This article is part of our The Z Files series.
Here are some thoughts, observations and a couple of warnings as we head into the second mile of the marathon MLB season.
Perhaps I'm blinded by too many duck boat parades or just naively trustworthy, but I still don't believe there's anything physically wrong with Chris Sale. It's clear Alex Cora's slow-playing of the rotation in the spring has the defending champions' starters a couple weeks behind most of the league. It remains to be seen if this costs Boston in the end, though the surreal bad luck the Yankees have endured helps. That said, the Rays aren't going anywhere, shaping the AL East to be a very intriguing race to follow. The Cubs went through this after they won the World Series and their rotation wasn't right for most of the first half. I suspect the Red Sox will be up to speed by mid-April as the approaches are a little different. I would have preferred a normal spring then finding times within the season, aided by the extra off days, to stagger rest for the starters, but what do I know? From a fantasy perspective, I'm holding Red Sox pitchers, while looking to acquire them from a panicking competitor.
Put me on the aggressive side when it comes to spending early-season FAAB, in both mixed and league-specific formats. One reason isn't ground-breaking analysis; you get the player for almost the whole season. Just as importantly, it hurts to be complacent, assuming you'll be fine when your injured