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It doesn’t happen often but there are times, every so often, that you’d like to see your fantasy team get some credit for defensive plays. As I flipped between several of the games Saturday and then watched the highlight reels later on in the evening, I saw some unbelievable plays in the field. Colorado rookie third baseman Nolan Arenado had, what I thought was, the play of the day as he dove towards the line – full air, full extension – snagged the ball and after what appeared to be a T.J. Hooker-like roll, threw the runner out while still in the sitting position. Catches by Ichiro Suzuki and Jon Jay made the highlights as well, but as good as they were, neither touched Arenado’s play. Obviously it’s subjective as to how amazing you thought each play was which is why you just can’t score something like that at an appropriate value, but worthy of acknowledgement nonetheless.
I definitely enjoyed Ray Flowers’ article the other day in which he broke down a number of the pitching performances from some of the aces we saw on Opening Day. There were, obviously, a number of names we expected to see, such as Justin Verlander and Stephen Strasburg, but we were also treated to some outstanding performances from guys like Jeff Samardzija, Jhoulys Chacin and even Ricky Nolasco. While you shouldn’t expect to see some of these guys pitching at that level each and every time out, their performances do give credence to the belief that starting pitching is crazy deep and you can, in fact, build a winning pitching staff without investing heavily in one of the top aces out there.
I'm just going to be honest – and those of you that have the pleasure of knowing The Oracle know that he always is honest – this is going to be a somewhat rambling post in some respects. Normally I'm very structured with my approach. I hit on positions or list players alphabetically. None of that is happening today. I'm going to meander, ramble if you will, through a variety of thoughts dealing with fantasy baseball drafting. Yes, I did refer to myself in the third person at the top of this piece. According to the woman I'm dating I'm very arrogant. Is referring to myself in the third person arrogant? I prefer to think of myself as simply an interesting fellow with a healthy does of self confidence. Tit-for-tat I guess. Back to fantasy baseball drafting...
In 1983 Rickey Henderson ran his way to 130 steals for the Athletics, a modern day baseball record (Hugh Nicol actually stole 138 bases in 1887 for the Cincinnati Red Stockings). Others of the modern era have hit triple-digits – Lou Brock, Vince Coleman Maury Wills – but those just aren't numbers we see anymore. Nowadays we're lucky to find guys who steal half as many bags. So why is it that you hear so many people in the fantasy game say 'I don't worry about steals early, I can find them late.' Is that an accurate statement? How should you look at steals for the coming season, and which players should you consider targeting?
The Diamondbacks had a blue chip outfielder in Justin Upton. For some reason I've yet to be able to fathom, they were unhappy with that situation. Finally, after doing the old do-se-do for about 12 months (that's a fancy country dance move folks), the D'backs sent Justin Upton, their best and brightest player, out of town to Atlanta where he will be reunited with his older brother, B.J. Upton, to form a potentially dominating duo in the outfield. The main piece the D'backs got back in return was Martin Prado, but they also added a whole host of other youngsters in the deal including Randall Delgado. How does this deal effect the fantasy value for the main players involved? So glad you asked.
It’s crunch time, people. It may seem like there’s still plenty of baseball left to go in the season but before you know it, it’s going to be mid-September, there will be two scoring periods left in the fantasy season and suddenly that six-month long season….that marathon you began in April….is going to whisk by and all that time you thought you had left is going to be gone. You need to keep your focus now, more than ever.
What with the three-game slate here on Thursday and the late start, I was able to take my time a little with the Wednesday wrap. Apologies if it ruined your morning cup of coffee, having to go read somewhere else, but this could be a nice lunch break/afternoon snack for you while you waste some time at the job. Offenses were exploding on Wednesday as we saw 13 teams plate six runs or more, likely boosting the totals for numerous fantasy teams out there. Unfortunately for some, the pitching didn’t fare as well and we saw some nasty ratio damage done. Here’s a look at how everything shook out the other day.
Another day, another no hitter in major league baseball and we nearly had two no nos in one day. The American League pitcher was able to seal the deal, while the National League guy fell a little short of making history. We have a New York pitcher who couldn't make his start today, while an American League slugger will miss a couple of weeks. There is more exciting news of prospects hitting the majors, and a couple of young pitchers both thriving and struggling on Saturday. I will give you one fantasy player that you should never, ever pick up and an old grizzled vet who took his first step back. Get ready for everything you need to know from another important Saturday in fantasy baseball.