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Your lwts Fantasy All-Stars: National League

Continuing on last week’s theme, we turn our attention today to the National League fantasy All-Stars.  As a reminder, I’m basing this on the past calendar year’s performance under the FanGraphs Points scoring system.   The $ values shown are the player’s average cost on ottoneu FanGraphs Points leagues.

Catcher:  Brian McCann (894 pts, .377 wOBA, $30)
Alternates: Buster Posey (753 pts, .368 wOBA, $31) and Carlos Ruiz  (595 pts, .350 wOBA, $5)

Brian McCann is such a stud.  He’s been the best fantasy catcher in the National League for years, and yet somehow I think he still is a bit underrated.  Speaking of underrated, Carlos Ruiz has been a monster over the past year, even if he doesn’t play as often as some of the big guns.  I have him in a 20-team league and can’t find anyone who wants him!

First Base: Joey Votto (1284 pts, .435 wOBA, $48)
Alternates:  Prince Fielder (1197 pts, .408 wOBA, $41) and Albert Pujols, 1187 pts, .407 wOBA, $59)

As a Reds fan I’m crazy biased, but Votto has become one of the most enjoyable hitters to watch in baseball.  It’s not that he never struggles.  Sometimes, he actually seems frustrated.  But you can almost see him thinking through each at bat, and eventually, he does something amazing.  His production over the past year has been monstrous, dwarfing the monstrous production of guys like Fielder and Pujols.

Second Base: Rickie Weeks (1067 pts, .371 wOBA, $20)
Alternates: Kelly Johnson (855 pts, .350 wOBA, $15) and Neil Walker (788 pts, .335 wOBA, $8)

Rickie Weeks has easily outpaced all other National League second basemen, and has the lead over Robinson Cano in the overall fantasy rankings.  Johnson has had a slow start to the year, but over the past 162 games or so he’s been the second-best option at second in the NL.  Walker gets the nod here over Dan Uggla (who had nearly identical production) because I own Dan Uggla and I’m mad at him.

Third Base: Aramis Ramirez (839 pts, .362 wOBA, $10)
Alternates: Chase Headley (795 pts, .344 wOBA, $4) and Ryan Zimmerman (610 pts, .376 wOBA, $38)

I was surprised by this one.  But third base has been a pretty tough position for National Leaguers over the past year.  Aramis Ramirez might not be much of a fielder, but he’s still been the best hitter over the past year.  And that makes him your best NL 3B.  That said, when healthy, Ryan Zimmerman has been a terrific producer.  He just hasn’t been able to stay in the lineup.  I know who I’d rather have moving forward, though…

Shortstop: Troy Tulowitzki (951 pts, .389 wOBA, $51)
Alternates: Jose Reyes (923 pts, .370 wOBA, $25) and Stephen Drew (824 pts, .354 wOBA, $21)

Tulo has taken the title of #1 fantasy shortstop from Hanley, and it’s really not even close.  Reyes has had a terrific first half, however, and you won’t go wrong with him as long as he’s healthy.  Stephen Drew don’t get no respect, but has produced just as well if not a tad better than the more-hyped Starlin Castro.

Carlos Gonzalez (1213 pts, .416 wOBA, $40)
Matt Holliday (1024 pts, .418 wOBA, $36)
Ryan Braun (1116 pts, .400 wOBA, $46)
Alternates: Matt Kemp (1066 pts, .387 wOBA, $30), Mike Stanton (911 pts, .371 wOBA, $29), and Andrew McCutchen (922 pts, .367 wOBA, $33)

CarGo and Holliday stand out as the two best National League outfielders for lwts fantasy, while Matt Kemp and Ryan Braun are right there behind them in that first tier.  After that, there’s a pretty sharp drop-off to guys like Mike Stanton and Andrew McCutchen…although those are still pretty attractive properties in and of themselves.

Starting Pitchers:
Roy Halladay (1356 pts, 2.72 FIP, $43)
Cole Hamels (1255 pts, 2.57 FIP, $22)
Cliff Lee (1289 pts, 2.81 FIP, $38)
Clayton Kershaw (1177 pts, 2.72 FIP, $31)
Alternates: Josh Johnson (753 pts, 2.48 FIP, $34), Chad Billingsley (1088 pts, 2.97 FIP, $16), and Dan Hudson (1057 pts, 3.01 FIP, $8)

This just in: the Phillies’ rotation is ridiculous.  I knew Hamels had been good of late, but I had no idea that he leads all MLB pitchers with 150 IP or more in the past year in FIP.  Halladay is #2, but has a lot more IP.  The only pitcher who has thrown more than 100 IP in the past year that is ahead of him is Josh Johnson, who I list as a Zimmerman-like pick.  When healthy, he’s been amazing.  But he’s just been hurt so much…

Relief Pitchers:
Carlos Marmol (678 pts, 2.03 FIP, 41 SV, $12)
Jonny Venters (718 pts, 2.38 FIP, 3 SV, $5)
Brian Wilson (686 pts, 2.60 FIP, 51 SV, $14)
Alternates: Heath Bell (646 pts, 2.25 FIP, 48 SV, $13), John Axford (623 pts, 2.16 FIP, 37 SV, $6), Joel Hanrahan (605 pts, 2.34 FIP, 29 SV, $4), and Craig Kimbrel (469 pts, 1.30 FIP, 23 SV, $7)

Man, there are a ton of outstanding relievers in the National League.  I could have frontlined with any of the first six guys on this list and had an argument.  What Marmol has done, though, is just insane for his combination of dominance and heavy usage.  Who cares about the walks?  I threw Craig Kimbrel on here as an alternate because a 1.30 FIP–even in just 52 innings–can’t be ignored.   Between he and Jonny Venters, the Braves have gotten ridiculous production in their 8th and 9th innings this year.