Tag Archives: Ian Kinsler

AL at a Glance 4/26

by mrCane

Has anyone noticed Chris Davis has 3hr in his past 4 games?  Davis is starting to heat up after a very slow start.  His teammate Nelson Cruz is doing just the opposite hitting at a .200 clip over his past 20AB, although one of those hits was a homerun off Roy Halladay.

Ian Kinsler just might be the best fantasy player right now.  To date Kinsler has 7hr and 7sb, 21RBI, 18RS and has not missed a beat since getting a sports hernia last year to end his season.  If he can only stay healthy is a great candidate to approach 30/30 this year.

Carlos Pena, a notoriously streaky hitter has 8hr and 21RBI.  In my opinion Pena is a great sell high candidate right now.  He won’t continue at his currently clip, and when he slumps it can get ugly. 

Big Papi continues to struggle at the plate.  As a die hard Red Sox fan my heart says everything will be ok.  As an experience fantasy baller I say sell if someone is buying. 

Zach Greinke continues to be dominant with 29IP and 36K.  The most impressive thing is that Zach still hasn’t allowed an earned run.  Don’t sell!  He will continue to be impressive all year, and will top 200K.

Eric Bedard has squashed owners injury fears to this point with some great pitching.  With more than a strikeout per inning Bedard is looking like the guy from a couple years ago.  When his value gets high enough, look to get a more sure arm in a trade and let someone else deal with the injury waiting to happen.  I do think that Bedard makes 25 starts, but I would rather get a number two guy back who will make 34 starts.

Jarred Washburn add a new pitch to his arsenal.  He did get shelled today but is a good bet in spacious Safeco to be a respectable number 5 in larger mixed leagues. 

James Shields has only 13K in 27IP.  This is showing a progression over the last couple years, where Sheilds has decreased his K’s from 184 in 2007, 160 in 2008 and is on pace to go right below those numbers now, 103 k’s!!  Sell high cause his other numbers look pretty good.

Lastly, AJ Burnett got destroyed by the Boston Red Sox saturday after cruising through the first 5 innings.  I was not a Burnett fan coming in, his best years being in contract years.  Most owners either love him or hate him.  Expect a roller coaster of a year with some DL stints included.

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Opening Day

by mrCane

One of the best day’s of the year, besides draft day of course, is baseball opening day.  It’s when fantasy owners finally get to the see rosters they’ve assembled put into action.  Some teams and players will get off to amazing starts while others will inch out of the gate.  Keep your emotions stable and enjoy the ride.  Here are just a couple of things to look for today, opening day.

Aaron Harang gets to take on Johan Santana and the NY Mets.  It will be interesting to see how Harang fares after his awful 2008 season.  On the other side, Johan is not pitching in nice weather right now.  I will be curious to see if the cold has any effect on his arm tightening up over the course of the game.  Remember that Johan did have elbow stiffness earlier this spring.  A couple other young players to watch are Joey Votto and Jay Bruce, who I predict will both struggle a great deal with Johan.  I think the mets take this one 4-2.

Cliff Lee is going to get pounded by the Texas Rangers.  Look for Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz to have big games.  Micheal Young is over at third base adding to his eligibility this year.  Let’s see how Travis Hafner responds to offseason shoulder surgery.  I predict Hafner hits less than 20hr, say 17 this year. 

Ricky Nolasco is going to have a day with the Washington Nationals.  The Nationals have far too many guys who whiff, most notably Adam Dunn.  Nolasco should strike out 9 while the Marlins kick this season off with a win.  Its time to Cameron Maybin excite fantasy managers across the nation.

Toronto and Detroit square off where Justin Verlander will no doubt lose to Roy Halladay.  I don’t like Verlander this year, not one bit.  There are about 40 or more pitchers I would take before him.  I think Verlander struggles to get through 5IP and then the Detroit bullpen gets lit up by the Toronto bats.

In a battle of Aces, King Felix duals Francisco Liriano with two teams who’s offenses need work.  I like the Twins in this, because they are at home and their team has the ability to manufacture runs when needed.  Twins take this one 3-2 on opening day.  I am curious to see who the Mariners send out to the mound in the 8th and 9th inning if they are ahead. 

