Articles by James Seltzer

A listing of all the articles written by James Seltzer for the RotoWire Blog.

How the Season Will Play Out

Last week I offered up 5 Bold Predictions for the 2015 season. This week I will give you my view on how I see the entire season playing out, division by division. So without further adieu:

AL East

1. Boston Red Sox – Mookie Betts is a stud all season and the Red Sox trade for either Hamels or Cueto at the deadline helping to propel them to the division title.

Five Bold Predictions

Let me start with a quick disclaimer. These picks are meant to be bold, which means they’re not definitely going to happen, or even likely to happen, but there’s an outside (not just-a-bit-outside, but way-outside) shot that they could come true. These players are chock-full of breakout upside potential, and these possibilities are why I want them on all my fantasy teams. Thus, with the famous words of Lloyd Christmas in mind, let’s get to it.

  1. Corey Dickerson will be a top-five outfielder this season

Dickerson finished as the No. 13 outfielder in 2014 by Yahoo’s rankings. He accomplished that with 103 fewer at-bats than anyone above him on the list, and in some cases more than 200 fewer. But this year, he’s expected to see full-time at-bats. Add in 81 games at Coors Field (where all he did was hit .363/.415/.684 in 2014) and even a slight improvement against left-handed pitching, and Dickerson should easily be a top-10 outfielder in 2015. From there, it’s not that big a jump to sneak into the top five – remember, Michael Brantley ended up as Yahoo’s No. 2 outfielder in 2014.

Reassessing Cobb’s Value

It seems like every time I sit down to write a blog, I’m writing about another pitcher being injured. Alas, such is the case again today. Alex Cobb has been diagnosed with tendinitis in his right forearm and will miss the beginning of the regular season. While there’s no specific timetable for Cobb’s return, it appears that he’ll miss at least the first couple weeks of the season.

This is a bummer. Cobb was one of “my guys” this season, as I expected a big breakout from the Rays’ supposed Opening Day starter. Cobb has been outstanding the last two seasons, albeit in only 166.1 and 143.1 innings, respectively, and it seemed like he was ready to take the next step and become a fantasy ace in 2015.

Down Goes Wheeler

Zach Wheeler became the latest pitcher to be diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament (leading one to believe torn UCLs are as contagious as the measles), which – pending a second opinion – will lead to Tommy John surgery for the promising young right-hander. This is certainly a blow to the Mets’ prospects for 2015, as the “other” New York team has had the look of a playoff contender for the first time in years. But the bright side is that they do have plenty of depth in the rotation.

From a fantasy perspective, obviously avoid Wheeler in yearly leagues, as he will not pitch in 2015. Wheeler still has value in keeper/dynasty formats (depending on your league’s rules), since coming back from Tommy John surgery has become commonplace in today’s MLB – as his teammate Matt Harvey can attest.

Valuing Phillies on the Trade Block

Cliff Lee has a torn flexor tendon in his pitching elbow, just another disastrous piece of news for a Phillies team that’s seemingly being run by a third grader who’s more of a “football guy” than a baseball guy. Ruben Amaro’s wretched stench has been emanating from South Philadelphia for far too long, and is still somehow impacting the losingest franchise in sports history. Amaro’s failure to move Lee at any point over the last two years has come back to bite the team, just like many of the overmatched general manager’s decisions.

However, this injury could be a blessing in disguise for owners of players like Cole Hamels, Jonathan Papelbon, and the few other legitimate pieces that make up a small portion of the Phillies’ hideous roster. Instead of languishing away on a team that will fight to avoid losing 100 games, the Lee injury may force their child-like GM to finally lower his (reportedly exorbitant) asking price and trade Hamels, Paps, and others to legitimate contenders. Then we could actually get the stud-level production we expect from those guys.