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May 21, 2018

MLB FIRST QUARTER REVIEW 2018

The MLB season is a quarter of the way through and now it is time to take a step back and evaluate who the top performers have been and who has been a disappointment thus far. The Orioles have been a train wreck this year, taking a 14-32 record into Monday's game. However, Manny Machado has been a major bright spot for Baltimore and fantasy baseball players this year. His 14 home runs and 40 RBI both lead the league. Machado made the move from third base to shortstop this year and it seems to have affected his offense. Manny has always had some pop in his bat but he is on pace for a career year in the big flies category, and already has four multi-home run games. Ender Inciarte has emerged as a real base-stealing threat this year snagging a league-leading 18 bases. His emergence in this category is a bit surprising as he only stole 22 bases in the entirety of the 2017 season, a respectable number but not one that jumps off the page. As far as pitchers go, Gerrit Cole is having his breakout year. Cole has always been a solid pitcher, but his numbers have taken off this year. Gerrit leads the league in strikeouts with 93 and holds a stellar 1.75 ERA with a 0.79 WHIP. His numbers are practically identical with Max Scherzer's, and when you can claim that you know you are doing something right. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Sonny Gray who has been a solid fantasy pitcher the last few years has absolutely imploded this year. Gray sports a 6.39 ERA and had not made it past the sixth inning until his last start. Gray has already had 3 starts with negative fantasy baseball points this season. 

We have seen the emergence of some prominent prospects this year. The biggest prospect to be called up was Ronald Acuna Jr., the highly touted Braves rookie. Acuna has had some success at the big league level with four bombs and 15 runs in 97 plate appearances. His .250 batting average will likely rise as he gets accustomed to Major League pitching as big things are expected from Acuna. Another top prospect who we have seen debut this year is Gleybar Torres, the middle infielder for the Yanks. Torres has hit an impressive .325 in his first 87 plate appearances with four home runs as he looks to be fitting in well at the Major League level. 

In some unfortunate news out of the MLB, Robinson Cano was suspended 80 games last week for testing positive for a banned substance. Cano has been a top second baseman in the fantasy realm this year, with 24 runs and 23 RBI. The suspension is a sad one for Mariners fans, and really all fans of baseball, as the eight-time All-Star has been a solid player over the last decade. Cano is also banned from all postseason play this season after the suspension.

The MLB season has been really fun for us so far at Draftboard and we are very excited as MLB rolls into June and our $1 to $20 MLB Fantasy contests roll on. 

Dan Quinn
CEO, Draftboard.com