“This never happened. It will shock you how much it never happened.”
In honor of Mad Men beginning its seventh and final season, fantasy baseball managers should take Don Draper’s advice early in the MLB season. Don’t go overboard playing into early trends, or else your fallen ace will hurl seven shutout innings on the bench.
Take Hyun Jin Ryu, who has relished a head start due to his appearance in Australia. Following two dominant outings, he unraveled against the San Francisco Giants, relinquishing eight runs (six earned) through two innings.
Anyone who subsequently placed him on the sidelines helplessly watched him paint seven masterful innings of work against the Arizona Diamondbacks, during which he allowed three baserunners and zero runs with eight strikeouts.
Of course, that doesn’t mean gamers are best served by closing their laptops and ignoring the flow of incoming data. Jose Fernandez was expected to stumble upon his hurried MLB debut last season, but his early success foreshadowed a full season of dominance.
This year, teammate Nathan Eovaldi is looking to weave a similar breakout campaign after two sterling starts. In those cases, it makes sense to add now and ask questions later to avoid missing something special.
Knowing when to listen to stats and when to tell them to shut up is a fine line. (Also, if you find yourself talking to baseball numbers on a computer screen, go take a walk outside.) Some slow starts mean nothing, but others could spell doom.
Here's a look at some of baseball's hottest and coldest pitchers causing roster dilemmas in Week 3.
Note: All advanced statistics courtesy of FanGraphs.