Archive for March, 2008

American League East Preview

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

1. New York Yankees

Offense: The Yankees led Major League Baseball last season in runs scored (by 76), batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. That’s pretty good, especially when you consider their ballpark is very tough on right-handed hitters. Even though Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada can’t be expected to repeat last year’s numbers, Robinson Cano, Melky Cabrera and Johnny Damon should all show improvement in an absolutely loaded lineup. With Wilson Betemit, Shelley Duncan and Morgan Ensberg, New York also possesses a deep bench. With Joe Torre’s corpse out of town, the team might actually show some passion this season as well.

Pitching: It’s not a great rotation, but with Chien-Ming Wang, Phil Hughes, Andy Pettitte and Ian Kennedy, it should be good enough to let the offense win games. Hughes’ returned velocity is terrific news for the franchise. If Joba Chamberlain joins the rotation after the All-Star break, the pitching might even become a major positive. Expect Mariano Rivera to lose a full run off last year’s ERA.

Outlandish fantasy prediction: Robinson Cano turns in a .310-25-110-120 season.

2. Boston Red Sox (wild card)

Offense: The Red Sox allowed the fewest runs in baseball last year. Factoring in ballpark effects and their division, there might not have been a more impressive statistic. Their offense scored the fourth most runs, and that was with Manny Ramirez missing 30 games and finishing with his lowest OPS since his rookie season. Despite the media insisting David Ortiz had a down year, 2007 was actually the best season of his career. While Mike Lowell is going to regress, Boston can reasonably expect much better production from Julio Lugo, J.D. Drew, Ramirez and their center fielder. It’s a very good lineup.

Pitching: The bullpen is a strength, but Boston’s starting rotation has its problems, starting with the enigmatic Dice-K. His lack of command makes him an unreliable bet to reach the seventh inning on any given night. Jon Lester and Tim Wakefield are decent back-end options, but Clay Buchholz is the key. He’s going to be special, but that still likely means an up-and-down 2008. Josh Beckett, one of the greatest postseason performers in the history of the sport, needs to stay healthy. If he a does, a Cy Young type season is likely to follow.

Outlandish fantasy prediction: Julio Lugo swipes 50 bags.

3. Toronto Blue Jays

Offense: Although Toronto would likely win the AL West, it’s once again destined for a third place finish stuck in the ultra-competitive East. The lineup isn’t that impressive, and it’ll take healthy seasons from Frank Thomas and Vernon Wells for it to even approach average. Lyle Overbay should bounce back, and Aaron Hill could challenge for the league-lead in homers at his position. Alex Rios is the team’s best hope of any hitter reaching a .900 OPS.

Pitching: Although B.J. Ryan can’t be counted on, Roy Halladay, A.J. Burnett and Dustin McGowan form a top-3 with the most upside of any staff in baseball. Of course, Burnett’s health is a huge question mark, but he’s pitching with his eyes on a big contract next season, so he’ll be plenty motivated. During the second half of 2007, McGowan had a 2:1 G/F ratio, the second lowest BAA in baseball and a 2.89 ERC. However, an increased workload is something that needs to be monitored.

Outlandish fantasy prediction: Dustin McGowan finishes as the Blue Jays’ most valuable pitcher.

4. Tampa Bay Rays

Offense: There isn’t another team in all of baseball better set up for the future. Still, there will be growing pains in 2008, and it’s a major obstacle playing in the AL East. The defense should be much improved with Jason Bartlett at short and B.J. Upton in center, but the recent demotion of Evan Longoria for financial purposes only shows the franchise still just doesn’t get it. Carlos Pena isn’t going to hit a home run every 10.7 at-bats again, but he’s here to stay as a legitimate power force. He strikes out too often to be any better than a .280 hitter, but his isolated power reveals a true slugger; he’s among the favorites to finish in the top 3-5 in HRs in MLB this season. R.I.P. Rocco Baldelli.

Pitching: The Scott Kazmir injury is a killer; hopefully, it’s a minor setback, as the club would much rather him miss a month or two this season and have him healthy when the youngsters are ready in a year or two than the alternative, which features a knife and Dr. James Andrews. The bullpen is a weakness, but Kazmir is a legit ace in the making, and James Shields is a solid No. 2. There isn’t a franchise more loaded with pitching talent in the minors than Tampa Bay.

Outlandish fantasy prediction: Boss Junior is the next member of the 40/40 club.

5. Baltimore Orioles

Offense: Not a lot to like here, but at least Matt Wieters, Nick Markakis and Pacman Jones give the team some hope for the future. Luis Hernandez is probably the worst hitter in baseball, while Kevin Millar is the worst cleanup hitter in the game. Jones could easily approach a 20/20 season in 2008, but he has a ton of work to do as a center fielder, despite having the athleticism to be a gold glover.

Pitching: The Orioles’ rotation is a mess, especially since Jeremy Guthrie is due for a major regression in 2008. I’m not sure if the Leo Mazzone chicken and egg quandary was ever answered, but his stock certainly can’t be looked at the same after his tenure in Baltimore. Odds are Daniel Cabrera’s top-notch stuff never results into an above average pitcher, but he’s the most likely undrafted fantasy pitcher to finish in the top-15.

Outlandish fantasy prediction: Nick Markakis is a top-20 player.

American League West Preview

Saturday, March 29th, 2008

1. Los Angeles Angels

Offense: The loss of John Lackey and Kelvim Escobar combined with Seattle’s addition of Erik Bedard makes this a competitive division, if not also the weakest in baseball. For a team that usually considers pitching its strength, the Angels actually scored the sixth most runs in baseball last season. Vladimir Guerrero’s body is beginning to break down, but he’s still an elite hitter. Torii Hunter improves the defense and gives the Angels some nice depth, but he’s not a big difference maker – he has a career OBP of .324. Still, Howie Kendrick and Casey Kotchman should really break out this season, giving Anaheim just enough offense to once again secure the AL West.

Pitching: All the injuries to the pitching staff make the Orlando Cabrera for Jon Garland deal look less bad, and Jered Weaver is ready to become the ace of the staff. One of these years, Ervin Santana is going to put it all together and deliver a fine season, and it might very well be in 2008. Joe Saunders worked hard over the offseason and makes a decent back-end guy, but Scot Shields looks finished as an elite setup man. It’s a good thing Anaheim had depth, because Escobar’s career is in serious jeopardy, and Lackey really can’t be counted on right now.

Outlandish fantasy prediction: Howie Kendrick wins the AL batting crown.

