Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw discusses three playeres to pick up this week for your fantasy baseball team.
Brett Anderson, SP, Athletics
In his 2012 debut, Anderson had a strong performance with 7 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 6 K, and the win. This 24 year-old southpaw had a good 2010 as well, going 7-6 with a 2.80 ERA and 1.19 WHIP
Andrew Bailey, RP, Red Sox
In only six appearances this season, Bailey has gone 4.1 IP, 1 SV, 2.08 ERA, 1.15 WHIP. In his first three years, he has convered 75 of 84 save opportunities. In his career he has a 2.07 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP.
Jhoulys Chacin, SP, Rockies
In his first start since May 1, Chacin went 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K against the Mets. In his second start on Sunday, he went 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 3 K against the Cubs. He had 11 wins last year with a 3.62 ERA and .231 OPP AVG
Players to watch for
Troy Tulowitzki and Lucas Duda are both returning for their respective teams, so look for them to possibly make an impact if you pick them up for your fantasy team.
For more fantasy insight, visit BloombergSports.com
Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw discusses four players worth picking up off the waiver wire this week.
Daniel Murphy, 2B, Mets
Murphy has nine hits in last 11 at-bats but has been resting against lefties. Though he is hitting .274 against southpaws, he has just a .295 OBP with a .359 SLG against them.
Travis Snider, LF, Blue Jays
Snider hit his first homerun of the season on Sunday and is now hitting .364 through three games in the majors. He had 13 home runs with 56 RBI in 56 games at Triple-A.
Josh Rutledge, SS, Rockies
The injury to Troy Tulowitzki allowed the Rockies to give their 2010 third-round pick Josh Rutledge a chance to play every day. He now boasts a six-game hitting streak with a .353 season average and three steals. The 23-year-old looked like a five-tool talent at Double-A this season.
Justin Maxwell, OF, Astros
After missing a few weeks due to injury, Maxwell has returned in a big way for the Astros, as he blasted his ninth home run of the season on Sunday. Maxwell has a ton of power, and though he does swing and miss a lot, he has also drawn some walks. With the Astros slowly improving, he could become a legitimate slugger in the big leagues.
For more fantasy insight, visit BloombergSports.com.
Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw discusses the injuries and set return dates of seven players who could have an impact on your fantasy team in the second half of the season.
Carl Crawford, LF, Red Sox
Crawford has not played this season due to left wrist surgery in March and a partial UCL tear in his elbow in April. In 2011, he had a .255 average with 11 home runs and 56 RBI. Crawford is set to return to the Red Sox lineup on Monday against the White Sox.
Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, Red Sox
Ellsbury played in just seven games before being sidelined by a separated shoulder in mid-April. In 2011, he had an incredible season with a .321 batting average, 32 home runs and 105 RBI. Ellsbury should return Friday against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Brandon Morrow, SP, Blue Jays
Morrow had a great start to the season. In 13 starts, he had a 3.01 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 67 strikeouts. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on June 13 due to a strained left oblique. The Blue Jays are hoping that he will return to the rotation this month.
Roy Halladay, SP, Phillies
Halladay has been sidelined since May 28 with a strained right lat. In 11 starts this season, he had a 3.98 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 56 strikeouts. He is set to return to the mound Tuesday against the Dodgers.
Giancarlo Stanton, RF, Marlins
Stanton had surgery on July 8 to remove loose bodies from his right knee. This is a big loss for the Marlins, as he was hitting .284 with 19 home runs and 50 RBI. Stanton likely won’t return until late August.
Matt Kemp, RF, Dodgers
Kemp had an incredible start to the season, hitting .355 with 12 home runs and 28 RBI in just 36 games. However, he has battled a hamstring injury and was placed on the disabled list on May 31. He is set to return Friday against the San Diego Padres.
Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Rockies
Tulowitzki recently had surgery on his left groin muscle. He was batting .287 this season with eight home runs and 27 RBI. He likely won’t return to the Rockies’ lineup until mid-August.
For more fantasy insight, visit BloombergSports.com.
