Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ups and Downs: 05/29/2010

This edition of Ups and Downs will look at the top five players being added and dropped the most (according to ESPN leagues) and the possible reasons why.

  • 3B Scott Rolen, CIN (+30.7%) has 5 HR and 16 RBI over the last 15 days. 
  • C Mike Napoli, LAA (+27.1%) is back to being the Angels primary catcher and is hitting .349 with 5 HR and 11 RBI over the last 15 days.
  • OF Jose Guillen, KC (+26.2%) has seen his ownership numbers fluctuate recently. He went on a 3 HR, 6 RBI two-game binge that probably caused a spike in ownership.
  • SP Mike Leake, CIN (+25.8%) continues to produce quality starts, strikeouts and wins (without a loss) and should be owned in all competitive leagues.
  • SP Mike Pelfrey, NYM (+23.7%) is 7-1 with a 2.54 ERA and 1.30 WHIP and riding a three-game win streak.
  • SP Brad Penny, STL (-36.8%) hit the DL and then promptly waivers. His run of four straight losses prior to the injury probably added to the mass drops. Expect him to be a nice add once he's back and proves healthy.
  • OF Andruw Jones, CHW (-23.3%) is no longer hitting home runs (0 in his last 13 games) and has seen his average drop down to .230.
  • C Ivan Rodriguez, WAS (-22.8%) went on the DL with a bad back, which is never a good sign for a 38-year old catcher, regardless of how well he was hitting (.325). Keep an eye on him when he returns if you are in need of a catcher.
  • RP Alfredo Simon, BAL (-22.5%) had a chance at the Orioles closer role prior to his injury. Their bullpen is a free-for-all and Simon probably lost his chance at remaining the closer.
  • SP Wade LeBlanc, SD (-20.9%) has been knocked around of late (0-3, 13 ER, 15.2 IP) and currently not worth rostering. He could be a nice streamer with the right match up.
Be sure to check out COSFBA on Facebook and Twitter, too.
*Statistics accurate through games played on 05/28/2010.

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Steady Stream: 05/24/2010

A Steady Stream will be a semi-regular column that looks at probable pitchers starting games tomorrow and available in a majority of all ESPN and/or Yahoo! leagues.

Here are my Stream-Worthy Starting Pitchers for games to be played on Tuesday, May 25th, 2010 and the level of RISK associated with streaming:
  • Mike Leake, CIN (64% E; 50% Y!) @ home vs PIT (Maholm) - Leake is 7 of 8 in quality start, 4-0 overall, 31:9 K:BB over his last six starts while carrying a 2.91 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. The Pirates offense may be in for a long day if Leake gets going early. RISK: LOW
  • Doug Fister, SEA (57% E; 51% Y!) @ home vs DET (Verlander) - Fister has gone 8 IP in 4 of 8 starts and racking up some nice peripheral stats (1.96 ERA, 0.91 WHIP) but only a 3-2 record. Unfortunately, he draws Verlander tomorrow and the best to hope for is a pitcher's duel. RISK: EVEN
  • Ian Kennedy, ARI (29% E; 35% Y!) @ COL (Chacin) - Kennedy is 2-1 in May with 1.93 ERA in 28 IP. Pitching in Colorado will always pose a risk, humidor or not, so tread lightly. RISK: SLIGHT
  • Ervin Santana, LAA (29% E; 57% Y!) @ home vs TOR (Romero) - Santana has been up and down so far this season, so predicting this outcome could be tricky. The Blue Jays are an offense to be reckoned with right now and should be avoided. RISK: VERY HIGH
  • Anibal Sanchez, FLA (4% E; 12% Y!) @ home vs ATL (Kawakami) - Sanchez is having a very good May (2-0, 24.1 IP, 19 H, 6 ER, 9 BB, 22 K) but has limited career success versus Atlanta (3-5, 4.71 ERA, 1.51 WHIP). RISK: MODERATE
  • Jeremy Guthrie, BAL (2% E; 4% Y!) @ home vs OAK (Braden) - Roy Oswalt's not the only guy that should be asking for a trade. Guthrie has 7 of 9 quality starts but just two wins. His 3.86 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 3.30 K/BB ratio are all very ownable numbers, IF he wasn't on the Orioles. RISK: EVEN
Other possible streamers I'm simply avoiding:
  • Randy Wolf, MIL (19% E; 58% Y!) @ home vs HOU (Paulino) - I drafted Wolf in three of four leagues and just recently dropped him in all four. I can't recommend streaming him at any risk until he pulls his head out of his ass and strings a couple of gems together.
Be sure to pop over and check me out on Twitter, too. Almost at 100 followers.

