This isn’t meant to replace Smokey’s two-start pitchers for fantasy that comes every weekend. This is meant to supplement that, like something A-Rod’s cousin would give you. This isn’t two start pitchers, this is barely owned guys that could give you one start. A pick up and a drop. They’re all owned in less than 50% of ESPN leagues. Pretty much everything I told you in the beginning of the year about trusting your big guns and not trusting the wayward sons-of-bees goes out the window this time of year. If you’re battling for pitching points or a playoff spot in H2H, you need to take some chances I wouldn’t necessarily take in April. Suddenly, James McDonald looks ownable and Ross Ohlendorf doesn’t look like Ross Ohlendorf, but looks like a guy who’s facing a team that he has an under 3 ERA against. So I’ve assembled one, two or three starters from Friday, the new Humpday, until next Wednesday, the old Humpday, that you could take a chance on depending on how bad your pitching shituation is. I’m not completely proud of all of these guys, but their mommas are (even Momma Ohlendorf). Anyway, here’s some borderline starters for this week in fantasy baseball:
Friday, August 20th
Homer Bailey – Looked solid in his last start, but it’s risky because I don’t always believe the 2nd time’s a charm. Against the Dodgers in LA looks like a start where Bailey can hold his own. Or at least not totally screw the pooch. Or pouch, if you’re a kangaroo. Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Verducci Effect as explained by Amerigo Verducci, “Pitchers generally feel the effects of abusive increases in workload the next year, not the season in which they were pushed. That’s a no amore!” I believe Amerigo’s cousin in the States, Tom, leaves off the last line when he’s describing it. So to avoid this, clubs shutdown or skip young pitchers (this applies to those 25 years old and younger). In fantasy baseball, lots of championships are won in September, H2H and otherwise. If you have rookie pitchers, it’s imperative — ooh, strong word — that you pay attention to which pitchers are going to be shutdown or skipped. Anyway, here’s a list of some pitchers who may be shutdown in September:
Mat Latos – I’m positive if they clinch early, Latos will be done for the regular season. Then again, Latos was on Amerigo’s list last year and he’s doing a’ight. I say pitch him an extra 200 innings this year and he’ll have a zero ERA in 2011. Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s long overdue we turned our attention to the underrepresented side of SAGNOF — the cheap steal. Long ago I realized I like my steals like I like my women, cheap. Sure, there’s girls out there that know which spork to eat their Hamburger Helper with, but real value is found in girls that can have fun in a bar with sawdust on the floor and Jimmy Buffett playing on the jukebox. Now this doesn’t mean I’m turning my nose up at Kate Bosworth if she shows up at my door in a Vera Wang, carrying some takeout foie gras. Same goes for fantasy baseball. Steals is a category I tend to neglect on draft day in March, so it’s necessary to grab them off of waivers. I’m not suggesting you punt steals, because that would put too much pressure on your other categories. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Now it’s time for everyone’s favorite game, Fantasy Baseball, Fun With Numbers. Ding, ding, ding… Bassoon… Triangle! Triangle! Triangle! Cow bell! More cow bell! One last ding. In today’s installment of Fantasy Baseball, Fun With Numbers, we’re going to look at some players for the last month and try to figure out if maybe the numbers tell a different story than their names tell. At this point in the season, it’s very important to abandon names and just try and plug in the best stats. Anyway, here’s the latest in Fantasy Baseball, Fun With Numbers:
ALL STATS ARE FOR THE LAST 30 DAYS. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Last week I went over picking up free agent hitters. So now I do onto pitchers as I did onto hitters. I opined that there were five things to look for with hitters, after looking up what opined meant. Most of the criteria had to do with the hitter and not so much who he was facing. It factored in, but didn’t dominate the decision. If you feel like pitchers are going in the opposite direction, your powers of perception are incredible. It is a true wonder how you’re divorced multiple times. Put yourself on the free agent market, you catch you! Pitchers are a lot harder to figure. The pitcher can really only do so much. I try to not even concern myself with wins. It’s a crapshoot. This is more for H2H than roto, but sometimes in roto you want a spot start too. I ain’t mad at cha! So here’s what I do concern myself with when picking up spot starters in fantasy baseball:
1. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Fantasy baseball trading deadlines are right around the corner, time is slipping…slipping…slipping into the future and your fantasy baseball teams need to lose yesterday’s lunch or get off the pot. The worst feeling is coming within a few points of winning and pulling up short because you held too tightly to your players. In October, there won’t be an award for being 50 steals greater than everyone else while losing the championship by 1 point because you didn’t trade for power. Please, blog, may I have some more?
When you’re looking at pitcher matchups for fantasy baseball, sometimes the cards just align for certain guys. On the right day, Rodrigo Lopez can look like a surefire start… Actually probably not. But for fantasy fourth and fifth starters it can be about the matchups. It’s especially helpful to keep this in mind for H2H leagues where on any given Sunday a team can win or lose. Hooah! I decided to look at teams in general to see what their overall stats could tell us about potential fantasy baseball matchups. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Is there anything more fulfilling than grabbing a hitter on a short schedule day and he gives you a home run, steal or just an overall quality day? It’s the fantasy baseball equivalent to taking a girl out, she pays and has sex with you (assuming you’re not a paid escort, though I’m pretty sure there’s not that many paid escorts reading a fantasy baseball blog). It’s pay dirt of the fantasy baseball kind. So how does one with the ‘pertise of me find a waiver wire hitter on a short schedule day? Darts at a board? A Ouija board? Draw whiskers on my face, infiltrate a clowder of stray cats and hold pictures of Mike Cameron and David Murphy up to see which one the cats are attracted to? Sometimes it’s all the above. But before I resort to dumb luck, I usually look for these five criteria:
1. Please, blog, may I have some more?
The other day I looked at the pitchers that were getting lucky for fantasy baseball. Today, we put on our miner’s helmet and pan for gold where the rest of the prospectors have abandoned. In our last look at pitchers that should get better, I pointed out Gavin Floyd, Haren, Randy Wells, Edwin Jackson, Pineiro, Harang, Correia, Masterson, Peavy and Morrow. Morrow’s ERA went from 6.52 in May to 3.35 in June/July, Floyd’s went 5.63 to 2.21, Haren went from 6.08 to 3.05, Edwin from 5.58 to 3.37… You get the idea. Even Justin Masterson was better (barely). You can argue that some of these guys had no place to go but down, but you’d be arguing with a computer screen. You’re just reading my words, we’re not in the same room. OR ARE WE?! Anyway, here’s a list of pitchers with the biggest difference between their xFIP and their ERA. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Last month, I told you Ubaldo, Mike Leake, Hi-Me Garcia, Buchholz, Livan, Garland, Niemann, Tim Hudson, David Price and Pettitte would get worse. Price and Buchholz were the only pitchers to have a better June than May, and Buchholz didn’t pitch the whole month. How’s those odds? If you don’t know what the FIP I’m talking about. Read the following: xFIP — stands for Expected Fielding Independent Pitching. It’s basically ERA without those pesky fielders helping or hurting you. It’s a pure ERA. It’s like when you go to the Supercuts and then you don’t want to shower for like 2 weeks because you’ll never get your hair styled again like Jeffrey does it. It’s your hair right after Jeffrey styles it and before you wash it. That’s xFIP. Okay, so let’s take a Exhibit A pitcher, who has an ERA of 2.75, but his xFIP is a 6.75. A -4.00 difference. That means he’s been very lucky and there’s a good chance his ERA is going to go way up. So here’s a list of pitchers with the biggest difference between their actual ERAs and their xFIPs for the first three months or so of the fantasy baseball season. Please, blog, may I have some more?