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20 Bold Fantasy Baseball Predictions

Mar 31, 2016

It’s been a long wait, but the MLB season is just about ready to start. We’ve had a spring filled with injuries, disappointments, highs, lows and just about everything you expect from this time of year.

We’ve also had articles to cover just about every fantasy topic you’d like to read before a draft. At this point, there’s one big (and bold) thing left to talk about. You’ve guessed it, our featured pros have made their bold predictions for the season. Just remember that bold does not mean wrong and you never know what could happen.

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Please give us one bold prediction for the upcoming baseball season.

“A change of scenery rekindles the 2012 magic for Starlin Castro, as he posts a career-best line with 75 R, 20 HR, 85 RBI, 18 SB, and a .290+ AVG en route to a top-10 fantasy finish among middle infielders.”
Greg Smith (The Fake Baseball)

Trevor Story will win rookie of the year while hitting 20 HRs for the Colorado Rockies. Jose Reyes will be traded before his suspension is over due to Story’s emergence.”
KJ (Fantasy Team Advice)

Tim Anderson will take over as the White Sox’ starting shortstop by June and will steal more than 25 bases. Jimmy Rollins will not hold the job for long at all.”
Scott Engel (RotoExperts)

“In 2016, Bryce Harper will become the second youngest player in MLB history to hit 50 home runs in a single season. He will be behind only Prince Fielder in the record books by roughly 5 months. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he wasn’t the only player in the 50 HR club this season as Giancarlo Stanton and Chris Davis should both challenge that high water mark as well as long as they remain healthy all season.”
Justin Klein (The Fake Baseball)

“Baltimore Orioles 2B Jonathan Schoop leads all second basemen in home runs.”
Dr. Roto (ScoutFantasy)

Anthony Rendon will rebound to post top-30 overall Roto stats. The Nationals as a team are set to bounce back after a disappointing 2015. With Jayson Werth looking to be past his prime, it is only a matter of time before Rendon is in the 2 hole hitting in front of all-world Bryce Harper. While not wanting to open first base up to allow teams to give a free pass to Harper may limit his steals a bit, I think Dusty Baker has proven to be a green light guy over the years. (.318, 21 HR 85 RBI 92 Runs and 14 Steals)”
Dennis Esser (Coach Esser)

Chris Archer of the Tampa Bay Rays may not be the first person who comes to mind for this year’s AL Cy Young award. Take a closer look though and it isn’t a stretch to see him winning it. For the first three months of last season, Archer was as good as anyone in the league. In 17 starts, he had nine wins and a 2.31 ERA. Hitters managed a mere .199/250/.293 slash line against him. And his strikeout-to-walk ratio was 133 to 25. What cost him was a trio of horrible starts in which he gave up a total of 25 earned runs. Despite that, his 3.23 season ERA was among the 10 best among AL starters, and it could have been even better — as his 2.90 FIP suggests. He was second in the league in strikeouts last year and when opponents do put the ball in play, he has an excellent defense led by Gold Glove center fielder Kevin Kiermaier behind him. A bit better luck should net him a few more wins and a modest gain in strikeouts (say, to 275) will be enough to earn him Cy Young honors.”
Steve Gardner (USA Today)

“Cleveland will have the best starting rotation in 2016. In 2015, the trio of Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, and Danny Salazar led the league with 656 strikeouts. During spring training, each pitcher continued to punch-out the competition: Kluber (24.2 IP, 26 Ks), Carrasco (18 IP, 17 Ks), and Salazar (21.1 IP, 21 Ks). Josh Tomlin also joined the party this spring (17.1 IP, 19 K).”
Adam Meyer (Fox Sports)

Yoenis Cespedes, who hit 17 homers in 57 games with the New York Mets, does not finish 2016 as their most valuable fantasy outfielder. He notched a career-low 4.9 walk percentage last season, and his free-swinging ways have led to uneven results throughout his career. Meanwhile, Curtis Granderson made significant improvements (posting career-best contact, line-drive and swinging-strike percentages) to support his respectable .259 average, and Michael Conforto looms large as a breakout candidate despite likely losing at-bats against lefties to defensive whiz Juan Lagares.”
Andrew Gould (Bleacher Report)

