Monday, 30 April 2012

Fantasy Baseball Spot Starter of the Day - April 29, 2012

Tommy Milone (OAK) at BOS -

Okay, I know what you're thinking, a pitcher from a poor team with a limited track record pitching in Fenway? The Red Sox have been pitiful as much as they have been good so far this season and Milone has been a bright spot. He doesn't belong on the waiver wire. He belongs in your line up.

Fantasy Baseball Podcast - April 29, 2012

Chris and the Fantasy Doctor get lots of feedback from listeners including a fellow Canadian who also likes baseball more than hockey. They address lots of fantasy basebal lnews and injuries and playy "Who'd You Rather?" before wrapping up with emails.

Click on the show icon below to visit the podcast website where you can stream the show or download it for later listening. Click on the iTunes logo to visit the iTunes site where you can downlaod the podcast for your iPod, iPad or iPhone.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Fantasy Baseball Spot Starter of the Day - April 28, 2012

Anthony Bass (SD) at SF -

Control has been an issue so far for Bass but he has been solid in earned runs, hits and strikeouts. He's in a good pitcher's park for this one and against a struggling Tim Lincecum.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Thinking Outside the Batter’s Box

Boy, I have really taken some flak for my choices of players this fantasy baseball season. That’s okay. I like to think outside the box. When you state an opinion that differs from widely held beliefs, there are those that will react negatively. However, if everything went according to plan, then the so-called “experts” would always be right. Like most big league batters, they fail more often than they succeed.

It’s okay to rank players differently than everyone else. It encourages debate and gets people talking. As far as I am concerned, getting people talking about baseball is way more important than who finishes higher on the ESPN Player Rater.

Heading into the 2011 season, if you had said that the top ten fantasy outfielders would have included Curtis Granderson, Lance Berkman, Alex Gordon and Melky Cabrera you would have been ridiculed. Your fantasy advice would have been called terrible and a joke. However, you would have had the last laugh as these four players all made the 2011 year-end top ten outfield standings according to the aforementioned ESPN Player Rater.

This season, I mentioned that I liked players such as Michael Bourn, Ichiro Suzuki and Jason Heyward for my top ten outfielders. I also stated that I liked B.J. Upton better than Justin Upton. All of these choices have been questioned and ridiculed at length. I am not saying that these players will finish the year in the top ten, but I do believe that it is important to think outside the norm when it comes to evaluating performances.

Many articles written prior to the 2012 season suggested prominent outfield performers in 2012 would be comprised of Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Gonzalez, Justin Upton and Alex Gordon. These are all great names and were all good bets to perform well this season.   However, taking a look at some less-than-popular names has merit as well.  Just ask the fantasy owners of Melky Cabrera how they liked his performance in 2011.

Sometimes it pays to think outside the batters box.


Fantasy Baseball Podcast - April 22, 2012

Me and "The Fantasy Doctor" answer an email from a listener who recognizes our accents as Canadian and wonders why we don't like hockey.

Lots of injuries and news including Lance Berkman, Chris Young, Sergio Santos and the return of B.J. Upton.

New segment called "Who'd You Rather?" compares players. We also look at who's hot and cold and get to some emails.

Lots of fun and information as always!

Just click on the logo below to visit the fantasy baseball podcast website where you can stream the show or download for later listening. Or click on the iTunes logo to visit the show at iTunes.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Who'd You Rather?

As most of you know, we record a weekly fantasy baseball podcast covering news, injuries, emails and many other fantasy-related (and sometimes non-fantasy-related) issues. We have started a new segment called "Who'd You Rather?" where we ask you to give us 2 player names and we'll help analyze the strengths and weaknesses to help you choose between the two. If you are trying to evaluate a trade, compare players on the waiver wire, deciding between dropping a player for a free agent or just trying to win a daily fantasy sports game, we can help.

