Players get hot and cold over a seven-day period, it’s as sure as the samples are small.
That is why Katy created the Hot ‘N’ Cold All-stars.
I might have been a little late to the Twitter party, and might still think it is kind-of-sort-of stupid, but there is no denying the utility of the thing. People (hotties), like Katy Perry and Eliza Dushku have active and interesting Twitter handles. In fact, Katy Perry “used Twitter to announce [her] album release” yesterday morning.
Quite simply, you learn stuff on Twitter before others who look to mainstream media outlets. You don’t even have to take part, just think of it as your sports news fix. It’s where I learned Brandon Lyon was the latest Houston closer, that AROD was going on the DL, that Joe Nathan was out for the year, that Favre was retiring and then unretiring, that Sidney Rice just had surgery, etc.. Really, you learn news there before your league mates. All you have to do is get a generic handle and follow me (https://twitter.com/h2h_Corner). I pass along all fantasy baseball and football information I can.
Ok, that was completely self-serving – well somewhat, at least. Anyway, what I want to do with the rest of the column is pass along some players who will help you get into the play-offs and dominate in head-to-head leagues. As always, if there is a player I missed that you have a question about, post a comment (or hit me up on Twitter).
Omar Infante – The great Rob Neyer outlines a case where Infante might win the batting title. In so doing, Infante might give fantasy owners a similar stretch as Freddy Sanchez did in 2006. Certainly Infante’s last seven days (.452 AVG, eight runs and three HRs) pour gasoline on the fire. Still, there is nothing in the 28-year-old’s career to suggest he is anything other than a light hitting utility player capable, but not assured, of batting around .300. Enjoy the surge while it lasts, but don’t count on it.
Lyle Overbay – Overbay has been on an RBI bender over the last seven days (he has 10 of them!). Still, the writing is on the wall and it is pretty clear Overbay is toward the end of his career. He does get great opportunities for as long as he mans first base for the Blue Jays, but he might not get consistent playing time down the stretch. If he has some decent match-ups in a given week, feel free to roll with him, otherwise, unless you are in dire need of RBIs, feel free to ignore the Bay.
Gregor Blanco and Wilson Betemit – See last week’s Royals binge. Not much else to say here, except Blanco keeps swiping bags Willie Mays Hayes-style and Betemit keeps hitting ropes like I thought he would back in 2003.
Gaby Sanchez – Early in the season, I predicted Sanchez would approach 20 HRs and be as valuable as James Loney. (I also linked to awesome photos of Katy Perry, Eliza Dushku, Rachel Billson and Allison Brie – different links than those). Well technically Sanchez is ranked higher and has hit more HRs and posted a better average. Seven-day stretches like Sanchez had recently had (two HRs, nine RBIs and a .333 AVG) make him a far better option than Loney from now until the end of the year.
Brandon Inge – recently, I tweeted with @fakebaseball (a tremendous follow for any baseball fan) about possible AROD replacements. I think a decent alternative is Inge, who has been smacking the ball around since coming off the DL (last seven days: .429 AVG, five runs and six RBIs). He will never bat that high, but has the potential to hit some HRs and scoop up some Miguel Cabreras.
Roger Bernadina – Did you know Roger Bernadina and James Loney have the same number of HRs (eight) this season? Crazy eh? Well Bernadina is trying his best to get your attention – over the last seven days, he stole two bases, hit one HR and scored four runs. He has a couple of 40+ steal seasons in the minors, which makes him an attractive free agent addition from the waiver wire for those in the need of speed.
Josh Bell – It’s always fun for me when I get to talk about young Orioles with promise. It’s even more fun to watch a young blue-chip prospect smack two HRs off of Cliff Lee. In fact, over the last seven days, Bell has the two HRs, five RBIs and a .333 AVG. Bell, a switch-hitter, hasn’t really flashed much power from the right side, so he shouldn’t be used against lefty starters. Still, if you’re in a deep league and are chasing some upside, Bell is a decent add at third base.
