This is the second installment of “Sweetbob’s Fantasy F*ck, Marry, Kill.” I received some emails asking me for fantasy advice. If you have any questions, I will do my best to answer all of them. You can email me at email@example.com.
Who made the list for a second week in a row? Do I trust David Robertson to close games for the Yankees? Should you begin looking for starters to replace Josh Beckett and Ubaldo Jimenez?
Welcome to “Sweetbob’s Fantasy F*ck, Marry, Kill”…
Before I begin, let’s go over the F/M/K terminology. The guys that I list under “Fuck” are guys that are currently hot and you need to pick them up. “Marry”, are guys that you need to stick with, even if they are struggling a bit. “Kill”, are guys that you need to think about dropping for better players in the free agent pool.
OF Josh Reddick – Oakland A’s – 90.7% owned – Unless you are in an AL-only league, I doubt that Josh Reddick was drafted. He’s being added to leagues as a feverish pace. I doubt the A’s or his former team, the Red Sox, thought that he would be showing this much power. He’s batting .291 with eight home runs so far. If he hasn’t been added in your league, pick him up, especially since Yoenis Cespedes was just put on the disable-list.
OF Allen Craig – St. Louis Cardinals – 72.2% owned – Since he came off of the disabled-list, he’s been on a tear. In the past two weeks, he’s batting .324 with four homer runs and 13 RBI. There could soon be an issue with Craig’s playing time, since Lance Berkman comes back from injury in the next few weeks. If you own Craig, ride him while he’s hot, but keep an eye out on Berkman’s playing status.
3B Will Middlebrooks – Boston Red Sox – 39.5% owned – When Kevin Youkilis went down with an injury, Red Sox Nation didn’t even expect a productive replacement. Middlebooks has taken his opportunity and made the best of it. He has a stat line of 3/11/.282 over the last two weeks. If he keeps this up, he could steal some at-bats at either third-base or designated-hitter. If Youk struggles, Boston could start looking towards the future and deal him. It’s a “what if,” but Middlebrooks is a nice short-term fix.
C J.P. Arencibia – Toronto Blue Jays – 21.9% owned – If your catcher is struggling at the plate this season, Arencibia is a nice replacement. You know what you’re going to get out of him and he delivers. His batting average won’t be very high (probably hovering around .240), but you will get power. He has hit a couple dingers in the last two weeks.
3B Chris Johnson – Houston Astros – 42.1% owned – Johnson was on this list last week and his ownership jumped by almost 30%. He is still on a hot streak and I think he is the real deal. He was productive last year and he’s continuing to improve. In the last two weeks, he is batting .368 with four homers and 11 RBI. Don’t let the fact that he’s on the low-scoring Astros scare you away. He will still produce numbers on a bad team.
SP Joe Blanton – Philadelphia Phillies – 13.6% owned – When you think of the strong starting pitching on the Phillies, Blanton is the last person you would name. He is the hottest pitcher on their staff and available in nearly every standard mixed league. He has two starts this week with favorable match-ups. Over the last two weeks, he’s averaging nearly a strikeout an inning (21 in 23 innings) with a couple wins. He’s worth a pick up and/or spot start this week.
SP James McDonald – Pittsburgh Pirates – 37.6% owned – It has been a long time since a Pirates starting pitcher looked this great. McDonald has been hot since the beginning of the year. He has a 2.43 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 39 Ks in 44 innings…All-Star caliber numbers. His K/BB rate isn’t great, but his balls are missing bats. He has only given up 31 hits in seven starts this year.
SP Carlos Zambrano – Miami Marlins – 47.0% owned – As a Cubs fan, it pains me to see Zambrano having a good season. In his last three starts, he has only given up one run with 21 strikeouts in 23 innings. He’s red hot and you should pick him up and ride him until he has a six walk performance. He will have a few of those outings per year. The key in owning him is knowing when to drop him before his numbers hurt your team.
