Justin Fensterman and Trevor Ray reflect on the season that was and talk about what they got right and what they got wrong.
Justin Fensterman and Trevor Ray reflect on the season that was and talk about what they got right and what they got wrong.
Daily baseball is all the rage in the fantasy sports world, so I will be covering the game a couple of times a week here at BaseballGuys.com. To that end, I’ve partnered with DraftDay.com to give all my wonderful followers, that’s you, the chance to play the game on a daily basis. On Tuesday and Thursday’s here at the site, every week, I’ll be giving you some insight into the mind of The Oracle as I will give you some of my best plays for the day – even if I’m willing to admit that daily games are a bit of a crap shoot given the difficulty in predicting how a handful of at-bats will work out. With that, here are some of the better plays for Tuesday, April 11th.
To join a daily league remember to visit DraftDay.com by clicking on the link to their site.
Napoli has started to hit, .263 the past week, and he’s actually up to 11 RBIs in 12 games. Not many have noticed that. He’s facing Ubaldo Jimenez whom he has two hits in three at-bats against in their brief interaction.
The Cubs’ backstop doesn’t have an at-bat against Derek Holland, but he has five hits in his last three games, nine hits in his last seven games, is batting .368 at home this season and .364 on the young season.
Berkman has seven hits in 11 at-bats against Travis Wood. Two of those hits are home runs. Berkman has also started out all kinds of hot with a .389 batting average and 1.111 OPS.
Davis has slowed a bit the last week, he’s only hitting .294 with two homers in that time. Still, he’s got a strong matchup facing off against Roberto Hernandez of the Rays whom he has five hits (one homer) against in 13 at-bats (.385).
Why would I suggest you start a guy who has only two hits in 10 at-bats against a pitcher (Jake Arrieta)? Check out the walk column. Zobrist has eight in 18 plate appearances leading to a .556 OBP. The hits are coming.
Carroll is boring an only someone you want to use if you are looking for a cheap play to fill out your lineup. He’s only got eight at-bats on the year, but he has had a lot of success against Jason Vargas in his career with seven hits in 17 at-bats (.412).
Alvarez is hitting .073 on the season. It’s even worse of late as he is 1-for-16 the past week. So start him against Jake Westbrook. Hey, history says it’s a good move as Pedro has hit .579 with two homers, eight RBIs an a 1.600 OPS over 19 at-bats in the matchup.
Wright has gone deep three times in 13 at-bats against Jeff Francis. He’s also gone 6-for-13 in the matchup with four walks leading to a .462/.611/1.154 slash line.
Escobar has been dreadful this season hitting .050 on the road (20 at-bats) and .098 overall. Crazy to play him I know, but he breaks out of his slump tonight against Jake Arrieta who he has seven hits, including a homer, in 16 at-bats (.438).
Peralta has seven hits in 23 at-bats, a .304 average, and he’s gone deep twice against Aaron Harang who is trying to impress his new employers in Seattle. Oh yeah, Peralta is also hitting .370 the past week.
Gomes has five hits in 12 at-bats against Ubaldo Jimenez who isn’t exactly tearing it up this season. Two of those hits for Gomes were bombs, and he’s knocked in five runs too.
McC has nine hits in 22 at-bats with a big fly and four walks against Jake Westbrook. Andrew is hitting .409 with a cool .500 OBP. Nice.
Griffin faces the Astros. That’s always a good reason to start a guy. He also has been very good at home in his career with a 4-0 record, 3.19 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. The Astros have also been averaging 10.1 batters per nine innings this season.
Capuano has a 3.34 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 7.3 K/9 mark in 70 innings against the Padres. The Padres are also hitting just .206 against lefties this season.
Fister has allowed a .212 average, .236 OBP and .346 SLG in 52 at-bats against the Mariners. He’s also allowed just one homer and walked one batter. Add in that he has a 2.77 ERA in two starts this season, and you’ve got yourself a solid starting option tonight.
