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I love guys who pitch so the infielders can help.  I don’t know how many people keep up with the GO/AO (Ground out/Air out) stat, but it has been beneficial to me when I’m in a coin toss scenario for spot starts.  The list has a smattering of fantasy studs, but has some shockers, as well.  This free piece of advice is brought to you by the letter G, the number 8 and pinwheels.  So back on point, week 5 has a dual purpose.  Obviously to show you who pitches twice and their effectiveness with keeping it on the floor.  So here’s the two start pitchers for this week in fantasy baseball:

Mike Leake (NYM vs. Perez) (Cubs vs. Gorzellany)
Kid’s got appeal.  Gets 2 home starts.  The only caveats are that he walks too many and the Mets are hitting their stride right now.  Keeps ball in the infield to a tune of 2.92 GO/AO.  A must grab in most formats for this week or any week moving forward as a back end of the rotation guy.

Jaime Garcia (@ Phil vs. Hamels) (@ Pitt vs. Karstens)
Gets a tough first start in a hitter’s park, but if you look closer he is the clubhouse leader in GO/AO with 4.45.  Anyone who pitches against Pittsburgh has to be a favorite.  Number one pick up this week; run faster than you did to go get Leake

Livan Hernandez (Atl vs. Kawakami) (@Fla vs. Sanchez)
Another great 2 start option this week.  3 ER in last 31 innings; yeah, that’s getting it done. May K less than 2 per game as he pitches to contact at a 1.25 GO/AO rate. I don’t care how old he is or if throws 50 mph… He is pitching effectively, plain and simple.

Kevin Correia (Col vs. Jimenez) (Hou vs. Oswalt)
This is what you get as the ace of a bad pitching staff:  you match up against two studs.  Still has Petco watching his back though. If you’re sleepin’ on him, your team is prolly vacated. GO/AO is 2.6 and vs. two great SPs he needs to be efficient.

Luke Hochevar (@CHW vs. Floyd) (@ Tex vs. Feldman)
Starting to get some juice in mixed leagues, though still plays in Siberia.  Two road starts is a downer.  A stellar 1.8 GO/AO rate is nice, having a shaky infield is not so good. Late flyer good for 7-9 K’s for the week.

Carl Pavano (Det vs. Willis) (Bal vs. Matusz)
Gets some home cooking against some free swinging teams. GO/AO is 1.15 which is eh, but not horrendous.  Maybe on the best team in the central right now.  Doesn’t walk anyone, so low WHIP is a good bet. My 2 win pick of the week.

Paul Maholm (Chc Vs Dempster) ( StL vs. Wainwright)
Nightmare on Clemente Street. Could pitch well enough to keep his team in it for 5 innings, not consecutively though. GP/AO 1.4 is well above average. Not liking the matchups, but there are way worse options.

Anibal Sanchez (SF vs. Wellemeyer) (@ Was vs. Hernandez)
Gets pretty good matchups considering.  Gives up way too many hits for my liking.  GO/AO is sitting at 1.15.  Is going to alternate good/bad starts and I think he’s somewhere in between this week.  Pitches well enough to win.

Joe Blanton ( StL vs. Wainwright) (Atl vs. Kawakami)
If he can stay healthy, he may be the one overlooked guy this week. I shy away from anyone’s first start back from the DL. Career GO/AO is 1.08, and 2 games at home (albeit in the homer dome east).  Though that offense behind him is comforting.

83 Responses

  1. Terrence Mann says:
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    Hochevar does have the benefit of having Getz back at 2nd base this week. The major downfall for him is if he gets shelled (like against Tampa this past week), Hillman will probably leave him in to continue getting shelled. The Royals have no faith in their bullpen and rightfully so.

  2. Mojo the Helper Monkey says:
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    Smokey, who do you like for my last two rotation spots (weekly league):

    Peavy (KC, TOR)
    G. Floyd (KC, TOR)
    Penny (@PHI)
    Slowey (BAL)
    Hughes (@BOS)

    Thanks.

