Daily Fantasy Baseball must starts: Sunday September 2nd

Daily Fantasy BaseballThe Atlanta Braves will continue to make noise in the NL playoff picture while two other players come into action with very little risk and plenty of reward potential.

Value plays:

Brian McCann and Chipper Jones – Cole Hamels has been battling a stomach virus, and a trip to Atlanta isn’t going to make the 28 year old stud feel a whole lot better. The power packed middle of the Braves order owns a .299 career average against Hamels with 59% of their hits going for extra bases. Both McCann and Jones have a slugging percentage over .540 with 22 RBI on 29 hits, providing me with confidence that they can produce in fantasy baseball leagues. The Braves 3-4 hitters have hit half of Atlanta’s homers against Hamels, and with a proven batting eye (14 walks compared to 17 strikeouts) their ceiling is a high one.

Kelly Shoppach – The Mets catcher is actually have a solid season (batting 33 points higher than his career average) and has had great career numbers against Mark Buehrle. Shoppach is batting .444 against the crafty lefty, with an other worldly 1.222 slugging percentage. Half of his hits have left the ballpark, a big reason why he has more RBI (10) than hits (8). Catcher is a tough position to get consistent production, so I’ll take a player who has dominated the projected starter as my backstop tonight. Read more…

Daily Fantasy Baseball must starts: Thursday August 16th

Daily Fantasy Baseball Must StartsIn honor of football season nearing, we’ve got players from New York and Milwaukee, not Eli Manning and Aaron Rodgers, that will provide great value in daily fantasy baseball leagues.

Value Plays:

Milwaukee Brewers – I still believe Cliff Lee is an élite pitcher, but he hasn’t proven it this season and is unlikely to do so against the Brew Crew. Current Milwaukee players are batting .300 against the lefty with 21.1% of their hits going for home runs. Ryan Braun, Alex Gonzalez, and Aramis Ramirez are all hitting over .300 with at least one homer against Lee, while Carlos Gomez has a slightly lower average (.273) but has had one-third of his hits leave the ballpark. Milwaukee’s team slugging percentage of .536 is simply to good to pass up, even if they are opposing a pitcher with élite skills.

David Wright – The miserable Mets face off against “I give up the occasional” Homer Bailey in a matchup of two teams headed in completely opposite directions. However, tonight figures to be a night in which Mets fans can rejoice and roster their favorite players in daily fantasy baseball leagues. New York holds a .352 career batting average against the Reds righty, with Wright leading the way at .556. Scott Hairston is the only Met with a HR off of Bailey, but that could very easily change as the game is being played in hitter friendly Cincinnati, where Bailey has given up 79% of his season’s home runs. For one day you’re allowed to overlook the Mets second half struggles and roster Wright. Read more here…

Top 5 2012 Cy Young Award Candidates | National League

Stephen Strasburg

Norm Hall/Getty Images

We reviewed the top five Cy Young candidates in the American League last week, and it’s only right we do the same for the National League this week. The AL is much more competitive, I feel. However, there are some studs in the

NL. Some came out of nowhere, while others have been around and aren’t much of a secret at this point in their careers.

The first surprise comes from a team that had him listed as their third starter at the beginning of the season, and now, he’s arguably their best pitcher. This list is much more difficult than the previous one, so please bear with us.

5(a). Stephen Strasburg – Washington Nationals

As ESPN’s Jayson Stark explains, “The Shutdown day” is inevitable. If it weren’t for this, Strasburg could have been

near the top of this list. When conducting this list I needed to consider where the pitchers might end up at the end of the year. With Strasburg’s inning limit inching closer every start, it appears he only has a few starts remaining.

I’m sure some voters likely won’t even give the future Cy Young winner (yea, that’s right) any credit this year, however, his stats deserve it. With 13 wins (just five losses), a 2.90 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP and 166 strikeouts, Strasburg is in the top 10 in all of the major pitching categories – if that’s not enough for consideration, I don’t know what is.  Read More…

 

Fantasy Baseball sleeper team for the remainder of 2012

josh rutledge

With all of the trading, promotions, demotions, players being place on waivers, and whatever else has been going on to shake up MLB lineup cards, we’ve decided to put together the All-Sleeper Fantasy Baseball Team for the remainder of the season.

