Fantasy Baseball 2018: Fantasy All-Star Team

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 05: Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals pitches in the first inning during a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Nationals Park on June 5, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 05: Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals pitches in the first inning during a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Nationals Park on June 5, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
Fantasy Baseball All-Star Team 2018
Fantasy Baseball All-Star Team 2018 /

Voting is open for the 2018 All-Star game. With just over two months of the season in the books, here is the fantasy baseball all-star team.

The All-Star game is a once-a-year event that brings all the best talent of baseball onto the same field. We’ll see matchups that we’ve never thought we’d see. Like it’s a fantasy. Fantasy baseball is the only time when you can see superstar players on the same team. That is, until now.

This piece will put together the greatest fantasy baseball team for the 2018 season. It will feature the best players at each position based on the ESPN Fantasy Baseball Player Rater, which ranks players based on how well, or badly, they are performing relative to their contemporaries.

That means you may not see the top drafted players on this team. So early-drafted players like Paul Goldschmidt, Stephen Strasburg and Josh Donaldson will be far away from this all-star team. While some of those players may be performing over the last couple of weeks, they haven’t been as consistent as some of the other players in the same position.

You will likely see a couple of players that you fell to the final rounds or went completely undrafted. There’s always a player or two that breaks out and puts up a career season. Even if they were passed on by every owner in your league, that doesn’t take away from their performance this season.

In order to include as many players as possible, my roster will be as follows. There will be one player picked for each infield position, three outfielders, one DH, three starting pitchers and three relief pitchers.

There will be a lot of players left off this team, so let me you who your fantasy baseball all-stars are after two months into the season.

(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Picking the all-star team was easy for some positions and difficult for others. I had to leave perennial all-stars off the list because there are players performing just a bit better this season.

C: Yasmani Grandal (LAD)

1B: Freddie Freeman (ATL)

2B: Jose Ramirez (CLE)

3B: Manny Machado (BAL)

SS: Jean Segura (SEA)

Freeman was the easiest player to pick. According to the Player Rater, he has a 10.58 rating. The next closest first baseman is injured Brandon Belt at 5.85. Freeman is hitting .341 with 40 runs, 11 home runs, 44 RBIs and six steals.

I decided to go with Ramirez and second and Machado at third (he qualifies at both shortstop and third base in ESPN leagues). The rating difference between those two is smaller than the difference between Ramirez and the next second baseman Jose Altuve. Ramirez has a surprising 19 home runs and a .294 average.

The catcher position, like I’ve said all season, is void of depth. Grandal is the highest rated catcher at No. 94 overall. In one-catcher leagues, owners are likely adding and dropping them on a weekly basis. Grandal is outperforming Buster Posey but not by much, 3.67 to 3.02. It’s the difference in home runs that put Grandal over Posey.

Segura’s .342 average and 14 steals have him clearly as the best fantasy shortstop. Though, Machado’s power numbers don’t put him far behind.

(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

For fantasy purposes, there are only three names to pick from. There is no one else even close to matching the performance of these three outfielders.

OF: Mookie Betts (BOS)

OF: Mike Trout (LAA)

OF: JD Martinez (BOS)

Betts and Martinez were going back-and-forth for the home run lead before Betts got hurt. Betts is hitting .357 with 17 home runs and 37 RBIs. He is performing like the sixth overall pick and could be the first pick next season.

Martinez passed him with 21 homers and a .318 average. He was drafted in the third round in standard leagues. In the beginning, he looked a little lost at the plate but has easily turned it around to be the hitter we saw in Arizona last season.

Trout is Trout. That may seem like a cop-out answer but you know what you’re getting with him. He has 19 home runs, a .306 average, 13 steals, 39 RBIs and 52 runs scored. He is a five-category player and worth a top-two pick in drafts every season.

DH: Andrew Benintendi (BOS)

I hate to include a third Red Sox outfielder but after taking out the starters, Benintendi is the top hitter. He has a .294 average, 11 homers, 46 runs, 44 RBIs and 10 steals. Another great stat line. Benintendi 2017 season and seems to be improving on that this year.

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

This was the toughest position to pick from. Then again, if I’m basing this on their Player Rater score, then the decision was made for me.

The starting pitching position was the closest ranked. There are five players within 2.5 points of each other. There is a bit of a drop-off after that, but there is a clear top-five.

SP: Max Scherzer (WSH)

SP: Justin Verlander (HOU)

SP: Corey Kluber (CLE)

The other two left off the list are Luis Severino and Gerrit Cole. Scherzer is just dominating opposing batters with his 133 strikeouts, 1.95 ERA and 0.83 WHIP. He was drafted at the beginning of the second round and even that may be considered a steal.

Verlander isn’t allowing anyone to get on base. He has a 0.73 WHIP. He looked great in the second half with Houston, yet fell the to the 10th round in standard ESPN leagues. Verlander was drafted as a No. 2 or 3 starter and is performing like a top-10 overall pick.

Kluber may not have the number of strikeouts the other pitchers have, 95, he has a 1.96 ERA and 0.85 WHIP. He has four 10-strikeout games and All 13 of his starts are quality starts, tied with Verlander.

It’s possible to have drafted Verlander and one of the other two pitchers. If you did, you have to be winning your pitching matchups every week.

(Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images) /

When looking at the best relief pitchers, I was expecting to see many of the usual names. But there was one closer that is besting everyone else.

RP: Edwin Diaz (SEA)

RP: Sean Doolittle (WSH)

RP: Craig Kimbrel (BOS)

Diaz’s ERA may be a bit high for a closer, 2.73, but he has a 0.88 WHIP, 54 strikeouts and a league-high 22 saves. The Mariners traded for Alex Colome for bullpen support as they are in a win-now mode, despite losing Robinson Cano to suspension. He is Seattle’s top closer but may lose an opportunity or two to Colome.

Doolittle took over Washington’s closer role at the trade deadline last season. He has a 1.57 ERA, 0.59 WHIP, 40 strikeouts and 16 saves. He’s converted seven straight save opportunities. The Nationals are heating up and took over first place in their division. In order to do that, a great closer is necessary to lock down the ninth inning.

Kimbrel is drafted as a top-three closer every year. He has the second-most saves, 20, with a 2.00 ERA, 0.78 WHIP and 38 strikeouts. He’s converted nine saves in his last 10 appearances. He is the de facto closer for Boston and no one is taking that job away from him.

Wrapping Up the Fantasy Baseball 2018: All Fantasy All-Star Team

The All-Star game is still a month away so these names could change. But, after two-plus months of playing time, these are the best fantasy players, according to the ESPN Player Rater. There will be players who heat up and some that cool down. That’s what makes fantasy baseball a marathon and not a sprint.