RP Alfredo Aceves – Boston Red Sox – 61.9% owned – Aceves started out the year bad, to say the least. His first few outings were horrible and his ERA & WHIP still show the affects of those appearances. He settled down and has a firm hold on the closing job. He has only given up two runs in his last 11.2 innings and has converted his last five save chances. Boston should start winning more games soon and he’ll rack up some saves in your roto or head-to-head league.
SP Edinson Volquez – San Diego Padres 29.5% owned – Even though the Padres are bad, their pitchers still get to pitch half of their games at spacious PETCO Park. Volquez is on a hot streak and has only given up four runs in his last 25.2 innings. You won’t expect many wins from him, but he has won his last two starts. He will help you a lot in strikeouts to make up for the lack of wins.
SP Brandon McCarthy – Oakland A’s – 77.0% owned – McCarthy was drafted in most leagues, but was one of the first pitchers dropped in a large percentage of leagues. His starts weren’t bad, but they weren’t wowing any owners. His numbers started to improve and he has his pitches working and looks like old Brandon McCarthy. He won his last three starts and recorded ten strikeouts in his last start against Detroit.
OF – Jason Kubel – Arizona Diamondbacks – 81.8% owned – He keeps hitting, yet his owned percentage continues to drop. He hasn’t shown a lot of power over the last couple of weeks, but in the last week, he has a hit in every game. The power will be hit or miss, but Kubel is a consistent hitter for your team.
OF – Logan Morrison – Miami Marlins – 67.0% owned – Based on past performance, you have to stick with LoMoMarlins. He is a streaky hitter, but at the end of the year, he’ll have good fantasy numbers. If Ozzie Guillen starts to leave him off the lineup card, then it is time to think about dropping him.
OF Gerardo Parra – Arizona Diamondbacks – 50.3% owned – A lot of team owners get scared away by the word “platooon.” Parra is on the ride side of the platoon, since he only sits when the Diamondbacks face a strong left-handed pitcher. His ownership has started to level out after being a trendy pick-up. He will give your team batting average, medium power, and some steals. He’s a perfect fourth or fifth outfielder in standard mixed leagues.
1B Mark Trumbo – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – 77.2% owned – I can understand why people have dropped Trumbo, the Angels’ lineup is crowded. They have Kendrys Morales, Albert Pujols, and Trumbo all sharing time at first-base. It helps that the Angels are working Morales back slowly and putting Trumbo in left field. He’s getting at-bats, but he’s getting left off the lineup card often. I expect the Angels to make a trade to free up playing time or send Trumbo to a better situation. Hold on to him, he is going to put up solid numbers. Keep in mind, he will soon be eligible to roster as an outfielder. He could have a rough week, since the Angels will not have the DH option for four games this week (they play in National League parks).
2B Neil Walker – Pittsburgh Pirates – 77.9% owned – Walker is sitting at one home run this year, but his average is at .278. By the end of the year, he’ll have around 12-15 home runs and with an average near .300. His numbers have improved this week and has shown the ability to get on base and score runs.
C A.J. Pierzynski – Chicago White Sox – He is consistent and you know what you are getting when you own him. Pierzynski is not a guy that you brag about owning on your fantasy league. He isn’t going to hit 30 homers and bat .325, but he has double-digit power w/ .280 average potential.
SP Jaime Garcia – St. Louis Cardinals – 90.2% owned – I’m not sure why team owners are giving up on Garcia so easily. He’s a guy that will have a couple bad outings every couple months, but he will get his ERA under 4.00 by this time next month. He isn’t going to strikeout a ton of batters, but he gives you other categories. He will give you wins and low ERA over the course of a season.
SP Matt Moore – Tampa Bay Rays – 91.0% owned – Moore went fairly high in fantasy drafts based on his performance in last year’s playoffs. He showed poise and delivered a lot of filthy pitches. He is having trouble with his pitch count and not getting to the sixth inning. Once he finds how to get outs without having to strikeout batters, he will be able to get deeper into games. He could be a stud by August, so hold onto him right now.
