Posts Tagged ‘Logan Morrison’

Lock, Stock and Taking Stock, Part 3 for Razzball

Lock, Stock and Taking Stock, Part 3

http://razzball.com/lock-stock-and-taking-stock-part-3/

 

 

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.

Lately I’ve had too many meandering thoughts to give you something consistently coherent.

Thoughts such as: Remember last year when I gave periodic updates on my running? Well, I’m somewhat ashamed to admit, but it took me a long time to get back to good fitness after I fractured a bone in my left heel, but I have. Last night, I ran five miles in 34:53 – which I was stoked about. I’ve been out of town recently, so I haven’t been to the grocery store, which means no bananas, which means my calves are rocks right now – but it was worth it. Oh – and what I’m actually ashamed to admit – I listened to the Dixie Chicks cover of “You Cant Hurry Love” three times, grooved to some Fallout Boy, Kanye (Stronger, please), Pat Green, and, of course Katy Perry!

Meandering thought number two: why cant people use automated machines? It is 2010 people, and we’re almost done with it. The CVS stores in D.C. have instituted automated tellers and it takes me about 30 seconds to pay with a credit card – you have to push like four buttons! Yet other people need assistance, get confused, try to pay with cash, come on – it’s a plastic world! I’m grateful for Bank of America leading the way in ATM functionality, but recently I stood behind someone for four minutes as they couldn’t figure out how to slide their card in and out – then they kept inserting checks upside down. I had more checks and spent half the time!

Last meandering thought: luck and fantasy are intertwined. This is more present in football because there are 12-14 games total, so there is a super small sample size. Further, it’s really hard to know which teams are good and bad. Nevertheless luck is involved in fantasy baseball as well (and I’m not necessarily talking about FIP, BAbip, HR/FB, etc.). So I’m going to take this spot to thank my good luck charm, my girlfriend. First, I’ve allowed her to open several of my baseball card packs lately – she was 2/2 in landing me Topps Million Card unlocks and got me the retro looking Cal Ripken card. Then, last night, when she opened a Topps 1987 pack (complete with 13-year-old bubble gum that she thinks is gross) she pulled the Barry Bonds rookie – not too shabby. But I must thank her for demanding I select Carlos Gonzalez in my NL-only keeper league – he has more than made up for the Nate McLouth (outright dropped) and Jason Bay (mercifully traded) terrible picks.

Hopefully reading the below will ignite the neurons that lead to an h2h or roto championship!

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

Danny Espinosa – In one game against the hapless Mets, Espinosa made a life-long dream come true by hitting a grannie. Over the last seven days he has batted .400, hit three HRs and added nine RBIs – most of the damage done against the Mets on Tuesday September 7 (two HRs, six RBIs). Still, he wasn’t doing anything super spectacular in the minors (.268 with 22 HRs). For the time being, however, he is someone of interest in NL-only leagues.

JJ Hardy – Maybe because I loved the Hardy Boys books growing up, I’ve simply transferred that love to JJ Hardy. He hasn’t done much this year until recently (.400 AVG, one HR and nine RBIs over the last seven days). With all the crap people are running out there in the middle infield, I’d definitely give Hardy a long look going forward.

Russell Branyan – People need power, right? I hear all this noise about this being the year of the pitcher (it isn’t really, but whatever), yet people let Branyan (four Hrs over the last seven days) sit on the wire? Ditto for Jim Thome. Remember, chicks dig the long ball.

Logan Morrison – I’ve written about Morrison intermittently over the year. He was someone I thought had a clearer path than Mike Stanton to the majors because of Morrison’s approach at the plate. While I was wrong about who would reach the majors first, I’m pretty confident that Morrison will be a more reliable fantasy player. He simply avoids outs. Over the last seven days he has a .440 AVG and has scored eight runs. In 151 MLB ABs, he has a .318 AVG and .431 OBP. When you get on base that much you score. If you need runs, he is a must add.

Dexter Fowler – Fowler is another of my and Katy’s favorites. He’s had an up and down year, but has put together an impressive seven-day stretch: .345 AVG and six runs. In just 358 ABs this season, Fowler has managed to lead the league in triples, and while the average isn’t nice (.251 on the year), he flat-out gets on base (.350 OBP in 2010, .363 last year, and .399 over six minor league seasons). Clearly he is a darling in OBP leagues and less so in AVG ones, but he’ll score for you.

Seth Smith – Speaking of the Rockies, Seth Smith seems to make late-season cameos on Katy Perry’s All-stars quite frequently – and with good reason. Over the last seven days, he hit .353, hit a homerun and scored seven runs. For those of you tallying at home, that brings him to 17 round trippers on the year. He is an under-the-radar 20-HR producer. He is also someone who is easily utilized: don’t start him against lefties (career against southpaws: .190/.267/.331) or away (career on the road: .245/.316/.400). So if he has a week with lots of home games against righties, grab him.

Chris Capuano – Fact: four years ago Capuano was fantasy relevant. Fact: over the last seven days Capuano was a fantasy star (12 IPs, one win, a 1.50 ERA and 0.83 WHIP). Those innings were accumulated against St. Louis and Philadelphia – not exactly Pittsburgh and San Diego. But is he useful going forward? Sort of. Basically he is what he was four long years ago: a pitcher with an ERA around 4.00 who will strike-out 7.90 batters per nine innings. I think you’ll be surprised at how useful a line like that is.

John Lannan – With all the Nationals making Katy Perry’s All-stars lately, you’d think they were the best team ever and this is yet another appearance for John Lannan. Over the last seven days, Lannan struck out seven, won a ball game and posted a 1.29 ERA and 0.86 WHIP. Obviously a super small sample size and the outing was against Pittsburgh. Further, he doesn’t really strike anyone out (4.48 per nine in his career), so, unless he is pitching against the Pirates, there have to be better options out there.

