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

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.

This week I want to remind you that everyone has a bad week. In h2h leagues, you aren’t going to win them all (unless you’re Biff), so you need to recognize what is a one week aberration (say like Katy Perry having sweaty breasts) and what predicts a large trend.

‘Cause you’re hot…you’re yes…you’re in…you’re up

David Freese – I’ll be the nine-millionth person to make a Mr. Freeze joke, simply because I believe Batman and Robin to be the quintessential superhero movie. Unlike his gubernatorial counterpart, Freese has been scorching hot lately (.519 AVG, three HRs and 14 RBIs). Sure, this is likely his best seven-day stretch of the season, but he should be owned in most deep leagues. In 112 Major League ABs, he has a .348 average. In the minors, he hit .308 over 1,456 at bats. He is definitely capable of putting up an average that doesn’t kill you. He also gets to hit behind Matt Holliday, Albert Pujols and Colby Rasmus, meaning he should get his share of RBIs. Not a bad combination.

John Buck – Sure “Fear the Deer” swept the country last week, but John Buck took it to a whole new level (.450 AVG, four HRs and eighth RBIs). Once part of a massive deal that included Carlos Beltran, Buck has never lived up to the hype that the high profile trade indicated. He is a career .236 hitter, who hasn’t hit double digit HRs since 2007. Nothing to see here.

Nick Swisher – Swisher was, just seven days ago, in Katy’s doghouse. Now he’s batting clean-up for her All-stars. Still that didn’t stop me from telling people to buy on Nick the Swish (only 50 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues). Over the last week, he scored eight runs, smacked two HRs, knocked in seven and hit .467. The batting average won’t be this high, but he’ll put up runs, RBIs and HRs week after week. If he’s available, grab him

JD Drew – About the only Red Sox putting up a fight against the mighty Orioles, Drew has hit .435 with three HRs and seven RBIs over the last seven days. May is typically Drew’s best month of the season. For his career he has hit .281 and smacked the second most HRs of his career during May, most likely in celebration of Cinco de Mayo. He’s a good fourth outfielder to have during this stretch, yet is only 34 percent owned.

Scott Hairston – The fighting Hairstons have made a fantasy appearance! Over the last seven days, Scott surged along with the surging Padres. He hit .368 and added two HRs and steals. At this point, we know who Hairston his: a 17 HR, 10 SB, .265 hitter. That’s not worthless; he should be gobbled up in deep and NL-only leagues.

Jon Garland – Garland has a pretty spectacular two-start last seven days (13 IPs, 13 Ks, a 0.69 ERA and 1.08 WHIP). For his career, he’s never posted the type of K-rate we are seeing now (4.7 career versus 5.9 in 2010). Still, maybe he likes pitching in cavernous NL West parks. His k-rate for the Dodgers last year was 6.4. Garland is capable of posting 10 wins, an ERA around 4.00 and a WHIP around 1.35. Will he hit those numbers? Probably not, but he could come close.

Jhoulys Chacin – It’s not often that a youngster strikes Katy’s fancy in his first week in the Bigs. Well Chacin, a big time Rockies prospect, but up a lot of Ks (nine) in just eight innings. He also didn’t allow an earned run, while getting a victory. This K-rate is somewhat to be expected (he struck out 13 in 11 MLB IPs last season – of course he also walked 11). The walk has been a major issue for Chacin, as he has progressed (6.1 BB/9 in AAA). He did bring this number down to a more manageable 4.6 in 2010, but that was in only 21.1 IPs. He’s a good speculative add, but it’ll likely be a real rocky season (pardon the pun).

Chris Volstad – Volstad pitched a complete game, one-run, eight-K affair last week. Sure, it was against the Nationals, but this guy has real potential. Volstad, just 23, was a first round pick in 2005 and has a career 1.36 WHIP with a 5.7 K/9 rate. He might not find himself this year, but he has pitched himself into streaming worthy already.

Then you’re cold…then you’re no…then you’re out…then you’re down

Mark Buehrle – The best thing I can say about Buehrle is that I was playing against him when he threw his perfect game, yet my opponent had him benched. Last week he had two disastrous starts: 6.94 ERA, 1.63 WHIP and just five Ks in 11.2 IPs. Further, he hasn’t allowed less than four runs in any start except opening day. I wouldn’t be starting him at the moment.

