Posts Tagged ‘closers’

Today’s Heroes: 5/30 – Le Blogging

Sundays are free here. I have class from 9-12:15 5 days a week, and have class some days and activities other days in the afternoon until dinner. Then dinner, then either passing out, going out drinking, the latter followed by the former, or staying up late watching TV. Doing these activities leaves me dog-tired, and wanting nothing to do with hopping on the computer and banging out 700 words of fantasy advice when I barely have the time to pay attention (that didn’t stop Teamocil from climbing back into forth place on the heels of The Great Jason Heyward, Carlos Gonzalez and Robbie Cano’s strong weeks). But I’ve done it anyway, for you. Yesterday, I spent literally all day in the mediocre-at-best city of Marseille (go here if you want to hear why), was too tired to go out in France on a Saturday night, so the fact that a wrote a blog post was heroic, at the least.

Today is Sunday, though. Sundays are free. Completely free. I can wake up at 2:15 if I want to (check), I can have breakfast at 2:45 of espresso, a baguette smothered in nutella and apricot confiture (check), then download some hip-hop I had wanted to for two months (check), then listen to it while cranking out a Today’s Heroes (check). So here it is.

  • I don’t know how many people know this, but since 1996, only one team in all of the Major Leagues has a winning record against the Yankees. That team would be (sorry, Collin and *snicker snicker* O’s fans) the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. I hate them. Not enough to refuse owning any of their players (Kendry Morales and Jered Weaver, and I used to have a spot reserved for K-Rod on my teams in the mid-2000’s), but enough to never even secretly root for them against the Yanks. I bench Jered Weaver every time. Yesterday, I was given another very good reason to hate them. After their one non-evil hitter (Kendry), hit a walk-off grand slam, what do they do to thank him? Break his fucking leg, that’s what. And they all joined in to beat the living crap out of him and sideline him for 10-12 weeks. Serious pricks. Now that incredible keeper pick his so much less valuable, and I need offense. Members of the league, I’m listening to offers for a pitcher of mine.

Leg Assassination: The Montage

  • Continuing this morning’s theme of hatred, I hate Carlos Silva. He’s a below-average pitcher throwing up top-50 fantasy numbers for no good reason. After 7 innings and 11 Ks last night, my hatred builds, fueled by the certain knowledge that if I were to pick him up, he would immediately begin to suck on my team, I know it. The eventual regression will not take place on my starting roster, I assure you.
  • Dexter Fowler had a good run. However, if you play in the Rockies outfield, you’re on a preposterously short leash. Why? Because after Carlos Gonzalez and Brad Hawpe, they have 3-4 interchangeable outfielders. Enter Seth Smith, the Rockies’ Flava-Flav-of-the-week, hitting .409 with seven runs, three dingers and six RBI. He hits behind CarGo and ahead of Tulowitzki, Helton, Hawpe, Stewart and Olivo in some order. That’s a pretty sweet place to be, so you should keep an eye on this guy. If he locks that spot up, he’ll be even more valuable than his season total of 8 homers would have you believe (which is already adequately valuable).
  • The time difference pwned me in the Buster Posey sweepstakes me. While everyone was hearing the news of his call-up yesterday morning, I was stuck on some lame train through the historic district of Marseille (not my idea), handcuffed by the idea of time zones. Starting Miguel Olivo in both leagues, Posey would be a perfect addition because I’m not deluding myself that Olivo can continue to be on pace for 30 HR and 15 steals. Yes, those are his 475-AB paces. Obviously I wouldn’t drop Olivo, but Posey, a can’t miss offensive prospect at catcher, would be a very nice backup, keeping for 1 (he was already in the Yahoo! universe and available in both leagues). C’est la vie, as they say over here. Over there, we call it pwned.
  • Former Terrapin Brett Cecil continued his stellar widely-available play? Why widely available? Because the last time he had a stretch like this, everyone picked him up. Then he sucked for a few starts, and everyone dropped him again. Well, I’m not making that mistake again, unless of course I can trade two pitchers for a great power hitter. Then I might make that mistake again. Totally a viable option, guys. Just saying. I need hitting.
  • Is John Axford the Brewers’ new closer? I haven’t been reading the rags, but he has a win and two saves in his last two appearances, so that leads me to believe it is. In that case, there will be a scrum for him in all leagues, since the Brewers are a decent team that would be better if they hadn’t been employing Trevor Hoffman. They have an unbelievable lineup, and at least one pitcher of delivering consistently great performances (Yovani Gallardo). That should be a solid two-three saves a week if he can keep the job.

