Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NL King - Attacking the SB Category in the NL

For all of you fantasy baseball managers out there, isn't the search for stolen bases one of the toughest in the draft?  In 2011, you might want to keep what I am about to tell you in the back of your mind. If you though power was scarce....... Houston we have a problem! There are hardly any stolen base guys anymore. There was only 8 players who had 30 or more steals in the NL last year. Michael Bourn was the big man on campus with 52 but after that only Angel Pagan broke 35 steals with 37. Nyjer Morgan, Shane Victorino, Andrew McCutchen, Hanley Ramirez, Drew Stubbs & Jose Reyes finsihed between 30 & 34 steals.

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Furthermore there were only 6 NL players to get between 20 and 29 steals in W.Venable (29), C.Young (28), C.Gonzalez & A.Torres (26), R.Furcal (22) & R.Theriot (20).

So how do we game plan our NL only teams regarding stolen bases? Remember the stolen base category counts just as much as any other category. Here are some tips and thoughts regarding this much maligned category.

- Do not spend big bucks on guys who only steal bases. I know M.Bourn is a big stolen base guy but to spend big dollars on a guy who gives you one category in which he excels is not how you win your leagues. Also keep in mind a bit of down year by the player due to performance or injury and then you are really way over paying for those steals. Unless you can get a really good price don't buy on the M.Bourn, N.Morgan, R.Theriot etc of the NL.
- If you spend big dollars on a hitter (let's say $25 or more) that player must give you at least double digit steals. Unless you have a roster with guys at bargain prices who steal then when you go big game hunting on draft day for a hitter make sure that player gives you some SB's.
- Need to put your team together in regards to SB's with depth. While there was only 14 players in the NL last year who had at least 20 steals there was 14 players who stole between 16 - 19 and 24 players between 10 - 14. So we need to have a roster that has depth for this category.
- Another way to attack this category with depth are players who get what I call "Quiet Steals". Quiet steals are guys who give you between 6 & 9 steals. That doesn't sound like a lot of steals but keep this in mind. If you have 4 or 5 hitters that gives you 0 to 2 steals a year versus guys who gives you between 6 & 9 that's roughly 30 steals. That's like having a big steal guy.
- Find cheap steals. What we are looking for is backup - part time players with speed who can give us some steals, maybe even low double digit steals. These players you can get at the end of the draft and will not cost a lot of money. Usually they are backup outfielders so it might not be a bad idea to save your 5th OF spot and UP for this kind of guy. Going into last season Angel Pagan, Will Venable would have fallen into this category and look at many steals they had due to the right circumstances.
- Keep in mind as guys get older there stolen base production will go down. There is a lot of wear and tear stealing bases.
- Stay away from guys who do steal but have had a lot of injury problems in the past because they cannot be counted on for this season. So even though Rafael Furcal stole 22 bases last year due to his age and his past injury problems you cannot count on him for that kind of production going forward. He might do it again or he might really hurt you.
- Once the season starts, look to keep an eye on that waiver wire for this years Andres Torres.

This is a very hard category to navagiate, maybe the toughest. So what you want to do is not get buried in this category. Stay at least in the middle of the pack and if you have a contending team come July you can trade with a rebuilding team for some steals.

Next article analyzing the percentage categories.

NL King - C.Lizza

Monday, November 29, 2010

New York Mets Latest News

MLB Team Site - http://newyork.mets.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=nym
Sporting News - http://www.sportingnews.com/mlb/team?team_id=21
NY Post - http://www.nypost.com/sports/mets
Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/mets/index.html
NY Times - http://www.nytimes.com/pages/sports/baseball/index.html
NY Newsday - http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/mets
Newark Star-Ledger - http://www.nj.com/mets/
MLB Trade Rumors - http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/new_york_mets/index.html