BY ROB SHAW
Every season a different strategy has to be utilized in fantasy baseball drafts in order to appropriately take into account positional depth and player rankings. In general, a unique strategy can be utilized on a round-by-round basis. Here’s a breakdown of Bloomberg Sports recommended Fantasy Baseball Strategy 2012 Edition:
In the early rounds, the focus is finding the best available player while also taking into account the disparity between the best player and the next best option at each position. For example, there is a plateau in excellence for starting pitchers as Roy Halladay, Justin Verlander, and Clayton Kershaw can all be claimed as the best of the bunch. On the other hand, Troy Tulowitzki stands alone amongst fellow shortstops.
If your fantasy league includes slugging percentage and on base percentage as statistical categories, there is no competition for Jose Bautista in the outfield while there are several stars at first base including Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, and Joey Votto. The best strategy is to pick up the best talent at a position where there is a large enough disparity that when the next player is drafted from that position there is a decisive advantage in your favor.
In the early middle rounds, it’s not a bad idea to scoop up a fine hurler who has the potential to rank amongst the best. Players such as Jered Weaver, CC Sabathia, and Danny Haren as well as Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg make sense in these rounds. These hurlers have the ability to dominate and enjoy a Cy Young caliber season thanks to their enormous upside.
Having two high potential and consistent hurlers is more valuable than having just one dominant ace. Therefore, by drafting where there is greater disparity in the early rounds with a focus on position players, then nabbing a couple of pitchers with sky high potential fantasy managers can enjoy the best of both worlds.
In the later middle rounds you can draft a closer and many of them. Closers are often overrated in fantasy leagues since they only contribute 70 innings, which means saves are all that matters. Second-tier closers still get the job done and players such as Joe Nathan could end up as bargains. In fact, rather than selecting a Jonathan Papelbon in the sixth or seventh round, you can grab a Gio Gonzalez or a Drew Stubbs, someone who will have a much greater impact on your fantasy team.
Then five rounds later go ahead and draft three closers in a row: Sergio Santos, Jason Motte, and Frank Francisco. Plus, usually about 10 closers become available on the waiver wire each season. In fact, all three of the pitchers just mentioned did not start the season as closers for their respective teams last season.
Finally, in the later rounds, it’s not a bad idea to focus on young talents with great potential as well as players with multiple position eligibility. This allows you to pick up some big time prospects while also enjoying depth. Consider top prospects such as Mike Trout and Bryce Harper. There is no telling if the precocious sluggers will develop into stars as soon as this season.
On the other hand, drafting veteran players such as Ryan Raburn and Daniel Murphy is also a key strategy in the later rounds since they cover multiple positions, providing depth to your fantasy teams. This way if a player on your team gets injured, a single bench player can fill multiple holes.
For more fantasy insight turn to BloombergSports.com.
by Eno Sarris //
In a recent fantasy baseball industry draft put on by FOXSports.com, your faithful Bloomberg Sports correspondent had the third pick. Going into it, I figured I would be fine with either of the great shortstops at the top of the draft – a five-category offensive player at the most difficult position is a nice way to start your team. True to my preparation, Troy Tulowitzki went second and I quickly clicked Hanley Ramirez with a smile. What would I have done if I had been faced with the second pick, though?
Last year, the contributions in the fantasy categories may have barely favored the Floridian. Tulo put up a .315 average with 27 home runs, 11 stolen bases, 89 runs and 95 RBI. Hanley hit .300 with 21 home runs, 32 stolen bases, 92 runs and 76 RBI. While the batting average statistic looks like a notch in Tulowitzki’s belt, Ramirez actually accrued 15 more hits than the Rockies shortstop. At issue was the fact that Tulowitzki was hurt for a month and only came to the plate 529 times, vs. Ramirez’s 619. Give Ramirez a tiny nudge for crossing the 600 PA threshold for the fifth time in as many years, and he gets the overall nod, too.
Obviously, it’s close. Some of the difference will come from how you value stolen bases. Even coming off his peak (51 stolen bases in 2006-2007), Ramirez has averaged more than 30 per season for three seasons. While it’s tempting to pencil Tulowitzki in for 15 stolen bases or more next season, it’s worth noticing that his success rate is not impressive (62.6%). That means that he’s below the break-even point (you want to be successful at least two-thirds of the time, value-wise) and may get the green light less often. Two hand injuries in the last three years might also discourage his coaches from sending him.
