Daily Dojo 8-2-2013

After a lot of traveling the past day and a half, I have finally been able to sit down and write about the past couple of days. I gave my Alex Rodriguez suspension thoughts the last time I wrote. He’s done. I think he gets some of his money from his contract, but he won’t get to play again.

Now, there are some GREAT things going on in baseball right now. It is great to be able to watch a good game every night, and so many teams are playing well and pushing for a playoff spot. The Orioles are not playing good, but there are some teams playing amazing.

Andrew McCutchen (espn.go.com)

Andrew McCutchen (espn.go.com)

The Pirates are now 1.5 games ahead of St. Louis, a team widely considered the best team in baseball, for the NL Central division lead after winning 3 of 4 this week. They are playing great, and I am sure that they will make the playoffs after TWENTY losing seasons. I do not think they will win the division, but again, they’ll make the playoffs. They rank low in every offensive category as a team, but they are getting the job done. In terms of fantasy, Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte have been studs and will continue to do well. I would take a look at Neil Walker if you are weak at second base and he was dropped in your league. He is going to be batting second almost every game for the rest of the year, between McCutchen and Marte. His batting average is about 30 points less than his career average, so once he starts to hit more, people will be on base to be knocked in so you can get counting stats. I like Walker the rest of the way if he is available or try to get him cheap in a trade to help you down the stretch.

The Cleveland Indians are probably the biggest surprise to me. Terry Francona has been exactly what that team needed. When they signed Michael Bourn, it didn’t make sense to me because I assumed they wouldn’t be contender. But now, they now hold a half game lead for the second wild card spot over the Orioles and Rangers after this 8 game winning streak. Averaging over 6 runs a game in that span, it probably helped your fantasy team out a lot if you have Indians. I just have a question in terms of fantasy, is Jason Kipnis a better second base option than Robinson Cano? Actually, I think it may not be a question at all. The answer is yes. Kipnis has 15 home runs, 65 RBI’s, and 57 runs with a .297 batting average. That is elite for a second baseman. While Cano has 21 home runs, 70 RBI’s, and 56 runs with a .293 batting average. I would say that Cano is better with those stats. What makes Kipnis the better option is steals. Kipnis has 21 to Cano’s 6. That difference is what I believe makes Jason Kipnis the best second baseman in fantasy baseball. However, I bet Cano gets drafted higher next year because of his consistency and Kipnis will have only had 2 full seasons in the majors. But, we’ll see.

The other AL Central team on a roll is the Kansa City Royals. They are on a serious run with a 9 game winning streak, but they can’t make up ground in the division because the Indians are on a roll too. Not to mention, the Tigers are on a five game winning streak. A big reason of this turn around… Eric Hosmer. After his disastrous season last year, in terms of fantasy because he was drafted so high, he has finally turned it around since the beginning of June.

This is a ridiculous stat line. If you did not give up on him, you are reaping the benefits. Of course, you did have to deal with him for the beginning of the season. I am excited to see if he puts together for a whole season next year and becomes a dominant fantasy force.

 

Daily Dojo 7-26-2013

I am sorry about that I haven’t posted a lot this week. I have had a lot of work to do, but here are some quick thoughts on this weeks sports happenings.

Dustin Pedroia

Dustin Pedroia

Dustin Pedroia‘s contract is VERY team friendly considering what he brings to the Red Sox. He is their best player on that team, and this contract will keep him around for the rest of his career. The Red Sox did well to lock him up before Robinson Cano goes onto the free agent market. Cano might get twice as much money. I am hoping he doesn’t go for too much more and ends up in Baltimore. The O’s will have the best line up in the majors with Cano. Of course, they will need to fix the pitching.

The Alex Rodriguez saga is ridiculous. The Yankees definitely do not want him to play, and they are hoping that the MLB can suspend him before he can get on the field. They do not want to pay him this year, but we’ll see what happens. I just want him to give up and go home.

Aaron Rodgers and Ryan Braun

Aaron Rodgers and Ryan Braun

I feel really bad for Aaron Rodgers. He is a great guy for defending his friend. It is very unfortunate Ryan Braun did that to him and put him in that situation. I feel bad that he gets all the backlash when it is Braun’s fault. Rodgers’ trusted him and is a co-owner of a restaurant with him. There is supposed to be a second one built. I would say that is doubtful at this point. I’m sure this isn’t the only person Braun has to give some explanation.

Finally, if you are a fantasy sports fan, check this site out. DraftStreet.com is offering a free MLB game tonight. You pick players for 8 tiers and if you win, you can win actual money with out putting any money down. You should give it a shot. Sign up and start playing. It is a lot of fun and I have enjoyed the daily fantasy games a lot since some of my fantasy baseball teams are flounder. Sign up play for the rest of baseball season and into football season. New team everyday.

 

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.