Posts Tagged ‘bud norris’

The Hot N Cold Fantasy Baseball All-Stars for @FP911

The Hot N Cold Fantasy Baseball All-Stars for Fantasy Pros 911: http://fp911.com/the-hot-n-cold-fantasy-baseball-all-stars-4/. This article focuses on recent trends in fantasy baseball and roto performance and focuses on: Chris Davis, Pedro Alvarez, Jose Altuve, tony Campana, Michael Saunders, Angel Pagan, Gerardo Para, Josh Reddick, Carlos Ruiz, Wilson Betemit, Eric Thams, Alex Liddi, Edwin Encarnacion, Gavin Floyd, Derek Lowe, James McDonald, Chris Capuano, R.A. Dickey, Bud Norris, Mike Minor, Clay Buchholz, Josh Johnson, Ervin Santana, Emilio Bonifacio, Mark Texieria, Albert Pujols, Peter Bourjos, Dee Gordon, Nelson Cruz, Brett Lawrie, Eric Hosmer and others.

Lock, Stock and Taking Stock, Part 1

For Razzball, how did I do on my sleepers and busts:

Lock, Stock and Taking Stock, Part 1

http://razzball.com/lock-stock-and-taking-stock-part-1/comment-page-1/#comment-847344 Continue reading

h2h Corner ~ Katy Perry (Hot ‘N’ Cold Fantasy Baseball) 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.

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

Ryan Ludwick – If only someone had tipped off the fantasy community weeks ago about Ryan Ludwick – if only…Over the last seven days, Ludwick, in going 11/25 with three bombs, reminded everyone of his brilliant 2008 season. Ludwick can hit .250 with 25 jacks – he might fall a tad short, but he’ll be close. He’s a very cheap and usable outfielder. All of you who jumped on Gomes should jump on Ludwick. Continue reading

h2h Corner ~ Knowing ADP – How To Win Your League Before It Starts: Bud Norris

Bud Norris – Current ADP 317; 87th SP – My Rank: 114th Pitcher; 90th SP

I have always been a Bud Norris fan. One main reason is that it allows me to link to Wall Street quotes.

The second reason is that Norris has a career 9.1 K/9 rate. So, I’m a little disappointed that I ranked him so low. There are clearly a lot of players – I probably ranked over 600 – but Norris fell through the cracks.

It’s true that Norris hasn’t been overly healthy in his professional career and has only accumulated 209.1 MLB IPs. Still, he’s an h2h pitcher’s dream as he can post monster K numbers in just one start – and, if he gets two starts, double digit Ks are a given.

Of course, people will balk at his career 4.82 ERA – however he has outperformed that when you look at FIP (4.33) and xFIP (4.19). While last year was his worst ERA, there were some promising signs: he increased his GB%, lowered his HR/FB% and increased the amount of times batters swung at his pitches outside the zone.

If Norris can stay healthy, he is a legitimate 180+ K candidate. Sure, playing for the lowly Astros likely wont result in many wins and his ratios (at best a 4.30 ERA and 1.45 WHIP) will leave a lot to be desired, but having the fireballer in your hip pocket could help you win Ks on a weekly basis.

Toward the end of drafts, he’s a definite option.

Feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner).

_______

Maximizing every drop of value in every pick is hugely important. Taking a player in the fifth round that you could just as easily have taken in the sixth round is a major mistake. To avoid this, you need to know all about Average Draft Position (ADP).

While no two drafts are identical, knowing where a player typically goes gives you a general idea of where he will go in your draft. That said, be sure to do homework on your league mates subjective tendencies. For example, if there are Red Sox fans, be sure to snag guys like Lester and Youkilis a bit earlier than you normally would. In addition, you should talk up your sleepers before the draft (discretely of course) to see if anyone is on to them. If you don’t, an opponent with an itchy trigger finger who hasn’t done his ADP homework might snag one of your sleepers a round before anyone else is typically taking him.

Now that you know WHY ADP is important, I want to show you HOW to exploit it by highlighting those players who are going too low compared to players with similar ADPs. You can grab an ADP report at Mock Draft Central.

Feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner).

h2h Corner ~ Katy Perry (Hot ‘N’ Cold Fantasy Baseball) 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.

Katy Perry has also wondrously semi-debauched Sesame Street with a slightly cleaned up version of Hot N Cold.  That is all.

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

Mike Aviles – Aviles is available in a lot of leagues. Aviles hit .462 over the last seven days and added three HRs. It appears the Royals will give Aviles the playing time he deserves. Ipso facto, Aviles should be rostered.

Danny ValenciaValencia has been on absolute fire as of late (.391 AVG, three HRs and seven RBIs over the last seven days). However, I wouldn’t bank on him continuing power stroke. He slugged only .469 in the minors and just .373 in AAA this season. In deep leagues, I’d be interested, but he doesn’t profile as someone who can help 10- and 12-teamers.

Jose Guillen – Katy only included Jose Guillen because he has the propensity to absolutely go off and be one of the best hitters in baseball. There is an inkling that this might occur. Over the last seven days, Guillen went 7/14 and added two round trippers and eight RBIs. If he hits one more HR, I’d think of adding him for the h2h play-offs. It’s hard to catch lightening in a bottle this late, but Guillen could definitely be that spark.

Dan Johnson – Johnson hit three HRs over the last seven days. He has hit eight total since 2008. He did hit 18 bombs in 2007. However, the first base/DH position is pretty cloudy for the Rays. Carlos Pena, Brad Hawpe and Matt Joyce all need at bats and are left-handed. Unless there is an injury that frees up ABs, Johnson won’t have a ton of value.

Chris Johnson – If you listened to me on the radio Monday night, you would have heard me say I think Chris Johnson is in for a big week. So far, he has already had a good last seven days (.364 AVG, two HRs and five RBIs). I don’t think Johnson will replicate this season next year, but for the next 10 days, I wouldn’t mind riding his hot streak.

Carlos Gomez – True story, I traded Ian Desmond for Carlos Gomez in an NL-only league. That team is now in first and I am in second. It’s depressing. Well, Gomez has actually looked good of late (.350 AVG and three steals over the last seven days). As long as Gomez is playing, he has a chance to get on base, which means he’ll try to steal. If you need to solidify that category, he is a very available option.

Bud Norris – Another radio star Joel Henard and I discussed Monday. I don’t understand how Norris is only owned in 12 percent of leagues. Over the last seven days, he has two wins, 13 strike-outs, a 1.93 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. He also plays for the Astros – what more do you want? Add him!

Jake WestbrookKaty is absolutely shocked at Westbrook’s ownership levels. In his last start, he went eight shut-out innings with a 1.12 WHIP. Sure, he doesn’t strike out a ton of batters but he has a 3.26 ERA and 1.24 WHIP since joining the Cardinals. I wish I owned him.

Jhoulys Chacin – Here is a guy I don’t wish I own because I don’t have to because I own him (worst sentence construction ever?). In his last start, Chacin went eight shut-out innings and posted a 1.12 WHIP (somewhat identical to Westbrook’s last outing). Chacin has all the makings of a star and has been phenomenal this year (8.83 K/9, 3.30 ERA and 3.47 FIP). Please add him, he deserves it.

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

Mat Latos – One of the reasons my NL-only team is in second place – the struggles of Mat Latos. Over the last seven days, he managed to pitch just 1.1 IPs, yet he gave up eight runs on nine hits. He remains a good pitcher, but he hasn’t really tested his arm this much in terms of pitches and innings. If I’m close in ERA, I might be careful in how I use Latos in his next one or two outings. He should get the Dodgers in his next start, a team he has dominated this year.

John Danks – On April 30, Danks had three wins, a 1.55 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 1.9 BB/9 rate, and 8.1 K/9 rate. At that time, I suggested people try to trade him. While he wasn’t entirely brutal over the last week (13.1 IPs, seven Ks, a 7.43 ERA and 1.35 WHIP), his 2010 K-rate has come down to 6.83 (just like last year), the walk rate has gone up to 2.94 and he has a 3.80 ERA and 3.71 FIP. I like Danks, but he was never the stud the beginning of the season made him look like. He remains an upper echelon match-ups play going forward.