2. Seattle Mariners

Offense: Seattle had a better record than team last year, but with Erik Bedard in town and a crumbling Angels squad, the Mariners enter 2008 with eyes toward winning the AL West. However, the offense is not very good, especially if Adrian Beltre’s wrist injury proves troublesome. Richie Sexson bouncing back would go a long way toward rectifying that problem, but at age 33, he’s clearly in decline. Jose Vidro isn’t a bad hitter, but a .394 slugging percentage from your DH is unacceptable.

Pitching: Seattle potentially has baseball’s best one-two punch in Bedard and Felix Hernandez, but their 3-5 is pretty ugly, although Jarrod Washburn has been impressive this spring. Bedard has gotten off to a rocky start in Seattle, both with the media and on the mound, but he has 300-strikeout potential. He’s never reached 200 innings in a season during his career, but none of the injuries have been arm related, and they have kept his workload down. Kenji Johjima’s fault or not, Hernandez still needs to improve his command. However, the fact he has great strikeout potential is one thing; the fact he accompanied that with a 2.67 G/F ratio is quite another. It’s really a mystery why he’s been so hittable. Only health can stop King Felix from winning multiple Cy Young awards.

Outlandish fantasy prediction: Felix Hernandez goes 18-8 with a 2.98 ERA and 210 Ks.

3. Oakland A’s

Offense: Although the A’s are clearly in rebuild mode and are projected to be cellar dwellers by most, it should surprise no one if they were still in the AL West mix come August. Of course, that would take the unlikely scenario of a full season from Rich Harden, as well as Joe Blanton and Huston Street staying put. Billy Beane deserves all the credit in the world, but he was mistaken when he chose Eric Chavez as the one guy to keep long-term. Bobby Crosby isn’t going to ever win that MVP the ESPN talking heads predicted, but he could surprise in 2008. The same could be said for Chris Denorfia and Travis Buck. Jack Cust leaves little up to chance, as he’s a big proponent of the game’s three true outcomes.

Pitching: Like Mark Prior, health has prevented Harden from compiling multiple Cy Young awards on his shelf; he has top-5 stuff in the game. His impressive outing against Boston earlier this week makes him more of a sell-high candidate in fantasy leagues than it does reliable, but he’d likely be a top-10 pitcher if he somehow reached 190 innings. Three years from now, a rotation featuring Harden, Gio Gonzalez, Fautino de los Santos and Brett Anderson will make the A’s World Series contenders.

Outlandish fantasy prediction: Jack Cust clubs 40 homers.

4. Texas Rangers

Offense: The Rangers will undoubtedly finish with a top-10 offense, but their pitching will ultimately lead to another disappointing record. Milton Bradley will rake in between DL stints, Hank Blalock should approach 100-RBI hitting cleanup, and Ian Kinsler could go 20/30. Josh Hamilton is a truly special talent, and what he’s come back from is nothing short of remarkable.

Pitching: Ironically, Texas pitched much better at home (4.29 ERA) than on the road (5.25 ERA) last season. They enter 2008 as the favorites to finish with the worst team ERA in all of baseball. Of course, their home park doesn’t help, but neither does the lack of talent. Not one starter can be safely projected with an ERA of less than 4.50. The bullpen isn’t much better either.

Outlandish fantasy prediction: Josh Hamilton leads the American League in home runs.

National League Central Preview

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

1. Milwaukee Brewers

Offense: The NL Central was the Brewers’ to lose last season, and although they did just that, they enter 2008 with a much improved team. Remember, last year they didn’t get full seasons from any of Ben Sheets, Ryan Braun, Corey Hart, Rickie Weeks and Yovani Gallardo. The Mike Cameron addition also upgraded the outfield. Fielder, Braun, and Hart form one the league’s best heart of the orders, and Weeks is also capable of posting a .900 OPS season. The team defense should be exponentially better this year as well.

Pitching: Sheets could still win the Cy Young one day, and his strikeout rate did return after a lackluster April last season, but the odds are stacked against him reaching 180 innings at this point. He is pitching for a contract, but so far his body has really failed him. He’s the single most important aspect of the Brewers’ 2008 season. Yovani Gallardo’s knee injury may be a blessing in disguise, as it’d be in Milwaukee’s best interest if he didn’t eclipse 180-190 innings this season anyway. As long as he doesn’t alter his mechanics to compensate, he should be an excellent starter for years to come. Jeff Suppan is one of the most overpaid players in the game, and David Bush’s peripherals just don’t lead to good ERAs, but Manny Parra gives the Brewers a top-3 that will be formidable come October.

Outlandish fantasy prediction: Rickie Weeks goes 30/30.

2. Chicago Cubs

Offense: The Cubs have a solid team, but it’s not exactly a powerhouse, and they are pretty thin up the middle. Aramis Ramirez is Chicago’s best hitter, but he has durability concerns, and Alfonso Soriano’s leg issues are becoming an issue. Kosuke Fukudome has a great name and should post a solid OBP, but Geovany Soto is hardly a lock to even resemble the hitter he was last season. He could be a big disappointment.

Pitching: A terrific spring has eased concerns regarding Carlos Zambrano’s sinking K rate and mileage on his arm, but he still needs to learn command in order to reach his potential. Rich Hill and Ted Lilly are solid No. 2 and No. 3 guys, but after that, it’s pray for rain. Maybe Jon Lieber emerges as a decent back of the rotation option, but the Cubs plan on entering the season relying on both Jason Marquis and Ryan Dempster to fill that role, something that should cost them plenty of games. The bullpen, however, should be a strength.

Outlandish fantasy prediction: Carlos Zambrano finishes as a top-10 starter.

3. Cincinnati Reds

Offense: Now here’s a sleeper team, Dusty Baker notwithstanding. Jay Bruce, Joey Votto and Homer Bailey aren’t quite ready, but the future most certainly looks bright in Cincinnati. Brandon Phillips and Ken Griffey Jr. will be hard pressed to repeat what they did last season, but Edwin Encarnacion should finally break out, and Adam Dunn will be clogging up the bases all season long. Next year, they might be the favorites to win the division.

Pitching: Aaron Harang’s workload is concerning, but Bronson Arroyo was unlucky last year, so expect a bounce back campaign in 2008. Moreover, Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez (and later Bailey) give the rotation serious upside, and both are capable of posting sub-4 ERAs as soon as this year, even with the home park against them. When pitching outside of Milwaukee, Francisco Cordero posted a 6.55 ERA and 1.55 WHIP last season, so it seemed a little short-sighted to hand $46 million to someone who will factor in to about four percent of the Reds’ innings this year.