Waiver Saviors/Ultimate Lineup: 05/24/2010

I've decided to combine two topics into one for this article. Waiver Saviors normally looks at who's hot and available in a majority of leagues and Ultimate Lineup normally looks at who's hot by position. I'm going to attempt to combine them both and give you a name at each position that is widely available and possibly worth a waiver wire pickup in your league. Here we go.
  • C  John Jaso, TB (0.4% E; 3% Y!) is barely owned, so if you are in need of a catcher, grab him. This is a line worth owning (22 games): 22/63, .349 BA, .475 OBP, .540 SLG, 1.015 OPS, 7 XBH, 11 R, 2 HR,  18 RBI, 15 BB, 6 K. Dioner Navarro is hitting .188 with 0 HR and 4 RBI in 80 ABs. It's only a matter of time before the starting job is Jaso's.
  • 1B/3B Troy Glaus, ATL (63% E; 20% Y!) is being snatched up, so don't miss out. After a rough April, he's hitting .355 with 4 HR and 18 RBI in May. At this pace, he won't be available much longer.
  • 2B/SS Mike Aviles, KC (40% E; 19% Y!) is back in a starting role and performing (.347 BA, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 10 R). He could be a nice addition in deeper leagues, especially in a MI roster slot.
  • 3B Scott Rolen, CIN (40% E; 41% Y!) is on a pace for over 30 home runs and 90 RBI. That's ownable in every format. He will always feel like an injury risk, but his ownership numbers should be better, at this point.
  • 2B/3B/SS Jeff Keppinger, HOU (3% E; 4% Y!) may be the best of what's left out there at the shortstop position. Probably only an option in NL-only or very deep mixed leagues where his .292 BA, 15 R and 17 RBI could be helpful. He's hitting .433 (13/30) over his last 7 games.
  • OF Luke Scott, BAL (44% E; 28% Y!) is on one of his tears (last 15 games: .420 BA, 5 HR, 11 RBI, 12 R, 1.253 OPS) and could be a nice "quick fix" in weekly, head-to-head leagues orif your team is decimated by injuries.
  • OF Eric Hinske, ATL (3% E; 6% Y!) looks to have played himself into an everyday role with the Braves (last 15 games: 16/36, .444 BA, 7 R, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 1.432 OPS). Hinske is another player to ride while he's hot and piling up the offensive numbers.
  • OF Corey Hart, MIL (49% E; 38% Y!) is on a power surge (12 R, 6 HR, 12 RBI in May) and no longer in a platoon. His average (.264) and steals (3) are down, so you may just be sacrificing some scoring categories to get the runs, home runs and RBI.
  • SP Carlos Silva, CHC (30% E; 33% Y!) is 6-0 with a 3.52 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. I know everyone is waiting for him to implode, but what if he doesn't? He's also 6/9 in quality starts with a nice 2.82 K/BB ratio. If you're desperate for pitching or looking to stream, Silva is getting it done.
  • RP Manny Corpas, COL (37% E; 29% Y!) is Colorado's closer until Houston Street comes off the DL and should be owned if you need saves. He's recorded three saves in his last five outings and could be setting himself up to be the Rockies primary setup man once Street returns.
Is it me or do fantasy baseball managers hold grudges against players that have burned them in the past? Are their guys out there that have burned you one too many times and you simply refuse to fall for it again? (That's right, Zach Duke, I'm talking about you!)

Friday, May 21, 2010

COSFBA Quick Poll: 05/21/2010

Who is your Quarter Season MVP?
OF Ryan Braun MIL
OF Andre Ethier LAD
3B Evan Longoria TB
OF Brett Gardner NYY
SP Ubaldo Jimenez COL
1B Justin Morneau MIN
SP Roy Halladay PHI
DH Vladimir Guerrero TEX
OF Vernon Wells TOR
SP Tim Lincecum SF
Someone else


Use the "Comments" section to plead your case for someone on the list or if you think someone else deserves recognition. (I pulled this top-10 list from the ever-changing ESPN Player Rater.)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Waiver Saviors: 05/20/2010

