A continually updating look at the fantasy impact of the trade deadline's swaps.
Deadline day is finally upon us, meaning there is no shortage of things to write about. This will be updated as trades occur, so check back.
4:56 PM EST: Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth are headed to Atlanta. Farnsworth doesn't have any value, but Ankiel, as a center fielder, is a decent pickup in deep leagues (to be honest about it, I'm upset Ankiel went to the NL, as I have him in an AL-only league where you are required to have five outfielders). Ankiel is hitting .267/.317/.467 this season in limited time due to injury, and is a career .252/.311/.453 hitter. His OBP is of no help, but if you're in a batting average league and need some pop from a center fielder, then Ankiel can assist you. His ISO from the previous four years: .250, .242, .156, .207.
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Already a target for Yankees fans, it's too early to write Javier Vazquez off.
At Javier Vazquez's first home start this season, fans wasted little time before booing the struggling Yankees starter, who'd been rocked in his 2010 debut at Tampa Bay and was off to another shaky start. By the time the boos rained down during Saturday's outing as Vazquez surrendered three homers, seven hits, and five runs in three-plus innings against the light-hitting White Sox, you could hardly blame them.
The recent case of Justin Verlander exemplifies why focusing on the right statistics can pay dividends in Fantasy. Verlander posted an ERA closer to a touchdown than a field goal in April but produced solid peripherals and displayed impressive heat. He was the perfect buy-low candidate and has since rewarded owners with a dominant May performance.
Late-inning stoppers can be one of the most high-risk positions you need to fill when building your team.
Now that we've finished with the starting pitchers and the positional players, it's time to rank the closers. There are a few teams that haven't finalized their closer role yet, and in those cases I took the candidate that is most likely to secure the job, rather than listing all of them. The number of saves a closer might get was obviously a big factor, but just as with starting pitchers, ERA, WHIP, and strikeouts have a great deal of influence on the rankings. Luckily, there seems to be a good number of closers this year who are capable of helping you on all fronts, based on PECOTA's projections.
Which version of the Rays' fireballer will show up at Fenway tonight?
One of the reasons that the Rays are in the American League Championship Series is their acquisition of Matt Garza prior during the offseason. This wasn't necessarily the way it seemed it might work out early in the year, when Garza was struggling with his consistency and putting up numbers that belied his former top-prospect status, but he improved over the course of the season and helped the Rays on the way to their first winning season and first playoff berth in franchise history. Which Garza can we expect to show up against the rival Red Sox in their chase for the AL pennant? We'll take a look at that today, as well as his future prospects as a starter.
The Cubs' Game One starter made an amazingly effective switch from the pen to the rotation, but that wasn't the only kink in his career path.
Ryan Dempster has been an occasionally solid producer from the bullpen the past few seasons for the Chicago Cubs, but this year he was inserted back into the rotation at the beginning of the season with fantastic results. He had what was easily the most productive season of his career, setting career bests in wins and ERA, and posted his highest strikeout total since the beginning of the decade. What changed for Dempster that turned him from average reliever into frontline starter over the course of an offseason? Let's take a look at that today, and give you an indication of what you can expect from Dempster as he tries to do his part to take down the Dodgers in the first round of the playoffs.
Less than three weeks into the season, some starters might be worth picking up, while others might be if the price is right.
Though it's early in the season, there are already plenty of injuries affecting teams all over the majors. Figuring out how to patch up your roster without taking a hit in your stats is key to fielding a successful fantasy team. Today, we'll take a look at some pitchers that may be available as free agents or via trade due to injuries or surprise starts, and why you will want to pick up or avoid them.
Employing QERA can help you evaluate who might be due for significant improvements or drop-offs in 2008.
Knowing which pitchers you can rely on from season to season is important in winning any fantasy league, keeper or otherwise. Pitcher performance, at least in certain fantasy statistics such as ERA, are variable and oftentimes do not reflect a pitcher's peripheral work. For this week's piece, we are going to take a look at pitchers whose ERAs are not reflective of their true performance, in both a positive and negative sense.
With LCS action over, it's time to turn the spotlight onto one of the two teams' aces in Game One of the World Series.
If there is one thing the Colorado Rockies have lacked throughout most of their history, it's been a consistent ace that they can rely on. Guys like Bill Swift, Pedro Astacio, Kevin Ritz, Armando Reynoso, and Jason Jennings have had their moments, but were never consistent enough in their performances to help the Rockies field a winner. Jeff Francis has helped the Rockies change that on the way to helping the franchise make its first World Series appearance, and the Rockies will need him in top form against the Red Sox's ace, Josh Beckett. How did Francis get to where he is, and what can we expect out of him in the coming games and years?