This lineup doesn’t feature players that we all know, but rather the players that you should know! Use these players as you need, but just know, they will be producing and at very low costs.

Starting Pitcher – Matt Harvey – New York Mets

Since making his Major League debut on July 26, Harvey has been nothing less than brilliant. After breaking the Mets record for strikeouts in a debut, Harvey has since pitched 6.0 innings and has struck out 7 more. His current totals are at 11.1 IP, 18 Ks, and just two earned, giving the phenom a 1.59 ERA and 1.15 WHIP.

According to ESPN, Harvey is on an innings limit (duh) and has about 50 innings left. He should be good for about 8-10 more starts, thus giving fantasy owners plenty to be excited about in 2012.

Closer – Greg Holland – Kansas City Royals

Since the trade of Jonathan Broxton to the Reds, Holland has taken over the closer role. He’s only had one save opportunity but he nailed it down. The new closer has lowered his ERA in his last five appearances (0 runs) and I think that trend will continue.

Catcher – Ryan Lavarnway – Boston Red Sox

Lavarnway made his season debut yesterday and while it wasn’t all that impressive, he did bat sixth and was walked once. I know, so what? Well, in 2011 the catcher hit two home runs and drove in four in his season debut. This young backstop has plenty of upside and for next to nothing.

First Base – Gaby Sanchez – Pittsburgh Pirates

Sanchez was acquired by the Pirates (from the Marlins) back at the trade deadline and the new change of scenery could help the 2011 All-Star get back on track. He didn’t have a great debut for the Pirates, per say, but he did bat cleanup for the bucs. Read the rest of the team here…

 

MLB best bets of the day: July 26, 2012

NY Mets at Arizona 9:40 PM Harvey vs Miley

This game features two future aces in Matt Harvey and Wade Miley. Harvey, 23, makes his Major League debut today, and I’m not so sure he’s ready. Not because he doesn’t have the stuff, but rather because he’s facing the hottest hitting team in baseball. While the Diamondbacks did lose yesterday, they were on a five-game win streak, and have won seven of their last ten.

This one isn’t about the phenom Harvey, but rather the Diamondbacks bats, and Wade Miley. Miley has been an absolute stud at home; in the eight games he has started at Chase Field, Miley sports a 2.55 ERA and a 7-2 record. As far as the bats are concerned, well, there shouldn’t be any concern, while at home. Diamondbacks hitters are batting nearly 40 points higher at home and have hit 27, 17, and 24, more doubles, triples, and home runs respectively, at home…in just two games more than away! Harvey had a 3.68 ERA for the NY Mets AAA affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons. After this one, Harvey will be lucky to get south of a 5.00 ERA for the remainder of the 2012 MLB season.

Pick: Diamondbacks -1 ½(+125)

Read more picks here…

The Mets fall from grace, standings

New York Mets Fan

Just when you thought it was safe to become a proud New York Mets fan again, they find another way to “Build you up, buttercup baby just to let you down!” Six games over .500 at the All Star break and just a half-game out of the wild card race, it looked like the Metropolitans were finding a way to over achieve themselves right into the playoffs.

However, injuries and a lot of bad luck has pulled the rug from right underneath them of late and we’re now witnessing the unraveling of one of the most biggest surprise teams through the first half of the season. Losers of eight of their last nine games since the break, the Mets have found themselves at 47-48, placing them below .500 for the first time this year.

Now they’ve slipped to 8.5 games out of 1st place in the N.L. East, safely tucked away in third place and 5 games out of the wild card race after their weekend sweep at the hands of the L.A. Dodgers. Their pitching staff has been a regular *M*A*S*H* unit, starting with Mike Pelfrey who went down after just three games before having Tommy John surgery. The loss of Dillon Gee to a blood clot in his throwing shoulder was followed by the latest news that the first N.Y. Met to pitch a no-hitter, Johan Santana, was headed to the DL to heal a badly sprained ankle, to rest, and to give his surgically repaired shoulder some extra time off. Should the Mets fall too far out of contention, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if they opt to shut Santana down for a part or the remainder of the season at that point. Read more here…

Top 10 mid-season MLB awards

As we get ready for the second half of the MLB season to begin, we want to present our Top Ten Furnace Awards (TTFA) for random accomplishments.