Outlandish fantasy prediction: Corey Patterson steals 50 bases.

4. Houston Astros

Offense: Houston has some nice pieces, and the lineup should be improved with the Miguel Tejada addition and a full season from Hunter Pence, but there are also some pretty big holes in the lineup. Kaz Matsui had a line of .249/.304/.333 outside of Coors Field last year, Ty Wigginton is one of the game’s weaker hitting third baseman, and although Michael Bourn is an extremely valuable fantasy commodity, he’s not much of an asset to the Astros. Tejada and Lance Berkman are also entering the decline phases of their careers.

Pitching: Speaking of decline, Roy Oswalt falls directly into that category as well. Even if he halts that trend, Houston sports quite possibly baseball’s worst 2-5 starters. Last year’s 4.68 team ERA is only going to get worse. Jose Valverde is unhittable when on, but the rest of the bullpen is pretty shaky. This franchise needs to start from scratch.

Outlandish fantasy prediction: Roy Oswalt isn’t a top-30 starter.

5. St. Louis Cardinals

Offense: How the mighty have fallen. In the Cards’ Opening Day lineup, five hitters will have a career OPS of .730 or (much) lower. Troy Glaus, Chris Duncan and Rick Ankiel do provide some punch to go along with Albert Pujols, but they’ll also provide a ton of strikeouts. If this team is in fifth place come July, it would make an awful lot of sense for Pujols to just get it over with and go under the knife.

Pitching: Adam Wainwright, who had a 2.71 ERA and 1.25 WHIP after the All-Star break last season, is developing into a fine pitcher to lead the staff. At least St. Louis didn’t get ripped off by Atlanta in that deal. With Chris Carpenter, Joel Pineiro, Mark Mulder and Matt Clement residing on the DL, the rest of the rotation is a mess. It’s unclear if Anthony Reyes is dating Dave Duncan’s daughter, but for some reason, the two have a tension-filled relationship, leading to the team’s second most talented starter relegated to long-relief, despite his impressive spring.

Outlandish fantasy prediction: Anthony Reyes gets traded and flourishes.

6. Pittsburgh Pirates

Offense: There’s not much to like here. Jason Bay should bounce back, and Nate McLouth should upgrade center field, but there’s little punch to this lineup. Xavier Nady is a candidate to get dealt, Freddy Sanchez’s shoulder is still a concern, and the left side of the infield is the most unproductive in baseball. For whatever reason, Adam LaRoche is a career .184/.282/.354 hitter during April.

Pitching: It’d be nice if Ian Snell further developed a third pitch, but he’s an ace in the making nevertheless. Tom Gorzelanny is a decent enough No. 3 or 4 starter, but he’s acting as Pitt’s No. 2, and his 3.88 ERA last season was a fluke. Last year’s deadline deal to acquire Matt Morris was a microcosm of the poorly run franchise. Morris, the team’s highest paid player, had a hideous 29:22 K:BB ratio over 62 innings in Pittsburgh. Matt Capps has to be considered a top-10 fantasy closer.

Outlandish fantasy prediction: Ian Snell is a more valuable pitcher than Roy Oswalt, finishing with 200 strikeouts.

National League East Preview

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

1. New York Mets

Offense: Over the last couple of years, the Mets have gone from a team loaded with offensive talent that just got by with their starting staff to a franchise entering 2008 relying on pitching. It’s not that the offense isn’t good, but it’s an aging group, with Carlos Delgado and Moises Alou no longer reliable. Neither is Luis Castillo or the catching situation. Still, David Wright and Carlos Beltran are elite hitters, and Jose Reyes should have a better season than last year. Ryan Church will be an asset against righties, and New York will take nothing for granted after last season’s historical collapse.

Pitching: The Johan Santana acquisition made the Mets the NL’s frontrunner, and a healthy looking Pedro Martinez this spring only solidified that. Oliver Perez is still erratic, but he’s pitching for a contract and combines with John Maine to form a deep rotation. The fifth starter role is murky, as Orlando Hernandez appears done, and Mike Pelfrey is perpetually disappointing. However, that won’t matter come October, and the bullpen is solid enough.

Outlandish fantasy prediction: Pedro Martinez finishes 2008 as one of the 15 most valuable pitchers.

2. Atlanta Braves (Wild Card)

Offense: After the Braves’ impressive division title run finally came to an end, a rebuilding process seemed inevitable. Apparently, that process was extremely short-lived, as Atlanta enters 2008 with a roster capable of reaching the World Series. Of course, it’s also a team that’s going to rely on health more than most. Top to bottom, the Braves have the most rounded lineup in the National League. Chipper Jones is sure to miss 20-30 games, but he’s still one of the game’s top-5 hitters when in the batter’s box. A full season of Mark Teixeira, the continued maturation of Kelly Johnson and Yunel Escobar and bigger things from Brian McCann and Jeff Francoeur should lead to plenty of runs put on the board. Matt Diaz is one of the better hitters no one talks about, and while Mark Kotsay is done, Atlanta’s farm system is capable of improving center field later on.

Pitching: John Smoltz’s health means everything. He doesn’t think his latest case of shoulder soreness is serious, but it’s clear his career has an expiration date approaching. Tim Hudson has followed up a superb 2007 with a terrific spring, so it looks like he’s truly back to form. Tom Glavine fills the role of the proverbial “innings-eater,” while Chuck James and Jair Jurrjens provide solid depth. Anything the team can get out of Mike Hampton is gravy. The bullpen, however, is in big trouble if Rafael Soriano goes down.

Outlandish fantasy prediction: Jeff Francoeur drives in 125 runs.

3. Philadelphia Phillies

Offense: Despite Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Shane Victorino missing a combined 79 games due to injury, the Phillies led the NL in runs scored last season, finishing only behind the Yankees in all of baseball. Jimmy Rollins is likely to regress, but the addition of Pedro Feliz improves the defense, and better health should result in yet another potent lineup. Howard set an MLB record with 199 strikeouts despite a DL-stint, but he’s the favorite to lead the league in HRs and RBI nevertheless. If every team in MLB held a draft from scratch, Utley would be a first round pick.

Pitching: Cole Hamels and Brett Myers have the potential to form the best front-end of a rotation in the game, and if Hamels somehow reaches 200 innings, he’d be a major threat to win the Cy Young; his changeup is one of the five best pitches in baseball. However, Jamie Moyer, Kyle Kendrick and Adam Eaton form a downright ugly bottom of the rotation. It’s a major team weakness that will ultimately be their downfall. I’m setting the over/under on Eaton’s ERA at 6.0. The bullpen is also quite shaky, led by the flappable Brad Lidge.