Here are a few names of note that are widely available in ESPN and Yahoo! leagues in the latest installment of Waiver Saviors:
  • 2B/SS Mike Aviles, KC (32% E; 18% Y!) was a huge steal in 2008 (68 R, .325 BA, 10 HR, 51 RBI, 8 SB) and a major bust in 2009 (10 R, .183 BA, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 1 SB). He's now back in the bigs, starting and getting the job done (16 G, .390 BA). He's definitely worth owning in deeper mixed leagues, especially if there is a MI roster position.
  • C Francisco Cervelli, NYY (5% E; 10% Y!) will now be the primary catcher for the Yankees with Jorge Posada on the DL for about a month. Cervelli doesn't have the power (0 HR) of Posada but he's hitting .373 with 17 RBI and should be a nice upgrade if you are struggling at the catcher position, especially in two-catcher format leagues.
  • 1B/OF Luke Scott, BAL (17% E; 20% Y!) is hitting home runs in bunches (7 HR in 13 games in May) and should get more playing time on an Orioles team lacking much of anything these days. Scott is a player that you ride while hot and dump when he cools off.
  • SP Jason Vargas, SEA (16% E; 24% Y!) has recorded six consecutive quality starts and overall has a pretty nice line (3-2, 2.93 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, .250 OBA, 33:13 K:BB, 6.46 K/9). His line looks even batter at home (3-1, 2.00 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, .163 BAA) and could be a very nice addition to the back end of your rotation or a serviceable spot starter.
  • SP Ian Kennedy, ARI (23% E; 24% Y!) is getting the chance he never got with the Yankees and making the most of it. In his last four starts (28 IP), Kennedy is 2-1, allowing only 24 H, 6 ER, 8 BB while raking up 22 Ks. He's another guy that could be a very ownable asset to any pitching staff.
This is the time of year that waiver wire guys could prove to be difference makers to savvy managers that are willing to take a chance on upgrading or filling holes in their rosters. Don't dump an under-performing veteran for a waiver pickup. Try to trade that player first to get some type of value and then dump late-round picks that haven't worked out the way you had hoped.

Want to give your opinion in COSFBA's first edition of "Fantasy Debate"? Any comments and/or feedback is greatly appreciated. Also, follow me and my comments on Twitter.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Fantasy Debate: 5/19/2010

Question: Do your personal feelings regarding a player or team affect the way you draft and manage your fantasy baseball teams?

I'm interested in people's personal philosophies and how that bleeds into the realm of fantasy baseball. An example would be a Red Sox fan never drafting any Yankees players for any reason, ever! Or if you ban any player that's been involved in the whole steroids mess? Avoid Ranger pitchers because of the ballpark factor?

I'll start...I follow the stats and the stats tell me who to draft and who to avoid. That's why this game is called "fantasy baseball" and not "reality baseball". I drafted Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds back in the day along with Roger Clemens and Alex Rodriguez. I try to build winning teams, not politically-correct or socially-accepted ones. Do I want to go out and get a beer with Brett Myers (domestic violence incident, sports reporter tirade )? NO! But if Myers is in the midst of a nice run of games pitched and he is available on waivers, I will be the guy picking him up and streaming him.

Another example is that I tend to systematically avoid Pittsburgh Pirates' starting pitchers. How can I draft pitchers that are in the midst of a 17-season losing streak? They always seem to have pitchers with lots of potential (Duke, Maholm, Ohlendorf) but falter. Until the stats prove otherwise, I'll avoid the whole lot.

So, that's just the sort of commenting I'm hoping to gain from this debate. Chime in and be heard in this initial installment of COSFBA's "Fantasy Debate". I handed out a bunch of personal invites on Twitter and hoping many of those "experts" will give an opinion on this matter.

UPDATE: Be sure to expand the comments to see some more opinions on this topic.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Box Score Beasts: 05/17/2010

Box Score Beasts will look at the top performers from tonight's games without much commentary. This page should give you a quick look at the players that had the most impact in their respective games.
  • C Victor Martinez, BOS hit two solo home runs in five at-bats.
  • 1B/3B Kevin Youkilis, BOS hit a two-run home run in the 8th inning to give the Red Sox the lead over the Yankees.
  • 3B Alex Rodriguez, NYY hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the 9th of Jonathan Papelbon to tie the game at 9 and end Papelbon's save streak at 22 games.
  • OF Marcus Thames, NYY hit a two-run, walk-off home run off Papelbon to give the Yankees the win.
  • OF Corey Patterson, BAL stole two bases. Might be a source of some quick, cheap steals.
  • 1B Ryan Howard, PHI was 3/5, 2 R, 6 RBI courtesy of a grand slam.
  • OF Jayson Werth, PHI had a home run and four RBI.
  • SP Kyle Kendrick, PHI pitched eight innings, allowing just five hits, two earned runs, one walk and struck out four to earn his second victory of the season.
  • C Joe Mauer, MIN was 3/5 to raise his batting average to .360. His power numbers may not be there but this guy is a batting champ.
  • 1B Justin Morneau, MIN was 3/4 with three runs, four RBI and two home runs. His batting average is now .374.
  • OF Vernon Wells, TOR had three hits and is hitting .310 on the season. He continues to get it done.
  • 3B/OF Jose Bautista, TOR hit his 11th homer of the season.
  • OF Corey Hart, MIL hit two solo home runs.
  • SP Johnny Cueto, CIN pitched seven innings, allowing seven hits, one earned run, one walk and seven strikeouts to earn his third win.
  • SP Edwin Jackson, ARI pitched eight shut out innings, allowing just four hits, two walks while striking out 12 to earn his second win.
  • SS Starlin Castro, CHC went 3/5 with his first stolen base while raising his batting average to .361.
  • 3B Aramis Ramirez, CHC hit a walk-off two-run home run to beat Colorado.
  • SS Ian Desmond, WAS was 4/4 with a run scored.
  • 1B Albert Pujols, STL was 3/3 with two runs and a walk.
  • C Yadier Molina, STL stole his fifth base of the season. That's impressive.
  • 2B/3B Jose Lopez, SEA was 2/4 with three RBI and a stolen base.
  • 1B Daric Barton, OAK was 3/3 with two runs, an RBI, a double and triple.
  • 2B/3B Blake DeWitt, LAD was 2/4 with a run, two RBI and two triples.
  • SP John Ely, LAD pitched seven innings, allowing five hits, two earned runs, zero walks with eight strikeouts to earn his second victory.
  • SP Clayton Richard, SD pitched seven innings, allowing just three hits, one run, walking three and striking out five to earn his third win.
  • SS Jason Bartlett, TB successfully executed a walk-off squeeze bunt to win the game.
Man, I loved digging through all of tonight's baseball games to find these top performers. Hopefully you won't have to do the same now that I've listed all the gems.