Haren faces a Marlins team without Giancarlo Stanton. Haren has also struck out 10 batters, without issuing a single walks, in his nine innings this season.
By Ray Flowers
Paul Maholm‘s name likely elicits, let’s see, a yawn? Before you lock that thought into your head as to what your reaction should be when the Braves’ lefties name as mentioned remember this:
Do I have your attention yet?
Paul Maholm isn’t exciting, I will give you that. Even with all of the above data the fact of the matter is that Maholm won 13 games, had a 3.67 ERA an a 1.22 WHIP. Those are certainly solid numbers no doubt, but it’s not like they will lead to a fantasy championship. However, it should be noted that numbers like those, from a reserve round selection or a waiver-wire pick up, are special numbers. Are you better off spending $23 on Johnny Cueto or $3 on Paul Maholm on draft day? Obviously Cueto is a better pitcher and the one you need more to win a championship, but hopefully you see the point – Maholm is the better value add based on his draft day cost. If you can augment an expensive Cueto with a cheap as all get out Maholm, then you’ve got something. In terms of return on investment, Maholm was one of the best bargains in baseball in 2012. Can he be so again in 2013?
On the bump Maholm has been very consistent the past two seasons. In 2012 he had a 3.67 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in 189 innings. In 2011 he had a 3.66 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in 162.1 innings. However, like many of the other hurlers I’ve been reviewing, it’s best to realize what Maholm is – he’s a rotation filler who won’t hurt you. Why do I say that? For some reason he can’t seem to consistently win games. Maholm owns a 66-84 career record, and even the past two years when he has pitched so well he’s gone 19-25. Wins-loses are of course a bad way to judge pitchers performances, I’m the first to admit that, but in the fantasy game they are one of the four categories that matter to starting hurlers. I should also point out that in four of the past five seasons, despite at least 26 starts each year (more than 30 in four of them), that Paul failed to reach double-digits in wins. For some reason he’s just not able to consistently post wins.
The next issue with Maholm is that he lacks a strikeout pitch. For his career Maholm owns a poor 5.71 K/9 mark, and that fact alone removes him from receiving my stamp of approval. Still, it is somewhat heartening to see that he’s coming off a career best mark of 6.67, though it should be noted that the mark is 0.61 better than ever before (back in 2008). Maholm isn’t going to turn into a league average K arm, just the way it is. Maholm does keep the walks in check, at least he has that going for him, with a BB/9 mark of 2.80 or lower in five of the past six years.
One thing that Maholm does well, very well, is induce grounders. It’s why he can be so effective without dominating hitters. Maholm’s GB-rate has been at least 49.9 percent every season of his career, and his worst GB/FB ratio for a season is a still impressive 1.69. Consequently he’s not exactly a homer magnet as his HR/9 mark has been under one each of the past five years.
Maholm will never be elite. He’ll never be someone to build a staff around. He’s also a pitcher who could see his performance go down since he lacks elite skills, but not likely up. That’s why he’s not someone to reach for on draft day, ever. Still, if you’ve got five or six solid arms in the rotation in a mixed league, and it’s the 25th round, you could do worse than calling out Maholm’s name on draft day.
By Ray Flowers
The Marlins have done this before. They’ve ripped apart a team, torn it down after having success (well not this time), to save money. They outdid themselves Tuesday night when they agreed to a deal, not yet approved by Major League Baseball, with the Blue Jays. Before I delve into the deal, here are a few of the Twitter responses by people to the deal.
#Marlins insist Grooms sculpture will not be traded for the Hard Rock Café at Rogers Centre. Sculpture is not convinced. – @jonmorosi
#Marlins opened season with a payroll of roughly $100MM. After this trade, non-arb 2013 obligations will be ~ 25MM. Historic salary dump. – @jonmorosi
#Marlins will have no $$ committed to payroll in 2014. At this moment, Dobbs and Nolasco are only players #Marlins are committed to in even 2013. – @Joelsherman1
Remember: The #Marlins do not award no-trade clauses. – @Ken_Rosenthal
Report: #Marlins sending their stadium to #BlueJays as part of the deal. – @BaseballGuys
Alright, I’m pissed off!!! Plain & Simple. - @Giancarlo818
Here’s the deal as we currently understand it in what is the most lopsided trade potentially in the history of professional sports.