Outlandish fantasy prediction: Brett Myers wins 20 games.

4. Washington Nationals

Offense: Nationals GM Jim Bowden is a man after my own heart, compiling unproven offensive talent with tons of upside, character issues be damned. Elijah Dukes and Lastings Milledge aren’t going to win any humanitarian awards anytime soon, but combined with Austin Kearns and eventually Wily Mo Pena, this outfield could be potent. With Ryan Zimmerman ready to bust out and Nick Johnson back in action, the Nationals aren’t going to finish last in runs scored like they did last season, especially with the move out of RFK Stadium. However, I’m beginning to think Felipe Lopez just isn’t a very good hitter.

Pitching: John Patterson, the team’s would-be Opening Day starter, was cut; so naturally, Odalis Perez, who they just recently signed, gets the nod. Yes, the rotation is a complete mess. Even in NL-only leagues, it’s doubtful any of the five starters will be usable throughout the season. They also won’t have the benefit of RFK, which suppressed homers more than any other stadium in the league last year.

Outlandish fantasy prediction: Lastings Milledge turns in a 25/20 campaign, helping win many fantasy titles – and our hearts.

5. Florida Marlins

Offense: Refusing to spend money, the Marlins are seemingly always in rebuilding mode. That is, when they aren’t winning the World Series, of course. With Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis now gone, Florida truly is starting from scratch, and Cameron Maybin, the centerpiece of the deal, isn’t ready to help the big club. Hanley Ramirez is one of the best offensive players in the game, and he’ll need another monster year for the Marlins to approach mediocrity. Jeremy Hermida has a bunch of talent, but he’s more likely to disappoint again than he is to finally reach expectations.

Pitching: Despite the pitcher’s park, Florida finished with the NL’s worst ERA last season (4.94). Their 1.58 WHIP was the worst in baseball. While the Dontrelle Willis trade might result in addition by subtraction, injuries to Josh Johnson and Anibal Sanchez really set back a once promising young rotation. So did Scott Olsen’s regression. Still, Olsen has the stuff to be a successful major league pitcher, and Andrew Miller is a future ace, so there is some long-term potential here. Just not much in 2008.

Outlandish fantasy prediction: Scott Olsen puts it together and is a viable option even in shallow mixed leagues.

National League West Preview

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

By Dalton Del Don – Senior Writer

1. Los Angeles Dodgers

Offense: Whether Joe Torre can mix and match the right playing time and lineup decisions remains to be seen, but what isn’t up for debate is the fact the Dodgers are filled with young offensive talent. Third base is a hole with the injury to Andy LaRoche, but Rafael Furcal should bounce back with a big year, and James Loney and Matt Kemp provide big upside. A Juan Pierre trade would be for the best, and Andruw Jones showing up to camp out of shape after last year’s disaster isn’t great news, but this offense looks much improved from last season.

Pitching: While the Dodgers lack a true ace, it’s a starting rotation that’s very deep, especially with the way Hiroki Kuroda has looked this spring. Los Angeles should expect very little from Jason Schmidt, but with Brad Penny, Derek Lowe and Chad Billingsley, the Dodgers have four starters capable of posting sub-4 ERAs, even if Billingsley is another year or two away from reaching his potential. With Clayton Kershaw waiting in the wings, this staff could be dominant come the second half of the season. And with Takashi Saito, Jonathan Broxton, Scott Proctor and Jonathan Meloan, they have a loaded bullpen as well. The Dodgers have the talent to make a World Series run in 2008.

Outlandish fantasy prediction: Jonathan Broxton finishes with more saves than Takashi Saito.

2. Arizona Diamondbacks

Offense: Pythagorean’s nightmare, the Diamondbacks had the National League’s best record and reached the NLCS last season despite being outscored by 20 runs. They also finished with the worst batting average (.250) and OBP (.321) in the NL. In fact, not one single hitter posted even an .850 OPS, unless you count pitcher Micah Owings (1.033). The reason for their success despite the counterintuitive statistics? Thirty-two 1-run victories, which can’t be counted on again. Still, it’s a very young offense that should show improvement in 2008, maybe even by a wide margin, making them playoff contenders.

Pitching: With a top-3 of Brandon Webb, Dan Haren and Randy Johnson, Arizona’s front-end rotation can match any team in baseball. Of course, health will play a big role, as Johnson is once again coming off back surgery and is now 44 years old. And while Webb and Haren have been workhorses throughout their careers, they are two of the most overworked pitchers over the past few seasons, making them prime candidates to break down. The back-end of the rotation is pretty thin, although Max Scherzer may solve that post All-Star break. Despite no big names, Arizona’s bullpen should actually be an asset. Fun fact – Juan Cruz had 12.8K/9 IP last season.

Outlandish fantasy prediction: Brandon Lyon loses the closer’s role by May.

3. San Diego Padres

Offense: The Padres finished 2007 with the second worst BA and OBP in the NL. Part of it can be blamed on a lackluster roster, but Petco Park played a major role as well; San Diego hit a paltry .235 with a .310 OBP at home, both MLB-worsts. The infield is set, with Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Kouzmanoff prime candidates for big seasons, but the outfield might be the worst in baseball. The Padres’ lack of offense will once again be the team’s downfall.

Pitching: While the batters loath hitting in Petco Park, the confines are quite conducive to pitching; San Diego finished with a remarkable 3.02 ERA and 1.16 WHIP at home last season. Jake Peavy is one of the game’s two best pitchers, but he’s also likely to require at least one DL-stint this year. Chris Young should be in the Cy Young mix if he can reach 200 innings for the first time in his career – he had a component ERA of 2.35 in 2007, making him the unluckiest pitcher in baseball. Greg Maddux is a solid No. 3, while Randy Wolf and Mark Prior give the back-end of the rotation some upside. The bullpen should be solid, but this might finally be the year when Trevor Hoffman falls off a cliff.

Outlandish fantasy prediction: Chris Young is a more productive fantasy player than Jake Peavy.

4. Colorado Rockies

Offense: Despite entering September sitting in fourth place in their own division, the Rockies represented the National League in the World Series in 2007. Still, a late-season hot streak doesn’t transform an average franchise into a perennial title contender. Colorado does have plenty of young talent, and it’s a ballclub clearly moving in the right direction, but it’s awfully tough competing in a solid division and always having to score so many runs. The Rockies did improve their hitting on the road last season, which is a great sign for the future. Still, Matt Holliday, Troy Tulowitzki and Brad Hawpe are all likely to regress this season.

