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With the All-Star break upon us, we’re now left with four days of complete and utter boredom. What are we going to do without checking on our teams every thirty seconds, aside from resist the urge to become a Chronic Mastertrader? No, really, I don’t have any advice for you. In fact, I’m asking you. Also, with the All-Star break comes a strange schedule; some leagues will feature matchups for just this weekend’s games, others will conclude on the 22nd. Since this is a weekly post, I’m going to focus on games taking place this weekend, but I will take a peek at next week’s games as well.

Without further ado, week 15′s Creeper is the third Blue Jay profiled in this column, Adam Lind. Considering he was sent to the minors after hitting .186 in the first month and a half of the season, Lind is fairly well owned, at a 25% clip in ESPN leagues and a 26% rate in Yahoo leagues. The Blue Jays will get a three-game tilt at home against the Indians in week 15, all against right-handed pitching. For a quick recap, the Rogers Centre is pretty generous to lefties, with Statcorner providing a 112 HR park factor, and Fangraphs noting a 5% boost in HR over league average. For owners looking toward next week, Lind and the Jays travel to New York for a three game set. New Yankee Stadium is the most generous HR park in baseball for LHB, and it’s not hard to imagine why — take the dimensions of Fenway’s Green Monster and shrink the wall by nearly 30 feet in height. That’s right field in Yankee Stadium. For now, the Yankees have set their rotation to include two RHP, with Sabathia providing a rest day for Lind.

Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Derek Lowe have all had serious problems with opposite-handed batters this season, and as luck would have it, are slated to face Lind and the Jays this week. Masterson has always had difficulties with lefties (career 1.48 K/BB, 10.9% HR/FB, 4.50 FIP), and this season is no exception — 6 of his 9 HR allowed have been hit by LHB. Compared to Justin’s 8.89 K/9 and 2.80 BB/9 versus same-handed batters, his 5.85 K/9 and 4.50 BB/9 marks against lefties are rather unimpressive. Jimenez has traditionally been pretty tough on opposite-handed bats, with a slightly elevated walk rate (career 4.49 BB/9 vs L, 3.56 vs R) being his only issue. A spike in his flyball rate against lefties, to 42.9%, has led to Ubaldo allowing 1.60 HR/9. Taken in tandem with a 6.04 BB/9, it’s little surprise he’s carrying a 6.03 FIP versus LHB. Derek Lowe has actually walked more lefties than he’s struck out this season (20 BB, 16 K), and owns a 12.5% HR/FB when squaring off against LHB. Phil Hughes has allowed 13 HR in 54.2 home innings, and Hiroki Kuroda owns a 4.59 FIP versus lefties. In short, it’s hard to conceive of a better run of matchups for Lind, who has hit .279 with 95 HR in 1842 career at-bats versus right-handed pitching.

Most of Lind’s early season struggles were related to hitting only 29.7% of batted balls in the air in April. Lind has very little speed, so not only does hitting balls into the ground reduce home run potential, it also leads to many outs. Since his call up in June, he’s put 48.4% of batted balls into the air, and in doing so has hit 4 HR in 46 plate appearances. One constant in Lind’s season has been his contact rate on pitches in the strike zone — at 93.1%, it’s a career high. He’s produced a 93% clip since being brought back up, and his improved rates have led to a career best 6.6% swinging strike rate. He’ll be hard pressed to hit higher than .250 with his batted ball profile, but a potential reduction from his current 19.7% K rate — he put up a 16.8% K rate with a 7.2% swinging strike rate in 2009 — could place him near his career average of .263 moving forward.

With excellent matchups in a short week, Adam Lind should play well at CI or at U. With a series at Yankee Stadium to open next week, he’s a solid play for those in leagues that include next week’s games in their current matchup, too.

  1. I like baseball says:
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    Hey Guys,

    Thanks for all of the information. You have some great writers, and the fantasy advice isn’t bad either. If I may, I have a couple of quick suggestions for content.

