Ivan Nova will start Opening Day, might not finish season with Pirates


Ivan Nova will be the Pirates’ Opening Day starting pitcher at Detroit on March 29. It is unclear whether he will remain with Pittsburgh through the entire season.

Following the offseason trades of 2013 NL MVP Andrew McCutchen and former 19-game winner Gerrit Cole, Nova is a veteran on a team that has turned toward youth. Nova is owed $8.5 million in each of the next two seasons as part of a $26 million, three-year contract.

I said it when I signed here, and I still feel this way: This is [the] place I want to be, Nova said. I love playing for the Pirates.

There is an intersection here between Antetokounmpo, arguably the most productive fantasy player in the NBA when everything clicks, his Bucks team that has fallen to eighth place in the Eastern Conference, but that is still only three games out of the four seed (and potential home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs), and the Grizzlies, an opponent that has been wracked with injury and has nothing left to play for this year.

At 6’9, Anderson gets a nice bump from non-traditional point guard stats (10.2 rebounds and 6.4 steals-plus-blocks per 48 minutes over his past six games), and if we are looking at a spike in shot attempts, there is the possibility he smashes value with a well-rounded offensive night in addition to his ability on the defensive end.

Although not a middle reliever, the present landscape is more open to using a third closer in shallower mixed leagues. In previous seasons, the wins and punch outs from the seventh starter outweighed the hurt his efforts put on ratios. Now, the added saves often swing the pendulum towards the closer, since their strikeouts are closer in number to what your SP7 can offer — with no significant difference in the affect on ratios. This is yet another reason for investing in an upper-tier anchor, as their innings and superb ratios helps absorb the impact of poor reliever ratios.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a one size fits all approach to dealing with the pitching trends, especially give the plethora of formats and league sizes. However, as so much has changed in the pitching landscape over just the last three seasons, the prudent fantasy manager should recognize the trends and enjoy the edge over those languishing behind the curve.

The insurance for Ovechkin on breaking Gretzky’s record is that if he is short of the 894 mark after the next eight full seasons, he has time in his 40s to break the record if he is close — and has the appetite and health to eclipse it.

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