Gio Gonzalez – In the same column I referenced above, I also suggested folks trade Gio Gonzalez. Like Danks, he too has had a tough seven days (eight IPs, eight Ks, a 7.88 ERA and a 2.25 WHIP). All of that is the result of one poor outing against Kansas City (seven runs in two IPs). I like Gonzalez a lot, even though he has benefited from a reduced HR/9 rate. He is a pitcher I am confident posting an ERA from 3.70 – 4.00 with a sterling K-rate (say 8.00 – 9.00).

Brandon Phillips – Joel and I talked about the brutality of Phillips recent stretch on Monday. It’s been bad (2/25 over the last seven days). What I had forgotten about was the bruised right hand he suffered about a month ago. At this point, you can’t wait for Phillips to come out of his funk; you should drop him and grab a player like Eric Young.

Elvis Andrus – Andrus has been borderline useless over the last seven days (.179 AVG and four runs). What’s worse is that he has been crashing back to earth after a hot start to the season. Sure, he has improved his OBP by about .020 points, but his slugging percentage is .305. That, my friends, is Wily Tavares-esque. What’s worse is he is only 30/44 in steal attempts. I still believe in Andrus for next year. He is only 21. However, for the rest of this season, Mike Aviles might be a better option right now.

All stats as of noon September 21, 2010

FB101’s 411: Be sure you know how to judge a hot streak. Aviles Chris Johnson, Chacin, Norris, and Westbrook make good adds. Keep your eye on Guillen, Gomez, and Valencia. You are allowed to sort of give up on Elvis Andrus and Brandon Phillips.

h2h_Corner on Twitter (http://twitter.com/h2h_Corner)

h2h Corner ~ Katy Perry (Hot ‘N’ Cold Fantasy Baseball) 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.

Again, I’m going to use this space to talk about a Reality TV show near and dear to my heart, Big Brother.

In case you missed it, Matt used the diamond power of veto last night to save himself and, de facto, evict Kathy. It was a long time coming for Kathy who was useless, boring and seemed dumb. At what point does “flying under the radar” turn into just plan ole poor performance. Anyway, Kathy deserved to go a few weeks ago.

Still, I was hoping Matt would put up Enzo. I use to like Enzo, but he has proven himself to be a craptastic player (ala Colby in Survivor All-stars). He hasn’t won or come close to winning anything. He talks like a fool (but, I must admit, is sometimes funny). I think Matt realizes that the brigade is a useless alliance for him and will switch to Britney, Ragan and Lane. It’d be a fierce battle between them and Hayden/Brendon/Enzo. Ultimately, Britney has the power this week and I think she nominates Brendon and Hayden. We shall see.

Either way, it’s been a great season, thanks mostly to crazy drama Queen Rachel who reminds me of Jenn from the Evil Dick season. Who do you think is going to win? I’ve still got my money on Lane, but Matt has proven to be intelligent about the game.

Anyway, you know the drill here. With time running out on the season, you need to make the strategic moves that put you over the top. So let’s delve into a bit of the performances over the past seven days.

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

Coco Crisp – Crisp remains owned in too few leagues (19% of Yahoo!). I’ve written about him a lot. So I’ll just leave you with how helpful his last week would have been to your team: sex runs, one HR, four RBIs, four SBs and a .407 AVG).

Yuniesky Betancourt – Betancourt would have to be as hot as he is (.381 AVG, two HRs over the last seven days; five HRs and a .282 AVG over the last 30) for me to mention him. He is simply not a trustworthy fantasy commodity. He doesn’t get on base (one walk this month) and doesn’t have much upside. In a super deep league, where every viable starter is snapped up, sure Betancourt could be owned. I’d feel sorry for that owner, though.

