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April 26, 2013

Fantasy Mailbag

Buy Low on Strasburg

by BP Fantasy Staff

Writing to you all the way from Ghana, and although I have to watch games on tape delay and have ABSOLUTELY no one to talk ball, with there are some perks. For instance, I just picked up Jose Valverde on waivers right after Leyland said that he would be the closer as the rest of my fantasy league mates drifted of to a West Coast sleep. Always give me half a day where I know the rest of my league will be sound asleep, and I can pick apart the waiver wire in peace.

I am evaluating a trade right now and I need some advice. I have been injury-plagued this year, and my bulls--t commissioner only put 2 DL spots and two BN spots. I am in a 10-team mixed league, head-to-head, and I have Jason Heyward, Jose Reyes, Michael Bourn, Curtis Granderson, and Johnny Cueto on the DL. Sucks.
Bourn will be back soon, and will be added to my lineup of Yadier Molina, Ian Kinsler, Alcides Escobar, Allen Craig, Miguel Cabrera, Heyward, Josh Hamilton, B.J. Upton, Carlos Beltran, Norichika Aoki. I have a lot of underperformers, to say the least, which is why I am balking at what I think is a slam-dunk. This was just proposed to me:

I would give up Rafael Betancourt and Granderson for Giancarlo Stanton. This would leave me with Rafael Soriano, Kelvin Herrera, Valverde, and Casey Janssen for closers. Giancarlo has to turn it on at some point, but am I too thin with my relievers? Also, should I drop any of these injured players?

This is fine for me. Your relievers are enough to get by without Betancourt. You have to hold your current DL guys, but that's why a 2-for-1 works best for your team.

I am in a 6x6 (losses and OBP) 10-team mixed league, in which we are allowed three keepers. I took over an existing team (we were allowed to keep 2—I kept Albert Pujols and Ryan Braun, should have kept Prince Fielder)

Anyway, a guy is worried about Stephen Strasburg and I'm worried MLB makes an example or gets after Braun, so he offered Shin-Soo Choo (who I have in my other three leagues and am loving his BB) and Stras for Braun.

Any reason I should be worried about Stras—is his velocity down?

Pounce all over this deal like a vulture on roadkill. These are the types of panic moves in April that owners regret making in May.

I was offered Brett Lawrie for Everth Cabrera; however, this will leave me with no 2B, and I have Pedro Alvarez and Anthony Rendon at 3rd.  I spoke to the Jose Altuve owner, and he said he'll give me him for Lawrie.  So who is better at 2B rest of season, Altuve or Everth?

Altuve has the better skills foundation so you have to go with him here.

I'm in a Yahoo! 16-team mixed, 6x6 (R, OPS, K, QS) H2H league with 9 H, 9 P starting each week. In the past, I've used most of my five bench slots to stream pitchers. At this year's draft, though, I got carried away with some good auction prices on hitters and bought a bench full of starter-level hitters (Danny Espinosa, Michael Cuddyer, Andre Ethier, Ben Revere, Nick Markakis). I also have no bench pitchers, and many of my starting pitchers aren't great: Jake Arrieta, Chris Tillman, Bartolo Colon, Dillon Gee, Travis Wood, Drew Smyly. Ted Lilly, Colby Lewis, and John Danks are on my DL.

Obviously, the answer is: make trades. But the rest of the league isn't very interested in trading. So far, I'm second of 16 in the league, thanks to guys like Justin Upton, Chris Davis, David Wright, Choo, and Beltran, and surprisingly adequate pitching. I suspect, though, that things will even out and my pitching will start to stink.

So, should I force the issue and sell some of my offense for less than market value, or wait to see if anyone eventually starts coming to me for hitting? With K and QS, starting pitchers are VERY highly valued in this league.

While that will likely happen, the fact that you've started out hot and it's a H2H league gives you a little bit of a buffer. I'd continue to try and get reasonable value for your bench bats, but stay away from trades where you're taking a huge loss. Hitters have been getting hurt left and right, so there's bound to be some more desperate owners at some point. Plus, pitching is the easiest thing to fill in as the season goes on, even in a 16-team league. If it gets to be mid-May and you're still not getting traction, I'd think about making some deals to maximize your roster makeup at that point.

I play in an 11-man/points/26-roster-size/set-lineup-weekly league.

Hitters: Joe Mauer, Paul Konerko, Brandon Phillips, Troy Tulowitzki, Mark Trumbo (3B), Norichika Aoki, Torii Hunter, Coco Crisp, Jason Heyward, Yoenis Cespedes (DL), Eric Hosmer, Anthony Rendon, Oscar Taveras.

Pitchers: Yu Darvis, CC Sabathia, Jeremy Hellickson, A.J. Burnett, Jeff Samardzija, Bartolo Colon, Edwin Jackson, Jorge De La Rosa, Jon Garland, Dan Straily, Edinson Volquez.

Just this morning, i dropped Chris Tillman for Jurickson Profar, and then Tillman was picked up and Chris Archer was dropped. Do you see any other maneuvering i should do in terms of drops in favor of one or more of your stashes?

The only spots that jump out to me are Volquez and Colon, as they are barely rosterable in an 11-team points league. If you use them as streaming spots, it could be a useful strategy, or if you're looking to snag someone for later, Adam Eaton could be a great fit if he's available. And if he's not, I'd be looking at Wheeler or Cole if you can afford to carry another dry spot.

Three players on DL. Need a roster spot. Drop Kyuji Fujikawa or Jose Valverde and pickup Taveras. RP has saves and holds as one category.

I would drop Fujikawa. I suspect his injury might be worse than anticipated, and the way the Tigers bullpen looks, I think Valverde will be closing at some point.

“Steals are easy to fix later in the year...”

Are they? I haven't had much success at it. Since it looks like I'll need 'em again this year, are there strategies you'd recommend for the coming months? (Trade strategies in particular would be welcome, since that's a weakness of mine.)

It's the easiest category to fix later in the year because you can get one stud and he'll contribute significantly and quickly. Now, if you're rocking a team of Adam Dunns, you'll fall too far behind so how far you are from where you want to be dictates when you make a move. Find the rabbit team with several speedsters and offer him something he needs for a thief. Ideally, the best SB team will be competing so he'll have real impetus to trade in July (or whenever you decide to make a move).

I've been offered a simple trade in my 14-team redraft H2H 5x5 league: I would get Matt Cain for Matt Moore.

I'm not one to put too much stock in early-season performances, but it's hard to ignore what Moore has been doing thus far.  He was a big target of mine this year, and I landed him in most of my leagues.  So it's hard to trade him away at this point in the season, but can I pass up this deal?

It's basically a challenge trade. Answer this question for yourself: Do you think Cain will be the 2.75-3.00 ERA guy we've seen the last four years? If the answer is yes (or even if it's 3.25), then you must do this deal. Let's say you do believe Cain will be the high end of that, 3.25, in his normal 220 innings, whereas you think Moore is poised for a super-breakout of 2.75 over 200. The remainders of their seasons look like this:

  • Cain: 197.3 IP, 2.78 ERA
  • Moore: 182 IP, 2.92 ERA

Even if you think Cain is going to be a 3.50 guy while Moore is a 3.00 guy, you still have to do the deal because Cain's journey down to 3.50 will be better than Moore's up to 3.00 the rest of the way.

BP Fantasy Staff is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
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Premium Article On the Beat: Up, Up, U... (04/25)
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Premium Article The Prospectus Hit Lis... (04/26)

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