SP – Hiroki Kuroda – New York Yankees – 80.4% owned – He impressed me last season and I have confidence that he will get plenty of wins when the Yankees start winning. He isn’t the reason for the Yankees troubles. He has only had two bad starts, which inflated his ERA & WHIP to 3.56/1.37 respectively. If you take out those two starts, he has an ERA under 2.00 and a 1.10 WHIP.
OF/DH Kendrys Morales – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – 67.4% owned – The Angels play four games in National League parks and I don’t see him playing in the majority of those games. They play a lot of Interleague games in June, so his ownership value will take a big hit. It is getting more difficult for Morales to crack the starting lineup. It doesn’t help him that Mark Trumbo is hitting so well.
1B/OF Carlos Lee – Houston Astros – 97.0% owned – I’m not saying that you should instantly dump the former All-Star, but it could be time to start thinking about it. There are a lot of quality outfielders and first-baseman in the free agent pool. You drafted Lee for power and RBI and he isn’t delivering. Keep an eye on his numbers, because it could be time to pull the trigger.
2B Rickie Weeks – Milwaukee Brewers – 88.1% owned – Weeks has been an up & down player for his entire career. He is either hitting under .200, knocking multiple homers in a game, or in the disabled list. It is nice to have power at the second-base position, but he has a nagging injury and his batting average is killing your team. If you don’t have a suitable free agent replacement, put him on your bench while he’s working through his injury.
3B/1B Chris Davis – Baltimore Orioles – 73.1% owned – Davis started out the season on fire, but he has came back down to Earth in a hurry. He reverted back into the player that couldn’t hold onto a job in Texas. He will not finish the season with an average over .220 and his power is streaky. If Will Middlebrooks is available in your league, he is a better option than Davis.
1B/OF Lucas Duda – New York Mets – 63.2% owned – The NL East is loaded with left-handed starters. The Mets have Duda on a platoon and usually sit him when they face a lefty. If the Mets were in another division, he would get more playing time. He has a lot of skills and when he plays, he’s solid. Unless you are in a deep mixed or an NL-only, there are better free agent options as a replacement.
1B Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks – 44.3% owned – He is another player that is stuck in a platoon and shares time with Lyle Overbay. Goldschmidt was a late-season fantasy surprise last season. He was drafted in hopes that he would continue his above-average production. Goldschmidt has disappointed owners and it’s time to pull off the band-aid. He could be a pick-up option later in the season if he ever hits his way out of the platoon.
SP/RP Chris Sale – Chicago White Sox – 94.4% owned – He is pitching through elbow issues and the White Sox are indecisive if they want to move him into the closer role. He has been an above-average starter this season, but elbow injuries always scare me as a fantasy team owner. He will either turn it around and have a solid season or completely lose his command and inflate his ERA and WHIP. He is a pitcher to keep and eye on and read the injury report on a daily basis. I have a feeling that he will make a trip to the DL very soon.
SP Josh Beckett – Boston Red Sox– 82.9% owned – He is in a messy situation in Boston. Beckett isn’t known for keeping his cool and is labeled an emotional pitcher. I am not sold that he will end the season on Boston. A trade could come sooner than later. If he has one more bad start, it could be time to open up a spot on your roster for a rotating starter.
SP Ubaldo Jimenez – Cleveland Indians– 71.8% owned – He made the “Kill” list last week and he had another bad start. He walked five batters, allowed nine hits, and gave up seven runs in 4.2 innings. His ERA now stands at 5.18 and carries a 1.78 WHIP. I’m not sure what team owners are waiting on. Drop Jimenez now and pick up a guy like Christian Fredrich, Ross Detwiler, or Drew Smyly.
RP Grant Balfour – Oakland A’s – 74.0% owned – He recently lost his job as the closer to Brian Fuentes. Bob Melvin, Oakland’s manager, left the door open for Balfour to earn his spot back later in the year. He has had many opportunities to close games on other teams, but he has never succeeded as a closer. He isn’t worth a roster spot in any mixed league format, unless you are in a roto league with a Holds category