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While we were all preparing for the 2013 fantasy baseball season, I did a lot of work examining ADP rankings and many of the trends that were developing in both mock and real drafts right up until Opening Day. What I noticed was that a number of players who were receiving a lot of sleeper hype from the fantasy experts were climbing up draft boards at a fairly rapid rate and were, in my opinion, losing a lot of their value due to the unexpected increase in price you were paying for their services. They were the guys most of us coveted somewhere around the 18th round but were suddenly going as high as the eighth or ninth because the players went from unknown sleeper to mainstream selection. I called them the trendy picks and it’s now time to check in with some of them and see how their respective seasons are going.
We'll take a look at five pitchers who toed the rubber on Monday. What is the outlook of this five-some – Bedard, Cain, Capuano, Diamond and Tillman – the rest of the way? We'll then touch on two bullpen arms that are dominating – Street and Betancourt – before detailing a couple of other arms that are headed in opposite directions (Colon and Wilson). Don't worry fans of offense, we've also got a breakdown of Cespedes, LaHair and Rutledge for you.
When Todd Wilhelmsen closed out the ninth inning of the Mariners’ 1-0 win over the Dodgers, it wasn’t just another save chance for the 28-year old right-hander. The third and final out that he recorded put the Mariners in the MLB record books as the 10th team in major league history to throw a combined no-hitter and the second team to accomplish the feat with the most pitchers used – six – joining the 2003 Houston Astros who last threw a combined no-no against the New York Yankees. It was also the third no-hitter in Mariners history. Kevin Millwood started the action, throwing six no-hit innings, but was forced to leave the game afterwards due to a groin strain. Charlie Furbush and Stephen Pryor combined to finish the seventh inning, Lucas Luetge and Brandon League handled the eight and Wilhelmsen came in and with just nine pitches need, finished the job off with a perfect ninth.
Usually, you see it all in the show business world. A great comedian, a great singer, some fantastic band performs – it’s a phenomenal performance and the crowd goes absolutely nuts. A standing ovation followed up with, what could seem like an hour of straight cheers and applause. Moments like that aren’t necessarily rare, but when they happen, they stand out like a lone, bright star in a pitch black night. You never want to be the guy who follows that. Some comedian before you kills it, the pressure on you to perform up to those standards is ridiculous. One subpar joke and you’re finished. It’s the same with musical performances. If you follow one of those amazing moments, if you’re not perfect, you’re done.
“Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes…it rains.” Truer words were never spoken, especially if you were one of the many that was sucked into the hype of the C.J. Wilson/Yu Darvish match-up that was supposed to take place on Friday night. Though it was hardly Sandy Koufax vs Don Larsen, people were building the drama with constant talk of “the pitcher who left them and the guy who took his place.” For fans of the game, it was a marquee match-up, but for fantasy owners, it was really just another start.
Welcome to Bizarro baseball. While the anticipated debut of Yu Darvish was on everyone’s minds on Monday, the real excitement ended up coming from a very unlikely source. Barry Zito, the $126M albatross that hangs on the neck of the Giants organization and its fans, turned in a gutsy and vintage performance to help his team ruin the Colorado Rockies 2012 home opener. With the Giants seeking their first win of the season, Zito turned in a complete game, four-hit shutout with four strikeouts and no walks as the Giants offense went to town and pummeled the Rockies pitching for seven runs. Zito hurls a shutout? The Giants offense scores seven runs in a game? Bizarro baseball, indeed.
The weekly Top Ten list will now transition back to fantasy baseball as we approach the Super Bowl. Sure some of you still may be playing fantasy football playoff leagues or survivor pools, but most of you are now getting ready for baseball. Pitchers and catchers will be reporting to spring training in a month and fantasy magazines are hitting the newsstands. After an incredible end to the 2011 MLB season and a very entertaining World Series between the Cardinals and Rangers, everyone gets a clean slate and a fresh start. Part of starting anew is evaluating what changes have been made during the offseason. So, without further adieu, here are the Top Ten baseball offseason transactions (as of January 18, 2012) with the most fantasy implications.
Yes, it's true, the regular season of football is over, so now is the time to start focusing on the diamond. You may barely be over your New Year's Eve hangover, I know the seven Long Island's I pulled back on are still affecting my vision, but it's time to get to breaking down the 2012 fantasy baseball season. To do that I'll take a sweep around the landscape of the game and give some thoughts on the major players that have switched teams this offseason either by trade or through free agent signings. Did you overlook any of the moves due to drinking, lack of interest, or your intense focus on the fantasy football season?
We are approaching another weekend in the fantasy baseball season as the calendar gets ready to turn to August and the dog days of the season. Even though you feel lik you have a pretty good grasp on most everyone on your team, there are some guys who are either going to going to soar or swoon in the next two months. We have a rough injury in Colorado, and a guy breaking out in San Diego. We have two pitchers and a hitter who have scorched it in the first half and I will tell you what to expect the rest of the way. There is that news and more in tonight's version of Rounding The Bases.