Archive for August 31, 2009

Players of the Week: August 24-30

Hitter of the Week:
This week it was a pretty easy choice, as one of the premier power hitters in the game exploded for a huge week.  Ryan Howard led the league in home runs with 5 (no one else had more than 3) and RBI with 12 (only one other player reached double digits).  Throw in his 5 runs and .393 average (going 11-28), and there really was no competition.

Runner’s Up:

  • Kendry Morales – Los Angeles Angels – .462 (12-26), 3 HR, 11 RBI, 5 R, 0 SB
  • Matt Kemp – Los Angeles Dodgers – .360 (9-25), 3 HR, 8 RBI, 5 R, 2 SB
  • Milton Bradley – Chicago Cubs –  .545 (12-22), 2 HR, 5 RBI, 9 R, 0 SB
  • Ian Kinsler – Texas Rangers – .348 (8-23), 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R, 4 SB Read more

Pitch and Ditch: September 1

Let’s take a look at a potential pitch and ditch option for tomorrow’s games for those in daily leagues:

Vicente Padilla – Los Angeles Dodgers – vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
I know it seems odd to take the gamble on a pitcher who is currently carrying a 4.86 ERA and 1.50 WHIP, but the bulk of that damage came pitching in the AL.  He was solid in his Dodgers debut and gets to square off with one of the worst offenses in baseball.

The Diamondback entered Monday tied with the Royals for the league’s third worst average, currently at .254.  That’s a good sign for a pitcher who is currently sporting a batting average against of .283. 

While they do score some runs (especially recently asthey scored 34 runs from 8/27-8/29, but the starting pitchers for Joe Martinez, Yorman Bazardo & Bud Norris), they also strikeout a ton (currently second in the league at 1,022).  Padilla has a career K/9 of 6.14 and hasn’t struck out more than 5 batters in a game this season.  In 2008, however, he had a 10 K game, a 9 K game and three 8 K games.  He’s not a big-time strikeout artist, but look for him to set a season high in this one.

He’s currently owned in 34% of CBS Leagues and 3% of Yahoo Leagues

My Prediction: 6 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 7 K and picks up a W

What is your prediction?  Do you think he’s worth gambling on?  If not him, who are you looking at for tomorrow?

Around the Majors: August 30

Is Zack Greinke the best pitcher in baseball?  How much do Clayton Kershaw owners hate the Dodgers right now?  Who will be closing in Arizona?  Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games.

  • What exactly are the Yankees doing with Joba Chamberlain?  I understand wanting to limit his innings to save his arm (though I may not agree with it).  I also understand wanting to keep him on regular rest.  What I don’t understand is limiting him to just 3 innings when he has thrown just 35 pitches in the game.  If this is even close to what we should be expecting from Chamberlain the rest of the way, he is completely unusable in all formats.  Pay close attention, but I certainly hope you have other options available to you.
  • Jeff Niemann had a solid outing, giving up 2 runs on 5 hits and 0 walks, striking out 3, over 7 innings in a no decision.  The problem is that he had allowed at least 4 earned runs in 4 of his previous 6 starts, including a start against the Mariners and two against the Blue Jays.  Those are starts that he needs to excel in if he wants to be a consistently usable fantasy option.  While this start was good, do you really trust him in a rematch with the Tigers in his next outing?  I wouldn’t…
  • Matt LaPorta went hitless.  That’s news in and of itself these days as it’s the first time since he returned to the major leagues.
  • Justin Masterson allowed 5 runs (4 earned) on 8 hits and 4 walks, striking out 6, over 5.2 innings.  That’s three poor starts out of his last four, meaning he’s not worth gambling on at this point.
  • There officially is reason to be concerned regarding Roy Halladay.  He allowed 4 runs on 7 hits and 1 walk, striking out 6, over 6 innings, marking his third consecutive loss posting a 7.94 ERA and 1.82 WHIP in the process.  Obviously, barring any news of him being shutdown, all you can do is continue to run him out there and hope for the best.  He has to turn it around sooner or later, doesn’t he? Read more

Pitch or Ditch: August 31

We are in that time where there are a lot of owners are looking to pick a pitcher off the scrap heap hoping to reap benefits for a start then release him back to the waiver wire.  I’ll be checking in with potential options, so let’s take a look at who you could consider using for tomorrow:

Paul Maholm – Pittsburgh Pirates – @ Cincinnati
We all know how bad things were for Maholm, seeing his ERA rise from 3.61 to 4.93 over a two month span.  He does appear to have righted the ship, however, allowing just 2 earned runs over his last two starts (14.2 innings).

He pitched well against the Reds earlier in the season, allowing 1 run on 3 hits and 2 walks, striking out 3, over 7 innings in his second start of the season.  Last season he posted a 1.77 ERA in 3 starts (20.1 innings) against Cincinnati. Read more

Around the Majors: August 29

What has come over Barry Zito?  Does anyone think that Matt Kemp could reach the 30/30 plateau this season?  Just how good has Matt LaPorta been since being recalled?  Let’s look at these questions and all the rest from yesterday’s games.
  • Sergio Mitre (6.1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 ER) and Chad Gaudin (2.2 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 4 K, 0 ER) combined to one-hit the White Sox.  Did anyone actually see that one coming?  Despite the strong start, Mitre is completely useless for fantasy owners, which was true before he was forced from the game after getting hit by a comebacker off the bat of A.J. Pierzynski.  Everyone is going to have a good outing once and a while, it happens.
  • David Price tried to dispel owners concerns about him starting on the road by giving up 1 run on 5 hits and 1 walk, striking out 4, over 7.1 innings.  Considering that he started the day with an 8.07 ERA away from home, it’s going to take more than one start like this to convince me.
  • Ricky Romero allowed 3 runs on 7 hits and 4 walks, striking out 5, over 5.1 innings.  Since the All-Star Break he’s carrying a 5.67 ERA and 1.77 WHIP.  Needless to say, he’s far from the dominating force he was early on in the season.  His next start comes in Texas and I certainly would not consider him a must start option at this point.
  • Clay Buchholz was tremendous, allowing 1 run on 3 hits and 2 walks, striking out 9, over 8.1 innings.  He has been up-and-down, but with the Red Sox offense behind him he is worth using in all formats. Read more

2-Start Pitchers: Week 22

It’s time to look at the potential two-start options for the upcoming fantasy week.  If I have someone rated as a three, four or five-star option, they are someone I would definitely use.  A two-star option is someone who is borderline, but I’d strongly lean against it unless I have no other options.  The one-star options are an absolutely not scenario.

So, with that said, let’s take a look at the players available to you this week:

Five-Star Options:

  • None

Four-Star Options:

  • Javier Vazquez – Atlanta Braves – @ Fla, vs. Cin
  • Josh Johnson – Florida Marlins – vs. Atl, @ Was
  • Rich Harden – Chicago Cubs – vs. Hou, @ NYM
  • A.J. Burnett – New York Yankees – @ Bal, @ Tor Read more