“People are still viewing Juan Nicasio as a Spring Training fluke, but what if he’s not. I say Nicasio wins 15 games and strikes out 190 batters. Pie in the sky? Maybe, but I’d still rather own him than the Rick Porcellos and Chris Tillmans that are getting drafted in the same neighborhood as Nicasio.”
Doug Anderson (FNTSY Sports Network)

“This might not be bold enough for you, but I’ve convinced myself that Carlos Rodon will be a top-20 fantasy starter in 2016. His stuff is pure evil, and he significantly lowered his walk-rate in the second half last season. Rodon will give us something close to a K per inning, and his ratios should be much improved. ”
Andy Behrens (Yahoo! Sports)

“Orioles will lead the league in home runs and break the 1997 Mariners record of 264, thanks to Chris Davis, Manny Machado, Adam Jones and the additions of Mark Trumbo and Pedro Alvarez along with the return of Matt Wieters and a full year of Jonathan Schoop. Not only that, they will set the team record for strikeouts, currently held by the Astros. This makes all the O’s very volatile players in fantasy as they will strikeout a ton, but help you in the power department plenty.”
Joe Bond (Fantasy Six Pack)

Orlando Arcia will out-earn Trevor Story and Corey Seager to be the most valuable rookie shortstop in 2016.”
Rudy Gamble (Razzball)

A.J. Pollock becomes one of the worst 2nd/3rd round draft picks in fantasy baseball history, finishing 2016 with 11 HR and 18 SB. Pollock will remind us why he only hit 17 HR total in his first 3 MLB seasons as last season was nothing more than a Josh Reddick bang. Pollock might have stolen 39 bases last season, but his speed is way closer to someone who can maybe steal 20 if he plays a full season. Just watch once that batting average dips below .270. Pollock is currently being drafted multiple rounds ahead of Nelson Cruz and his automatic 40 HR.”
Muntradamus (Beast Dome)

Giancarlo Stanton stays healthy for a full year, much like Bryce Harper did last season, and the big fella hits 55 home runs – the most HR hit since Ryan Howard smashed 58 in 2006. With the fences moved in at Marlins Park, he’ll get a small boost there, but playing in 150-plus games will give him the at-bats needed. His previous high is just 37 HR, amazingly. ”
David Gonos (DavidGonos.com)

Jose Fernandez will be the top pitcher in the game at the All-Star Break. He’ll be on an innings limit, so he won’t finish the season on top, but watch Fernandez keep pace with his colleagues for the first half of the season.”
Tim Young (Brewer Rat)

“In 2015, there was a total of 2,505 stolen bases, the lowest cumulative stolen base total in a non-strike-shortened season since 1974; only nine players stole 30 or more bases last season. With all the young talent entering the league recently, I’m going to predict that stolen bases will bounce back in a big way in 2016. At least 20 players will steal 30 or more bases this season, and at least 40 players will steal 20 or more bases this season.”
Tim McCullough (RotoExperts)

“I predict that a player largely going undrafted in fantasy leagues is going to win the home-run title in the American League. Pedro Alvarez has always had the ability to hit the ball far, and that shouldn’t change in the friendly confines of Camden Yards. Focusing on his hitting as the team’s primary DH, Alvarez will reach 40 HRs this season.”
R.J. White (CBS Sports)

Trevor Story flirts with a 20-20 season and a top-five finish at shortstop. While talent plays anywhere, Coors Field is an obvious boost for the rookie, and following a 20-bomb, 22-swipe season across the two highest minor league levels in 2015, Story’s counting stats will transition smoothly to the bigs. Shortstop is incredibly shallow, and there were only three 20-20 contributors in 2015, so his cushy home launching pad should propel him well inside the top-100 players for 2017 drafts. Approximately 75 runs, 20 home runs, 75 RBI, 20 stolen bases and a .250 average are within reach and would land Story close to top-five territory at the 6.”
Neil Parker (Fantasy Sports LR)

Gio Gonzalez is due for a huge year. He had a low line drive rate, a low fly ball rate, and a very high ground ball rate last season. But still had a league high BABIP. This indicates progression, making Gonzalez a prime candidate for a great year.”
Josh Collachi (eDraft)

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Thank you to the experts who provided their bold predictions. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter and leave your thoughts below.

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