Wilson Betemit – I’ve talk about Betemit in the past and sort of like him. He isn’t getting a ton of playing time, but when he has played he’s produced (last seven days: .368 AVG, two HRs). He seems to destroy the ball at home, so, if you need a hitter pick-up during a Royals home stand, Betemit isn’t the worst option for deep leaguers.

Matt Tuiasosopo – I mostly included Tuiasosopo because his last name is so cool to say. It even sounds good in my internal monologue. While he has had a decent seven-day stretch (two HRs, seven RBIs and a .333 AVG), this will likely be the best seven-day stretch of his career. Given he qualifies at every IF position except SS and the OF, he could be a speculative add in Al-only leagues, but don’t expect anything.

Gregor Blanco – It must be the mid-80s with all the Royals making the All-star team. Blanco has been a secretive stolen base weapon over the past few weeks. Last week alone, he swiped four bases and batted .375. If you need steals, speedster Blanco would be a good ad.

Paul Janish – With Orlando Cabrera on the DL, Janish has been given ample playing time and, well, he hasn’t been bad. Over the last seven days, Janish hit .368, and added one HR and one steal. There isn’t much upside, but he won’t kill your batting and will score the occasional run. He’s certainly more attractive than Betancourt.

Brandon Inge – Inge came off the DL swinging (two HRs and a .273 AVG over the last seven days) and is capable of prodigious home run binges. He is only owned in nine percent of leagues, yet could provide some great power numbers down the stretch (especially RBIs if he bats behind the continually walkable Miguel Cabrera).

Bud Norris – Please, just pick Bud Norris up already. He is only six percent owned, but has killed it recently (14 IPs, two wins, 18 Ks, 2.57 ERA, and 0.71 WHIP). Grab him before your league mates do.

Bryan Bullington – Speaking of the Royals, because, apparently, Katy loves blue, Bullington, a one-time number one-overall pick a long time ago, secured his first career win in a spot start for the Royals. Over the last seven days, he pitched eight innings, didn’t allow a run and posted a 0.38 WHIP. He gets the White Sox tomorrow, which could be a good outing. If you need a starter and are in a deep league, you might as well give the Bouillabaisse a try.

Brandon Lyon & Wilton Lopez – Brandon Lyon is the de facto Astros closer. If you miss him, Wilton Lopez could pick up occasional saves. Lyon is owned in only 20% of leagues, Lopez is only three percent owned. Every save counts in a lot of leagues, don’t be shy about adding one of these guys.

Ross Ohlendorf – Ohlendorf has had a sneaky good season (3.90 ERA, 1.37 WHIP and 79 Ks in 108.1 IPs). He was even better over the last seven days (14.2 IPs, 12 Ks, 1.84 ERA and 0.82 WHIP). The biggest negative about Ohlendorf is that he doesn’t get to pitch against his own team. All kidding aside, he does have a minusculely lucky BAbip (.291) and his FIP is 4.43. Basically, he is benefiting from a lucky HR/FB rate (7.7%) which is about three points higher than his career norm. Still, as a low-cost option, Ohlendorf isn’t bad. He certainly won’t just fall off a cliff. I’d avoid starting him at homer-friendly parks though.

John Lannan – Don’t look know, but John Lannan is on a K-binge (last seven days: 12.1 IPs, 10 Ks, 2.92 ERA and 1.05). He has actually been fairly useful over his last 23.1 IPs (3.09 ERA, 1.20 WHIP). In addition, he has been a bit unlucky this year (.333 BAbip, 67.4% strand rate) and he has a FIP around 4.67. Still, he doesn’t have much upside, as he has never really posted a useful MLB K-rate.

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

Carl Pavano – The Pavano resurgence has been Alyssa Milano’ed (last week: two starts, seven Ks, a 6.57 ERA and 2.11 WHIP). He’s been downright horrible over his last 40 IPs (3.66 ERA and 1.58 WHIP). Sure he has a slightly lucky BAbip on the year (.285), but his FIP (3.72) isn’t much higher than his ERA (3.52). So what do we make of his last few miserable outings? I think they are just random poor occurrences. Over the last 28 days, Pavano has a .409 BAbip, over the last 14, a .431. If your trading deadline hasn’t passed, Pavano makes a good buy low. I wouldn’t worry about him going forward.

