Posts Tagged ‘santana’

h2h Corner ~ Katy Perry (Hot ‘N’ 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.

In case you were unaware, “Trash chic, which should really be a faux pas, is the here and now fashion trend in the music industry.” Whether it be Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, Rihanna, or are very own Katy Perry, every poprock goddess is putting on the new faux garbs. At least, Katy has been able to “bring more of the “chic” out in her “trash chic” image.”

I think we can all agree that the above paragraph is the perfect lead-in to the Katy Perry All-stars (not because of all the hot links). Quite simply, you need to be able to dissect fantasy fads – which surges are signs of trends that will stay long term and which aren’t. Luckily, I’ll give a handy dandy score sheet below.

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

Ian Desmond – With Christian Guzman being shipped halfway across the country, Ian Desmond immediately got an uptick in playing time. This comes at the right time as his bat has been doing a lot of talking lately (.435 AVG, one HR and one SB). At the moment, he is a huge add for deep leagues and NL-only. He won’t hit for a good average, but can provide power and speed from the middle infield. Mixed leaguers should have him on their radar.

Jason Michaels – Michaels only got nine ABs last week, but he did some damage (.444 AVG and two HRs). He hit both dingers off of lefties, and he has always been a southpaw killer. He could be a Matt Diaz-lite, something that is valuable in NL-only leagues.

Chris Johnson – Speaking of the Astros, Johnson is someone who should have drawn a lot more interest in fantasy baseball circles (not just fantasy football). Heck I’ve been writing about him since July. Last week, the youngster hit .455 and added a HR. He is hitting for average so far this season and providing some decent pop. He’s definitely someone I’d like to have down the stretch in 14-teamers and deeper.

Matt Joyce – It’s been a rocky ride for Joyce since he was shipped to Tampa for Edwin Jackson. He is finally healthy and in the majors. Over the last seven days he has shown his ability to smack the ball (two HRs and eight RBIs). He should continue to put up nice power numbers down the stretch. He’ll likely sit against lefties, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Nyjer Morgan – I was at the Stephen Strasburg infamous start game last week. The second thing I noticed at the game (after Miguel Bautista warming up) was Morgan’s willingness to steal some bags and wreck havoc on the base paths. In fact, he is hitting .320 over this last seven days with four SBs. He took down a lot of bases in the second half last year. If you need speed, I’d be scooping him up in hopes of a 2009 second half redux.

Alex Gordon – Alex Gordon has three HRs on the year, but two of those came over the last seven days, during which he hit .273. Gordon has been too successful in the minors to completely write off his recent surge. I don’t fully believe in his recent success, but on the off chance that he is Adam Lind-ing us, I’d be adding if I needed power numbers. I wouldn’t drop anything special, but, occasionally, people do win the lottery.

Josh Tomlin – Tomlin strikes me a lot like John Ely. Unfortunately for Tomlin, he pitches in the big boys league and doesn’t have a ton of spacious NL West parks to pitch in. From what I’ve gathered, Tomlin profiles as a fourth starter at best, yet he has looked like an ace over the last seven days (12.1 IPs, seven Ks, 1.46 ERA and 0.73 WHIP). If you’re in a pitching starved league, it doesn’t hurt to grab him, but be careful when you deploy him.

Daniel Hudson – I love it when pitchers switch from the AL to the NL (see Vazquez, Javier, circa 2009). While Hudson’s home ballpark isn’t overly generous, getting to face the opposing pitcher a couple of times sure must be nice. In his first start in the NL, Hudson went eight innings, struck out four and posted a 0.50 WHIP. I’d be grabbing him if I needed a decent SP.

Bud Norris – I liked Bud Norris in the preseason, but, unless he was facing the Cardinals, it hasn’t been a good year for him. However, he did have a good last seven days (six IPs, seven Ks, no runs, 1.17 WHIP) and a decent last 24 IPs (20 Ks, 4.81 ERA and 1.36 WHIP). I see him as a lot like Gio Gonzalez in 2009. You need to be careful when you use him, but, at the very least, you are guaranteed 5+ Ks. That is a very important commodity to have in h2h leagues.

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

Fausto Carmona – While Carmona has been good this year, I’ve been hesitant to buy into it. His last seven days (two starts) were pretty detrimental to fantasy owners (9.2 IPs, six Ks, 7.45 ERA and 2.07 WHIP). However, that statement is a bit misguiding as he was brutal in a start against the Yankees (2.2 IPs, seven runs) and great against Boston. Every pitcher has a bad outing. So, should we brush this off? Not necessarily, his BAbip on the year is a tad low (.284), he has a much lower HR/FB% (6.3) than he typically does, and his xFIP is 4.53. I don’t think he’ll fall off the cliff over the balance of the year, but I do believe his numbers will regress a tad. This just means you have to watch his match-ups a little closer than you have been.

Johan Santana – It’s odd that Ervin has almost had a better year than Johan. He certainly had a better week, as Johan went 12.2 IPs and posted a 7.82/1.97 ERA/WHIP. He did strike-out 13, which is pretty nice. While he had a bad BAbip in those two starts (.444), Johan is who he is at this point. He wont be the Johan of old unless he brings his K/9 up to near eight (currently it is only 6.1). Still, he’ll provide useful ratios.

