Posts Tagged ‘david ortiz’

Hot Stove Fantasy Baseball League

The offseason sucks, right? If you aren’t a fan of the Nouveau Rich Angels or Marlins, ain’t much happening.

Sure you stay up on all the news and get excited when your squad picks up a new (malcontented) outfielder – or a stud Cuban who might actually be eligible for social security benefits (if he was a citizen, you know) – or one of the Molina Brothers.

For the most part, however, there is very little to keep fantasy players engaged through the long winter months. Lucky for you, I’ve got a solution: Hot Stove Fantasy Baseball.

The league’s set up is really quite simple. Each owner is allotted $230 to build his team. The player universe is everyone that filed for free agency following the season (including those desperate (smart?) few who accepted arbitration). There is a handy list at Baseball Reference every year: http://www.baseball-reference.com/friv/2011-free-agents.shtml.

Each team starts 10 hitters (normal spots plus two utilities), four SPs, three RPs and three general Ps. You cannot make any moves (other than trades) during the regular season and must fill each roster spot with a body (but you could always use Troy Glaus if you want!).

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Baseball Daily Digest Radio with Joel Henard, Albert Lang & Mike Rudd from 12.12

Baseball Daily Digest Radio with Joel Henard, Albert Lang & Mike Rudd from 12.12http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thefantasyinsiders/2011/12/13/baseball-daily-digest-radio-with-joel-henard-and-albert-lang

We covered:

  • the Angels free agent tandem, what the Rangers could do (sign Kinsler long-term, Darvish) and what about Kendrys Morales and Mark Trumbo.
  • Ryan Braun
  • Mark Buehrle, Heath Bell, Hanley Ramirez, Ozzie Guillen and the Miami Marlins
  • The Chicago White Sox firesale
  • Prince Fielder’s potential landing spots
  • Daniel Bard’s transition to starter
  • Jimmy Rollins and his future
  • The bizarre Trevor Cahill trade
  • Ian Stewart and Aramis Ramirez moving on
  • the Hall of Fame with clips from Tommy Lasorda on Ron Santo and Ted Williams

Baseball Daily Digest Radio with Joel Henard and Albert Lang to air at 7:00 PM ET

Baseball Daily Digest Radio with Joel Henard and Albert Lang at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thefantasyinsiders/2011/12/13/baseball-daily-digest-radio-with-joel-henard-and-albert-lang to air at 7:00 PM ET.

We will cover: the Angels free agent tandem, Ryan Braun, Kendrys Morales, Mark Trumbo, Mark Buehrle, the Chicago White Sox, Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes, Prince Fielder, Carlos Beltran, Heath Bell, Daniel Bard, Rafael Furcal, Jimmy Rollins, Buster Posey, John Danks, Ian Kinsler, Trevor Cahill, Arizona Diamondbacks, Jarrod Parker, Oakland As, Ian Stewart, David Ortiz, Huston Street, and much more

h2h Corner ~ I’m a Believer: September Edition

h2h Corner ~ I’m a Believer: September Edition

Welcome to September’s “I’m a Believer” column. Yes, I got the name from a Monkees’ song. And yes, I like the song. Did you know that Neil Diamond wrote it, as well as many other songs by the Monkees? Isn’t Neil Diamond cool (Red Sox fans)?

Like the song teaches us, this column attempts to be a fun, quick read, mostly focused on what performances we can/can’t believe in.

Without further ado, I’m a believer that:

While Ryan Braun ranks in the top 30 players this year, he has had a disappointing season. Who has been the biggest disappointment on your roster? Post below! Continue reading

h2h Corner ~ Knowing ADP – How To Win Your League Before the Season Even Starts VII

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). Continue reading

h2h Corner ~ Katy Perry All-Stars V

Recently, I was thinking about the applications of Christina Aguilera’s music to fantasy baseball. The song “Fighter” seems very applicable to what a manager has to do during the regular season. There are so many unforeseen pitfalls that you can only be so prepared. That said, what other pop princesses can teach you something about fantasy baseball? Well, I’m glad you asked: Continue reading

h2h ~ The Buddy Garrity/Don Draper/Ed Norton Sales Convention

Who isn’t versed in financial lingo nowadays? In these tough economic times, it has become clear that everyone needs to know how to manage their finances. You certainly can’t leave it up to the experts. So in light of that, I (not an expert) am going to help you with players you should be selling, moderately positioning to sell and those you should be keeping the faith on

When it is Buddy Garrity sales time, you should be moving players right away. These are players that, I think, will regress to means or not perform as well as they have been (i.e. sell high candidates). In addition, they include guys I don’t think will perform well at all during the rest of the season – i.e., those players you are best cutting your losses with.

