Paul presents a few likely-available hitters whose platoon splits against left-handers could help bolster your fantasy lineup.
As injuries cut deeper into the player pool with each passing day, fantasy managers are left to fend for themselves, to pick up the pieces and push on with their ballclubs. There are obviously different ways teams can plug in the holes that are guaranteed to strike everyone at some point during the season. The most direct approach is, of course, via trade—trading from surplus to plug the hole. Hitting the waiver wire is the most readily available option for mixed leaguers, and it doesn’t cost any of your current talent. The freely available talent won’t be as good as what you could get by trading some assets… or will it?
Today’s piece is going to apply to the mixed-league crowd and specifically those of you in leagues of 12 teams or fewer. We are going to focus on split advantages and leveraging those to increase the probability of replacing your broken All-Star with near-All-Star production. Sorry, single leaguers, but your waiver wires are usually picked clean of the prime meat by May 1 and bone dry by Memorial Day. This will also play well for the daily fantasy crowd, as these guys will often be extremely cheap options who can deliver premium production in the right matchup.
The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.
Not a subscriber?
Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.
Rios, Ross, and Cuddyer highlight this week's Keeper list.
Alex Rios| Chicago White Sox
Shallow (30 Keepers): No Medium (60 Keepers): No Deep (90 Keepers): Yes AL-only (60 Keepers): Yes Super Deep (200 Keepers): Yes
While Adam Dunn was struggling through his historically bad 2011 season on the White Sox, teammate Alex Rios was putting together a fairly disastrous season of his own. Overall, he batted .227 with just 13 homers and 11 steals—a far cry from the 21 homers and 34 steals of the year prior. Many fantasy owners gave up on him as a result, but Rios wasn’t done yet, rebounding to hit .304 with 25 home runs and 23 steals in 2012. Add in just over 90 runs and RBI and you get the 12th most valuable line as ranked by our PFM.
The tater trots for August 23: only eight home runs were hit on Thursday with five of them in one game.
There were eight games played across the league on Thursday. In those eight games, players hit eight home runs. Five of the home runs came in the ugly Angels/Red Sox game at Fenway Park. I can't say for sure, but this may be the fewest home runs I've ever seen on a single day since starting the Tater Trot Tracker.
Given their overturned offense, will the 2012 Giants be able to improve their won-loss record from 2011?
Not long ago, while discussing the anemic offense of last year's Mariners, we noted that 10 MLB teams scored fewer than four runs per game in 2011. Only two of those teams finished with a winning record. The San Francisco Giants represented the most extreme case; they won 86 games despite having the National League's worst offense.
That got me to thinking: How often has the team with the NL's worst offense finished with a winning record? The answer may come as a surprise.
There is celebration in San Francisco, while the Rangers are left to continue the hunt for their first world championship.
Fandom of the game itself provides a few reliable rewards. If you love baseball, you can simultaneously enjoy the beauty of a well-pitched ballgame and a game-winning three-run shot. Indeed, both things represent classic features, the stuff of victory and of defeat, now and forever. We all inevitably happen upon other elements, of course, and sample and promote them as a matter of discretion: bullpen hyper-specialization, little ball, the speed game, even the virtual oxymoronics of "productive outs." But the mechanics of the game reward the same things now that it did five years ago or 50: great starting pitching and three-run homers.
Cody Ross turns the much-anticipated matchup between Roy Halladay and Tim Lincecum into his own showcase.
PHILADELPHIA—So you wake up Saturday morning and decide to drive from the western end of the Pennsylvania Turnpike to the eastern end—a trip that takes more than five hours—because this doesn't figure to be any ordinary Game One of a League Championship Series. No sir, this opener of the NLCS features the most-hyped pitching matchup in recent memory, even counting Stephen Strasburg against the overmatched and overwhelmed Pirates back in June in his major-league debut.
A series that will feature spectacular pitching may come down to the tiniest advantages to decide the winner.
So, let's see, for an initial checklist for maximum LCS entertainment potential, is there anything missing? Record-wise, the two best teams in National League? Check, even if we allow for the fact that the Giants weren't one of the top two teams in Clay Davenport's adjusted standings. The two best rotations in baseball? Check. Heck, it even features two of the three best defensive units in the league (via PADE), with only the already-vanquished Reds separating the Giants and Phillies. And the offenses are... well, OK, this whole clash of the titans thing only goes so far, because they're not both among the best in the league. The Phillies are, tying for third in the league in team-level True Average, but the Giants finished back in ninth place, even with Brian Sabean's ticky-tack trades to accrue incremental improvements.