Happy Monday! Hope you had a wild weekend of Fantasy Baseball drafts like I did with many more to come. We've recently helped out our H2H points and Roto players with either a live mock draft or live salary cap draft on the podcast. It was time to return the favor to those out there who compete in the H2H categories format. While it's my least favorite format to play, I will admit that it requires the most strategy. It's the only format where punting categories is accepted and even celebrated!
Outside of our H2H categories mock, we have a lot to catch you up on from the weekend. Not only was there a ton of news but we have more late-round starting pitchers emerging, which is awesome. We can never have enough pitching. Keep reading to find out who's catching our eye on the mound.
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H2H categories mock draft
- You can find these mock draft results here if you'd like to follow along.
- Chris Towers went with the famed "Marmol Strategy," something you can only pull off in a H2H categories league with a low weekly innings minimum. Basically you punt starting pitchers and try to win ERA, WHIP, and saves each week with mostly relievers.
- Chris spent his first eight picks on hitters: Mookie Betts, Adalberto Mondesi, Manny Machado, Tim Anderson, Ketel Marte, Keston Hiura, Lourdes Gurriel and Byron Buxton. Do you think he has enough speed?
- He wound up with Edwin Diaz, Raisel Iglesias, Jordan Hicks, German Marquez, Andrew Heaney, Tejay Antone, Framber Valdez, Alex Reyes, Dustin May, Emmanuel Clase, and Mitch Keller. With a 25-inning minimum, Chris needs about 3-4 starts from his starting pitchers and then whatever else his relievers provide. This strategy isn't for everybody but has been proven successful.
- Scott White also went a different route than we're used to seeing. Scott is usually aggressive on starting pitchers early but he went with Trevor Story and Christian Yelich with picks 12 and 13.
- Scott turned to pitching after that and would still use three of his first six draft picks on starting pitchers: Kenta Maeda, Brandon Woodruff, and Zach Plesac.
Late-round starting pitchers to know
- Robbie Ray dominated the Tigers Friday: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K with 16 whiffs on 73 pitches. He averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball in the start (that was 93.9 MPH last season). Ray had 200+ strikeouts in three his last four full seasons. His ADP is 300.
- James Paxton made his debut Sunday: 4.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K and apparently maxed out at 97 MPH. Paxton averaged 92.1 MPH on his fastball last season. If Paxton is healthy and comes anywhere close to the pitcher he used to be, he's a great value.
- Carlos Rodon pitched four shutout innings Sunday with five strikeouts. He's now up to nine shutout with 10 strikeouts and zero walks this spring. Rodon averaged 93.9 MPH on his fastball Sunday. Even when he was at his best in his career he sat 92-93 MPH.
- Marlins starting pitcher Trevor Rogers was awesome Sunday: 5 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K with 14 whiffs on 71 pitches. His fastball velocity was 94.6 MPH in this start. That was 93.6 MPH last season.
Latest news and notes
- Dave Roberts said he projects catcher Will Smith to start "somewhere around 90 games" this season. "I think with Will, with Austin, the combo, the sum, is very good and I'll take that sum against any combo in all of baseball, production-wise, offensively, defensively." I'll be dropping Smith one spot behind Gary Sanchez in my rankings.
- After all that hype last week, Bobby Witt Jr. has been reassigned to low-A ball. I'd be surprised if we saw him in the first few months of the season.
- The Rockies officially purchased the contract of C.J. Cron. That all but guarantees he'll be their starting first baseman.
- Stephen Strasburg, dealing with a calf injury, threw 74 pitches over five innings in a simulated game on Friday. He was only scheduled to throw 60 pitches. The increased workload is encouraging.
- Drew Pomeranz has left forearm tightness. Per Kevin Acee of The San Diego Union-Tribune, Emilio Pagan has a good chance to close games for the Padres this season and has been the name most often mentioned by people within the organization as a potential closer.
- AJ Cassavell of MLB.com writes that it is a "near certainty" Dinelson Lamet will not be on the Padres' Opening Day roster. Adrian Morejon is expected to be in the rotation.
- Reds pitcher Michael Lorenzen was diagnosed with a right shoulder strain after exiting Saturday's "B" game. That's now Sonny Gray, Lorenzen and Antone dealing with stuff.
- Former top prospect Brent Honeywell will start Monday for the Tampa Bay Rays. It's his first game action since September of 2017.
So which Fantasy baseball sleepers should you snatch in your draft? And which undervalued first baseman can help you win a championship? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy baseball rankings for every single position, all from the model that called Will Smith's huge breakout last season, and find out.