Armando Galarraga – Galarraga isn’t my favorite kind of pitcher (just 5.8 K/9), but he will get some starts against the most woeful line-ups the AL has to offer (Kansas City and Cleveland). He should be a pretty safe deploy in those outings (over the last seven days, he started against Cleveland and went seven IPs without allowing a run, struck out eight batters and posted a 0.43 WHIP). He gets Kansas City today.
Rich Harden – Don’t blink, or you’ll miss Rich Harden’s latest attempt to stay off the disabled list. In his first start back, Harden went 6.2 no-run innings and posted a 0.75 WHIP. He also fanned six batters. Harden is always a good type to have on your bench in case you are losing ratios and trying to make a run at Ks. He’ll hurt your WHIP, typically, but the Ks will, generally, be there.
Joe Blanton – Blanton could not have found his groove any faster for the Phillies. Over the last seven days, in 13.1 IPs, Blanton struck out 16 batters and posted a 2.02 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. He has been successful in the past and has been pretty unlucky this year (.336 BAbip). He actually has a FIP of 4.28 – there might be far more good outings down the stretch than bad.
Jered Weaver – Jered Weaver always reminds me of three things: The Scout, the Great Earl Weaver and this scene. His last seven days must have reminded owners of a nightmare however (11 IPs, seven Ks and an 8.18 ERA and 1.64 WHIP). While his K/9 rate has clearly spiked this season (9.78 compared to 7.82 for his career), there really aren’t any underlying statistics to say his performance is absurdly lucky. His FIP (3.31) is right in line with his ERA (3.21), his BAbip is right around .300 and he has a slightly lucky strand rate (75.9%). Basically he had a couple of rough road outings and should be fine going forward.
Barry Zito – I must have mentioned a dozen times that Zito was prime for a fall. So shame on you if you were stuck with him over the last seven days (8.2 IPs, three Ks, 9.35 ERA and 2.08 WHIP). His K/9 rate has actually dropped from 7.22 last year to 6.57 this year. In addition he has a .282 BAbip and a 76.1% strand rate. He’s been a tad lucky which is why his FIP (4.13) is a decent amount higher than his ERA (3.75). All of this is by way of saying that you should be very careful with the way you use him going forward.
Tim Hudson – It appears some of Tim Hudson’s luck has run out (last seven days: 13 IPs, seven Ks, a 4.15 ERA and 1.38 WHIP). Quite frankly, Hudson’s ratios have been incredibly lucky so far this season. He has a .239 BAbip and 83.5% strand rate. In fact his FIP (3.89) is 1.6 points higher than his ERA (2.28). While Hudson is clearly not a sub-3.00 ERA pitcher, he is someone who can pitch in the 3.50-4.00 range and win some ball games – just be careful when he faces some of the more imposing line-ups in the NL.
Adam Lind – Did Jose Bautista somehow zap all of Adam Lind’s and Aaron Hill’s (more on him below) power? No one really thought Lind would repeat last season’s exploits, but he seemed a lock for 25+ HRs. Unfortunately, he has continued his miserably unsuccessful season over the last seven days (.067 AVG). At this point, if you have held onto him (he is 69% owned), it might be time to test the free agent pool. Just go with the latest hot hand – it’ll be much more worth your time than Lind.
Aaron Hill – Yucky, Aaron Hill’s 2010 campaign has been one to forget, yet people are still using him (76% owned) through the rough stretches (.053 AVG over the last seven days). Sure, second base is deep, but Omar Infante does qualify there. At the least, Infante won’t prohibit you from competing in AVG from week-to-week.
All stats as of noon on August 24, 2010.
FB101’s 411: Be sure you know how to judge a hot streak. Omar Infante, Gaby Sanchez, Gregor Blanco, Joe Blanton, and Rich Harden make good adds. Keep your eye on Josh Bell, Armando Galarraga, Roger Bernadina, Brandon Inge, and Wilson Betemit. You are allowed to sort of give up on Adam Lind and Aaron Hill.