By Derek of The Sportmeisters
So the first big trade of the year has happened and it’s one that everyone saw coming, but also one that nobody saw coming. Well, let me rephrase that: It’s the team that nobody saw coming. At least I didn’t see it coming. I didn’t think that the Cardinals would make such a move, but it was a great move for them.
However, that’s not what I am here to talk about. What I am going to discuss today is the impact that this move will have on your, or rather, I should say our fantasy teams as I own Holliday on three teams (2 ESPN and 1 Yahoo). Here are the fantasy implications for the players directly affected by this move.
OF – Matt Holliday
So far so good as he played his first game after being traded and went 4-for-5 with an RBI and a stolen base hitting between Albert Pujols and Ryan Ludwick. We can expect to see more of this as he will probably hit in the cleanup spot most of the time and will definitely be in the heart of the order when he is in the lineup.
However, his fantasy value remains about where it has been all year. He was having a good season with Oakland, hitting .286 with 11 home runs, 54 RBI, and 12 stolen bases.
Not what was expected of him, but still a Top 15 Outfielder. He has heated up since the All-Star break, hitting three home runs and driving in 11 runs. Now, with Pujols in front of him and Ludwick behind him, he should stay on pace for 20 home runs, 100 runs scored, 100 RBI, and 20 stolen bases.
Either way, he was always a must start fantasy player and he definitely remains that in St. Louis.
1B – Albert Pujols
Pujols was already having a MVP type season and the addition of Holliday can only help him. Pitchers will no longer be able to pitch around him with a bat like Holliday’s behind him. Pujols has been the best player in real life and in fantasy world and this acquisition will only help him remain there.
OF – Ryan Ludwick
Ludwick will move from the cleanup spot to number five in the order and that means he will have more chances to drive in more runs. It also takes a little bit of pressure off of him. Ludwick hit 37 home runs and 113 RBI last year and has come alive as of late, hitting .391 with five home runs and 23 RBI in July.
He has 16 home runs and 62 RBI on the year and still has a legitimate shot at another 30 home run, 100+ RBI season, especially with the addition of Holliday in the lineup.
OF – Colby Rasmus and OF – Rick Ankiel
These are the two guys who will be hurt most by this acquisition. The Cardinals traded OF Chris Duncan earlier this week and that was thought to have freed up playing time for both of these guys in the Outfield.
However, with Holliday manning Left Field and Ludwick playing Right Field on an every game basis, which leaves these two to split playing time in Center Field. Ankiel has been battling injuries for most of the year and even when he’s been playing, he’s been playing bad.
He was projected to have another 25+ home run season and only has six to this point.
Plus, he is only hitting .228 with just 26 RBI. If you own him, feel free to drop him, as he won’t help your fantasy team, unless he is traded. As for Rasmus, he has been struggling as of late. He is hitting just .242 in July with only six RBI.
He is their Center Fielder of the future and, because of that, has the edge on Ankiel for more playing time. However, he will still lose At-Bats and becomes much less of a fantasy option.
There really isn’t much fantasy impact for Oakland, at least not now. Third Baseman Brett Wallace is a hot prospect and could wind up being a September call up and the future at Third Base in Oakland. However, he may not play much until then so I wouldn’t grab him just yet, but you might want to watch him for next year.
That’s all for now sports fans. Hope I have given you some insight on the fantasy implications of this move. Feel free to email me at Derek@Sportmeisters.com with any questions or concerns about my thoughts.