Blue Jays receive: shortstop Jose Reyes, right-hander Josh Johnson, left-hander Mark Buehrle, catcher John Buck and utility player Emilio Bonifacio and $4 million.
Marlins receive: shortstop Yunel Escobar, right-hander Henderson Alvarez, Cuban prospect Adeiny Hechavarria, outfield prospect Jake Marisnick, pitching prospects Anthony Desclafani and Justin Nicolino, and catcher Jeff Mathis.
The Blue Jays get an elite shortstop, and when healthy, a borderline elite arm on the hill. Reyes is a top-5 shortstop in terms of offense, and his defense is solid. Johnson is coming off his worst season, but that effort still included a 3.81 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 7.76 K/9 and 2.54 K/BB. Those are still pretty solid numbers. Buehrle, for the 12th straight season, threw at least 200-innings while winning 10 or more games. Buck is a catcher with 20 homer power, though one that is far from stable at the dish given his swing and miss ways. As for Bonifacio, he was on pace to lead baseball in steals last season before he was waylaid by injury. He played 51 games in CF and 15 games at second base, this a year after he also played 36 games at third base and 67 at shortstop. Here’s a potential lineup for the Blue Jays.
1 Jose Reyes, SS
2 Emilio Bonifacio, 2B
3 Jose Bautista, RF
4 Edwin Encarnacion, DH
5 Brett Lawrie 3B
6 Adam Lind, 1B
7 Colby Rasmus, CF
8 J.P. Arencebia, C
9 Rajai Davis LF
Looking at that daily lineup, you have to be pretty impressed. Speed, power — the only thing they really don’t have is batting average production. Could be a lot of homers and steals though. Maicer Izturis, who signed a 3-year, $10 million deal, now becomes a very expensive super sub. There’s no way around the fact that Toronto has just massively improved their roster. At the same time, two concerns. (1) How will Johnson and Buehrle perform in the AL East? It’s not exactly an easy place to pitch. (2) The Blue Jays took on about $165-$170 million in salary in the deal.
The Marlins received Yunel Escobar, a player who needed a change of scenery. He’s a middle of the pack major league shortstop. Henderson Alvarez, who I wrote about before the season in this Player Profile, performed exactly like I expected – relatively poorly (9-14, 4.85 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 3.80 K/9). My review of Jeff Mathis? A strong defender behind the dish who might be the worst hitter of his generation.
In terms of on the field product the Marlins were taken about behind the woodshed, hit in the head with a stick, had their wallet stolen, their clothes stripped from their bodies and then were tied up. The offender then took their keys, went to their house, packed up their flat screen TV, their fancy refrigerator and pocketed their jewelry. They then went on line, emptied the victims bank account, and erased their identity. Not finished, they then burned the house down, ran their car into the river and and defecated on what was left of the front lawn. You get the point, right?
BASEBALL IN MIAMI
It’s over. If you are a fan of the franchise, I have to think that ended yesterday. How could it go any other direction? In addition to gutting the franchise yet again, the Marlins did a complete 180 degree turn less than a year after they plotted a new direction for their franchise. After signing all those big money deals last offseason (see Angels/Marlins Spending Like Drunken Sailors), don’t forget they already traded Heath Bell to the D’backs, they gutted their team on Tuesday. Not only have they weakened their on the field product immensely, they have also turned their nose up at their fans, flipped them off, punched them in the face, and stolen their lunch money. Remember, the Marlins just built, at a cost of nearly $640 million, a stadium of which they only paid $125 million for saddling the public with the remaining cost (the County spent roughly $376 million, which will have to be raised in taxes, while the City of Miami also chipped in $132 million). The Marlins also received an interest free loan of $35 million to help with expenses which they will have to pay back at a rate of $2.3 million a year. I’ll just say it – Jeffrey Loria is a crook. Plain and simple. Make sure you read Tim Brown’s review of the deal to get a fuller understanding of how the most greedy man in pro sports is running the Miami Marlins.