500 Unique Visitors!!!

I know something like "500 Visitors" might not seem like much of a milestone to celebrate, but for this guy it is. Very much so!

I tried in March of 2008 to start up a blog dedicated to my love and passion for fantasy baseball and it failed miserably. There was no Twitter or Facebook at that time (all I had was a Yahoo! Group) and no one was reading what I wrote but me.

Soooooo, I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you that have visited my blog and have even liked it enough to return again and again. Each visit is a tiny bit of validation that what I do and the perspective in which I do it is appreciated on some level. I'm just a regular guy doing what I love and feel passionate about doing.

Feel free to leave a comment or email me with some feedback on how to make this site more interesting and worth visiting over and over.

Thanks again and stick around for the drive to 1000!

Daniel aka daCommish

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ups and Downs: 05/14/2010

This edition of Ups and Downs will look at the players being added and dropped the most (according to ESPN leagues) by position and the possible reasons why.

C John Buck, TOR (+30.3%) is riding a 6-game hitting streak in which he's hitting .450 (9/20) with 3 HR, 6 RBI and 7 runs.
C Miguel Olivo, COL (-20.9%) was mired in a 2/28 (.071) slump and rumors of Chris Iannetta being brought up from AAA started to surface. Owners probably jumped off the Olivo bandwagon and onto the Buck bandwagon. Olivo answered with a 5/5, 1 HR game and probably will be a big add again soon.

1B/3B Troy Glaus, ATL (+16.5%) was thought to be a nice late-round pick but hit only .194 in April and promptly dumped by most teams. He's turning things around in May (.386 BA, 2 HR, 14 RBI in 11 games) and is definitely worth the pickup.
1B Todd Helton, COL (-14%) is only hitting .257 with 0 HR this season. Owners can't sit around and wait to see if he will heat up at this point. I'd stash him on the bench if I had the roster space but his dumps are understandable.

2B/3B Alberto Callaspo, KC (+12.6%) continues to validate being an everyday fantasy player (.304 BA, 13 R, 6 HR, 22 RBI, 2 SB) and should be owned in most formats.
2B/3B Jose Lopez, SEA (-16.3%) is definitely part of the reason why the Mariners offense has been so terrible this season (.216 BA, 8 R, 1 HR, 12 RBI, 2 SB) and should be dropped in shallow leagues for anyone on waivers with a pulse.

3B David Freese, STL (+15.1%) has tapered off a bit but definitely is worthy of all the adds (.310 BA, 13 R, 3 HR, 22 RBI, 1 SB). Owners usually hope for more power from the corner infield positions but Freese is providing plenty of reasons to be rostered.
3B Chipper Jones, ATL (-16.5%) is doing exactly what Chipper Jones has done in recent years; being drafted too high and then disappointing owners when he inevitably gets injured. If your roster can support him on the bench, he could be a nice add to stash away for when he heats things up when healthy.

SS Starlin Castro, CHC (+58.8%) burst on the fantasy scene and has lived up to the hype (.364 BA, 3 R, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 0 SB) through six games. If he's still available in your league, your league probably sucks and is way too shallow. Just saying.
SS J.J. Hardy, MIN (-16%) went on the DL and was promptly dumped by some teams. There definitely are better options out there (see Castro), especially if your DL spots are currently full. Could be a nice add once he returns from his injury in leagues that utilize a MI roster spot.

