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.
Again, I’m going to use this space to talk about a Reality TV show near and dear to my heart, Big Brother.
In case you missed it, Matt used the diamond power of veto last night to save himself and, de facto, evict Kathy. It was a long time coming for Kathy who was useless, boring and seemed dumb. At what point does “flying under the radar” turn into just plan ole poor performance. Anyway, Kathy deserved to go a few weeks ago.
Still, I was hoping Matt would put up Enzo. I use to like Enzo, but he has proven himself to be a craptastic player (ala Colby in Survivor All-stars). He hasn’t won or come close to winning anything. He talks like a fool (but, I must admit, is sometimes funny). I think Matt realizes that the brigade is a useless alliance for him and will switch to Britney, Ragan and Lane. It’d be a fierce battle between them and Hayden/Brendon/Enzo. Ultimately, Britney has the power this week and I think she nominates Brendon and Hayden. We shall see.
Either way, it’s been a great season, thanks mostly to crazy drama Queen Rachel who reminds me of Jenn from the Evil Dick season. Who do you think is going to win? I’ve still got my money on Lane, but Matt has proven to be intelligent about the game.
Anyway, you know the drill here. With time running out on the season, you need to make the strategic moves that put you over the top. So let’s delve into a bit of the performances over the past seven days.
‘Cause you’re hot…you’re yes…you’re in…you’re up
Coco Crisp – Crisp remains owned in too few leagues (19% of Yahoo!). I’ve written about him a lot. So I’ll just leave you with how helpful his last week would have been to your team: sex runs, one HR, four RBIs, four SBs and a .407 AVG).
Yuniesky Betancourt – Betancourt would have to be as hot as he is (.381 AVG, two HRs over the last seven days; five HRs and a .282 AVG over the last 30) for me to mention him. He is simply not a trustworthy fantasy commodity. He doesn’t get on base (one walk this month) and doesn’t have much upside. In a super deep league, where every viable starter is snapped up, sure Betancourt could be owned. I’d feel sorry for that owner, though.
Wilson Betemit – I’ve talk about Betemit in the past and sort of like him. He isn’t getting a ton of playing time, but when he has played he’s produced (last seven days: .368 AVG, two HRs). He seems to destroy the ball at home, so, if you need a hitter pick-up during a Royals home stand, Betemit isn’t the worst option for deep leaguers.
Matt Tuiasosopo – I mostly included Tuiasosopo because his last name is so cool to say. It even sounds good in my internal monologue. While he has had a decent seven-day stretch (two HRs, seven RBIs and a .333 AVG), this will likely be the best seven-day stretch of his career. Given he qualifies at every IF position except SS and the OF, he could be a speculative add in Al-only leagues, but don’t expect anything.
Gregor Blanco – It must be the mid-80s with all the Royals making the All-star team. Blanco has been a secretive stolen base weapon over the past few weeks. Last week alone, he swiped four bases and batted .375. If you need steals, speedster Blanco would be a good ad.
Paul Janish – With Orlando Cabrera on the DL, Janish has been given ample playing time and, well, he hasn’t been bad. Over the last seven days, Janish hit .368, and added one HR and one steal. There isn’t much upside, but he won’t kill your batting and will score the occasional run. He’s certainly more attractive than Betancourt.
Brandon Inge – Inge came off the DL swinging (two HRs and a .273 AVG over the last seven days) and is capable of prodigious home run binges. He is only owned in nine percent of leagues, yet could provide some great power numbers down the stretch (especially RBIs if he bats behind the continually walkable Miguel Cabrera).
Bud Norris – Please, just pick Bud Norris up already. He is only six percent owned, but has killed it recently (14 IPs, two wins, 18 Ks, 2.57 ERA, and 0.71 WHIP). Grab him before your league mates do.
Bryan Bullington – Speaking of the Royals, because, apparently, Katy loves blue, Bullington, a one-time number one-overall pick a long time ago, secured his first career win in a spot start for the Royals. Over the last seven days, he pitched eight innings, didn’t allow a run and posted a 0.38 WHIP. He gets the White Sox tomorrow, which could be a good outing. If you need a starter and are in a deep league, you might as well give the Bouillabaisse a try.
Brandon Lyon & Wilton Lopez – Brandon Lyon is the de facto Astros closer. If you miss him, Wilton Lopez could pick up occasional saves. Lyon is owned in only 20% of leagues, Lopez is only three percent owned. Every save counts in a lot of leagues, don’t be shy about adding one of these guys.
