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It’s difficult to say that any day during the baseball season is a slow day, but when the news is light and there are no performances that were good (or bad) enough to make your eyes pop out, then you’ve got to consider it a slow day. Sure, we could talk about the Yankees losing Kevin Youkilis for the next 10 weeks due to back surgery or Edwin Encarnacion quietly on-pace to actually surpass his career-best 2012 numbers, but that’s hardly the stuff that you’d consider a major headline grab unless, of course, you own either guy. Even the debut of Wil Myers on a doubleheader with the Red Sox was pretty tame as the highly-touted slugger went just 1-for-7 with a pair of strikeouts in his debut. Perhaps had the rain not pushed off the Yankees/Dodgers game and the return of Don Mattingly to Yankee Stadium we would have had something more, but that would probably center around two under-performing all-star teams and, well, that’s just depressing. But I guess without days like this, you can't appreciate some of the more amazing days we get so often throughout a six month long season so rather than complain, we’re just going to get to the top and bottom performances from Tuesday. And yes, we’re even skipping the Fantasy Beast of the Day as there just wasn’t a performance out there deserving of the label. There were a few candidates who deserved consideration, but in the end, there just weren’t any performances that were worthy of such an esteemed daily award.
So I’m a little late on posting some highlights from Sunday’s games, but with the limited game slate not starting until 7 PM (eastern) here on Monday, it’s not the end of the world. In fact, it just might be beneficial right now as there’s a bit of Monday morning news that might be worthwhile for you as you’re still able to make lineup changes and roster moves in most leagues. If your waiver period has ended, well, maybe there’s some food for thought here for next week. In the meantime, let’s just touch on a few things you’ll need to know moving forward.
And we’re back! Nothing like a little holiday weekend to throw you off your schedule, huh? Hopefully you used your time over the weekend wisely and stayed on top of things rather than fall into the usual traps and miss a day or two of the news and events. All too often we see people “check out” for the weekend and the next thing they know, they’ve lost two guys to injury, another gets demoted to Triple-A, they’ve missed out on two different rookie call-ups and the early games on Monday come and they haven’t adjusted their lineup. It may only be one week, but that’s how it all starts. That’s how your lead in the standings starts to dwindle and all that you built starts to come down.
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.
Now I don’t want to get all religious on you here, but as I look at one of my teams sitting at the very bottom of the standings in one league, I am reminded of a very important biblical quote that you should always pay very close attention to, especially if you’re dealing with a certain amount of fantasy frustration. “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves.” You know how some coaches have inspirational quotes hanging in their offices? Well, this one is hanging in mine and it is specifically directed towards the sharks in every league who think they smell blood in the water just one week into the season. Three guys hurt on my roster isn’t exactly chum, but there they are, circling and ready to strike.
It was the great Terrence Mann who once said, “The one constant through all the years…has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time.” I know exactly where I was when I heard the news that Thurman Munson, my childhood idol, died in a plane crash. I had my first real kiss during the summer of the year Cal Ripken, Jr. won the Rookie of the Year award. Craig Biggio’s MLB debut was on the TV as I sat in the hospital waiting room following the worst car accident I’ve ever been in. A strike robbed the Montreal Expos of a probable World Series championship the year I met my wife and Albert Pujols won his first title the year we got married. So when I sat there watching Andy Pettitte pitch eight innings of one-run ball to shut down the Red Sox and Mariano Rivera closed it out for the team’s first win of the season, I have to admit, it felt a little strange as I knew I was literally watching the end of an era.
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...
Justin Verlander. Clayton Kershaw. Stephen Strasburg. Craig Kimbrel. These are the elite pitchers heading into the 2013 fantasy baseball season if you listen to the scuttlebutt around the water cooler. We all know that. But are there instances where lesser known names, the A.J. Burnett's of the world, are also worth taking note of on draft day? Remember, while we all need production on the field, if you can consistently find value at any spot, pitching is no different than hitting, you can come out well ahead in the fantasy game. You can let someone take Justin Verlander in the first round and if he returns first round value fantastic. But what if you grab Homer Bailey and Alexei Ogando in the 15th and 16th rounds and they return 8th and 9th round value – which move would be the better fantasy play based on a return on investment perspective? In this article we'll hit on some numbers that just might change your perception about hurlers for the coming campaign.
Turns out Melky Cabrera wasn't the only Bay Area player who has been cheating. Major League Baseball announced Wednesday that Bartolo Colon has been suspended 50 games for PED use ending his 2012 season and possibly his career. Another hurler continues to soldier on pitching very well without the results to show for it. That man is the Phillies' Cliff Lee. Manny Machado – has been been a disappointment? What should you be thinking with Wil Myers? Who is the best saves guy to add off the waiver-wire? Which outfielder – Crisp or DeJesus – looks like a better add at the moment? I've got answers for you in this piece.
What an outstanding day for baseball on Tuesday! Normally, when I go through the games (the ones I haven’t watched first-hand, that is), the recaps, and the stat sheets, there are usually a handful of performances that stand out as a cut above the rest. Whether it’s a complete-game shutout or a two or three-home run performance, these events stand out and deserve to be recognized. But after everything that went down on Tuesday, that “handful of performances” just became a wheelbarrow-full. I can’t imagine that I was the only fantasy owner sitting there, eyes the size of saucers, mouth agape, a tiny stream of drool coming down from the corner of my mouth, staring at my live scoring page like a little kid staring at that new bike under the Christmas tree. The levels of performances given were outstanding. So much so, that I’m forced to forego the usual format, call them all fantasy beasts and just serve you up the highlights.