Please get your 2 players in to us and we'll try to get to it on our weekly podcast. You can send your 2 players to any of the following (be sure to mention "Who'd You Rather?"):


TWITTER: @cmcbrien OR @TheFantasyDR

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Fantasy Baseball Spot Starter of the Day - April 19, 2012

Tommy Milone (OAK) at LAA -

Don't let that 5-5 strikeout-to-walk rate alarm you. In Milone's first start of the year,he failed to strikeout a batter, even though he pitched 8 innings of scoreless baseball. He is a good play against an Angels club that has struggled worse than the Athletics so far in 2012.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Fantasy Baseball Spot Starter of the Day - April 18, 2012

Juan Nicasio (COL) vs. SD -

Sure, he got shellacked his last time out against the Diamondbacks (6 ER in 2.2 IP), but the Padres offense is much worse than the Arizona line up and Nicasio pitched well against San Diego last season. Throw out the Diamondbacks start and Nicasio has had a good spring and is a good candidate for a bounce-back here.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Fantasy Baseball Spot Starter of the Day - April 17, 2012

Randall Delgado (ATL) vs. NYM -

In a brief debut last season, Delgado proved he belonged. He is at home to a Mets squad that has struggled lately. He's up against Johan Santana, so he'll have his work cut out for him but a quality start is in the cards.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Fantasy Basball Podcast - April 15, 2012

New fantasy baseball podcast episode available! Chris and "The Fantasy Doctor" discuss hot & cold players, waiver wire pitchers, injuries, funny fantasy team names and answer emails. Baseball stats have never been this fun!

Click on the show icon below to visit the podcast website where you can stream the show or download it for later listening.

Click on the iTunes icon below to visit the iTunes page and download the podcast there.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pitcher - April 14, 2012

Tommy Milone (OAK) @ SEA -

After blanking the Royals for 8 innings, the key piece in the Gio Gonzalez trade looks to be a decent play against the Mariners at Safeco.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Pushing the Panic Button in the Second Week of the Fantasy Baseball Season

If there is one thing that never ceases to amaze, it is the sheer number of fantasy baseball owners that panic as early as the second week of the baseball season. With such a small sample size, it is easy to over-react when players have a poor start to the season. However, there are often warning signs that begin to take shape early in a season and the key to success often lies in recognizing the difference between alarm and plain old ‘slow starters’. Here are several players and a diagnosis after less than two weeks of baseball games:

The Braves leadoff man has managed to reach base only 5 times in his first 6 games so he hasn’t really had the chance to show off his wheels so far in 2012. With only 1 stolen base in 2 attempts, Bourne will no doubt pick things up once he starts swinging the bat a little better. Dee Gordon may be around to challenge Bourn’s National League stolen base crown but expect a bounce back for the Braves and the man at the top of their batting order.

Kevin Youkilis (BOS)
With only 2 hits in his first 20 at bats, Youkilis is off to a slow start along with the rest of his Red Sox teammates. Groin, hip and back injuries plagued him last season when he hit a career low .258. There were warning signs throughout spring training in regard to his health and he is a risky play to say the least. Although it is early, the Boston third basemen may be in for a long season.

Albert Pujols (LAA)
The new Angel has struggled out of the gate with only 5 hits in his first six games (with 0 home runs). Is his slow start due to switching teams? Switching leagues? Has his bat slowed down? None of the above. Pujols got off to a slow start in 2011 and ended the season with his usual home run rate and impressive counting stats. The greatest hitter of his generation will still be the king of the hill. Be patient.

Mike Napoli (TEX)
Prior to 2011, Napoli struggled to get regular at bats even when splitting time between catching and acting as the DH. Last season while batting in a potent line up in a hitter’s paradise of a home park, Napoli had a career season on the strength of an impressive showing after the All Star break. Injuries and inconsistency have plagued Napoli throughout his time in the big leagues and a slow start in 2012 should not come as much of a surprise. If you can get decent value in a trade, I say pull the trigger.

Jose Bautista (TOR)
The naysayers have been predicting his decline for the last 2 seasons. Hitting only .174 (4 hits in 6 games) to open the year, Bautista has said that his timing is a little off. Don’t let the poor second half of 2011 fool you. The Jays slugger has admitted to an injury which slowed him after the All Star break last season. The Jays’ clubhouse and on-field leader will soon be terrorizing AL East pitchers again very soon.

Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)
Stanton has been slowed by a knee issue all throughout spring training and into the regular season. It doesn’t seem to be a major issue but that doesn’t make it any less alarming. In fact, a lingering problem can be much worse than one that lands a player on the disabled list since playing through a nagging injury often leads to an unproductive season at the plate. There are some warning signs here to be heeded.

Although it is never a good idea to ‘panic’ in fantasy baseball (this leads to far too many rash decisions which could cost you the season), when players get off to a slow start, it is often nothing more than a mini-slump. However, there are always cases where it could warrant concern.  