OF Aaron Rowand, SF (+27.7) roared off the DL with a 7-game hitting streak (11/32, .344 BA, 6 R, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 0 SB), validating the adds but has since gone 0/12 with zero runs, homers or ribbies. Look for him to be a popular drop soon.
OF Jose Guillen, KC (-19.8%) has one home run in has last 17 games and seen his average drop 100 points (.346 to .246). He was a hot early season add but I guess playing for the Royals finally caught up to him. Could Scott Podsednik's decline be on the horizon?

SP Jon Garland, SD (+43.4%) has never been considered much of a fantasy asset because of his low career K/9 rate of 4.7, but he's now 4-2 with a 1.71 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. He's only allowed 2 ER is his last five starts (32 IP) and his season's K/9 stands at 5.4. Pitching half of his games at PETCO make him a nice addition to any deep pitching staff.
SP Brian Matusz, BAL (-21.7%) pitches for the Orioles and most fantasy leagues use wins as a scoring category. Expect his drop rates to increase the more times he gets thumped by the rest of the AL East.

RP Alfredo Simon, BAL (+24.2%) is Baltimore's closer and whatever wins there are right now should be his to save. Until he implodes, he should be owned.
RP Franklin Morales, COL (-20.7%) was the Rockies closer until he went on the DL. He has no values if he's not closing games. Manny Corpas steps back into the closer role until Houston Street is ready to come off the DL. Corpas should show up as a popular add shortly.

How valuable, if any, is this information or can you easily find it on your own and I am just wasting everyone's time reporting it? HA! I'm just trying to garner comments and feedback as I continually try to find what, if any, value this blog has other than to feed my own addiction and need for personal validation. (Sounds like someone has "mommy" issues.)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Waiver Saviors: 05/13/2010

Here are some guys very available in ESPN leagues that are worth looking at in the latest installment of Waiver Saviors.

HITTERS (last 7 days)*
  • SS Starlin Castro, CHC (6/18, .333 BA, 2 R, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 0 SB) came up with a splash and hasn't disappointed, offensively, in his first week. If he's still available in your league, grab him. The Cubs are invested heavily into this 20-year-old and so should you, especially if your league is a keeper. (56.5% owned)
  • C John Buck, TOR (9/21, .429 BA, 7 R, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 0 SB) may not be a long-term solution at catcher, but he's definitely proving to be a short-term one. If your league uses a two-catcher format or you punted the catcher position all together, Buck is worth owning while he's hot. (25.4% owned)
  • OF Fred Lewis, TOR (14/33, .424 BA, 3 R, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 0 SB) is getting it done at the top of the Blue Jays batting order. If he can increase his walks (only five) and stolen bases (just 3/5), he could be an asset worth owning in deep mixed leagues. (9.8% owned)
  • 1B/3B Troy Glaus, ATL (11/28, .393 BA, 3 R, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 0 SB) is heating up (May: 16/40, .400 BA) after a very slow start (April: 14/72, .194 BA). Glaus could easily reach 30 home runs, if he can simply stay healthy, and the move to first base should help. (11.2% owned)
  • OF Angel Pagan, NYM (10/26, .385 BA, 5 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 SB) has a solid hold on the center field job (until Beltran comes back) and is making the most of his opportunity. If you are in need of speed, Pagan could provide a short-term boost. (2.2% owned)
  • SS Orlando Cabrera, CIN (9/23, .391 BA, 4 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 SB) is batting leadoff, producing and should be rostered, especially if you're in a deep league with an MI spot. (36.1% owned)
PITCHERS (last 15 days)*
  • SP Ian Kennedy, ARI (2-1, 2 QS, 21.2 IP, 20 H, 4 BB, 14 K, 2.49 ERA, 1.11 WHIP) is on everyone's waiver wire pickup lists, so why is he still so available? He's finally living up to his potential and could be a nice addition to a struggling fantasy pitching staff. (11.2% owned)
  • RP Alfredo Simon, BAL (3 SV, 6 IP, 6 H, 4 BB, 7 K, 0.00 ERA, 1.67 WHIP, 10.50 K/9) is the Orioles closer and should be owned in all formats that use saves as a scoring category. If he's available in your league, then your league probably sucks. (29% owned)
  • RP Frank Francisco, TEX (2-0, 2 SV, 1 HLD, 5.1 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 5 K, 5.06 ERA, 2.25 WHIP, .444 OBA, 8.44 K/9) will kill your ratios and frustrate the hell out of you for owning him, but the Rangers bullpen is a mess and he is right in the thick of it. If you've got the stomach for it, own him. (42.7% owned)
  • SP Brett Myers, HOU (1-1, 3 QS, 20 IP, 20 H, 9 BB, 14 K, 3.15 ERA, 1.45 WHIP) could be worth owning if the Astros showed any signs of life on offense. He's gone at least six innings in all seven starts, recording a quality start in five, but only sporting a 2-2 record. (1.1% owned)
  • RP Tyler Clippard, WAS (3-1, 0 SV, 4 BSV, 4 HLD, 9.1 IP, 10 H, 7 BB, 11 K, 3.86 ERA, 1.82 WHIP, 10.61 K/9) is the major league leader in wins with a middle reliever. If your league uses holds, he's a must-own. If you are desperate for wins, he's ownable. If your league uses K/9, what are you waiting for? I can't think of any reason for him not to be owned at this point. (40.6% owned)
  • RP Jhoulys Chacin, COL (2-0, 2 QS, 15.1 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 5 BB, 16 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, .217 OBA, 9.39 K/9, 3.20 K/BB) is pitching his way into a permanent spot in the Rockies rotation. Grab him while the league tries to figure him out. Chacin should gain SP eligibility after he makes his 3rd start, according to ESPN rules. (21.9% owned)
REMEMBER: Waiver pickups are all about filling a need with a player(s) that is currently hot and beating your fellow owners to the punch without destroying your current roster to do so.

