Baseball by Paul 6/22/10 Show Notes

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Trolling the Wire Pickup

Luke Gregerson, RP, San Diego Padres – Are you a Jake Peavy owner? How about Wandy Rodriguez or Javier Vazquez? Or maybe even Gavin Floyd or Edwin Jackson? You get the point. The common thread with those five is that they all have ERAs over 5.00 despite the fact that they were drafted as #1 and 2 starters on many teams or at least no worse than #3. They have been colossal disappointments and even a turnaround by them won’t completely negate the damage they have inflicted upon your ERA and WHIP.

That’s where today’s Trolling the Wire pickup comes in. Luke Gregerson of San Diego is an elite middle reliever who broke out in his rookie year last year with 75 sparkling innings during which he posted a 3.24 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and struck out 93. Add that to a line like Ricky Nolasco’s from 2009 who you might have stuck with all year because of the high strikeouts and because he was excellent following his demotion. Combining those two you’ve now got 260 innings of 4.53 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 288 strikeouts. That alone won’t win you any leagues, but Gregerson just shaved half of a run off of Nolasco’s 5.06 ERA.

Let’s say you have been laboring through Edwin Jackson’s 5.05 ERA this season, but had Gregerson alongside for the ride. Instead of 98 innings of 5.05 ERA, you would have 134 innings of 4.10 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 122 strikeouts. Now you can’t go out and retroactively get Gregerson’s first 36 innings, but what you can do is roster him now and stop the bleeding being done by the failing starting pitcher you paid a handsome price. And Gregerson isn’t the only one out there, but in keeper leagues he sets up as a nice heir apparent to Heath Bell who should make it through the season since the Padres are in contention, but may not be back for 2011 with his contract up in October.

Other middle relievers to look at include: Hong-Chih Kuo, Jason Motte, Mike Adams and Evan Meek.

Articles of the day

Lady Gaga Really Needs to Go the F Away
The All-2014 Fantasy Team
Reviewing the 2008 Trade Deadline
Josh Hamilton’s Resurgent Hitting
Not a Rookie: Ian Stewart
Should the Diamondbacks Start Over?
Monday 10 Pack (sub. req.)

Bets of the day

Of course I would call yesterday’s bet of the day a safe pick only to watch AJ Burnett and the Yankees get thrashed 10-4 costing me a cool 120. I’m back to even at 3-3 with the winnings down to a whopping 16 bucks. I’m going big today as I see a pair of plays that I really like so I want to relay both to you.

First, I’m going with Tim Lincecum in Houston against Roy Oswalt and the Astros. Yes, the Giants have to face a big starter as well, but as I outlined in yesterday’s show, their lineup is really starting to look quite a bit better. Plus Lincecum appears to be completely back on track from his control woes suffered at the end of May when he walked five in four straight starts. In June he has a 23-to-7 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 21 innings. One of the premier aces in the game going against one of the worst teams in baseball at -140 is a nice play, even when facing another strong pitcher.

And for the other play, I’m sticking with ace theme and taking Justin Verlander against the Mets at -135 in Citi Field. Though his ERA is a bit higher on the road, Verlander’s skills are dead even regardless of venue and he has absolutely embarrassed the National League in 15 interleague starts. He has an 11-1 record with a 2.92 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 9.4 strikeouts per nine. Meanwhile the Tigers offense faces lefty Jonathon Niese but southpaws aren’t usually an issue for the Tigers. The team is 12-7 vs. lefty starters and the team has posted a .792 OPS against them, 7th-best in baseball.

So two bets of the day today with Tim Lincecum and the Giants -140 at the Astros and Roy Oswalt. And Justin Verlander and the Tigers -135 at the Mets and Jonathon Niese.

Giants -140
Tigers -135
Record 3-3, $16

Spot Starters

I didn’t have one for Monday because I don’t do weekend shows. I think I will start picking a Monday one on Friday’s show.

Tuesday pick: (from Monday show) Tommy Hunter v. Pittsburgh Pirates
Wednesday pick: Brian Matusz v. Florida Marlins


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