On Monday each week I take a look at the fantasy baseball game breaking down players who have produced noteworthy performances of late – not just positive outings mind you, but I'll also delve into some of the players that have been sucking wind of late. Can you use this information to your benefit over at DailyJoust?
GAINERS OF THE WEEK
Brett Anderson (+171K up to $392,000 in DailyJoust Salary) The A's lefty has returned from Tommy John Surgery with flying colors mind you. In his first outing against the Twins he tossed one run ball over seven innings as he walked none and struck out six. A strong pitcher through 63 career starts, Anderson owns a 3.62 ERA and 1.25 WHIP for his career. Are those numbers he could match this year? It's certainly possible, but remember it's not always a linear path to success for guys returning from Tommy J. Think of Adam Wainwright. His April was dreadful, a 7.32 ERA and 1.47 WHGIP over four starts before he rebounded (for the season Waino has a 3.63 ERA and 1.18 WHIP through 26 starts). Anderson is well worth the add in 15 team mixed leagues, but those in 10/12 team leagues would be wise not to count on him too heavily until 2013.
Chris Iannetta (+35, $88K) Three of the last four years in Colorado Iannetta hit at least 14 homers with 55 RBIs (the year he didn't reach those marks he had only 188 at-bats in an injury shortened 2010). There was hope that Iannetta would get to 350 at-bats for the first time in his career this season, maybe even well into the 400's in his new home in Anaheim, but injuries conspired against him. To this point he's had only 134 at-bats and that has caused him to become an afterthought in two catcher mixed leagues. However, it might be time to start paying attention again. Over 20 games in August Chris has hit .286 with three homers, a .361 OBP an a .821 OPS, levels that he could maintain the rest of the way (well, maybe not the batting average, but it shouldn't dip much below the league average).
Kyle Kendrick (+101, $356K) The definition of average, there's nothing that stands out with Kendrick. His K/BB ratio of 6.41 is a batter below the league average and his 3.13 BB/9 is league average. He allows 0.99 homers per nine. League average yet again. His 1.15 GB/FB is league average. Ditto his ratios – a 4.12 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. I wasn't kidding when I said nothing stands out. So why mention him? Because it's all working for him right now. Over his last three outings he has allowed a total of two runs while picking up three victories for the Phillies. He's also walked a total of three batters while striking out 16. I'm not suggesting you completely buy into what is happening right now, it's just not who Kyle is, but if you need a boost on the hill few that might be available are likely to be on a better roll (he's owned in less than 10 percent of Fleaflicker leagues).
Angel Pagan (+30, $119K) Pagan is 0-for-8 the lat two games but he's still be flat out killing it of late. Over the previous eight games he produced 18 hits to push his average up from .280 to .290. In fact, he's hit .301 over his last 40 games and .347 in August (25 contests). He's not a power bat, he has only seven homers and 48 RBIs, but he plays every day, scores runs (69) and certainly has the speed to swipe a bag (21 on the year).
LOSERS OF THE WEEK
Joe Blanton (-149, $206K) He should be much better than he is, at least in terms of the overall results. On the year he has a 7.76 K/9 mark, the best of his career, and his 1.57 BB/9 mark would tied his career best. As a result he has an elite 4.93 K/BB ratio that is virtually double his career 2.55 mark. The main issue has been the home run, something that often plagues him. Currently his HR/9 is a career worst 1.52, the third time it looks like he will have a mark of 1.38 or greater in the past four years (career 1.08). If he suddenly goes on a run of homerless ball to bring that number back to normal levels he just might be someone to turn to. As it is he's looked awful with the Dodgers going 0-3 with a 7.71 ERA and 1.76 WHIP over four starts.
A.J. Burnett (-92, $359K) He has 15 wins an only four loses with a 3.63 ERA and 1.25 WHIP on the year. That's as good as anyone could have hoped for after his last two years in New York that led to an ERA of 5.20 and a WHIP of nearly 1.50. However, things have taken a downturn for A.J. recently. Over his last three started he's given up four homers, he's walked eight batters, and he's allowed 14 earned runs to add nearly a half run to his ERA. It's tough to turn away from Burnett, his total of 151.1 innings shouldn't be wearing him down, but like James McDonald before him maybe we're just seeing a natural correction.
Matt Joyce (-20, $55K) Since he was beset my injuries Joyce has been a shell of his former self. Over his last 32 games he has hit just .216 with a mere three homers. His OBP in that time is .295 which is only palatable when one glances over to his SLG and sees a number that should be his OBP (.345). At this point, even if you're in a 15 team mixed with five starting outfielders it's nearly impossible to think that you don't have a better option for a fifth outfielder.
Jason Kubel (-21, $57K) I warned you to be careful almost exactly a month ago in my July 23rd Column.
“There’s zero chance he sustains his line drive rate (it’s 24 percent)” His line drive rate has dipped to 22.8 percent.
“There’s zero chance he sustains his HR/F ratio (it’s 20 percent)” His HR/F ratio is down to 19.5 percent.
“He’s striking out more than ever before.” After never having a K-rate above 21.4 percent that mark has skyrocketed to 26.4 percent.
“...we know all good things must come to an end, right?” Kubel has hit .160 with a .549 OPS in August.
He's only two homers from tying his career best of 28, and with 14 RBIs he'll have the second best total of his career (best is 103, second best 92), and his .267 batting average is only four points below his career average of .271. The regression was always likely to occur.
DAILY JOUST CONTESTS
I’ve spent this article talking about baseball, which obviously isn’t at all odd given that this is BaseballGuys.com, but I’ve got a way that you can, in addition to playing fantasy baseball, also play some fantasy football. How can you do that? You can head over to DailyJoust and sign up for any of the myriad of games they have to offer. For those of you who are hardcore baseball fans like me they are still running daily fantasy games for you, well, daily. For those of you who are read to take on the gridiron, there are three pretty exciting games they have to offer. You can find a report on each at the following links (scroll down to the bottom of the articles for the explanations).
NFL FREE ROLLS (Sign up for free, win cash)
CRUSADER LEAGUES (New team each week all season)
GLADIATOR LEAGUES (Eliminator Tournament)
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By Ray Flowers
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Thurs 7 PM, Fri. 9 PM EDT), Ray also hosts a 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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