Meanwhile the Don Draper sales time requires that you be more of a sly trade partner. I advocate giving a range of players that are available. Include those players who you think might be slightly overvalued by your trade partner If he is interested, cite the positive stats of your Don Draper candidate. However, don’t seem eager. The best reaction to a trade proposal is a slow one. Take your time, be fair and vague, like how Don Draper picks up women.

I don’t love Edward Norton because he’s an Orioles fan (although that doesn’t hurt). He is a steady-as-you-go awesome actor. The players in his group can’t be moved for fair market value and shouldn’t be dropped in any competitive league. They’ll likely rebound to near draft value so don’t sell low. Instead, you should buy low on those players.

Buddy Garrity sales time (sell now)

David Ortiz – Some people still believe Ortiz is a viable buy-low option. I disagree. Maybe Papi, instead of getting upset at Manny, should ask for a little help. Yeah, I went there. If you can trade Ortiz for anything, do it. Here are some numbers: 54, 35, 23, 0 – those are the HRs Ortiz hit in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. Ortiz has paired those 0 HRs with a robust .208 AVE and a .318 OBP. Once pitchers come around that Papi is no longer Papa Doc, then that OBP will drop even further. If you have Boston fans in your league, see if you can get anything for Papi.

Jonathan Broxton – This isn’t an indictment of Broxton’s season (30 Ks, nine saves with a 1.50 ERA and 0.61 WHIP in 18 IPs) by any stretch. Still, saves are saves, if you can get a lesser closer and upgrade at a hitting position, I’d trade Broxton now. He shouldn’t continue to post a sub-1.00 WHIP for the rest of the season.

Brandon Morrow – The news cycle moved blindingly quick as I put this list of players together on Friday. It soon became clear that David Aardsma is Seattle’s closer. If you can trade Morrow great, but in 10-, 12-team leagues you should drop him outright.

Rickie Weeks – Speaking of the blinding pace of today’s news cycle, Instead of writing:

“Another number to throw out there: 129. As in the most games Weeks has played in a season. Weeks has always been backed by huge hype, and he is only 26. Still, he remains an injury concern. While his OBP (.342) is in line with last year – which in fact was lower than his previous two seasons – expect his AVE to come down. Still, it is possible he could put up 20 HR and 25+ SBs. Nevertheless, I’d be looking to see if anyone actually thinks this will happen. If someone does, I wouldn’t mind parting with him. Weeks tends to have poor Junes and Julys (.241 and .226 career AVEs), so now is the perfect time to sell.”

I could have just written: Weeks out for season, Quelle Surprise!?! This could clear the way for Mat Gamel to get more playing time. See if he sticks.

Ryan FranklinSee Jonathan Broxton. Closers are closers, saves are saves, I think therefore I am. If you can pair a closer with one of your hitters for a hitting upgrade and closer downgrade do it.

Jered Weaver – What a start for Jered Weaver (2.45 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, with 35 Ks in 47 IPs). If you look deeper into his stats, however, you realize that he has five home starts and only two away starts. In 41 career home starts, Weaver has a 3.15 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. Meanwhile in 43 career road starts, Weaver has a 4.04 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. In addition, Weaver’s BABIP is low and his stranded runner rate is high. When those are corrected, his ERA and WHIP will go up. I’m not saying he won’t have a good year, but if you can get people to buy on his strong home start, you should be dealing.

Don Draper sales time (moderately/slyly begin to move)

Dan Haren – Haren is a top five pitcher right now. So why do I suggest moderately attempting to move him? While he has a 2.09 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 56 Ks in 56 IPs, Haren is a career first half player. Haren’s first half ERA/WHIP is 3.23/1.09, while his second half ERA/WHIP is 4.12/1.33. Haren has great Junes, so you might want to keep him around into the middle of next month. However, since it takes awhile to deal a blue chipper, I’d start subtly shopping Haren now.