* Michael Bourne photo by Mlstros at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
* Albert Pujols photo by worldofbeauty (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pitcher - April 13, 2012

Randy Wolf (MIL) @ ATL -
Wolf always seems to be available on the fantasy waiver wire but offers a decent opportunity for some spot starts. He seems to pitch just a little better on the road than at home. Atlanta only managed a .228 average against lefties in 2011 and leadoff hitter Michael Bourne has struggled against Wolf in the past. With 7 K in his last outing, Wolf could be a nice play here.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pitcher of the Day - April 12, 2012

Anthony Bass (SD) vs. ARI -

Injuries have forced Bass into a starting role at least temporarily. Based on his 3 starts in 2011, don't expect anything more than 5 innings, but an effective outing in a pitcher's park may be in the cards.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pitcher - April 11, 2012

Erik Bedard (PIT) @ LAD -

Bedard is a solid fantasy option when healthy. He gets a start against a relatively weak offense in a good pitchers park. Available in the majority of leagues and worth a spot start here.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Fantasy Baseball Podcast - April 9, 2012

New fantasy baseball podcast episode available! Chris and "The Fantasy Doctor" discuss hot & cold players, waiver wire pitchers, injuries, the "Verducci Effect" and answer emails. Throw in an off-color Christina Aguilera comment and you have an entertaining and informative half hour!

Click on the show icon below to visit the podcast website where you can stream the show or download it for later listening.

Click on the iTunes icon below to visit the iTunes page and download the podcast there.

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pitcher of the Day - April 10, 2012

Philip Humber (CWS) @ CLE -

Call it a hunch, but Humber is looking to build on a decent 2011 where he solidified a spot in the White Sox rotation. Add to this a strong spring and Humber looks ready to put up a quality start against a tribe team which has struggled early with only 14 runs scored in their first 4 games of 2012.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Thirty Something: The Verducci Effect in Fantasy Baseball

Fantasy baseball owners are always looking for an edge. From the latest news to the latest stats, trying to get a leg up on your opponents is often enough to carry you to victory. Predicting the future would be ideal (although highly unlikely) so fantasy owners have to settle for indicators of what the future may hold. Luckily, there are several industrious people out there who have discovered some interesting trends in baseball.

One of these observers is Tom Verducci from Sports Illustrated. Verducci wrote about what he called the “Year After Effect” in which he found that young pitchers (under the age of 25) who experienced increases of 30 or more innings from one season to the next were prone to underperform in the following year. Dubbed “The Verducci Effect” by Will Carroll from Baseball Prospectus, it is worth taking a look at several pitchers who fall into this category in 2012 as potential candidates for statistical regression:

Michael Pineda (NYY) – (Age: 22. Innings Increase: 31-2/3)
Not much has to be said in regard to Pineda. After being acquired by the Yankees in the off season, Pineda struggled mightily in camp this year. He was a candidate for a minor league demotion prior to being injured. Although there are several factors at play here, the increase in innings last season certainly didn’t help his cause.

Jeremy Hellickson (TB) – (Age: 24, Innings Increase: 37-1/3)
A lot has been made of Hellickson’s abnormally low .223 BABIP in 2011 and how he is a candidate for regression as a result. However, of greater concern is the increase in his innings from the previous season. Combine this with a subpar strikeout rate (5.57 K/9) and poor walk rate (3.43/9) and Hellickson has all the warning signs of a pitcher primed for a decline in statistics.

Derek Holland (TEX) – (Age: 24, Innings Increase: 71-1/3)
Sure, he improved his ERA, WHIP and strikeouts and was fantastic in the post-season but the concern with Holland isn’t in his mechanics (although, they are a little unorthodox) but rather in his increased work load. A good sign was his strong second half. However, it will be interesting to see how all those innings affect his performance in 2012.

Daniel Hudson (ARI) – (Age: 24. Innings Increase: 38-2/3)
Armed with a blazing fastball, “D-Hud” followed up his late season 2010 debut with the Diamondbacks with a solid full season in 2011. Manager Gibson is about as competitive as they come and relied on Hudson down the stretch of the pennant race. Will the increase in workload affect his 2012 stats? Quite possibly.

Keep an eye on innings increases from year-to-year. Especially when it comes to young players under the age of 25, they may just be in line to suffer from the Verducci Effect.

* Michael Pineda photo by Keith Allison [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons 
* Derek Holland photo by Keith Allison [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Monday, 2 April 2012

Fantasy Baseball Podcast - April 1, 2012

New fantasy baseball podcast available with guest host, "The Fantasy Doctor". Click on the top icon below to visit the podcast website (listen live or download). Or click on the bottom icon below to visit the podcast page at iTunes.