Archive for the ‘Fantasy Baseball’ category

Ups and downs: July 8th

July 8, 2008

Ups:

OF Brad Hawpe-Colorado Rockies

Hawpe just got out of a slump and homered in two straight games.  He’s the cleanup hitter in Colorado behind Matt Holliday. The Colorado 1-2-3 hitters are Willy Taveras, Clint Barmes, and Matt Holliday. Taveras doesn’t get on base enough but Barmes and Holliday so Hawpe will get RBI. The Rockies have won 6 of 8 by the way.

P CC Sabathia-Milwaukee Brewers

Sabathia’s value just increased a ton when he moved to the NL. He was pitching very well up until his departure from Cleveland and his numbers will only get better in Milwaukee. His W-L record will surely improve playing for a contender. Closer Salomon Torres will protect Sabathia’s efforts in the ninth a hell of a lot better than Cleveland’s sorry bullpen. See if you can piece together a deadline deal for Sabathia.

P Masa Kobayashi-Cleveland Indians

Now that Cleveland designated Joe Borowski for assignment, Manager Eric Wedge said Masa will get some save opportunites. He has decent numbers and the way some closers have been pitching lately (cough Todd Jones), maybe keeping an eye on Kobayashi would be wise.

Downs:

SS Edgar Renteria-Detroit Tigers

Renteria looked to be on his way up in late June when he pieced a five-game hitting streak together, but he has fallen into one of the worst slumps I have ever seen. If you haven’t cut Renteria already, you probably should. Mariners backup catcher Jamie Burke managed to get an out against Renteria to cap off his 0-7 day on Sunday. A lot of people predicted a productive season for Renteria this year in that Tigers lineup but that obviously didn’t pan out.

P Vicente Padilla-Texas Rangers

Padilla has given up 7 and 8 earned runs in his last two starts, quite the departure from first half success. Not even Texas’ explosive offense can allow Padilla to keep pitching like this. The news on Padilla lately suggest that he’s been hampered by his neck and thumb these days and may miss his next scheduled start. That might not be a bad thing for this team though.

OF Elijah Dukes-Washington Nationals

The Nationals’ season just got even worse after Elijah Dukes trashed his knee in the outfield. He is out 4-6 weeks, effecitvely ending the fantasy craze that surrounded Dukes. From June 30 to his injury, he was batting .348 wih 3 home runs with an OBP of .400. Some possible replacements in your lineup are Andre Ethier or Brad Hawpe.

Ups and downs: June 30th

June 30, 2008

Ups:

AJ Burnett had 11 strikeouts on Sunday and also won on June 24th after a stretch of terrible pitching. The Burnett situation in Toronto has been a rollercoaster of trade rumors and very streaky pitching. Looks like he is on an upswing now and will rack up the Ks.

OF Michael Bourn of the Astros has gotten is average up to .235 and keeps stealing bases. He has 31 steals this season. His numbers at the plate make it hard to justify starting him but Bourn is probably your best option if you need base stealers at this point since all the good ones are most definitely taken.

Nationals P John Lannan has a favorable matchup against the Reds on Thursday, July 3rd. He is going up against Johnny Cueto who has improved his last few starts, but still pitches for the last place Reds. Another favorable matchup on Thursday is Justin Verlander facing Carlos Silva when the Tigers visit Seattle. Verlander has been pitching very well lately and Silva and his equally large contract is a testament to the Bavasi era in Seattle.

Downs:

Braves 3B Chipper Jones may be placed on the DL and Tigers OF Magglio Ordonez was just put on the DL with a strained oblique. These are two guys you don’t want to be without, but they can be replaced for a few days. In looking for a new third baseman, look for Blue Jays 3B Scott Rolen to fill in. He is 6 of his last 12 and has 3 homers since June 22. That’s half his season total. For an outfield replacement, another Blue Jay Vernon Wells has been hitting and Tigers Gary Sheffield is on a tear since being activated from the DL.

Marlins Jorge Cantu hasn’t hit a home run since June 11th. He got off to a Chris Shelton-like start but has fizzled quite a bit lately. He did get the game-winning RBI on Sunday though in a 2-5 effort so he may be revving back up. Cantu has been disappointing with his average since June 11 below .210. Give him a few more days but be open to moving him before the deadline.

Padres Randy Wolf has gone 4, 6, and 3.1 innings in his last three starts which have been losses. His strikeout total was nice the other day (10 Ks against Detroit on June 22) but his WHIP is way high (2.3ish) in this span. The Padres have lost eight straight game so outside of Peavy and Hoffman, starting another Padre is not a good idea. Greg Maddux has been feeling the full effect of this poor play as he can’t buy a win (last win was May 10th).

Ups and downs: June 23rd

June 23, 2008

Who’s up?

OF David DeJesus-Kansas City Royals

DeJesus is in the midst of an eight game hitting streak where he is batting .406 with three home runs. On the season he is batting .309/.370/.470 for the last place Royals. The Royals are playing some good baseball as of late (8-2 in their last 10) so put DeJesus in your lineup.

P Justin Verlander-Detroit Tigers

Following a horrid start to the season, Verlander struck out 10 over 5.1 IP on Sunday to record his fourth win of the season. His fastball was hitting 98 and he looked really good against the Giants. Since May 20, he has a 2.66 ERA and is finally starting to get the strikeout totals one would expect from a guy who can top 99 MPH with his fastball. His 1.12 WHIP in this time frame is also reason enough to be confident about starting him again.

