MLB In Bloom - Does Risk Goes A Long Way in Fantasy Baseball? - 4/4/2014

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The first week of the Major League Baseball season has already seen several injuries to key players and fantasy owners are already having to make decisions. Whenever there is a decision to be made, the safe option is usually the right one. In fantasy baseball, smart picks will usually provide the best results. Accumulate the most value and conventional wisdom says your team is better than the rest in your league. But, that line of thinking assumes everything goes mostly according to plan. However, the most likely outcome is not always what happens. Players come out of nowhere to have the best season of the career and on the flip side, players that we all expect to have productive seasons end of falling flat. For example, last year many of the experts projected Albert Pujols to have a big year in Anaheim. Instead, Pujols had the worst season of his 13-year career as he played in fewer than 140 games. On the other hand, Chris Davis was always known as a talented first baseman, but in 2013 he lead the majors in home runs with 53. Fantasy owners need to know that researching players is pivotal to winning a league, but there is a lot of luck as well. Take some risks especially early in the season and you may just be the last one standing in October.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Jason Kipnis and the Cleveland Indians agreed to a six-year, $52.5 million contract extension on Thursday. The two sides had set Opening Day as a deadline for extension talks, but they were close enough to the finish line at the end of spring training that talks spilled over into the regular season. The deal also includes an option for a seventh year, while it locks up another one of the Indians' core pieces. Kipnis' contract is nearly identical to the extension signed by Cardinals infielder Matt Carpenter this winter.
  • Coco Crisp hit a walkoff home run on Thursday night to lead the A's to a 3-2 win over the Mariners. He finished 1-for-3 with three walks, two runs scored and his second steal of the season. Crisp had a career year in 2013, hitting 22 homers and stealing 21 bags. Another 20/20 season appears to be attainable for him.
  • Jonathan Broxton (forearm) will begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Pensacola Friday.The Reds haven't set an exact day for Broxton's activation from the disabled list, but they seem to be targeting next Monday. He's expected to serve as the club's closer until Aroldis Chapman returns from the disabled list next month.
  • Aroldis Chapman (head) visited a doctor Wednesday and says he feels great. Chapman has yet to start exercising, but his optimism is a promising sign for Reds fans. His surgery last Thursday went well, though, and he should expect to resume throwing within roughly a week.
  • Todd Frazier belted a solo homer and a three-run blast in Thursday's loss to the Cardinals. Frazier is trying to bounce back this season after a 2013 campaign that saw him bat just .234. With the power potential Frazier provides, he needs to be owned in NL-Only formats and deep mixed leagues. One has to expect the batting average to improve this year as well.
  • Chris Archer threw six strong innings to earn the win against the Blue Jays on Thursday. Archer allowed just two runs and four hits with seven strikeouts. Archer gave up two runs in the fourth inning, but was otherwise effective and efficient. He's one of the best young pitchers in baseball, and should post strong numbers this season.
  • Brandon Belt hit a solo homer in Thursday's 8-5 win against the Diamondbacks. Belt has already hit three home runs this year after hitting just 17 last year. His power has progressed each year in the majors though, so a breakout in 2014 is more than possible.