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After hours of research, 3624 mock drafts, endless Grey roster autopsies and a restraining order from Dr. Funstonstein, you finally find yourself ready for opening day of the 2013 Fantasy Baseball season. Hey, you’re not the only one with a little Bonifacio in his pants.

“But wait, I auto-drafted a team full of stiffs, injured guys and people named Iglesias and Puig!”

Hey, let’s leave the Cubans out of this. To the waiver wire. There’s still time. Maybe.

Back in my Top 40 radio days (think Roxette, Dee-Lite and yikes… Milli Vanilli) we had a nightly feature called “Jam it or Cram it”. My clever fantasy gurus know the drill: play a song, listeners vote to jam it (yay) or cram it (insert flatulence sound effect here). That’s some damn clever radio! I seem to recall “Blame it on the Rain” beating out Billy Idol’s “Cradle of Love” one particular night (insert sneer and rebel yell here). So sit back, remember the 90′s, mmmm…Yasmine Bleeth…and enjoy “We Didn’t Start the Fire” on repeat and jam or cram these potential fantasy hits you may have missed.

**Remember, your votes count toward purchasing a van for Scott Shannon to live in somewhere on the Jersey Shore.**

Jam it or Cram it with potential hit maker Chris Carter, 1B/soon to be OF eligible, Houston Astros

Rankings: Razzball #237, Yahoo #278, ESPN #280

Razzball Projections: 56 R, 24 HR, 71 RBI, 4 SB, .239 BA

Availability: He’s out there in 89% of Yahoo leagues.

The Gist: Traded from the cavernous Coliseum of Oakland to the more hitter friendly park in Houston over the winter, Chris “the truth is out there” Carter has 30-HR potential at a very affordable price. Ok, ok, we all know the Colt .45s… errr… the ‘Stros are going nowhere, but bank on high homers, low average  and… wait for it… 2-position eligibility. If Carter can manage 30/80/.250 you will be left wondering why you drafted Lance Berkman 100 spots earlier just to DL him for half the season. “But I like big pumas.”  Nooooo, you like grey panthers my friend. Now go pick Carter up off waivers and hope for a new X-Files flick.

Key Stats: Slugged .514 with an OPS of .864 in 67 games last year. Had 31 HR with AAA Sacramento in 2010.

Spring Training Don’t Mean @$#%: Carter hit .268  with 4 HR this spring to go along with 20 K’s.  Astros skipper Bo “manager for life” Porter says Carter will play left, first, DH and may start in the slot on third downs.

The X-File: With the Astros coming over to the AL, Carter will play everyday. J.D. Martinez has already been sent off to AAA Oklahoma. Minute Maid Park’s short porch in left should be enticing for the righty who just loves “choo choos”. How cute.

Now you decide: Jam it or Cram it?

Our second potential hit maker is the guy the A’s dumped Mr.Carter for — Jed “MASH Unit” Lowrie.

Jam it or Cram it: Jed Lowrie SS/soon to be 3B eligible, Oakland Athletics

Rankings: Razzball #235, Yahoo #229, ESPN #236

Razzball Projections: 52 R, 17 HR, 62 RBI, 2SB, .254 BA

Availability: You can still snag him in 57% of Yahoo leagues.

The Gist: Lowrie is only SS eligible for now, but will be the A’s 3B at some point depending on the health/mental state of import Hiroyuki Nakajima. Lowrie has also played 2B and 1B in his career with the Red Sox and Astros. It will not surprise me if he gains eligibility at all infield positions before the season is over. Four positions? Nice. But here’s the rub (yes, please). That’s almost as many positions as injuries he’s suffered over his career; wrist, back, ankle, shoulder and mononucleosis. Mono?! Did I miss a Peter Gammons report of Lowrie licking the inside of the Green Monster or something? No, that would give you “Mannynucleosis” and a 50 game suspension. *Insert moob joke here*

Key Stats: When healthy, Lowrie produces. In 340 AB’s last year he hit 16 HR, 42 RBI, scored 43 runs and had 43 walks. That’s a 10% walk rate for those in OBP and points leagues. There is power in those brittle bones. His HR/FB rate was just over 11% last year. For the Red Sox in 2010 he had a .970 OPS until he choked on a Fenway Frank and blew out his uvula in a Heimlich maneuver gone wrong.

Spring Training Don’t Mean @$#%:  Lowrie hit .313 with 12 R, 3 HR, 13 RBI with 9 walks this spring.

The X-File: It’s high risk vs high reward with Lowrie. So many possible infield positions, so many possible body parts to shatter. Ouch, my coccyx! I’ll take the reward. Lowrie has the potential for a 25-homer season. Me likey. And if you find yourself stuck with an injured Hanley (you were warned), Lawrie, Headley or Freese (who might be out a week) grab Jed “Glass Joe” Lowrie off the wire, have another Zima and remember the 90′s weren’t all that bad. Except for Creed.

Now you decide: Jam it or Cram it?

  1. tim says:
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    Hey guru. Need advise sandoval or machado?

  2. The Guru

    The Guru says:
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    I’d take the panda. If he stays healthy he can be just outside the top 5 at 3B. The Giants say they are “optimistic” he’ll be there for Opening day. I am “optimistic” I might have mojitos for lunch. When it comes to Machado, I might lean towards Middlebrooks actually.