And the winners are:

 1. N.L. MVP- Andrew McCutchen-Pirates; .362-18 HR-60 RBI-58 Runs-14 SB. Joey Votto-Reds came in a close second; .348 14 HR 50 runs 48 RBI 8SB. Neither team wins without them.

2. A.L. MVP- Mike Trout- .341-12 HR-40 RBI-57 Runs-26 SB

3. Most improved player N.L.- R.A. Dickey; 12-1- 2.40 ERA- 0.93 WHIP-123 K’s- 26 BB.

4. Most improved player A.L.- Melky Cabrera-119 hits leads the majors!

5. Most intersting Team Stat- N.Y. Mets have a bonafide MVP and Cy Young award candidate in Wright and Dickey.

Read all of them here…

MLB 6 pack: National League mid-season award winners

Rookie of the Half-season Award: P Wade Miley, Diamondbacks

Runner-Up: OF Bryce Harper, Nationals

Halfway through the 2012 baseball season, it may be a surprising choice that I’ve chosen the Diamondback lefty over the 19-year-old phenom Nationals’ outfielder. Despite a horrible outing this past Saturday against the Brewers (3.2 IP, 8 ER), Miley has still posted outstanding numbers in his rookie season, accumulating a team-best 9 wins (6th in N.L.), and a 2.87 ERA (16th). Miley’s outstanding play has helped the Diamondbacks get back into the playoff scene at the 2012 half-season.

Manager of the Half-season Award: Terry Collins, Mets

Collins (above) has nearly the rest of the N.L. East division looking up at his overachieving Mets in the standings

Runner-Up: Davey Johnson, Nationals

A tough call for N.L. Manager of the Half-season, both Terry Collins and Davey Johnson are “1-A” and “1-B”. Although the Nationals looked to be one year away from contending with the assumption that the Phillies, Marlins, and Braves would dominate the N.L. East, the Mets were projected to be NOWHERE near the top of the N.L. East standings in 2012. The Mets may not hit the long ball too often (66 home runs-12th in N.L.), but they score by playing small ball (376 runs-3rd in N.L.). Even though the Mets’ fielding is an issue (63 errors-2nd worst in N.L.), the pitching has been efficient (3.83 ERA-6th in N.L.), and guys are playing the right way at the right time. Overall, Collins has done significantly more with less (see R.A. Dickey) halfway through the 2012 season. Read more here…

R.A. Dickey: A year like no other

R.A. Dickey

He’s the hottest pitcher in the major leagues tied for the most wins, nine. R.A. Dickey of the New York Mets  is having a career year and there really is no rhyme or reason for it.  As he is currently on pace for 25 wins, clearly it would not be surprising if there’s an adjustment in store for the 37 year old knuckleballer.

He is two years removed from his career high in wins, 11, and is carrying a career low ERA of 2.44 and a miniscule WHIP of only 1.04! What make these numbers as stunning as his 9-1 record is that his career average ERA sits at 4.17 while his average WHIP is 1.37. Although on pace for 200+ strikeouts, Dickey has never struck out more than 134 in any season.

He doesn’t seem to be letting up either as he has a 0.29 ERA over his last four starts, with 38 strikeouts and three walks. And what is even more impressive is that Dickey is experiencing his career best scoreless inning streak holding at 24 2/3 inning! Not sure what the eleven year veteran is eating but I hope he wasn’t hanging around Ryan Braun in the off-season.

Read more here…

Proof that it’s time for instant replay in Major League Baseball

Abner Doubleday

Abner Doubleday invented the game of baseball  in Cooperstown, New York in 1839. By today’s standards that game, their original equipment, and some of their rules seem archaic; there were no helmets, no inside chest protectors, no oversized gloves, and no replays of disputable home runs.