Dustin Pedroia – Pedroia is only .009 off his batting average pace from last year, while his OBP is .030 higher. However, if you look deeper, he has four SBs in seven attempts, while he had 20 SBs in 21 attempts last year. Expecting a repeat in SBs is probably not going to happen. In addition, while he only had four HRs through the end of May last year, can you really expect 15+ HRs from Pedroia? He does have a 162-game career average of 13 HRs. If someone is willing to pay a top five second baseman price, I’d move him.

Adam Jones – I love Adam Jones. I love the Baltimore Orioles. Am I trying to reverse jinx him? Maybe. However, I can’t help but draw parallels between Jones’ start this year and Justin Upton’s start last year. Upton hit eight HRs through the end of May and only seven the rest of the season. Jones’ batting average has to come down, probably by 80 – 100 points. When that happens, will he press? I hope not. He has massive talent, but if someone thinks this will continue, I’d move him. A 20-20 season is not out of reach, by any stretch, but I’m pretty sure he has already had his best month/month-and-a-half of the year.

Torii Hunter – I loved Hunter before the year (and drafted him in my HR league). Still, not even I thought he’d have nine HRs on May 17. In 2006 and 2007, Hunter, at ages 30 and 31, hit 31 and 28 HRs. So it wouldn’t be shocking if he managed 27-32 HRs, though I’m not sure that it is likely. Hunter also has five SBs, while his highest total is 23 (surprising, no?). Hunter has had a nice start – but if the other managers in your league think this will continue, take the opportunity to rob them of a slow starter.

Wandy Rodriguez – I love Wandy Rodriguez – my leaguemates know this. I’ve had him on every team the last few years. Wandy had been a horribly consistent pitcher – being awesome at home and terrible on the road – which made deciding when to start him a very easy decision. This year, Wandy has put it all together (1.90 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, with 48 Ks in 52 IPs) – and struck out 11 at Coors Field!!! To quote Russell “Trevor Hoffman” Sandman:

“Durability is the major limiting factor with Wandy Rodriguez (he has never notched over 182.2 IP in the Bigs).”

Durability is a red flag for pitchers. You have no idea who will be there for you down the stretch. While I love Wandy, I can’t buy him both staying completely healthy and continuing to be super dominant. If you can get $0.90 on the dollar, I’d move him. Still, you don’t have to.

Non-American History X/Rounders Ed Norton hold pat time (Keeping the Faith)

Geovany SotoSoto has been mostly bad (.202 AVE, .321 OBP, one HR, and 10 RBIs) this year. In the last week, however, Soto has hit .333 with a .421 OBP. The Cubs catcher missed a ton of time due to the World Baseball Classic, and he is possibly now rounding into form. Those of you who held tight, you can now begin to relax your grip a bit.

Dan Uggla Uggla defines streaky. He has been on the bad side of streaky so far (.187 AVE, .303 OBP, four HRs and 21 RBIs). However, this isn’t odd for Uggla. I’ll throw some more numbers at you: .255, .347, .264, .190, .217 & .258. Those were Uggla’s batting averages in every month last season. Some were great, some serviceable, some miserable. You have to deal with the miserable – roller coasters are meant to be fun, no?

J.J. HardyHardy does not get off to good starts (.229 career AVE in March/April, .273 in May, and .244 in June). This year has been no different (.218 AVE and .301 OBP, though he has hit five HRs). You should wait him out – as the summer heats up so does Hardy. He’ll be money down the stretch.

Jon LesterLester has been struggling (6.51 ERA and 1.62 WHIP). In 2008, Lester posted a 4.31 ERA and 1.54 WHIP in March/April. Lester could be a slow starter. Also, he hasn’t been useless this year. He does have 54 Ks in 47 IPs – which is awesome. That K-rate suggests he’ll turn it around.

Stats as of May 16.

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h2h Corner ~ Katy Perry All-Stars IV

Welcome to the latest installment of the weekly hot and cold fantasy trends update.