Dillon Gee – Yes, Dillon Gee is a real person’s name. And, no, he was not a member of the Bee Gees. Gee had an impressive debut (seven IPs, one win, a 1.29 ERA and 0.71 WHIP), during which he took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. According to Amazin’ Avenue, Gee is the Mets #20 best prospect and “has the unfortunate stigma of being a small right handed pitcher with a mediocre fastball.” He had a 4.96 ERA in the minors this year and wasn’t much better last year (4.10). While he has shown some promise at the lower levels, it’s unlikely that Gee will be much help for fantasy teams.

Carlos Zambrano – Way back on August 5, I said Carlos Zambrano was prime to be a useful player down the stretch. Since that time, in six starts, he has four wins, a 1.98 ERA and 30 Ks in 36.1 IPs. Most notably, Big Z dominated the Mets (sure I know, it’s the hapless Mets) over the last seven days, striking out eight batters, posting a 2.57 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP. I like him as an above average match-ups play going forward.

Derek Holland – I’m not sure my man-love has been fully documented for Holland yet – he has a long and successful career ahead of him. So, let me let his last seven days of performance tell a tale, a tale of 13 Ks in 11.1 IPs, a sublime 3.18 ERA and miniscule 1.06 WHIP. For the year he is posting an 8.85 K-rate, with a 4.31 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. That k-potential doesn’t normally sit unowned on the wire. Go, seek him out and let him lead you to a championship.

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

Daisuke Matsuzaka – We saw a lot of the bad of Dice-K over the last seven days (10.1 IPs, 10.45 ERA and 1.84 WHIP). But there was some good, namely 10 Ks. So while he mercilessly destroyed your ratios, he did help you in Ks. I still like Matsuzaka as a fantasy asset however, he just makes your work for it. If Matsuzaka is starting for you late in the week, you’ll have a clear picture on what you need. If you need Ks and aren’t worried about ERA and WHIP, Dice-K is great, if you need to help your ratios, you need to bench or drop Dice-K. It’s pretty simple. At the start of the week, I’d be careful about using him because he can do some irrevocable harm. I will add that he is subject to the whims of the strand rate more so than some other pitchers because he walks so many batters (4.14 per nine IPs).

Bronson Arroyo – I am always happy to get twitter questions, but it sometimes makes me a bit nervous. A good follower of mine asked whether he should start Arroyo this week or Zambrano. I cited Arroyo’s success against and in Colorado, but ultimately thought Big Z was the better pitcher, so you should roll the dice with him. Thankfully, Arroyo pitched poorly and hasn’t done well over the last seven days (10.1 IPs, five Ks, an 8.71 ERA and 1.65 WHIP). While Arroyo typically pitches well at the end of the year (3.40 ERA/1.18 WHIP in 390 September/October innings), his 4.09 ERA is a bit of a mirage this year (.245 BAbip). I’d be real careful about how I use Arroyo down the stretch.

Andre Ethier – Ethier has been abysmal lately (3/20 over the last seven days and 26/101 over the last 30). He is getting murdered by southpaws — .224/.277/.336. So only start him when he is facing a righty starting pitcher.

Jose Lopez – Why is he owned in 37% of Yahoo! leagues? He went 5/27 last week, 24/103 over the last 30 days and 125/525 over the season. He has been brutal – drop him for anyone, please.

James Loney – The Dodgers are a listless bunch – they have the out-of-contention malaise going big time. Loney hasn’t escaped the disease (4/17 over the last seven days; 21/97 over the last 30 days). What’s worse? The 69% owned first baseman has all of nine HRs this season. Please drop him for the 41% owned Gaby Sanchez or 12% owned Logan Morrison. Either player is like way more valuable

All stats as of noon September 9, 2010

FB101’s 411: Be sure you know how to judge a hot streak. Russell Branyan, Logan Morrison, Carlos Zambrano and Derek Holland make good adds. Keep your eye on Danny Espinosa, JJ Hardy, Dillon Gee, Seth Smith, Dexter Fowler, and Chris Capuano. You are allowed to give up on Jose Lopez and James Loney.

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.

Loyal readers – we can all breathe a sigh of relief, as, at long last, Katy Perry has “reclaimed her position as queen of airplay.” Since California Gurls took the summer by storm, Katy has worked hard to climb back to the top spot – this time with Teenage Dream.

Really, it’s about time. And it’s about time for you to reclaim your spot at the top of your h2h pyramid. Most leagues are either in the play-offs or in the last week of the regular season.

For those in the play-offs, know your tie-breaker. If you own the tie-breaker, you only have to win five categories that week. So, look at your past history against your opponent and try to identify the categories you are going after. I recommend streaming pitchers as much as possible to secure wins and Ks. If you have good relievers, you can then scoop up saves, meaning you only have to secure two hitting categories for the win.

If you are in the last week of contention, be sure you know what you need to secure a play-off spot. In my most competitive league, I have a three game lead. Basically, all I have to do is go 5-5 (the likelihood of the second place team winning 8-2 or 9-1) is very small, so I’m focused on gobbling up categories. Now is the time to study and come out with a game plan for getting back on top. Continue reading

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

h2h Corner ~ The David Wooderson All-Stars (IV)

Regardless of your league’s format, knowing the hot up-and-coming prospects is super important to fantasy success. In keeper leagues, these players, often taken in the later rounds, typically form the foundation of fantasy dynasties. In single season leagues, smartly grabbing young players in the draft or shortly after their call-up is essential to success. Any way you look at it, it pays to know something about these general unknowns while they are still unknown. If you wait too long, you’ll be watching as they contribute meaningfully to your buddy’s team as he wins the league. Continue reading