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PRESEASON POWER POLL

(First-place votes in parentheses - 16 points for a first-place vote to 1 point for a 16th-place vote)

1. Dodgers (3) - 147

2. Orioles (4) - 145

3. Red Sox (2) - 143

4. Royals - 116

5. Reds - 112

6. Pirates - 82

7. Cardinals - 80

8T. Braves - 77

8T. Phillies (1) - 77

10. Rangers - 76

11. Nationals - 74

12. Cubs - 68

13. Blue Jays - 60

14. Indians - 43

15. Tigers - 37

16. Rays - 23

 

TEAM-BY-TEAM RANKINGS AND RATER COMMENTS

1. Dodgers

League rank: 1st/8

Midwest Division rank: 1st/4

Most optimistic ranking: 1st

Most pessimistic ranking: 4th

* Can he once again take home the trophy?  Has the team to do it - now in prime time to build a dynasty.

* Defending  champs.  Down a little from last year but still strong led by Soto and Buehler

* Love the line up and the pitching. Gotta love those Dodgers.

* Good young talent, high end players but will have holes in the lineup and staff.

* Lineup outstanding. Definite playoff team. Is the pitching championship caliber?

* Not as strong as last year but will be fighting all season for the title.

* Surely not again?

 

2. Orioles

League rank: 2nd/8

West Division rank: 1st/4

Most optimistic ranking: 1st

Most pessimistic ranking: 6th

* Flashest team in FCBL - but will focus on Runs Created be overshadowed by lack of on base by entire team?

* Best pitching staff (on paper). Haseley will wind up being a steal from the 4t round. Will it translate into a championship ?

* Very little holes in the lineup. Rendon should be an MVP candidate. Will they win when it matters?

* Solid team with only a couple weaknesses in catcher and bullpen.  I am sure Cody will continue to make deals to address.

* The 213 trades and countless transactions since 2015 will pay off in first World Series appearance

* Another strong squad from Dudley.  Strong in many places especially rotation.

* Dark horse

 

3. Red Sox

League rank: 1st/8

Central Division rank: 1st/4

Most optimistic ranking: 1st

Most pessimistic ranking: 5th

* Sean will be the only team to win 100 games in the regular season and will claim a second title

* Remains best team with savvy moves; truly a coin toss between Red Sox & Reds for best

* Great pitching staff 1-4, solid number 5. Not as dominant on the hitting as years past but still very good.

* Old guard continues to put out quality team, but uncertainty lingers in the outfield and bullpen

* Perenial contender who will be working to fix the backend of the rotation and possibly catcher.  

* Good off-season. Comes up short of a division crown but wouldn't sleep on this team come playoff time

* Staying in it...

 

4. Royals

League rank: 3rd/8

West Division rank: 2nd/4

Most optimistic ranking: 3rd

Most pessimistic ranking: 10th

* Textbook 90+-win team - strong across the board. Bold prediction: Won't win division, but will win first round of playoffs

* A great draft moves KC up the ratings board.  Good in many areas, but not elite anywhere.

* Looking to unseat Cody!  Great pitching top to bottom but will need to address 3b, CF, and Catcher.

* Soroka and Berrios. Who is pitching after that ? Blue will find a way to win.

* Hitting is there, good bullpen, good at the top of the rotation. Defense may be an issue.

* Steady ...

* Premium picks on pitchers and Royals can stay relevant again

 

5. Reds

League rank: 2nd/8

Central Division rank: 2nd/4

Most optimistic ranking: 2nd

Most pessimistic ranking: 9th

* Could easily win the most games in the league this season - does changing ballparks hurt the pitching is the question?

* MVP candidate in Yelich. 1-3 in the rotation is nice. Not great up the middle.

* Again rock-solid across the board. Sharpie - 88-to-92 wins and a playoff spot

* In a great division (minus TB who will be better). 3rd in this division could be higher in others.

* Yelich leads a strong outfield.  Good pitching, but will there be enough offense

* Lots of offensive firepower to keep him in games but will need pitching to clinch it.

* Last hope?