Jay Bruce is at it again. He’s mashing. Over the past three weeks he’s hit .352 with eight homers, 19 RBIs and 16 runs scored. The recent rush has pushed his season marks to .265-32-93-80-7. Last season he produced a fantasy line of .256-32-97-84-8. It might look like nothing has changed but remember that he’s had 110 fewer at-bats this season.
Speaking of the Reds, Chris Heisey is hitting .469 over his last 32 at-bats for the club from Cincy. That’s 15 hits in 32 at-bats folks. He’s been a huge boost in NL-only leagues (check out his ownership rate over at Fleaflicker).
Josh Johnson has looked much better in the second half as he has a 3.45 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 3.1 K/BB ratio over his last 11 starts. That’s more like it big fella.
Jed Lowrie hit 14 homers with a .799 OPS in 80 games this season. He’s joined Double-A Corpus Christi. Consider me nonplussed. The guy is a walking injury and his performance is always up and down, up and down. I’ve never been a huge fan despite the obvious skills.
Joe Nathan has been nails the past three weeks. In that time he has struck out 11 batters, without issuing a single free pass, as he’s picked up seven saves in eight outings. Actually, Nathan has been killing it all year long. Not only does he have a 2.48 ERA and 1.01 WHIP, but he’s also struck out 10.76 batters per nine innings this season while striking out 8.13 batters for every walk. Oh yeah, he’s also 30 for 31 in converting save chances. Obviously his arm is all the way back.
Chris Perez called out the Indians for being cheap. “They (the Tigers) are spending money. He (Mike Ilitch the Tigers owner) wants to win. Even when the economy was down (in Detroit), he spent money. He’s got a team to show for it. You get what you pay for in baseball. Sometimes you don’t. But most of the time you do.” Can’t disagree with the sentiment Mr. Perez, but it might be wise to put your house on the market because if I’m the owner of the Indians you’re on your way out this offseason since you clearly don’t want to be in Cleveland.
I know it’s hard to believe, but Kurt Suzuki has actually looked like a big league hitter since he joined the Nationals. He’s hit .266 with three homers, 13 RBIs an a .742 OPS over 22 games.
Mike Trout, and save the hate email people as I’m just pointing out a fact, is hitting .275 over his last 33 games. It would be advisable for you to spend a few moments reading Ron Shandler’s recent article on Trout as well.
Shane Victorino has not performed up to par with the Dodgers. He’s stolen eight bags in 32 games which is a fine pace of course, but he’s hitting just .254 with one homer and a .651 OPS in the blue and white. I’d expect him to perform better in the month of September.
Tom Wilhelmsen leads baseball with eight saves the past three weeks. Yet again we have proof that you don’t have to spend early draft picks or lost of cash on closers on draft day. On the year Tom has 24 saves in 27 opportunities for the Mariners. He’ also struck out 73 batters in 66.1 innings while posting solid ratios (2.58 ERA, 1.16 WHIP).
HITTERS – FRIDAY
Evan Longoria vs. Derek Holland: .421-2-6 in 19 at-bats
Juan Pierre vs. Jeff Francis: .429 with 18 hits in 42 at-bats
David Ross vs. Jonathon Niese: .462-1-8 in only 13 at-bats
HITTERS – SATURDAY
Andre Ethier vs. Matt Cain: .472 in 53 at-bats
Adam Jones vs. CC Sabathia: .342-3-10 in 38 at-bats
A.J. Pierzynski vs. Bruce Chen: .424-2-4 in 33 at-bats
PITCHERS – FRIDAY
A.J. Burnett vs. Cubs: .179/.256/.192 in 78 at-bats. 1 RBI allowed.
