These first two weeks of the fantasy baseball season has been quite interesting. We are seeing league ERA averages over 4.50 and overall batting averages are still over .300. Pitchers have been bad and Adam Dunn's hitting over .300, but I digress. Its usually during the next week or so where the well drafted teams start to rise and the "lucky" teams start to slip. Standings over the next two weeks will start to even out. Its like saying, the teams that are not supposed to be in first place will probably be no longer. I am talking about the teams with Jose Lopez, Jason Repko, and Eric milton in their lineups. Now, these guys are have been saviors at this point in the season, but its a bad sign when all three are starting in your lineup and Gary Sheffield and carlos Zambrano are slumped over on your bench! The luck is about to run out, and we're about to see how good some teams really are.
The following is my list of players who have surpised us so far this season. Some in a good way, some not....but we'll take a brief look at some of the players who are makin' us or breakin us' at the moment..........
Lets start with the pitchers....... What the heck is going on with Johan Santana, Jake Peavy, Roy Halladay and Carlos Zambrano. All 3 supposed to be at the top of their game but slow starts have fantasy owners thinking of trade. My advice, wait a while. Johan Santana is notorious for slow starts and it wasn't until June last year when he reached his true form. Jake Peavy had a great first outing and then wha- looped for 8 earned by the Rockies. He's got great stuff and the best part is...he's healthy! The same goes for Roy Halladay. Halladay started off with a great performance but gave up 5 runs against the Devil Rays and complaining of a tight fore arm! He's missed a start but he should be fine for the upcoming week. Carlos Zambrano is a mystery to me. I personally have invested in Zambrano in almost every league I own and have been disappointed thus far. He said during the spring his goal was to win the Cy Young and I believed him. However, I know he has top notch stuff and he's still striking guys out, so for now, I'm going to leave him in there and let him work it out. He'll be fine.
As for those pitchers who have surprised us...... what do you think about that Brian Bannister of the Mets??? He is quite good and the buzz is loud here in NY. For a guy who doesn't throw over 91mph, he is tough to hit. He had a great spring, won the 5th spot, and hasn't looked back. If only the Mets would smarten up and move Zambrano to the bullpen and Aaron Heilman in 4th spot, we would all be happier and better off! The question is, should we all pick up Brian Bannister? I say yes, and drop a player you never use anyway. You never know. Ride Bannister's hot streak as long as you can. Next is my new best friend, Ryan Madson in Philly. A starter turned reliever turned starter has impressed in the 4th spot in Philly thus far and hopefully Charlie Manuel keeps him in there for the long haul. Is strikeouts will come eventually as he gets reajusted to a starter role. He is a real sleeper this year and someone to look to in NL only leagues or deeper mixed leagues if you are desperate. This is a guy you can still possibly find on the waiver wire in deeper mixed leagues, along with his partner for the 5th spot Gavin Floyd. Floyd has been great...yet. But his second outing was better than his first. He also had a good spring and the hope is that he can build on this as the season progresses. Now I am not saying you should run out there and pick him up, but he is someone to keep an eye on. I would still take Madson over Floyd though at this point. Another miracle worker is Eric Milton. What is this guy taking? 2-0 with a 2.63 era??? are you kidding? Personally, this could be one of those years where a horrible pitcher comes out of no where and has a great year.....see Esteban Loaiza. I think Milton will come down to earth pretty soon. Of course, thats my own opinion but monitor Milton carefully and remember...only if your desperate. Mike Mussina has been great, John Lackey is starting to come around, and Schilling has been quite solid as well. And lastly, how about that Tom Glavine? The Mets are off to a hot start and Glavine has been spectacular! This is also how he finished the 2nd half of last seson. If he is available, pick him up!
For now, stay away from these guys. They are struggling and should eventually come out of it, but until then, "just say no" to...... The entire Pittsburgh staff, Joe Borowski, El Duque, Jorge Sosa, just to name a few.
As for the hitters........ Who the hell is Jose Lopez, Jason Repko, and Brad Hawpe and Chris Shelton??? Chris Shelton, batting .500, we new he was going to be a decent ball player last year. But to lead the league in home runs at this point was unimaginable. He will quiet down but will definitely be a .300 hitter. Soon expect a period of extreme slumpness. Jose Lopez was literally left off of draft boards this spring....oh, except for mine! Thats right, I actually drafted Lopez in one of my leagues. Thank god I did. This guy has been great batting .280, 11 hits, 2 home runs and playing a solid 2B. Seattle has even moved him up in the order. He is a raw hitter with some good pop and should stick around all year. Grab this guy and stash him for the future. I don't know if he will keep this current pace, but by the 2nd half, he should be in your lineup somewhere. Jason Repko has been filling in for the injured Kenny Lofton. Lucky for those who picked up Repko, Lofton should be out a little longer than expected. He's batting .333 with 13 hits, a homer , and 7 rbi...oh, and 3 sb's. He has been solid and the hopes of keeping him in the lineup are getting better and better. He's now hitting in the 2-hole and will make it difficult to for the Dodgers to take him out. Monitor that situation. Brad Hawpe is another one who was consider a sleeper at the beginning of the year and he's living up to the hype. Lets remember that his numbers could be quite inflated because of Coors. But for now, he's hot. At this point, he seems to be a better option that guyslike Scott Podsednik or Brian Anderson.
Ok, thats all I got for now. I am working on a "Big Board" sort of thing which I am going to introduce on the site in about a week or so.....stay tuned!
Fantasy Man ..... OUT!
Fantasy Baseball Express