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Holy offensive explosion! No, I’m not talking about the effect of eating too much Indian food on my delicate constitution; I’m talking about the big bats that were being swung recently. There were 37 home runs hit Wednesday and while that doesn’t even come close to the record (62 set in 2002), it’s still a whole lot of power and big offensive category boosts for a number of fantasy owners. If you had the right make-up of guys, you were probably in hog heaven as the hits just kept coming all night. That’s not to say that there weren’t some real nice pitching performances, but the hitters took stage, front and center, and shined ridiculously bright.
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.
It's just past the quarter pole of the 2013 major league baseball season, so now is a good time to place the pace game. Where you aware that the struggling guy you hate really isn't struggling as badly as you thought? Or how about will that guy who has been all over the leader board – is it reasonable to expect his early season pace to continue on for the next 115+ games? We'll explore these thoughts and, hopefully, wake up from a slumber that has you missing some solid performances as well as alerting you to the fact that some of those hot starters you've been riding to a top spot in the standings might just be getting ready for a major slow down.
It’s been a fairly rough week for yours truly here, not just in real life (hence the absence for the majority of the week), but in the fantasy racket as well. Injuries have been absolutely brutal to all of my fantasy teams during this young season and Friday turned out to be yet another dark and dismal day in my attempts to climb back into contention. Obviously there’s plenty more to come, but when your team is sitting in a relatively deep hole and you continue to lose players faster than you are getting them back, the fantasy doldrums seem a lot like a permanent residence than just a temporary situation.
It was the great Terrence Mann who once said, “The one constant through all the years…has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time.” I know exactly where I was when I heard the news that Thurman Munson, my childhood idol, died in a plane crash. I had my first real kiss during the summer of the year Cal Ripken, Jr. won the Rookie of the Year award. Craig Biggio’s MLB debut was on the TV as I sat in the hospital waiting room following the worst car accident I’ve ever been in. A strike robbed the Montreal Expos of a probable World Series championship the year I met my wife and Albert Pujols won his first title the year we got married. So when I sat there watching Andy Pettitte pitch eight innings of one-run ball to shut down the Red Sox and Mariano Rivera closed it out for the team’s first win of the season, I have to admit, it felt a little strange as I knew I was literally watching the end of an era.
I definitely enjoyed Ray Flowers’ article the other day in which he broke down a number of the pitching performances from some of the aces we saw on Opening Day. There were, obviously, a number of names we expected to see, such as Justin Verlander and Stephen Strasburg, but we were also treated to some outstanding performances from guys like Jeff Samardzija, Jhoulys Chacin and even Ricky Nolasco. While you shouldn’t expect to see some of these guys pitching at that level each and every time out, their performances do give credence to the belief that starting pitching is crazy deep and you can, in fact, build a winning pitching staff without investing heavily in one of the top aces out there.
Some serious apologies to those still stopping by the Rounding the Bases blog only to find a major lack of content lately. I had taken a few days off last week and we’re at that point in the year where we’re all transitioning to the fantasy football side for the upcoming NFL season. That’s not to say that we’re abandoning baseball coverage, but we are scaling it back a bit with just a month to go.
Another day closer to the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline and another day of deals done in the books. Tuesday didn’t seem as big or action-packed, but maybe that’s just being de-sensitized from the action from the day before. Because while maybe the deals weren’t as involved (or player-heavy, I should say), there were still some big names changing teams and the impact, both in reality and in fantasy, could be huge. Let’s take a look at what we’ve got…
Apologies if your Sunday breakfast was not complete without your daily fix of Rounding the Bases, but circumstances beyond my control kept me from delivering the daily fantasy baseball chatter you’ve grown to love this season. Somehow, some way, I know you’ll understand, so rather than dwell on it, let’s just get to the news and events from Sunday. With so much to talk about, we’re going to bounce all over the place here, so try to keep up…
With Evan Longoria out of action for up to two months with a hamstring issue, who can you turn to in an effort to give your corner infield spot a boost? Also, we'll have an update on two injured Rangers' sluggers - Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre - an a soon to be returning power hitter for Padres.