 

6. Pirates

League rank: 3rd/8

East Division rank: 1st/4

Most optimistic ranking: 5th

Most pessimistic ranking: 15th

* Strong team that will win the division.

* Strong pitching & overall lineup - should stay on top of division

* I like the versatility of the lineup. Pitching staff better than you think.

* Nice rotation led by Aaron Nola.  Solid infield defense.  Could use a nother bat to lenghten the lineup.

* Brad has a solid team but will lose the division to Braves. Possible wild card team.

* Again above-average, but the division is better, and above-average will translate to the lottery this season

* Trending the wrong way

 

7. Cardinals

League rank: 4th/8

East Division rank: 2nd/4

Most optimistic ranking: 2nd

Most pessimistic ranking: 14th

* East champs

* Most real-life All-Stars on roster than any team in East Division, which should translate to a division crown

* Crazy big names atop the rotation— deGrom, Scherzer. Bats are nice too, I think the trades Cramer made will serve him well.

* Picking up Scherzer gives the Cards a second big gun behind DeGrom.  Good mix of offense and defense in the lineup.  

* Continues their rebuild with arguably the best possible piece (Acuna)

* Amazing outfield highlighted by Acuna and Meadows but needs some help at SS and back end of the rotation.  Will Mikolas rebound?

* Great pieces all over the field. I may have ranked him too low. Hope he proves me wrong.

 

8T. Braves

League rank: 5th/8

East Division rank: 3rd/4

Most optimistic ranking: 4th

Most pessimistic ranking: 14th

* Noland rebounds to win a very even division. Love the addition of Jimenez and Alonso.

* Most improved team in Draft; now serious contender for the division once again

* Definitely better than 76-win team from last season, which should translate to winning record

* Beneficiaries of a questionable trade by the Mets, Atlanta is no longer in rebuild mode. Starting rotation needs a bandaid though.

* Moving Torres will hurt this year, but Noland should reap the rewards over the next few years.  Good pieces in many spots.  Could Manny be the next one to get dealt for picks?

* Rebuild is almost done highlighted by draft days additions of Alonso and Jimenez.  With some pitching Noland will be contending soon.

* How the mighty have fallen

 

8T. Phillies

League rank: 6th/8

Central Division rank: 3rd/4

Most optimistic ranking: 1st

Most pessimistic ranking: 16th

* The best in this GM's opinion. Even with minimal draft picks, this GM remains convinced this could be our champion.

* Will take step back from 105-win team from 2019, but still a playoff-caliber roster

* Trying to put one more run together behind Josh Bell, David Dahl, Miley and MadBum.  This should be the year that Manager Adams executes a rebuilding plan

* In order to get a contender in Philly catcher, 2b, and pitching needs to be addressed.  Outfield is a strength with Dahl and Marte.

* Have a roster to contend any day, but should see up & down season.

* Lots of big name prospects on this roster who just haven’t lived up to potential.

* Ouch!

 

10. Rangers

League rank: 4th/8

Midwest Division rank: 2nd/4

Most optimistic ranking: 5th

Most pessimistic ranking: 13th

* Has Trout, anything is possible

* Trout always gives you a chance. I wanted to rank them higher, but just couldn’t.

* This is the team that could change the seasons narrative - as if the Rangers struggle, would they explore shipping the league's best player (Trout) and a top pitcher (Sale) knowing they will be without him next season.

* In strong position to build around Mike Trout, but looking at another .500-ish season this time

* Trout and Story lead the way…when will Tony make a deal for another elite player.

* Aging lineup highlighted by Story and Trout but will need to make some moves if the post season is their goal.

* Close, but not enough

 

11. Nationals

League rank: 5th/8

West Division rank: 3rd/4

Most optimistic ranking: 4th

Most pessimistic ranking: 12th

* The Nats are being managed by a reclusive genius. DA knows what he is doing and this may be an even better team then #8 (in this GM's opinion)

* Needs some help to get deep in playoffs but still has the team to contend

* Still good enough to ruin your road trip; not good enough to return to the playoffs

* Loaded with young talent! Pitching needs help though. Probably 2 years away from being in serious contention.

