Monday, March 02, 2009

Dealing with the WBC and your Fantasy Team

The World Baseball Classic can wreak havoc on your fantasy team, your draft and your overall draft strategy. This quick post will give you the information you need to have a successful draft and gain peace of mind when your players end up playing in the Classic.

When it comes to batters, hey, the more at bats a player can get in the spring whether it's spring traing or the WBC, the better. Should you draft players playing in the WBC over players who are not? No, not necessarily. However, don't look at a batter and say, "I'll pass on him because I think he might get tired or hurt later in the season." Any extra at bats a player gets in the WBC is gravy for your fantasy season and helps promote a faster start to the season.

For pitchers, there are two ways to look at it. Are my pitchers going to pitch in the WBC and then tire out during the year? My answer to you is.... probably not. Here's why...

First, most young pitchers are pitching well into the fall and during the winter anyway, so when they get to spring training, they're in pretty good shape. Two players that come to mind are Fausto Carmona and Phil Hughes. Hughes was dominant in the Arizona Fall League and has been solid so far this spring. Fausto Carmona was pitching well into December down south as I remember seeing highlights on ESPN and he looked like he was in midseason form..... and is a reason why I love Carmona as a sleeper that you can steal late in the draft.

The second way to look at it is these pitchers will pitch in the WBC, which could then cause them to tire early or get injured later in the season, which can cause destruction to your fantasy season.

Personally, I'd rather take the first approach. Simply because most of these guys are pitching well into the winter, I don''t see how a few games in the WBC will affect them. Plus, their work in the WBC only takes the place of the work they'd be doing in spring training.

So when it comes to the WBC, don't fret! Just draft the players you want to draft as they fit into your strategy. The only guys that scare me are Cole Hamels and C.C. Sabathia. Hamels pitched excessively into October and sometimes on only a few days rest. The same can be said for what the Brewers did to C.C. Sabathia. I'm not saying you should pass them up, but I am saying it's something to think about.

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