Allen Craig rockets way back into Fantasy spotlight with trade to Red Sox
Allen Craig is too proven a hitter to fade away -- and playing in Fenway could prove quite beneficial. Marty Gitlin provides Fantasy analysis for the John Lackey/Allen Craig/Joe Kelly trade.
Granted, Yoenis Cespedes is going to break a lot of windshields blasting homers over the Green Monstah. But the Red Sox did not get enough back from Oakland for Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes.
Those who had rightfully banished Craig to the bench as Mike Matheny did the same thing can dust him off and put him back in their lineups. It's hard to imagine that at 30 years old and coming off three consecutive .300 seasons that Craig is suddenly a has-been. He should play every day for Boston and half his games in a far more hitter-friendly park. The Monster was built for his line-drive swing and he still boasts enough power to reach the short porch in right. Fantasy owners must trust that Craig can again find the stroke that allowed him to hit the ball hard to all fields.
That's just the tip of the iceberg for the Red Sox and Fantasy owners. Kelly is a far more valuable piece in keeper leagues and could be worthy of playing down the stretch in 2014. Any young pitcher whose fastball has been clocked at 100 mph is worthy of attention. A change of scenery and a feeling of security knowing he's safe in the rotation - a luxury he never enjoyed in St. Louis - could prove beneficial to Kelly. The pressure to prove himself with every outing obviously wore on him lately - he gave up 16 runs on 26 hits in his last 19 2/3 innings pitched. But his fresh start in Boston should pique the interest of Fantasy owners and make him worthy of inclusion in lineups with the right matchup.
Lackey will be receiving better run support and working at home in a friendlier setting for pitchers in St. Louis. Fantasy owners are currently starting him at a 59 percent rate - that should rise markedly. But don't expect ace results. His 3.60 ERA and 137 hits in 137 innings pitched - numbers comparable to what he produced in 2013 - marks a resurgence in his career. Lackey is a decent Fantasy option - a third or fourth starter in deeper leagues - no more.
This trade is a boon for owners of Craig and Kelly moreso than for owners of Lackey for some of the same reasons it's advantage Red Sox.
Our Latest Stories
Third base is in line to be the deepest position of all entering 2017, which leads to some...
Sean Manaea is a two-start option you can't pass up, according to Scott White, who points out...
Some big names could get some days off in the season's final week, but plenty of teams still...
You can expect to see plenty of pitching changes the final week of the season, which is why...
Second base was stronger than ever in 2016, but being perceived as a deep position could actually...
Carlos Gomez is showing he still has something left, and Asdrubal Cabrera and Sean Rodriguez...