Mets Blog - http://www.metsblog.com/
Mets Minor League Blog - http://www.metsminorleagueblog.com/
LoHud Mets Blog (Journal News) - http://mets.lohudblogs.com/
Surfing the Mets (Daily News) - http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/mets/
Mets Blog (Post) - http://www.nypost.com/blogs/metsblog/
Bats Blog (Times) - http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/tag/mets/
The Ropolitans - http://theropolitans.com/
Amazin Avenue - http://www.amazinavenuecom/
Mets Merized Online - http://metsmerizedonline.com/
Ball Hype - http://ballhype.com/mlb/new_york_mets/
S.I. Live - http://blog.silive.com/mets/index.html
On The Black - http://www.ontheblack.com/
God Bless Buckner - http://godblessbuckner.com/
Brooklyn Met Fan - http://brooklynmetfan.com/
Blue and Orange - http://www.blueandorange.net/

SNY - http://web.sny.tv/index.jsp
WFAN 660AM - http://wfan.com/
ESPN 1050AM - http://sports.espn.go.com/stations/1050espnradio/
Sports Radio NY - http://www.sportsradiony.com/

Mets Buzz Tap - http://twitter.com/metsbuzztap

If you would like to include (delete) your media resource for fantasy baseball managers, advertise with our websites, sponsor this page, link exchange, cross-promote, etc., please email The Fantasy Man.

Monday, November 22, 2010

NL King - Breaking Down the Categories

Free Fantasy Baseball advice is where its at!  This article is going to focus on some interesting points on what is considered the standard roto 5x5 categories regarding the National League. When you look at a players' stat line, you need to look things in a totality to really understand where this player falls in line in the NL and hence his value and how much he is really worth.

HR: It's no secret HR's overall in baseball have been going down. Obviously, the steroid testing and maybe even more so the amphetamines testing has had a major impact among other factors such as better pitching & some new bigger ballparks (Citi & Petco). In 2010 HR's were down 3.2% from 2009, 8.5% from 2008 & 12.5% from 2007. Slowly but surely we have seen it in the stats. Albert Pujols was the only NL player to break the 40 mark last season with 42. There were 9 players who hit between 30 and 40 HR's and of those only Adam Dunn at 38 & Joey Votto at 37 broke 35. Also to point out 15 NL hitters hit between 25 & 30 & 15 NL hitters hit between 20 & 25. Home Runs are still a big part of the game but just about everyone's numbers are coming down.

RBI: Only 13 NL hitters had at least 100 RBI's and of those 10 of them were between 100 & 105. Only 3 hitters were between 90 & 100 and 12 players were between 85 & 90.

Runs: Believe it or not only 10 NL hitters had at least 100 runs scored and half of these guys had either 100 or 101 runs. 9 Hitters were between 90 & 100 and 7 hitters between 85 & 90.

SB: This category gets worse every year. Probably at an all time low in the NL. I will write an article this off-season how to attack the SB category because there are so few SB's in the NL. Only Michael Bourn broke 40 steals last year with his 52 stolen bases. After that 8 NL hitters were between 30 & 40: Pagan (37), Podsednik (35 - free agent now might go back to the AL), N.Morgan & S.Victorino (34), A.McCutchen (33), H,Ramirez (32) & D.Stubbs & J.Reyes (30). Only 6 other NL hitters were in the 20's and 14 NL hitters were between 15 & 20.

Batting Average:  There were 12 NL hitters who hit at least .300 with 400 AB's.

Wins: There were two 20 game winners in the NL last year with Halladay at 21 and Wainwright at 20. There were 8 starters between 15 & 20 so therefore only 10 NL starters reached at least 15 wins. A lot of times a very good starter will finish between 10 & 15 wins. Last year in the NL there were 34 of those starting pitchers.

Saves: Only Brian Wilson (48), Heath Bell (47) & Francisco Cordero (40) hit the 40 mark. But more interesting to me is only 3 more guys had at least 30 (C.Marmol 38, B.Wagner 37 now retired & L.Nunez 30 who may not be the closer anymore). 9 NL pitchers finished between 20 & 30 saves.

ERA: Believe it or not there were 11 NL starters who had at least 20 starts who finished with a sub 3.00 ERA. Also there was 11 NL starters who had at least 20 starts who finished with a sub 3.50 ERA.

