Got Mo’ Pick-ups Than Dodge
Most fantasy writers have no problem recommending players you should go after, but do they really pick up all the players they hype up? I’ll answer for them: no. Here on “Star’s Shares,” we’ll discuss players yours truly has personally invested in. If a player is good enough to sit on one of my three teams, then surely they are worthy of your attention.
“Star’s Shares” poster boy Daniel Nava continues to do serious work at the dish, while Luis Jimenez (who got a shout in last week’s post) has been handling major-league pitching well and is still out there in a lot of deep leagues. What kind of ill recommendations will your boy Big Poppa Pockets be making this week? Make the jump and find out:
The 13-Teamer Pick-Ups
The bros in this tier are the ones many of you will find most useful. The league features just one catcher, three outfielders, and no CIs or MIs. It also utilizes classic 5×5 roto categories and daily free agent pickups. It’s as default as it gets, with one major difference: the innings limit is 2000. It forces streaming and aggressive pitching strategies. This is a league I’ve been running for over 10 years. The league is composed of personal friends of mine, Sons of Roto readers, and a couple of competitive fantasy gamers found on Yahoo! message boards.
Even before Brett Anderson got hurt, I picked up Straily because I knew that it would be a mad dash to the waiver wire once news broke that he would be coming back up to the majors. Granted, Anderson might still make his next start and Straily might not be up this week, but it’s only a matter of time before he’s back with the A’s (unless you believe that Oakland’s rotation will defy logic and stay healthy and completely intact for the duration of the 2013 season). Keep in mind that Straily has put up sick numbers in AAA (79.1 IP, 1.93 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 11.1 K/9, 2.3 BB/9). Those stats are even more impressive when you consider that he pitches in the PCL (where bums like Sean Rodriguez look like future Hall of Fame hitters). It’s insane to me that Straily is still available in almost every league right now. He’s got the potential to be a strong SP2 this year.
The former top prospect has been a middling major leaguer thus far in his career, but this season he’s off to a nice start. The walk rate has been sliced in half (2.04 BB/9) and the batted ball profile is looking as crisp as my wardrobe (16.3 LD% and 63.3 GB%). He’s owned in just nine percent of Yahoo! leagues, and I’m guessing the primary reason (aside from most people having no idea who the fuck Garrett Richards is) is the fact that his strikeout numbers have been modest. Yet his SwStr% this year sits at a cool 11.0 mark and he throws in the mid-90s (average fastball of 94.8 mph this year). Sure he’s been an underwhelming K artist in the majors to date, but if he keeps generating misses at a rate close to what he’s done so far, then there’s reason to believe he can put up solid enough strikeout numbers to pitch like an SP3. He’s worth owning in most formats.
Even though his walk rate is really low, Valdespin has actually been more patient this year and is seeing more pitches overall. His numbers to date don’t pop out at you, but he does have the ability to go 15/20 in 2013. Because he’s eligible at 2B in Yahoo! leagues, those numbers are good enough to make him starter-worthy in most formats (especially in leagues that use MIs).
The Keeper Krackpots
This is a 10-team keeper league that I joined this year after inheriting someone’s team. Even though it’s only 10 teams, it’s a highly competitive money league that has waivers three times a week. Only one catcher in this one, but five OFs (LF/CF/RF/OF/OF), plus a CI and MI. Saves do not count for shit in this league, which gives it a nice twist. OBP, SLG, K/BB, and quality starts count on top of the usual 5×5 cats. It’s also head-to-head. Of course, because it’s a keeper league, you also take next year into consideration with some of the pickups.
I’m hurting at the MI position and Johnson somehow sauntered his way into my lineup. I’m not overly thrilled about this venture… in fact, I immediately regretted it. I’ll give him the week to prove me wrong (have no choice, it’s a weekly league and I already started him).
I’ve always appreciated Smith’s talents, particularly when he’s on one of his tears. His on-base skills give his value some added oomph and with Yoenis Cespedes out, Smith should continue to see ample playing time. He’s a money H2H player right now since he’s on fire, and even mixed leaguers can feel free to get in on the action here.
The Blog Wars Ballers
Blog Wars is the annual Sons of Roto league. It’s a 15-team roto joint that includes writers from Yahoo!, Razzball, Fangraphs, and others. It’s 5×5 and is a daily league, but includes two catchers, five OFs, a CI, and an MI. There are also five DL spots and daily free agent moves are allowed. It’s highly competitive because everyone in here writes about fantasy baseball and is usually picking up a sleeper weeks before the casual fan even hears of them. For this league, the waiver wire is mostly about long-term potential and it’s not uncommon to see people stash dudes who aren’t even starting. Of course, because of the depth, it’s also normal to see people picking up scrubs simply because they are getting regular playing time.
Always an injury away from being worthless, Reimold is a sly gamble in deeper leagues thanks to his power potential. Wilson Betemit will be out until mid-June (at the earliest), so as long as Reimold stays healthy, he should see most of the PAs at DH. A power-hitting righty in the AL East can put up some serious numbers if he’s on point, so I expect Reimold to be a quality fantasy performer while healthy. If you play in a league that starts a lot of OFs, he’s well worth a look.