Monday, January 31, 2011

Top 30 SP 21-30

Let’s talk about pitching in general. Everyone knows it doesn't take a mastermind to draft any of the top SP to anchor a fantasy baseball pitching staff. In fact, all managers in your league most likely will have at least one or two aces heading up their rotation. Finding rock-solid pitchers to fill in the hub to back of your rotation, however, is the tricky part. The thing to remember is good pitching is a hot commodity in real-life and fantasy baseball. Depending on the league type you play, rotisserie or head-to-head fantasy baseball, the pitchers you select in the middle to late rounds can make the difference between winning and losing your league. Poor starting pitching from the bottom-half of your staff can drag down your stats. Here is the bulk of my one pitching staff I had last season, I acquired these players through the draft, keepers, and trades. I secured King Felix in trade, Cole Hamels keeper, Yovani Gallardo trade, Dan Haren keeper, and Tommy Hansen drafted.  Needless to say I won Ks, ERA, and Whip. The elusive W was hard to garner with this squad, I finished 9th out of 12. I actually think RP Billy Wagner led my team in wins at the all-star break. I have experience that a large group of managers overlook pitching in general, so be dynamic this year and put a good deal of effort in preparing to draft your Starting Pitchers.

                              My projections for 2011

21. Jered Weaver- Angels143.791.268.1
22. Francisco Liriano-Twins164.121.348.5
23. Ricky Nolasco-Marlins144.051.267.9
24. Shaun Marcum-Brewers143.831.237.1
25 David Price-Rays163.921.347.5
26. Brett Anderson-A's133.891.226.9
27. Chad Billingsley-LAD153.981.367.2
28. Francisco Liriano-Twins154.221.348.6
29. Colby Lewis-Rangers123.851.167.7
30. Matt Cain-Giants153.771.287.1
Bonus Projections:
Daniel Hudson-D'Backs123.881.247.9
Jeremy Hellickson-Rays103.811.228.2

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Top 30 SP 11-20

As you may see this group is dominated by NL pitchers. I have for years concentrated my pitching staff to be geared towards the senior circuit. Last year 36 pitchers with at least 26 starts had an ERA under 3.60. Guess how many of those pitchers toed the rubber for the NL? It was an unbelievable 24. That should show you that when comprising your pitching staff this year two out of every three starters should come from the NL if you want to win your leagues ERA catagory. In addition the NL now has Cliff Lee, Zack Greinke, and Shawn Marcum to boot.

My projections for 2011

11. Clayton Kershaw-LAD143.661.288.8
12. Justin Verlander-Tigers143.671.298.2
13. Chris Carpenter-Cards143.521.226.5
14. Mat Latos-Padres113.441.198.1
15. Yovani Gallardo-B'crew133.911.349.2
16. Max Scherzer-Tigers133.931.288.8
17. Tommy Hanson-Braves123.491.228.1
18. Adam Wainwright-Cards113.331.197.7
19. Ubaldo Jimenez-Rockies133.551.277.9
20. Roy Oswalt-Phillies143.661.226.9

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Top 30 SP 1-10

When putting together rankings for a SP you must look at peripheral stats. These are the stats that show how a pitcher is actually doing.  ERA and WHIP are important, of course, and it’s obvious that you wouldn’t rank a guy with a 6.35 ERA just because he has 14 wins last year. My personal favorite pitching stat is Ks. Not only will this take you to the lead in one of your league categories but it has ripple effects across other categories. If a SP can K a batter it has now helped by lowering his WHIP because he has not letting anyone on base and helps your ERA by not letting that batter reach base and score. Wins are the most arbitrary stat in fantasy baseball because some are deserved; some are completely random and some slip right through your fingers. So remember when drafting, do not chase wins chase good pitching.
Here are my rankings for SP this season. One glaring omission you may see is the absence of Adam Wainwright. My concern was him missing his last two starts in 2010 and the rumors he may still be experiencing muscle strain. Here is what was said at the end of last year. Wainwright unlikely to pitch again in 2010: Cardinals SP Adam Wainwright will skip his next start and the team says it's unlikely he'll pitch again this season. The right-hander was scheduled to make his next start on Thursday against the Rockies, but an MRI exam on Monday revealed a right forearm muscle strain. Just something to keep your eye on come draft day. Keep a close eye on the Cardinals if they start adding starting pitching by a trade.