Another battle of aces are Roy Oswalt and Carlos Zambrano.  I like the Cubs all the way in this one.  Lance Berkman is still struggling with his shoulder and without him in the lineup, its a different Astros team.  Soriano was red hot to end the spring and Oswalt got off to a slow start last year, it will be interesting to see what happens this year.

These are just some of the games that are going to be fun to watch in what should be another great fantasy baseball season.  Good luck to all!

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5×5 Draft Recap – Part 4

By notebookguy

If you have read the “About Us” page on this blog you know that we are 5 guys that have been doing fantasy baseball together for over 10 years and this weekend was a BIG weekend. Saturday was a 12 team H2H points league draft that all 5 of us participated in and Sunday was a 15 team 5×5 Rotisserie league that all 5 of us participated in.

Since the H2H points league is a keeper league that allows draft pick trading it would be tough to explain why we did things where since each team had vastly different situations on draft day. But….the 5×5 draft was a start from scratch 5×5 league with 20 rosters spots where everybody starts. Over the next few days each of us will give a recap of our draft and hopefully provide some insight on what we were thinking and how it all panned out.

Team: Named after Hamsterdam in “The Wire”

Draft Position (Typical Serpentine Draft): 15th

My strategy going into the draft was to load up on bats early, preferably 5 category bats, and wait to fill out my pitching staff until the later rounds. Having the last pick in the draft, having a double pick, meant I couldn’t really set my sites on a particular player not knowing who would fall to me. In my mock drafts I mostly drafted 2 of Soriano, Beltran, and Prince, so that was the group I was prepared to take from, two 5 cat guys, and a slugging 1B, all 3 of which I obviously liked a lot. Position was not a huge concern but I did want to grab a decent SS before they all fell off the board.

Well my first 2 picks I never expected to fall to me. At the 15th and 16th picks I drafted Ian Kinsler(ADP 9) and Lance Berkman(ADP 15), 2 guys that rarely fell to me in my mock drafts. In fact, I never saw Kinsler at 15 in my mocks, and Berkman occasionally got to 15 but not very often. I was ecstatic about these picks a 5 category 2B, the best 2B in fantasy baseball in my opinion, and a slugging 1B that is a rock for 30 HR’s and 100 RBI’s, not to mention contributing very well in the other 3 cats most of the time.

I continued to get 5 category producers in the 3rd and 4th rounds with Brandon Phillips and Alex Rios. Phillips(ADP 30) being around 15 picks after he’s usually picked was a nice surprise, although I already had a 2B, I had to scoop this underrated potential 30-30 man, because everyone starts in this league and the numbers were too good to ignore. Rios fell into my plan as well, a 5 cat OF with upside. Needless to say I loved my first 4 picks, all fell into what I was looking for and were good values at the places I got them.

For my pitching staff I grabbed an ace, John Lackey, in the 5th round, filled out my top 3 of my pitching staff with Matt Cain(9th rd.), and Derek Lowe(11thrd.). Not a dominant top 3 but a good top 3 with some upside in Cain. Grabbing BJ Ryan(10thrd.) and Heath Bell(13thrd.) was better closers than I expected, but it may have cost the back end of my rotation because I ended up with Manny Parra(15th rd.) and Wandy Rodriguez(17thrd.) both of which I would’ve liked as a 5th starter but needing one of them as my 4thstarter was not in the plan, a problem I will fix with a deal for a starting pitcher.

The offense rounded out nicely getting some thunder in the middle rounds, Carlos Pena(5th rd.) and Jermaine Dye(8th rd.), will be nice power compliments to my top 4 picks. I also picked up one of the SS’s I was eyeing, Rafael Furcal(7th rd.), which was key giving me more SB’s, just have to keep an eye on his health. Jason Werth was a steal in the 12th round, another 5 category player to add to the mix.

My late round bats were guys I snagged late in most of my mock drafts Edwin Encarnacion(14thrd.) a 20+ HR 3B with upside, Shin-Soo Choo(16th rd.) a big upside OF, and Mike Jacobs(18th rd.) couldn’t believe this 30 HR 1B was still sitting there in the 18th round.