Pitching: Colorado plays terrific defense and boasts an underrated bullpen, but pitching in Coors Field can really take its toll. The more runs scored, the more pitches thrown, and the bullpen is often asked to enter games earlier than preferred. Franklin Morales and Ubaldo Jimenez have bright futures, but growing pains should be expected in 2008. Last season’s 4.32 team ERA wasn’t egregious all things considered, but the accompanying 1.9:1 K:BB ratio reveals they might have been a little lucky.

Outlandish fantasy prediction: Willy Taveras steals 60 bases.

5. San Francisco Giants

Offense: Only the Nationals scored fewer runs than the Giants last season, and no team had a worse slugging percentage (.387). And that was with the NL-leader in OPS in the heart of the lineup. With no Bonds around (we’ll miss you Barry!), San Francisco isn’t only fielding the worst lineup in baseball, but one that could also be historically bad. Their current cleanup hitter, Bengie Molina, posted a .298 OBP last year and boasts a career .411 slugging percentage. Brian Sabean also thought it’d be a good idea to give $60 million to an injury-prone 30-year-old with a career .805 OPS. Their projected regular starting infield had an average OPS of .660 last season.

Pitching: Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum are two future aces with very bright outlooks, giving the Giants an enviable top of the rotation for years to come. Or until Sabean deals one of them for A.J. Peirzynski or Shea Hillenbrand. Barry Zito, who quietly posted a 2.63 ERA and 0.98 WHIP over the final two months last year, could settle in as a decent No. 3. Still, he’s looked brutal this spring and averages the slowest fastball in all of baseball these days. On the plus side, there’s just six years remaining on his $126 million deal. The chances of Noah Lowry repeating a sub-4 ERA with a 1:1 K:BB ratio are about as good as Sabean getting the better end of a trade – slim to none. The only reason the Giants get a fifth place finish is because there aren’t more teams in the division.

Outlandish fantasy prediction: Rajai Davis steals 35 bases.

The Scoop

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

By Dalton Del Don – Senior Writer

Yunel Escobar will go down as one of the best value picks when looking back at the 2008 fantasy season. He may not offer huge power or speed potential, but he’s a legitimate .300 hitter who will be batting second in a potent lineup. Also, he’s slugging .692 this spring, so a jump in homers is possible. If you take J.J. Hardy or Khalil Greene ahead of him, you’re certifiably insane. No offense.

Is there a more overrated player than Vernon Wells? He’s had exactly two good seasons during his career and has a lifetime .776 OPS versus righties. Sure, last year’s struggles can be blamed on the bum shoulder, but his .405 slugging this spring makes you question whether he’ll be back to 100 percent anytime soon.

Am I the only one who thinks Bobby Knight is doing a fantastic job as an analyst?

Justin Verlander should be treated like a top-5 fantasy pitcher. His K rate is climbing and his walk rate continues to decline; great signs for the 25-year-old. He has a top-3 offense supporting him and hasn’t been overworked like C.C. Sabathia and Brandon Webb. In fact, I’d much prefer him to Sabathia, who tossed nearly 260 innings last year if you count his postseason work; he had never reached 200 before then.

Edwin Encarnacion is ending up on the majority of my teams. Apparently, most aren’t grouping him with Alex Gordon, Adrian Beltre, etc. like I am. Yes, he keeps failing to live up to expectations, but he’s still just 25 years old and hit .337 over the final two months last year, including nine homers and 14 doubles. He also has 15-steal ability. He’s a candidate to really break out in 2008.

Brian Wilson has been one of the most consistently underrated players in fantasy drafts this spring. With a plus fastball and hard slider, the former Beach Boy has legitimate strikeout potential. He showed improved command over the second half last year and has a 9:1 K:BB ratio over 8.2 spring innings. And avoiding closers on bad teams is a common mistake; Mariano Rivera (the Yankees) had the fewest amount of save opportunities in baseball last year.

John Patterson was flat-out released? I’m guessing the Nationals aren’t too optimistic his velocity will return anytime soon. Of course, he still probably throws harder than Barry Zito.

Although I loved the story and have followed Josh Hamilton’s career since the beginning, I largely undervalued him because of durability concerns and an inability to hit lefties. And I’m already regretting it. The guy is slugging .972 this spring! His OPS stands at a respectable 1.572. He still comes with plenty of risk, but his upside is clearly immense.

Chris Young is my dark horse pick to win the Cy Young this season. I know – he can’t finish a season, always wears down and has never reached even 180 innings in a season. Still, this is someone who had a 1.83 ERA and 0.99 WHIP when July ended last year. He could work on being more efficient – he’s “led” the league in pitches per AB in each of the past two years – but none of his injuries have ever been arm related, and he worked with a physical therapist all winter in hopes of overcoming his back issues. Despite rarely reaching more than 90 mph with his heater, it looks a whole lot faster coming from his 6-10 frame. The abnormally low BABIPs also seem to be sustainable since he’s largely a flyball pitcher, and Petco Park certainly helps. He’s a top-10 fantasy starter.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia is possibly headed to Triple-A, and J.R. Towles looks likely to be batting eighth this season – all the more reason to target catchers early. Joe Mauer and Brian McCann should be gone by the end of the third round.

Daniel Cabrera is my favorite last round pick right now. Everyone is officially fed up with him, so he’ll likely be available then, and he does still possess one of the five best arms in baseball. Pitchers develop later than hitters, and remember he’s still just 26. Sometimes the light goes on all at once with hurlers. His walk rate did drop from 6.3 BB/9 in 2006 to 4.8 BB/9 last year. Of course, both are wholly unacceptable, but it is “baby steps” (“What About Bob” is criminally underrated). Odds are you’ll end up dropping him come May, but these are the type of home run fliers you should be taking over boring options like Tom Glavine.

Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

1. Johan Santana
2. Jake Peavy

3. Erik Bedard
4. Josh Beckett
5. Justin Verlander
6. Cole Hamels
7. Brandon Webb
8. C.C. Sabathia

9. Chris Young
10. John Smoltz
11. Carlos Zambrano
12. Felix Hernandez
13. Matt Cain
14. Tim Lincecum
15. Aaron Harang
16. Dan Haren
17. Yovani Gallardo
18. Roy Halladay
19. Brett Myers
20. Pedro Martinez
21. Roy Oswalt
22. Fausto Carmona

23. Scott Kazmir
24. Rich Hill
25. Francisco Liriano
26. A.J. Burnett
27. Dustin McGowan
28. Ben Sheets
29. Ted Lilly
30. Jered Weaver
31. Chad Billingsley
32. Daisuke Matsuzaka
33. James Shields
34. Ian Snell
35. Tim Hudson
36. Javier Vazquez
37. John Maine
38. Derek Lowe

39. Phil Hughes
40. Brad Penny
41. Oliver Perez
42. Randy Johnson
43. Rich Harden
44. Clay Buchholz
45. Chien-Ming Wang
46. Joba Chamberlain
47. Adam Wainwright
48. Johnny Cueto
49. Manny Parra
50. Jeremy Bonderman
51. Zack Greinke
52. John Lackey
53. Kelvim Escobar
54. Greg Maddux
55. Barry Zito
56. Bronson Arroyo

57. Andy Pettitte
58. Mark Buehrle
59. Matt Garza
60. Scott Olsen
61. Hiroki Kuroda
62. Joe Blanton
63. Gil Meche
64. Randy Wolf
65. Edinson Volquez
66. Tom Gorzelanny
67. Daniel Cabrera
68. Chuck James
69. Ervin Santana
70. Andrew Miller
71. Clayton Kershaw
72. Jeff Francis
73. Anthony Reyes
74. Mark Prior
75. John Patterson
76. Kevin Slowey
77. Scott Baker
78. Jair Jurrjens
79. Homer Bailey
80. Tom Glavine

Podcast

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Another podcast from the weekly XM show.

Relief Pitcher Rankings

Monday, March 17th, 2008

1. J.J. Putz
2. Jonathan Papelbon
3. Joe Nathan
4. Francisco Rodriguez
5. Mariano Rivera
6. Billy Wagner

7. Takashi Saito
8. Huston Street
9. Bobby Jenks
10. Matt Capps
11. Jose Valverde
12. Rafael Soriano

13. Joakim Soria
14. Francisco Cordero
15. Manny Corpas
16. Trevor Hoffman
17. Jason Isringhausen
18. Brad Lidge
19. Chad Cordero
20. Brian Wilson

21. Kevin Gregg
22. Troy Percival
23. Carlos Marmol
24. B.J. Ryan
25. Eric Gagne
26. Brandon Lyon

27. George Sherill
28. Kerry Wood
29. Jonathan Broxton
30. Todd Jones
31. Joe Borowski
32. Jeremy Accardo
33. Rafael Betancourt
34. C.J. Wilson
35. Bob Howry
36. Tony Pena

37. Pat Neshek
38. Matt Lindstrom
39. Jon Rauch
40. Heath Bell
41. Taylor Tankersley

The Scoop

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

By Dalton Del Don – Senior Writer

There isn’t anyone getting consistently overdrafted more than Javier Vazquez. I’ve always liked Vazquez’s stuff, dating back to his days as an Expo. However, the fact remains 2007 was the first season he finished with an ERA under 4.42 in four years. He’s always a help in WHIP, and the strikeouts are legit, but Vazquez is an extreme flyball pitcher who plays in one of the most homer-friendly ballparks in baseball. Last year, his groundball/flyball ratio actually decreased from the season before, when he posted a 4.84 ERA. The glaring difference? His strand rate jumped from .640 in 2006 to .720 last season. I wouldn’t count on it happening again.

I view Jeff Francis similarly, as prospective fantasy owners are focusing way too much on last year’s 17 wins and too little on the underlying peripherals when overdrafting the lefthander. Coors Field is still a very undesirable place to pitch, and 4.22 ERAs are rarely accompanied by 1.38 WHIPs. Expect him to finish this year with something resembling his second half numbers from 2006. He’s not a top-60 fantasy starter in my eyes.

I’d like to apologize to Rocco Baldelli, my personal whipping boy ever since he killed numerous fantasy teams of mine over the past couple of years. There’s a joke somewhere to be made regarding the fact his career is over due to “fatigue,” but I’ve made enough at his expense. The guy’s life may be in jeopardy for crying out loud. Farewell, Rocco Baldelli.

I really don’t understand why catchers aren’t more heavily targeted. There is a clear-cut top-4, and then a precipitous drop off. If you are playing in a 2-C league, there are some pretty awful options if you wait too long, whereas even the 80th outfielder can produce decent enough stats. This is the one clear position that needs to be addressed early based on scarcity.

I always preach not to draft based on last year’s stats, but if anyone’s 2006 is under the radar, it’s Mark Ellis’. Here’s a second baseman who basically finished with a line of .275-20-10-80-80 while missing more than 10 games. I doubt he’ll do it again, but as one of the game’s best defensive players, he’s pretty valuable to the A’s. Aaron Hill also had a very effective and under the radar season last year.

Conor Jackson is one of my favorite mid-to-late round targets. Slated to bat third in the Diamondbacks’ lineup, Jackson has a very favorable home park and quietly hit .308/.371/.555 after the All-Star break last season. He doesn’t have light-tower power, but eight homers over his final 130 at-bats in 2006 suggest it’s developing. His 50:53 K:BB ratio last season also portends a future .310-.320 type hitter.

Shane Victorino has to be one of the first 25-30 outfielders taken in drafts. While most speedsters contribute very little in the power department, Victorino can chip in 15 bombs, and his remarkable 90 percent success rate (37-for-41) on the basepaths last year means plenty more running should be in his future. The only real difference I can find between Carl Crawford and him is about 25 points in batting average.

If Michael Cuddyer finds himself batting between Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Delmon Young, he’s going to end up as a serious bargain in fantasy leagues. Part of last year’s drop in slugging can be blamed on injury, and yet he still finished with respectable numbers despite missing 20 games. He’s also 11-for-11 on stolen base attempts over the last two seasons, so he could probably swipe 15 bags if he wanted to.

Billy Butler is an excellent end-game pick, especially those who play in Yahoo leagues, as he’s first base eligible. Butler’s power is still developing, and he certainly needs to improve against right-handed pitching, but he more than held his own as a 21-year-old in the majors last season and could really break out in 2008. He’s a legitimate .300 hitter and eventually all of those doubles are going to turn into homers.

I’ve developed an unhealthy man-crush on Lastings Milledge. It’s simply impossible for me to draft this guy too high. In fact, I recently picked him in the 12th round of one league. I guess I have a soft spot for head cases, but this is a pretty unique talent with both legitimate power and speed. One should largely ignore spring stats, but I’ve stupidly been fixated by his line of .389/.476/.583 with five steals in 36 meaningless at-bats.

