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.
As I’ve no doubt discussed, Katy Perry is set to marry some dude named Russell Brand, who has something (nothing) to do with BP, but will be the reason the U-S-A beats England in soccer (yeah right). Anyway, he recently worked on a movie with P-Diddy. According to a recent taletela story, it will be up to Katy whether the Did-meister partakes in Mr. Brand’s stag party.
See, this story illustrates why it’s always helpful to get a second opinion (which is why I answer every question posed to @h2h_corner on twitter). So, for the next XXX words, I’ll play Katy Perry and you play Russell Brand. I’ll tell you who should or should not be attending your next fantasy stag party.
Austin Kearns – Man, Kearns hasn’t had a seven stretch period (nine runs, two HRs, two SBs and a .423 AVG) like he just had since he killed the ball in 2006. The 10 percent owned Kearns is having his best season batting-average wise. Of course, he’s been a tad lucky (.410 BAbip compared to .305 for his career). So, don’t expect him to hit much more than .265 or so for the rest of the year. Still, he could end up with 80 runs, 15 HRs, 70 RBIs and 10 SBs. That ain’t bad. I’m a serious buyer in AL-only and a moderate buyer in 12-teamers. In deeper than 12-team mixed, he showed be owned.
Sean Rodriguez – With the recent injury to Jason Bartlett, SeanRod has seen increased playing time. Over the last seven days, he belted two HRs and hit .364. The average will likely never be there (he has 101 Ks in 113 MLB games), but he does have some power potential and second base eligibility. If you need power, he’s a good speculative add, just be weary of the average downside.
Aubrey Huff – Stand up if you didn’t think Aubrey Huff was done. Okay, Mama Huff you can sit down now. Last week Huff put a hurting on the baseball (two HRs, two SBs and a .320 AVG). Don’t expect any sort of speed going forward (he has never stolen more than eight bases), but he is a career .283 hitter. He presents a great buy in NL-only, 12-teamers and deeper. He seems to be a cheap source of batting average and RBIs.
Justin Smoak – Maybe the vanquishing of the “real” smoke monster allowed Smoak to shirk his bad luck and start smacking the ball around. Over the last seven days, Smoak hit .409 with six runs and seven RBIs. He appears to have been pretty unlucky this year (.243 BAbip), so his batting average should be fine from here on out. He represents a good buy in all leagues.
Blake DeWitt – Those in deep leagues with a need to fill the middle infield slot should take a look at DeWitt. Over the last week, he hit .444 and knocked in eight runs. He could be a double digit HR guy with a decent average (.270) from here on out. The Dodgers seem willing to stick with him and he has been producing, and, more importantly, not hurting squads.
Trevor Crowe – I told you to pick Crowe up a few weeks ago, yet he is only one percent owned. Hopefully he raised some eyebrows with his last seven days (six runs, three steals). If you need cheap speed (and who doesn’t really?), Crowe should be on your short list. He won’t do much else, but he is batting lead-off for the Indians and will be all season now that Grady Sizemore is again on the DL.
Jonathan Niese – What a week for Niese: 16 IPs, two wins, 12 Ks, a 0.56 ERA and 0.50 WHIP. Nine of those spectacular innings came against the Padres, so there is a bit of a caveat here. In addition, his BAbip in those two starts was .171. So don’t expect him to remain this dominant. However, he has pitched admirably in the minors (8.2 K/9) and has turned in a decent 2010 K rate (7.1). He is certainly streamable in most leagues and ownable in NL-only and 20-teamers.
Justin Masterson – The K-upside with Masterson is tantalizingly. The fact that he can’t get a lefty out (they hit .306 against him) leaves his WHIP murderous. However, his last two starts have been real good: 14.2 IPs, two wins, seven Ks and a 0.61 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. That includes a complete game, six-K effort against Boston. He is certainly streamable everywhere and now ownable in 12-teamers. In 10-teamers with deep benches, I’d also, speculatively, be buying. Still, be wary of lefty-heavy line-ups.
Felipe Paulino – Of the three pitchers mentioned here, I am most comfortable advocating for Paulino. Paulino owns a career 8.1 K/9 rate. That’s impressive. What’s more impressive? His last seven days: 16 IPs, 14 Ks, a 1.69 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. He is ownable everywhere based on his K-potential. He can come to my stag party any time! (That sounded weird).
AJ Burnett – When he is on, Burnett can carry a team from week to week. When he is off, well it gets ugly. The last seven days haven’t been pretty (seven Ks, a 7.11 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP). But, even with those horrendous two starts, Burnett is on pace to post his best WHIP and ERA in three years. There is one concern: he is only striking out 6.4 batters per nine innings. For his career, he Ks about 8.3 hitters. However he has been able to maintain a 2.07 BB/K rate, which is better than last year. So he is walking fewer batters than he normally does. If you were expecting a dominant K performer, that might not be the case this year. Still, it is possible that when he starts K-ing batters (and if he can keep his walk rate down), he’ll have some great weeks.
Derek Lowe – why does anyone own him? He is terrible.
Scott Baker – Scott Baker had a bad ERA from two starts last week (6.57). He had a decent WHIP (1.30), but relatively few Ks (just five). His 2010 WHIP (1.36), while not horrible, is much worse than his last two seasons’ average (1.18). He is also striking out about 0.7 batters less per game than he did over the last two seasons. Here is why you shouldn’t worry: Baker is a perennial second half dominator. His career ERA in the second half is 1.2 points lower. Don’t cut bait just yet. You’ve waited this long, might as well keep him around until the All-star break.
Jason Bay – There is no getting around Bay’s useless last seven days (.143 average and just one RBI). People who are worried about him need to look at his historical output in August and September/October, as these are two of his best months. He doesn’t perform all that well in July, but if you trade him now, you’ll be selling low and regret it come the home stretch.
Adam Lind – There isn’t much you can do with Lind. You can’t trade him for anything of real value. Even if you do part ways, the risk of him picking it up on an opponent’s squad far outweighs what miniscule return you could pocket. His last week provided no hope (.136 AVG), but he is changing his approach. In shallow leagues, sure feel free to drop him if there is good OF talent available. In deeper leagues, I’m keeping him on my bench against lefties, starting him against bad righties and hoping he gets his swagger back. I have faith.
Bobby Abreu – Over the last seven days, Abreu hit .087 with one HR and three RBIs. All seven games were on the road. On the season, he is hitting .100 points lower on the road. However, there was virtually no difference in his output home or away in 2009. I’m chalking this up to a few months aberration. Still, I wouldn’t fault you for sitting Abreu on the road until he figures it out. Clearly, though, he is a must start at home.
All stats as of June 11
FB101’s 411: Be sure you know how to judge a hot streak. Paulino and Smoak make good adds. Keep your eye on Crowe, Kearns, Huff, Masterson, Niese, DeWitt and Rodriguez. You are allowed to give up on Derek Lowe and sort of give up on Adam Lind.