Francisco Liriano vs. Royals: .239/.302/.316 in 117 at-bats
Luis Mendoza vs. White Sox: .230/.312/.388 in 152 at-bats
PITCHERS – SATURDAY
Bronson Arroyo vs. Astros: .180/.198/.270 in 100 at-bats.
Jeff Samardzija vs. Pirates: .149/.231/.234 in 47 at-bats
C.J. Wilson vs. Tigers: .240/.324/.323 in 96 at-bats. Zero HRs.
DAILY JOUST CONTESTS
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By Ray Flowers
(1) Lucas Harrell on terrific run for slumping Astros. Has anyone noticed? Check out his ownership rate over at Fleaflicker. Let’s jsut say it’s low.
(2) Nick Swisher performing like, Nick Swisher.
(3) Hiroki Kuroda getting it done for Yankees, big time.
(4) Josh Johnson sharp as ever of late.
(5) Troy Tulowitzki progressing.
(6) Michael Cuddyer (oblique) could return this week.
(7) Michael Young will continue to start over Mike Olt.
By Ray Flowers
The 2012 MLB Trade Deadline is upon us. At BaseballGuys.com there’s no way we could sit out the action which figures to be hot and heavy. We’ll be checking in throughout the day with some thoughts on all of the moves that you need to be made aware of as teams begin to set themselves up for the push for the playoffs.
Dodgers Receive: Shane Victorino
Phillies Receive: RHP’s Josh Lindblom, Ethan Martin
The Dodgers get a much needed bat to his at the top of their order. An outfield of Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp and Victorino is the best trio in the NL. Victorino has had a bit of an up and down season but he’s been on top of his game since the All-Star break hitting .357 with five steals and 14 runs scored in 15 games. As a side note. The Phillies are going to call up Domonic Brown, so look for him to get a chance to play almost every day the rest of the way giving him solid value in NL-only leagues.
Rangers Receive: Geovanny Soto
Cubs Receive: RHP Jacob Brigham and some other stuff
(that “stuff” is either a PTBNL or cash).
Soto will slide into a backup job behind the dish since the Rangers already have Mike Napoli. Soto hasn’t hit since 2010, well he hit 17 homers and had 54 RBIs last year, but he also batted .228 last year and isn’t even hitting .200 this year with 35 hits in 176 at-bats (.199). He’ll obviously hold some AL-only value, but his days of even being a catcher #2 in 15 team, two catcher, mixed leagues appear done… at least for 2012. As a result of this deal the Rangers designated Yorvit Torrealba for assignment.
Dodgers Receive: Brandon League
Mariners Receive: RHP Logan Bawcom and OF Leon Landry
League obviously won’t be closing with Kenley Jansen already in town, but he should slide in very nicely in a support role in the Dodgers bullpen given that heavy, an I mean 16 lbs bowling ball heavy, fastball. Still, he’s sporting a 1.42 K/BB ratio in 44.2 innings, so I’m not a huge fan of dumping a lot of FAAB money to add him to an NL-only roster.
Phillies Receive: OF Nate Schierholtz, C Tommy Joseph, RHP Seth Rosin
Giants Receive: Hunter Pence and Cash
It’s about time the Giants added another power bat. Pence-Posey-Sandoval, when all healthy, finally gives the Giants a legitimate 3-4-5 set of bats in the middle of the order. The move to San Francisco doesn’t figure to help Pence much offensively though… or does it? The perception is that Philly is a great hitters park but check out the numbers which tell a different story. At home in 2012 Pence has a .721 OPS that is .121 below his .842 mark on the road.
Rangers Receive: Ryan Dempster
Cubs Receive: RHP Kyle Hendricks, 3B Christian Villanueva
The Cubs were in on Matt Garza too, but they deemed Dempster to be the better medical risk. Going to the AL to pitch in Texas isn’t going to do Dempster’s ratios any favors, not when he doesn’t deserve them in the first place. Still, it’s well worth spending big in AL-only leagues to acquire his services. As a result of his addition the mightily struggling Roy Oswalt has been sent to the bullpen, though the club might still need his services as a starter at some point after the club also announced that Neftali Feliz will have to undergo Tommy John surgery.
