Results tagged ‘ Koji Uehara ’

Trade Deadline Fantasy Analysis: Pitchers

 

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Koji Uehara to the Rangers

Statistically he is one of the best pitchers in baseball with a stellar 1.69 ERA and even better 0.69 WHIP.  In other words it’s rare that someone reaches base and even rarer that someone scores against Uehara.  The bad news for his fantasy managers is that he will remain in the setup role while playing in a much more hitter-friendly stadium.  Not a major impact, but not one for the better either. 

 

Mike Adams to the Rangers

A lot of fantasy managers picked Adams up in a speculative move with hopes that he would close should Heath Bell get traded.  As it turns out, it’s Adams who got traded while Bell stays in San Diego.  Adams has been dominant this season with a 1.12 ERA, but again this is a pitcher moving from one of the most pitcher-friendly ballparks to a dangerous ballpark.  I would drop him since he will remain in middle relief. 

 

Ubaldo Jimenez to the Indians

This is a monster move by the Rockies and they scooped up a lot of young talents.  What it comes down to is two things.  First of all, Is Ubaldo more like the pitcher from last year when he almost won the Cy Young, or this season when his record is 6-9.  The second part is whether Ubaldo will thrive now that he is out of Coors.  At 27 years old, the Indians believe the gamble was worth taking since they are in need of an ace.  I like the chances of this one working out for them as Jimenez boasts a 3.38 ERA and 1.08 WHIP on the road this season. 

 

Erik Bedard to the Red Sox

The Red Sox were not able to come to terms for Rich Harden, so they settled for the next best injury-prone Canadian.  Bedard, like Harden, has all of the talent in the world.  However, the big question is whether he will be healthy enough for a playoff run.  Just 31 years old, Bedard has pitched better on the road this season to the tune of a 2.16 ERA.  On the other hand, for his career Bedard boasts a 6.99 ERA at Fenway.

 

 

Bloomberg Sports Waiver Report: Niese, Uehara, Norris, Villanueva, Venters

Koji Uehara, RP, OriolesHe may not have any saves so far this season, but Koji Uehara remains the most underrated reliever in baseball. Why? How about a 2.20 ERA and startling 0.80 WHIP? Throughout his career, Uehara boasts 138 K’s to just 23 walks, and the ratio is 35:6 this season. He doesn’t let anyone on base, which minimizes the damage. He won’t help in wiuns or saves, but in ERA, WHIP, and K’s, Uehara is a must add.

Jon Niese, SP, MetsEveryone is talking about Mets rookie Dillon Gee and his splendid 7-0 record, but the better pitcher in my mind is southpaw Jon Niese. Ignore the 5-5 record, Niese has won four of his last five decisions. Over his last five starts Niese has surrendered just five earned runs, cutting his ERA from 5.03 to just 3.51 this season. Niese also gets plenty of K’s, making a solid fantasy pickup.

Bud Norris, SP, AstrosIf in need of a short-term pickup, get to know Astros right-hander Bud Norris. Despite a 4-4 record, Norris is a strikeout artist who averages a K per inning. He also has won his last two starts and on Tuesday has a favorable match-up against the Pirates. Norris is a fine start at home, where his record is 12-8 with a 3.76 ERA.

Carlos Villanueva, SP/RP, Blue JaysA long-time middle reliever for the Brewers, Carlos Villanueva is enjoying a second crack at starting with the Blue Jays. The 27-year old veteran enters the week with a 4-0 record and 3.09 ERA. Most impressively, Villanueva boasts a 0.99 WHIP due to a .196 opposing average. I don’t view this success as long-term, but more a result of the opposition not being familiar with the long-time National Leaguer.

Jonny Venters, RP, BravesWhile I pointed to Koji Uehara as the most underrated reliever in baseball, the best one these days is Braves eighth inning option Jonny Venters. The southpaw dominated last season to the tune of a 1.95 ERA and 93 K’s in 83 innings. He has actually improved this season, allowing just two runs to score in 40.2 innings. He has recently enjoyed some save opportunities with Craig Kimbrell struggling. He is a must-add in deep leagues, though odds are he has already been taken.

More Players To Target For Specific Category Help

By Eriq Gardner //
Previously, I described why a player’s overall value during the final few weeks of the season becomes less important than contributions made in specific categories. I recommended some batters available on free agency in many fantasy leagues who could provide targeted value as fantasy competitors seek standings upside. 
Let’s look at a few pitching categories:
STRIKEOUTS:

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Jhoulys Chacin is currently striking out 9.66 batters per nine innings. Bud Norris is currently striking out 9.27 batters per nine innings. Among all pitchers in baseball this season with at least 90 innings pitched, Chacin and Norris rank 5th and 9th, respectively, in strikeout rate. Both pitchers are unowned in nearly 75% of fantasy leagues. That may be because both pitchers are quite young, and thus unreliable, and neither sports an ERA under 4.00. But the two have other commonalities: Good prospect pedigree, an xFIP (a measure of ERA based on peripheral stats) under 4, a not-too-intensive workload this season, and most importantly, the ability to throw balls past a bat.
SAVES:

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Koji Uehara seems to be the closer du jour in Baltimore after notching an impressive four saves last week. Unlike some past Orioles given that opportunity, Uehara may actually have the ability to hold the job. Uehara came over from Japan last season after a very respectable career there. Most notably, in 2007, Uehara was a shutdown reliever for the Yomiuri Giants with 32 saves and a 1.74 ERA. Last season, the Orioles wanted to try him out in the rotation, and he posted decent numbers before being lost to injury for the season. This year, he moved to the pen, but again lost much of the season thanks to a DL stint. Still, look at the numbers when he’s been active: a 1.91 ERA and 31 strikeouts to only 5 walks in 28.1 innings. He’s owned in less than 10 percent of fantasy leagues, probably because people don’t think that a closer for last-place Baltimore will get many save chances. However, the Orioles actually tie for 14th among the 30 teams in the number of save opportunities generated for the team’s relievers. The Orioles won’t win many games, but when they do, the score is usually close.
WINS:

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Jake Westbrook has been fantastic since coming over to the National League in a trade deadline deal. In five starts for the St. Louis Cardinals, he’s struck out 31 batters and allowed only five walks in 31 innings, which adds up to a 2.58 xFIP. Unfortunately, he only has one win to show for his efforts. That might change soon, however. The St. Louis Cardinals have an extremely favorable schedule the rest of the season, with series against the Astros, Pirates (x2), Padres, and Cubs. The team is locked in tight races for either the NL Central crown or a wild card berth. Westbrook not only gets a favorable upcoming schedule, but also great run support from Albert Pujols and company. The team ranks sixth in the National League in runs scored.
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