                                My projections for 2011

1.Roy Halladay-Phillies183.311.137.2
2.Tim Lincecum-Giants         193.271.2110.1
3. King Felix-Mariners         163.331.198.1
4. Cliff Lee-Phillies       143.381.156.9
5. Josh Johnson-Marlins      173.341.227.6
6. CC Sabathia-Yankees         203.541.237.4
7. Zack Greinke-B'crew     143.551.238.3
8. Jon Lester-Red Sox        163.811.258.6
9. Cole Hamels-Phillies        143.711.238.1
10. Dan Haren-Angels         153.791.298.3

Friday, January 28, 2011

Yahoo Baseball Notification 2011 Season

FYI....Here is what I have received about Yahoo on upcoming leagues:
Yahoo! Sports is proud to bring you the 2011 Fantasy Baseball season. Full Season Registration begins on Tuesday, February 8 and continues until Saturday, April 30. This year, Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Baseball has undergone another serious overhaul to deliver an even more intense and customized Fantasy Baseball experience.

League Renewals - All returning leagues will be renewable.

League Updates - A centralized location where you can go to see all of your leagues recent communication activity.

Email Notifications - Keeps you aware of message board posts, smack talk, team slogan updates, and more.

Offline Draft Tool - Commissioner can submit Standard or Auction Draft results.

Franchise Invitations - Invite existing managers back to the league, invite a new manager to the league to take over an existing team, and invite a new manager to the league to manage a new team.

Lock Teams - Allows the commissioner to lock teams so they can change the draft order, assign keepers, add and remove managers, etc.

Team Ownership Transfers - Allows a commissioner to assign a team to a new manager.

Trade Draft Picks - Make your league more strategic by allowing trades of next years picks.

User Ratings - Rate the commish or another manager.

Custom Schedules - Allows commissioners the ability to set a fair and balanced schedule, to play rivals, and to control the leagues schedule.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Top 15 Shortstops