Reds Receive: Jonathan Broxton
Royals Receive: LHP Donnie Joseph, RHP J.C. Sulbaran
As a set up man with the Reds, Broxton’s fantasy value is in the total toilet. Given the massive regression in his K/9 this year there is no reason to bother having him on your roster in a mixed league unless you are looking for holds. Broxton should form a tremendous bridge to Aroldis Chapman alongside Sean Marshall. In KC, it seems like Aaron Crow or Greg Holland will be asked to close, though Kelvin Herrera is also in the mix. My money is on Holland.
Yankees Receive: Casey McGehee
Pirates Receive: Chad Qualls
McGehee will help to fill in while A-Rod misses time on the shelf. Hitting just .230 on the year with eight homers, the last time that McG was an impactful hitter for an extended period of time was 2010 when he hit .285 with 23 homers and 104 RBIs. Qualls may not even be worth adding in NL-only leagues.
Pirates Receive: Gaby Sanchez
Marlins Receive: Gorkys Hernandez, RHP Kyle Kaminska, a 2013
Sanchez hit .273 with 18 homers, 85 RBIs and 72 runs scored in 2010. Last year he hit .266 with 19 homers, 78 RBIs and 72 runs scored. This year he’s been hideous appearing in only 55 big league games (he’s spent a lot of time in the minors). In 183 at-bats Sanchez has hit .202 with three homers. A worthwhile gamble for the Pirates, but don’t expect much production the reest of this season.
Red Sox Receive: Craig Breslow
D’backs Receive: Scott Podsednik, Matt Albers
The Sox sent out two spare parts for lefty who has been a very solid bullpen arm since entering the league in 2005. He’s enjoy a fine season this year with a 2.70 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 3.23 K/BB ratio. None of these three is worth a look in anything other than league specific setups
Cardinals Receive: Edward Mujica
Marlins Receive: 3B Zack Cox
One more name removed for 9th inning work with the Marlins. Mujica had a 2.96 ERA in 67 games last season but his 6.00 K/9 mark is his lowest since 2007 and he continues to be plagued by the long ball. Cox was a first round selection in 2010, but he’s struggled to find consistency. This year he has hit a mere .254 with nine homers and an OPS of .716 at Triple-A.
NOT TRADED: Rafael Betancourt, Stephen Drew, Chase Headley, Josh Johnson, Matt Garza, Carlos Lee, Alfonso Soriano, Denard Span, Justin Upton
By Ray Flowers
(1) Why you should be looking to add Tim Lincecum.
(2) Why you should be looking to add Josh Johnson.
(3) Chris Young (shoulder) less than a week away from a return to action?
(4) Vance Worley to DL with elbow issues.
(5) Two hot catchers – A.J. Ellis and Jonathan Lucroy.
By Ray Flowers
A slugger made history. A pitcher who also made history has hit hard times. A pitcher is getting no love despite personal success. A former elite option is returning to action. Two middling hurlers have been mighty impressive. And oh, Kate Beckinsale…
Josh Hamilton had one of the greatest nights in baseball history Tuesday as he went deep four times with eight RBI as he became just the 16th player every to hit four dingers in a game. He also hit a double to propel him to 18 total bases, the most in a game in the history of the American League (Shawn Green had 19 total bases in his four homer game for the Dodgers in 2002). So what do I say to all of that? Trade Hamilton now at his zenith. Remember, the guy has averaged 114 games played the past three years.
Reason 1,963 why wins mean nothing… Ryan Dempster has a 1.02 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 9.17 K/9 an a 3.60 K/BB ratio through five starts and he is 0-1 for the Cubs.
