I have been enjoying telling stories, sharing links and other fantasy baseball goodies, but this week I’m going to name my April Fantasy Baseball All Star Team. I have no clear criteria and no idea who is on this team yet, or why I am picking anyone in particular, so lets see how it goes!
Carlos Santana – C -CLE: Obviously his production isn’t the best out there, but he is hitting .383, with an OPS of 1.147 which tops MLB. You can have John Buck and certainly Mike Napoli has been awesome, but what Carlos Santana is doing might just make him the first backstop off the board next draft season.
Prince Fielder – 1B – DET: My wife calls him ‘The Wookie’ and I’m always able to be like, “Hey Rae, you’re favorite player just hit a bomb!” and she’ll say, “I don’t have a favorite player.” So, I’m like, “No Look, seriously,” and Rachel laughs, but more often just looks over annoyed, calls him a wookie and then questions whether he can he run fast enough to play baseball. But seriously, I haven’t owned Fielder in 2 years and I generally only watch players I own, but that is a weekly conversation we have. It is better than Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Ian Kinsler – 2B – TEX: I completely punted the two-bag in all my leagues this season and went with the Matt Carpenter and Jedd Gyorko approach, in my big money league I took Kinsler in the 3rd and I am loving it. I own him every season in that league I think. He has 18 runs and RBIs, 5 bombs, 3 swipes and I’m happy, I got Matt Halliday in the 4th round there, like I did in every other league this season.
Matt Carpenter – 3B – STL: He isn’t the best, obviously, but he is out performing his ADP by leaps and bounds right now, not to mention leading the NL in runs. Now he slots into the 2B position, while also having OF and 1B eligibility. I wish I owned him a little more actually and runs are an often overlooked roto stat.
Troy Tulowitzki – SS – COL: The Rockies cleanup hitter has been the best shortstop in MLB and I drafted him this year like he had no injury concerns. Fortunately, Colorado is being extra cautious and I’m fine with plugging in backups once in awhile, as long as he doesn’t miss any extended time. With that being said, the guy truly is in a tier of his own.
Starling Marte – OF – PIT: I didn’t quite jump on the bandwagon quick enough and felt there was a big drop off in the outfield, so I was loaded early in most leagues. Marte has been huge though, he is up to 10 stolen bases and has shown a little pop atop the Peg-leg’s lineup. I have also declared Marte the greatest player ever feature in my weekly Wasting Away Again on the Waiver Wire column.
Carlos Gomez – OF – MIL: Now here is a guy is I did target heavily! I recently put him head-to-head with Carlos Gonzalez, suggesting my CarGo will have more combined bombs and swipes than Gonzalez. I am sticking to it! Gomez has been as good as any player in fantasy baseball over the past 3 weeks and the Brewers lineup should only get better with Aramis Ramirez back.
Bryce Harper – OF – WAS: Hello … this should have been obvious. He is in a mini-funk right now, with a little boo-boo, but he is still the greatest fantasy baseball player of all time. Remember my Week 2 preview? It is only his sophomore season, so I expect some ups and downs, but at season’s end he’ll finish as one of the best fantasy players of 2013.
Adam Wainwright – SP – STL: He got roughed up today in Milwaukee, but it is May now. He was awesome in April and this is the All April Team, plus I own him in my two favorite leagues and loved him in 2010. I owned him in both then too. Wainwright is a competitor and has a great breaking ball. He is prone to an off start here and there, but he still hasn’t given up a home run and has only walked 3 batters all season.
Clay Buchholz – SP – BOS: He has to crack the team, I cannot imagine that he’ll finish the season as a top 10 fantasy starter, but he just might. What are all those advanced stats guys saying? Actually, who cares about advance stats, the guy is going Gaylord Perry and spitting on the ball. Alright, the world makes sense again, but I’ll take a winner who puts in the extra effort anytime!
Jordan Zimmermann – SP – WAS: This is the Nats starter I was landing in my drafts, because I targeted him, or did you miss that in the Carlos Gomez link? Here are my Triple 19’s again. We all knew the strikeouts weren’t going to be there and they’re not, but he has the stuff and is pushing to be one of the best starters in the NL. He is unhittable right now!
Shelby Mller – RP – STL: Miller just gained his SP eligibility and has yet to give up more than 3 earned runs in a game on the season. He is striking out more than a batter an inning and I landed him in my 20 team keeper league, which is just bloody fantastic! He might be on an innings cap, but I haven’t heard anything official yet, so until then, keep chucking Shelby!
Sergio Romo – RP – SF: My requirements for a solid closer are: He actually records saves, strikes out a batter per inning, has an ERA under 2 and a WHIP under 1. Check, check, check and check, I own a lot of Romo shares and I am loving it! He also has 2 wins already this season. He doesn’t have the best stuff, but he is going to get all kinds of chances to factor in ball games.
With that, lets get to this week’s preview!
Weekly Fantasy Baseball Preview: Bats
Pick – Buster Posey & Carlos Santana: The best 2 backstops in the game are both red-hot and will fight for fantasy catcher supremacy for the rest of 2013.
Sleeper – Nick Hundley: He is coming into the week hot and faces 5 right handed pitchers this week, which suits him best.
Bust – Joe Mauer: Can a second week of shame break him out of his slump?
Pick – Allen Craig: Hit his first round tripper today and drives in runs like it is his business. Sorry, I guess it is, anyway, he is good at fake baseball, real baseball and I even hear he has video game skills too.