Speaking of cold, I can’t believe I’ve watched this much hockey in the last week, nor has Washington D.C. been this abuzz with hockey talk. Of course, all that came to a shattering halt last night when the Caps got demolished, at home, in a game seven, by the Pittsburgh Penguins. I deride hockey as much as the next guy. I rarely know what is going on, I can’t follow the puck, etc. But I was CAPtivated by the Caps (I went to college to write like this, can’t you tell?).

Anyway, yesterday’s game got me thinking about hype. Essentially, fantasy sports writers are ever-competing serial hypers. I try to tread lightly when I hype and only back ideas I completely believe in.

Before the season, I absolutely, deeply and dearly loved Adrian Gonzalez, Jason Bay and Javvy Vazquez. I’m happy with their achievements so far, because, well, it’s not enough for me if they are trying their hardest (do you hear me Dan Uggla?). On the other hand, I’ve deadpanned people like Chris Davis, Josh Beckett, etc. It’s nice to be right. Of course, I’ve hyped some losers in my day: Uggla, Bronson Arroyo, and Randy Johnson to name three.

Still, I’d like to think I was most diligent about AGON, Bay and Vazquez and I think I was. I guess what I’m saying is that yesterday’s Caps game made me thankful for the times when the product lives up to the hype. It is refreshing (like that Sprite commercial where the people jump into each other and turn into water like Spiderman’s hydro villain) when hype is fulfilled, like Lady Gaga’s follow-up to Just Dance, Poker Face.

But I digress, so let’s move on to things that matter to you, like who’s hot and likely unowned:

Jerry Hairston Jr. – Over the last week, Hairston (the one time Orioles phenom – I kid) received regular playing time and didn’t disappoint. He scored eight runs, hit two HRs, and stole two bases. Given his position eligibility (Hairston qualifies at second, shortstop and outfield in most leagues), Hairston could provide some real value this season. And, it’s not like he hasn’t put together productive seasons before. Just last year, while also playing in Cincinnati, Hairston hit .326 with 47 runs and 15 SBs in just 261 at bats. Hairston could be a sneaky source of runs and SBs. Hitting in the bandbox known as the Great American Ballpark certainly won’t hurt his numbers.

Adam Rosales – Speaking of the production benefits of playing in Cincinnati, Rosales scored six runs and bagged two HRs last week, while posting a .385 OBP. In 497 AAA at bats, Rosales hit 15 HRs, stole nine bases, and recorded a .306 AVE with a .358 OBP He is little old (26) for a prospect, but could provide some nice pop while Edwin Encarnacion is out.

Casey Kotchman – I’ve never liked Kotchman. Generally, I am not a fan of soft-hitting first basemen (Kotchman has never hit more than 14 HRs in a season). Still he managed to knock in 11 teammates last week, while hitting two HRs. These numbers are pretty streaky, but his season so far is in line with the 152 at bats he had with Atlanta in 2008. Kotchman is only 26, even though it seems like he has been around for a long time, so he should be entering his prime. He could hit mid-teens HRs and near 100 RBIs.

Todd Helton – For someone recently left for dead, Helton has had a remarkable season so far. Last week alone, he hit two HRs, while posting a .375 OBP. For the season, Todd Helton has hit .343 with four HRs and 20 RBIs – vintage Helton. Still, I can’t imagine this will continue. First, Helton was recently quoted – in talking about his troubled back – as saying “it’s still a battle, don’t get me wrong.” Second, his BABIP over the last 28 days is .389, last 14 days .405. His career BABIP is .336. Luck can continue, but typically doesn’t – expect a regression.

Brian Tallet – Tallet had a great game, albeit against the Oakland A’s, last week. He struck out seven in seven innings while allowing one run on two hits and two walks. For the year he has posted a 1.24 WHIP and struck out 29 batters in 36 IPs. Tallet is 31 and has been a reliever for the majority of his career. He was a second round draft pick in 2000 and has a career 3.71 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. You should keep your eye on him in case he continues posting a low WHIP and a good K-rate.

Manny Parra – Parra did post a 1.67 WHIP last week, though he had a nice 3.75 ERA. More importantly he struck out 13 batters over 12 innings. For the year, Parra has 36 Ks in 37.1 IPs. If you are looking for an upside starter, Parra, who is owned in 26 percent of Yahoo leagues, would be a solid bet.

