Nolan Arenado will be headed to St. Louis for the 2021 season

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After Friday night's blockbuster trade was announced we now know the St. Louis Cardinals will boast one of the best power hitting duos in Major League Baseball.




Ken Rosenthal (The Athletic) broke the news about the Colorado Rockies agreeing to send all-star third baseman, Nolan Arenado, to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for around $50 million and a package of players that were yet to be determined. Colorado who signed Arenado just two years ago to an eight year extension, is obviously looking to hit the rest button on their organization if they're willing to part ways with their five time all-star at the hot corner.

Speculation about whether Rockies' shortstop, Trevor Story, will be the next piece to find its way out of Colorado. Story's two year contract expires after this season and in the offseason he will become a highly sought after, and highly priced unrestricted free agent. The Rockies haven't traditionally been an organization that pays its players once their big payday comes due. Arenado was an exception to that, and look how quickly they got his contract off their books.

It would make sense then for Colorado to also attempt to find a trade partner for Story before the trade deadline as he is far too valuable to lose for nothing. Story would certainly fetch a couple top prospects to help bolster their farm system. But let's get back to the real story which is Nolan Arenado to the Cardinals, and after mentioning top prospects that brings me to Dylan Carlson.

The Cardinals got a small sample size from one of baseball's top prospects in the form of outfielder, Dylan Carlson. In the truncated 2020 MLB season we only saw Carlson in 35 games, and at one point was sent down to the minors. Upon his return late in the year he looked like a different hitter and was performing well enough to be slotted in at the cleanup spot in the lineup going into the playoffs.

With the pending arrival of Arenado, it's likely that Carlson will be bumped down a few spots in the lineup which should actually benefit him by putting him in more situations with runners on base resulting in him seeing better pitches to hit. From a fantasy perspective, this could make Carlson a sneaky bet to end the season with an RBI total towards the top of the league if he has Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt getting on base ahead of him.

Goldschmidt will be at the other corner opposite Arenado, and they're a good bet to be back to back in most of the lineups the Cardinals deploy this season which should already be causing headaches for opposing pitchers. Both players saw dips in their power numbers in 2020, but so did a lot of players and it shouldn't be something we're concerned about unless we see those trends creep their way deep into the start of 2021.

Traditionally we know that Arenado and Goldschmidt are both elite hitters in the league and have proven it year over year for nearly a decade. Arenado and Goldschmidt both came from similar situations where they were asked to carry a lot of the load for their previous teams, but in St. Louis there always seems to be help for their stars even if it comes from unsuspecting places. With one of the best front offices and farm systems in baseball, the Cards have continuously revamped and revitalized their roster by developing talent and meticulously signing free agents. A trade of this magnitude hasn't been seen in St. Louis since they received Mark McGwire from the Oakland A's.

In a league where you have to chase teams like the Yankees, the Dodgers, and the Astros along with up and coming organizations like the Padres making moves this offseason, St. Louis must have felt like they needed something to keep them in that conversation of World Series contenders. In the Arenado trade they got more than something, and it may make them the favorites to win the NL Central.

Here's a look at what we project St. Louis' batting order to look like after the trade.

1. 2B Tommy Edman

2. SS Paul DeJong

3. 3B Nolan Arenado

4. 1B Paul Goldschmidt

5. LF Dylan Carlson

6. RF Dexter Fowler

7. C Yadier Molina

8. CF Harrison Bader

9. Pitcher

Steph Curry has came back from injury with one of his best seasons as a pro

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As we're just over a week away from seeing the new play-in format the NBA has decided to go with this season, it means that teams are vying to be in the top 10 in their respective conferences to keep their postseason dreams alive.

We have seen LeBron James make public statements opposing the new format even though it was unanimously approved by the NBA Board of Governors last year. It's understandable that James would have negative feelings about the new format as his Lakers have struggled throughout the season as both him and superstar teammate, Anthony Davis, have dealt with injuries which have caused them to miss significant time.

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Cole Irvin is making waves on the west coast for the Oakland A's

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Baseball is a game of hot streaks and slumps, and as a fantasy baseball manager it's sometimes difficult to know when to part with someone on your roster to take a chance on someone new.

Here we'll examine three players you may want to consider moving on from if you have them rostered, and provide three potential replacements for them. Just like in real baseball, sometimes you have to make the tough moves in order to win. But if you don't know what the right moves are to make then you just end up looking like the Pittsburgh Pirates of your fantasy league.

Here's some advice for you so you don't become the Pirates of your league.


First Up

Cole Irvin Oakland A's SP (30% Rostered in Yahoo)

Irvin hasn't allowed more than two runs in the past four starts and will carry a 3.09 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 34/5 strikeout to walk ratio heading into his next one against Tampa Bay this weekend. To put how effective Irvin has been into perspective, he's averaging nearly a strikeout per inning while only .1 walk per inning.