WHIP: Now it's hard to find a great ratio guy in terms of starting pitching. To me any starter who has a WHIP between 1.00 & 1.10 is amazing. There were only 6 such NL starters last season. Between 1.10 & 1.20 there were 11 NL starters & between 1.20 & 1.30 there were 7 such NL starters.

Strikeouts: There were only 9 NL starters who hit at least 200K's. Only 4 were between 180 & 200 & only 7 were between 160 & 180. So that's only 20 NL starters who had at least 160K's.

Summary: I think you see players who reach special stats are very few and far between and you should be willing to go the extra mile to get these players. Also this analysis indicates that for someone to win an NL only league you must have depth.

NL King - C.Lizza

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Fantasy Man's 2011 Fantasy Baseball First Base Rankings

The Fantasy Man's free fantasy baseball advice offering 2011 fantasy baseball first base rankings. Let's be real, no one else in the industry loves hoarding power 1B bats in the first three rounds of a fantasy baseball draft more then me. I mean, seriously. Stop it. Why would 2011 be any different? I have a method to my madness and if you follow along, I'll help you win your fantasy leagues too! Tell your wife .... You're welcome!

Listen to the 1B Rankings Podcast

2011 First Base Rankings:
1. Albert Pujols - He's still a monster and playing for big contract
2. Joey Votto - Same production as Cabrera but could add in 10-15 SB
3. Miguel Cabrera - He's only going to get better while just entering prime, but doesn't steal
4. Prince Fielder - Two words..... Contract Year!
5. Ryan Howard - No regression here, just nagging injuries in '10, expect 40+HR
6. Adrian Gonzalez - expect huge spike in production in Boston like .300+/40+/120+, but risky
7. Mark Teixeira - He was man-down late in '10, should be healthy in '11 with a better BA
8. Justin Morneau - Top talent, proven, lineup protection, but also injury prone
9. Kendry Morales - Should be ready for 2011 where he left off..... DOH!
10. Kevin Youkilis - Can't ever stay healthy a full season but super consistent when he's in there
11. Adam Dunn - .260/40/100/90 wherever he ends up
12. Victor Martinez - Catcher eligibility with .300/20/90 every year if you miss on a big 1B
13. Billy Butler - .318/15/78 in '10, has the power potential, only 24....maybe this is the .300/30/100 year
14. Paul Konerko - Don't reach for Konerko, he alternates good/bad seasons like freakin' clockwork
15. Derek Lee - New team, new season, could be the Paul Konerko resurgence of 2010
16. Ike Davis - Burst on the seen and kind of fizzled out late, look for a big improvement in 2011
17. Carlos Pena - Homer happy, BA sad. Should produce 30+ if healthy and maybe BA bounces back
18. Aubrey Huff - Put up a respectable .290/26/86, solid '08, crap '09, solid again in '10...what's next?
19. Mike Cuddyer - Multi-position eligibility and overall solid hitter is a good reliable player
20. Gaby Sanchez - Hit .272/19/85 in first full season at age 27, look for some improvement in 2011
21. Adam Lind - Played 11 games at 1B and 16 in the OF, could be a nice value in the middle rounds
22. James Loney - 27 years old this season.... when no one is looking, here comes the break out!
23. Garrett Jones - .247/21/86 in '10 which was disappointing. If he plays everyday, expect improvement
24. Adam LaRoche - Always a second half guy right?
25. Mike Napoli - Doesn't play everyday but will have catcher eligibility and 25+ HR power
26. Justin Smoak - Does he have enough protection batting 3rd/4th in Seattle?
27. Matt LaPorta - This is my big 1B sleeper of 2011. Was a #1 touted fantasy prospect not too long ago
28. Mitch Moreland - Post-season run will hype Moreland up as a huge sleeper, and rightly so. He can hit!
29. Brett Wallace - .301/18/61 in AAA and only 24 so keeper potential is there
30. Freddie Freeman - 2011 #1 Top prospect, grab and stash
31. Daric Barton - Only 25, potential is still there but that's what it is... potential
32. Todd Helton - Power is gone but the BA is there, consistent if he stays in the lineup
33. Xavier Nady - If he can hold it together for a full year you could get serviceable production plus some
34. Kila Ka'aihue - 6 of his 8HR came in September, big power, patience, high OBP potential, huge sleeper
35. Chris Carter - Has Ryan Howard type power potential but lacks defensive skills, HUGE SLEEPER
36. Lance Berkman - If he finds a full-time home, could be a fantastic value at the end of your draft
37. Ty Wigginton - Exploded in the 1st half in '10, I wouldn't expect that again