Six weeks into the 2010 season, what players have you claimed off waivers that are paying dividends?

* Statistics accurate through games played as of 05/11/2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Steady Stream: 05/11/2010

A Steady Stream will be a semi-regular column that looks at probable pitchers starting games tomorrow and owned in approximately less than 50% of all ESPN and/or Yahoo! leagues that could be "stream-worthy" if they are available in your league. My goal is to revisit the streamers to see how accurate my assessment of the risk was (or not).

Here are my Stream-Worthy Starting Pitchers for games to be played on Wednesday, 05/12/2010 and the level of RISK associated with streaming:
  • Edwin Jackson, ARI (45% E; 55% Y! owned) @ home vs LAD (Kuroda)- Jackson has been horrific over his last three starts (13.1 IP, 28 H, 21 ER, 7 BB, 9 K, .500 OBA). Until he shows he's righted the ship, I'm avoiding him. RISK: HIGH
  • Carl Pavano, MIN (42% E; 45% Y!) @ home vs CHW (Danks) - Why isn't Pavano owned in more leagues? Over his last three starts, he's gone 23 IP, 17 H, 6 ER, 5 BB, 18 K but only 1-2 with 3 QS. He's getting hit hard at home this season (5.14 ERA) but has nice career numbers against the White Sox (5 GS, 3-2, 2 CG, 2 SHO, 2.86 ERA, 0.95 WHIP). RISK: LOW
  • Derek Lowe, ATL (37% E; 53% Y!) @ MIL (Gallardo) - In Lowe's seven starts in 2010, he's managed only 38 IP and 1 QS. Need more reason to avoid Lowe? How about a 23:19 K:BB ratio. Look elsewhere! RISK: DANGER!
  • Fausto Carmona, CLE (28% E; 31% Y!) @ KC (Davies) - Carmona has been good, so far, this season. He's recorded 5 QS in 6 GS but a troubling 17:18 K:BB ratio. He has poor career numbers against in 11 G versus KC (59 IP, 72 H, 4.73 ERA, 1.59 WHIP). RISK: MODERATE
  • Carlos Silva, CHC (16% E; 27% Y!) @ home vs FLA (Volstad) - Silva was streaming along quite nicely, as proven here and here, until his last two starts (10 IP, 18 H, 9 ER). He's also battling tightness in his neck. RISK: HIGH
  • Gio Gonzalez, OAK (9% E; 18% Y!) @ TEX (Holland) - Gonzalez is good and only getting better but his talent is still very raw (35.2 IP, 26 H, 19 BB, 34 K). I don't like this match up in Texas. I'm avoiding him. RISK: HIGH
  • Clayton Richard, SD (2% E; 21% Y!) @ SF (Cain) - In his last two starts, Richard has gone 11 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 8 BB, 13 K. The 13 K is 11 IP is nice but the 8 BB are troubling. Not sure he pulls out a win, but I like Richard to pitch well. RISK: EVEN
  • Chris Volstad, FLA (8% E; 8% Y!) @ CHC (Silva) - Volstad is coming off two stellar pitching performances (16 IP, 8 H, .193 OBA, 12:3 K:BB), but both were against the Nationals. I like Volstad because I don't like Silva (see above). RISK: LOW
Other possible streamers I'm simply avoiding:
  • Jamie Moyer, PHI (5% E; 8% Y!) @ COL (Hammel)
  • Tim Wakefield, BOS (3% E; 4% Y!) @ home vs TOR (Marcum)
  • Zach Duke, PIT (2% E; 7% Y!) @ home vs CIN (Bailey)
  • Kyle Lohse, STL (2% E; 16% Y!) @ home vs HOU (Rodriguez)
  • Jeremy Bonderman, DET (1% E; 2% Y!) @ home vs NYY (Hughes)
Not a great day to be streaming pitchers, so be careful out there. GOOD LUCK!