  3. Bring Back Pluto says:
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    Smokey (and everyone else) please help in my (very) shallow league:

    Nolasco v SF
    Verlander @ CLE

  4. TheEvilEmpire says:
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    @Bring Back Pluto: Start both. Nolasco is your stud and Verlander is up against an anemic Cleveland offense.

    Anyone like Fister v. Texas?

  5. TheEvilEmpire says:
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    Drop Kyle Blanks for Fukudome? I need any production and Blanks is showing up blanks.

  6. Bring Back Pluto says:
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    @TheEvilEmpire: I’m starting Fister in my other (non-shallow league). I believe Grey’s advice was to go with Fister at home for the time being.

    I would like to start both, but given the innings cap (and my need to compete for saves, I should really be starting 6 SP and 3 RP. I mean, I guess if the matchups all look good I can go with 7 SPs and drop to 5 on a week where I have matchups I hate… But if I decide to go with 6 then, given your advice to start both, who would you advise sitting. I know shallow league questions feel ridiculous to answer, but please indulge me:

    Kershaw (2 starts) v MIL and v COL
    Sabathia (2 starts) v BAL and @ BOS
    Lester (2 starts) v ANA and v NYY
    J. Santana v SF
    D. Price @ OAK
    Nolasco v SF
    Verlander @ CLE

    I’m thinking this lookd like a good week to go with 7 SPs?

  7. wackmastad says:
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    I need pitching help, deep 16 team league. Not much left on waivers, should i drop latos or hochevar and pick up jhoulys chacin?

  8. Josh says:
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    I believe writers over at fangraphs, Rob Neyer, and others have all weighed in on the relative value of GB/FB vs. GB%.

    Basically, they are saying that what is really important is GB% because that is the most stable stat of GB/LD/FB.

    So if you are using GB/FB you are getting not just noise, but harmful noise. LD are the worst kind of batted ball to give up. So why should we think that two pitchers with the same 47% GB rate but one has 25% LD and other 20% LD that the former pitcher is better?

  9. Elwood Blues says:
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    4×4 nl only, 12-team keeper league. My team is in the middle of the pack in all catergories and I am down to 3 healthy OF’s..(only available waiver players are scrap heap)
    Dotel is my only closer.. do I punt saves this early to fill OF.. or hold onto OD and trade a Latos or suddenly-hot Volstad?
    Thoughts, people?

  10. Pacman says:
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    No thoughts on Cecil? Good history against a light hitting CLE team. CHW will throw Peavy against him but he is no guarantee for a good start. So, Cecil has two very winnable games this week.

  11. Wilsonian says:
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    H2H League – I’m up 4 wins (7-3), down 1 loss (3-2), tied in saves (4-4), 4 walks up (13-17), 25 Ks up (76-51), 0.71 up in ERA (2.88-2.17), 0.06 up in WHIP (1.02-0.96), 0.50 up in Ks/9 (9.68-9.18).

    The guy I’m facing has Liriano and Kuroda going today (CLE and PIT, respectively). I’ve got Jered and Verlander (facing each other) and Josh Johnson v. Nats. I’ve got them all benched and I’m just rolling with my closers (Aardsma, K-Rod, Crapps, might bench K-Rod tonight if he can only hurt me). I figure this forces his guys to perform and doesn’t give me the chance of having a couple of blow ups that completely shit on my stats.

    Anybody’s thoughts? Keep ‘em benched? I’m at my innings for the week, so not like that’s a question.

  12. mikeE says:
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    Yeah — I’m considering Cecil with a 2 start week or Morrow, who has been pretty hot recently. Morrow’s against cleveland and could get 12 Ks in that game given how he’s been pitching in his last few starts. Who do you think I should go with?

  13. Tom Emanski says:
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    Anyone else having problems with Yahoo? Everything on the page loads except team rosters.

  14. Hey there Smokey (and anyone else): I’m in a very deep, 20-team mixed league, so you can imagine that talent is spread pretty thin. I’m short an SP (I have Cole Hamels, Latos, Jared Weaver, and Kazmir … I also have Chapman for when he gets called up, and I picked up Chacin for a spot-start tonight.

