Ken Mahoney, Contributing Partner: Turning 2 Sports

Burning the Wire is officially back, and we’re launching into orbit with our first entry for the 2018 Fantasy Baseball season. You’ve had an opening series to see how your team performs, though with such a small sample size you don’t truly know what gaps to address and what gaps to allow time for sorting out.

It’s important early on to not only have a decently long leash for your underperforming studs, but to also have a quick trigger finger to grab the potential diamonds found out on the waiver wire. Finding the middle ground can be the most difficult part, but we here at Turning Two Sports aim to make that easier for you.

Let’s Burn the Wire for Fantasy Baseball Week 2.

 

First Baseman

Jose Martinez

The Spring Training Cinderella is seeing some early season success with the Cardinals lineup. He has started and batted 5th in each of his first four games, which suggests that he is locked into everyday playing time for the Cardinals at the expense possibly Jedd Gyorko, who was forced to leave the game early Monday afternoon (4/2/18) with a hamstring injury that may very well require a DL stint. The path for playing time is no longer a concern, and he’s trending towards must own territory for the foreseeable future.

Second Baseman

Josh Harrison

You know what Harrison has to offer at this point in his career. He has decent power potential, moderate speed on the base paths, and doesn’t strike out abnormally. The reason you should like Harrison in 2018 is because this Pirates lineup should end up being better than what most pre-season experts gave them credit for. They are hitting, and they are hitting well. Harrison has been in either the 1 or 2 hole in each game this season, which gives him an incredible opportunity to surpass the 66 runs he scored last year. Last year was arguably his floor (except for perhaps homeruns), making Harrison a great add for his triple position eligibility (2B, 3B, OF).

Third Baseman

Matt Davidson

Don’t add Davidson expecting him to knock 60 home runs over the fence, but this early in the season you want to ride any hot streak you can. You just never know. Davidson lifted off three times on Opening Day, which saw people running to their waiver wires. I do suggest adding him, but don’t expect the world. This is a guy who struck out 165 times in 443 plate appearances last year, while walking a mere 19 times. His plate discipline is atrocious, which you will reflected on an average flirting with .220. The power, however is legit. He’s an average add in points leagues, but he can be a difference maker in H2H and roto formats for his power.

Shortstop

Tim Anderson 

The one sought after prospect started 2018 on the right foot, slugging two homers in the opener against the Royals. Tim Anderson has long been perceived as a 20/20 threat, and this may be the year it all comes together. For most of 2017 Anderson just did not run, which really dampened his value for fantasy purposes. In September 2017 that all changed as he netted 9 stolen bases without being caught. He only had 15 all season. If he keeps the motors chugging and the bat powerful, look for a possible breakout.

Outfield

Mitch Haniger

Haniger was an April darling in 2017 where he slugged .342 with a 1.054 OPS and 4 homers. He then suffered a brutal oblique injury that hindered the remainder of his breakout season. For 2018, he’s picking up right where he left off to the tune of a 5/8 start with 2 home runs. He was severely under drafted by most, so give a glance over to ensure he’s not still sitting on your wire.

Starting Pitcher

Tyler Skaggs

Skaggs was a top rated prospect as little as 4 years ago, but inconsistency and injuries have really hindered his growth through the Angels farm system. He’s worth an add for post-hype sleeper potential alone. Against Oakland on Friday, he spun 6.1 innings, allowing 3 hits, walking 0 and striking out 5. Not a bad way to start the season, and he should most certainly have some more stats under his belt moving forward.

Relief Pitcher

Keynan Middleton

It’s no secret that the Angels need a closer. They’ve tried Blake Parker, who was trying his best to surrender the closing duties before the season even began. Bedrosian is the likely heir-apparent, but even he hasn’t been sharp. On Sunday, Parker was replaced by Middleton who closed out the game and earned the save. This could go a long way to not only earning him some trust, but extending his leash. He’s definitely one to watch in the LAA bullpen given the recent struggles of the frontrunners.

Hunter Strickland

Strickland is going to close for the Giants after Melancon was not only broken but ineffective for much of his San Francisco career. Strickland doesn’t have the K/9% like you normally want to see in a closer, but he’s largely good overall. He’s already closed out two games near flawlessly against the defending NL Champs and looks poised for 30+ saves in 2018.

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