All is fair in love and fantasy baseball. If you’re new to the game, the only hope you have is to accept the fact that you’ve already lost. The sooner you accept that, the sooner you’ll be able to function as a manager is supposed to function: without mercy, without compassion, without remorse. Winning depends upon it. Arm yourselves and be ye men of valor; for we few, we happy few, we band of brothers shall embark upon a land of bullets, triple slashes and pulled hamstrings.
The 54% owned Paul Konerko hit is 8th HR, a solo shot. It is pretty amazing that a player can hit .277 with 28 HR and 88 RBI and go completely under the radar. Anyone who waited on 1B and took Konerko in the later rounds is happy with the results. I know 1B is a deep position, but we have UT and CI spots to fill, ride the hot bat. Kornerko has a HR in the past three games.
The 27% owned Austin Jackson went 2 for 4 with a double and his first HR, a solo shot. He raised his AVG to .316, but he struck out once, giving him a strike out in every game and 30 K in 79 AB. He is worth grabbing off the wire, but don’t expect his AVG to keep pace. Still, you get a little pop to go with a speedy lead off hitter. Deep leaguers may want to shop him around before the AVG comes down to the .270 range.
Scott Rolen went 2 for 3 with a solo HR vs SD. He scored 3 Runs and drove in the one. The HR was his 5th. Rolen is a career .283 hitter who gets a boost from the friendly confines of his home ballpark. He is owned in 27% of Yahoo leagues and is a great option for deep leagues or managers who want to bench Aramis Ramirez for the time being.
Kelly Johnson is living it up in the lead off spot while Conor Jackson sits on the DL. He went 1 for 4 with a 2 run HR, his 7th of the season. His AVG sits at .322. Kelly has shown an improved BB% and his (.324) BABIP is in line with what it was in 2007/2008. Last season his BABIP was an absurd .247 and Martin Prado ended up stealing his playing time. Kelly is back and he should be owned in more than 53% of yahoo leagues. A .285/20/10 line shouldn’t surprise anyone.
Jake Fox started at Catcher and went 2 for 4 with a Run and RBI. That is his 4th Game Started at Catcher so he only needs 1 more to gain eligibility. Deep leaguers take notice. The fly ball hitter is not going to give you much of a Batting AVG (think .255), but he does have some power. In 2008 Fox hit 31 HR between AA and AAA and in 2009, Fox hit 28 HR between AAA and the big leagues.
The 34% owned J.D. Drew is a pretty consistent player, you know you’re going to get a .280 AVG with 20 or more HR, 80 Runs, 80 RBI. I can see people passing on the health risks associated with him in standard mixed leagues, but Drew isn’t anything to laugh at in deeper formats or leagues that use OBP or OPS. It is true, Drew is swinging at a few more pitches outside the zone this year, but he is also the victim of a .194 BABIP (career .316). Drew went 2 for 4 with a Run and 2 RBI and is showing signs of breaking out of his early slump.
Seth Smith (2 for 3) hit 2 HR and finished with 4 RBI. He is stuck platooning vs RHP while the Rockies try to find ways to get AB for their 5 OF. Smith is hitting .231, but is the victim to an ugly BABIP (.185 entering Sunday). If given a full time gig in COL, Smith could hit .280/20/10. COL did call up Eric Young Jr, so if Barmes (1 for 2, 2 BB) continues to struggle (.204 AVG), EY2 could be stealing many bases. Young got into the game tonight, getting a pinch-hit single and stealing a base. Managers in need of MI speed better take notice.
Colby Lewis put up another interesting line [6.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 10 K], this time vs the Tigers. He has put up some impressive K numbers through 4 starts, he has struck out 28 batters in 23.2 Innings Pitched. The issue with Lewis is the walks, he had a 5.19 BB/9 coming into Sunday. Lewis doesn’t generate many ground balls (0.86 GB/FB, 46.7% FB% coming into Sunday) so these walks will eventually pile up on his ERA in the form of HR. He has been lucky so far with the HR (4.8% HR/FB% coming into Sunday), but he pitches in Texas for half his starts so we should expect some gopheritis. Colby should post Dice-K-like numbers.
Gio Gonzalez pitched well [7 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 3 K] vs CLE. He has a lot of potential, but he also has the potential to walk 6 batters. Think of him as a poor man’s Clayton Kershaw. Good K potential, but a risk to WHIP. He is a spot starter in standard leagues.
The John Danks show overshadowed the Jason Vargas performance. Vargas had his 3rd straight strong outting [6.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 4 K] and his overall line looks pretty good [1.04 WHIP, 3.60 ERA]. His K/9 and BB/9 are heading in the right direction and the Seattle defense does help, but his last three starts have come against struggling offenses; CHI, BAL, OAK. He was beat up @ TEX. Vargas may pitch better than he did last year, but he still appears to be more of a fringe/spot starter than a breakout star.
Daniel Bard struck out all three Orioles he faced today. He now sports a 0.77 WHIP and a 3.09 ERA. Bard won’t get you any Saves with Papelbon in town, but he can still help your team. Other useful middle relievers who pitched well today: Arthus Rhodes, Tyler Clippard, Luke Gregerson, Darren Oliver, Jeremy Affeldt
David Price [9 IP, 4 H, BB, 9 K, Win]
Brad Penny [7.2 IP, 8 H, 2 K, Win]
John Danks [8 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 5 K, Win]
Chad Billingsley [6 IP, ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 5 K]
Randy Wells [7 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 6 K, Win]
Tommy Hanson [5 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 8 K]
Jorge de la Rosa [5 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 6 K, Win]
Jay Bruce [3 for 4, R, RBI, 2 doubles]
Adrian Gonzalez [1 for 4, HR, 2 RBI]
Kevin Youkilis [3 for 5, 2 R, RBI, double]
Matt Wieters [1 for 2, 2 RBI, 8 game hit streak]
Miguel Tejada [2 for 5, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI]
Evan Longoria [2 for 4, R, RBI]
Carl Crawford [1 for 3, R, 2 SB]
Carlos Pena [1 for 3, 2 R, RBI, double]
B.J. Upton [1 for 3, R, SB, double]
Michael Bourn [1 for 2, R, 3 BB, 3 SB]
Carlos Lee [2 for 5, 2 R, 2 RBI, SB]
Hunter Pence [2 for 4, 2 R, RBI]
Lance Berkman [1 for 4, solo HR]
Andrew McCutchen [3 for 5, SB]
Derek Lee [1 for 5, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI]
Geo Soto [2 for 4, HR, 2 R, RBI]
Jose Guillen [1 for 3, HR, R, 2 RBI]
Justin Morneau [2 for 4, HR, R, RBI, double]
Michael Young [3 for 5, R, 5 RBI, double]
Kendry Morales [3 for 3, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI]
Bobby Abreu [2 for 4, HR, R, RBI]
Robinson Cano [1 for 3, HR, 2 R, RBI]
Mark Reynolds [3 for 4, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI]
Jorge Posada [1 for 4, HR, R, 2 RBI]
Pablo Sandoval [3 for 4, double]
Albert Pujols [3 for 4, solo HR]
Colby Rasmus [2 for 4, R, SB, double]
Jose Reyes [1 for 3, R, SB]