    The not-putrid SP’s scheduled to start this week that are on waivers are: Bergesen (@Minn), Guthrie (@Minn), Freddy Garcia vs. Toronto, Westbrook vs. Toronto, Willis @ Minn, Bonderman @ Cleveland, Meche @ White Sox and @ Texas, Bannister @ White Sox, Davies @ Texas, Cahill vs. Texas, Vargas vs. TB and vs. Angels, Rowland-Smith vs. TB, Harrison vs. KC, Eveland vs. White Sox, Chacin @ Dodgers, Nate Robertson vs. SF, Volstad @ Wash, Myers vs. Arizona, and Lohse @ Philly.

    So … my questions: Which of the above are worth streaming? And do you see any worth picking up and rostering?

    Also, if Chacin pitches well tonight is he worth a roster spot? And what do you think of a speculative pickup of Baltimore’s Tillman, who is available on waivers?

    Not much talent here, I know, but I’d appreciate any suggestions/thoughts you can offer. All comments welcome.

  15. Wilsonian says:
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    @Tom Emanski: Mine is working fine. Try rebooting your browser/computer. If that doesn’t work, I don’t know what to tell ya. I’d probably punch the screen, but that’s just me…

  16. vinko says:
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    @Tom Emanski: I’m having the same problems as you are! Damn oil slick.

  17. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Terrence Mann: the bridge to Soria is horrendous
    @Mojo the Helper Monkey: Slowey and Floyd
    @Bring Back Pluto: yea start both if thats an option, if only one go with Verlander.
    @TheEvilEmpire: I would ride the hot streak of ‘dome.
    @Josh: i read that article, Ld outs are the loudest most productive stat working against a pitcher. If you look at there hits per9 innings you may get a better analysis of how the pitcher in question is being effectedby “loud ” hits.@Wilsonian: i have the same scenario almost have Verlander and josh jonson and i sat Verlander as i am up in era,whip,k’s, i usually dont sit anyone they are supposed to perform especially big names like the ones you mentioned.
    @Pacman: Cecil is a guy who if he keeps up not walking many he will find success. 2 great matchup starts great low end option this week.
    @mikeE: Stamina is Morrow’s only enemy, and with his diabetes it may never be perfect he will go up and down at least once during the season. 33k in 28 innings is good enough for me to buy into right now.

  18. Tom Emanski says:
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    I figured out a fix for the Yahoo problem. Go to view > page style > no style in the menu bar and reload the page.

  19. Eddy says:
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    I need some help guys.

    I’m tied in runs and up by one SB. Do I start Rajai against Marcum who has pitched well but has had bad luck with run support, or Quentin against Hughes who has a chance at shutting down an offense or imploding?

  20. Tom Reale says:
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    @Eddy: Davis

  21. Wilsonian says:
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    @Eddy: out of those two, I’d say it’s a coin flip. I would lean slightly to San Quentin…just because I like Yankee Stadium to provide some runs.

  22. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Eddy: Rajai

  23. Eric says:
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    Hey there Smokey (and anyone else): I’m in a very deep, 20-team mixed league, so you can imagine that talent is spread pretty thin. I’m short an SP (I have Cole Hamels, Latos, Jared Weaver, and Kazmir … I also have Chapman for when he gets called up, and I picked up Chacin for a spot-start tonight.

    The not-putrid SP’s scheduled to start this week that are on waivers are: Bergesen (@Minn), Guthrie (@Minn), Freddy Garcia vs. Toronto, Westbrook vs. Toronto, Willis @ Minn, Bonderman @ Cleveland, Meche @ White Sox and @ Texas, Bannister @ White Sox, Davies @ Texas, Cahill vs. Texas, Vargas vs. TB and vs. Angels, Rowland-Smith vs. TB, Harrison vs. KC, Eveland vs. White Sox, Chacin @ Dodgers, Nate Robertson vs. SF, Volstad @ Wash, Myers vs. Arizona, and Lohse @ Philly.