Sleeper – Yonder Alonso: While everyone forgets about him in Padres’ Petco land, he is quietly on pace for over 20 bombs and 100 RBIs, with a solid average. He is dialed in right now to boot!
Bust – Ike Davis: I gave him a few shots last year and dumped him before the All Star Break. I’ve already concluded today that the only pitches he can hit would smack Shin-Soo Choo in the kisser. I will never own this man again.
Pick – Jason Kipnis: I am a serious Kipnis hater, which is fine, but he is surging right now and should put up respectable totals at a weak position this season.
Sleeper – Jedd Gyorko: Is this the 3rd straight Padres? I’d check your bookie’s lines, or else fade all my picks entirely. However, there is a mini lesson here, small market teams can produce sneaky fantasy talents that slip under the radar.
Bust – Danny Espinosa: I like to find a way to promote my dislike of Danny Espinosa and one of these week’s I’ll share the full story.
Pick – Adrian Beltre: I am buying everywhere I can, things are about to turn around for Beltre. I called Chase Headley a bust last week and he went red-hot, but now I’m just throwing out more Padres love!
Sleeper – Mike Moustakas: It isn’t pretty yet, but Moose’s average is climbing and he has serious upside, you could do worse on a speculative start or add at the 3 bag. I am a big fan and I expected a lot more this season. He was awesome at this point in 2012.
Bust – Todd Frazier: He’ll be fine, I think, but right now he is slumping and you need production from 3B. If you can start someone else I’d roll that way, his eligibility makes him tough to drop though.
Pick – Jean Segura: For a 2nd week in a row! Keep rolling with Seggy’Gura.
Sleeper – Stephen Drew: It has been a quiet start, but he has recently started to line up his ducks. Sorry, I really can’t believe I just said that and I totally understand if you don’t go with Drew. I did recently though, if that even means anything now.
Bust – Jimmy Rollins: A week on the road in San Fran and Arizona doesn’t sound too exciting to me, it isn’t like it is 1967!
Pick – Yoenis Cespedes: 7 games this week and showing no signs of an injury hangover, in fact he is looking better!
Pick – Mike Trout: I’m sorry if you traded him away already, but the guy is going to be beastly again. He is going to score and drive in 100 and at worst post 20/20 with a .280 batting average. I just give him the Roto Gold Medal too.
Sleeper – Alfonso Soriano: When he gets hot there are still few better hitters and hit tapped 2 out of Wrigley today.
Sleeper – Mark Trumbo: He isn’t likely readily available, but is a good daily games play right now, especially while he is mashing. He was on fire to start the season just a year ago.
Bust – Ryan Raburn: If you added him, try and trade him, he has only ever had a good 2 month stretch, which was 4 years ago. The jig is up.
Bust – Melky Cabrera: I don’t think it has anything to do with the PED stuff. The Blue Jays are just really bad and he is a complimentary player, not an offensive catalyst.
Weekly Fantasy Baseball Preview: Arms
These guys are dialed in:
Razzball: Scott Evans not only takes care of your two-start pitcher needs, but he shares a story of his youth and weights in on the above mentioned Clay Buchholz spitting scandal. Somebody call Michael Richards and Wayne Knight and lets get to the bottom of this!
Rotoworld: Nick Nelson’s look at the week ahead adds helpful notes, such as Lefty/Righty Breakdowns, Games Played Totals and even his own Streamer City picks. I’d also recommend keeping track of their player update pages too!
It is a tricky game streaming pitchers and even more difficult when you’re trying to project for an entire week, last week’s picks were awful, but I didn’t use them all. In some leagues there were better options available on the wire and in another league I didn’t need to stream. If you’re a streamer, jot down these names and use a guy on a day you don’t have a start, I don’t recommend streaming every single day, unless you really love the rush!
My Colleague at The Fake Baseball, Brien Bonneville, has a daily list of streaming pitching options and his Streaming Pitchers Primer is a must-read if you’re looking to employ this strategy. Streaming is a risky business, but when used properly it can be an excellent fake baseball advantage.
I also want to share a video from my pal Pat Mayo, which briefly discusses streaming pitchers and an excellent article from Matthew Berry on the Wandy Line that is must read stuff. Taking the time to read and watch these resources will help you be a better fantasy baseballer !
So now it is time to get at this week’s options:
May 6th – Andrew Casher vs MIA: I complimented his beard more than his skills recently, but this is a good opportunity for him, especially at home. I am going to add him in all leagues I can right now actually.
May 7th – Pass: It happens.
May 8th – Chris Tillman vs KC: Has won his last 2 against better teams and the Orange Birds will give him run support.
May 9th – Jason Vargas vs HOU: You might have to add him right away, but he is fresh off a complete game shut-out.
May 10th – Jose Fernandez @ LAD: Jo-Fer just made the Phillies look foolish and boasts an elite arm, with plus stuff.
May 11th – Pass: It is a short week, make sure to double check your lineups if you’re in weekly lineup leagues.
May 12th – Josh Beckett vs MIA: It is now or never, he gets the Marlines at home. I watched him dominate the DBacks earlier this season, he can’t be completely washed up – right?
I’m a Loyal Leafs, Cubs, and Cowboys fan for decades. I wear the C for The Fake Hockey, in addition to contributing to The Fake Baseball and The Fake Football in more of a Timmy Try Hard role. You can also find my weekly fantasy baseball preview here at davidgonos.com and can reach me on Twitter @naparker77.