Posts Tagged ‘Braves’

Baseball Daily Digest Radio with Joel Henard and myself will Air at 7:00 PM ET

Baseball Daily Digest Radio with Joel Henard and myself will Air at 7:00 PM ET

Be there or be lamer than lame….ice cold:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thefantasyinsiders/2011/09/26/baseball-daily-digest-radio-with-joel-henard-and-albert-lang

h2h Corner ~ I’m a Believer: June Edition

You’re hitting the tough part of the fantasy baseball season. At this point you’re really doubting your struggling stars and the urge to drop is high. But it’s still somewhat early. Patience isn’t always a virtue, but, in this instance, it is.

Players who will bounce back: Dan Uggla, Evan Longoria, Carl Crawford, Alex Rios, Ubaldo Jimenez, Max Scherzer, Chris Carpenter, and Mat Latos.

Remember when I said Anibal Sanchez was a sleeper this year? 13th in Ks right now!

I love James Shields (always own him), but he’s not the second best fantasy pitcher…right? Can’t be….

One thing I am certain of? Kyle Lohse is not the third best pitcher in fantasy (maybe on his team, but not in baseball).

I’m amazed by the Marlins – Johnson injured, Hanley not so good/injured. I thought they’d be good, but had you told me about their injury woes and the craptastic way Vazquez has pitched, I’d be shocked they were in the play-off hunt. That said, I still think the Braves run away with the Wild Card.

Continue reading

h2h Corner ~ Katy Perry (Hot ‘N’ Cold Fantasy Baseball) All-Stars

Immanuel Kant, one of the craziest thinkers I’ve ever encounter (I hate the Critique of Pure Reason), created something called the categorical imperative. Basically, it was one tenet that would govern all actions. When you boil it down, Kant thought a person should only do something that everyone should be allowed to do, or in his words: “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.”

This got Kant into some sticky trouble when it comes to lying to save a life. The example goes: say someone runs into your house with a murderer hot on their heels. The polite murderer rings your doorbell and asks if the intended victim is inside. According to Kant’s morality, you have to respond that the person is inside because an act is moral not because of its consequences, but in and of itself. If you were to lie in this circumstance that would mean it was okay to lie in every instance of this circumstance, and, thusly, the soon-to-be murderer would know you were lying.

I’m not a big categorical imperative fan. I believe the outcome of actions should have a bearing on morality (and our rule of law, haphazard as it might be, somewhat reflects this, i.e., if you drive drunk and kill someone you get a higher penalty than simply driving drunk).

In my view, outcomes matter, I’m not as worried about how you get there. The same goes for fantasy baseball, especially head-to-head. All you have to do is win, it really doesn’t matter how. I routinely win h2h leagues with teams, that if it had been roto, would have finished in the middle of the pack.

At about this point in the year/week, you know what categories you are strong in. If Morneau zapped your power and there isn’t much to be had on the wire, it’s time to switch tactics. Look to gobble up speed demons – field an outfield of Jose Tabata, Juan Pierre and Michael Bourn and assure yourself of certain categories early in the week, and then try to focus on those you remain close in. If you go out to an early 8-2 lead in wins, it’s time to load up on relievers to massage those ratios and turn in some saves. Continue reading

h2h Corner ~ Knowing ADP – How To Win Your League Before It Starts: Tim Hudson

Tim Hudson – Current ADP 151; 39th SP – My Rank: 80th pitcher; 65th SP Continue reading

h2h Corner ~ Knowing ADP – How To Win Your League Before It Starts: Jair Jurrjens

Jair Jurrjens– Current ADP 173; 50th SP – My Rank: 131st pitcher; 99th SP

I’ve never gotten why people love Jurrjens – is it because his last name reminds people of cleansing silky smooth body wash?

After coming over in the Edgar Renteria trade, Jurrjens has averaged 173 IPs (albeit his 2010 was injury-riddled), a 3.45 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 126 Ks and a 6.5 K/9 rate. That’s basically Joel Pinero or Scott Sanderson.

