St. Louis Cardinals: The Top Five Cardinals Fantasy Players
The St. Louis Cardinals have shaken up their roster but the question a lot of fans are asking is, “Who are the best for fantasy baseball?”
As the St. Louis Cardinals near the end of Spring Training, fans and writers are beginning to lock-in the 25-man roster and predict the results of any position battles. Fortunately, for any fantasy baseball fans, the guys who will be the best picks off the Cardinals are not a part of any position battles. The following five players should have no issues finding at-bats or chances and the only reasons they shouldn’t be producing at high-levels would be an injury.
1. Matt Carpenter
Matt Carpenter should be eligible at 1st base, 3rd base, and 2nd base which is extremely valuable in any fantasy league. He’s also been accountable for 49 home runs over the past two seasons and should be on everyone’s radar. Because of the depth in the league at 1st base, he likely isn’t a top 5 player there but if you are considering using him at 3rd or 2nd, he should be.
Carpenter’s biggest draw this year compared to seasons past is the fact that he will now be batting 3rd in the St. Louis Cardinals lineup. This will provide him with more chances for RBI considering the two guys ahead of him are great at getting on base. Look for him to have a big year, however, he is dealing with a back/oblique injury this spring.
2. Stephen Piscotty
Stephen Piscotty is a big of an interesting case this year. He hit 22 home runs last year and performed extremely well in the first half of the season. However, in the second half Piscotty only batted for an average of .247 and posted a 24% strikeout rate.
Based on average draft positions, Piscotty is easily a top 30 outfielder and will be expected to be in the lineup every day. He’s also expected to be the clean-up hitter so production should come easily, similarly to Matt Carpenter. If Piscotty worked out the fatigue issues and whatever else effected his second half, he could have a monster year.
3. Aledmys Diaz
Aledmys Diaz was certainly one of those “came-out-of-nowhere” stories in 2016. Jhonny Peralta‘s early spring injury along with an injury to Rueben Tejada forced the Cardinals’ hand but it paid off. Diaz hit 17 homers and recorded 71 runs while hitting .300. He also was limited to 111 games but is now the every day shortstop for the Redbirds.
Diaz will be batting 2nd in the lineup after seeing the 7th and 8th spots for a good portion of the 2016 season. His production could surely increase but there is a risk with Diaz. If you are one of those believer’s in “beginner’s luck” or the “sophomore slump” then Diaz may not be the guy for you. But after an incredible rookie campaign that was affected by an unlucky injury, he’s hard to pass up.
4. Dexter Fowler
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The new center fielder for the St. Louis Cardinals makes this list as well. His best bet on a fantasy team is more of a bench outfielder slot but could be used as a starter in deeper leagues. A lot of his production rests on whether or not you think he can reach the projected 15 home runs and the 15 stolen bases.
Last season with the Chicago Cubs he managed to hit 13 home runs and steal 13 bases but the Cardinals seem adamant on cleaning up their base-running after being one of the worst in the league. With their projected offensive scheme, they’ll definitely want Fowler to run more which could end up to be very valuable for your team.
5. Seung-hwan Oh
Seung-hwan Oh is coming off a great rookie campaign for the St. Louis Cardinals. He originally started out as a set-up man but when Trevor Rosenthal failed to find his groove, he stepped in to the closer role and completely dominated.
In 2016, he had a K/9 rate over 11.00 and had 19 saves out of 23 opportunities. Now, he is the closer at the start of the season and should see about double the save opportunities. He should be about the 5th reliever off of the draft board and could be due for an incredible season considering he’s a free agent at the end of this year and will look for a high paying contract.
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And there we have it. The top 5 players on the St. Louis Cardinals for fantasy baseball. There are quite a few other guys to keep an eye on in your draft but these 5 are ones to prioritize given their position and value. However, if you’re a Cardinals fan, there’s no Cardinals player that’s a bad pick. Good luck in your leagues!