Jonathan Niese – It was a bad week for two-start Mets pitchers, as Niese went 10.1 IPs, and posted a 6.10 ERA and 1.84 WHIP. What’s worse is that he collected only three Ks. However, that was mostly a product of a disaster start against the Diamondbacks (4.1 IPs, six runs). Niese isn’t as good as his ERA indicates, but can be a serviceable pitcher with a low- to mid-4.00 ERA down the stretch.

Josh Johnson – I hope last week reminded everyone of what Ubaldo Jimenez’s consecutive poor outings meant: pitching performances are incredibly inconsistent. Last week, Johnson went 12.2 IPs, struck-out 10, but posted a 5.68/1.74 ERA/WHIP. Certainly, people were expecting more out of a two-start Johnson week. Still, it was just two-starts; expect him to be back and good (though not sub-2.00 good) in his next outing.

Brennan Boesch – I hope you listened to me and traded Boesch. If not, you were treated to a very poor week (2/25) and an even worse month (.161 AVG). At this point, I’m dropping him in 10-team leagues and benching him in all others. He isn’t this bad, but you don’t have time to wait for him to make some corrections.

Adam Lind – I’m finally ready to give up on Lind. While he has been decent over the last month or so .267 AVG and five HRs, his last week was disastrous (.158 AVG. You simply can’t count on him in h2h leagues. If there are decent OF options out there, I wouldn’t think twice about dropping Lind.

Alex Rodriguez – Everyone says AROD is pressing to get to number 600. Maybe he is. He does seem like the type to let something like that bother him. However, you’d think he’d be hitting a little. Over the last seven days, AROD has just three hits and a .115 AVG. He is what he is at this point, a pretty streaky, somewhat old player. Recently, I suggested he might be a third rounder next year. I think I’m right. He is only the 73rd ranked player. He is on pace for 83 runs, 27 HRs, and 136 RBIs. Sure the RBIs are nice, but he only has two SBs (and no signs that he wants to steal double digits like he has done every year since 2002). He also has the worst AVG/OBP/SLG of his career. Some of that is due to a low BAbip (.280 in 2010 versus a .319 career mark), but some of it is old age. I’d be scared of AROD in early rounds next year.

Julio Borbon – Borbon hasn’t been awful this season (.271 AVG), but he only has nine SBs. For someone with no power, he needs to have a lot more SBs to make himself useful. He didn’t hit well over the last seven days (.231), and he has only stolen once over the last month. If you haven’t already, it is time to cut Borbon.

All stats as of noon August 3, 2010.

FB101’s 411: Be sure you know how to judge a hot streak. Desmond, Johnson, Morgan, and Hudson make good adds. Keep your eye on Gordon, Norris, Tomlin and Joyue. You are allowed to sort of give up on Julio Borbon, Brennan Boesch, and Adam Lind.

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

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. Anyway 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

h2h Corner ~ Back to the Future, Next Week’s 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 ~ I’m a Believer: All-star Game, National League Pitchers Edition

Welcome to June’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)? Therefore – fantasy baseball love notwithstanding – aren’t I cool (hello, transitive property)?

Didn’t think so. But at least you now have “Then I saw her face, now I’m a believer…” stuck in your head (Co-Stan-Za, by Mennen).

For this month’s version, I’m focusing on your Major League All-stars. Yesterday I discussed the National League’s position players.

I’m a believer in:

Heath Bell – Joe Nathan, Jonathan Broxton, and Ryan Franklin – those are the only relief pitchers ranked ahead of Bell this season. Bell, the 42nd ranked player in Yahoo! leagues has a .261 BAbip this year, which is a bit below his career norm of .307. Unsurprisingly, his ratios are a bit lower than normal as well. However, there shouldn’t be an impending massive correction. Bell will continue to post an ERA around 2.00 and a WHIP around 1.10. What will limit Bell’s value in the second half is the fact that the Padres are abysmal – sound familiar Adrian Gonzalez owners? If you can, trade off his impressive first half for a comparable closer like Fuentes or Brian Wilson and some pocket change, go right ahead.

Ryan FranklinFranklin is much like Heath Bell, except his ratios are even better (0.82 ERA and 0.82 WHIP). Also like Bell, Franklin’s BAbip is out of line with his career norm. For his career Franklin has posted a .273 BAbip; this year it is .196. Good luck keeping that up. I’d be moving Franklin if you can get decent value for him.

Jonathan Broxton – Broxton has been unreal this year: 3.10 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, and 65 Ks in just 40.2 IPs. Broxton’s BAbip is also a little better this year compared to other seasons (.309 for career vs. .260 in 2009). Still his Ks more than make up for any correction that might occur. While Broxton’s WHIP might rise, his ERA should probably decrease. He’ll continue to push Joe Nathan to be the top reliever in the game.

