This article is part of our Mound Musings series.
It seems like just a few days ago I was chatting about the events of Spring Training. I would have to say that 2018 gave us even more surprises than usual. Injuries opened so many doors that might have otherwise never materialized. Fantasy baseball in general, and the pitching aspects of the game specifically, is rapidly evolving, and becoming more and more of a challenge. "Openers" have had a huge impact – making quality starts far more difficult to accumulate and innings more unpredictable. If that trend catches on, fantasy scoring may need to adjust, but for now, it's quite enough to just determine which pitchers will benefit, and which will suffer, from the growing swing hard and hope you hit it approach at the plate.
That said, let's get to my list of the 2018 award winners:
Newcomer Award – Miles Mikolas: The Cardinals have some incredibly talented starting pitchers, but most of them spent much of this season on the disabled list or otherwise struggling. The exception to that has been Mikolas. Technically, I suppose, he's not really a "newcomer," as he had a cup of coffee in the major leagues before spending a few seasons in Japan, remaking himself into a very competent pitcher. Back now, he is fairly new to the fantasy world, and those who jumped on his train this spring have to be thrilled with his 16-4 record, complemented by rock solid peripherals. He has a strong arm, but pitches to contact relying