Posts Tagged ‘Josh Beckett’

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.

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h2h Corner ~ The Buddy Garrity, Don Draper, Ed Norton Sales Convention

Buddy Garrity sales time (sell now)

When it is Buddy Garrity sales time, you should be moving players immediately. These are players that will likely 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. These are players you are best cutting your losses with.

Vernon Wells – Wells is a dreamboat for Buddy; think a classic car that looks fantastic on the outside, yet is worn down under the hood. Wells is off to a fantastic start (seven HRs, a .333 AVE and .398 OBP); however, as you well know, he won’t keep up this pace. I see a line more like 80 runs, 20 HRs, 75 RBIs, a .270 AVE and a .330 OBP. If you can move him for more than that, do so.

Jose Guillen – Guillen seems to be the vintage Ashton Martin to Wells’ sparkling Corvette (I don’t know cars). However, Guillen has been more useful than Wells when healthy. That said, he can’t keep up a 50 HR pace. Buddy has Guillen out front with a bright new paint job, priced to move. If you can bring back a $10 consistent player for Guillen, I’d be happy with those returns.

Dan Uggla – I love Dan Uggla (he is a cheap 30 HR lock at second base). Unfortunately so does Buddy. You know why? Uggla is a career .259 hitter, yet is hitting at a .298 pace so far this season. The HRs, runs and RBIs will be there, but he hasn’t suddenly become a .290 hitter. Sell people on him being in a “contract year,” but don’t give him away. Right now he is playing like a fourth round talent, when he is really only a sixth/seventh rounder.

Barry Zito – Thanks to a .203 BAbip, Zito has basically halved his hit/9 rate (8.0 for career, 4.9 for 2010). That is pretty unsustainable. He certainly isn’t as worthless as he was a few years ago, but there is a lot of hype around him being similar to what he was when he pitched for the As. In reality, he’s strung together a bit of luck with the best K/BB rate of his career. I’d be pricing him to move immediately.

Brad Penny – I own Brad Penny everywhere and who wouldn’t be happy with the returns? Well, for starters, he hasn’t struck anyone out (4.7 Ks/9), which really hurts you in innings capped leagues. Further, he has magically begun walking less than one batter per game, when, for his entire career, he walked nearly three batters per nine innings. I don’t think Penny will fall off a cliff, but I’d rather have a guy who could strike a few batters out. I do think his ratios will climb a bit: at least a 3.00 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. I’d rather trade away a hot pitcher at the beginning of the year then bank on him continuing to perform optimally.

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

The Don Draper sales time requires that you be a less obvious trade partner. I advocate proposing a range of players that are available. Make sure to include those players who you think your trade partner might slightly overvalue. If he is interested, emphasize 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.

Carlos Gonzalez – Carlos Gonzalez is the only baseball player my girlfriend knows (baby steps). So it pains me to speak ill of him, but I must…a tad. First, I’ll start with the praise: my god he can hit (.355 AVE, .367 OBP). Hopefully you see the problem there. A guy with a .355 AVE should have no problem posting an OBP around .400. Unfortunately, CarGo has walked just two times (compared to 15 Ks). For his major league career, he has walked 43 times and struck out 166 times. He has also been lucky when it comes to his BAbip (.407 in 2010 and .335 for his career). Anyway you look at it, his batting average and OBP are going to come down. That means his runs, RBIs and SBs will come with it. He’ll still be a good and useful player, just not at the heights he is at the moment. If people are buying his early season Ichiro impression, by all means sell.

Chase Headley – I liked Headley a few years ago. Now he is 26 and mashing for the new and improved San Diego Padres. He was a career .300 hitter in the minor leagues and I see no issue with him approaching that number in 2010 (of course his current average is .337). Still, his slight (and real) average decline isn’t why I advocate trading him at the moment. I am doing so because his value is inflated by six stolen bases. Headley stole six bases total in four minor league seasons. He only stole 10 last year. Quite frankly, I don’t see him stealing much more than six the rest of the way. If you can sell based on his SB potential, Don Draper would be smiling upon you.

Vlad Guerrero – Listen, Vlad is awesome, but he ain’t gonna hit .368 or steal three more bases all year (most of his 2010 steals came against the inept Red Sox). Right now, he is rated highly based on his average and those steals. If someone thinks those can continue, by all means sell. If not, enjoy keeping him, as he’ll score a decent amount of runs, hit 16-20 HRs and bat a comfortable .300.