* Great Outfiled with Harper, Judge(when healthy), Kepler and Alvaraz.  Good pieces in McNeil and Bichette in the infield.  This team isn't far from contending for the division. Auman should trade picks for pieces to make it happen

* One of the best outfields in the league!  I am sure that Harper and Alavarez will be tormenting pitchers for years to come!

* Too many holes

 

12. Cubs

League rank: 6th/8

Midwest Division rank: 3rd/4

Most optimistic ranking: 4th

Most pessimistic ranking: 15th

* Moved the team to Wrigley along with many other moves in an attempt to capture a playoff run.  

* Movin' on up

* The Torres draft day trade was head scratching. The infield and bullpen are strengths.

* Clearly in full rebuild, but has some bright spots in this roster.

* Looking for a big season from Gleyber Torres, will be voted a playoff share from the Braves, and accelerates rebuild in first season in Windy City

* Strong squad got stronger by adding Torres.  Glasnow and Manae will be tough for opposing teams to deal with.  Elite Bullpen

* Lots of moves over the winter, could be starting something big, but not this season

 

13. Blue Jays

League rank: 7th/8

East Division rank: 4th/4

Most optimistic ranking: 6th

Most pessimistic ranking: 15th

* Trending upward

* Slow rebuild continues to show promise as Blue Jays likely stay in division contention again

* Good pieces in place, but not enough to knock of Pittsburgh for second in the division.  Lineup lacks star power; could Grienke be moved for a younger player at midseason.

* Has some good pieces to build on but still not enough to get to the top of this list.

* Working on the franchise with highlights of Greinke, Odorizzi, and Anderson.  Kyle is a good scout so I am sure some of his picks this year will blossom!

* Not quite sure the direction of the team. Some good young names, some over the hill guys. What’s their identity?

* On Year 15 of five-year plan

 

14. Indians

League rank: 7th/8

Midwest Division rank: 4th/4

Most optimistic ranking: 6th

Most pessimistic ranking: 16th

* This picker's pick for most improved team. Overall talent upgrade should translate to at least 20 additional wins

* This team will probably surprise and outperform their ranking.  Excellent starting pitching with decent pieces in the field.  Offense will be the problem.

* Smart draft moves position the team to stay relevant while rebuilding with youth movement

* Indians are still rebuilding but have one of the best rotations in our league.

* Better record than last year but still will finish last

* Treading water

* Giolito and Strasburg will carry them so some wins, but probably just a couple.

 

15. Tigers

League rank: 8th/8

West Division rank: 4th/4

Most optimistic ranking: 10th

Most pessimistic ranking: 15th

* Outside of Atlanta, came away with 2 of the 3 best prospects the draft had to offer.  Tigers time is coming - soon.

* Rotation still short a few pieces ... Another year with 60-some wins wouldn't be worst thing - will result in good draft pick to add to Tatis Jr./Vlad Jr. core

* Great talent, but unbalanced.  Large gaps in the outfield, 1b, 2b.

* Amazing draft day haul for the Tigers.  Who's getting traded to complete the rebuild?  Lots of talent and SS and 3B.  A healthy Stanton could speed the rebuild.

* Great draft however they need some pitching

* Where's the pitching?

* A ton of big name players who just haven’t yielded results.

 

16. Rays

League rank: 8th/8

Central Division rank: 4th/4

Most optimistic ranking: 11th

Most pessimistic ranking: 16th

* Possible shot at .500 but pitching staff is sketchy at best. Did they reach for Biggio?

* Good start to the rotation with Snell, Samardzja and Tanaka.  Donaldson leads the lineup with Castellanos and Marte supporitng.    Look for all to get moved for picks by mid year.

* A couple good young players, pitching isn’t awful, still not good.

* Lots of firepower in this lineup: Reyes, Castellanos, Marte, and Donaldson.  The Rays really need some arms to complement.

* Maybe some improvement?

* Won't be tanking for draft position since most of draft picks have been traded away

* No depth, no youth and best players should be hitting the market for a rebuild.


3/23/2020 12:00:00 AM

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