy owners a reliable option in many categories in addition to two starts this week.
Last season, Keuchel led the AL in wins with 20 and had 216 strikeouts in his AL leading 232 innings pitched. He also led the AL with a 1.017 WHIP in 2015. So what does this mean for the beginning of 2016? He could set the tone very well with having to face the Yankees and the Brewers for his first two starts of the year.
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First of all, Keuchel loves to pitch against the Yankees and was straight up dominant against them in 2015. In his 22 innings pitched against the Yankees last season, including the AL Wild Card game, Keuchel gave up 0 earned runs and struck out 28 batters.
For his second start of the week against the Brewers which is scheduled to be on Sunday, April 9th. Keuchel looks to face a rebuilding team of former Astros such as Domingo Santana, Jonathan Villar, and Chris Carter that is projected to finish not only in last place in the National League Central but possibly in the entire NL.
Although both of his first starts are away from Minute Maid Park, Keuchel looks prime to start his 2016 season on the right foot.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***