What are your personal feelings on streaming pitchers and the practice that may take place in your league? Are there policies in place to deter such behavior (IP limits, transaction limits, etc)?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Did You Know? 05/04/2010

This edition of "Did You Know?" focuses on some more statistical* randomness regarding hits, walks and strikeouts.

Players with more walks than hits:
  • 1B Nick Johnson, NYY - 9 H, 22 BB, .134 BA
  • 2B/3B Chone Figgins, SEA - 18 H, 21 BB, .209 BA
  • 3B Chipper Jones, ATL - 14 H, 18 BB, .206 BA
  • 1B Mark Teixeira, NYY - 17 H, 18 BB, .181 BA
  • C Carlos Ruiz, PHI - 17 H, 18 BB, .270 BA
  • OF Jason Kubel, MIN - 16 H, 17 BB, .203 BA
  • C Brian McCann, ATL - 16 H, 17 BB, .242 BA
Players with more strikeouts than hits:
  • OF Justin Upton, ARI - 23 H, 38 K, .225 BA
  • 2B Richie Weeks, MIL - 26 H, 33 K, .252 BA
  • 1B/3B Mark Reynolds, ARI - 23 H, 33 K, .253 BA
  • OF Cameron Maybin, FLA - 24 H, 32 K, .247 BA
  • OF Kyle Blanks, SD - 14 H, 32 K, .194 BA
  • OF Jason Bay, NYM - 24 H, 30 K, .255 BA
  • 3B David Wright, NYM - 25 H, 30 K, .281
  • OF J.D. Drew, BOS - 22 H, 29 K, ,247 BA
I was very surprised to see how low player's batting averages were that walked a lot compared to how much higher player's averages were that strike out a lot. Are "free swingers" more valuable to a fantasy roster's batting average than "patient" hitters? Anyone else surprised by that information? Share your opinions on the matter.

* Stats are accurate through games played as of 05/03/2010.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Ask COSFBA: The Jay Edition

In a historical first, Jay asked me the following question (via email):
Advice for my team? 10 Team H2H 25 Max

Sorry to bother you, but I was wondering if you had any inputs as to how I could improve my fantasy team.Who to drop/add on wires.Who is tradeable and can get a return of what will fill a need.That sort of thing.Holds and Losses don't count.

C - Brian McCann
1B - Mark Reynolds
2B - Dustin Pedroia
3B - Chone Figgins
SS - Alex Gonzalez
OF - Matt Holliday,Michael Bourn,Shane Victorino
UTIL - Andre Ethier,Michael Cuddyer
BN - Magglio Ordonez,Adrian Beltre,Josh Willingham,Raul Ibanez
DL - Jimmy Rollins

SP - Yovani Gallarado,Ubaldo Jimenez,Adam Wainwright
RP - Billy Wagner,Matt Capps,Neftali Feliz
P - Alfredo Simon,Frank Francisco,Ryan Dempster
BN - CJ Wilson,Felix Hernandez

Waiver Wire Options
C - Napoli,Doumit,Molina,Olivo,Barajas,Rodriguez
1B - Jose Lopez,Loney,LaRoche,Swisher, Nick Johnson
2B - Wigginton,Hudson,Callaspo,Rosales,Kennedy
3B - Freese,Rolen,Bautista,Kouzmanoff,Blake
OF - Venable,Podsednik,DeJesus,Kearns,Delmon Young
SP - Fister,Livian Hernandez,Jaime Garcia,Marcum,Pavano
RP - Hoffman,Meek,jhoulys chacin,Frasor

First off, you have a pretty healthy roster already and assuming you're near the top of your league so far. And if that IS the case, I'm not sure why you'd wanna drop or trade anyone at this point.

Where can you do better? Not sure your team has a need for Beltre on the bench since you have Reynolds and Figgins rostered. Figgins has struggled, so dropping Beltre to pick up Adam LaRoche and sliding Reynolds over to 3B might be a nice option. Ibanez is another guy that could be droppable for a Wigginton that gives you position versatility and an additional home run  threat to play in favorable match ups.

As far as pitching goes, again, not much room for improvement unless you wanted to use the Dempster slot (only 1 win but nice ratios) to rotate streamable pitchers (which your league looks to have many of those available: Marcum, Fister, Garcia, Pavano).

In a league that seems to have so much depth available on waivers, the best strategy would be to find those few roster spots that you can sacrifice to rotate in the guys that are hot. Head-to-Head leagues are about winning now, so waiting for a Beltre or Ibanez to heat up could cost you in the short term and they will probably be available in the long term on waivers (or the equivalent).

