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Though it was a typical short slate of games Thursday, the night was jam-packed with big names and big stories. There was the much-anticipated match-up between Justin Verlander and Yu Darvish, Bryce Harper was back on the field to lend his support to teammate and fellow superstar Stephen Strasburg who was still looking for his first win since Opening Day, the Mariners were looking for their first series win at Yankee Stadium in what seemed like a bazillion years, and there were aces abound with the likes of Adam Wainwright, Jose Fernandez, Mat Latos and Matt Cain all taking the hill. Yet with all of that star power front and center and in the spotlight, none of it compared to what was actually my favorite part of the night.
Offense first – that’s what they say. Pitching may win championships in the real world, but this is fantasy baseball we’re talking about and in fantasy, it is a dominant offense that wins it for you. It’s said so many times that you would think it would be ingrained in people’s heads by now, yet we still see starting pitchers get taken in the first round and people reaching for “aces” faster than they really should. It’s an age old debate that leaves most scratching their heads as to how and why it is still even up for discussion. Well, if there were ever a day to prove the point for the pro-offense side of the argument, it was Sunday.
Why does it not surprise me? In so many ways, too. Why does it not surprise me one bit. I’ve spent so much of this week having to discuss Mets pitching, that this was just inevitable, I guess. Johan Santana threw a complete-game shutout against the Padres last Saturday, Dillon Gee has a 1.98 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 13.2 innings over his last two starts, and R.A. Dickey has killed it in his last two outings, going 2-0 with a 0.63 ERA and 21 strikeouts. The three of them have been absolutely masterful, helping both their ballclub and fantasy owners from all over. And by “all over” I mean the greater Flushing area, because who, outside of the die-hard Mets fans living in Queens, would have these guys on their fantasy roster. I mean, really.
I feel like I’m starting to sound like a broken record here, but you go where the action is, and the action is still in the bullpen. We spent most of Friday listening to how Mariano Rivera vowed to make it back…at least at some point…and how the White Sox were already putting Chris Sale back in the closer’s role in an effort to keep his sore elbow a little more fresh. You can pick up yesterday’s column if you want to hear again as to why I think that’s a mistake. But now we’re back in the bullpens again today as Heath Bell blows yet another save and Huston Street goes down with yet another injury. Raise your hand if you’ve got waiver priority and need another closer….because here they are…
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.
Welcome back to another edition of the Tuesday Top Ten list of relevant and newsworthy fantasy baseball stories. Now, without further adieu, here is the Tuesday Top Ten fantasy baseball headlines for August 9, 2011.
Plenty to talk about tonight as we begin week 3 of the fantasy baseball season in style. Tonight we saw some big name players go down with injuries, a couple big league performances from part time players and a young starting pitcher who just had to have some T-shirts from his local Macy's department store. We're also going to give out some updates on guys who have been on the disabled list all season and let you know what you can expect of them in the coming weeks. So let's get it on with the latest edition of Rounding The Bases...
Another season, another big time injury for Josh Hamilton and we will chronicle that as well as who is the man to replace him in that lineup. There is also more injury news from California and New York as well as a returning slugger in America's Heartland. From the pitching angle we have a great young pitching duel, a hot start that starts to cool, and one that keeps going pretty strong. And of course we also give you the top performers of the night. With all of this injury talk it is the perfect time to remind you to head to the home page and sign up for Fantasy Alarm and NEVER start a benched player again!