July Update: I felt as though the Padres were one of the most overrated teams heading into 2020 and nothing about the changed format of this season has changed my mind. There will be some fantasy value here, especially in Fernando Tatis Jr., who’s a legit stud. But I don’t see the hype that his this team projected to improve above .500, especially when you consider the rotation. We’ll get some good DFS plays on the mound when the Padres and Giants go head-to-head, but that’s the most I can say here.
The Padres entered 2019 with some hype following the Manny Machado signing, but still won just 70 games and finished at the bottom of the NL West. The pitching was solid last year, and it should continue to be the strength of the team in 2020, but San Diego’s season will likely come down to making offensive improvements. The Padres finished just 27th in offense last season, but their bats give them the upside to be a far more productive offense. With the Rockies and Giants on the downfall, the Padres seem poised to climb in the division this season — although the Dodgers are heavily favored to continue their vice grip on the NL West.
— Division Winner: +1100
— League Winner: +2200
— World Series: +5000
Travis Jankowski, OF; Manuel Margot, OF; Hunter Renfroe; OF; Eric Lauer, SP
Tommy Pham, OF; Drew Pomeranz, SP; Zach Davies, SP; Jurickson Profar, 2B; Emilio Pagan, RP; Juan Lugares, OF; Trent Grisham, OF
2020 Fantasy MVP
Fernando Tatis, SS
Tatis was an absolute stud in just about half a season in 2019. He played 84 games, hitting .317 with 106 total hits, 22 of them homers, 53 RBI and 16 steals. Stretch those numbers out to a full 162 game season and we’re looking at a SS that could hit 40-plus HR, 100-plus RBI with over 30 steals. Forget about the Padres, Tatis could be MLB’s breakout fantasy stud in 2020.
2020 Fantasy LVP
Manny Machado, 3B
I’m actually higher than most on Machado this season, but that doesn’t mean he still can’t be overvalued. The brand name here is associated with the dominant bat we saw in Baltimore, but it just didn’t translate to San Diego. Machado still hit 32 homers last season, so he’s not valueless, but he’s more of a matchup play at this point. From a DFS perspective, we may want to consider targeting Machado more on the road (which hurts his overall value). He hit just .219 at home last season, but .289 on the road.
2020 Breakout Player
Drew Pomeranz, P
Pomeranz has mostly been awful as a starting pitcher the last two seasons, but maybe a return to where he briefly captured the most success in his career can spark a resurgence. Pomeranz built his name in Oakland, which earned him a role as a starting pitcher for the Padres in 2016. He made 17 starts prior to being traded to the Red Sox, and Pomeranz had a 2.47 ERA for the Padres and made an All-Star appearance. We’re talking about somebody that’s almost completely off the fantasy radar at this point, so getting any value out of him would be huge.
While the Padres have to improve off their 70 wins from last season, I’m not sure the offense is going to take the leap that’s expected. Tatis will be a stud, and the pitching staff will provide value. But rather than rely on anyone outside of Tatis to carry you through a season, I think getting spot value in DFS will be the route we want to target the Padres.
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