I am very happy with how my draft went. I would’ve liked to have drafted a better 4th starter and 3B, but no draft is going to go perfectly. I feel I have good balance in power and speed, good closers, and a good top 3 to my rotation, and I think I’m right there with anyone from day 1.

Projected Finish*: 3 out of 15 (89 total points)

(R: 14, HR: 12, RBI: 12, SB: 6, BA: 8, W: 2, Sv: 6, K: 6, ERA: 14, WHIP: 9)

* Based on Sportsline.com projections

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5×5 Draft Recap – Part 1

By nichols33

If you have read the “About Us” page on this blog you know that we are 5 guys that have been doing fantasy baseball together for over 10 years and this weekend was a BIG weekend. Saturday was a 12 team H2H points league draft that all 5 of us participated in and Sunday was a 15 team 5×5 Rotisserie league that all 5 of us participated in.

Since the H2H points league is a keeper league that allows draft pick trading it would be tough to explain why we did things where since each team had vastly different situations on draft day. But….the 5×5 draft was a start from scratch 5×5 league with 20 rosters spots where everybody starts. Over the next few days each of us will give a recap of our draft and hopefully provide some insight on what we were thinking and how it all panned out.darryl-strawberry

Team: Named after the great Darryl Strawberry

Draft Position (Typcial Serpentine Draft): 11th

Having the 11th pick I was hoping on scoring either Jimmy Rollins or Chase Utley. Well, mrcane was sitting with the 6th pick and we all know he loves Rollins so he went #6. In position #9, dtb23 (a Phils fan) was ready to scoop up Utley but he went one pick earlier at #8. Since I really wanted a 2B or SS I was planning on taking Kinsler….but Ryan Braun fell into my lap at pick #11. I thought about Beltran for a brief moment but went with Braun.

Coming back at pick #20 I was hoping on Evan Longoria but he went a couple picks early so I kind of went a bit early on Dustin Pedroia but I wanted a top 3 2B or top 3 SS and this was my only chance.

Going into the 3rd round I was happy to see a number of SPs flying off the board as my strategy was to put off pitching until at least the 6th round. For my pick in the 3rd I was eyeing Carlos Quentin and Matt Kemp but both went before it got back to me. With Aramis Ramirez sitting on the board I ensured my team of having a strong infield by snagging him in that spot.

For the 4th round I had some power and a bit of speed in Pedroia but I was looking to get a speedster and was eyeing Carl Crawford or Jacoby Ellsbury. Crawford went 3 picks before me so I settled in with Ellsbury.

For the 5th round I really wanted Stephen Drew to fall to me. He went about 8 picks before it got to me so I passed on the temptation to take Rafeal Furcal and instead solidified some power with Adam Dunn. I would have taken Bobby Abreu but he went 5 picks earlier to mrcane. Victor Martinez was also a consideration but I figured I’d be able to get him next pick about 10 picks away.

Turns out I was wrong as VMart went to tallkid1 and I chose Carlos Delgado because 1Bs were flying off the board and he was the only one left that I would be happy on as my starter.

Heading into the 7th I really needed to take some pitching since I planned on starting that in the 6th. There was still a number of “aces” on the board (Billingsly, Lester, Shields, Zambrano, Liriano, Gallardo, and F. Hernadez) all of whom went before my pick. I then chose Scott Kazmir for his Ks and followed up with Josh Johnson for his upside in the 8th round.

9th round I continued my quest to fill out my staff by selecting Joba Chamberlain. I was scouting Brett Myers but he went 2 picks earlier which I was fine with since I got him in my points league draft on Saturday. I really like Myers this year.

For the 1oth I was going to take my 1st closer and planned on Brian Fuentes. Mike Scioscia loves giving save opportunities only to his closer and their style of play really sets up a number of close games  so I think Fuentes is in line for quite a few saves this year. He went 2 picks before me and I reluctantly selected Kerry Wood.