This year’s current crop of shortstops is very shallow to say the least. Shortstop is the thinnest position outside of catcher in fantasy baseball. Even the consensus top three were hurt at some point last year missing a combined 89 games. After the top three we see a collection of young up and coming players, veterans on the down side, and many question marks. This is not a position you will be looking at for power or 100+ RBI but you can find some 15/15 guys or high average, 100+ runs and SB. With so many youngsters at this position do not get fooled by the hype of potential upside. Two of the youngest and most hyped are Elvis and Starlin. Elvis is going in drafts 6 rounds earlier than Starlin with, in my opinion, equal upside and worse production. Compare last year: Elvis .265 0HR 35RBI 88R and 32 SB, Starlin .300 3HR 41RBI 53R and 10SB in 20 fewer games. Both will bat lead off with Elvis garnering more R and SB but Starlin will win out in BA, HR, and RBI and can be had 90 picks later. The lesson here is if you cannot grab the top 3 in this position do not get caught up in the hype of upside, grab consistency in later rounds for value. Most of you will be surprised with who I have ranked at 4th on our list here. Just remember I told you this in late January.
  1. Troy Tulowitzki –Rockies
  2. Hanley Ramirez - Marlins
  3. Jose Reyes – Mets
  4. Alexei Ramirez –White Sox
  5. Jimmy Rollins –Phillies
  6. Derek Jeter –Yankees
  7. Stephen Drew – D’Backs
  8. Elvis Andrus – Rangers
  9. Starlin Castro – Cubs
  10. Ian Desmond – Nats
  11. Rafael Furcal – Dodgers
  12. Alcides Escobar – Royals
  13. Yunel Escobar – Blue Jays
  14. Alex Gonzalez – Braves
  15. Miguel Tejada – Giants
The Whys:
Tulowitzki has the all around game. Power, speed, and the best hitters park in the majors. He might not get to 20SB but is a lock for 25 HR and 100+ RBI. He will bat 3rd this year and will be MVP fodder if he starts off as he finished last year.
Ramirez is basically 1a on this list and 1 on a majority of expert’s rankings. I feel he is on a last place team this year and his lack of a pennant race and weak supporting cast will keep his number flat. But his flat numbers are better than everyone else.
Reyes could struggle if he is batting all over the line up this year. Keep him in the lead off spot and he will come close to 110R and 40SB. Look for 15 HR or better if they place him down in the order.
The other Ramirez is my sleeper at this position. Look for a big year from the White Sox. Ramirez will hit from the 2 hole with Pierre ahead of him tormenting pitchers, behind him will be Rios, Dunn, and Konerko. If Alexei can take a few more walks his R will close to 90. Combine that with 20/20 season and we have the best SS in the American League.
Rollins has been a former MVP but is clearly on a decline across the board. Blame it on a combination of injuries and age. I expect his running to continue to decline but power to be steady. He will always put up big R numbers in that line up so look for a 15/15 season with 90+ Run potential if he can stay on the field.
Jeter is Jeter, the lead off hitter in that potent line-up. He has numerous milestones coming this year: 3000 hits, 500 doubles, 250 HR, 1200 RBI. Don’t worry; you won’t go a week without Sport Center cramming that info down your throat. Look for a 12/12 season with 100+ Runs.
Drew could be hitting clean up all year in the dessert and will be asked to provide more power on an anemic offensive squad. He won’t be running much this year but should have 80+ RBI.
Andrus didn’t hit a single HR last year but hit 6 in his rookie campaign. He gets a few in 2011 and will use his speed to leg out many more infield hits. As long as his hammys are in good shape he will run like Forrest Gump and score many Runs in Arlington’s mid summer heat.
Castro will improve on last year. Rumors have it he has bulked up and will look to provide some pop in windy Wrigley. He will have just turned 21 the week before opening day and is expected to bat lead off all year for Quade.
Desmond could be fantastic if he could cut down his K rate. A little power and a little speed make him very serviceable. Not sure where he will bat on the revamped Nats team but do not look for good R numbers even though he has some speed. The Nats will be battling Florida for last place in the East.
Furcal is a nice switch hitting SS who had trouble staying healthy in the past few years. When healthy he is a threat on the bases. I like Davey Lopes helping this team on the bases so look for a spike in SB and any power from him is a bonus.
Escobar could be let loose to roam after the trade to KC. The Royals need some excitement to butts in seats so look for Escobar to break out the tools that the Brewers had him keep in his tool box last year while batting 8th. Her will hit high in the order and produce some Runs and excitement
Escobar (the Canadian version) is built like a power hitting SS and will emerge after getting out of Atlanta and his beef with Bobby Cox. Look for close to 15 HR in Toronto for a guy who always put the ball in play with a low K rate.
Gonzalez has put up 14+ HR 5 times in his 12 year career. He seemed to flourish in Atlanta last year after the trade.  He showed he could put up power numbers and there is no reason for that to fall off in that line up.
Tejada is a former MVP and seems to turn it on and off every couple of years. Playing in SF he has no pressure to be the man so I expect him to quietly put up solid numbers across the board. He may bat as low as 7th in the order but will contribute.
So, do you agree, disagree, or want to kick me in the knee over my SS ranking? Drop a comment and let me and the other readers know.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

ADP and SB Leaders

Do not squander draft picks on guys who only steal bases. This is a very hard category to steer your way through all season. The reason is many high steal guys just don’t produce in other categories on a consistent basis. Our list below shows that eight of the top SB leaders have not been listed in any of our other counting categories. (Translation…they are a wasted roster spot) The bold names listed are our newbies again. Of the eight not listed previously, only 1 is being drafted before the 12th round and 3 on our list have not been drafted at all in mock drafts. I personally look for my 5th outfielder or my MI for steals late in the draft and then fill my bench with some multi-position speed guys. The advice here is to not get completely buried in this category early in the year. Stay competitive early, then if need be trade for speed with someone whose team in floundering or scour the waiver wire for an injury whose back-up has speed. Our list includes everyone that was able to produce 2.5 steals a month last year.