Johan Santana – Santana hurt teams mightily over the last seven days: 9.2 IPs, seven Ks, a 9.31 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP. April and May are, historically, Santana’s worst months, so it might get a tad worse over the next 30 days. However, he hasn’t been miserable in 2010 (29 Ks in 34 IPs, a 4.50 ERA and 1.29 WHIP). He is 31, so his days as a fantasy dominator might be nearing conclusion, but he’ll still post useable WHIPs and a good K-rate.

Randy Wolf – Wolf pitched a bit over his ability last year. And he pitched a bit under his ability last week (13 IPs, nine Ks, a 4.15 ERA and 1.77 WHIP). His 2009 1.10 WHIP won’t be happening this year, but he’ll likely end up around 1.35. Last week was just some bad shakes, he’ll still be a slightly above average fantasy starter.

Jose Guillen – To quote the plant Earth, “welcome back Jose Guillen.” Over the last seven days, Guillen has hit .080 with just one RBI. He is clearly not this bad and, also, not as good as he was going. Guillen, if he remains sane/healthy, should hit around .270 with 20 HRs. He’s not bad, he’s just not Hercules.

Adam Lind – Lind started off hot, but left a cold wake the last seven days (one run and a .120 AVG). Not surprisingly he has a .133 BAbip during that span. This is really just a seven day blip on what will be a pretty darn good season.

Dan Uggla – Weeks like this are why I advocated for Uggla to be a potential trade chip. Over the last seven days, he has hit .158. The .295 AVG he has posted so far is a fraud. We know what Uggla is at this point: a 30-HR hitting, .260 batting useful second basemen. If anyone is willing to buy a batting average surge, go ahead and sell. Otherwise, just relax and enjoy his streakiness.

Prince Fielder – Fielder clearly didn’t use Ryan Howard’s mega-contract as incentive to smack the ball around (.130 AVG and one HR over the last seven days). He’s had an abysmal start to the season and people are beginning to wonder if he’s an every other year player. He was great in 2007 and 2009 and slightly above average in 2008. Still, he’s never been a fast starter (career: .271 AVG with his second smallest HR total in March/April). I expect him to pick it up big over the next few weeks.

All stats as of May 4.

FB101’s 411: Be sure you know how to judge a hot streak. Swisher and Freese make good adds. Keep your eye on Garland, Chacin and Volstad. You are allowed to give up on Mark Buehrle.

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12 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by George Mueller on May 5, 2010 at 11:12 am

    There is no information here that I haven’t noticed well before week 5 started. This information is basically useless, especially if you are in a weekly league where rosters are frozen on Monday. So thanks for nothing… hope you’re not on someone’s payroll.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Troy McClure on May 5, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    cool your blitzkrieg there, mueller…I don’t know the analyses trends over the last seven days, it doesn’t seem outdated to me. as a casual fantasy baseball fan that plays in daily leagues, this helps me out a lot.

    Reply

  3. Posted by George Mueller on May 5, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    To each his own mcclure!! Glad if it helps you out. I’m in a daily league also, but this info with the competition I’m up against is no help.

    Reply

  4. I’d first like to say I enjoy all the information provided by FB101.
    Secondly, a very random question. I picked up Fausto Carmona off waivers the day before the season began. Based on his Winter-ball numbers and Spring Training success, I was under the impression the 2008 Fausto was ready to make a comeback. Although he has been pitching better than mediocre, he isn’t what I was hoping for.
    Would you drop Fausto for Javier Vazquez, Gavin Floyd, Latos, Kevin Correia, or Wade LeBlanc?

    Reply

  5. Posted by George Mueller on May 5, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Vanglorious-
    It depends on whether you are talking short term or not. LeBlanc has been the best of them with 3 QS over the last 14 days. He’s also a 2 start pitcher in week 6, the first away at SF against Zito, the second at home against LAD and Billingsly. Not the best match ups though. Long term I’d just hang onto Carmona, possibly seeing if Vasquez turns the corner with the Yankess and replacing Carmona with him.

    Reply

  6. Thanks for the input. I was planning on playing it safe and sticking with Carmona, but I wanted some feedback.
    Those other pitchers all have potential for solid seasons, and they’re all available in my 12 team, 7×7 h2h league.
    To sum it up, I don’t want to miss out their upside if Carmona is just going to “shit the bed” in the long run.