What’s more, in his only truly great year (2009), he had a .268 BABip – in his other two seasons it was right at .300. In addition, 2009 saw him post a 79.4% strand rate – in his other two seasons it was right at 70% or so. Lastly, there has been no difference in contact rates since Jurrjens entered the league, meaning there is little chance he improves his K-rate.

Consequently, Jurrjens is basically what he was in 2008; I see his 2011 looking like: 3.90 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, with 130 Ks.

For comparison’s sake, Pineiro has averaged a 4.07 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 93 Ks and a 4.9 K/9 rate over the last three seasons. Oh, and Bill James has Pinero pegged at a 4.06 ERA with 110 Ks.

At this price, I’ll pass on that and grab someone like Ricky Nolasco, Edwin Jackson, Jorge de la Rosa, CJ Wilson, Ted Lilly, Ian Kennedy, Brian Matusz, Jhoulys Chacin, etc.

Basically, if a pitcher doesn’t have elite ratios, there’s simply no reason to spend a top 17 round pick on a guy who won’t strike-out more than 150 batters.

Feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner).

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Maximizing every drop of value in every pick is hugely important. Taking a player in the fifth round that you could just as easily have taken in the sixth round is a major mistake. To avoid this, you need to know all about Average Draft Position (ADP).

While no two drafts are identical, knowing where a player typically goes gives you a general idea of where he will go in your draft. That said, be sure to do homework on your league mates subjective tendencies. For example, if there are Red Sox fans, be sure to snag guys like Lester and Youkilis a bit earlier than you normally would. In addition, you should talk up your sleepers before the draft (discretely of course) to see if anyone is on to them. If you don’t, an opponent with an itchy trigger finger who hasn’t done his ADP homework might snag one of your sleepers a round before anyone else is typically taking him.

Now that you know WHY ADP is important, I want to show you HOW to exploit it by highlighting those players who are going too low compared to players with similar ADPs. You can grab an ADP report at Mock Draft Central.

Feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner).

h2h Corner ~ Knowing ADP – How To Win Your League Before It Starts: Dan Uggla

Dan Uggla – Current ADP 57; 6th 2b – My Rank: 25th hitter; 3rd 2b

Much like the Florida Marlins, the fantasy baseball community seems to undervalue Uggla.

I loved him last year and only see peachy things for his future in Atlanta. For his career (1,657 PAs), Uggla put up a .261/.357/.485 line at spacious and documented hitter-hate Dolphin Stadium. In 199 PAs at Turner Field (his new home), Uggla has a .354/.399/.652 line. That’s an incredibly small sample size and something you can’t expect. However, even the average of those two ballparks makes Uggla a fantasy behemoth. Over the last three years, Uggla has averaged 32 HRs per season and a .264/.361/.493 line. That’s pretty tasty at second base. I really think he is in for a monster year and am confident he will finish inside the top 25 performers this season.

Uggla outpaced his position by four HRs, had the second most RBIs and 20 more than the third place finisher and scored 100 runs (tied for third most at second) last year. Sure he stole just four bases, but only one second base qualifier had more than 17 last year. In short, Uggla can dominate the position.

In the fifth round, Uggla is a steal.

Feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner).

_______

Maximizing every drop of value in every pick is hugely important. Taking a player in the fifth round that you could just as easily have taken in the sixth round is a major mistake. To avoid this, you need to know all about Average Draft Position (ADP).

While no two drafts are identical, knowing where a player typically goes gives you a general idea of where he will go in your draft. That said, be sure to do homework on your league mates subjective tendencies. For example, if there are Red Sox fans, be sure to snag guys like Lester and Youkilis a bit earlier than you normally would. In addition, you should talk up your sleepers before the draft (discretely of course) to see if anyone is on to them. If you don’t, an opponent with an itchy trigger finger who hasn’t done his ADP homework might snag one of your sleepers a round before anyone else is typically taking him.

Now that you know WHY ADP is important, I want to show you HOW to exploit it by highlighting those players who are going too low compared to players with similar ADPs. You can grab an ADP report at Mock Draft Central.

Feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner).

h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Don Slaught

slaught back slaught frontLet’s just hope Don Slaught has a better speech writer than the writer he had for his baseball card…could you imagine trying to incorporate that sentence into a speech? You wouldn’t say “I spend my off-season in Arlington where I’m member of Rangers’ Speakers Bureau.” Very Phil Hartman like!

There are a couple of words missing there – “a member” of “the bureau” would sound a bit better.

Putting that aside, at most we’re talking about 40 Ranges players — how many of them are members of the bureau? Was Nolan Ryan a member? Did he perform a moving soliloquy about the Robin Ventura tragedy? That’d be kind of cool actually – someone should turn the incident into a one-act Greek play and have Ryan act it out.

For all of his speaker’s bureau membership, Slaught would spend just three uneventful years in Texas before being traded to the Yankees. Regardless, Slaught is most known for his days with the Pirates. Before going to Pittsburgh, Slaught, from 1982-1989, posted a .269/.317/.408 slash line. For the Pirates he would go .305/.370/.421. Sure the slugging isn’t there, but a .370 OBP in 1,434 ABs is nothing to scoff at. He’d finished with 20.7 WAR for his career, 9.6 of that accumulated with the Pirates. Unfortunately, like the rest of his teammates in the early ’90s, he’d perform worse in the play-offs. While he got only 40 ABs, he’d hit just .225.

When I think of the Pirates of that era, I think of Slaught and Mike LaValliere. I was a catcher in little league so I naturally gravitated toward backstops. I always thought the duo was a tad underrated and it seems like they were. LaValliere, with the Pirates, posted a .287/.364/.351 slash line. Sure the power was absent but at least he got on base.

Regardless, I’m sure Slaught is a hit a parties with all his stories – he must have some doozies about Bonds and Bonilla. Thanks to the Rangers’ Speakers Bureau he received the training to address parties of all sizes.

Follow h2h Corner on Twitter (http://twitter.com/h2h_Corner)

For the history of this series, check out this article: Check You Out On the Flip Side: Howard Johnson.

h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Tim Stoddard & Dennis Rasmussen

stoddard back

The Yankees had one dynamic and athletic pitching staff in 1987. Tim Stoddard started on the North Carolina State team, which, in 1974, beat Marquette and effectively ended UCLA’s run of seven consecutive NCAA basketball titles.

Ras BackNot to be outdone, Dennis Rasmussen played ball (basket variety) at Creighton. While he was there he played against the immortal Larry Bird (who played for Indiana State) and with Kevin McKenna. McKenna would log 243 NBA games and score 1,320 points. Definitely no slouch.

So how did the pitching staff with the best basketball acumen do? They’d throw 1,446.1 innings, give up 1,475 hits, 542 walks, and 179 HRs. They would also strike-out an even 900 batters, and post a 4.36 ERA and 1.39 WHIP. That’d be good enough for 89 wins and the sixth best ERA. Unfortunately the Tigers and their 4.02 ERA would take the division that year.

stoddard frontStoddard would be a decent help to the cause in 1987, logging 92.2 innings out of the bull-pen and posting a 3.50 ERA and 7.6 K/9 rate – both better than his career average. Apparently, not too long ago, relievers were men who pitched nearly 100 innings a season. In addition, Stoddard is the only man in history to win an NCAA basketball title and a World Series (he did so with the Orioles in 1983).

Before being traded, Rasmussen started 25 games, pitched 146 innings and would post an unfriendly 4.75 ERA. A tall guy at 6’7, Rasmussen would go on to have a fine 1988 campaign (200+ IPs, 3.43 ERA) for the Reds and Padres. However, that’d be his last relatively useful season in the majors.
Ras front
Still, before he got traded, I hope he had a chance to post up the 6’7 Stoddard.

Follow h2h Corner on Twitter (http://twitter.com/h2h_Corner)

For the history of this series, check out this article: Check You Out On the Flip Side: Howard Johnson.

h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Kerry Wood

Wood back Wood front

I must admit that I’ve always scoffed at Kerry Wood — especially when he came to the big boy league. However, when he was traded to the New York Yankees and I pulled the above card, I simply had to write about him.

