Guru confession #434: My brain is good at sports, but my body isn’t. Watch as I try to steal second running like Laura Ingalls through a field of daisies. Damn, its hard to slide in these bloomers. Thus, instead of preparing my Hall of Fame speech, I am here writing to you, my gooey friends. My brain seems to do its best sports thinking in two places: driving fast to work listening to Kenny Loggins “Danger Zone” and at work… listening to Kenny Loggins “Danger Zone”. The big boss, let’s call him Larry Tate, sent this memo out last week: There is no room for fantasy sports in the workplace. I replied: When is bring your fantasy team to work day? *high fives, chest bumps, Harlem Shake* I didn’t get a response back. Doesn’t he understand there are early games, rainouts, snowouts, trades to accept, trades to reject and Razzball podcasts to listen to? If he can have an inflatable girlfriend, I say I can have 16 fake baseball teams. Hhiigghhwwaayy to the Danger Zone.
*in the event this is being read by Mr. Tate: The Guru is actually Brian in accounting.*
It may be early in the season, but you probably have a pretty good feel of the good, the bad and the ugly on your team. April is way too soon to jump off the fantasy cliff when it comes to the star players that are having spring slumps- Giancarlo, Hamilton, Kemp. However, it’s never too early to stream that hot outfielder that could grab you some homers, RBI and steals. New memo just came in: It’s time to Jam it or Cram it. The Schmotatoes in the outfield edition.
Jam or Cram Daniel Nava, OF, Boston Red Sox
Opening Rank: Outside the top 400
Current Rank: 90
Availability: He’s out there in about 60% of leagues
The Gist: The best money the Red Sox ever spent was the $1 they gave to the Chico Outlaws of the Golden Baseball League to purchase the rights of Daniel Nava. Is the Golden League The Dollar Store of baseball? Nava has certainly been worth the money. Nava was platooning with Johnny Gomes to start the year, but with Shane Victorino hurting Nava has been playing everyday. Nava seems to have a flair for the dramatic too, hitting a 3-run homer to win Boston’s first home game after the Boston Marathon bombings. Nava is off to a great start .320/.429/.600. He won’t steal any bases, but will hit about 15 HR and help with average.
Key Stats: On pitches on the outer portion of the plate, Nava is hitting .600.
April Don’t Mean @&$%: 11 R, 4 HR, 0 SB, 290 AV
A gooey factoid for ya: Nava is only the fourth player to have hit a grand slam in his first at-bat, joining Bill Duggleby in 1898, Jeremy Hermida in 2005 ( the guy Nava was filling in for that day) and Kevin Kouzmanoff in 2006.
The X-File: Nava could be a hot schmotato or a good stop gap until the player you drafted 200 spots higher gets going.
You decide: Jam it or Cram it?
Let’s continue talking schmotato outfielders riding a hot streak and jam or cram Nate McLouth, Baltimore Orioles.
Opening Rank: Razzball #354, Yahoo #319
Current Rank: 64
Availability: McLouth is ready to spend a week on your roster in 75% of leagues.
The Gist: It is getting difficult for O’s manager Buck Showalter to keep McLouth out of the starting lineup. McLouth has multi-hit games in 3 of his last 5 starts to go along with 7 steals. His 4 steals helped me win a few games in head to head leagues this week. I’m going to give him another day or four then sell him to the Red Sox for a dollar.
Key Stats: McLouth is just 4 years removed from a 26 HR, 23 SB season.
April Don’t Mean @&$%: 16 R, 0 HR, 5 RBI, 7 SB, .297 AV
The X-File: With the lead-off position McLouth’s to lose and some big boppers behind him, anyone that likes runs and stolen bases will find McLouth to be a tasty streamer.
You decide: Jam it or Cram it?
One more schmotato in the outfield is Peter Bourjos, Los Angeles Angels
Opening Rank: Razzball # 294, Yahoo #327
Current Rank: 192
Availability: About 90% available
The Gist: Now that Bourjos is healthy, he has as clear a spot in the lineup and will get regular AB’s. While Angels Stadium of Anaheim isn’t a great home run park, that’s not Bourjos’ game. He’ll grab some doubles, triples, steal plenty of bases and can score a bunch of runs in front of the what we expect to be a potent Angels lineup. Bourjos can steal you 30 bases, hit 10-15 homers with a .275 AV.
Key Stats: Bourjos has hit .407 in the past week with an 8 game hitting streak. Bourjos has yet to attempt a steal but with his speed the steals will pile up soon.
April Don’t Mean @&$%: 10 R, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 0 SB, .319 AV
The X-File: Trade rumors swirling in Anaheim as the Angels starting pitching continues to disappoint. Bourjos is the type of player that could land a good starter. The Angels traded Jean Segura last year for Zack Greinke. How’d that work out, Arte?
Now you decide: Jam it or Cram it?
*Bonus Tracks* Jam it or Cram it SP streamers for this week:
Andy Petitte vs HOU, jam
Jose Quintana vs TEX, cram
Jason Hammel vs SEA, jam
Bronson Arroyo vs STL, cram
Results from last week:
Denard Span OF: 7 H, 3 RBI, 2 SB, .250 AV. I made a case to jam the Span. Not a bad week but disappointed in the lack of any runs scored as the Nationals have been slumping at the plate.
Brandon Crawford SS: 5 H, 3 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI. B-Craw has been a fine streamer at the SS position and is currently ranked in the top five at SS behind Rutledge, Segura, Lowrie and Tulo. Continue to jam with B-Craw.
As far as the SP picks for last week I hit on Ryan Dempster (jam), James McDonald (cram) and Tim Hudson (cram) but missed on Derek Holland (jam) who got pounded by the Angels.
Questions, comments, drink recipes are welcome
Look for my daily Jam it or Cram it and Streamers to Start Tomorrow on Twitter @TheGuruGS
And don’t forget it’s a new Razzball Podcast Tuesday with Nick, myself and the Razzball gang.