Fausto Carmona – It’s tough when a two-start pitcher takes it upon himself to royally screw you (7.36 ERA, 1.82 WHIP and just four Ks). Those Ks are the reason I don’t like pitchers like Carmona. There is no help when he struggles. At least Pavano (by no means a strike-out pitcher) secured seven punch-outs last week. Dr. Faustus is what he is this year, a guy with about a 4.00 ERA and risky WHIP who doesn’t K anyone. I’d be careful when I use him going forward.

Edinson Volquez – Weeks like the last one (5.06 ERA and 1.78 WHIP) highlight the reasons I told you to be weary of Volquez. While his to-date Ks are nice (35 in 34 IPs), I don’t think you can expect much relief in the ratios. In his short season to date, he has an 80.9% strand rate. Sure he has a .334 BAbip (which is unlucky), but his FIP is 5.68. I love his K upside. He is someone it’d be nice to have in the arsenal to throw out there if I wasn’t worried about my ERA/WHIP, but other than that, I don’t see Volquez as being particularly helpful.

Matt Kemp – Matt Kemp has been a top 80 player this year, which isn’t bad (unless you compare that to the top five some were predicting). Kemp, as his last seven days can attest (.087 AVG) has never got into a groove. He’ll still end up a 20/20 player, but, at this point, is a certain disappointment. So, what caused the 2010 pitfall? Well, his career BAbip is .349, while it rests at .305 this season. So there has been a bit of fluctuation. Of course, Kemp hasn’t been around forever, so we don’t know exactly what his BAbip performance will be. In addition, Kemp has lost his eye at the plate. He is on pace for about 30 more Ks this year than last. He is also getting caught stealing at a near 50% rate – far higher than anything we’ve seen from him. Looking into the crystal ball, he’ll be a top four round pick next year with some upside. It’s just a shame he didn’t continue his career arc. But, hey, players don’t (Nick Markakis)

Miguel Olivo – It’s borderline dumps time for Olivo. He has come back to earth after a scorching hot 60% of the season. Quite simply, we all knew this would happen as he has never been someone who could get on base 30% of the time, let alone hit .300. If there are more attractive options out there, feel free to bombs away. At this point, I’d like to have a backstop who didn’t destroy by AVG/OBP every week.

All stats as of noon on August 20, 2010

FB101’s 411: Be sure you know how to judge a hot streak. Crisp, Lyon, Lopez, Norris, Ohlendorf, and Blanco make good adds. Keep your eye on Inge, Lannan, Janish and Betemit. You are allowed to sort of give up on Miguel Olive.

h2h_Corner on Twitter

h2h Corner ~ Katy Perry (Hot ‘N’ Fantasy Baseball 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.

Ok, so maybe I’m showing my immaturity here, but why didn’t pop stars crash my senior prom? Sure, at that point, I was very anti-pop music, way more into folk/classic rock/DMB/Outkast, but it would have made for a good story if, like, Jewel showed up. Ok maybe not.

But I’m sure some Aussie high schools were thrilled when Katy “popped into [a] school dance taking place in her hotel in Australia when she heard the DJ playing her hit single California Gurls.”

I swear this has some value – other than reminding me of my smoking hot prom date who I ditched for a less attractive girl who would put out.

In fact, it has fantasy value because it is about time to think about the play-offs in h2h leagues. Depending on your categories, you need to start prioritizing what you can win and the weaknesses of your opponents. If you are a lower seed in the play-offs, start building your roster for your likely match-up. If you know steals might be hotly contested, go out and grab a Jose Tabata or Michael Brantley or Rajai Davis. If saves might be close, speculate widely on the Mets situation. Meanwhile, if you think you have a good shot at wins/Ks, make sure you do by adding some pitchers (Marc Rzepczynski, Bud Norris, etc.).

