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