Fantasy Baseball

Field of Streams: Week 11 Weekend Warriors

By Will Emerson (@WillieMoe)

As another week of fantasy baseball winds down, it’s time to find those hidden gems amongst the waiver wire pitching pool! Last weekend started off well for the Field of Streams picks, with three solid Friday outings, but became less, well, umm well, I suppose, as the weekend progressed. Let’s break down last weekend’s Field of Streamers before we dive into this upcoming weekend’s streaming recommendations.

 

OVERALL
Nine recommended starting pitchers went 2-3, with a 3.46 ERA, a 1.19 WHIP and a 7.96 K/9. Not a bad pitching line, but of course they aren’t all gold as we will see in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

THE GOOD
Tanner Roark, Nationals - 8 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 11 K, W

THE BAD
Randy Wolf, Marlins - 5.2 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, BB, 2 K, L

THE UGLY
Jose Quintana, White Sox - 4.1IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, L

Well, dem’s the appeteasers, let’s get to the main course! Continue reading

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Diamonds in the Rough – Week 11 Pickups

By A.J. Weinberg (@Fantasy_AJ)

Did we just get through a full week without a catastrophic baseball injury? Maybe it’s a baby step, but any step away from the mess of injuries that has been the 2014 MLB season is something all fantasy players will take gladly (Editor’s note: this was written before the news on Cargo’s surgery and Cuddyer going to the DL). This is week 11, and you probably have an idea of what is to come is this article.  Let’s dive into my favorite players to pick up this week, because even when you aren’t replacing an injured all-star, it can be good to get some fresh blood into your lineup.

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Field of Streams: Week 11 Weekday Streamers

By Will Emerson (@WillieMoe)

Hey, howdy, it’s streamin’ time! Another delightful look at some viable streamers for the upcoming fantasy week. Of course, as always, let’s take a look at how last week’s weekday streamers fared.

OVERALL
10 recommended streamers, 2-5, 4.66 ERA, 1.53 WHIP and a 6.52 K/9

THE GOOD
Henderson Alvarez, Marlins – 9IP, 8H, 0ER, 5K, W

THE BAD
Mike Leake, Reds – 5IP, 8H, 5ER, BB, 6K, L

THE UGLY
Jaime Garcia, Cardinals – 5IP, 8H, 6ER, 3K, L

So, about an average of a quality start per streamer, which is workable. I would say there were four solid-ish starts and three that were, well, forgettable,to say the least. Let’s see if we can do a bit better this week! Continue reading

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Field of Streams: Week 10 Weekend Warriors

By Will Emerson (@WillieMoe)

Welcome back, loyal readers! Time to kick off your weekend, right with some Field of Streams! Okay, let’s address the Bartolo Colon in the room; last weekend was not spectacular for the Field of Streams crew. Look, folks, it happens. It’s best to never mention it again and move on. Well, I am a man and I don’t shy away from owning my picks, so let us take a look at what went down (that’s as gangster as it gets here at Top Team) last weekend.

 

Overall
Seven streamers, 1-4, 5.85 ERA, 1.50 WHIP and a 6.98 K/9
An ugly line, for sure, but they weren’t all clunkers…

THE GOOD
Nate Eovaldi, Marlins - 8 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 4 K, ND
Jon Niese, Mets - 8 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, BB, 6 K, ND

And obviously those outings were not common…

THE BAD
Jacob Turner, Marlins - 5 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, L
J.A. Happ, Blue Jays - 7.2 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, L

THE UGLY
Nick Tepesch, Rangers - 2 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, K, L

Okay, and now we can move past that mess and look towards this upcoming weekend.

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MLB Mowdown: May Edition

By Russell Shaffer (@RussellShaffer)

It’s hard to believe the calendar has rolled to June and the MLB season is 1/3 of the way complete. It’s been a wild ride punctuated by an unfortunate rash of Tommy John surgeries, aging veterans pitching like blue chip prospects and, of course, the usual fluidity at the back of almost every bullpen.

So how has your pitching been thus far? If the answer is “not so good”, don’t feel too badly. I’ve had my share of struggles as well thanks to injuries, poor performances from some supposedly trusted veterans and a few ill-fated streaming attempts. I also see lots of teams at the top of the stat sheet in most offensive categories who are middle of the pack in their league’s standings. That’s thanks in large part to a lousy showing by their pitching staff.

Like I said in the first MLB Mowdown last month, you need good pitching just as much as strong hitting to win your league. Most owners load up on hitters early in the draft and forget the importance of pitching. Yes, you need to place a premium on sluggers – especially those who can run – but you can’t ignore the hurlers if you want to survive and thrive.

At the 1/3 mark of the season you can begin to make some sound projections as to what kind of pitching numbers you’ll need to finish near the top of your league by season’s end. In a 12-team rotisserie league you should be trending along these numbers in order to finish at or near the top of the stat column in each category:

W: 30-35 for a final pace of 90-105 W

SV: 40-45 for a final pace of 120-135 SV

K: 450-500 for a final pace of 1350-1500 K

Of course every league is different and the above numbers may appear high or low based upon the roster compositions of your league. But as I look for the averages across all my respective leagues these numbers represent the pace you should be on in order to finish in the top three or four points earners for a given category. Ratios are a little harder to pinpoint, but a good place to be is around a 3.25 ERA and 1.20 WHIP.