John Danks – Danks has been off to an impressive start to the 2010 campaign: three wins, 1.55 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 1.9 BB/9 and 8.1 K/9. Is he living up to his first round selection? Not quite, at least not yet. For one thing, Danks has been pretty lucky: to wit, a .224 BAbip. That is completely unsustainable – when it rises so will his ratios. In addition, Danks’ K/9 rate has been a very serviceable 7.1 throughout his career and his walk rate had been 3/9. In 2010, he has made some major improvements in those areas. I’m not saying he cant keep up his 2010 rates, I’m just stating that he never has before. Danks is likely on his way to his best season yet, but he’s had a little help. If anyone is buying him as a surefire ace, I have no qualms about letting that owner deal with the luck correction.

Francisco Liriano – There is no denying that Liriano has been great (0.93 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 8.4 Ks/9). However, he has never been all that healthy and he has a .247 BAbip. This is all my way of suggesting I don’t think he is “back” to his 2006 form (nor do I think he ever will). If you can get someone to pay something akin to what he was worth a few years ago, go right ahead. I’d rather let them take on the risk.

The Ed Norton hold pat time (Keeping the Faith)

I don’t love Edward Norton because he’s an Orioles fan (although that doesn’t hurt). I love him because he is an 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, if you see any of these guys available, you should be buying at a discount.

Javier Vazquez — Yankee fans have about as good a history with Javier Vazquez as I do with Armando Benitez. So far, Vazquez has posted a 9.00 ERA and 1.80 WHIP. He has 18 Ks in 20 IPs and, for the season, he has an 8.1 K/9 rate (exactly the same as his career mark); however he has a bloated walk rate (5.0 compared to 2.4 for his career). Add that to an unlucky BAbip of .345 and you can see why Vazquez has been underperforming. He’ll turn it around (not to 2009 NL levels), but will be a good high-K/WHIP pitcher. Someone like an AJ Burnett.

Rick PorcelloPorcello is off to a poor sophomore campaign (7.91 ERA, 2.02).  Still, he has managed a decent K-rate (6.1 for the year, up from 4.7 last year) and he has been horribly unlucky (.449 BAbip). I actually expect him to get better, so don’t drop or try to trade him at this lonesome valley.

Josh BeckettI like Beckett and think he is a serviceable pitcher, but not the ace a lot of people do. He certainly hasn’t started the season well: 7.22 ERA, 1.74 WHIP and a 6.3 K/9 rate. Still, like Porcello, he has been unlucky (.351 BAbip). I also think his K-rate will get closer to his career norm of 8.5. At this point, he doesn’t have a lot of trade value, so you better ride out the storm.

Gavin FloydThere are a couple reasons Gavin Floyd ended up keeping the faith. First, you can’t really trade someone who has an 8.38 ERA and 2.02 WHIP over 19.1 IPs. Second, he has been horrendously unlucky (.406 BAbip). Third, Floyd doesn’t pitch well early in the season (6.60 ERA/1.69 WHIP in March/April, 5.42 ERA/1.41 WHIP in May). The good news is that he gets dramatically better over the summer. In summation, you can’t get fair value for him now and he’ll be better than he has been, so you have to hold on.

Cole Hamels – Cole Hamels is posting his highest career K/9 rate (10.6 versus his average of 8.5). Unfortunately, he is giving up roughly one more homerun per nine than he has in his career and walking 0.9 more batters per nine innings. Basically, Hamels has all of sudden given up a lot more HRs than he historically has. For his career he has averaged 24 HRs per year, yet this season he is on pace for 40 or so. I don’t think he suddenly became a gopher hurler. Let him ride this mess out.

Alexei Ramirez – Think of Alexei Ramirez as the hitter version of Gavin Floyd. For his career, Ramirez is a .198 hitter in March/April. For the rest of the way he slams the ball. Once the calendar turns, be sure to keep an eye on Ramirez (who is owned in only 64 percent of Yahoo leagues), as history suggests he’ll heat up. It’s not like you can trade him for anything anyway, so you might as well keep the faith!

Julio Borbon – I never thought I would be relieved that a player was hitting .185, yet I am for Borbon as he was hitting just .100 eight games ago. What has been so criminal about his 2010 campaign is his average on balls in play (.226). Last year he had a .360 BAbip. In the minors he hit .310 across three seasons. In short, Borbon is good for at least a .275 average, which would in turn lead to a lot of SBs. He is already on a good SB pace, think how good it will get when he gets on base more often. I wouldn’t be selling for pennies on the dollar.

Stats as of 12:00 PM ET April 29.

FB101’s 411: Trade Wells, Guillen, Zito, Uggla and Penny. Subtly move: Carlos Gonzalez, Headley, Vlad, Danks and Liriano. Keep the Faith on Vazquez, Beckett, Pocello, Floyd, Hamels, Borbon and Alexei Ramirez.

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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

h2h Corner ~ Back to the Future, Week V h2h Preview

This column will predict how awesome/bad your team can be during next week’s contest. It will prove invaluable for those of you about to set your lineups in weekly leagues. Continue reading

h2h Corner ~ Katy Perry All-Stars II

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