Category Archives: Sleepers & Busts

Fantasy MLB Spot Starting: 06.17.11

Welcome back to Spot Starting.  We enter Inter League play this weekend so teams aren’t as familiar with the pitchers they face which is usually advantage to the pitcher.

Happy Father’s Day to all the fellow Dads out there.  It is my wish for you that you get to read your Sunday box scores in peace if just for one day.

For games on Saturday June 18th these selected pitchers might be had in your league (less than 50% owned in Yahoo! or ESPN) with percent owned Yahoo/ESPN, (team), and opponent:

Brian Matusz  47% /  51% (BAL) @ WAS

Edinson Volquez 41% / 38% (CIN) vs. TOR

Scott Baker 40% / 27% (MIN) vs. SD

Tim Stauffer 39% / 13% (SD) @ MIN

Matt Harrison 32% / 14% (TEX) @ ATL

Randy Wolf 27% / 28% (MIL) @ BOS

Carlos Carrasco 11% / 6% (CLE) vs. PIT

Paul Maholm 8% / 5% (PIT) @ CLE

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05.22.11 Box Score Breakdown: Fantasy MLB News and Notes

Interleague play always bring interesting games. Like the Mets being up 3-1 and ready to take the series from the Yanks and then giving up an 8-run inning to lose the game (and series).

Ugh…onto it…

4th and Home Player of the Day: James Shields – SHO, 3 H, 13:1…Big Game James continues to dominate. This start was just nasty!

The Bats:
Asdrubal Cabrera
– 5/5, 2 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI…Wow. He now has 9 HR on the season (most in his career) and is looking to break all of his past single-season records. Yeah, I told you he was juicing.

Michael Brantley – 3/4, 3 R, 2 RBI, SB…Guy continues to produce, mostly since we talked about him on the Show of course.

Joey Votto – 2/4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI…Votto’s been absent for a bit from this piece, so it’s good to see him back. Batting .335 with 6 HR and 28 RBI.

Jay Bruce – 2/4, R, HR, RBI…If Jose Bautista did not exist, we’d be talking about Bruce. He has been ON FIRE. He’s now up to .271 with 11 HR and 27 RBI.

Alex Rodriguez – 4/5, R, RBI…Got the average back up to .284!

Curtis Granderson – 1/4, R, HR, RBI…Number 16. Unreal.

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05.19.11 Box Score Breakdown: Fantasy MLB News and Notes

Madison Bumgarner JUST missed a SHO. He’d be on your team if you read my “September Star Series…

Onto it…

4th and Home Player of the Day: Jason Giambi– 3/5, 3 R, 3 HR, 7 RBI…So he juiced before the game I assume?

The Bats:
Jay Bruce
– 3/4, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI…Bruce is starting to heat up as he’s now batting .333 for the past week.

Justin Morneau – 3/5, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI…Morneau with a nice night to help his disappointing season.

Trevor Plouffe – 1/5, R, HR, 3 RBI…Ok, ok. It’s about time I talk about the Rook. Through nine games he’s batting .286 with 2 HR and 8 RBI.

Howie Kendrick – 3/4, R, HR, RBI…Been quiet lately, but now hitting .322 with 7 HR and 18 RBI.

Allen Craig – 3/4, 2 R, HR, RBI…Holliday-esque in his start!

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2011 Fantasy Baseball Busts: David Price

At the young age of 25, David Price has already started in an All-Star game, pitched in the World Series and finished runner-up  in the 2010 Cy Young voting. In 2010, he posted a 2.72 ERA with 19 wins and 188 strikeouts in 208.2 innings. Those numbers look outstanding but, the numbers under the surface paint a different picture.

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2011 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers: Gordon Beckham

 

Gordon Beckham’s 2010 season was riddled with inconsistencies and injuries. 

In the first half of 2010, Beckham hit only .216 with three home runs. He was flirting with Mr. Mendoza the whole month of June, hitting .199 as late as June 23.

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2011 Fantasy Baseball Bust: Rickie Weeks

 

Rickie Weeks dominated in 2010.

His final stats of 112/29/83/11 and triple slash line of .269/.366/.464 were impressive to say the least.

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2011 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper: Derrek Lee

Derrek Lee had a down year in 2010. Lee’s 19 home runs marked his lowest total since 1998 (min. 250 PA). His 80 runs were his lowest total since 2000. His 80 RBI were his lowest total since 2001.

I suppose saying he had a “down year” is a bit of an understatement. From 2007-2009 Lee averaged 26 home runs, 92 runs, 94 RBI, .304 AVG and a .340 BABIP. So what gives?

A closer look at Derrek Lee’s peripherals suggests serious unluckiness. Lee’s 2010 BABIP of .309 is his lowest since 2004 and doesn’t match his .322 career mark. The huge dip in his BABIP doesn’t jive with his 22.5 percent line-drive rate and career-low 1.3 percent infield fly-ball rate. All of Lee’s other peripherals are fairly similar to his career.