SS Jeff Keppinger-Cincinnati Reds

Keppinger is back from his broken kneecap and went 1-4 in his first game since he went down on May 13. He was batting .324/.373/.446 until the injury. He was out a long time and a lot of people dropped him so he could be a good option at shortstop or third. Jerry Hairston Jr. got a lot of time at short when Keppinger was hurt, but he too is injured so Keppinger would be expected to handle short with the occasional third base mixed in.

Who’s Down?

3B Joe Crede-Chicago White Sox

There was a lot of excitement after Crede’s consecutive two homer games but he has cooled off considerably with only one home run since june 7. Keep an eye on Crede though because while he is a little down now, he can get hot in a hurry and get you points. Consider 3B Casey Blake as a sub because he is nine for his last 21 with an RBI in four straight games.

RP Carlos Marmol-Chicago Cubs

Marmol is one of the best setup men in baseball but his last two outings have been nasty. On June 19, he came in against the Rays and walked two on his way to surrendering four earned and earning the loss. Then two days ago, he walked three and gave up a run in an inning against the White Sox. The Cubs agree that they have some work to do with their ace setup man.

OF Pat Burrell-Philadelphia Phillies

Burrell is one for his last 19 and has eight strikeouts in this span (Herpes flareup?). Burrell is having a very good year so far, but you know that if you drafted Burrell, you’d be getting a guy who is prone to prolonged slumps. It’s tough giving a power guy like Burrell a day off, but a guy like OF Fred Lewis has been hitting and swiping a few bag lately.

Fantasy update

June 15, 2008

Now that I don’t hate fantasy baseball like I used to, here’s some updates on some players.

C, OF Ryan Doumit-Pittsburgh Pirates

If you had Doumit early on this year, you were really pissed off when he went down with an injury. Hopefully, you held onto him because he was good before the injury, and has been on fire since returning on June 6. Since he came back, he is 10-29 with 4 home runs. Also, he has only struck out 4 times since June 6, and he is eligible at catcher and outfield.

P Mike Mussina-New York Yankees

Mussina is a bright spot on a Yankees pitching staff that has sucked this year. It was looking like Mussina was through but at 39, he is still a very smart pitcher. After a poor start to the 2008 season, he has gotten his ERA down to 3.82. He has always been an outstanding control pitcher so you can count on him if you need a guy to lower your BB totals and WHIP. He may still be available in some leagues so give him a look.

P Armando Galarraga-Detroit Tigers

Initially called up to replace the highest paid A-baller in baseball, Dontrelle Willis, Galarraga has earned a permanent spot in the Detroit Tigers rotation. He has a 3.31 ERA and a nice 1.03 WHIP. With the Tigers on a five game winning streak, look for Galarraga to improve upon his already strong 6-2 record.

P Brandon Morrow-Seattle Mariners

Morrow has been a great setup man and is now getting his shot at closing for Seattle with J.J. Putz on the DL with an elbow injury. Morrow can hit 100 mph with his fastball and has 25 Ks in 18 innings pitched this season. Save opportunities may not be abundant for the last place Mariners, but Morrow will strike more people out than he’ll walk.

2B/SS Alexi Casilla-Minnesota Twins

This guy doesn’t offer much in the way of power (but he does have more homers than Delmon Young) but he has gotten a hit in 23 of 25 games which puts his average at .327. He didn’t get into any games until mid-May, but he has been making an impact at the plate. He is really hot right now so bite if you need a middle infielder.

Avoid these guys:

OF Delmon Young-Minnesota Twins

Delmon Young has one home run this year and that is disappointing. His OBP is .325 is not impressive and his 22 RBI are very underwhelming. Young’s value is low right now though and he’s definitely talented so trying to snag him might not be a bad idea. Also in that boat is the very disappointing 2B Robinson Cano-New York Yankees. Batting .220 is not what anyone expected but once again, he is a superior talent who could pick it up as the season progresses.

Fantasy frustration

June 8, 2008

Stumbled upon a good article chronicling the pain of a fantasy baseball owner wronged by Ervin Santana. Basically, Matthew Lutovsky tells fantasy players to shorten their memories of players because guys like Santana can have fluke terrible years and rebound back to prominence. I just got back into fantasy baseball and I, along with many players, can feel his pain. For example, spending an early round pick on Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander (2007: 18-6, 3.66 ERA; 2008: 2-9, 5.05 ERA)…or anybody who drafted Mark Prior after 2005.

Also adding to the coolness of the article are his references to Michael’s hatred for Toby in The Office. Do yourself a favor by clicking the link to the video of Michael’s most hateful interaction with Toby. Here are a few fantasy Toby’s so far:

Curtis Granderson, Detroit Tigers: He’s batting .238 and still strikes out too much for a leadoff man. Bats .200 off of lefties for his career which holds him back from becoming one of the greats.

Robinson Cano, New York Yankees: .250 BA, recently broke up a 4-30 slump.

Eric Byrnes, Arizona Diamondbacks: Great 2007 season batting .286, 21 homers, and 50 steals, but he was playing on two torn hamstrings this year. At 32, his hamstring issues might scare off potential buyers next season.

On the bright side, take a look at Jerry Hairston Jr. making the case to be a major league starter in Cincinnati. Through 37 games, he is batting .325 with a .370 OBP. Very little in the power department, but he is 10 for 12 in stolen bases. He has a hit in 13 of his last 15 games played. Quite consistent.