If you’re looking at the above numbers and realizing you have some ground to make up with respect to your pitching stats, let’s delay no further in beginning to mow ‘em down. Continue reading

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Diamonds in the Rough – Week 10 Pickups

By A.J. Weinberg (@Fantasy_AJ)

Most teams are officially more than a third of the way through the season. I feel like baseball has been going on for quite some time,  but the thought of teams having almost two-thirds of the season left, is both exciting and daunting. Exciting, because baseball is the greatest, and daunting, because you could easily see your first place standing crash and burn, and there are plenty of  devastating injuries to come. On the other hand, if your team has struggled to this point, there’s plenty of time to right the ship. Your team will get hot, other teams will slump, and you’ll find enough solid options on your waiver wire to supplement your squad.  As always, I’m here to give you the top waiver options of the week, in my tenth “Diamonds in the Rough” article of 2014.

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Field of Streams: Week 10 Weekday Streamers

By Will Emerson (@WillieMoe)

Holy moley, we are already in June! My, my how the time does fly. If you aren’t already at the regular season halfway point in your fantasy league, you are probably closing in on it very quickly and what better way to help your team avoid the June swoon than with some smart streaming? Well, that’s where I come in. Before we get ourselves acquainted with the upcoming streaming options, let’s see how last week’s streamers fared.

 

OVERALL
10 SP’s went 4-2, with a 3.29 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and a 6.57 K/9.

Certainly works for me! Let’s see who was the cream of the streaming crop.

 

THE GOOD
Jorge de la Rosa, Rockies – 6IP, 6 H, ER, 2 BB, 4 K, W
Ubaldo Jiminez, Orioles – 6 IP, 3 H, ER, 3 BB, 8 K, ND

THE BAD
Jake Arrieta, Cubs – 6 IP 7 H, 4 ER, BB, 6 K, L

THE UGLY
Nick Martinez, Rangers – 5.2 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, ND

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No Gut, No Glory: Knowing When to Trust Your Instincts

By Russell Shaffer (@RussellShaffer)

It’s technically known as the limbic brain, but most of us just call it our “gut”.

We’ve all faced those difficult decisions where we just have one of those “feelings” that we can’t put into words but it just feels right. We end up chalking it up to trusting our instincts or telling others we just had to go with our gut. But the thing is, those decisions have nothing to do with instinct or our gut and everything to do with our limbic brain.

In his captivating book Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action Simon Sinek unpacks the misunderstandings surrounding the limbic brain. He tells us that those “gut decisions” that we feel so strongly about yet can’t articulately defend don’t stem from instinct but rather are the product of a highly cognitive – and trustworthy – portion of our brain known as the limbic system. The problem with the limbic system is that it has no connection to the speech centers of the brain, thus leaving us at a loss for words for these strongly held decisions and forcing us to label them as an otherwise flimsy-sounding “hunch” or “feeling”.

Yet they aren’t flimsy at all. More often than not they’re your best choice, not to mention the right one because they’re tied to memory – a function controlled in the limbic brain.

So what does this have to do with fantasy sports?

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Field of Streams: Week 9 Weekend Warriors

By Will Emerson (@WillieMoe)

Your wait is over, time for Field of Streams: Weekend Warriors for week 9 of the 2014 Major League Baseball season! (Pause for applause) The Weekend Warriors edition of Field of Streams is the self-proclaimed best thing to happen to Fridays, since Full House launched on ABC’s Thank Goodness It’s Funny Friday night lineup! For those of you new readers, here’s how it works. I will give you my top pitching picks for fantasy streaming for the upcoming weekend. For the most part all pitchers listed will be owned under 50% in both ESPN and Yahoo! leagues. Got all that? Good.

Now, before we get to the good stuff, lets’ see how I fared this past weekend, shall we? That was rhetorical, get used to it. So here’s how it broke down for last weekend:

 

OVERALL

Seven starting pitchers recommended, 4-2, 3.55 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and a 7.53 K/9

You could do worse, right? Are you seriously answering? Do you not get the rhetoricalness? Anyways, those would be good numbers for a pitcher through seven starts, but doesn’t mean they were, necessarily, all gems.

 

THE GOOD
Dallas Keuchel, Astros9IP, 4H, 0ER, 6K, W

 

THE BAD
Trevor Bauer, Indians - 4.1IP, 6H, 4ER, 3BB, 8K, L

 

THE UGLY
Edwin Jackson, Cubs4IP, 9H, 8ER, 2BB, 3K, L

Now that you’ve had the potatoes let’s get to the meat!

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Diamonds in the Rough – Week 9 Pickups

By A.J. Weinberg (@Fantasy_AJ)

Injuries have been the common talking point of the introductory paragraphs to my “Diamonds in the Rough” articles for the past few weeks, and there’s no changing the subject this week. Why? Because, the injuries just keep piling on. Prince Fielder’s neck is going to sideline him for the rest of 2014, and Cliff Lee, Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino, Joey Votto, and Nolan Arenado have all been placed on the DL in the past week–brutal. You’ll need to find replacements for your ever-growing number of injured players, and you’ll want to do it quickly. As I do every week, I’ll share my top options among players widely available. Continue reading

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