    • Hawk says:
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      @The Guru:

      If both are healthy, Sandoval but he’s already hurt and he’s never really been a big producer anyway. Now he has a bum elbow. I’d go Machado

      • The Guru

        The Guru says:
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        Anyone interested in hearing about my Todd Frazier man crush this year?

        *crickets*

        • Jay

          jaywrong says:
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          @The Guru: Tehol does.

  3. Kennedy says:
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    Funny stuff! jam lowrie, cram carter.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Thanks bro

  4. Wallpaper Paterson says:
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    I jammed Lowrie a couple times.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      *best Michael Scott impression* That’s what she said.

  5. Darcy Butler says:
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    Thanks Guru! I am new to fantasy (at least as far as sports are concerned) and this has been helpful and amusing. I will look for further enlightenment in the future. Hope to hear from you again!

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Welcome to the fantasy world, Darcy. We need more ladies like you. Marry me on a mountain top and we can start a family band.

      • Darcy Butler says:
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        @The Guru: You will have to help me overcome my fear of heights, baseball statistics, AND family bands.

        • The Guru says:
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          I see us high atop a ferris wheel, reading from Baseball Prospectus while listening to Nelson.

          • Darcy says:
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            @The Guru: @The Guru: Starting with something lower might be kind… such as the top bunk. For music: “Walkin’ in the Sand” by the Shangri-las. (TWO sets of sisters) We will save the baseball stats for session two.

  6. Nohart says:
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    Jam Carter, Cram Lowrie.

    Guru, please talk me off the ledge even though my CL are Parnell and nobody. I’ve got Madson DL’d, Cook, Burton (MN), and Albequirky. Santos and Gregerson on waivers. Help!

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Stand down soldier. All is well. Unicorns and rainbows. Plenty of saves to be found later.

  7. Jam both.
    Lowrie is hitting in a great spot in that order and will still get to play some games in MMP. Couple that with the impending positional flexibility and you have yourself a solid fantasy asset.
    Carter is the kind of guy with HR power that few in the game possess. They’re going to have to change the signage in the Crawford Boxes a few times this season from the damage he’ll do to them. When he’s not striking out.

      • The Guru

        The Guru says:
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        Lots of big puma love around this year. I can see myself owning Berkman, Carter, Belt for stretches over the course of year. Streaming is fun. Just don’t cross ‘em.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      I concur. Jamming is fun.

  8. Brillz says:
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    Highly doubt Lowrie sees any time @ 3b. Donaldson is a fine defender @ the hot corner

  9. The Guru

    The Guru says:
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    Donaldson had himself a fine spring hitting .300 and 3 HR (though, he lost 2 of them because of a rainout). However, once Nakajima and his sore hamstring are ready he will get every opportunity to man short. Lowrie may well end up a super-utility guy never playing the same position twice in a week.

  10. Rags says:
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    Deep NL-only roto league. Have two injured pitchers to replace. Capuano, Sanabia, Kendrick, Stults, Marquis, Chacin, Travis Wood and Jeff Locke are on the wire.

    And I don’t have first priority. Yes, it’s ugly. Are any of these guys rosterable? What order would you put them in? (If Capuano gets traded to the AL, I can still keep him active for the year.) There’s no bench except for DL, so if you own them, you get their starts. Also, there’s a transaction fee, so I can’t really stream pitchers.

    Thanks!

    • Kennedy says:
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      Hey, Rags. Sounds like a challenging league. I would rank them Capuano, Stults and Kendrick. I am guessing Ryu, Maholm, Detweiler are gone. Can you grab middle relievers?

      • Rags says:
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        @Kennedy: @Kennedy: @Kennedy: Already have three relievers. Going to be hurting for Ks and Wins. All the guys you mentioned are gone. I’m tempted to go towards the devils I don’t know because “probably no upside” is better than “definitely no upside.”

    • The Guru says:
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      Who do you have for starters now? I might take a chance with Capuano. Ryu and Teheran are probably gone by now for you. Is Jose Fernandez available? Paul Maholm? Mike Fiers?

      • Rags says:
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        @The Guru: Wainwright, Kershaw (both kept), Zito, Tyson Ross, and Daniel Hudson (who needs to be replaced). We have three relievers (all kept dirt cheap) but we waited too long on pitching in our auction, I think.

        Fernandez is owned from the minors and Maholm and Fiers both went for more than $10 in our league. Because of our aces and relievers, I’m not too worried about ratios, but Ks and Ws are going to be a challenge. We could probably swing a trade eventually, closer for starter, but nobody in our league trades in the first month of the season.

        • The Guru

          The Guru says:
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          Watch the wire for an upside guy, propose a trade, pray your rosary.

  11. BTD says:
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    Lowrie with 25+ HR potential? Cram it. Not in Oaklan… Waiver fodder to DL fill-in? Ok, I’ll jam it.

    Carter or Moss this year? I’m on the Moss side until proven otherwise. For both the NFL and MLB.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Because I usually punt SS until late, I am rolling the dice with Lowrie and potential. Moss is a jam it or cram candidate for sure.

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