    Reply

  7. All – thanks for reading and commenting.

    Sorry I’m late to the thread, I’ve been traveling on business.

    George, I’m a tad curious as to what information you knew about well before week five as this column looks at the last seven days and comments on their trends, so people dont make hasty drops/adds. Further, most of the “hot” players are readily available in 12-team leagues.

    That said, it is super hard to tailor columns to all different kinds of leagues. I was wondering what information you are looking to read about, that way I can make sure to cover things that are germane and helpful to your fantasy baseball competitiveness.

    Again, thanks to all who read, hopefully I can put a column out there that satisfies the shallowest and deepest of leagues!

    Reply

  8. As for Wade LeBlanc vs. Carmona vs. Vazquez vs. Floyd, etc.

    LeBlanc is only 25 and was a second round pick in 2006. Still, he does have a career WHIP of 1.42 in the majors, so dont expect him to keep on keeping on. In addition, there’s a slight chance the Padres take him out of the rotation when (if) Chris Young returns.

    Vazquez has been terrible and might also miss starts. However, he does have the most upside, so if you are deep in pitching and can roster someone who you wont likely start for a long while, he’d be my bet.

    Similarly, Floyd has been terrible, but he is a notorious slow starter. Come late May/June, I’d rather have Floyd than the other starters. After June he’ll post a healthy BB:K rate, whereas he cant seem to top 1.50 in the season’s early months.

    You know me to me an anti-Carmona person. He has been helped this year by a BAbip of .236. He is actually posting a lower K/9 rate this year than last year. That said, it isnt all bad, as he has kept his walk rate closer to his breakout 2007 campaign than his disastrous 2008 and 2009 seasons.

    To sum up, I’d have no problem with you dropping Carmona for any of the starters you mention. LeBlanc might be an interesting May play, who you can jettison for Floyd once he heats up in June.

    Reply

  9. Posted by George Mueller on May 6, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Katy-
    First let me apologize for the harsh comments.
    My main point is that a Sunday posting is more useful than a Wednesday posting. As for most of the “hot” players being available in most leagues, none are available in either of mine.
    As for where I get my info from FB 101 is one source, and overall a good one. I also use:
    Season Pass- Roto World (a pay site)
    The Hardball Times
    Fantasy Baseball- USA Today
    and CBS Sportsline, which is where my leagues are.
    I also use Sports Fanatics Fantasy Baseball which links you to numerous sites.
    -George

    Reply

  10. Posted by Albert Lang on May 6, 2010 at 9:08 am

    No worries, I’d rather have someone post a negative comment (so i can improve my writing) then never come back again!

    Ahh, so Sunday would be a better date for weekly leagues. I see and understand completely. I’ll have to figure out my writing schedule and FB101’s editorial calendar, but Sunday would make more sense. I hadn’t realized – thanks for the tip!

    Can you give me an impression of how deep your league is (I was shocked to see Swisher at 50% ownership)? I’ll work to include some “deep dives” in the columns in the future so I can provide info for guys in way deep leagues.

    Reply

  11. Posted by George Mueller on May 6, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Thanks for the feedback.
    My H2H league is 12 teams, with an emphasis on pitching. Depth offensively is really not a problem. But to try and beat somebody to a pitcher is tough. Everyone is knowledgeable.
    My 5×5 ROTO/ Auction league is very different in the fact that we use only 24 teams from MLB. We have 14 active offensive players, including 2C’s, a MI and CI, and 5 OF. We use just one UT spot. We have 9 active pitchers, (any type). We have a 10 man reserve squad, which includes no salary players from our reserve draft and they can be protected the following year with no subtraction from our spending limit. The free agent pool is VERY limited and it is a weekly league where rosters are frozen on Mondays for the entire week. (The only exceptions are DL or Minor league assigned players, which can be replaced by a player from your reserve squad only. (I drafted Swisher in this league).

    Reply

  12. […] but I haven’t heard a lot of chatter about the Rockies starting rotation, specifically Jhoulys Chacin. In the past, I’ve been huge fans of Ubaldo Jimenez and Jorge de la […]

    Reply

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