    Is there any chance that you will provide updated mid-season rankings? Not for nothing, but I think they’d be incredibly valuable.

    Also, next year it’d be great if you offered Keeper rankings (not dynasty) in addition to your regular rankings. I think there are a lot of people that play some version of a Keeper league and you’d pick up a lot of readers that way.

    Thanks!

    • Feeding the Abscess

      Feeding the Abscess says:
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      @I like baseball, Thanks for the kind words!

      As mentioned by Dale (no relation to Duane, at least I don’t think) below, Grey’s working on a midseason rankings update, which will be released mid-day tomorrow.

      For keeper formats, you can use this link (http://razzball.com/category/2012-fantasy-baseball-keepers/) for now, and feel free to ask Grey or any of us other writers for our thoughts as well.

  2. Dale says:
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    Having a 1B only guy is nice for some people, but I’m chock full of Pujols/Dunn/Butler/Goldschmidt/Rizzo goodness. It’s hard to squeeze another guy into the lineup.

    I can’t tell if the first comment is real, or just self-promotion. They announced (just yesterday, IIRC) a new midseason ranking that will be hitting the site soon.

    • Feeding the Abscess

      Feeding the Abscess says:
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      @Dale, You’re pretty well set and covered, no need to squeeze Lind on your roster for a week.

  3. Mark says:
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    Thanks for the ranks, very helpful.

    Okay, so I have Stanton, in first, want to win NOW. Need to keep pace in all cats (R, RBI, HR, SB, AVG, SLG, OBP). Okay to deal him for Grandy even if that means I lose stanton long term in keeper league?

    Also, Trumbo enough in return for Dickey or Doc?

    Gracias

    • Feeding the Abscess

      Feeding the Abscess says:
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      @Mark, Grey’s up above a couple posts if you’d like to ask him.

      But yeah, I’d move him if you want to win now. Granderson is a good return for this year, and will probably be good for at least another year.

      Trumbo is enough, sure.

  4. TheNewGuy says:
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    Good work Absess, Lind over Zimm at CI this week?

    • Feeding the Abscess

      Feeding the Abscess says:
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      @TheNewGuy, Thanks!

      Sure. Zimmerman’s getting one lefty in the short week and only one next week

      • TheNewGuy says:
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        @Feeding the Abscess, Cool, drop Gregerson to pick him up? Like to always chase saves but im pretty covered with closers right now.

        • Feeding the Abscess

          Feeding the Abscess says:
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          @TheNewGuy, Yeah, I’d do that. Gregerson will probably be available to you to pick up in a week if you need him.

          • TheNewGuy says:
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            @Feeding the Abscess, I did it thanks. One more general question abcess, now I’ve had a chance to sit back and take stock of my roster I’ve quite a few more hitters than spots in this league.

            I’ve currently got productive guys like Zimm, Revere, Weeks on my bench, so taking what you said into account, in these situations do you normally decide who to play each day by matchups (lefty/righty etc), or do you go more by who’s hotter at the time? Just wondering if you have a general rule.

            • Feeding the Abscess

              Feeding the Abscess says:
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              @TheNewGuy, If someone like Zimmerman or Weeks, when they were playing terribly, were facing a few lefties and/or are playing in excellent parks, they were in the lineup. Mostly I just put my best guys in the lineup first, then look at matchups and trends.

              • TheNewGuy says:
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                @Feeding the Abscess, Yeah and now Zimm and Weeks are hitting so one one hand its good, on the other it gives us a headache over who to start :)

                I guess when they’re all producing at similarish levels, then you start looking at matchups and ballparks. I’ll give it a shot, as long as you’re right more often than not thats all that matters!

                • Feeding the Abscess

                  Feeding the Abscess says:
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                  @TheNewGuy, Maybe flip one of them for a pitcher, or try a 2 for 1 upgrade?

                  Hope my advice works out well for you!

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