Outfield Rankings

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

1. Matt Holliday
2. Carl Crawford
3. Grady Sizemore
4. Alfonso Soriano

5. Nick Markakis
6. Ichiro Suzuki
7. Vladimir Guerrero
8. Curtis Granderson
9. Carlos Beltran
10. Carlos Lee
11. Alex Rios
12. Manny Ramirez
13. Bobby Abreu

14. Adam Dunn
15. Magglio Ordonez
16. Corey Hart
17. Hunter Pence
18. Eric Byrnes
19. Chris Young
20. Delmon Young
21. Jeff Francoeur
22. Matt Kemp
23. Gary Sheffield
24. Torii Hunter
25. Hideki Matsui

26. Shane Victorino
27. Vernon Wells
28. Jason Bay
29. Andruw Jones
30. Brad Hawpe
31. Johnny Damon
32. Juan Pierre
33. Willy Taveras
34. Jacoby Ellsbury
35. Jeremy Hermida
36. Michael Bourn
37. Jermaine Dye

38. Lastings Milledge
39. Michael Cuddyer
40. Pat Burrell
41. Josh Hamilton
42. J.D. Drew
43. Austin Kearns
44. Wily Mo Pena
45. Ken Griffey
46. Raul Ibanez
47. Melky Cabrera
48. Kosuke Fukodome
49. Aaron Rowand
50. Chris Duncan
51. Jack Cust
52. Jason Kubel
53. Mike Cameron

54. Rick Ankiel
55. Ryan Church
56. Dave Roberts
57. Bill Hall
58. Justin Upton
59. Adam Jones
60. Milton Bradley
61. Jay Bruce
62. Mark Teahen
63. Jose Guillen
64. Nate McLouth
65. Travis Buck
66. Gary Matthews Jr.
67. Garret Anderson
68. Josh Willingham
69. Corey Patterson
70. Felix Pie
71. Carlos Quentin
72. Cameron Maybin
73. Randy Winn
74. Rocco Baldelli
75. Moises Alou

The Scoop

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

By Dalton Del Don – Senior Writer

I’m not sure what’s more surprising, that some of the media think the recent claim that Derek Jeter is a poor fielding shortstop is untrue, or that these people find this theory new. Jeter has frequently finished worst in Major League Baseball in putouts from the position and has long been overrated thanks to timely big plays in October. Now that Carlos Guillen is off the position, Jeter might very well be the worst fielding shortstop in all of baseball.

If one could buy stock in a baseball team, I’d be all over the Tampa Bay Rays right now. The price would have to be seemingly low playing in that division, and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a franchise loaded with this much pitching talent. Scott Kazmir and James Shields are elite talents right now. Matt Garza isn’t far away, and David Price, Jacob McGee and Wade Davis are three of the top-10 pitching prospects in baseball. It doesn’t end there, as Jeremy Hellickson and even Jeff Niemann have legitimate upside down the road as well. The organization has some pretty decent young hitters too, Rocco Baldelii notwithstanding.

In quite possibly the worst analysis I’ve ever read, The Dallas Morning News’ Tim McMahon recently predicted Julius Jones will rush for 1,700 yards next season because he has averaged 155 rushing yards at Seattle’s Qwest Field during, get this, two career games. He does realize Jones will be playing for the Seahawks and not against them, right?

Looking over the odds to win the World Series is always entertaining this time of year. Since going with the favorites is never fun (or fruitful), let’s take a look at some of the longer shots who have a decent chance at going deep this season. I have no clue why the Cardinals (40/1) are favored more than the Reds (50/1), who at least have some upside in young arms. Then again, Vegas probably weighted the Dusty Baker factor heavily. I wouldn’t mind throwing a couple bones on the Brewers (30/1), Braves (30/1) and/or the Dodgers (25/1).

If J.P. Riccardi could have persuaded the gullible Brian Sabean into the Alex Rios for Tim Lincecum (or Matt Cain) deal that was floated around during the offseason, I would have picked Toronto to win the AL East this season. This team has one of the best starting rotations in all of baseball even without the deal. Too bad that still leaves them as only the third best squad in its own division.

I had no idea John Henderson and I had so much in common. This is the same exact way I prepare for every RotoScoop article.

Chad Billingsley might very well win a Cy Young award someday, but for this year, I think he’s being drafted too highly. The stuff and the strikeout rate portend big things to come, but last year’s 3.92 BB/9 IP suggests growing pains are likely in store for 2008. He’s going to be a negative in WHIP, and that’s going to reflect in his ERA in the short-term as well.

Johnny Cueto is one of my favorite end-game picks and has to be drafted in all but the shallowest of leagues. The debate whether Homer Bailey or Cueto will be the better long-term bet is far from decided, but short-term, Cueto is more prepared to contribute at the big league level. Of course, Dusty Baker has to agree, something pretty unlikely. Still, it’s better to go with Cueto’s upside than a boring veteran guaranteed playing time when you reach the later parts of your draft.

Anyone looking for a deep sleeper saves candidate should consider Taylor Tankersley. Most pundits consider Matt Lindstrom the likely replacement behind incumbent Kevin Gregg (who will probably be moved at the deadline), and there’s nothing wrong with that, but Tankersley was the early favorite to close last season and was once the franchise’s first round draft pick. The fact he’s a lefty probably hurts his chances, but his numbers after the break last year (1.48 ERA, 12.3 K/9 IP) suggest he’ll be a valuable middle reliever at worst.

Top-40

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

By Dalton Del Don – Senior Writer

1. Alex Rodriguez
2. David Wright
3. Jose Reyes
4. Hanley Ramirez
5. Miguel Cabrera
6. Chase Utley
7. Matt Holliday
8. Ryan Howard
9. Jimmy Rollins
10. B.J. Upton
11. Ryan Braun
12. Prince Fielder
13. Johan Santana
14. David Ortiz
15. Albert Pujols
16. Carl Crawford
17. Grady Sizemore
18. Jake Peavy
19. Brandon Phillips
20. Alfonso Soriano
21. Nick Markakis
22. Mark Teixeira
23. Erik Bedard
24. Vladimir Guerrero
25. Ichiro Suzuki
26. Carlos Beltran
27. Justin Morneau
28. Carlos Lee
29. Curtis Granderson
30. Chone Figgins
31. Robinson Cano
32. Victor Martinez
33. Russell Martin
34. Josh Beckett
35. Alex Rios
36. Lance Berkman
37. Brandon Webb
38. Carlos Guillen
39. Rickie Weeks
40. Carlos Pena

More LABR Talk

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

By Dalton Del Don – Senior Writer

I’m a little more caught up on sleep but now I’m getting sick. Speaking of things that are ill, here are some more random thoughts about the LABR team I drafted:

In a 13-team, NL-only league, my strategy was to spread the wealth and avoid superstars. Trying to make sure actual starters fill up every offensive position is key and difficult to accomplish. I also wanted to spend extra money on hitting rather than draft a closer, but I’ll offer more insight on that later.

