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A colleague of mine asked me if I had heard the Fantasy Alarm’s Jeff Mans anti-sabermetric rant on his SiriusXM Fantasy Radio show the other night. I said yup, sure did. He asked me if I was offended, especially since I’m now writing for the site. I said nope, not one bit.
While we were all preparing for the 2013 fantasy baseball season, I did a lot of work examining ADP rankings and many of the trends that were developing in both mock and real drafts right up until Opening Day. What I noticed was that a number of players who were receiving a lot of sleeper hype from the fantasy experts were climbing up draft boards at a fairly rapid rate and were, in my opinion, losing a lot of their value due to the unexpected increase in price you were paying for their services. They were the guys most of us coveted somewhere around the 18th round but were suddenly going as high as the eighth or ninth because the players went from unknown sleeper to mainstream selection. I called them the trendy picks and it’s now time to check in with some of them and see how their respective seasons are going.
The Orioles need a starter on the bump. With Dylan Bundy currently resting his arm in the hopes that he will be able to avoid going under the knife, they will apparently turn to their other phenom on the hill, Kevin Gausman, Thursday. What should you be thinking about when considering whether Gausman is worth adding to you staff? The Orioles, Rays, Rockies and Nationals are dealing with some issues in their bullpens (I didn't even have the time to discuss the rocky situation that the Dodgers are currently trying to sort out with Kenley Jansen and Brandon League). What will those teams do moving forward in the 9th inning? Up the middle the Rays have a guy who is trending up while the Athletics have a guy that's heading south. We'll discuss.
It’s time again. Are you ready? Got your waiver trigger finger locked and loaded? With the news breaking that the Orioles are calling up Kevin Gausman, their number one pick (fourth overall) in the 2012 First –Year Player Draft, to start against the Blue Jays on Thursday, fantasy owners are tripping over each other as the run to the waiver wire to pick up the “next big thing.” We’ve already gone through Tony Cingrani, Jose Fernandez and Jurickson Profar, all youngsters rushed up to the big leagues and into fantasy stardom, so adding Gausman to the fray not only seems logical, but expected. Now the question is…is he worth it?
It's just past the quarter pole of the 2013 major league baseball season, so now is a good time to place the pace game. Where you aware that the struggling guy you hate really isn't struggling as badly as you thought? Or how about will that guy who has been all over the leader board – is it reasonable to expect his early season pace to continue on for the next 115+ games? We'll explore these thoughts and, hopefully, wake up from a slumber that has you missing some solid performances as well as alerting you to the fact that some of those hot starters you've been riding to a top spot in the standings might just be getting ready for a major slow down.
Sunday was a big day for Jurickson Profar and his fantasy owners. With news that Ian Kinsler was headed to the disabled list with an intercostal strain, the Rangers decided it was finally time to bring up their prized prospect who hit .326 (28-for-86) over his last 21 games at Triple-A Round Rock and enjoyed his first career two-homer game Saturday night. He was in uniform, but he did not play. It is not yet known how long Kinsler will be out for, but it would seem that this is an injury that probably won’t require more than the 15 day minimum. So the big questions are: for how long will Profar be up and what is his current fantasy value? Well, my fantasy heart goes out to the dedicated and hopeful who have been stashing the potential rookie of the year, because I’d have to say not long and not much if we’re talking about right now.
While Sunday is normally a day of rest for most, we fantasy baseball players need to be at our sharpest. The week is wrapping up and the waiver wire is a hotbed of action. We have to go through each team, check playing time situations, pore over injury reports, and see who’s hot and whose cold spell is pushing them closer and closer to bench time. From there, it’s checking next week’s match-ups and, for those in leagues with weekly moves, it’s all about planning the course of attack for the next six or seven days. We’re only two months in and this type of due diligence needs to be followed each and every week. It’s the dedicated ones who rise to the challenge while the casual fan whose interest drifts in and out starts to suffer.
Though it was a typical short slate of games Thursday, the night was jam-packed with big names and big stories. There was the much-anticipated match-up between Justin Verlander and Yu Darvish, Bryce Harper was back on the field to lend his support to teammate and fellow superstar Stephen Strasburg who was still looking for his first win since Opening Day, the Mariners were looking for their first series win at Yankee Stadium in what seemed like a bazillion years, and there were aces abound with the likes of Adam Wainwright, Jose Fernandez, Mat Latos and Matt Cain all taking the hill. Yet with all of that star power front and center and in the spotlight, none of it compared to what was actually my favorite part of the night.
It’s funny how we sometimes have perceptions of certain players and are stubborn to change our minds, regardless of the current success. Granted, it is always best to look at the numbers behind the numbers to make sure the present outcomes are real. Yet, too often we just assume the player has been lucky for one reason or another and miss out on possible acquisition opportunities. We’ll take a look at four players that are better than you may think. Well, three for sure and a fourth that has changed my mind. You may have already been a believer.
Justin Verlander is humming right along dominating batters as he always does. However, there are a few cracks emerging in the facade. Will the damn hold back the water, or is there reason to be concerned that we might be dealing with something that isn't quite as effective as one would think at first glance? Billy Butler started slowly but has picked it up of late. Were you honestly nervous? Howie Kendrick continues to get it done amidst little fanfare. Ike Davis is awful. Period. Michael Morse was white hot, then ice cold. What's the truth with him? On the bump Patrick Corbin has been fortunate, Matt Moore has one huge flaw he must overcome and Julio Teheran just might be figuring things out.