2023 Pre-Opening Day MLB Vendetta Fantasy Power Rankings
Yesterday, 12 members of Vendetta Sports Media partook in a decisive MLB Fantasy Draft. Today we will look at the aftermath and attempt to compile all 12 teams into the first power ranking of the year. Based on last year’s WAR for each player amassed into a team total, these are your rankings.
1. I Love This Place – Andrew McGuinness
C – JT Realmuto, 1B – Paul Goldschmidt, 2B – Jose Altuve, 3B – Gunnar Henderson, SS – Bo Bichette, OF – Steven Kwan, Eloy Jimenez, Teoscar Hernandez, UTL – Josh Naylor, P – Shohei Ohtani, Cristian Javier, Carlos Rodon, George Kirby, Joe Musgrove, Jhoan Duran, Seranthony Dominguez, Bench: Luis Urias, Ian Happ, William Contreras.
I love This Place arguably has the best lineup in the entirety of the league. There are very few holes in it and could put up a ton of points weekly, especially with superstars such as Goldschmidt and Ohtani. Andrew certainly took his time to study up for the draft and has a chance to shine for fantasy.
The team is very on par with Bill James, in terms of pitching. Health may be an issue with players like Rodon and Musgrove, but with all the depth there is little concern.
2. Bill James is Daddy – Milo Coulter
C – Will Smith, 1B – Nathaniel Lowe, 2B – Tommy Edman, 3B – Yandy Diaz, SS – Amed Rosario, OF – Brandon Nimmo, Michael Harris, Taylor Ward, UTL – Sean Murphy, P – Sandy Alcantara, Aaron Nola, Logan Webb, Drew Rasmussen, Freddy Peralta, Patrick Sandoval, Nick Pivetta, Bench: Andrew Benintendi, Ha Seong Kim, Joey Meneses.
No there aren’t really any superstars in the lineup. The team establishes consistency with very under-the-radar players like Yandy Diaz and Sean Murphy. These two alone posted oWARs last year of 4.0 or better. No position player in the lineup has a WAR below 3.
The real strong suit of Bill James is the pitching staff. The three-headed juggernaut of Alcantara, Nola, and Webb is frightening. Coulter made a point to draft early on pitching studs. Don’t sleep on this team.
3. NJ Bagdonas – Christopher Bagdonas
C – Adley Rutschman, 1B – Jose Abreu, 2B – Jeff McNeil, 3B – Manny Machado, SS – Corey Seager, OF – Aaron Judge, Kyle Schwarber, Nick Castellanos, UTL – Dansby Swanson, P – Luis Castillo, Jose Berrios, Clayton Kershaw, Tony Gonsolin, Andrew Heaney, Sean Manaea, Clay Holmes, Bench: JD Martinez, Mitch Haniger, Daniel Bard. Expected WAR: 62.5
The offense of NJ Bagdonas is absolutely comparable to I Love This Place. Having Judge and Machado alone is a dream. The only downside to this team is the pitching staff. Jose Berrios wasn’t great last year and Kershaw, Gonsolin, and Heaney are all injury prone.
4. Juul Addict – Adam
C – Salvador Perez, 1B – Freddie Freeman, 2B – Jake Cronenworth, 3B – Matt Chapman, SS – Fernando Tatis Jr., UTL – Pete Alonso OF – George Springer, Christian Yelich, Adolis Garcia, P – Max Scherzer, Max Fried, Josh Hader, Nextor Cortes, Lance Lynn, Kyle Wright, Jordan Montgomery, Nathan Eovaldi, David Bednar, Bench – Justin Turner.
There is consistency throughout Juul Addict. The big question for this team is if certain players like Tatis and Yelich can revert to their old form. If so, they could absolutely rise up through the rankings. Great pitching headlines this team too with Scherzer and Fried.
5. Boston Laser Show – Jiarmani DePena
C – Daulton Varsho, 1B – Brandon Drury, 2B – Andres Gimenez, 3B – Nolan Arenado, SS – Francisco Lindor, OF – Juan Soto, Yordan Alvarez, Bryan Reynolds, UTL – Anthony Santander, P – Chris Sale, Camilo Doval, Andres Munoz, Edward Cabrera, Alexis Diaz, Jesus Luzardo, Ranger Suarez, Bench – Ketel Marte, Wilmer Flores, Carlos Santana.
A stacked lineup with Boston Laser Show highlights Arenado, Lindor, Soto, and Alvarez. These players alone will give the team a ton of points week by week. The only concern for the team is the depth of their pitching. Their frontline starter is injury-prone veteran Chris Sale.
6. 99 Problems, Winning Is One – Matt Hanifan
C – Cal Raleigh, 1B – Ty France, 2B – Vaughan Grissom, 3B – Austin Riley, SS – Trea Turner, OF – Julio Rodriguez, Masataka Yoshida, Corbin Carroll, UTL – Xander Bogaerts, P – Spencer Strider, Julio Urias, Lucas Giolito, Ryan Pressly, Merril Kelly, Jeffrey Springs, Grayson Rodriguez, Bench – Giancarlo Stanton, Ryan Mountcastle, Whit Merrifield.