Wood and I have a history. During his prime when he was the next Roger Clemens I once traded Nomar Garciaparra for Wood and Barry Larkin in a keeper league.  Wood proceeded to tear ligaments in his elbow 2 months later and Nomar became one of the top fantasy players for the next few years while I sat with an aging Barry Larkin. I must say I’m not a big fan of Wood.

My next few picks I took Ryan Doumit (can’t believe he was still there in the 11th), Matt Capps (wanted to ensure I got 2 guys guaranteed the job), Lastings Milledge (still wish he was a Met, love his power/speed combo) and Oliver Perez in the 14th (Ks!!! and his inconsistency doesn’t hurt as much in a total year tally league like it does in a H2H league).

For the rest of the draft there was slim pickings so I wanted to focus on young upside guys and guys who may be under-valued due to previous injuries. In the 15th I took Jeremy Hermida (great spring, last chance for this one-time stud prospect). I then took Max Scherzer (upside!!) and Todd Helton (great spring, is his back OK?).

I still did not have a shortstop and guys I was targeting for late in the draft (Yunel Escobar, Elvis Andrus, Ryan Theriot) had just come off the board so I continued to punt that category and took Jason Kubel (full time DH in Min, 27 years old). In the 19th I finally took a SS with Christain Guzman over Khalil Greene because I needed the avg more than the power.

I rounded out my draft with Edwin Jackson of the Tigers. I love this guy this year as a sleeper and I’ve so far got him in all 3 drafts I’ve done. I plan on scoring him as well in my 4th and final draft tomorrow night.

Overall I think my team came out pretty good. I wanted a better ace and I think I abandoned stolen bases a bit too much after the Milledge pick but I can pick some SBs during the season. If Josh Johnson and Joba Chamberlain bust out into super stardom this season and Kazmir stays healthy, I will have a real good team and do Darryl Strawberry proud!!

Projected Finish*: 6th out of 15 (81 total points)

(R: 9, HR: 9, RBI: 5, SB: 5, BA: 10, W: 6, Sv: 9, K: 14, ERA: 9, WHIP: 5)

* Based on Sportsline.com projections

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2008 Busts….2009 Musts

by mrCane

Last year there were a number of players who broke your heart shortly after the season started.  Some of those players are worth the price of admission this year, some stay clear of, a couple you might not even remember.

In no particular order;

David Ortiz – Big Papi started slow and never got going.  The wrist injury didn’t help matters.  Fantasy Advice:  Papi should be good for about 30 homeruns and 100 rbi with a .290 batting average…he is on the decline.

Curtis Granderson – Had a difficult start to the season but finished strong.  I don’t buy into Granderson, he can’t hit lefties, he’s 28 and is getting slower?  Fantasy Advice:  Don’t buy, his price will be too high for what you get.

Garret Atkins – Uhhgg!  He’ll play because Todd Helton needs a new back.   His walk to strikeout ration plummeted last year (40/100).  Fantasy Advice:  Don’t buy.

Aaron Harrang – Had some injuries to deal with and never seemed to right the ship.  Fantasy Advice – He’ll be back, buy buy buy low.

Johnny Cueto – Remember the press around this kid after spring training?  He’s got a great arm, just needs experience.  Fantasy Advice – Take a chance, he’ll be a bargain.

Alex Gordon – I don’t know what to say about Gordon.  He has tons of talent but like Granderson he can’t hit lefties well.  Fantasy Advice – take him at a good price but he might be expensive because of name recognition.

Delmon Young – Fantasy Advice – stay away

Phil Hughes – Disappointing year for the talented righty.  Fantasy Advice:  Buy low and watch your investment soar.

Howie Kendrick – People have so many expectations for Kendrick, not me.  Fantasy Advice – pick him up off waivers in July when comes off the DL.

Adam Miller – He was on everyone’s radar last year but this year he’s not on anyone’s.  Fantasy Advice:   Keep track of what he does this spring, he could end up contributing if he get’s the walks under control.

Other guys who were busts last year and who’s production I don’t see turning around;  Rickie Weeks, Eric Byrnes, Todd Helton, Dontrelle Willis, Carlos Guillen, Jeff Francoer, Ryan Zimmerman.

