Make sure and get Fantasy Alarm's award winning 2013 Fantasy Baseball iPhone App!
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.
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.
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.
As bad as some of the pitching performances have been this past week, and believe me, there have been some bad ones, none have stood out as much as Roy Halladay’s pair of debacles against the Cleveland Indians and Miami Marlins. The 2013 road had been a rocky one for Doc, but after three consecutive quality starts that saw him post a 1.71 ERA with a 16:5 K:BB over 21 innings, it looked as if things were getting back to normal. With a two-start week coming to wrap up the month of April and open May and match-ups against what appeared to be soft opponents, fantasy owners thought they were getting ready to cruise into the second month of the season. What they got was a whole lot of disgustingness shoved right up their fantasy team’s WHIP-hole.
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.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure is how the old adage goes, and it couldn’t be any more perfect a phrase when discussing the trade of Kevin Youkilis to the Chicago White Sox just a few short weeks ago. Bobby Valentine may have won the Battle of Beantown, but it is the White Sox who have won the war and it is Youkilis who is enjoying the last laugh here. As the Red Sox try to fight their way out of last place and a 9 ½ game deficit in the AL East, the White Sox are sitting atop the AL Central, 3 ½ games ahead of heavily favored Detroit, and Youkilis has played a tremendous role in the process.
Well I hope everyone had a happy and safe 4th of July on Wednesday. Nothing better than skipping out on work (not that you had to be there, I hope), grilling up some burgers and dogs, enjoying some late night fireworks and, of course, a full day and night of baseball. Plenty of action that started nice and early with the Giants and Nationals and wrapped up late with some Padres and Diamondbacks. Bu the real baseball fireworks came out of Houston when word broke that the Astros finally traded Carlos Lee. No, not to the Dodgers like everyone thought would ultimately happen, but to the Miami Marlins. In exchange, they received third base prospect Matt Dominguez and left-handed pitcher Rob Rasmussen. Overall, it looks like a deal that works for everyone.
As if there was any doubt as to who was going to eventually win this little war between Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine and longtime third baseman Kevin Youkilis, the brewing kettle finally game to a boil on Sunday and Youkilis found himself with a one-way ticket to Chicago. In exchange for RHP Zach Stewart and utility-man Brent Lillibridge, Boston sent Youk and about $5.5M in cash to the AL Central-leading White Sox in a deal that actually works out for everyone. And by everyone, I mean everyone, including the fantasy world. OK, maybe not the guys that own Orlando Hudson, but both of them are probably in last anyway and stopped paying attention to their teams weeks ago. But as far as everyone else in the baseball world goes, this trade was win-win-win.
While the traditionalist inside me loathes the idea of interleague play, I can’t deny that it brought on a world of excitement in its first night of the 2012 season. There were pitcher’s duels, big nights at the plate, and a world of drama. Just the Cubs/White Sox game alone was loaded with enough action that had you on the edge of your seat for some time. Between Paul Konerko taking a pitch to the face and Kerry Wood’s mid-game retirement (did you see his kid come running out of the dugout and into his arms? Holy tearjerker!) I was glued to the TV. I might not dig the whole money-grubbing aspect that interleague has brought on, because that (the almighty dollar) is why it’s done these days, but I won’t deny that I watched some pretty good ball on Friday. Here’s a look at the highlights.