Ross Ohlendorf – Ohlendorf has had a sneaky good season (3.90 ERA, 1.37 WHIP and 79 Ks in 108.1 IPs). He was even better over the last seven days (14.2 IPs, 12 Ks, 1.84 ERA and 0.82 WHIP). The biggest negative about Ohlendorf is that he doesn’t get to pitch against his own team. All kidding aside, he does have a minusculely lucky BAbip (.291) and his FIP is 4.43. Basically, he is benefiting from a lucky HR/FB rate (7.7%) which is about three points higher than his career norm. Still, as a low-cost option, Ohlendorf isn’t bad. He certainly won’t just fall off a cliff. I’d avoid starting him at homer-friendly parks though.
John Lannan – Don’t look know, but John Lannan is on a K-binge (last seven days: 12.1 IPs, 10 Ks, 2.92 ERA and 1.05). He has actually been fairly useful over his last 23.1 IPs (3.09 ERA, 1.20 WHIP). In addition, he has been a bit unlucky this year (.333 BAbip, 67.4% strand rate) and he has a FIP around 4.67. Still, he doesn’t have much upside, as he has never really posted a useful MLB K-rate.
Then you’re cold…then you’re no…then you’re out…then you’re down
Carl Pavano – The Pavano resurgence has been Alyssa Milano’ed (last week: two starts, seven Ks, a 6.57 ERA and 2.11 WHIP). He’s been downright horrible over his last 40 IPs (3.66 ERA and 1.58 WHIP). Sure he has a slightly lucky BAbip on the year (.285), but his FIP (3.72) isn’t much higher than his ERA (3.52). So what do we make of his last few miserable outings? I think they are just random poor occurrences. Over the last 28 days, Pavano has a .409 BAbip, over the last 14, a .431. If your trading deadline hasn’t passed, Pavano makes a good buy low. I wouldn’t worry about him going forward.
Fausto Carmona – It’s tough when a two-start pitcher takes it upon himself to royally screw you (7.36 ERA, 1.82 WHIP and just four Ks). Those Ks are the reason I don’t like pitchers like Carmona. There is no help when he struggles. At least Pavano (by no means a strike-out pitcher) secured seven punch-outs last week. Dr. Faustus is what he is this year, a guy with about a 4.00 ERA and risky WHIP who doesn’t K anyone. I’d be careful when I use him going forward.
Edinson Volquez – Weeks like the last one (5.06 ERA and 1.78 WHIP) highlight the reasons I told you to be weary of Volquez. While his to-date Ks are nice (35 in 34 IPs), I don’t think you can expect much relief in the ratios. In his short season to date, he has an 80.9% strand rate. Sure he has a .334 BAbip (which is unlucky), but his FIP is 5.68. I love his K upside. He is someone it’d be nice to have in the arsenal to throw out there if I wasn’t worried about my ERA/WHIP, but other than that, I don’t see Volquez as being particularly helpful.
Matt Kemp – Matt Kemp has been a top 80 player this year, which isn’t bad (unless you compare that to the top five some were predicting). Kemp, as his last seven days can attest (.087 AVG) has never got into a groove. He’ll still end up a 20/20 player, but, at this point, is a certain disappointment. So, what caused the 2010 pitfall? Well, his career BAbip is .349, while it rests at .305 this season. So there has been a bit of fluctuation. Of course, Kemp hasn’t been around forever, so we don’t know exactly what his BAbip performance will be. In addition, Kemp has lost his eye at the plate. He is on pace for about 30 more Ks this year than last. He is also getting caught stealing at a near 50% rate – far higher than anything we’ve seen from him. Looking into the crystal ball, he’ll be a top four round pick next year with some upside. It’s just a shame he didn’t continue his career arc. But, hey, players don’t (Nick Markakis)
Miguel Olivo – It’s borderline dumps time for Olivo. He has come back to earth after a scorching hot 60% of the season. Quite simply, we all knew this would happen as he has never been someone who could get on base 30% of the time, let alone hit .300. If there are more attractive options out there, feel free to bombs away. At this point, I’d like to have a backstop who didn’t destroy by AVG/OBP every week.
All stats as of noon on August 20, 2010
FB101’s 411: Be sure you know how to judge a hot streak. Crisp, Lyon, Lopez, Norris, Ohlendorf, and Blanco make good adds. Keep your eye on Inge, Lannan, Janish and Betemit. You are allowed to sort of give up on Miguel Olive.
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