Sunday, April 05, 2009

Buy and Sell: Team Values

The Counselor is IN: by Michael Kaplan

In fantasy baseball, some teams have great hitting and some have great pitching and it is important to know, whether you are drafting or picking up new players, which teams have which. For example, there is a player like Aaron Rowand who can hit 27 homers in Philadelphia one year and 13 in San Francisco the next year. The Giants might just have the perfect storm for mediocre hitting stats.

Buy: Hitting Gold Mines- There are some teams in which every hitter could help your fantasy team. An obvious example of this type of team is the Boston Red Sox. The only reason Jed Lowrie is owned in 26% of Yahoo leagues is the jersey he suits up in every day. He is a reasonably good hitter, but he found success in fantasy baseball at the end of last season because when he got a hit it was an RBI, when he got on base it was a run, and when he popped up to left field it was a home run. A combination of the team and around a player and the stadium he plays in can seriously boost a player’s fantasy value. A less obvious team that could have this effect is the Texas Rangers. Anyone on that team could easily have a 20 home run season and they will have tons of RBIs and runs with good hitters around them. A long shot to fill the role of a hitting gold mine team is the Houston. They have the players to lead the pack such as Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee, players who need to have another good year, such as Miguel Tejada and Ivan Rodriguez, and players who need to break out this year, like Hunter Pence, Michael Bourn, Kaz Mutsui, and Geoff Blum.

Pitching Powers- A couple of different factors makes a team a pitching power. It could be good offensive support or it could be a good bullpen to back up starters and vice versa. On a pitching power, the fifth starter may be valuable to your team. One obvious example of this is the New York Mets because they have everything needed: great run support and the best setup man and closer combo in the league with J.J. Putz and Francisco Rodriguez. If a pitcher on that team has a strong seven innings, they will get the win. Their last starter Mike Pelfrey could get a lot of wins if he pitches as well as he did last year. I would also buy Oliver Perez and John Maine. A less obvious pitching power is the San Francisco Giants. With five great starters that combine for seven Cy Young awards, they have a terrific staff. They improved bullpen pitching during the offseason and their hitting could spark this year with a fast and young offense. A long shot pitching power is the Cleveland Indians. They have added Anthony Reyes and Carl Pavano to the rotation. Fausto Carmona needs to have a comeback year and Cliff Lee just needs to keep doing what he was doing after last year’s Cy Young award.

Sell: Hitting Disappointments- Some teams just disappoint every time you try to invest in their hitting. A clear hitting disappointment is the Pittsburgh Pirates. There are big names like Nate McLouth, Adam LaRouche, and Ryan Doumit, but I would sell them all. The stadium is over 400 from left center to right center, which makes it very tough to hit home runs. A couple of teams that have big names but could disappoint are the Atlanta Braves and the Arizona Diamondbacks. With the Braves, a good hitting catcher and a third string fantasy first baseman cannot lead an offense and their third baseman is getting too old. With the D’Backs, Justin Upton and Mark Reynolds will not hit as well now that there are scouting reports on them. Chris Synder, Chad Tracy, Stephen Drew, and Conor Jackson are all mediocre and the addition of Felipe Lopez won’t add enough offensively.

Pitching Flops- Some pitching staffs just have the perfect storm of bad features to hurt their pitchers in every way. The Colorado Rockies might be that perfect storm this year with average hitting, over hyped and aging pitchers, and an incredibly shaky closer. Huston Street was basically taken out of the closing spot last year after blowing so many saves in close games, which the Rockies are sure to be in with the small amount of run support they will receive. None of their starting pitchers had under a 3.96 ERA which means they will probably let up about four runs a game with good relieving pitching, which is unlikely, and the offense might not be able to keep up with that.
An outside chance pitching flop is the Milwaukee Brewers. Their closing role has been uncertain for a couple of years and Hoffman might be over the hill. Also, their whole starting staff has been over glorified this offseason.

Check out more of Michael Kaplan's help at http://bestfantasysportshelp.com.

The Counselor is OUT:

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