First Base Draft Day Strategy:
Drafting the 1B position isn't much of a secret. You either love the power early in the draft or you try to scope out the power at the end a la Paul Konerko in 2010. First base is not a weak position which means you can afford to wait later in the draft to fill it. If you're a position scarcity guy, you can wait until after round 10 and grab more than serviceable players like Derek Lee, Carlos Pena, and even Adam Lind in some leagues. These are three players whose value is down but could easily outperform its draft position which will let you stock up on middle infielders or starting pitching earlier in the draft.

Sleeper Alert:
I have been touting Kila Ka'aihue for a few years now. He's been stuck in the minors behind Billy Butler and he'll be 27 years old in 2011. What is intriguing is his patience and ability to make contact at the plate in 8 minor league seasons, Ka'aihue walked 585 times while striking out only 620 times. So he walks as much as he strikes out. In 2010, his first season with significant major league time he had 24BB and 39K in 180AB. He hit 8HR (6 in September) with 25 RBI. Multiply that over 600AB or a full season and your looking at approximately 30HR/100RBI with a solid BA. If this guy plays full-time, he'll be a steal at the end of your draft. Ryan Howard didn't make a splash until he was 26 too!

Super Sleeper Alert:
The other guy I like is Matt LaPorta who was hampered by injury last year, or at least hampered by surgery on his hip and foot during the offseason last year. I am sure that played a part in his slow development in 2010. LaPorta was one of fantasy baseballs' top touted prospects not too long ago but he's been dealing with injuries the last two years. Throw in a terrible supporting offense in Cleveland last year and you have a recipe for disaster. The Indians will be better in 2010, Grady Sizemore should be back and healthy and some young players will emerge. 46BB and only 86K in 376AB tells me he's ready to hit in the majors. So if he's healthy, I'm expecting a bit of a break out at age 26.

Bust Alert:
Paul Konerko, like I said above, will alternate good and bad seasons like it's clockwork. The last time he hit .312 in 2006 he came back the next year and hit .258. I'm not saying that this will definitely happen again but Konerko will be drafted as if he's a .300/39/111 guy and that's going to prove to be overvalued. Last year Konerko was a flier after the 14th or 15th rounds in most drafts. This year he may go in the early to mid rounds (5-8) when he should probably go (9-12). He's not young, doesn't have upside, and is coming off a career year. I like Konerko to still be at least a .280/30/100 guy if he stays in Chicago but I don't want to have to stretch to get it.

The Fantasy Man's 2011 Draft Strategy:
Power! Power! Power! Let's be honest, power is at a premium thanks to our friends like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. That means I love to hoard as much power as possible. So yes, if I have the 11th or 12th pick in a draft, I have no problem drafting Prince Fielder and Ryan Howard back to back. I'll even throw in Jose Bautista in the 3rd or 4th just for shits and gigs. I know that I can find stolen bases later in the draft, I can find batting average throughout but when I have a chance to monopolize a category or two, it's a no brainer for me. Think of it like this...... in real baseball terms, where does a teams' offensive power come from? That's right, normally it's first base! Build power from the corners, power/speed from the outfield and consistency from the middle infield.