Even if Irvin comes back down to earth a little, now is the time to pick him up while he's riding this hot streak. He is coming off a game against the hard-hitting Blue Jays where we saw him set his career-high in strikeouts with nine over eight innings. Take into consideration he has three quality starts (out of six) and his most recent loss was to the Rays who he sees again on Saturday. In that last appearance against Tampa he went six innings, striking out eight, allowed only two runs and earned a quality start in a loss.

If you're looking for a long term option at starting pitcher, Irvin presents a great opportunity to snag a hidden gem off waivers but don't expect him to last much longer if he puts in another strong performance against the Rays on Saturday.


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Oshae Brissett

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Who needs an Avengers incorporated ESPN broadcast when the real nerd-sports crossover is right here?

Welcome to the final round of the basketball fantasy season. You're either in the championship or you've decided that you wanted to set your lineups early and actually enjoy watching basketball.

In any case, you need to fill your rosters and we have the players you need to look out for on those waiver wires.

Booms

Oshae Brissett Guard/Forward Indiana Pacers

You'd be excused for not knowing who Oshae Brissett was before this week. He went undrafted in the 2019 NBA Draft and started his professional career in the NBA G League. Now, he is making a name for himself in Indianapolis.

Last week, the former Syracuse forward averaged 16 points, made three three-pointers, 10.7 rebounds, 1.3 steals and four blocks. With multiple Pacers players fighting injuries, Brissett should have plenty of opportunities to prove he can be a consistent contributor in the final stretch of the NBA season.

Ricky Rubio Point Guard Minnesota Timberwolves

Much like the Timberwolves, it has been an objectively bad statistical year for the Rubio. Also much like the Timberwolves, even he can have a span of success. Rubio didn't provide a ton in any category this past week, but he did average a solid 10.5 points, 1.8 made threes, four rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.8 steals and 0.8 turnovers.

Rubio may have had a good week, but even his good week isn't much in terms of massive contributions. He may be high on last week's rankings, but he isn't worth the pick-up unless you're really desperate for steals and assists.

Isaiah Stewart Forward/Center Detroit Pistons

Stewart goes back-to-back on the list despite his scoring numbers dropping. In three games last week, Stewart scored 11 points on 53.8 percent shooting, 7.7 rebounds, one steal and 3.3 blocks.

While minutes volatility is still a fear with any Pistons player, Stewart has shown that he can contribute in four or more categories for another week. Pick him up for the rest of the season if you can.

Saddiq Bey Small Forward Detroit Pistons

Bey may still be figuring out how to be successful in the league, but at least he can score like a seasoned vet. In three games last week, he averaged 17 points, four made threes, 7.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals.

He's still a liability in terms of accuracy (39.5 percent from the field last week), but if you need scoring and rebounding, there aren't a ton of other options on the waiver.

Busts

Dillon Brooks Guard/Forward Memphis Grizzlies

The former Duck has developed into a consistent scorer for the Memphis Grizzlies. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, he doesn't provide much else. Last week, he averaged 17.5 points, but only managed to average 1.8 made threes, 1.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 0.8 steals.

He may not provide much in fantasy, but Memphis is fighting hard to stay in the playoff picture. Brooks will have plenty of chances to keep up his scoring numbers so if that's something you require, he is a great option to give you a boost.

Duncan Robinson Guard/Forward Miami Heat

Shooters in fantasy basketball are DCEU movies: Sure, you'll get a Snyder cut of "Justice League" or "Wonder Woman," but you have to wade through the other travesties to really appreciate them. Duncan Robinson's last week was "Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice"-esque.

In four games, Robinson averaged three made three-pointers but only 10.3 points, 2.0 rebounds and 0.8 assists. People aren't picking up Robinson for his other stats, but if he's not scoring or shooting at an elite level, he's a tough pickup at best.

Danilo Gallinari Forward Atlanta Hawks

Gallinari's up and down year hit another valley last week when he averaged 10.3 points on 37.9 percent shooting, 1.3 made threes, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists.

With Kevin Huerter and Bodgan Bogdanovic to compete with for minutes, anything consistent from the Italian baller can't be counted on moving forward.

Delon Wright Guard/Forward Sacramento Kings

Wright was making the most of his minutes in Detroit but since he was traded to Sacramento, his lack of opportunity has been frustrating for anyone who manages him. In four games last week, he averaged 10 points, one made three, 3.3 assists and 1.3 steals.

If you are holding out hope that Wright will step up in the finals weeks of the season, I have a monorail I think you'd be interested in.