Tag Archives: Andrew Miller

How to Salvage Your Losing Fantasy Baseball Team (Step 2 of 2)

Step 2: Patch your holes
You can make up for the near-fatal combination of a poor draft and star-player injuries by paying better attention than your opponents. Skim box scores — every night, for every team. The other members of your league are probably paying better attention to some teams than others, especially if you’re in a league with friends from the same geographic area. They may know which Yankee outfielder is on a tear, or which Met starter has pitched better than his record indicates, but they probably aren’t paying attention to the infield situation in Minnesota.

If you’re finally ready to cut your draft mistakes (Julio Lugo?!), you’re going to have some roster spots to fill. Some suggestions….

C: Dioner Navarro — A .326 AVG, .803 OPS a tight grip on the staring job, and a hot offense around him make Navarro the best catcher on your waiver wire, and a top-ten catcher overall.
see also: Chris Snyder, Chris Iannetta, Gerald Laird

1B:Eric Hinske — His 12 HR, 5 SB, and .845 OPS speak for themselves. He may have disappointed you in fantasy seasons past, but he’s a heck of a lot more useful now than Paul Konerko.
see also: Marcus Thames, Aubrey Huff

2B: Alexi Casilla or Alexei Ramirez — If you don’t have an Utley, Upton, or Kinsler, you should have one of these. These are their stats in the last 30 days:
Alexi Casilla: .315 AVG, .817 OPS, 3 HR, 4 SB, 23 RBI
Alexei Ramirez: .367 AVG, .918 OPS, 3 HR, 2 SB, 15 RBI

3B: Joe Crede — With 15 HR, a respectable .284 AVG, and a beautiful .900 OPS, it’s a marvel Crede is available at all.  If you are the one guy in your league without two stud third basemen, now might be your last chance.  15 home runs should not be on the waiver wire.

SS: No studs here, but plenty of better options than Julio Lugo.  Bobby Crosby is putting together a  respectable enough season at a shallow position (.262 / 4 HR, 5 SB, 36 RBI) and Yuniesky Betancourt is heating up a bit. A slumping Stephen Drew is available in one of my leagues, and the injured (and before that, slumping) Troy Tulowitzki is available in another — either one will help you over the course of the season.

OF: Michael Bourn — He spent April as a frustrating one-category guy — flailing at the plate but running wild on the bases (.195 AVG, 11 SB), but in June he’s hitting .391 with only 3 SB.  He probably won’t finish the season with an average above .270, but the speed is definitely real.  Bourn was just put back in the leadoff spot after getting demoted to 7th in May, and with the Astros a half game out of last place in the NL Central, there’s no reason for him not to be aggressive.
see also: David DeJesus, Lastings Milledge, Fred Lewis, Skip Schumaker

SP: Kyle Lohse — I can’t say I really believe his numbers this year (8-2, 3.77 ERA, 1.21 WHIP), but if your team needs help, you need to look beyond the sexy or obvious names and just find someone who will help you win. At minimum, Lohse is worth streaming at home against most NL offenses.
see also:Justin Masterson, Manny Parra, Andrew Miller, Jair Jurrjens

RP: Damaso Marte — He’s the best overlooked setup man out there. He has one win, one save, and six holds with a 2.31 ERA over the last 30 days. He strikes out more than a batter per inning, and should be owned in all leagues that count holds.
see also: Joel Zumaya

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Big Fish

It’s May 12th, and every day it’s getting harder to ignore the Marlins, now tied for the best record in the NL. But Tampa Bay has a better chance of finishing where they are (2nd in the AL East) than the Marlins do of staying atop the NL East. Sure, Hanley Ramirez is insanely talented without any of the usual qualifiers (…but raw, …but troubled). But the rest of the offense is chock full of buts — Uggla’s got power but strikes out too much (4th in the NL with 39 Ks); Hermida strikes out four times as often as he walks; Luis Gonzalez is off to a decent start, but is 40, and last year hit 40 points lower in the second half. That offense has a plenty of talent, but there’s no way they keep this up.

Now the pitching: The bullpen is legitimately improved. Gregg has settled in well as closer. Pinto looks great in the setup roll. And that’s the last positive thing I can say about this staff.

Scott Olsen, the Marlins “ace”, walks too many and doesn’t get the strikeouts to balance out. Two of Olsen’s four wins have been against the Washington Nationals. When he’s eventually forced to pitch more in the strike zone — there’s only so long “effectively wild” works, just ask Daniel Cabrera — the hits will go up, his ERA will rise, and by mid June everyone will laugh at his once near-universal fantasy ownership. And a bad outing or two might be all it takes to awaken Olsen’s personal demons.

Trade him now.

Mark Hendrickson leads the Marlins with five wins, but as the oldest pitcher on the staff, and with a career BAA of .289, is the least likely candidate for a breakout season. 22-year-old Andrew Miller may be a superstar someday, but right now the league is hitting .340 against him — and that’s with three starts against the Nationals.

The Marlins have played one series against a team with a winning record (at the time of the series), and were not only swept, but outscored 25-10 by the Dodgers. They’ll face the Diamondbacks, Mets, and Phillies in the second half of May…

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