Interrogate the Industry No. 2: Alex Kantecki, Chris McBrien

May 14

Interrogate the Industry No. 2: Alex Kantecki, Chris McBrien

We are back with another Interrogate the Industry. This week we’re joined by Alex (@rotodealer) and Chris (@cmcbrien). We may have just missed the Jose Fernandez news, however we have great questions and answers  this week irregardless. As always feel free to ask away on replacement ideas, or any questions to me on Twitter @fantsychillpony and I can assure you I will answer quickly, as well as covering Jose and more in the third installment. One of the questions I asked this week is one of my favorite things to ask others. If you had to choose one person to spend a night smoking and drinking with, who would it be? It is a fun way to see people’s personalities, interests ( among other things) as well as being profound or simple, depending who you ask. So, if I were to answer my one night of drinking and smoking question my answer right now would be Tom Waits. The legendary musician has seen everything, possibly done everything, and is a storyteller in reality and through music. Not only that, but he is funny as hell. Don’t believe me? Check him out on Letterman( Tom Waits-Letterman ’83). I too love to tell stories, but to simply be able to drink, listen to stories, go where the night takes us, and smoke (even though I don’t smoke), Waits is the one person who is on top of my list without a doubt.  Interrogate the Industry #2 Fantasy Contributor: Alex Kantecki Fake Teams (@rotodealer) 1. Which young pitcher is likely to have a better fantasy season the rest of the way? Sonny Gray or Yordano Ventura? I’m a huge Gray guy, so I’ll avoid building suspense and tell you right up front that I’m taking Oakland’s ace nine times out of ten. That’s not to take anything away from what Ventura has done or what he will do for the reminder of the season. Ventura is the definition of pitching porn, but Gray has been unbelievably consistent to date. In 17 big-league starts, the right-hander has 13 quality starts — including in all seven starts in 2014 — and a 107:36 K:BB ratio in 111 innings. His strikeouts are down, but he plays...

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Fantasy Baseball Week 6: 3 Up, 3 Down

May 11

Fantasy Baseball Week 6: 3 Up, 3 Down

Let’s just say there were plenty of distractions when writing this weeks 3 up, 3 down article. Work, family, garage sale, Wild Playoff Hockey, and a slight distraction with the 2014 NFL Draft. I love football as much as the next guy so needless to say it was very difficult to focus on baseball when the draft was here, and my favorite NFL team  the Vikings had significant needs to fill. Managing ten fantasy baseball teams this season is new for me, so needless to say extra distractions like the draft make it difficult to manage rosters, waiver wires, and even write. I would be lying if I said I like Fantasy Baseball less than Fantasy Football, it’s simply not true. I think Fantasy Baseball is the most challenging, rewarding, and fulfilling Fantasy sport. It takes time, patience and guts but it also relies less on random flukey performances, and to those who play it, they know winning a championship in Fantasy Baseball is far more difficult to do. I love Fantasy Football, and I love the NFL, but for me no matter what sort of distractions there may be baseball will always remain at the forefront of my sports loving and Fantasy heart. That being said, I watched some of the draft, and overall loved the direction my team took so far. As long as the Wild are alive in their quest for “The Cup” I will be pleasantly distracted by them as well. Good luck to everyone in week 7. All statistics provided by fangraphs.com Three Up These three items are trending upward and we should react accordingly.  3. Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Colorado Well, this guy can hit huh? Tulowitzki has been doing this all season long so far, and Week 6 just may have been his best week yet. No one can deny his talent, and the only knock on him throughout his career has been injuries. The crazy thing is Tulowitzki misses games, and chunks of seasons and still ends up in the top of his position. So f you own him, you should not be surprised, nor should you be thinking “Yeah, but when is he going to get hurt?”. I say take the optimistic...