In baseball, there are revered names — one of the biggest in George Herman Ruth – otherwise known as the Babe and a litany of other sandlot nicknames. Outside of boozing and chasing skirts, if you are linked to the Babe you are linked to baseball immortality. Quite simply, legends never die.

Anyway, it was shocking to me that, in the history of baseball, Wood and Ruth are the only two players with at least 1,200 innings while allowing fewer than 1,000 hits. Of course, like Wood’s career, all good things must come to an end. If you look at the card closely, you’ll realize that Wood finished the 2009 season with 995 hits allowed. And sure enough, he allowed a few more hits this year to inch over the 1,000 threshold to give the Babe back another solo record.

Regardless, Wood was a real good pitcher for a few years – the heir apparent to Roger Clemens who was the heir apparent to Nolan Ryan. In three of his first five healthy seasons in the majors, Wood had a K/9 rate in double digits. In the 2002 and 2003 seasons, Wood would post a 3.34 ERA, 483 Ks and a 1.22 WHIP. Not bad.

Will his career resemble a glorified Kelvim Escobar? Sort of – but so what. For a couple of years he was absolutely unhittable and he happened to share a record with one of the most hallowed names in all of sports.

Follow h2h Corner on Twitter (http://twitter.com/h2h_Corner)

For the history of this series, check out this article: Check You Out On the Flip Side: Howard Johnson.

h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Max Venable

venable bvenable f

As you likely know, this series started because I bought a bunch of cheap 1987 Topps packs off the internet, opened them and found good cards but, more importantly, interesting nuggets of info on the backs. Let’s just say it’s a good thing I didn’t start with the 1986 set. Man it is totally George Blanda — if there is info, it is usually such-and-such ballplayer collected his first hit on such-and-such date – yuck.

Occasionally there are some “Talkin’ Baseball” sections which seem to be the precursor to SCOOTER, i.e., they are inane. The one you see on the back of Venable is actually not the only one to reference player’s names and palindromes – apparently that was a set-wide motif.

So why did I choose this one out of the myriad of boring palindromes captured forever in the 1986 set? Because Max just happens to be Will Venable’s father. Will got his first full-time action this year for the San Diego Padres in his age-27 season and performed kind of well. In fact, I believe he had a truly bizarre, yet effective season. Sure his 0.1 WAR would suggest otherwise, but he did hit 13 HRs and swipe 29 bases. Maybe he is more of a roto, specifically h2h, player, then real-life, but I see a guy who, if he could stay healthy for 162 games, would put up a 20-30 season. His average and OBP aren’t great, but they aren’t as bad as some other regulars people trot out there.

Still Will will likely have a shorter major league career than his pops. Max played in parts of 12 seasons, finishing with a .241/.302/.345 slash line predominantly for the Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants. He only once played in over 100 games and would hit just 18 HRs in his career.

The oddest thing about the father/son combo? They both drew the attentions of the Baltimore Orioles but never played for the organization. In February of 1988, the Orioles signed Max, but released him in March of the same year. On June 7, 2004, the Orioles drafted Will in the 15th round, but would not sign him.

As for old palindrome Eddie Kazak? He’d play parts of five seasons, mostly with the St. Louis Cardinals before being traded to the Reds along with Wally Westlake for Dick Sisler and Virgil Stallcup. Talk about some interesting (old-timey) names. Kazak would appear in just 13 games for the Reds and bat .067. Those were the last hacks he took in the big leagues. Oddly enough, Dick is the son of baseball legend George Sisler.

Baseball is often described as the great bridge between fathers and sons. It’s also a game where just showing up can land you in the (obscure) record books…just ask Kazak who was a Red for 13 games.

Follow h2h Corner on Twitter (http://twitter.com/h2h_Corner)

For the history of this series, check out this article: Check You Out On the Flip Side: Howard Johnson.

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