    So … my questions: Which of the above are worth streaming? And do you see any worth picking up and rostering?

    Also, if Chacin pitches well tonight is he worth a roster spot? And what do you think of a speculative pickup of Baltimore’s Tillman, who is available on waivers?

    Not much talent here, I know, but I’d appreciate any suggestions/thoughts you can offer. All comments welcome.

  24. Chris says:
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    Smokey and others:

    I have a few decisions in my weekly points league.

    Pick 2 SP: David Price @Oak, Kevin Slowey v. Det, Jaime Garcia @ Phi and @ Pit, Brian Matusz @ NYY and @ Min

    Grady Sizemore (3 v. Tor, 3 v. Det) or Aaron Hill (3 @ Cle, 4 @ CWS) for my Utility slot this week

  25. MattW says:
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    @Smokey: Will Beckett look like shit again today? Is there something about how he’s pitched this season that is fundamentally different or can the fact that today’s date begins with a five make the difference?

  26. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Eric: wow a 12 part question, nice. Keep an on Volstad pitched ok last nite, as did Harrison yesterday afternoon. Bondy at clev is a good stream for the day. I would not waste another roster spot on a speculative guy would give you 2. Pretty slim pickings may want to explore a lower level trade for a sp. maybe a pavano, marcum, feldman type just to give you a semi reliable option.

  27. Eric says:
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    Thanks, Smokey. Good advice. As you can tell … I’m a little frustrated by the choices. I’ve never played in so deep a league before.

    Just a one-part follow-up: when a pitcher faces the same team twice in a week, like Volstad with Washington or Baker tomorrow with Detroit … do you think the second matchup generally favors the batters or the pitcher? Or is it just a case-by-case thing?

  28. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Chris: Garcia and Price, tough calls though, as i like Matusz and Slowey as well. But i took the best 2 start match up and the best 1 start matchup. Hill for util.
    @MattW: well he is walking to many. 13 in 28 innings. had 55 all last yr in 212. Fundamentally i dont see anything different. Team is scoring runs for him, he is 8-1 carreer at Camden i see a pretty good game figure 7 innings 7 k’s 3 earned.
    @Eric: Depends on home/away factor, but i think it has to favor the hitters for those 2 guys anyways. They dont feature super k rate so they arent fooling many people, and fooling people is what gets it done.

  29. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Hebrew Hammer: both have 6 games this week, id go with Huff based on opponents.

  30. BabyBeluga says:
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    Couple of offers looking to buy low on Sizemore (I have him – hold or sell on this guy?): 12 team, 6×6(OPS, holds), 5 player keeper (auction values)

    I give:
    Sizemore($26), Jered Weaver ($3)
    for
    Ichiro ($23), Kendrick ($6), K.Correia ($1)

    Is there anyway I could send Sizemore and try to get Zimmerman ($25)? Put Zimm in at CI and Dunn moves into OF.

  31. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @BabyBeluga: I’d rather keep sizemore in that trade, Correia is a step below Weaver. You would have to put something into that to get zimm for me but you may get frustrated owner sick of him playing peek-a-boo with the lineup.

  32. herschel says:
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    @smokey: two start options this week:

    cecil: @clev (talbot) and @csw (peavey)

    or

    baker: vs det (scherzer) and vs bal (guthrie)

    i just havent liked the way baker has been pitching lately. thoughts?

  33. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @herschel: Me either, its tought to sit someone you drafted vs someone u picked off waivers, both really will only give you one good start a piece. Id go with Baker only because Scherzer is going to give up a couple runs as well but if you dont mind the spike in era.

  34. CocoPoolies says:
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    Which side do you like: Sabathia or Gallardo and Hamels?

  35. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @CocoPoolies: yoga and hamels combined

  36. Greg says:
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    Got 2 middle infield problems.

    at 2b I got Ian Stewart and Kelly Johnson is available. Do I pull the trigger and pick up johnson? Does Kelly keep this up?

