With the start of the 2014 baseball season also comes the start of the fantasy baseball season.
You’ve had your drafts, done some last-minute tinkering and now — for the most part — your lineups are ready to roll for the first week. This weekly fantasy baseball column will take a close look at the Yankees you should be using, or avoiding, on your team. We’ll take a look at who’s hot, who’s not, injuries, pitcher and batter matchups and much more.
The Yankees’ left fielder had arguably the best spring of all the starters. He went 15-for-49 (.306) with a .386 OBP, five RBI, seven runs scored and four stolen bases. If you get this kind of production from him all season, he’ll be an enormous value.
Coming off the worst year of his career, Sabathia fell far in fantasy drafts and owners were able to add him on the cheap. But he made adjustments this spring and finished with a 1.29 ERA, 0.76 WHIP and 16 strikeouts in 21 innings. His decrease in velocity is going to be a focus all season, but if he has learned how to adjust and can pitch like he did this spring, he could revert back to being the Yankees’ ace. He starts off with the Astros on Opening Day Tuesday.
Each of the Yankees’ five starters had impressive spring campaigns, but of the five, Kuroda had the worst. He finished with a 4.76 ERA, 1.41 WHIP and .326 BAA in 11.1 innings. The veteran was the most consistent Yankee starter last season, and he’ll draw a very beatable Astros lineup in his first start this week, so stick with him.
After playing in just 15 games last season and undergoing wrist surgery, Tex was available on the cheap in fantasy drafts this year and worth a speculative add to see if he could bounce back to his former 40-homer self. Unfortunately, he had a miserable spring (3-for-35, one extra-base hit) and has admitted he is’t trusting his wrist yet. Unless he’s locked into a starting spot in your lineup, owners may be best waiting him out on the bench until he gets more comfortable.
On the rise
A smaller signing amidst a crazy off-season, Johnson proved to be a vital addition after Robinson Cano left in free agency and Alex Rodriguez was suspended for the season. He’ll start at third base and is an intriguing fantasy option at a very shallow position. He’s owned in just over 50 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues, and while he may only have eligibility at second base now, he’ll gain it at third base shortly after the first week. If he’s available in your league and you need help at the hot corner, take a chance on him.
April 1 — RHP Scott Feldman
April 2 — RHP Jarred Cosart
April 3 — LHP Brett Oberholtzer
April 4 — RHP Dustin McGowan
April 5 — TBD
April 6 — TBD
If you have questions regarding different Yankees’ players in your fantasy league, be sure to send them in on the comments section of the article, and I will answer them the following week!