This lineup is solid. 99 Problems must bank a lot on players who have a lot expected of them but haven’t proved it yet at the MLB level. Guys like Grissom, Yoshida, Carroll, and Grayson Rodriguez are all included in this aspect. If they perform as many think, this fantasy team could be a problem.
7. Team Walker – Jerry Walker
C – Danny Jansen, 1B – Josh Bell, 2B – Jorge Polanco, 3B – Jose Miranda, SS – Thairo Estrada, OF – Kyle Tucker, Randy Arozarena, Seiya Suzuki, UTL – Rowdy Tellez, P – Corbin Burnes, Kevin Gausman, Brandon Woodruff, Yu Darvish, Zac Gallen, Pablo Lopez, Chris Bassitt, Alex Cobb, Bench – CJ Cron, Brandon Lowe.
Sadly, Jerry Walker was a casualty of the auto draft. Despite a weaker lineup, Team Walker relies on a very very deep pitching staff. Up and down, there is a lot of depth. This will keep the team afloat throughout the duration of the fantasy season, pending a trade.
8. Stupid Red Bearded Heck – Garrett Burroughs
C – Tyler Stephenson, 1B – Rhys Hoskins, 2B – Marcus Semien, 3B – Jose Ramirez, SS – Bobby Witt Jr., OF – Andrew Vaughn, Hunter Renfroe, Jake McCarthy, UTL – Luis Arraez, P – Dylan Cease, Devin Williams, Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, Ryan Helsley, Tyler Glasnow, Lance McCullers Jr., Scott Barlow, Bench: Christian Walker, Anthony Rendon.
Not far behind Team Walker is Stupid Red-Bearded Heck. This fantasy team also has a few standouts in terms of pitching and offense but just as many question marks. Iffy health with guys like Tyler Glasnow will make or break this team. Jose Ramirez will always be a strong player week by week.
9. Team Sabin – Jack Sabin
C – Willson Contreras, 1B – Anthony Rizzo, 2B – Ozzie Albies, 3B – Max Muncy, SS – Carlos Correa, OF – Ronald Acuna Jr, Mike Trout, Luis Robert, UTL – Willy Adames, P – Shane McClanahan, Luis Garcia, Jordan Romano, Kodai Senga, Paul Sewald, Garrett Whitlock, Tyler Anderson, Bench: Jonathan India, Ezequiel Tovar, Alec Bohm.
This fantasy lineup could be impactful. The issue is that most of these players have had an incredibly tough time staying healthy. Players like Trout, Acuna, Robert, Muncy, and Correa all have suffered major injuries. Hopefully, they can rebound, but currently, there needs to be more depth in case of injury.
10. Don Daubert – Trey Daubert
C – Alejandro Kirk, 1B – Triston Casas, 2B – DJ LeMahieu, 3B – Rafael Devers, SS – Tim Anderson, OF – Mookie Betts, Alex Verdugo, Oscar Gonzalez, UTL – Jeremy Pena, P – Zack Wheeler, Emmanuel Clase, Framber Valdez, Triston McKenzie, Felix Bautista, Kenley Jansen, Brayan Bello, Bench: Brett Baty, Trevor Story, Bryce Harper.
Don Daubert relies a ton on optimism regarding his beloved Boston Red Sox. You must have a ton of faith to voluntarily draft Triston Casas as your starting first baseman or Brayan Bello who is out with an injury. This fantasy team could be good… IF these players pan out.
11. Team Herrick – James Herrick
C – MJ Melendez, 1B – Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 2B – Jazz Chisholm Jr., 3B – Ke’Bryan Hayes, SS – Wander Franco, OF – Cedric Mullins, Byron Buxton, Starling Marte, UTL – Oneil Cruz, P – Shane Bieber, Jacob deGrom, Alek Manoah, Logan Gilbert, Logan Gilbert, Luis Severino, Eduardo Rodriguez, Marcus Stroman, Michael Kopech, Riley Greene, Alex Lange.
This fantasy team is reliant on what-ifs. What if Byron Buxton stays healthy? Does Cedric Mullins returns to form? What if Wander Franco actually emerges as the player he was touted as? That’s the issue. A lot of question marks. Herrick needs to enhance that bench, as he only has one actual position player.
12. Team Gutierrez – Dom Gutierrez
C – Keibert Ruiz, 1B – Matt Olson, 2B – Gleyber Torres, 3B – Alex Bregman, SS – Nico Hoerner, OF – Kris Bryant, Austin Hayes, Tyler O’Neill, UTL – Vinnie Pasquantino, P – Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander, Robbie Ray, Blake Snell, Raisel Iglesias, Brady Singer, Tyler Mahle, Joe Ryan, Jon Gray.
Team Gutierrez is yet another victim of the auto draft. While there’s no shortage of pitching, Dom must attempt to obtain some sort of offensive pieces off the bench. He does have a few stars in Alex Bregman and Gerrit Cole, yet definitely needs more if he wants to compete this fantasy season.
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