In short, start to take stock of your team and what categories you need to secure. Also, know your league tie-breaker (usually it’s ERA). If you can secure that category, you only need to win four out of the remaining nine to win a week. Following this method a lower-seeded team can crash the fantasy play-offs and end up in the championship.

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

Michael Brantley – Brantley continues his surge to relevance (last seven days: .375 AVG, seven runs, two SBs). I’ve covered him a good deal because I like speedy players. He’ll be a good add for most leagues, especially those in needs of steals.

Ryan Raburn – Raburn has become a budget Swiss army knife of sorts for the Detroit Tigers. Now qualifying at first and second base and the outfield and batting behind Miguel Cabrera, Raburn is getting an opportunity to impact multiple fantasy line-ups. Over the last seven days, Raburn blasted four HRs and hit .360. He will not continue that HR binge, but could provide very cheap power numbers from the second base position. Think of him as a healthy version of Mark Ellis, or, if you prefer, a poor man’s Aaron Hill.

David Murphy – With injuries surrounding the Rangers outfield, Murphy is getting more and more at bats, which have translated to delicious home-cooking (over the last seven days (with five home games) he hit .389 with six RBIs and three SBs). He is a safe start at home going forward.

Luke Scott – Luke’s father must have been Eric Camden from Seventh Heaven, because Luke absolutely demolishes pitching in Camden’s yard (get it?). Come on, it was a way to link to Jessica Biel several times. Anyway, over the last seven days, Scott batted .333 and added two HRs. For his career, Scott owns a .293/.374/.575 line when he plays in Baltimore. He has 44 HRs in just 173 games started there. Not bad. Start him when he is at home.

Brooks Conrad – It’s hard to find a silver lining in Chipper going down for the year. I’ve been a fan for awhile, probably because of his real name. On the bright side, we get to see scrappy Brooks Conrad play more. Over the last seven days, Conrad batted .316 and added two HRs. He won’t provide much pop, but those of you in NL-only leagues should take notice and scoop him up.

Omar Infante – Speaking of the Braves and low-power utility men, Infante has been a very useful fantasy commodity of late (over the last seven days he posted a .360 AVG and scored five runs). He qualifies all over the diamond (everywhere but first and catcher) and should score some runs.

Logan Morrison – Morrison had an impressive stretch over the last seven days. He hit .400 and scored seven runs. An inaugural member of the David Wooderson All-Stars, Morrison has shown great plate discipline throughout his career and could post decent ratios and a bunch of runs as long as he remains in the majors.

Jim Thome – You know what you get with Thome, an average in the .260-.270 range, but serious power potential. In fact, he blasted two HRs over the last seven days and is seeing increasing playing time with Justin Morneau out indefinitely. Thome is playing his way into 10-team mixed-league relevance right now.

Russell Branyan – This, apparently, is the meat of Katy’s order, the place where cheap power flourishes. Over the last seven days, Branyan hit two HRs. While he wont add many runs or RBIs (he doesn’t get on base that often and the rest of his line-up is pretty bad), for those in need of HRs, he should be your first pick-up.

Wade LeBlanc – I admit that I wrote off LeBlanc long ago. He is making me eat my words. Over the last seven days, LeBlanc worked 12.2 IPs, secured two victories, and posted 15 Ks and a 2.13 ERA /1.03 WHIP. Those numbers match-up well with his season to-date (although the Ks are a little on the high side). So far, he is certainly benefiting from the Padres stalwart bull pen (83.3% strand rate), but that only means that his ERA could jump a bit (to the 4.20-4.40 range). He remains a pretty safe pitcher who should be owned in more than 11 percent of leagues.

Kevin Correia – Correia has had an inverse Oreo-cookie season, with the middle being cruddy and the outside being delicious. Over the last seven days, Correia went 12.1 IPs, struck-out 12 and posted a 2.92 ERA and 0.89 WHIP. There isn’t anything to suggest Correia isn’t the pitcher he has been this year, so kick the tires and light the fires. He’ll be a useful match-ups play down the stretch.