Some names from this year who will be drafted too high and should be considered possible busts;

Ian Kinsler, Chris Davis, Joe Mauer, Nate McClouth, Fafael Furcal, Carlos Pena,  Dan Uggla, Carlos Delgado, Rich Harden, AJ Burnett, Jose Valverde, Joba Chamberlain and Derek Jeter.

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Utley or Kinsler?

By nichols33

It’s your pick in the draft. You’ve decided to go 2B, and all are still on the board. Who are you taking, Chase Utley of the Phils or Ian Kinsler of the Rangers?

Most rankings I’ve seen have Ian Kinsler as the #1 2B. At first I thought this was due to Utley’s offseason surgery and the lists possibly generated before the news came out that Utley will probably be ready for opening day. But I’m seeing mock draft after mock draft where Kinsler is going off the board first.

2008 Stats:

stats

For me, so long as Chase is healthy and playing, I’ll take him over Kinsler. Kinsler has yet to put up a full season with no injury. Last year he did not play after Aug. 19th and the year before Ian missed all of July. Kinsler has the edge on speed and could possibly steal 30 bags this year, but Utley is good for double digit steals and his power is SICK when healthy.

Chase was on his way to an MVP season last year hitting 25 homeruns before the all-star break. Then he ran into some hip problems that severly reduced his power numbers in the second half because he could not turn on the ball. If Chase shows that he is healthy in some spring games, he should be the first 2B taken and he could go get the MVP award he was working on last season before the hip.

Who are you taking?

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Good News – Bad News 3/4

By nichols33

gnbnGood News:
Manny Ramirez: Scott Boras and Manny have worked out a deal with the Dodgers. It appears to be for 2 years with an opt-out clause after the first year. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: This is great news for Manny owners in keeper leagues. Manny is a fantasy stud and one of the top OFs on all lists.

Clay Buchholz & Justin Masterson: Brad Penny is having shoulder issues, which should not shock anybody. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: If Penny isn’t ready to go when the season starts, Masterson or Buchholz will most likely be the 5th starter. Each have huge upside if they have a spot in the rotation.

Jeremy Hermida: Herminda is hitting .416 this spring with 3 HRs. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: People have been waiting for this talented OF to bust out and become a fantasy stud. Although his results have not caught up to his talent, he is still only 25 years old. He could be a huge find on draft day.

Robinson Cano: Off to a torid start this spring hitting .556 with 10 total bases in 4 games. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: Cano was a disappointment last year with many expecting him to be a top 3 2B. Fantasy experts are quick to point out that if you removed his slow start in April last year he had a pretty good year. I like Cano this year but I will take Utley, Kinsler, Pedroia, Roberts & Phillips over him.

Joey Votto: The 25 year-old 1B for the Reds is making a statement early in the spring. He’s hitting .538 with 2 HRs thus far through 5 games. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: Most people are not aware of the numbers Votto put up last year. He hit .296, 24 HRs, 84 RBIs and stole 7 bases. At 25, this kid is about to bust out. At the end of this year he will be a top 6 1B, maybe crack the top 5. Don’t be the last to know about this future stud.

Bad News:
Juan Pierre:
With Manny signing on again in LA, Pierre is back to being a 4th OF. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: Manny, Matt Kemp & Andre Ethier will get the bulkload of the playing time leaving Juan Pierre virtually useless in all fantasy leagues. Unless one of the other 3 get injured or the NL installs the DH, do not go near Mr. Moustache.

Alex Rodriguez: Arod WBC stint is in jeopardy with news about a sore hip. Word is that Arod has a cyst in his hip that is causing the stiffness. Joe Girardi said that this problem goes back to last year. FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: If Arod had this problem last year it doesn’t look like this cyst will impede his performance too much. I have Wright #1 at 3B, if you have Arod, you may want to make the swap, but I wouldn’t let this news change your thoughts on Arod all that much.

Bobby Crosby: Orlando Cabrera signed a one year deal with Oakland this week moving Crosby into what the A’s are calling a “super utility role.” FANTASY BASEBALL ADVICE: Crosby’s performance in recent years should show you he warrants little to no consideration outside of AL only leagues. With this news, drafting him in AL only leagues would be a mistake.

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