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Interrogate the Industry No. 1: Andy Singleton, Steve Pimental

May 06

Interrogate the Industry No. 1: Andy Singleton, Steve Pimental

This is the first of many “Interrogate the Industry” pieces. No one seems to ask the “Tough” questions so I am stepping up to the plate to keep the industry honest and….Ah, who am I kidding? I will be asking questions weekly, hopefully many fueled by you guys, the readers, to a few Industry writers who are willing to answer. Since it is a weekly article, the questions could be anything from an immediate impact to long-term impact,  or it could be a rest of season projections, evaluating trade offers and dynasty/keeper questions. Most importantly a question will be asked to keep everyone on their toes. Hard hitting questions that have nothing to do with Fantasy Sports, because no matter what some people think, most of us have lives outside of our favorite hobby, or at least pretend to. So with that, I am asking for help, keep sending me questions on Twitter or via email, it will help you, as well as fuel my articles going forward. Remember, if you have a question, ask it! Sometimes another perspective can save a disastrous trade, or help you take a leap of faith on a hot prospect. I should note that I ask questions all the time. I don’t consider myself an “Expert” so to speak, but also realize that there are plenty of times I can get cocky, or over-confident in my hunches and ask for some guidance from time to time I have no shame, nor should you! Thanks for reading, and enjoy!!   Interrogate the Industry: Volume 1 Fantasy Contributor: Andy Singleton Chris thanks again for all of the hard work and dedication you put forth for the Fantasy Baseball world. I appreciate the opportunities you have provided for me, as well as the inclusion in the Gonos 30-For-30 League. I have been concentrating all of my writing time to my new position as Editor and Director of Content at LevelUpFantasy.com. It is all Fantasy Football for now, but as a site that can host and manage leagues, as well as offer free mock drafting capabilities, I am excited to be a part of it. Baseball is still in my bones tho, so if anyone has any questions or...

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Fantasy Baseball Week 4: 3 Up, 3 Down

Apr 27

Fantasy Baseball Week 4: 3 Up, 3 Down

There were surprises and history galore in the fourth week of the baseball season which has left an ample supply of material for this week’s 3 up, 3 down. Earlier this week I was in the basement organizing and re-arranging for an upcoming garage sale, as well as finding space for winter gear/supplies and I came across a box of music cd’s (remember those?). It happened to be a box filled with close to 100 discs that I hadn’t yet had a chance to convert to mp3 format. Many were amazing to listen to once again and the memories flooded back in from when I first bought, or listened to them. Everything from long road trips with friends, seeing a band live in concert, or hearing a song that brought back some funny, but also terrible memories (We don’t need to go into details of having to interrupt a moment of college romance due to a case of explosive diarrhea). Anyhow, finding and listening to this music reminded me of the real aspects of baseball, and how sometimes we can forget great and vivid memories, or players, due to time or the newer and fresher replacements. Week 4 brought us a historical moment for Albert Pujols and his story correlates with my week as well. A unanimous top 3 pick for several years struggled throughout all of 2013 and was discarded as a finsihed Fantasy commodity or as a used CD would be by many in the industry, myself included. He has had a great start, and although he won’t likely finish as a first round caliber player, he should continue to have a great 2014. It was great to be sucked out of the Fantasy Vortex for a moment and see Pujols achieve something astonishing solely from a Baseball perspective. Pujols is a Hall of Fame player, and whether he is fantasy relevant or not in 2014, should not overshadow his entire career or just be forgotten like my cd’s in a box in a basement. Either way, many Pujols owners, and fans are enjoying wiping the dust off of one of their favorite Fantasy Baseball players, and giving him a chance again. Much like I listened to...

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Fantasy Baseball Week 3: 3 Up, 3 Down

Apr 20

Fantasy Baseball Week 3: 3 Up, 3 Down

With this weeks 3 Up, 3 Down I am writing with a head that feels like a balloon. If you have never had a sinus infection be thankful, and if you have I feel your pain (Usually in your cheeks, eyes and even gums/jaw area). I am usually good for at least one a year, and I knew I was doomed when both of my daughters were sick last week. Like week 3 there is a brightside with antibiotics and nasal steroids, much like some of the great pitching performances (Johnny Cueto, Martin Perez, Julio Teheran). The darkside of course being  the painful sinus pressure, phlegm, and losing your voice, much like week 3 hitting performances from (Jason Heyward and Carlos Gonzalez).  Either way another week is almost in the books and there was plenty of excitement. Some dominant pitching performances, a top 5 prospect got called up, and yet another significant loss to Tommy John surgery with Matt Moore. Toss in the Yasiel Puig saga and Week 3 could have been another episode of your grandma’s favorite soap opera. All statistics provided by fangraphs.com Three Up These three items are trending upward and we should react accordingly. 3. George Springer, OF, Houston The Astros top prospect got the call earlier than expected, and he started off well getting a hit in his first game. He also stole a base and is hitting .287. The sample size is small, but the real story is the call-up itself, and that another much hyped prospect is making a splash in the big leagues 2. Brian Dozier, 2B, Minnesota Dozier started heating up in week 2, and continued in to week 3. Although he should have been owned in most leagues already, if you are in a shallow league and he is out there you should snag him now. He slashed .267/.421/.467 in week 3, and cranked out another home run putting his total  at 5 for the year. He also swiped a few bases which is hopefully a sign of things to come. 1. Johnny Cueto, SP, Cincinatti There were a bundle of great starts over the week, but Cueto’s may have been the start that gave owners and Reds fans...

