Just a quickie again today, folks. Time constraints have a hold on me again today, so as much as I would love to ooh and aah about some killer young starting pitching, I’m going to have to keep it brief. One thing that I will reiterate to all you fantasy hounds out there is that if there’s one thing you can take away from yesterday and this first month of baseball, it’s that pitching will always be the deepest position out there, and if you do your due diligence prior to your draft, you can build yourself a spectacular pitching staff without having to invest in one of these top flight aces that will cost you an arm and a leg in bid dollars or a pick as high as the second or third round. We all know that offense wins fantasy championships, so if you load up on the big hitters first and then draft some of the better pitchers from the third or fourth tier or even lower, you can still come out ahead and win your league.
If you go to your league stats page and take a look at the year-to-date totals for the pitchers so far, yes, you’ll see the usual Roy Halladay, Justin Verlander and Jered Weaver sitting near the top of the list. But what you’ll also see are names like Tommy Milone, Brandon Beachy, Gio Gonzalez and even Bartolo Colon. In fact, according to CBS Sports, the top two pitchers, with respect to current fantasy value right now, are Jake Peavy and Kyle Lohse.
Now obviously it’s only the tail end of April and the cream always rises to the top, so while you’ll eventually see Halladay, Verlander and the rest of the usual suspects up top by mid-season and year’s end, you’re still going to see a number of, not so much unknowns, but lower-profile pitchers sitting up there in the rankings as well. Your preseason top 10 isn’t going to be your end of season top 10 and it’s those names that are scattered in between that are going to be the difference between winning your league and finishing somewhere in the middle of the pack. Think about it. Where’s Tim Lincecum going to fall in all of this? Certainly a top 10 pitcher going into the year, right? As of right now, he’s not even in the top 50 and is going to need one heck of a turnaround to climb back up to the top end of the rankings. Do you think his owners are happy with their investment?
I’m certainly not saying that you should ignore aces altogether. If someone offers you someone like Verlander in a deal and the trade helps make your team better, well then you do it. But unless you botched your draft so badly that the only thing that will save your pitching is to sell the farm for a handful of aces, then you don’t need to seek them out. Study the numbers of the lesser-known names that are pitching well and use them to help keep your team afloat. Keep your offense strong and just be smart about the way you handle your pitching. You don’t need to win every pitching category to be successful. Just finish in the top half of the pack and let your offense to the talking.
|Carlos Gonzalez, OF COL||3-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI|
Speaking of offense talking….
In spite of some fantastic pitching performances on Tuesday, the accolades go to Carlos Gonzalez for finally getting off the schnide and hitting again like he’s supposed to hit. Remember, he started off just as poorly last year, if not a little worse, and he still managed to put up a 20-20 season. He’s never going to hit you over .330 for a season again, but he will manage to keep his average over .290 and with 20-plus home runs and 20-plus stolen bases, that’s all you even need. He’ll still provide top-flight value in the end.
|Mike Aviles, SS BOS||4-5, 3 R, HR, 2 RBI|
|Corey Hart, OF MIL||2-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI|
|Tommy Milone, SP OAK||W, 0.00 ERA, 0.38 WHIP, 5 K|
|David Price, SP TB||W, 0.00 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, 6 K|
|Yu Darvish, SP TEX||W, 0,00 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 10 K|
Gonna toss a quick pat on the back to Mike Aviles and Corey Hart for their wonderfully productive days on Tuesday. Both were fine contributors and are well-deserving of a spot in this section. But here’s the pitching we’ve been talking about. We all know what David Price is capable of and to watch him throw a complete game shutout of the Angels was just masterful. He’s one of the best lefties in the game with a sick 95 mph fastball, a nasty slider and just a big ol’ curve. But while that’s all fine and dandy, we also know that he is one of those that costs you a fairly high pick in your draft. But now Tommy Milone, that’s a different story. Undrafted in most leagues, Milone was dazzling as he kept the White Sox completely off-balance the entire game. And though his name isn’t listed here, I’ll throw an honorable mention to Gavin Floyd as he went toe to toe with Milone every step of the way and it was actually Matt Thornton who allowed the runners to score as the A’s won 2-0.
And then there’s Yu Darvish. Front and center, taking on the big, bad Yankees and walking away unscathed. A very impressive outing that saw him work his way out of a couple of jams (bases loaded with no outs at one point) and punch out 10 Yankees for what appears to be his best start of the season. Whether he’ll end up worth the ridiculous amount of money the rangers gave up for him is yet to be determined, but he’s well on his way to earning his keep.
|Howard Kendrick, 2B LAA||0-4, 3 K|
|Ian Desmond, SS WAS||0-4, 3 K|
|Ruben Tejada, 2B NYM||0-4, 3 K|
|Carlos Marmol, RP CHC||BS, 27.00 ERA, 6.00 WHIP|
|Nick Blackburn, SP MIN||L, 15.00 ERA, 3.00 WHIP, 2 K|
You have to expect days like this from a lot of the guys here, but the one that stands out the most is Carlos Marmol who blew another save on Tuesday. Now technically it’s only his second blown save of the season, but he has failed miserably in other late game situations as well. So far, in 5.2 innings of work he’s rocking a 6.35 ERA with a 1.94 WHIP. He’s been charged with one loss and has only one save to his credit. Now I don’t see the Cubs jumping to replace him with Kerry Wood just yet, but unless Marmol turns things around quickly, he’s going to lose himself a job soon.
Early starts today – 12:35pm (ET) to be exact – so check your lineups, make sure everyone’s healthy (Shin-Soo Choo owners, I’m talking to you!) and enjoy the day….
And don’t forget to come back later and check for Ray Flowers’ weekly installment as well…..
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