Marc Rzepczynski – The best Russian block export since Ivan Drago (none of this is accurate), Rzepczynski has torn up the competition since coming back to the Bigs this season (last seven days: one start, seven IPs, one win, six Ks, no runs and a 0.29 WHIP). He gets Oakland up next, so pick him up before the hordes realize.

Bud Norris – Let it be known that I love Bud Norris and his K-potential. Norris won Ks singlehandedly for teams over the last seven days (seven IPs, 14 Ks, a 2.57 ERA and 0.86 WHIP). Up to this point, Norris had been criminally unlucky (.350 BAbip, 62.6 percent strand rate), yet has posted a ridiculously awesome 9.75 K/9 rate. If he is available (he is only 3 percent owned), I’d be adding him immediately.

Homer Bailey – The Reds rotation is about as curious as curious can be. There are a ton of arms floating out there with upside (Aaron Harang, Edinson Volquez, Travis Wood, etc.) which make it hard to see how the starts will be divvied up. Bailey, in his first start off the DL, did his best to muddy the waters (six IPs, a win, four Ks, no runs and a 0.50 WHIP).

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

Josh Beckett – It’s times like these that I’m happy I’ve never been a Josh Beckett fan (as a fantasy analyst – what he has done in the play-offs is very cool). Last week, in just one start, he posted a 10.80 ERA and 2.20 WHIP. Small sample size, say you? Well, he has pitched 76 IPs this year and has a 6.51 ERA and 1.54 WHIP. Sure there are some signs that he hasn’t had the luckiest of campaigns (.353 BAbip and 60.8% strand rate). But his Ks are down and his walks are up. Furthermore, he has a lousy ERA at home (4.60 in 342.2 IPs). Basically, I’d only trust him on the road against teams not named the Yankees or Rays. There is some reason for optimism that he isn’t this bad, but it’s fading with every horrible outing.

Vicente Padilla – Remember when I said Padilla was a match-ups play? Well, his last week was the reason why: two starts, 9.1 IPs, 11.57 ERA and 1.93 WHIP. He really isn’t as good as his numbers suggest (.256 BAbip), but he actually isn’t that much worse (3.96 ERA compared to 4.20 FIP). He is an upper echelon flotilla-play for the season.

Daisuke Matsuzaka – I find myself being a bigger Matsuzaka fan than most people. Sure his last seven days (12.1 IPs, 5.84 ERA and 1.46 WHIP) leave a horrible taste in your mouth, but at least he fanned 15 batters. At this point, I like him a lot more than someone like AJ Burnett. I think he can improve a bit and ends the season with a sub-4.00 ERA.

Chone Figgins – I am definitely a Figgins apologist (although only in OBP leagues). Still, there isn’t much defending I can do for a guy with a sub-.250 AVG. The 30 SBs are nice, but he scores no runs and doesn’t knock in any. His last week (.125 AVG) was indicative of his entire season. Unless you are focusing on SBs and ignoring power, there are better third or second base options out here.

Justin Upton – Man, it must be hot in the desert given how many times Upton fans (get it!?!?!?). He is three Ks away from last year’s total and well on his way to 190 Ks on the season. Anytime someone strikes out that much, his average will be volatile (to wit his last seven days: .043 AVG). Until he can keep his Ks in check (say around 125-145) he won’t be the talent that we all thought.

Lance Berkman – I don’t think Berkman ever thought he’d be dropped for someone like Bobby Parnell, but I did that in one league. There isn’t much to like about him since he joined the Yankees, especially his last seven days (.167 AVG). If you have a speculative play out there, given Berkman’s age and ailments, I think he is a very safe drop.

All stats as of noon, August 17.

FB101’s 411: Be sure you know how to judge a hot streak. Scott, Brantley, Murphy, Thome, Rzepczynski, LeBlanc and Correia and Norris make good ads. Keep your eye on Infante, Morrison, Branyan, Bailey, Raburn and Conrad. You are allowed to sort of give up on Lance Berkman and Chone Figgins.

h2h_Corner on Twitter