Thank God I have this blog to express my Morales frustration, since absolutely no one in France cares about baseball, if not, suppressing this rage would be very unhealthy.

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Thoughts from a villainous mind…

Fantasy baseball is not a game won and lost in the first round of a draft or with the most expensive player in an auction.  You win a league by seeing the potential in an obscure player before anyone else.  I have had success in this with Casey McGeehee and Martin Prado this year.  Both, at the beginning of the year were owned in less than 30% of Yahoo leagues.  Now both are STARTED in more than 70%.  Ridiculous.  While your streaks of genius might not be quite as profound, heed my advice to come closer to the top of your league.

Also, how about those Milwaukee Brewers beating Pittsburgh 20-0?  They just have too much talent not to go on a run at some point and this 4-game win streak may be the beginning.

Here are some players who will have huge rises in % owned over the next few weeks:

Brett Gardner OF (29%)- I’ve already owned him once this year and he is a potentially great 3-category player.  He will get a ton of steals and, while his batting average will likely drop slightly, there is no reason to think he can’t hit around .290 or so.  Hitting in the Yankees lineup, unfortunately, also helps him immensely in runs.

Ty Wigginton 1B, 2B, 3B (34%)- Wigginton’s success deserves to be reemphasized from this morning.  Even though virtually every Baltimore game appears to be Iron Man going up against Magneto (think about it), the team has a few fantasy commodities.  Wigginton has already hit 5 home runs this year.  Although he hasn’t played a full season since 2003, the Orioles might be the exact team bad enough to let him play.  Wigginton’s position flexibility and respectable power from middle infield spots make him an ownable option in many leagues.

Dallas Braden P (50%)- So I own Braden in my league.  I was incredibly nervous this morning about putting him up against the Yankees, but he hasn’t allowed a run through 4.  If you are lucky enough to be in the half of leagues where he is not owned, get him now.  Pitching this well against the Yankees will surely spike his value and give his season legitimacy.

I’ll let Ethan deal with the streaming advice and I’ll talk about closers for a second.  In most leagues, all closers are owned no matter how much they suck (except Franklin Morales, you have to draw a line somewhere).  The key to winning saves is to pick up the guys who are going to replace the awful closers.  Here are a couple of situations worth watching:

Brian Fuentes does not have the Angels job locked down.  After coming off an injury, he has struggled some.  Look for Fernando Rodney to continue getting saves.

Chad Qualls has been struggling for the D-Backs too.  If you want saves from that situation, pick up, umm, hmm, well…Morales will soon have competition for the title of worst closer in baseball.

The Chicago Cubs are not a situation worth watching.  Carlos Marmol has been dominant.  The Carlos Zambrano move is inexplicable, but it would be even more inexplicable to move Marmol out of the closer role.

And I know all of you just got scared we might have had a post on this blog not mentioning Heyward and since Ethan just went sabermetric on us this morning, I thought I’d take this opportunity to drop some more knowledge.

Heyward has a BABIP (batting average on balls in play) of .417.  Generally, this is a statistic that measures “luck” in hitting.  Heyward has been lucky so far, but not so lucky as to avoid striking out.  He is on pace to come in second, all-time, in strikeouts in a season.  Also, HALF of the fly balls he has hit so far in his career have been home runs.  Sustainable?  No.  Absolutely not.  Heyward will be great, but we should temper our expectations for his rookie season.  He will be good, not great.  Look at Griffey’s numbers in his rookie year.  And Heyward isn’t Griffey.

Again, it’s easy for young guys to succeed before pitchers can study their habits.  Once pitchers realize (for example) that breaking pitches will make a player’s knees buckle, the game becomes a bit more difficult.