Posts Tagged ‘todd helton’

h2h Corner ~ Katy Perry (Hot ‘N’ Cold Fantasy Baseball) All-Stars

Players get hot and cold over a seven-day period, it’s as sure as the samples are small.

That is why Katy created the Hot ‘N’ Cold All-stars.

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

Miguel Olivo – Exiled to the offensive haven that is Seattle, Olivo hasn’t been on a lot of fantasy radars. However, over the last seven days, Olivo smacked four dingers and collected 11 RBIs. Of course he batted .240, but come on, he’s Miguel Olivo. This power binge likely represents the best stretch of the year for Olivo. But, he can still put up 9 – 10 more dingers. If you need power, go ahead, just make sure you can alleviate the horrid batting average that comes with it.

Mark Reynolds – Speaking of horrid batting averages and power, Reynolds hit three homers and went 5/17 over the last seven days. He does have seven round trippers in his last 83 ABs, however, he is hitting just .229 during that stretch. As the summer heats up Camden Yards, Reynolds’ power stroke should come with it. I think he’s good for 20 more HRs and 10 more steals, of course that will come with a batting average within sight of the Mendoza line.

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h2h Corner ~ Katy Perry (Hot ‘N’ Cold Fantasy Baseball) All-Stars

So I was watching the latest Glee* episode and I was struck by how important everything is in high school.

*Before you start, I began watching Glee with my girlfriend. She gave up on the show. I grew up on MTV. I love music videos. Santana is hot. There is really no excuse.


When you’re in your teens, you have a very short conscious experience timeframe. If you think about it, most people don’t have real memories from before they were five or six.

So, as a teenager, you have about eight – 14 years of experiences to draw upon. Things that seem life-altering and serious to you at 17 would be laughed at by 47-year-old you who has dealt with three economic collapses, four home purchases/refinances, two children and a puppy.

Watching the show, I was struck by what a big deal everything was to the Glee characters. For one, being prom king/queen was incredibly important. They simply couldn’t conceive of a world where everything didn’t go their way.

This is like the first month of the fantasy baseball season. We have very little data and games, so everyone overreacts to the samples we do have. We’ll call April the teenage stage of the fantasy baseball season, during which people throw fits over a 0-4 game with three Ks and glorify a 3-4 game with two steals. Things will plateau, trust me.

That is why Katy created the Hot ‘N’ Cold All-stars. Continue reading

h2h Corner ~ Katy Perry (Hot ‘N’ Cold Fantasy Baseball) All-Stars

Players get hot and cold over a seven-day period, it’s as sure as the samples are small.

That is why Katy created the Hot ‘N’ Cold All-stars.

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 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 ~ Manny Ramirez

There has been a deluge of coverage surrounding Manny. I’ve never loved him as a fantasy entity and am ambivalent about him as a player/human, so I was mostly happy that he got suspended. I would love to see the hypocrisy within baseball torn down. Bonds is vilified because he was a jerk and a successful cheat, yet Petitte gets a free pass? Continue reading