Over the past 173 years, the game has seen many changes. It has appropriately evolved with the times, it’s popularity, and it’s marketability. Changes have been made to make the baseball player more comfortable and quicker like the transformation of the old wool uniforms to mass-produced team brands made from space age fabrics.

Point is, because of changes in technology, the game and those responsible for running it, have made many necessary adjustments that have enhanced its enjoyment and popularity. But have they done enough?

Case in point, we have now come to yet another point in time where it is necessary to ‘update’ the game again in order to make its outcome fair to both sides. The cry for instant replay made its greatest plea almost 2 years ago to the day; June 2, 2010, when Detroit Tigers pitcher Armondo Galarraga was denied being credited with baseball’s 21st perfect game because of a blown call made by veteran umpire Jim Joyce involving the 27th batter to come to the plate.

Fast forward to June 1, 2012 and Mets pitcher Johan Santana who was vying for his team’s first no-hitter in their franchise’s history. A ball hit by former Met Carlos Beltran clearly was fair on replay but was determined to be foul by umpire Adrian Johnson.

If called correctly, Santana doesn’t have his no hitter and history would not have been made. Read more here…

Santana pitches a no hitter, World Series next?

Johan SantanaWhat a night as the New York Mets made pitching history during their victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. Many great pitchers have graced the mound for the Mets from Tom Seaver to Doc Gooden, but no New York Mets pitcher had a no-hitter until Johan Santana.

Santana ‘s no-hitter was the first of his career and the first for the Mets organization. Santana pitched with poise and unbelievable ball placement. The crowd sat and watched in awe at the brilliant performance. Citi Field was the scene as Santana retired batter after batter.  Johan Santana had 8 strikeouts and dominated the game in rare fashion. Anticipation and nerves entered into the stadium as fans and players begin to realize the possibility of a no hitter. The Cardinals were dumbfounded, losing to the Mets 8 to 0. Read more here…

New York Mets have a legitimate shot if…

New York Mets

Daniel Murphy, David Wright and the rest of the New York Mets are all smiles as they begin June 5th games over .500.

If you would have told me before the year began that we would be ‘considering’ the New York Mets as a contender entering the third month of the season, I would have asked you what you were smoking and then double-checked that your last name wasn’t Wilpon…

And yet here we are about to begin the month of June, declaring that the Mets have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs. Here are several factors that we have weighed into this thought process:

The Mets, first and foremost, deserve a tremendous amount of credit for over-achieving with essentially a young & unexperienced bunch of players while dealing with the obligitory injuries that every team is faced with. Read more here…

New York Mets lefty Johan Santana pitches first shutout since 2010

Johan SantanaNew York Mets left-handed pitcher Johan Santana’s shoulder surgery may have shaved some juice off of his velocity, but on Saturday afternoon he delivered a near-magical performance.

Although it was against a less-than-dominant San Diego Padres group, Santana had the stuff to only give up four singles in his first shutout since August, 12 2010.

Saturday’s outing keeps his ERA under 3.0 at 2.75 which at this juncture of the season is a feat unto itself.

Santana gave up not a single walk in an efficient 96 pitches that also struck out seven.
Offensively, Santana had help from Mike Nickeas who hit the Mets first grand slam of the season, and Scott Hairston and Vinny Rottino who also homered.

Santana’s shutout is sure give him even more momentum going into next Friday’s start against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Be sure to check out other great articles at Players View.

Mets’ Francisco may be uneasy closing

Frank Francisco

Frank FranciscoFrank Francisco was brought in to be the new closer for the New York Mets, but instead of starting his career off right, he has not had the type of success they are searching for.

Francisco allowed two runs in two innings against the Marlins on Saturday, the seventh time in 11 spring games he has allowed at least one run. Francisco, who joined the Mets on a two-year, $12 million contract this winter, holds a 5.54 Grapefruit League ERA, with seven strikeouts and four walks in 13 innings.

All spring, manager Terry Collins has attributed the closer’s troubles to the lack of adrenaline in Spring Training games. That much, he said, was not an excuse during the third inning Saturday, in a game that saw Francisco attempt to keep the Mets within one run.

“Pitching where he did today, there should have been a little adrenaline,” Collins said.