Francisco Cordero – Cordero is the 11th best reliever (statistically) and has the ninth most saves. He has been a steady reliever since switching to the National League in 2006. The save numbers will be there, however his ratios (1.75 ERA/1.14 WHIP) will not continue to be this good. Continuing the trend of NL relievers: Cordero’s 2009 BAbip is .264 compared against a career number of .306. His WHIP should remain low (in the 1.20 range), but his ERA will most likely rise (settling around 3.30 or so).

Francisco Rodriguez – K-Rod has been just as good as ever this year: 22 saves, 1.73 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and a serviceable 41 Ks in 41.2 IPs. Before the season, people were predicting doom and gloom for the 27-year old reliever; however a switch to the senior circuit may have recharged his career. His WHIP is right in line with his last three seasons, while his ERA is a bit lower than usual. Care to guess why? A 2009 BAbip of .231 compared to a career BAbip of .267. So there could be a minor correction in his ERA, but he’ll likely continue to be a very useful closer.

Chad Billingsley – Billingsley probably isn’t having the year you think. Sure he’s been good, really good in fact, but would it surprise you that he is the 23rd ranked starting pitcher in Yahoo! leagues? What is nice about Billingsley’s season is the number 119, as in the ninth most strike-outs over the first half. His ERA and WHIP are right in line with his career. I ranked Billingsley the ninth best pitcher coming into the year, and I don’t see him finishing the year outside the top 20.

Matt Cain – Everyone is talking about how much improved Matt Cain is this year (he is the 10th ranked pitcher). Outside of his win-loss record, I’m not sure people are correct. His K:Walk ratio and HR allowed are almost dead on with his career average. So, why is his ERA almost one point lower than normal? Well, his BAbip is .269 which is a little lower than average. I’m not hating on Matt Cain by any stretch (I did rank him as the 10th best pitcher going into this year), I’m just saying that his value is a bit inflated. If you can capitalize on this, sell high. I’m not sure Cain will continue to be in the top 10 among pitchers through the second half. Also, Cain was struck by a line drive Friday. Still, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, x-rays ruled out any fractures in the elbow.

Dan Haren – Haren, the number one pitcher in fantasyland, has been unconscious: 9 wins, 129 Ks, a 2.01 ERA and a 0.81 WHIP. His ERA is 1.00 – 2.00 lower than his last three years and his WHIP is 0.30 – 0.40 lower over that span. His BAbip this year is .233, while his career is .289. In addition, Haren’s career first half ERA/WHIP is 3.08/1.06, while his second half career ERA/WHIP is 4.12/1.33. This could be the year he puts it all together. However, I won’t bank on something until it occurs. Given his tremendous first half, I’d be trying to move Haren now.

Josh Johnson – Everyone’s preseason darling, Johnson turned in the ninth best first half among starting pitchers on the strength of his 102 Ks, a 2.82 ERA, and a 1.11 WHIP. There really aren’t any red flags with Johnson’s first half – his BAbip is in line with the norm and his first half/second half splits are quite similar. Johnson will likely continue to be an elite pitching option.

Ted Lilly – No one likes Lilly as much as I do, well aside from independent evaluators (Lilly turned in the 12th ranked starting pitching performance according to Yahoo!). I ranked Lilly the 16th best pitcher to start the season and he is making me feel good, with a line of: 101 Ks, 3.18 ERA, and 1.11 WHIP. The HR ball has hurt Lilly throughout his career, so you’d expect his 2009 line to reflect a decrease in HRs since his ratios are better. Not the case, my friend, as he is on pace to give up more HRs than anytime in his career. There are also no red flags with his BAbip or first/second half splits, so enjoy the Lilly-ride.

Tim LincecumPhenom(enal) freak Lincecum posted the second best first half: 149 Ks (the most in the majors), a 2.33 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. Lincecum is poised to become the Albert Pujols of starting pitchers. Man, is he good.

Jason Marquis – Marquis hasn’t really been a useful fantasy player (the 465th ranked player in Yahoo! leagues): 58 Ks, 3.65 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. The ratios are usable, but the lack of Ks and poor home ballpark really limit his value – them be the reasons he is owned in only 56% of Yahoo! leagues. In deeper leagues, he’ll be a good match-up option, but it shallower (10-teamers) he is fairly worthless.

Johan Santana – I guess I’m saving the second best for last. I am on record as not too worried about Santana’s struggles. What is wrong with this line: 109.1 IPs, 107 Ks, a 3.29 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP? Ok, over his last 37.1 IPs, Santana has only struck out 18 batters, while posting a 5.79 ERA and 1.45 WHIP. Santana’s strike-out to walk ratio is down to 1.14 over his last 28 days, which is nowhere near his career norms. Unless he is hurt, that number should correct itself and he should bring his ratios back in order. If you can buy low on him, I think that is a good speculative play.

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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. Continue reading

h2h Corner ~ Katy Perry All-Stars XI

I’ve gotten a lot out of this column. I’ve been able to discourage my trigger happy move conscious self from grabbing the latest flavor of the month through astute analysis. Continue reading

h2h Corner ~ Katy Perry All-Stars IX

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

I got off to a good start on my run Thursday with a seven minute mile. The first song: Boyfriend, then Hot ‘n’ Cold—the inspiration for this column. This is important for me. I always finish faster than I start, my last mile significantly better than my first. Continue reading