    And at SS, I got Yunel escobar (the weak link in my O) and Theriot and Alex Gonzalez are available. Do I drop YEsco for them? If so, which one?

  37. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Greg: What size league is it?
    i dont think that stewart and esco are droppable but it may depend on league size and if you have a MI spot.

  38. Real Tom says:
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    Yo Smokey, I noticed that Masterson’s FIP is way over a run under his ERA, and I own Lilly. My team might struggle with WHIP, but I don’t know that Lilly would be able to right that ship anyway. Should I drop Lilly for Masterson?

  39. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Real Tom: i wouldn’t.

  40. Suck My Wieters says:
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    Guys,

    I offered a trade and am not sure if I should pull it back or not. Its a tough one for me based off the pitcher im losing.

    I offered Michael Young and James Shield for Aramis Ramirez and Roy Oswalt.

    My issue with the trade here is, Shields…. I’m not an Oswalt fan

    What do you all think?

  41. Greg says:
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    Its a shallow 10 team league, no MI spot.

  42. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Suck My Wieters: i would want your side
    @Greg: i dont really see in upgrade there for ya i would ride out the storm with yuni and ian but johnson on the bench as a fill in isnt horrendous option either if you have the space.

  43. manfromearth says:
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    I just posted on our league page…I’m in one of the razzball leagues and my team has the second best batting average, so far this year. Only, today, my team is one for twenty nine, with Bay as my last remaining player.

  44. mrbaseball says:
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    hey smokey what is your take on Jonathan Niese – his last 3 starts been nice

  45. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @mrbaseball: He is a match up guy for me right now, he looks like he ran into a door also literally. 2 more starts will make him more attractive if he can keep it up.

  46. dave says:
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    Chacin throwing smoke today.. I have a chance to pick him up in my nl-only league. i havent been able to trade away any of starting pitchers and dont know if i should drop one: randy wells, leake, ian kennedy, and tom gorzelanny. what’s the move here?

  47. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @dave: gorzellany is the worst out of the four in my eyes.

  48. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    @Smokey: what about chacin?7 inn, 1 hit and 7 k,s today,has had walk issues in the past

  49. chisox says:
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    Freese or Brandon Wood, deep mixed league?

    I’m buying Chacin all day

  50. tony b. says:
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    was offered ludwick + andrew bailey for my youk…

    i have a logjam of 1b-3B players (miggy, longoria, sandoval, ian stew)

    i always play miggy at 1b and longoria at 3b and then stick panda and youk at my 2 utility spots…

    closers are raffy soriano, marmol, and franklin morales (with street coming back in 2-3 weeks)

    last year i would have denied this trade right away and even a month ago as well, but luddy hitting in that 2 hole is proving to pay dividends for his stats and i think he could end up with more hr’s and runs than youk, am i nuts? i like the idea of bringing in bailey as well, my league counts k’s, k/bb, and k/9 as well so the argument that his saves will be few and far between can be met that he contributes elsewhere…

  51. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @chisox: freese
    @tony b.: sounds good to me selling short on youk but you have excess

  52. tony b. says:
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    yea, i know full well i’m selling him short but making the deal gives me 3 solid closers and adds ludwick to my outfield of mccutchen, bruce, quentin, and krispie young…

    a little background on my league, all friends from college and they know full well i have only 2 real closers while everyone else is stockpiled, they ask a king’s ransom for someone like kevin gregg or matt lindstrom, this might be my best shot to get a good one and getting ludwick back i feel is good for me…

  53. Nick says:
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    Um, what? A. Sanchez isn’t pitching against Wellmeyer, he’s going against Lincecum. Wellmeyer pitched in the bullpen today… Also, another flaw, J. Sanchez isn’t pitching against Livan, Matt Cain is. Which solves he questions as to why you didn’t mention Zito (4-0) in your post, a 2-start guy who’s rocking an ERA close to 1.00 and a whip at .85.

  54. AnotherFalstaff says:
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    Smokey – Weekly 12 team H2H points league. Choice between LeBlanc @ home v. Smith or Nolasco @ home v. Cain? Thanks!