Phil Humber tossed a perfect game on April 21st, the 21st in the history of the game. However, he’s been an unmitigated disaster in three outings since. Humber has tossed 13.1 innings an allowed 20 hits. As bad as that sounds, it’s nowhere near the worst of it. In those 13.1 innings he’s also walked 11 batters, allowed five home runs and permitted, and his is no misprint, 20 earned runs to cross the plate. Add that all up and Humber, in his last three starts, has an ERA of 13.50 an a WHIP of 2.40. Now you see why I had him ranked outside my top-100 amongst starting pitchers this season and why all that talk about him taking the next step this season were baseless.
I know the movie was terrible, but if anyone can watch Underworld Awakening – which was released on DVD this week – and see Kate Beckinsale and not want to immediately buy some leather pants, then I don’t know what your problem is. Where is my Kate Beckinsale? What a looker.
Andy Pettitte will start for the Yankees on Sunday. With a name that will almost certainly far outpace his production, Pettitte is nothing more than an innings eater for a mixed league staff, an a moderate one at that. The 39 year old tossed four games as he worked his way back into shape and he allowed seven earned runs (3.71 ERA) and 22 base runners (1.29 WHIP) against the whipper snappers in the minors, not exactly impressive totals.
Joe Saunders got lit up Monday allowing six earned runs in 3.1 innings in his first non-quality start of the year in his sixth start. It’s all about the law of averages, or regression to the mean if you prefer. Saunders is the owner of a career 4.10 ERA an only twice in four seasons as a full-time starter has his ERA been under 4.40. Clearly he wasn’t going to post a sub 2.00 ERA this season. In fact, even with his outing Monday his ERA is still nearly a full run better than it has ever been at 2.50 (he had a 3.41 mark in 2008). Given Saunders skill set everything, an I mean everything, will have to go right for him this season to post an ERA under 3.40. What that means is that he still has a long way go to regress back to the pitcher he actually is. Be sure you’re aware of that if you have him rostered as anything other than a rotation filler in mixed leagues.
Carlos Zambrano was a pitcher I targeted as a pick up this week because of his two start status. Consider game one a rousing success as Big Z tossed a nine inning shutout at the Astros permitting only three hits and one walk while striking out nine. I know it was the Astros which is akin to mowing down a Triple-A roster, but it’s time we give Carlos some props. His 1-2 record blows chunks but it certainly has nothing to do with how he has performed as he’s posted a 1.98 ERA and 1.02 WHIP for the Marlins. Moreover, Zambrano has made six starts, all of which have been “quality starts” (at least six innings pitched while permitting three or fewer runs). A hell of a start for the combustible one.
Here are some pitchers that are bound to have brighter days ahead given their massive BABIP mark (it’s very rare to see a hurler end a year with a mark as high as .330).
.439 – Josh Johnson
.407 – Mar Scherzer
.381 – Ivan Nova
.369 – Zack Greinke
.363 – Juan Nicasio
By Ray Flowers
It’s Friday, and that means a couple of things. First, the weekend is nearly upon us (thank goodness). Second, it’s time to get your drink on. Third, it’s time to get ready for your weekend of fantasy baseball with DailyJoust.com.
For those of you unaware of just what DailyJoust is and what the offer, click on the link to BBGuys Partners with DailyJoust. The bottom line is DJ allows you the chance to play daily fantasy baseball, choose a team today an another one tomorrow if you want, all the while giving you the chance to make some real money. Today, I’ll give some advice on how you might choose to fill out your lineup for Friday or Saturday.
HITTERS – FRIDAY
Derek Jeter: When a guy has a .421 batting average against a pitcher as Jeter does against Bruce Chen, you take notice. When it comes over 38 at-bats you should pay even closer attention. When that batter is hitting .404, leading the AL in batting average, you have yourself a must start.
Carlos Lee: He seems to be over his ankle issue, and he had two hits Tuesday in his last game played. Friday he takes on Kyle Lohse, a pitcher who is on quite the roll this year (4-0, 1.62 ERA, 0.84 WHIP), but one who he has consistently handled in his career. Lee has a substantial 70 at-bats against Lohse, and the results have been mighty impressive as they include five homers, nine RBI, a .300 average an a .965 OPS.