The Orioles offense looks very strong for 2011. Lee will be batting third behind Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis who get on base at a decent clip. Vladimir Guerrero, Luke Scott and Mark Reynolds will be batting behind him. Lee is hitting in a much-improved lineup and looks to have the perfect setup. Derrek Lee will have boatloads of opportunities to score and drive in runs.

Camden Yards has a 126 home run index for right-handed hitters. Compare that to Turner Field (92) and Wrigley Field (102).

Derrek Lee’s current ADP is 273. He is being taken after Adam Lind (182.1), Adam LaRoche (182.6), Carlos Pena (197.3), Gabby Sanchez (210.9) and Ike Davis (228.9). Adam LaRoche put up the best line of the five listed with .261/75/25/100. Those numbers are certainly obtainable.

It’s no guarantee that Lee will outperform all these guys but, the value is certainly there. Why even waste a pick on Paul Konerko (70.8), Billy Butler (84.1) or Aubrey Huff (107.2) when you can draft Derrek Lee 140-185 picks later?

2011 Projection: .291 AVG, 85 R, 27 HR, 93 RBI, 1 SB

2011 Fantasy Baseball Bust: Jayson Werth

In the past three years, Jayson Werth has averaged 29 HR, 92 R, 83 RBI, 17 SB, and .279 AVG.  In 2010, Jayson Werth established a career-high .352 BABIP. This number suggests luck because of his career-low line-drive rate of 17.5 percent. 

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2011 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper: Luke Scott

Why all the hate on Luke Scott?

All of his 2010 stats are in-line with his career numbers, he has improved every year with the Orioles, he finished the 2010 fantasy season with a 115 ranking and he is only 32 years old. 

Yet for some reason, he still holds an ADP of 341 and a Yahoo ranking of 209. 

Let’s take a look at what he has done with his time in Baltimore:

Year HR BB% ISO OPS wOBA BABIP LD% HR/FB
2008 23 9.9% .215 .807 .343 .280 17.1% 14%
2009 25 10.9% .229 .828 .355 .283 17.1% 16.7%
2010 27 11.4% .251 .902 .387 .304 18.8% 18.6%

 

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Every year he has improved while registering no more than 475 AB. Imagine what he would do with 550 AB in an upgraded lineup.

The spike in BABIP is actually in line with his career BABIP (.300) and can be justified by his increased LD percent.

Since Luke Scott is a left-handed hitter, he will be cemented in the five spot, splitting up Baltimore’s right-handed hitters.

The middle of the order should look like this:

  • Three: Derrek Lee (R)
  • Four: Vladimir Guerrero (R)
  • Five: Luke Scott (L)
  • Six: Mark Reynolds (R)
  • Seven: Adam Jones (R)

This is great company if you ask me. He should get plenty of RBI opportunities and score plenty of runs.

Luke Scott is a very easy player to manage fantasy-wise. When he is hot, throw him in your UTIL spot and enjoy the ride. When he’s cold, spot start him versus right-handers, at home, at night or on grass.

See chart below:

Split AB HR AVG OBP SLG OPS
RHP 347 20 .297 .385 .550 .935
Home 228 19 .338 .419 .671 1.091
Night 322 20 .295 .378 .550 .928
Grass 397 24 .292 .369 .547 .916

 

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Luke Scott has always been an undrafted “wait and see” waiver wire type guy. Things will change after this year.

2011 Projection: 520 AB, .277 AVG, 29 HR, 85 RBI, 79 R, 2 SB

2011 Fantasy Baseball Bust: Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter is an 11-time All-Star, five-time World Series champion, five-time Gold Glover, four-time Silver Slugger and the 2000 World Series MVP.

No doubt about it, Derek Jeter is a first-ballot Hall of Famer and the greatest Yankee shortstop of all time. Jeter will continue to hit at the top of the Yankee lineup.

So, what has the Yankee captain done for me to consider him a bust?

Derek Jeter easily had the worst season of his career in 2010 at age 36. He suffered career lows in batting average (.270), BABIP (.307), ISO (.100), OPS (.710) and wOBA (.320).

When looking at his GB rate of 65.7 percent (highest in MLB), you can see he had all kinds of trouble keeping the ball off the ground. 

His GB percent is troublesome because of his declining speed. His LD rate (16.1 percent) and FB rate (18.2 percent) are both career-lows. He will not be banging out too many infield hits and he isn’t getting any lift on the ball.

I don’t think Derek Jeter will have a horrible fantasy season and shortstop is very shallow, but Derek Jeter’s ADP is 48. He is being taken before Justin Morneau, Adam Dunn, Jose Bautista, Jayson Werth, Ian Kinsler and all but six starting pitchers.

If he outperforms all of these guys in the 2011 fantasy season, I will walk into a McDonald’s with my pants down and post it on YouTube.

Wait 50 picks and draft Alexei Ramirez or wait 75 picks and draft Stephen Drew. They both could put up better numbers than Jeter this year. Hell, I bet Ian Desmond 150 picks later could put up comparable numbers to Jeter.

If you miss out on a top-tier SS, don’t think Derek Jeter is the answer to your problems.

Projection: .295 AVG, 9 HR, 59 RBI, 101 R, 14 SB