So we turn to next year and the projections. Bill James has Tulowitzki down for a .296 batting average, 27 home runs, 11 stolen bases, 96 runs and 93 RBI in a virtual carbon-copy of his 2010 effort (though in 597 plate appearances). He has Ramirez bouncing back from a three-year decline in isolated slugging percentage, as he thinks the Florida shortstop will put up a .312 batting average, 25 home runs, 33 stolen bases, 108 runs, and 80 RBI (in 658 plate appearances). If these projections hold, Ramirez is an easy pick.
The last caveat is that the 26-year-old Tulowitzki is obviously on his way up, while Hanley Ramirez has shown a decline in some key statistics. After putting up .230 and .239 ISOs in 2007 and 2008, he has dropped down to .201 and .175 respectively the last two years. Some of it may be from some normal fluctuation in his flyball percentage – though he hit a career-low 32.7% of his contact in the air last year, that number was 41.5% the year before and 36.7% in 2008. It looks like his speed is a little more dependable than his power because of this oscillation. It’s also a little premature to assume the 27-year-old Ramirez is in a decline phase.
These two excellent shortstops will be leaving your draft boards early in the first round, and for good reason. A comparison seems to suggest that it’s a matter of taste: If you’d rather take a nudge in power and hope your shortstop continues to make an impact in the speed categories, Tulowitzki is your man. If you’d rather make sure to get close to 30 steals, and risk that the power is only OK rather than elite, then Ramirez is your man. You’ll probably be happy either way.
By Eriq Gardner //
By Eno Sarris
You’ve got the first pick of your 2010 draft and you’re bouncing off walls. Albert Pujols
will be yours, finally. You’ve seen the big man crush poor pitching
for years and imagined what you could do with that kind of firepower.
Nothing will stand in your way now.
Then the doubt starts creeping in. In a 12-team mixed league, you have to wait a whole 23 picks
before you get to go again! All those great borderline first-round
talents won’t be yours and you’ll be forced to pick someone who’s
almost a third-rounder as your second-best player. What will you
do at The Turn? We’ll attack this from a couple angles
so that you’ll be prepared when the time comes. We’ll assume you’re in
a 12-team mixed league, the most popular of leagues.
The first thing that jumps out at you is that you may not want to take B-Rank’s #24 at the end of your second round. Of course, a team with both Albert Pujols and Adrian Gonzalez would hit a lot of home runs, but who would play the other positions on the diamond? Why fill up your utility slot that early?
The first piece of advice is, of course, that you have a nice list of second-round talent to try and catch as they fall. Troy Tulowitzki and Mark Reynolds could drop to you given some concerns about the repeatability of their 2009 seasons. Having a steady performer like Pujols in your back pocket allows you to catch those more borderline second-rounders if they fall too far. Even if Reynolds bats a mere .245 instead of Bloomberg’s projected .255, and Pujols ‘merely’ repeats last year’s seven-year low in batting average (.327) the pair of players would average close to .285 and you’d be fine in that category going forward. (While enjoying their projected 75 home runs and 30 stolen bases.)
Now on to your second pick. There is no consensus #25. Zack Greinke, B-Rank’s suggestion, is a fine choice as he could be the best pitcher in baseball next year. But say you don’t want to pick a pitcher that early, what’s there for you?
Consider Justin Upton, the proud owner of a new six-year $50+ million contract. Take a look at his OPS over the year last year, from Bloomberg Sports’ Fantasy Draft Kit. He stumbled early, but he was excellent all year and did not hit any sort of rookie wall. Add to this the fact that he cut his strikeout rate to an acceptable level (for a power hitter). After whiffing at a 34% rate his rookie year, he got that rate down to 26% by making more contact in the strike zone (80% last year, after 74% the year before). He also boosted his isolated power (ISO) from .213 to .232 while stroking those 26 home runs. The combination of Pujols and Upton would give you immense power with almost 30 combined steals to boot.
Again though, unless Tulowitzki falls into your lap, you’ve done nothing about the scarcer positions on the infield. Taking a look at average draft positions from MockDraftCentral.com, we can identify some other candidates for The Turn. A couple interesting names emerge – Justin Upton is there (25.19 ADP), and so is Jimmy Rollins.
For more information on possible second- and third-round picks, and more, check out Bloomberg Sports’ fantasy kits.