Mark Teixeira: Killing Bruce Chen, besides sounding like a movie title for a Kung Fu epic, could also be the title of Mark Teixeira’s outings against Chen in his career. In 19 at-bats Tex is batting .474 with, get this, a 2.003 OPS. Tex also has six homers and 13 RBI in one of the most impressive batting lines you will ever see for a batter against a pitcher.
PITCHERS – FRIDAY
Josh Johnson: When the competition is the Padres, opposing pitchers are always worth taking a look at. Over his last two starts Johnson has racked up 17 Ks in just 12 innings, and though his ratios this season leave a lot to be desired (5.34 ERA, 1.74 WHIP), the good news is that (a) he is healthy and (b) he’s facing the Padres in San Diego. In six career starts against the Padres Johnson is just 1-2 but he has 31 Ks in 29.2 innings while posting a 2.43 ERA and 0.94 WHIP. Batters that are currently on the Padres have hit .146 against Johnson.
Jon Lester: Are you looking for a lock? OK, there is no lock in the real world, but this is as good as it could possibly get. Lester not only has a 2.36 ERA an a 1.26 WHIP against the Orioles, but the lefty from Boston is also 14-0 against the club from Baltimore. Wow is right.
Wade Miley: The NL Rookie Pitcher of the Month going 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA and 0.81 WHIP as he held batters to a microscopic .133 batting average against. He faces a Mets team that has scored only 95 runs, tied for 9th in the NL in runs scored.
HITTERS – SATURDAY
Mark Kotsay: This is the type of play for those of you who want to load up on a ton of expensive options on your club leaving you scant money for your final player. Kotsay isn’t a lock to start, but I bet you when the coaching staff of the Padres realizes that he has produced 10 hits and eight RBI against Mark Buehrle in 23 at-bats (.435 average) they will be certain to have Kotsay in their starting lineup.
Joe Mauer: Normally when a guy is facing Felix Hernandez you are very interested in running and hiding which must be how Justin Morneau (.138) and Denard Span (.067) feel. However, one man in baseball actually relishes the matchup and that is Mauer. In an almost incomprehensible run of excellence, Mauer has 13 hits in 26 at-bats against the righty which obviously results in a .500 average. Not just hitting singles either, Mauer has two homers and four doubles amongst his 13 hits.
Martin Prado: It only seems like everyone in baseball has 25 at-bats against Jamie Moyer. Well, Prado is one of those fellas with exactly 25 at-bats, and he’s used them to produce 10 hits leading to a .400 average. He’s also powered three balls into the seats leading to a 1.263 OPS and six RBI. Pretty solid work from this professional hitter wouldn’t you say?
PITCHERS – SATURDAY
Chris Capuano: He faces the Cubs, a team that has produced seven hits in 31 at-bats against him amongst the current squad (.226/.273/.484). Capuano is also 8-3 with a 3.65 ERA and 1.16 WHIP against the Cubs in his career and he’s allowed a total of five runs over his last four starts this season as he’s lowered his yearly ERA down to 2.73.
James McDonald: Over his last three outings James has allowed five runs in 18.2 innings (2.41 ERA) while striking out 20 batters in 18.2 innings. Clearly he’s on a roll right now. Now he will face a Reds team that he is 3-1 against in his career with a 3.06 ERA. Current Reds hitters have also hit only .269 with a .717 OPS and just two homers in 93 at-bats.
Clayton Richard: All you need to know about Richard is whether he is starting at home or on the road. If it’s in San Diego, Richard is never a bad play. In two starts at home this year he is 1-1 with a 1.35 ERA and 0.83 WHIP an in his career at Petco Park he is 12-12 with a 2.63 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 163 Ks in 202 innings. The Marlins better be wearing their hitting shoes.
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By Ray Flowers