Daily Dojo 7-23-2013

Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun

Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun

First things first. If you are surprised by the Ryan Braun suspension, you just haven’t been paying attention. Braun had already met with the MLB and had become target 1b (behind A-Rod). The documents showed that he was involved with Biogenesis and he could not escape the facts. By not appealing this suspension, he provides all the credibility to Anthony Bosch’s information that the MLB needs. Braun, in fact, gave the MLB more ammo to attack the players on the Biogenesis list. I think the MLB is going to start handing out suspensions left and right after this. Most players will probably appeal and get suspended at the beginning of next year. Also, I have read that the evidence against A-Rod is SOOOOOO MUCH GREATER than the evidence against Ryan Braun. His suspension could end his career. That is going to be the most interesting thing that happens with the Biogenesis scandal, and I want to see who all of the other players are. This could be another cloud that looms over baseball for a long time if handled incorrectly. So far so good MLB, don’t screw it up.

Fantasy baseball side of this suspension… buy low in keeper/dynasty leagues. I just bought him in one league and I couldn’t be happier. He may not have as much power as before, but he will still be a top 10 player next year. Assuming he stops cheating.

I wrote yesterday that the Matt Garza deal fell apart over the weekend. Well, it happened yesterday. The Cubs sent Garza to the Rangers in return for a package of prospects with the headliner being Mike Olt. I think this is a good trade for both sides, right now. If the Rangers DO NOT make the playoffs, Cubs win this deal. Matt Garza may not sign with the Rangers after this season, just like Cliff Lee in 2010. Actually, I change my mind within 2 sentences. Rangers need to win the World Series or Matt Garza needs to sign long term and perform, otherwise the Cubs win this. They get players that are under their control for a long time and could be on a team that is contending a couple years from now. It should be interesting to see who wins this trade a couple years from now.

Von Miller chasing Joe Flacco

Von Miller chasing Joe Flacco

Von Miller being suspended by the NFL would make me the happiest man in the world for Week 1, but after that, I would be upset. He is an unbelievable talent and has proven it with his 30 sacks in two NFL seasons. Miller is exciting to watch and I love watching him attack the quarterback, unless it is Joe Flacco. This is why I would be happy if he was out Week 1. If he is out Week 1, the Ravens road to a victory just got easier. Since Denver lost Elvis Dumervil to the Ravens, the Broncos would not have any pass rush. When Flacco is not under pressure, he is a star. He can light up a scoreboard. If he is under pressure, he is VERY inconsistent, to put it lightly. The reason the Ravens won the Super Bowl is Flacco was consistent under pressure, but I am not so confident it stays that way in the 2013 season. That is why having a game with no pass rush on opening day would help carry the momentum of the Super Bowl into the 2013 season. He should carve up the Broncos, much like he did in the 2012 playoffs, and the Ravens defense would just have to not crumble for a victory.

 Greg Danchik

Daily Dojo 7-22-2013

I haven’t written in a while because of the All Star Break in baseball. I always watch the game. I think that some parts of the game are dumb, but you will never see the same amount of talent on a baseball field at one time. Time, in a way, stops for me during the All Star festivities. I always find time to watch all of the events. However, a good amount happened this weekend, so here we go.

Phil Mickelson after his birdie putt on 18

Phil Mickelson after his birdie putt on 18

Phil Mickelson hit two shots plus one putt that will go down as the shots of the 2013 British Open and maybe, the shots of his career. He put on a show throughout the entire back nine on Sunday, but 17 and 18 were his shining moments. For his second shot on 17, he hit a 3-wood about 250 yards and then it took a vicious bounce and rolled 50 more yards onto the green. This gave him an eagle putt on the par 5. He was unable to make the eagle putt, but he had a tap in birdie. He goes off to 18 giving away the ball from 17 and high fiving every spectator on the way. He rips a shot out of the tee box once he’s able to shoot. And then came his second great shot. He hits a 6-iron to the left of the hole, runs it across the lip of the bunker and it turns around towards the hole. He sinks the putt for a birdie and the image of his celebration will go down in history. He earn this major championship and he had the final round of a lifetime. He is now 1 of 15 golfers the EVER win 3 out of the 4 major titles. If he could ever finish 1st instead of 2nd at the US Open, he’ll become one of 6 to win all 4 major tournaments.

Matt Garza

Matt Garza

The biggest loser of this weekend has t0 be the Texas Rangers. First of all, the Orioles go into Arlington and sweep the Rangers, with Chris Tillman going 8+ innings for the O’s on Sunday Night. The second reason is they lost out on Matt Garza. It appeared that the Rangers all but had Matt Garza as of Friday evening. As the night wore on, it started to break down. It has been speculated that it hit a snag because of one of the Rangers farm players that was going to be a part of the deal. I think it is Mike Olt. The Cubs are probably hesitant to deal Garza for a package that is built around a prospect that has seriously stalled in his development.

For tonight, I think Giancarlo Stanton gets back to his usual hitting ways against Drew Pomeranz (Left-handed pitcher) in Colorado. That will be the game I watch after the Orioles game today.

Greg Danchik

Finding Surprises, Busts In The Second Half Of The MLB Season

Now that the MLB All-Star game has come and gone, the focus for fantasy baseball owners shifts back to the games that matter. Less than half of the regular season is remaining, which means that owners will be looking for any type of edge to solidify a spot in their league’s playoffs. Here are three players poised for big second halves along with three players who could very well cool off.