The Fantasy Man
"Tell your wife..... you're welcome!"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

NL King - Maximizing Your Keeper List

Welcome to the off-season everyone! Fantasy baseball advice at Fantasy Baseball Express is back nice and early this year as we're kicking off the 2011 fantasy baseball season right here and now! You can't start researching early enough! I hope to provide a lot of insightful articles and nuggets of information for you this off-season. The first thing you need to do this off-season in regards to a keeper league is to analyze your roster for the best keepers. You have your definite yay's and nay's and then you have guys who are on the fence that you have to do some research on in deciding if they are a keeper or not. Keep in mind a guy who is on the fence for you maybe a definite keeper for someone else and hence a great trade chip.

After looking at your possible keepers you can see what strengths you have as we march towards draft day and what you need to put together a contending team for 2011. Also you can see how your draft dollars look heading into the draft. You want to be in good shape with your draft dollars so you can attack the draft and take advantage of draft day opportunities. Strong draft day purchasing power gives you more choices & flexability and puts you in a better position to have a great draft.

You need to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the draft and how that fits with your team. If, for instance, your team needs are steals and saves and the draft is loaded in that regard, your in good shape. However, if it's the opposite, you need to go shopping via the trade market in the off-season to address these areas. It is not a good situation to go into a draft where you have big needs in certain area's and the draft has limited number of players that fit these needs. That's how you way over pay on draft day for players and how you over reach for players on draft day.
So again your off-season trades should address areas your team needs help in and where the draft has limitations. Also you need to do the exercise and try to predict all of the other teams in your league their keeper list and therefore their draft day dollars. This will give you an idea of your purchasing power as well as your competitors. In addition you can size up the competition in terms of talent on the players they are protecting. Remember the ideal situation going into a draft is to have a strong and balanced keeper list accompanied with a good amount of draft dollars so you have strong purchasing power come draft day. This is what you should be trying to accomplish this off-season. This is the goal.

NL King - C.Lizza

It's coming! You know what I'm talking about!  Yes, silly..... The Fantasy Man's 5th Annual Thanksgiving Day Extravaganza 2 part/2hour podcast! Check it out on iTunes or at www.TheFantasyMan.com

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

A Giant Shock, 2011 World Series, Futures and Odds

While the San Francisco Giants ‘shocked the world’ en route to winning their first World Series title since 1954 while getting some timely contributions from their cast of unlikely players, fantasy baseball lovers and MLB betting enthusiasts everywhere are now turning their collective eyes toward the 2011 MLB season.

Thanks to this look back at some key MLB moments in 2010 – and glimpse ahead at the value-packed 2011 MLB World Series Futures Odds, MLB baseball lovers everywhere will be able to get a jump on the competition in all of their 2011 MLB endeavors.

Let me get started in the National League where Colorado left fielder Carlos Gonzalez led the league in hitting with a robust .336 batting average to beat out Cincinnati’s Joey Votto (.324). Despite their epic collapse, St. Louis could bounce back in a big way in 2011 as big-boppers Albert Pujols (.312) and Matt Holliday (.312) both finished in the top 10 in hitting and the Cards have a quartet of starters that can be downright dominant.

Despite not having a single batter finish in the top the Philadelphia Phillies will enter the 20111 MLB regular season as the favorites in the NL to win the 2011 World Series at a value-packed +600 against the MLB Futures Odds while the Giants will be back to defend their title at a stellar +1000 and St. Louis sits at +1500.

Josh Hamilton had a monster year in the AL in spite of missing almost all of September. The Texas Rangers’ outfielder hit a blistering .359 to beat out Miguel Cabrera (.328) and Joe Mauer (.327).

Toronto’s Jose Bautista showed that not everyone has to take performance enhancing drugs to hit 50 home runs while Detroit third baseman Miguel Cabrera led all of baseball with 126 RBIs.

Athough Hamilton led the Rangers to a thorough shellacking of the Yankees in their World Series showdown, New York sits atop the 2011 MLB World Series Futures Odds at +400 while the defending AL champion Rangers check in at +1200 to bring home the bacon.

Just thinking back on the 2010 regular season will bring fond memories of the seemingly endless succession of no-hitters and perfect games that took place in the ‘Year of the Pitcher’.

Now, I’m salivating in anticipation of the 2011 regular season.