This column is all about the recent hot/cold trends and how they can engulf owners. So, naturally Katy Perry popped into my head. This is one of my favorite running songs — I simply run faster while it’s playing. Weird, I know, but I’m fast — I ran four miles in 26:26 last week.
Sometimes your team doesn’t get off to good starts. That doesn’t mean you should fret though. Rather, you must do your research and guesstimate what will happen in certain categories. For instance, count how many starting pitchers your opponent has left and how many you have left – approximate the strike outs and see if you can catch up in that category. If you can’t, think about adding one or two starters for the week.
Also, don’t get discouraged by a slow start or encouraged by a fast one. Things can change quickly in fantasy. Look at which categories you are close in – try to grab steals or plug in all your HR hitters. It doesn’t count extra to win a category by a significant margin. It’s always better to end well than start well.
With that said, let’s move on to the things you care about right now, like who’s hot:
Luis Valbuena – Asdrubal Cabrera’s stand-in, Luis Valbuena (that is a mouthful), had a great last seven days: .435 AVE, three HRs, seven RBIs, and a .480 OBP. Valbuena qualifies at both middle infield positions and could be a sneaky source of statistics for those desperate.
Scott Podsednik – I don’t understand how Podsednik is available in 81 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Last week, Podsednik hit .381 scored four runs and stole two bases. He also posted a .458 OBP, which, if he can maintain it, will make him a great source of stolen bases. Pick him up so I can stop writing about him.
Marcus Thames – The Tigers’ outfield position is in flux, which is a good thing for Thames. Thames will never light the world on fire when it comes to batting average or on base percentage, however he has good power potential. Last week, with regular playing time (21 ABs), Thames socked three HRs. If you’re power starved, keep your eye on this situation.
Kevin Correia – Correia, a two start pitcher last week against Oakland and Seattle, managed 12 Ks and a 1.84/0.34 ERA/WHIP in 14.2 IPs. If you extend this analysis to his last four starts, Correia has allowed just six runs in 26.2 IPs. Still, three of those four appearances were at home. Correia could be the new version of the old Wandy Rodriguez – a sneaky home starter for the rest of this season.
Andy Pettitte – Pettitte’s ratios this year haven’t been good enough for the 7-3 record he has posted. However, he was surprisingly usable last week: seven Ks, 1.29/0.43 ERA/WHIP, and one win. Pettitte is someone to keep your eye on as any reasonable ratio performance will bring the wins in bundles.
Jeremy Guthrie – Guthrie, the Orioles de-facto ace, pitched like one last week: 13.1 IPs, one win, eight Ks, a 2.70 ERA, and a 0.98 WHIP. Guthrie was usable last year and has the pedigree of a first-round draft pick. He, like Pettitte, is someone to keep your eye on and, if he continues to post good ERAs/WHIPs, pounce on him.
Ricky Romero – Romero started the season well, though he landed on waiver wires once he got hurt. He might be rounding back into early season form. Last week, in two starts, he struck out 15 batters in 14 IPs, while posting a 3.21/1.36 ERA/WHIP. I would rather have Romero than any of the above pitchers at the moment. This concludes the American League East portion of Katy’s All-stars.
THE FLIP SIDE (the supposed good guys who are stinking up the joint)
Time to move on to those cold salamanders that are likely owned in your league, yet have sucked lately.
Chris Volstad – Volstad had a rough two starts last week, lasting just 9.2 IPs, while posting a 10.24 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP. He did strike out six batters, but that doesn’t make up for the brutal ratios. Volstad hasn’t been much better over the last month: 6.43 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, and 20 Ks in 35 IPs. His season stats don’t look too bad, especially his 1.28 WHIP. So if you can sell based on that WHIP, go ahead.
Ryan Dempster – Dempster had a bit of a tough week, posting a 3.55 ERA and 1.74 WHIP. Still, he did strike out 10 batters in 12.2 IPs. Dempster will have shaky WHIPs throughout the year, but his Ks will be nice. As long as he is striking out almost a batter an inning, he has considerable value.
Jeff Niemann – The wheels may have come off the Jeff Niemann experience last week. In two starts, Niemann lasted only nine innings, while striking out just two hitters and posting a 5.00/1.56 ERA/WHIP. It was a nice ride for a time, but it looks like Niemann’s value is trending toward rock bottom.
Alex Rodriguez – AROID hit .071 last week and managed just two RBIs. He was also benched for a few games and only got 14 at bats. It looks like he’ll be a 30+ HR hitter with little speed. There are plenty of those guys out there. So if someone believes he will be the A-Rod of old, I’d be moving him.
Chris Davis – The fantasy community is abuzz with Justin Smoak talk. Why? The number: 101, as in the amount of times Davis has struck out this season. In addition, last week, Davis went 1/20 with a .050 OBP. He did manage one HR, but those Ks will eventually draw the ire of the Rangers’ brass.
Pablo Sandoval – Technically, Sandoval had a bad week: one run and one RBI. While that appears to be a lot of zeros, realize that Sandoval actually hit .381 and posted a .480 OBP. Still, this week shows how limited Sandoval’s potential can be. If he can hit that well and get on base that frequently and score and knock in a run so infrequently that says something about how bad his supporting cast is. Still, if he has catcher eligibility he remains a very valuable player.
All stats are as of June 23.
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