Surprises

Chase Headley

A terrible first half of the season for Chase Headley has everyone turning sour on him. However, he has too much of a solid track record to simply think he can’t turn things around. The Padres aren’t going anywhere in 2013, but Headley is still a lot better than a .229/.330/.359 hitter with seven home runs and 31 RBI. Get him for cheap now if you can trade for him.

Tim Lincecum

Buster Posey and Tim Lincecum celebrating Lincecum's no hitter

Buster Posey and Tim Lincecum celebrating Lincecum’s no hitter

Now that The Freak has a new no-hitter to brag about, fantasy baseball owners might be reluctant to trade him away. With that being said, Lincecum has shown signs in his recent outings that he might be finally getting back to his old self. His 3.83 ERA with over a strikeout per inning in his last seven starts is really encouraging. He could help any rotation down the stretch in fantasy.

Billy Butler

Ever since he arrived in the big leagues, Billy Butler has been a truly professional hitter. Despite a below average first half, all of his other statistics seem to look solid. He is still tough to strike out, and he is still making solid contact. Expect his luck to turn around a bit, although his power numbers might never get back to the 29 home runs he hit last year.

Busts

Pedro Alvarez

Pedro Alvarez

Pedro Alvarez

After a lot of hype coming out of Vanderbilt and being drafted #2 overall, Pedro Alvarez put it all together in the first half of the season to make his first All-Star game. However, if you take a closer look at his numbers, his most glaring weakness is still there. He still strikes out way, way too much, and that has a tendency to catch up. His numbers across the board will most likely dip, meaning now would be a good time to sell.

Carlos Beltran

The outfielder has been great throughout his career, but now that he is 36 years old, he just can’t be trusted as an everyday player in fantasy leagues. He has already battled injuries this season, and if 2012 was an indication (.236 hitter after the break), he could be cooling off quickly.

Bartolo Colon

What Bartolo Colon has done this season is pretty remarkable up to this point. His 12-3 record with a 2.70 ERA might be one of the biggest surprises of the first half. However, Colon is 40 years old now, and this is not 2005. Yes, that’s right, Colon hasn’t thrown over 200 innings since 2005, and it seems unlikely that something won’t go wrong during the stretch run.

Guest contribution from Fanduel.com. I highly suggest using their site if you are interested in daily fantasy sports.

All Star Game Notes

Here are my takeaways from the All Star game and I think that they are in chronological order:

    • When Mike Trout doubled in the top of the first, I wasn’t sure what to think of what it meant about the players. When Matt Harvey ended up getting Miguel Cabrera out and striking out Chris Davis and Jose Bautista, it showed how special Trout is. The ONLY person to get a hit off Harvey, NL Starter (best pitcher in the NL’s first half), in the All Star game was Mike Trout. Dude is special, but everyone already knows that. Great player.
    • When Cano got hit, I was pissed. I need him to keep pace in my fantasy league with Joe and Chris, and an All Star game injury would just be a killer for me and the Yankees, but I couldn’t care less about the Yankees, as a whole.
    • Chris Sale made Carlos Gonzalez look like a middle schooler with his unbelievable slider. Straight up embarrassed him and that pitch alone could have made him the MVP, if it wasn’t Mo’s last All Star Game.

    • Patrick Corbin wasn’t able to fool any of these All Star hitters and he took the loss for the NL. He was also the first pitcher to give up a run to the American League in 17 innings of ASG baseball. He is my number 1 bust for the second half. He has an ERA of 2.35, but a FIP of 3.18 and an xFIP of 3.52. It is safe to say he has been lucky in the first half and look for him to get roughed up a couple outings in the second half.
    • Brandon Phillips is a ridiculous defender. I have no other words.

    • Jose Fernandez has some serious gas. He can deal with the best of them. I think that Fernandez will be in the long line of Marlins stars that get traded. I also believe he will have a better career than the ASG starter, Matt Harvey. This assumes neither have a significant injury.
    • Aroldis Chapman has some serious GAS! But I am just being Captain Obvious here
    • Manny Machado is a star. The defensive play was insane against a player that is not slow in Paul Goldschmidt. He should be mentioned in the likes of Harper and Trout. Period.

    • Craig Kimbral has an odd pitching routine. It was different, cool and funny at the same time.
    • Jean Segura has some excellent defense to go along with his amazing bat. His quick hands on the double play in the 7th inning were incredible.
    • Dom Brown’s poor defense was on display for the Jason Kipnis double. My that was bad; he literally showed no effort. At the time, I thought it was going to give Rivera the chance to pitch in the 9th inning.

    • The Mariano Rivera moment before the 8th inning was a classic. I understand the reasoning for putting him out there in the 8th, but I would have put him in the 9th. Glen Perkins, Steve Delabar, and Joe Nathan are perfectly capable of getting 3 outs before giving up 4 runs in the 8th.

    • Segura did not run out his groundout in the 8th inning against Rivera. I think he would have been safe had he sprinted, but it helped Rivera get a 1-2-3 inning.
    • Prince Fielder LOL

  • I was told that the NL’s pitching would be too good for the AL to win the game. Turns out, the AL’s pitching was too good for the National League bats. AL wins the All Star Game and home field advantage for the first time in 3 years.

I called an AL win, the Home Run Derby and the All Star Game starters. Two of the guys I picked to homer had doubles. I think I did a pretty good job for my All Star Break predictions.

ESPYS are tonight.I hope they are good because there is no other sporting event on television besides the MLS, but I have my doubts about Jon Hamm. We’ll see.

Greg Danchik