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Yes, yes, I’m very aware. An absence over the weekend has left you in dire need of some fantasy love from me. My apologies. This was the first weekend in a very long time that my wife and I had coinciding schedules and we were looking to take advantage and get in a little quality time together. But of course, there was the inevitable fly in the ointment. Upon going out Friday night, my wife decided to have a snack at the concert venue we were at and before we knew it, we were forced to leave the show in mid encore and race home because she was feeling well. The subsequent food poisoning put her on the shelf for most of the weekend and left me to play nursemaid and house custodian over the next two days. Sadly, baseball was forced to take a back seat, but the whole experience got me to thinking and here’s where I bring it around full circle…
We've played less than three weeks of major league baseball in the 2013 season. Some folks in the fantasy game seem to think we've played 13 weeks. People are panicked over the slow starts of Matt Kemp and Jason Heyward. Others are ready to anoint guys like Jeremy Guthrie and Chris Johnson as superstars in the making. The truth obviously lies somewhere in-between (hopefully that was obvious to you because it certainly isn't for some based upon the interactions I've had with folks). In today's article we'll explore some hot and cold starts and give a few thoughts about the trends we have witnessed to this point of the season. We'll also try and make sense of why the Dodgers continue to hold down one of their best prospects for the junk that they are throwing out there in the infield.
Offense first – that’s what they say. Pitching may win championships in the real world, but this is fantasy baseball we’re talking about and in fantasy, it is a dominant offense that wins it for you. It’s said so many times that you would think it would be ingrained in people’s heads by now, yet we still see starting pitchers get taken in the first round and people reaching for “aces” faster than they really should. It’s an age old debate that leaves most scratching their heads as to how and why it is still even up for discussion. Well, if there were ever a day to prove the point for the pro-offense side of the argument, it was Sunday.
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.
Well, with no feel-good story, no big rookie call-up, and no big trade to report, it makes me just want to sit here and start gushing about Mike Trout some more. I happened to be watching Friday’s Angels/Mariners game and again, this kid just does it all. The Angels are down 5-0 in the third because for some inane reason they still let Ervin Santana start games, and in the bottom half of the inning, Trout steps up with two men on and BAM! Smacks a three-run shot over the fence to put the Angels back into the game.
It never turns out the way you really want it to, does it? You hope, you dream, you pray, but somehow there’s always a curveball thrown in there that you don’t really expect. Once again, that’s the way it went for fantasy owners who were anticipating a dream match-up of young studs – future all-stars – on the mound on Tuesday night when uber-phenom Trevor Bauer took the hill for the Arizona Diamondbacks opposite the young flamethrower, Andrew Cashner, of the San Diego Padres. The unconventional ways of Bauer mixed with the 100-plus mph fastballs of Cashner built expectations of a low scoring, fast moving, strikeout-laden game that was sure to eventually land in the “classic games” archives of the MLB Network, right? Whoops! Not so fast there, Skippy.
While living a block off the ocean has very little drawback for me, there are moments where it seems to get in the way of my relationship with you, the readers. Especially when the high winds and the salty mist that envelops my neighborhood join forces to thrash my internet connection and, quite often, overall power. It’s not that I didn’t want to spend my time recapping with all you the other day because you know I did. It’s that I couldn’t. Trapped somewhere in the Dark Ages wondering how in the world we got along so well over the years without internets and laptops and RSS feeds and Twitter and all that stuff.
This is a big week we’re heading into as interleague play is almost upon us and every team is gearing up to play a full slate of games. Hard to believe we’re already at that point as the season just seems to be flying by. Since yesterday’s format seemed to give way to me covering a little more information, we’re going to stick with it in an effort to make sure that you have everything you need to set up the strongest lineup possible for the week. There’s plenty to cover, so let’s get started.
It was just 17 days ago when Philip Humber stepped onto the mound for the White Sox and took his place in baseball history forever when he threw the league’s 21st perfect game. 27 up, 27 down. No hits and no walks. Utter perfection. He will have that moment for the rest of his life and the story of how he perfectly disposed of the Seattle Mariners on that fateful Saturday night will be passed down from generation to generation in the Humber family.