Houston Astros 2016 Fantasy Preview
Houston made a playoff push last year, and they even parted with top prospect Mark Appel to bring in Ken Giles. Though he is not formally the closer right now, chances are he will be at some point this year.
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That’s great, you say, but how will that affect my fantasy team? We have you covered. Whether you play in standard leagues, deep leagues, multi-position leagues, dynasty leagues, or anything in between, we will give you the rundown on the players who will be starting at each position. We will also give you a hint of where they should be drafted.
Just in case you missed any:
Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Diego Padres
San Francisco Giants
St Louis Cardinals
New York Mets
Houston Astros 2016 Projected Starting Lineup:
C: Jason Castro (.211, 11HR, 31RBI in 337 AB)
1B: Tyler White (.325, 14HR, 99RBI at AA/AAA)
2B: Jose Altuve (.313, 15HR, 66RBI, 38SB)
SS: Carlos Correa (.279, 22HR, 68RBI, 14SB in 387 AB)
3B: Luis Valbuena (.224, 25HR, 56RBI)
LF: Colby Rasmus (.238, 25HR, 61RBI)
CF: Carlos Gomez (.255, 12HR, 56RBI, 17SB with MIL/HOU)
RF: George Springer (.276, 16HR, 41RBI, 16SB in 388 AB)
DH: Evan Gattis (.246, 27HR, 88RBI)
Castro’s hit .276 in 2013, but has never been near that before or since. He is a deep league option, but that’s about it. He likely wont hit for a good average again, and the double digit home runs likely aren’t worth it.
Tyler White doesn’t have great power, but he is a good hitter and will drive in runs. He has a good approach at the plate and is worth taking a chance on in deeper leagues. He should help your average if nothing else.
Altuve is the best second baseman out there, and while I have my doubts that he can hit 15 homers again, he is a sure bet to lead the league in hits again. He also has a good chance to score 100 runs this year with more firepower behind him. I see him going in the first round, but I would be much more comfortable taking him in the second.
Correa dazzled in his debut with 22 homers and 14 steals in just 387 at bats. Over a full season, he is a strong threat for 30/20. He should be a first round pick in dynasty formats, and a strong candidate in standard leagues. I’ve seen him go mostly in the second, and I would honestly take him over Altuve.
Valbuena mashed 25 homers last year, and could hit 30 if given enough at bats. The problem is his average will hurt you. If you’re desperate for power, you can try it late in standard drafts, but he is probably best left for deeper leagues.
Rasmus has always had power. It’s the low average that chases people off. He is best left for deeper leagues, but that kind of power can be necessary to win a deep league. You can find other ways to help your average.
Gomez’s low average has soured prospective owners, but you have to understand just how tough constant trade rumors can be. Gomez likely wont have another 30/30 season, but 20/20 with a .270 average is likely. I am comfortable taking Gomez in the eighth round. He is usually still available.
Springer’s rookie season was hampered a bit by injury, but he still had 16 homers and 16 steals in a little over half a season. 30/30 is a real possibility, but you never really know where the average is going to be. That is causing Springer to sneak into the late third round of slip to the late sixth.
Gattis will miss the first week or so of the season, but he is still a threat to hit 30 homers. The problem is that he is no longer eligible anywhere besides UTIL. For those of you in leagues with only one UTIL slot, that can cause a lineup jam that no one likes. This is causing him to fall in drafts the same way that David Ortiz does.
Next: How Will The Rotation Shape Up?
Houston Astros 2016 Projected Pitching Rotation:
Dallas Keuchel (20-8, 2.48 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 216K)
Collin McHugh (19-7, 3.89 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 171K)
Doug Fister (5-7, 4.19 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 63K in 103 IP with WAS)
Scott Feldman (5-5, 3.90 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 61K in 108.1 IP)
Mike Fiers (7-10, 3.69 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 180K with MIL/HOU)
Luke Gregerson (7-3, 3.10 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 59K in 61 IP, 31/36 saves)
Keuchel was one of the few to win 20 games last year. His numbers are real, and he is a legit fantasy ace. You aren’t missing a lot if you pass on Max Scherzer or Clayton Kershaw and take Keuchel in the third round.
The numbers suggest that McHugh had a lot of luck last year. He could just as easily have had 12 wins as 19. Say you split the difference and wind up at 15. He still hurts your ERA and WHIP a little too much to be a standard league staple, though he is a fine spot starter.
Fister struggled in Washington last year. The move to Houston should do him some good. Enough so that I would take a chance on him late in my standard league draft.
Feldman is also a solid spot starter in standard leagues. His ERA and WHIP make him too much of a risk to start every time out.
Fiers has great strikeout potential, and put up really good numbers last year? Can he duplicate it? There aren’t a lot of believers, so you can snag Fiers in the late middle rounds of standard leagues. He could be a great bargain there!
Right now, Gregerson is the closer, but considering what they gave up for Giles, he will likely be the closer sooner than later. Giles is being taken as a second tier closer. Gregerson’s short shelf life makes him a big risk. Snag him late in drafts.
Next: What Prospects Are Worth Watching?
We will take a look at a few prospects that could crack the majors for the Astros this year, and in what type of leagues you should be looking for them in. The Astros got most of their prospects up. Do they have any left? Let’s get started!
A.J. Reed, 1B: A lot of fantasy players are surprised that Reed didn’t win the job over Tyler White this spring. He still could soon. reed has awesome power (34 minor league home runs last year) and he also hit .340. Hang on to him in leagues of 12 or more. He could have a great impact when called up.
Colin Moran, 3B: Moran’s defense is likely going to keep him in the minors a little longer. Luis Valbuena isn’t much of an obstacle, so if Moran starts off hot in the minors, he could be up soon. If he does get the call, he is worth adding in deeper leagues. He certainly can hit.
Joe Musgrove, RHP: Musgrove dominated the minors last year, going 12-1 with a 1.88 ERA in three stops. He likely will never put up huge strikeout numbers, but he could reach the rotation soon, and would be worth a look in deeper leagues.
Michael Feliz, RHP: Feliz struggled in the minors last year, and may be moved to the bullpen if he continues to struggle. He does have some potential, but with shakiness of the back of the rotation, if Feliz starts strong, he could wind up in Houston when the weather starts heating up. He would be worth a look in deep leagues then.
Stay tuned for the rundown of every MLB team before Opening Day, our daily FanDuel picks, and the round by round picks for the NCAA Tournament!