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THT's Fantasy Archives
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
The Daily Grind provides daily match-up advice for tinkerers and daily fantasy players. I welcome advice to help make this column more effective, including notice of impending weather events, new injuries, and changes to platoon situations. Ownership rates are from Yahoo!
The daily picks are a mixture of Daily League specific advice and information for the more typical fantasy owner.
Today’s weather watch
The double header in Chicago shows a 30 percent chance of rain for both games, but the rest of the country looks like it'll get a dry day.
There is no shortage of widely available, useful pitching today.
Pitcher (to start): Corey Kluber is the top pick for the day, mostly due to his solid ratios and strikeout totals. He's 28 percent owned, but he's the kind of fantasy core performer who usually sees ownership rates around 80-90 percent. In other words, many of you still have the opportunity to pick up a guy who would usually go in the 10th to 14th round or cost around $10 in a 12-team league.
Kluber is opposed by Jose Quintana. He's only 17 percent owned and features a similar story with solid ratios and a tolerable strikeout rate. Chicago's terrible offense (likely to get worse soon), eats away at his value since wins are unlikely. To give you a comparison point, Quintana is similar to pitchers who are drafted in the 14th to 20th round or cost around $5. The Indians have one of the top offenses in the league, so be wary.
Kyle Kendrick is somehow owned more frequently than both Kluber and Quintana despite being substantially worse. Kendrick has a solid shot at a win against the Giants with decent ratios, but a lousy strikeout rate makes him a pure spot starter—not somebody to own in 39 percent of leagues.
If you are looking to chase a win, Miguel Gonzalez is a better player to pick up than Kendrick and he's 35 percent owned. You get the same profile as Kendrick with solid ratios and a low strikeout rate, but you also benefit from a top offense supplying early leads.
I'll mention Jenrry Mejia because he's lightly owned and has that prospect glitter all over him, but I'm staying away. He was quite unimpressive last season and has barely been available this season despite good results thus far.
Martin Perez generates enough whiffs that he should be striking out more batters and thus seeing better results. As a young pitcher who's battled some injuries, he likely needs further refinement before becoming a fantasy mainstay. A match-up against the Angels will be challenging.
Edwin Jackson is down to 28 percent owned. He's a brand name, core performer paired against an abysmal Brewers offense.
Pitcher (bum): The Chad Gaudin bus broke down against the Reds last week and I expect the poor performance to continue against the Phillies.
Erik Bedard was a nightmare earlier in the season, but managed to turn things around. However, he's remained inconsistent—particularly with walks—and a dynamic Orioles offense is a dreadful assignment.
Hitter (power): Christian Yelich should be owned in most keeper formats, but for the re-draft types in the crowd, he's a solid spot start against Mejia.
Josh Satin is working his way towards multi-positional eligibility and should start against Henderson Alvarez.
I feel like I've recommended Brandon Belt against Kendrick a thousand times without a single positive result. The match-up should improve Belt's outcomes substantially.
It's been awhile since I've dropped a Seth Smith and Brandon Moss recommendation. It's the right time against R.A. Dickey.
Hitter (speed): Lorenzo Cain has had a quiet season. A decent match-up against Kevin Correia might be worth a spot look.
Jerome Williams is a solid match-up for Leonys Martin. Just beware of the Rangers making a trade that bumps Martin to the bench.
J.B. Shuck is a new name around these parts. Treat him like a left-handed Craig Gentry. He can steal a few bases, rarely strikes out, and has trouble hitting for any sort of power. He'll face a lefty tomorrow so this isn't the time to jump on him if you have alternatives.
Pitchers to come
Thursday: Chris Tillman remains the top available arm.
Friday: Friday remains TBA heavy, but Gerrit Cole is a solid choice for re-draft owners. I assume he's owned in all keeper leagues.
Saturday: I'm currently split between Zach McAllister versus the Marlins and Dan Haren against the Brewers. I'm leaning towards that Marlins match-up.
Posted by Brad Johnson at 4:05am
With the major league trade deadline almost upon us, some trades already have had a major impact in fantasy baseball leagues. Two of the biggest involved the Chicago Cubs, who first dealt Matt Garza to the Texas Rangers, and then Alfonso Soriano to the New York Yankees.
Your first impression may be that both Garza and Soriano will see an increase in production by being on better teams that are in pennant races. That is accurate. But if you play in a NL-only or AL-only fantasy baseball league, is that the first thing that crosses your mind?
For fantasy owners in NL-only leagues who had Garza or Soriano on your rosters, you now have an empty roster spot with nothing to show for it. Players who are traded to the other league are rendered useless in most AL or NL-only formats. That can hurt your chances at a championship if you are not prepared. That is not to say that Garza or Soriano would lead you to victory on their own. But they are solid complementary players; you would expect compensation if they were taken off your team.
In AL-only leagues, fantasy owners now have two tremendous free agents available on the waiver wire. That is why it is important to keep enough free agent auction dollars in your pocket or do your best to manage your waiver priority position around this time of year to be able to acquire free agents who change leagues.
The lesson from all of this, especially in AL or NL-only leagues, is to pay close attention to the rumor mill. Certain players every year are the subject of trade rumors all winter and all spring. Those players can become big risks to hold onto deep into July, so you need to carefully evaluate whether it is in your best interests to take the chance that they will survive the trade deadline. Part of that evaluation must include accepting some sort of discount for these players. Remember, if they are risky for you, they are just as risky for someone else. That isn't to say you shouldn't try to get as much as you can for a player under these circumstances. But you need to be realistic in assessing a player's value when he is likely to get traded and there is a possibility of that player changing leagues.
There are some players who you just know going into the season are going to be the center of trade rumors. Garza was heavily rumored to be traded last year and it never happened, so we all knew it was just a matter of time before it did happen this year. Other players more surprisingly find themselves amid trade rumors if their team falls out of contention or contract extension talks break down. You as a fantasy baseball player need to be keenly aware of everything going on so you can be as prepared as possible to manage your roster if you own any of these players.
Of course, this is all depends on how your AL or NL-only league rules are set up. Some leagues could allow a player to continue to accrue points while he is playing for a team outside the confines of your league-specific universe. If that is the case, then this is all a moot point.
But in most such leagues, a player traded to the other league will no longer accrue points and is rendered useless. Make sure you know your league's rules and take appropriate action when it comes to handling players who are rumored to be traded. While rumors are not fact at the moment, we have so much inside information within the baseball and fantasy baseball community that it elevates your mere conjecture into an educated preemptive strike.
Posted by Michael Stein at 3:38am
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