Hope this information helps and I really do appreciate you turning to me for advice.

Waiver Saviors: 05/03/2010

Waiver Saviors will look at players available in a majority of leagues (ESPN & Y!) that are currently having a statistical impact and could be worth owning, if you have the need. Waiver pickups are all about filling a need with a player(s) that is currently hot and beating your fellow owners to the punch without destroying your current roster to do so.

HITTERS (last 7 days)
  • OF Austin Jackson, DET (15/30, .500 BA, 8 R, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 2 SB) NEEDS TO BE OWNED! If he's still available on waivers in your league, then your league probably sucks. Any guy leading the league in hits going into the month of May deserves to be rostered. If you're scared away by the strikeouts (34 K in 109 AB), then why is Justin Upton still 100% owned (36 K in 98 AB)? (32% E; 57% Y!)
  • 3B David Freese, STL (12/26, .462 BA, 4 R, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 0 SB) is thriving in the middle of the Cardinals lineup. He's heating up and could provide some very nice production if you are thin at the 3B, CI or INF positions. (7% E; 21% Y!)
  • C Rod Barajas, NYM (6/14, .429 AB, 6 R, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 0 SB) can help you in deep two-catcher while he's hot. He's got long-ball potential but could hurt your batting average (.239 career). (7% E; 24% Y!)
  • 1B/2B/3B Ty Wigginton, BAL (6/18, .333 BA, 3 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 0 SB) continues to get the job done and with three positions of eligibility, he's the perfect guy to have on your roster. Brian Roberts' return is still unknown and Wiggy will continue to get plenty of playing time. (41% E; 60% Y!)
  • OF Austin Kearns, CLE (11/25, .440 AB, 4 R, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 0 SB) is starting, is hitting and should be owned while he's hot. Cleveland's offense is struggling and hopefully Kearns continues to earn the playing time. (0.1% E; 9% Y!)
  • 3B/SS Jhonny Peralta, CLE (9/23, .391 BA, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 0 SB) has two positions of eligibility and four multi-hit games over his last five outings. Sounds like a guy that could help out a struggling team. (6% E; 27% Y!)
  • 2B/3B Adam Rosales, OAK (10/21, .476 BA, 3 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 0 SB) will continue to see regular at-bats while Mark Ellis is sidelined and he's making the most of the opportunity. Also has 1B eligibility on Y! (0.1% E; 3% Y!)
PITCHERS (last 15 days)
  • SP Jon Garland, SD (3 QS, 3 W, 20 IP, 12 H, 0.90 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 6.30 K/9) is thriving in the Padres rotation and is a guy to consider if you are looking for some pitching depth. He's never been a strikeout pitcher but recently racked up ten in six innings against the Marlins. (2% E; 15% Y!)
  • SP/RP C.J. Wilson, TEX (3 QS, 2 W, 19.2 IP, 14 H, 1.37 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 5.03 K/9) has successfully transitioned from reliever to starter in 2010 and could provide some nice depth to a struggling pitching staff. Also doesn't hurt that he recently gave COSFBA some love on Twitter. (25% E; 55% Y!)
  • SP Wade LeBlanc, SD (2 QS, 2 W, 17.1 IP, 18 H, 1 ER, 0.52 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 8.31 K/9, 4.00 K/BB) is another Padres pitcher that should be owned at this point. His next start will be at home versus Colorado. His ownership should increase if he pitches well again. (0.4% E; 16% Y!)
  • SP Jaime Garcia, STL (2 QS, 1 W, 13 IP, 11 H, 2 ER, 1.38 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 4.85 K/9) pitches at Philadelphia in his next start. This is make or break for his Waiver Saviors life. (12% E; 49% Y!)
  • RP Matt Lindstrom, HOU (6 IP, 5 SV, 9.00 K/9) is the closer on a bad team. Regardless, he will get whatever saves there are to be gotten in Houston and is a must-own, at this point. (60% E; 62% Y!)
  • RP Luke Gregerson, SD (9 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 HLD, .071 OBA, 0.22 WHIP, 9.00 K/9) is racking up the Holds in San Diego and should be owned in all deep leagues with lots of RP spots to fill. (0.4% E; 10% Y!)
  • RP Alfredo Simon, BAL (3 IP, 2 SV, 15.00 K/9) is currently the closer in Baltimore and all closers should be owned if your league uses saves. His 2.00 WHIP could be cause for concern but his sample size is only three innings. It helps that Mike Gonzalez is on the DL and Jim Johnson was optioned to AAA. (0% E; 15% Y!)
Picking players off waivers can be the difference between winning or losing a league, as long as the timing is right. Which players on your roster are you ready to trade or dump going into the month of May?