D.J. Carrasco – Carrasco, the White Sox’ long reliever, pitched seven innings last week. In those innings he struck out nine batters, while posting a 2.57 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. Carrasco could ultimately take over Jose Contreras’ rotation spot, so, in deep leagues, he might be someone to keep on your radar.

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. These are the players who have been ice cold, alright, alright, alright, alright, alright, alright, alright, alright.

James Shields – People have been hating on Shields lately – not sure why. Sure, last week, he had a 7.50 ERA and 1.83 WHIP, but at least he posted seven Ks. For the year, his WHIP is a very useful 1.28 and he has stuck out 30 batters. Shields is more than a match-up pitcher, though just barely. If you are close in ERA/WHIP in a given week and he is playing on the road, you might want to bench him. Shields has a career 3.28 ERA and 1.13 WHIP at home, while a 4.71 ERA and 1.29 WHIP away.

Armando Galarraga – Galarraga had a horrible week for a two-start pitcher. Specifically, he hurt your ratios badly (8.49 ERA and 1.54 WHIP). For the last month, Galarraga has a 5.29 ERA and 1.56 WHIP. The wheels could be coming off the Galarraga wagon. If you can sell at pre-season draft value, I’d encourage you to do that.

Grady Sizemore – Talk about a ratio category killer: Sizemore hit .160 last week with a .250 OBP. Not surprisingly, he managed to score only two runs while knocking in just one. For the season he is hitting just .232 and not really getting on base (.313 OBP). And, when he doesn’t get on base, he can’t steal. Still, Sizemore is seeing his pitches. If someone is shopping him, I’m buying.

Alexei Ramirez – It was not a good week for the Ramirezes (unless of course your first name was Hanley). Aramis hit the DL, Manny got suspended, and Alexei got one hit in ten at bats. I never liked Alexei (LINK), but he is playing much worse than even I thought he would: .212 AVE, .244 OBP, one HR, 11 RBIs and six SBs. The steals aren’t bad, but the rest is regrettable.

Andre Ethier – I wish they had a stat for with Manny and without. I’ll sort of buttonhook it. In the first half of 2008 (pre-Manny), Ethier hit .283 with a .351 OBP and .459 slugging percentage. In the second half, Ethier hit .335 with a .409 OBP and .583 SLG. In March/April of 2009, Ethier hit .306 with a .423 OBP and .553 SLG. Last week, Ethier hit .115 with a .207 OBP. Ethier clearly has talent, but, just as clearly, he misses Manny’s presence in the Dodger’s lineup.

Brandon Inge – Last week, Inge hit .176. Yet, he is owned in 90 percent of Yahoo leagues. Over the last month, Inge has hit .260. He did add four HRs, which is why you own him. Well actually, you own him because he has catcher eligibility. Expect a .260 hitter with moderate pop from here on.

Josh Beckett – Beckett has been a weekly member of the Katy Perry All-Stars. So far, he has looked bad (6.42 ERA and 1.77 WHIP). Still, he has struck out 41 batters in 40.2 IPs. Given the great 1:1 strikeout to inning ratio, I think you have to stick with him and hope he finds a way to bring his ERA and WHIP down. If given the opportunity, I’d be buying him right now — that K-rate is pretty spectacular. You can lose the ratio categories if you have high-K pitchers like Beckett.

Scott Kazmir According to Dave Cameron, the brilliant FanGraphs writer, “Scott Kazmir is broken.” Cameron finds that Kazmir lost his slider last year and, in so doing, “saw his GB% [groundball ratio] sink.” Kazmir did nothing last week (5.40 ERA, 2.20 WHIP, just two Ks) to alleviate these concerns. If you can find a buyer at near draft value, I’d pull the trigger.

David Ortiz – Ortiz managed a usable .364 OBP – that’s the good news. The bad news: .176 AVE, two runs, ZERO HRs and one RBI. Ortiz simply hasn’t been good in a long time. If someone’s buying low, I’m selling. People seem to think his bat speed looked great last Sunday – however, my little eye spied someone who was behind fastballs and “looked great” while he was fouling off change-ups. I’m not loving a power hitter who can’t yank the ball and is only UTIL eligible.

All stats are as of May 12.

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h2h Corner ~ Katy Perry All-Stars III

Welcome to the latest installment of the weekly hot and cold fantasy trends update. Continue reading

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