I targeted two decent catchers all along. Some advocate not worrying about them since the stats are less predictive due to the grueling nature of the position. And there are very few replacement players at all positions available on the waiver wire. However, I figure a fourth outfielder will be better than a backup catcher who starts once a week. I like Brian McCann to bounce back and as bad as Bengie Molina is in real life, the guy is slated to hit cleanup.

Conor Jackson, Kelly Johnson and Stephen Drew are three infielders I planned on acquiring. I figure it’s best to go after young guys who are improving and could really take a leap opposed to veterans who have already plateaued. Jackson, especially, has crazy good plate discipline and might end up batting third in a hitter’s park.

Pedro Feliz is one of those ugly plays. I mean, who wants Feliz on their team? He’s unsightly sabermetrically, but if he can go .250-20-80 hitting toward the bottom of a poor Giants team in the league’s best pitcher’s park, something like .260-24-90 isn’t completely out of the question after the move to Philly. Plus, he’s the game’s best defender at third, so he should have a safe spot in the lineup. He also came pretty cheap.

Cesar Izturis is obviously no good, but I was left scrambling to fill my MI spot, and he’s the favorite to start and possibly even bat leadoff for the Cardinals. I’d be thrilled with 500 at-bats from anyone with a pulse here. Although Izturis barely qualifies.

I overspent on Corey Hart. My team lacked speed, and I wanted him, but in hindsight, he went for the same price as Carlos Beltran, making my selection look like I overpaid. Hart is basically Grady Sizemore without the walks, and he could be a monster, but ultimately, there’s too much uncertainty for him to go for $30. That also hurt my goal of a balanced approach.

I wanted all three Nats outfielders but was unpleasantly surprised to see Austin Kearns take $18 of my budget and Lastings Milledge go for even more. Wily Mo Pena was more palatable at $9, and I like Ryan Church at $10, the concussion notwithstanding. Church has an .866 OPS versus righties during his career and is locked into a full-time job in a loaded Mets’ lineup.

Brandon Jones and Dallas McPherson are stabs in the dark. I literally may be employing two empty slots there. Still, they are picks with upside if the opportunity comes. And both have weak competition in front of them. Maybe I can get 25 games out of Tony Gwynn Jr. while Mike Cameron is suspended early on.

I’m very high on Matt Cain this season but had absolutely no intention of drafting Carlos Zambrano, whose heavy workload and decreasing K rate are frightening. Still, a whopping 14 NL starters went for more than Zambrano’s $17 price tag. Of course I wanted Tim Lincecum but would have had to go to $23 – and even then that was no sure thing.

Looking back, Pedro Martinez ($15) and Rickie Weeks ($22) look like two of the biggest bargains to me.

Scott Olsen and Anthony Reyes (gulp!) will be keys to my success. Chris Liss wouldn’t have let me drive back with him if I didn’t secure Rich Hill, and I’ll be rooting hard for Clayton Kershaw or Max Scherzer to get called up.

LABR Results

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

I’m on no sleep. Let’s just say LABR was epic. I went to sleep the “night” before the auction after 7 am after playing a drinking game (and losing miserably) with one of the superstars in the industry (who shall remain nameless) until the sun was up. I then got up at 10 am and participated in a mixed league draft just for fun. Went back to sleep at noon and overslept and awoke to a phone call saying it was 5:20 (LABR started at 5) and asking where the hell I was. Great impression I gave these folks. Like I said, epic. Hadn’t showered, just woke up, no idea what happened in baseball the last couple of days, I was ready to go! There are more details, but I’ve probably already revealed too much. Bottom line, I was the least prepared person in the room and still came away with this squad. I’m not going to comment on any of my picks yet; I’ll leave it to the mercy of you guys for now and defend/summarize the auction later. After all, I need to catch up on sleep. Just remember, this is a 13-team, NL-only league that is very deep. It’s also filled with people who know what they are doing. I’m not allowed to reveal all the results right now, but they will be available through USA Today soon enough. My team balls.

Pos Player Price
C Brian McCann 23
C Bengie Molina 13
1B Conor Jackson 18
2B Kelly Johnson 18
3B Pedro Feliz 11
SS Stephen Drew 16
CI James Loney 18
MI Cesar Izturis 1
OF Corey Hart 30
OF Austin Kearns 18
OF Wily Mo Pena 9
OF Ryan Church 10
OF Brandon Jones 2
U Dallas McPherson 1
P Matt Cain 19
P Carlos Zambrano 17
P Rich Hill 18
P Scott Olsen 7
P Anthony Reyes 6
P Clayton Kershaw 1
P Hong-Chih Kuo 1
P Taylor Tankersely 1
P Vinnie Chulk 1
P Duaner Sanchez 1
R Tony Gwynn Jr 0
R Max Scherzer 0
R Mike Hampton 0
R Mark Mulder 0
R Clay Hensley 0
R Shawn Chacon 0

Podcast

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

LABR talk and a beer run, what more to ask from a podcast.

Take Your Pick

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

Often you will find two players who are being drafted typically right around the same area and have similar price tags in auctions. Maybe both will bring back close to equal value in returns. Or, the decision could make or break your season. Leave your choice and thoughts on the matter in the comments section.

J.R. Towles or Geovanny Soto?

Take Your Pick

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

Often you will find two players who are being drafted typically right around the same area and have similar price tags in auctions. Maybe both will bring back close to equal value in returns. Or, the decision could make or break your season. Leave your choice and thoughts on the matter in the comments section.

Dan Uggla or Kelly Johnson?

Take Your Pick

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

Often you will find two players who are being drafted typically right around the same area and have similar price tags in auctions. Maybe both will bring back close to equal value in returns. Or, the decision could make or break your season. Leave your choice and thoughts on the matter in the comments section.

Garrett Atkins or Ryan Zimmerman?

Take Your Pick

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

Often you will find two players who are being drafted typically right around the same area and have similar price tags in auctions. Maybe both will bring back close to equal value in returns. Or, the decision could make or break your season. Leave your choice and thoughts on the matter in the comments section.

Miguel Tejada or Michael Young?