Power Moves

The trade: Chris Davis for Max Scherzer.

One player leads the league in both home runs and runs batted in with 37 jacks and 97 RBI on the season. The other has the best record in baseball at 14-1 and is tied for second in strikeouts at 157.

But only one of those players is coming my way in a deadline deal that could make or break my season.

I’m currently 8-8 (3rd place, second highest scorer) in a 10-team keeper league that has a complicated head-to-head scoring system. Chris Davis has scored 396.5 points so far this season and Max Scherzer has totaled 370.17 fantasy points. Both have been great at what they do this year, while also being two of the biggest surprises in the first half of the season. Yet, I expected a solid season from Scherzer and the Detroit offense that plays behind him.

I expected a good season from Scherzer but was unable to take him as my Uncle drafted him a round before I was hoping to. I’m convinced he read my sleeper article for pitchers…However, I happened to draft Davis. I was unsure as to whether or not he’ll amount to much but I felt he could impress in Baltimore. I never thought he would amount to this. If anyone else tells you they saw this season coming, they’re lying through their teeth–Ryan Braun style.

If Davis was able to continue raking at the pace he is, the Baltimore first baseman would finish 2013 with about 60 homers, 160 RBI and 120 runs. If we were talking about a guy like Miguel Cabrera this deal would have most likely not been made. Cabrera has had a career of excellent play and amazing consistency. Unfortunately, based on the earlier part of his career, I don’t see Davis reaching those heights.

Davis is now 27-years-old and hasn’t necessarily fit the profile of his most recent seasons. The left-handed hitter struggled mightily in 2010-11 with a combined six homers and 23 RBI in a total of 364 plate appearances. Davis spent the first five years of his career in the minors before making his way through the Rangers’ farm system. His struggles forced the Rangers to deal him to Orioles during the 2011 season, and now in his second year in Baltimore, the team is looking like a legitimate contender.

The past tends to be a solid indicator of the future and I strongly feel that if either player were to see a drop in performance, it wouldn’t be the player that has been backed up by the best offense in baseball.

If you looked at Scherzer’s pi-like 3.14 earned run average, you might expect a record less than the 14-1 record that currently stands. The Detroit offense has steadily improved over the last few seasons and has amounted to a league-leading .280 batting average, a second-place ranking in both OBP (.346) and OPS (.780). Tigers are also in the bottom six when it comes to striking out, which means they’ve got a lineup of patient, yet, powerful bats.

Scherzer is the second-highest scoring pitcher in my league behind the Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright–who I owned prior to the trade. The fact that this deal gives me the second-highest scoring pitcher is something that should bode well for me in the playoffs. Last year my pitching failed me in the playoffs and the team that won the league yielded impressive pitching staffs. It’s impossible to know at this point what will happen, but based on the law of averages, it is more likely to see a decline in Davis’ numbers the rest of the year. There’s also a fifty dollar bonus for the team with the highest scoring pitcher for the season, which is just some additional incentive.

Scherzer notched win No. 14 this past week and scored 21.5 points for me in a 7-3 win vs. All-Star pitcher Chris Sale and the White Sox. Davis has scored just 8.5 points so far this week.

I doubt my Uncle is regretting the deal right now, but I’m hoping come playoff time that points ratio stays in my favor and the bats I’ve got behind my pitching staff will be just as effective as those backing Scherzer in the Motor City. Only time will tell as to who got the better end of this deal.

My team:

Yadier Molina-C
Robinson Cano-MI
Hanley Ramirez-MI
Eric Hosmer-CI
Coco Crisp-OF
Wil Myers-OF
Bryce Harper-OF
Yasiel Puig-DH
Andrelton Simmons-U
Max Scherzer-SP
Adam Wainwright-SP
Stephen Strasburg-SP
Kenley Jansen-RP
Jim Johnson-RP
Koji Uehara-b
Mark Trumbo-b
Dexter Fowler-b
Jason Heyward-b
Alcides Escobar-b
Evan Gattis-b
Mike Minor-b
Jake Westbrook-b
Kyle Lohse-b
Francisco Liriano-b
Jorge De la Rosa-b
Matt Cain-b
Brandon Beachy-b

His team:

Joe Mauer-C
Everth Cabrera-MI
Johnny Perala-MI
Chris Davis-CI
Pablo Sandoval-CI
Domonic Brown-OF
Andrew McCutchen-OF
Starling Marte-OF
Mike Trout-OF
Justin Masterson-SP
Justin Verlander-SP
Matt Harvey-SP
Shelby Miller-RP
Glen Perkins-RP
Ian Desmond-b
Jed Lowrie-b
Adam Lind-b
Austin Jackson-b
Giancarlo Stanton-b
Daniel Nava-b
Michael Bourn-b
Jose Fernandez-b
Gio Gonzalez-b
Zack Wheeler-b
Bobby Parnell-b
Mark Melancon-b


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