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.
According to multiple news outlets, specifically MTV/ET’s Kyle Anderson, Katy was dancing so viciously that she needed 17 stitches. However, instead of rushing off to the hospital right away, she “slipped a flesh-colored bandage” and continued.
Clearly, outside of how this grows the Katy Perry legend to Ruthian proportions, you are wondering what this has to do with fantasy baseball. Well, to get what you want you have to give something your all. For instance, I thought Paul Konerko was a legitimate sleeper coming into this year. I got him pretty cheaply in my 20-team league. Well, I didn’t really need any power, so I had to deal him for some speed. Did it hurt to pass up my sleeper-darling? Yes. Will the trade help in the standings, it should.
In addition, don’t be afraid to “lose trades.” If you are giving up more value, but gaining statistical advantages, you are better off in the long-term. While leaguemates might make fun of you for a semi-lopsided deal, that deal could put you over the top and on your way to laughing all the way to the bank.
In short, now is the time to strengthen ratio categories and manage the wire adroitly to pluck the best talent to replace the stars you’ve traded.
Gaby Sanchez – I’ve talked about Gaby a bit and just traded for him, so I’m not the most objective supporter. That said, hopefully his last seven days (six runs/RBIs, one HR, one SB and a .519) have increased his ownership. At his worst, Sanchez is a Helton-esque player; however I think he’ll exceed those expectations and end up with 20 or so HRs, a good amount of runs/RBIs, a handful of SBs and a really nice batting average. Would it surprise you that Gaby Sanchez is virtually Billy Butler? Sanchez has more runs/HRs/SBs; Butler has more RBIs and a better AVG). Butler is owned in 90% of Yahoo! leagues, while Sanchez is owned in 12%. Go figure.
Will Venable – A streaky player like Venable is the reason Katy decided to make her weekly All-star squad. Over the last seven days, Venable hit two HRs, knocked in eight and stole two bases. I say grab him while he is hot and cut him at the first sign of a cold spell. He’ll be an incredibly cheap source of HRs/SBs.
Justin Smoak – I also just traded for Justin Smoak in my keeper league, and while the average hasn’t been good, his last week (.333 AVG, two HRs, 10 RBIs) points to greener pastures. His underlying stats all suggest he is much better than his current AVG, so I’d be snapping him up very quickly.
Julio Lugo – Lugo has carried a pretty poor average throughout the season. However, he stepped it up a bit over the last seven days: .385 AVG and two SBs. For those of you hurting in the middle infield position, you could do worse than Lugo. He’ll put up a decent average, score a few runs and steal some bases.
Trevor Crowe – I keep writing about Crowe and no one picks him up. Crowe, 1% owned in Yahoo1 leagues, scored six runs, stole two bases and hit .286 over the last seven days. He’ll bat atop the Indians lineup for the rest of the season, so he should score a good number of runs and steal some bases. He’s certainly not sexy, but definitely usable in deeper formats.
Russell Branyan – Speaking of the Indians, I was shocked to see that Branyan was just 7% owned in Yahoo! leagues. Last week, he smacked two bombs and hit an impressive .350. The average will never be within .080 points of that, but he already has 10 HRs in just 165 ABs. If you need cheap power, jump on Branyan.
Tony Gwynn – Gwynn could very well be the National League yang to Crowe’s American league yin. Over the last seven days, Gwynn has four stolen bases. The SBs are where the comparison stops as he is a much bigger average risk than Crowe and likely won’t score as many runs. Think of Gwynn as a Juan Pierre light. Is that useable? In some places, where speed is a premium, yes.
RA Dickey – Rob Neyer loves knuckleballers, I love Rob’s writing. I somehow missed out on Dickey in my NL-only league. Shame on me. Dickey has been tearing it up (eight IPs over the last week, no runs and a 0.75 WHIP). I’d be adding him in NL-only and 20-teamers and keep an eye on him in other leagues. He could put up similar numbers to those Wakefield did when he was good. That is borderline mixed-league usable.
Gio Gonzalez – I don’t know what’s sadder, the fact that I don’t have Gonzalez on any of my teams or that he is owned in only 27% of Yahoo! leagues. Last week, Gonzalez pitched a gem: seven IPs, nine Ks, no runs and a 0.71 WHIP. Gonzalez has a sub-4.00 ERA, good WHIP (1.31) and almost 2:1 K:BB ratio. I’m not sure what else he has to do to earn your trust. Grab him now.
Jesse Litsch – Litsch, in his first real start this season, pitched a serviceable seven IPs against San Francisco. He allowed no runs, posted a 0.43 ERA and struck out three. He won’t be helpful in the K-area, but for those of you in AL-only leagues that need IPs which don’t hurt your ratios, you should kick the tires on Litsch.
Joel Pineiro – I don’t like pitchers that don’t strike anyone out, but Pineiro should be owned in more than 29% of leagues. Over the last seven days (7.1 IPs, one win, five Ks, a 1.23 ERA and 0.95 WHIP), he showed why. He’ll be a pretty useful match-ups guy (if you are looking for ERA and, especially, WHIP help) in 12-teamers going forward.
Robinson Cano – I only include Robinson Cano here to show that anyone can have a bad week. Last week, the fourth overall player in fantasy hit only .238 and scored just one run. It’s only 21 ABs, so there is no reason to panic. However, it is the first bad luck of the season for Cano who has a .373 BAbip compared to .326 for the season.
Aaron Hill – Hill has been the reverse of Cano this year, with an absurdly unlucky BAbip (.180). He is on pace for a decent HR total (27), so you just need to suck up weeks like the last one (.095 AVG and one HR). Once he gets a few hits to drop, his RBI numbers and runs will go up. He’s a very attractive buy-low.
Matt Garza – I detailed Matt Garza in the Edward Norton section of the last trade convention article. But I want to belabor the point. Sure his last two starts (9.1 IPs, 9.64 ERA and 1.71 WHIP) over the last seven days were horrendous, but he’s been real unlucky. For instance, over the last two weeks, batters have posted a .413 BAbip against him. Just keep the faith.
Matt Cain – Cain had a forgettable last seven days (unless you own him): 10.1 IPs, 8.71 ERA and 1.84 WHIP. Over that stretch he had a .324 BAbip; however this is exposing the luck he’s had so far this season. His 2010 BAbip is .247, which has helped him post the best ERA and WHIP of his career, while striking out one less batter per nine innings. I’d go so far as to suggest trading Cain after his next good start.
Scott Kazmir – I don’t understand why people continue to own Scott Kazmir…you’d rather have Victor Zambrano. Last week, in 9.2 IPs, he posted a 6.52 ERA and 1.76 WHIP. Those numbers are eerily similar to his season stats (5.42 ERA and 1.56 WHIP). He isn’t worth owning.
Mike Pelfrey – About two weeks ago, I suggested you trade Mike Pelfrey. While the media were praising Pelfrey for “coming into his own,” he was really just the beneficiary of extraordinary luck. Unfortunately, he doesn’t strike out enough batters to salvage a horrible outing. Last week he posted a 6.43 ERA and 1.43 WHIP while only striking out two batters. He is a pretty good pitcher, but there is no way he maintains an ERA below 3.00.
All stats as of noon on June 25, 2010
FB101’s 411: Be sure you know how to judge a hot streak. Sanchez, Branyan, Smoak, Venable, Gonzalez, and Pineiro make good adds. Keep your eye on Litsch, Dickey, Crowe, and Lugo. You are allowed to give up on Scott Kazmir.