Yoan me sitting in a tree…

Watching the future all star game I defiantly came away wanting a few guys on my fantasy team. First was Alex Bregman who is an amazing pure hitter that will most likely get called up soon to man first base for the Astros. Too bad another owner picked him up in my league and has him stashed on his bench. Next guy I really wanted was Yoan Moncada. This dude does everything power, speed a just an all around amazing talent. I’ve had him on my watch list all season. I need to have him as a $1 keeper in my  league. So I just swooped him up to man a bench spot on my team. This of course gives me a “dead” spot on my roster that will provide no points in my head to head points league. A gamble yes but, hearing scouts compare his talent to a Mike Trout and reading that he is open to playing any position the Red Sox might need help with be it 3rd base our Left field is very interesting.

Sometimes you have to go with your gut and mine feels that Moncada is just a key injury away from making his debut straight from AA.

This guy has the talent to be an offensive force…playing his home games at Fenway helps too!

If he is available in your league grab him now. You’ll thank me latter!

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Pass or play – Koji Uehara 7/11/2016

With the knee injury sustained by Craig Kimbrel that will likely have him out for 6-8 weeks a great opportunity has appeared for the taking. This being the closer job for the Boston Red Sox.  A familiar name is the first man up. Koji Uehara is now 41 years old and his average fast ball speed has dropped to an average of 86.9 MPH. Then there is that splitter. A great swing and miss pitch (15.2% swinging strikes) that is the great equalizer. Dispite the decrease in fastball speed some of the numbers point to “better luck” going forward. Koji’s ERA is at 4.81 but his xFIP of 4.30 gives a hint that he has endured some misfortune that could very well even out. His biggest problem this season  has been control. with a 2.41 BB/9 and a 2.41 HR/9 tells me he has no idea where his pitches are going. The home runs rate is a head scratcher but, it is not his norm so we can only expect it to get better by not throwing his pitches in the heart of the plate. If you despretly need a closer for your team i’d say  grab him and see if he can regain the form he had. If you have a closer and think this may be an upgrade to your staff, I would advise to PASS  due to signs of eroding skills and his history of injuries he just doesnt seem like the same pitcher anymore.

Pass or Play – C.J. Cron 7/6/16

C.J. Cron – C.J. a former 1st round draft pick in 2011 has been a popular sleeper pick in the preseason of fantasy for a couple years now. Problem seems to be that he has never been consistent with his production for long enough to earn a full time roll. The natural power has always been there and now that he has just over 900 MLB at bats he is starting to hit for a better batting average as he did in the minors. His 6.2 BB% and 14.5 K% is actually much better than you would expect from a hitter that is 6’4″. Strangely enough C.J. as a right handed batter has struggled against left handed pitching. Not terrible at hitting south paws but it could mean he gets 400 ab’s compared to a possible 600. In conclusion C.J. Cron has the talent, the good plate discipline, he hits in a lineup after Trout and Pujols while he is just entering his prime years at the age of 26. It appears that he has not completely figured out how to hit lefties and is still known for being streaky at the plate. The guy has been crazy hot since the beginning of July which makes him a PLAY but, only until the orange has had all the juice squeezed out of it. As soon as you see a few zero hit games in a row I would bail out for the next guy getting on a hot streak.

Pass or Play Brandon McCarthy 7/5/2016

Brandon McCarthy – Very fresh and rested from his 14 month layoff. Tommy John surgery almost made us forget about this guy. When he was just a few seasons into his MLB career with Oakland he was touted as a whiz kid that had impeccable control and nasty movement with an arsenal of pitches. It was made out like he was on his way to be like Greg Maddux. The injury bug has had his number for many lost seasons that derailed those lofty expectations. After a return to his dominating self with the Yankees in the second half of 2014 he signed a lucrative deal with the Dodgers only to blow out his UCL in April of 2015. Brandon made his first start for the Dodgers On Sunday 7/3 at home against the Rockies. He spun 5 innings of 2 hit ball allowing 0 runs, 1 bb and 8 k’s. Not bad right? Well, his next start is against the San Diego Padres on Saturday 7/9 in LA. He is seeing a large increase in his ownership already even though his start is still 4 days away. For right now he looks healthy and at the top of his game. I recommend picking him up now before someone else in your league reaps the benefit of what could produce a large number of points. He is a PLAY

Pass or Play

I am getting ready to start up my pass or play recommendations on fantasy baseball Head too head points leagues. I will include a pass or play as my advice for each player. As we approach the all star break it will be strange not having games each day next week but, maybe we can use that time to develop a good plan of attack for the second half.

Don’t Tell Mom the Roto Leagues are Dead!

Everyone at some point in our lives has been shown a new way to do things. Right? This new way may just change the way you view things. Things that you used to do for years with out ever questioning them. Sometimes these new habits completely eradicate the old making them useless and boring like a VCR or AM radio.

The old way I speak of is rotisserie leagues. The game changers are Head to head points leagues. I never before really cared to try joining a league using this format but, once i did there was no going back.

Gone are my days of setting my lineup and seeing if maybe I gained 0.5 of a point on the guy ahead of me in the standings and looking for pitchers who had a great WHIP on a good team. Now, I play a different team every 7 days. We are allowed only 7 transactions per week and you don’t have to struggle to find guys who excel in 5 hitting (AVG,R,HR,RBI,SB) or 5 pitching (W,SV,K,WHIP,ERA). Points leagues use the Billy Beane method. I can remember Brad Pitt saying in Moneyball “I don’t care how they get on base. I just want them to get on base” Same type of thinking is true for Points leagues. You might have a Chris Carter type of guy who hits home runs but might not help you in any other category. Billy Hamilton Can steal you 50-60 bases but not much else. Roto leagues are no place for these one trick pony’s.

Points leagues have a place for these players. Points given for each stat vary from one league to another so you need to understand the setup for league scoring but, most of the time for hitting the only things that will bring negative points are strike outs and when a guy is caught stealing. Extra base hits are very valuable and some of the best  players you can own are the guys who walk more than they strike out. Even walks get you points which could lead to more runs scored. guys who control the strike zone are valuable because of the rate that they put the ball in play. approximately 1/3 of the time that lead to a hit.

If you have an all or nothing power hitter that goes 0-4 with 3 strike outs one night you might be looking at him costing you -1.5 points.. Conversely if you have a  light hitting middle infielder that went 1-4 with a single then you would receive 1.5 points. That is a swing of 3.0 points. After playing in Roto leagues for a long time I had trouble getting used to this line of thinking. Compared to my old mantra that said if you are not productive in 3 of our 5 hitting or pitching stats then i have no need for you.

Basically you want to score more total points then your opponent that week to give you a win or a loss. This make consistent point production so valuable. Guys who bat in the first 3 or 4 spots in the batting order are valuable because they get more AB’s. Hitters who play everyday are more helpful than guys in a platoon. In Roto a platoon might not be so bad because they would only play when they have a favorable match up like an Adam Lind vs right handed pitchers. Hitters whose teams play 7 games that week are awesome Maybe they are playing a team with poor pitching and maybe the are hitting at Coors field this week.

Pitchers you are greatly helped by starters that have 2 starts that week and or favorable match ups with poor hitting teams. Strikeouts are a huge commodity to have you want to have guys that have a high swinging strike rate and the ability to keep a low hard hit rate as well. Streaming pitchers is a very large part of having success in this format.

As we get close to the all star break and the stretch run for our fantasy seasons. I am going to focus on helping my fellow point league enthusiasts  to identify players that are trending upwards. Players that you grab before others in your league do giving you a leg up.

Please check back regularly so you are well prepared to win your points leagues.