  55. Robert says:
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    I have a situation. I am being offered a totally lopsided trade in my favor. I think the other guy is trying to stick it to the guy who is in 1st place by helping my team. I am currently in 4th. I am being offered top sirloin for my 99 cent burger. Suggestions?

  56. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @tony b.: agreed i like it for you.
    @Nick: Yea, i wrote this on Wednesday. Which makes complete sense since the same team is being affected.
    @AnotherFalstaff: I’d take Leblanc.

  57. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Robert: Free league or Money? Could set of a trend of really bad trades that ruin a league and people get mad and quit. Or you will be lauded with cheers for taking down the juggernaut.

  58. Corey says:
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    Dynasty Long Term Deal: 17 Team

    Beckett/Webb for Hamels/Dunn Which Team wins?

  59. Robert says:
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    free RCL

  60. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Corey: depends on pitching for each team, personally id take hamels and dunn.

  61. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Robert: Its a tough call. Evil me says to do it, nice me says keep the sanctity of the league. Your call.

  62. Corey says:
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    Thanks Smokey! Say a prospect (Chacin) was added to the Beckett/Webb side. What say thee?

  63. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Corey: Chacin isnt goin to win or lose you a championship, if he does than your team has bigger needs. Chacin is hot on everyones mind with todays start. Webb is the biggest if in the trade, will Webb get back to give you 30 hr and 100rbi putout, because thats what Dunn is going to give you.

  64. Robert says:
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    Thanks. I will see what the reaction is and the decide.

  65. GopherDay says:
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    @Smokey: Thought I posted this earlier, but it must have never made it through…Strange, but anyways.

    In a dynasty league, what do you think about Ichiro and Rauch for EY2 and Borbon? I’m trying to add youth to my team, and I am very weak on SBs. Borbon would go in the outfield, and EY2 would go to my IF slot.

  66. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @GopherDay: I don’t love it, I think you should be able to get more for ichiro than that.

  67. Corey says:
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    I’m really not shooting for this year. My team of Jeter,Howard,Roberts,Dunn,Hunter,Cantu,Snider,Hamels,Lee has really underachieved, and I’m looking forward.

  68. mrbaseball says:
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    Worst Tito Santana look since he lost to Koko B. Ware

  69. AnotherFalstaff says:
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    Smokey – CarGo (always carries his weight) for 6 games @ SD & LAD or Andruw for 7 @ home v. KC & TOR? Thanks!

  70. big al says:
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    Olivo+Hamilton or Clay Bucholchz in 16 team dynasty

  71. Isaac says:
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    Opinions on me giving my Wainwright straight up for Tex? The rest of my rotation looks like J-Johnson (FLA) Verlander, Kuroda, Baker, Garcia (STL), Billingsly, Buerle, Happ. Definitely need some help hitting.

    12 team h2h points league

  72. Terrence Mann says:
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    @Isaac:

    I’d do that in a heartbeat. Tex is already blowing up and it’s only two days into May.

  73. Terrence Mann says:
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    @AnotherFalstaff:

    I like CarGo but the ChiSox won’t get Greinke this week. The KC bullpen is almost enough on their own to take Jones.

  74. and1mcgee says:
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    sell Alfonso Soriano!! lol

  75. Bodymore says:
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    @whoeverasked I’m starting Garcia tonight, his gb% has been absurd, if he keeps that up at all then the jet streams of Philli won’t have too much of a say in the matter.

  76. Oscar says:
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    Ervin, Floyd, Cain, Leake pick two

  77. Oscar says:
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    Sorry, Pick 3

  78. Don’t sleep on HodgePadre, Wade LeBlanc. Faces COL at home on Tuesday, then a probable start in Houston.

    I picked him up for a spot start last week and I’m looking forward to seeing him keep up his stingy ways this week with two decent match-ups.

  79. Smokey

    smokey says:
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    @Oscar: leave ervin in the cupboard

Comments are closed.