Fantasy Baseball: Dropping Knowledge
I know, I know. We've all been led to believe that common sense should define us, shape our reality, and let us know what path to take in life. Most of the time we're OK with that, it just works, and we go on with our day filled with plenty of common-sense type decisions. However, sometimes things don't quite come together as we thought they would either because life throws us the proverbial curve ball or something unexpected occurs. I'm going to try and help all of you today by pointing out where the decisions being made by some aren't necessarily the best decisions that could be made. Welcome to Ray Flowers' Common Sense Tour 2014.
Carlos Gomez is slated to bat leadoff for the Brewers. Horrific decision. He's super fast and has power, but he has zero idea how to work the count and get on base. You do realize that he's had seven years of big league experience and has only had an OBP better than .305 once? My goodness, his career mark is .303. By the way, the league average since 2007 in OBP is .331. Dreadful decision Brewers.
Drew Hutchinson will be in the Blue Jays' rotation this season. Everyone is super excited in the fantasy game. Seems like no one bothered to look at his performance/skills. Coming back from surgery he threw less than 60 innings last season and back in 2012 he made 11 starts for the Jays with a 4.60 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. He can strike people out but this is no Taijuan Walker folks.
Lance Lynn is the Rodney Dangerfield of pitching. Not only does he get no respect in the fantasy game, but his own team seems to always be looking to remove him from the starting rotation. Seems odd to me. I know his two year ERA is 3.90 and his WHIP is 1.32, those are totally league average numbers, but how about the fact that he's also averaged 189 Ks while winning a total of 33 games the past two seasons – why doesn't that mean more? Do you know how many hurlers have won 15 games with 180 strikeouts each of the past two seasons? It's an exclusive club – Lynn and Max Scherzer. Speaking of Cardinals' starters we know Joe Kelly has been given a spot in the rotation. Joe Kelly throws 95 mph. Joe Kelly has an impressive 51 percent ground ball rate. Joe Kelly also has only one plus pitch, has allowed a worse than league average 21 percent line drive rate, has a league average 9.9 percent HR/F rate, a league average 3.12 BB/9, and a league average .297 BABIP. Oh yeah, he also had an unrepeatable 82.4 percent line drive rate last season and a deficient 5.73 K/9 mark. You can do better when rounding out your rotation. In fact, the Cardinals could do better if they gave the ball to Carlos Martinez every five games. Alas they won't leaving him a s a setup man crushing his value to the point that he's barely rosterable in mixed leagues.
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Casey McGehee is the Marlins starting third baseman. Anyone notice? Once upon a time he hit .285 with 23 homers and 104 RBIs. It was 2010 of course. An NL-only option at this point.
Realized lately that I'm charming as all get out. Is it possible that I'm actually coming into my own as I enter my fourth decade of life? By the way, my B-day is less than a week away. I expect gifts, expensive ones, to start flooding my mailbox.
Michael Pineda has thrown zero big league pitches in two years. Pineda has only thrown 40.2 innings the past two seasons. He's only thrown 150 innings in a season one time. Why all the love and desire to make a guy like that part of your fantasy squad? Don't get it.
Grady Sizemore fever – catch it. Actually wait a second. You want to avoid the fever unless you also enjoy catching things like herpes and syphilis. I'm astounded how many Sizemore questions I get on a daily basis. Sizemore had zero at-bats last season. Sizemore had zero at-bats in 2012. The last time he had 275 at-bats in a season was 2009. That's four injury ravaged seasons of less than 275 at-bats. The last time he had that many at-bats was 2009 when his fantasy line looked like this: .248-18-64-73-13. I know Sizemore was once great, but boy are you fooling yourself if you think Sizemore is going to do something significant this season.
Jose Tabata hit .282 last season and appears likely to start in the Pirates outfield. I'd care a bit if he was the guy who stole 19 and 16 bases his first two seasons despite playing an average of 97 games a season. Unfortunately, Tabata has only stolen 11 bases while being caught 13 times the last two years.
SPRING NUMBERS OF NOTE
Austin Jackson hit .440 with 13 RBIs in 16 games.
Brad Miller hit .436 with four homers.
Melky Cabrera hit .431.
Mike Moustakas hit .429 with 17 RBIs.
A.J. Pollock hit .425.
Dustin Ackley hit .410 with 15 RBIs.
Chris Heisey hit six homers with a 1.085 OPS.
Luis Valbuena hit six bombs.
Javier Baez hit .298 with five homers. He had five RBIs.
C.J. Wilson had 28 Ks in 21.2 innings.
Lance Lynn, remember him, had 27 Ks in 16.1 innings.
Madison Bumgarner had a 1.19 ERA in 22.2 innings.
Justin Masterson had a 0.95 ERA over 19 innings.
Matt Moore walked 15 batters in 14.1 innings.
Tony Cingrani had 17 Ks in 17.1 IP. He also walked 10 guys.
Max Scherzer had a 24.00 K/BB ratio.
CC Sabathia allowed an OPS of .390.
Jeff Samardzija threw four wild pitches.
Kevin Brehm - Ron's data I cannot disagree with> I haven't seen the study, but I have seen Ron's report. No reason to doubt his conclusions, though I personally hope he is wrong. ;-)
Fellow fantasy guru Ray Shandler states "Research has shown that 80% of eventual full-season winners are already in a money spot in the standings after one month". Do you agree?
Hawk - Nope, just can't see it happening. 20 games dont erase 1,400 at-bats of less than a .250 avg, less than a .300 OBP and less than a .390 SLG. He also killed it last spring and did nothing during the season.
Hey Ray - do you see Mike Moustakas' hot spring becoming a real change? Is he just a late bloomer?
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Fri 7-10 PM EDT), Ray also hosts his own show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.
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