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Fantasy Baseball Week 2: 3 Up, 3 Down

Apr 12

Fantasy Baseball Week 2: 3 Up, 3 Down

I was on my first run in approximately 3 years earlier this week,  a very slow run, and of course thought about my 3 Up, 3 Down column. I also thought of plenty of other things like my muscle pain, sex, aging, eating better, sex, Fantasy Baseball, steak and sex again. I blame the endorphins and testosterone rush for thinking about Fantasy Baseball. I simply can’t help it. In all honesty though, I did make the correlation between starting slow, like when running for the first time and as lame as it sounds the motto “Baseball is a Marathon, not a Race”. It may be annoying, but it is true. Fantasy Baseball is no different. It is a very long season, and there are plenty of players who are on torrid streaks who will be nothing but a fizzle in the pan come week 8. Or there are the slow starters like Justin Upton, and Yasiel Puig who have their owners jumping ship and trying to trade them because clearly a 10 game or less sample size is large enough to disown a player for the season. I blame this on what I call the “Fantasy Football Converts”. Many of our dear friends aren’t as familiar with Fantasy Baseball and have the belief that if they start off 0-3, or in the bottom of the league after three weeks they are finished. In Football sure, that may be true but not in baseball. It is a long season and you have time  to make moves if needed. Players WILL heat up and slump. Prospects will get the call, and injuries will continue to amass. That is the beauty of Fantasy Baseball, but heed my warning, if you are in panic mode I beg of you to hold your trigger finger on those trade offers, and wait it out a bit……unless you are dealing with a panicky owner yourself. Then you need to pounce. Three Up These three players are trending upward and we should react accordingly. 3. Chris Colabello, 1B/OF, Minnesota What can be said about the first few weeks this guy has had? Essentially coming out of nowhere and at one point lead the league in RBI (he is now...

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Fantasy Baseball Week 1: 3 Up, 3 Down

Apr 05

Fantasy Baseball Week 1: 3 Up, 3 Down

Fantasy Baseball Week 1 has finally arrived, and with it, the first edition of “3 Up, 3 Down.” In this weekly article, I will be focusing on six players, teams, or things that happened both positive and negative for the entire season. I hope it is both a useful read throughout the Fantasy Baseball season, as well as entertaining. If it raises awareness to surprising players, players on a downward trend or perhaps a glimpse into the future, the article will be doing its job. All statistics provided by fangraphs.com Three Up These three items are trending upward and we should react accordingly. 3. Emilio Bonifacio, 2B/OF, Chicago Cubs If you were to ask me to name a player that was terrible last season, but was off to a tremendously hot start in 2014, I would have never guessed it would be Emilio Bonifacio. Yet, here we are, with Week 1 nearly complete, and Bonifacio is slashing a line of .688/.706/.813. He is also combining some terrible base-running with his sneaky speed, and he has swiped four bases as well. He is currently owned in 65 percent of Yahoo Leagues, a percentage which I can assure you is skyrocketing after largely going undrafted. Scoop him up if you still can from your waiver wire, but proceed with caution! We all know he can put up very solid Fantasy numbers, but he could also quickly fall back to his 2013 season. Ride the hot hand for now, but definitely don’t get attached. 2. Justin Smoak, 1B, Seattle If you read any of my offseason draft rankings or strategy articles, you likely got the vibe that First Base was a deep position this season. As always, I liked a few sleepers who were poised for a breakout in 2014. Last season, I targeted Chris Davis, and felt brilliant at the end of 2013. This season, I targeted Brandon Belt, but my breakout prediction was for Justin Smoak. It is a long season, but Smoak is off to a (Pardon the pun) Smaokin’ start! With a slash line of .353/.421/.824, his numbers aren’t as dazzling as Bonifacio’s, but they are unrealistic numbers as well. He will drop off a tad, but it is reasonable to see a...

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