Archive for June 6th, 2011

Monday: 06.6.2011

Trolling the Wire: Week 10 Monday-Friday

It was the roughest week in a long time for Trolling the Wire as Ervin Santana and Jason Hammel dug a hole (13 ER in 11 IP) the rest of picks couldn’t climb out of by Sunday.  The remaining 12 starters from Monday on had a respectable 3.68 ERA, but that gets masked by the Memorial Day thrashings suffered by big Erv and Hammel.

Despite some up and down weeks with ERA and WHIP, I would like to point out that only once has the ground of TtW picks ending the week with a sub-2.0 K/BB rate.  Also, the strikeout rate has been 6.2 K/9 or better in all but one week (not the single sub-2.0 week; K rate was 6.2 that week).

Overall, I am pretty happy with the picks given that almost every single one of the 104 selections has been someone available in 50% or more of all leagues across all three of the main fantasy baseball outlets.  At times, I pick someone with a higher yet still too low (in my opinion) ownership rate, but I always make sure to note that so everyone understands he may not be available in your particular league.

Let’s see what week 10 holds.


Brian Matusz (BAL v. OAK) – This guy needs to be owned, plain & simple.  I don’t care what the format is, I love his talent.  He may have some bumps in his first handful of starts back, but if you wait until he’s running completely hot, he won’t be available to pick up.

Scott Baker (MIN @ CLE) – He’s off the hold list for a while because he’s been uneven this year, but I still think he is worthwhile as a spot starter.


Phil Humber (CHW v. SEA) – Hats off to the Mariners for their recent surge, but it’s being driven mostly by their pitching and I’m still not afraid of that lineup in the least.  Humber doesn’t miss as many bats as I would like (5.1 K/9), but I love the matchup.

Rubby de la Rosa (LAD @ PHI) – This one isn’t for the faint of heart, but I love the talent this kid has and think he could hit the ground running as a starter.  Citizen’s Bank Ballpark is a bit scary, but the Philadelphia Phillies lineup really isn’t.  This pick is also a bit of a futures play.  If he goes out and dominates, he becomes much harder to acquire him, especially in faster-finger leagues, because he will draw the attention of your leaguemates.  So let’s get the jump on this blue-chip prospect.


Gavin Floyd (CHW v. SEA) – A better option than Humber against the same feeble lineup.  Sign me up.  He’s heavily owned at CBS (88%), but definitely under-owned in ESPN and Yahoo! leagues checking in at 60% and 63%, respectively.  Won’t be available for all, but a must-own if he’s on your wire.

Randy Wolf (MIL v. NYM) – Wolf’s composite skills are solid enough, but the home/road split is what sells me on him this week.  Home: 2.84 ERA, 1.25 WHIP in 32 IP; Road: 4.38 ERA, 1.33 WHIP in 39 IP.  He strikes out more on the road, but give me the better rates against a middle of the pack lineup (14th-best OPS in baseball).


Aaron Harang (SD v. WAS) – We knew Petco would be friendly to Harang which is what made him intriguing in the first place this offseason.  It has played out that way with a 3.31 home ERA against a 4.84 mark on the road.  Take the known advantage of the spacious ballpark and pair it with a great matchup against a bottom five offense.

Jeff Karstens (PIT v. ARI) – Another sharp home/road split to take advantage of here.  Karstens is toting a career best strikeout (6.6 K/9) and walk (1.7 BB/9) rates, the latter of which sinks to 1.5 at home.  He is over three runs better at home with a 2.21 ERA in 37 innings at PNC Park (5.23 road ERA) and though Arizona is having a great run of late, their road offense is bottom five with 105 runs scored and a paltry .657 OPS.


Charlie Morton (PIT v. NYM) – What does this kid have to do to get some love?  He’s been fantastic this year.  The strikeout rate is low, there’s no doubt about it, so innings cap leaguers beware if you don’t have a strikeout ace.  But beyond that he’s been brilliant and the groundball rate is astronomical which covers that K deficiency nicely.


Weekend picks later this week.

Monday: 06.6.2011

Trolling the Wire: Week 10 Monday

I’ll post the rest later, but I’ve been quite busy at work today.  I wanted to get Monday’s picks out for leagues that still allow pick ups (namely ESPN ones).

Brian Matusz v. OAK

Scott Baker v. CLE

Monday: 06.6.2011

Sunday Twidbits: June 5th

Here are this week’s MLB Sunday Twidbits which is something I’ll be doing every Sunday throughout the baseball season.  It’s a simple exercise whereby I tour the league giving a statistical tidbit per team on Twitter feed (@sporer).  Sometimes a team or two will get more than one if I have more than one nugget I really want to share, but every team will be represented at least once.

Det – Austin Jackson was sub-.200 on 5/6, hitting .284/.346/.432 w/2 HR, 9 RBI, 14 R, 9BB, 6 SB since. DET 15-9 during stretch; 15-18 before.

CWS – Gordon Beckham, Adam Dunn & Alex Rios are a combined .205/.291/.324 w/14 HR & 55 RBI in 581 AB

CWS2 – 5 players have more HR than the trio & 4 are within 10 of their RBI total; it’s a near-miracle CWS is just 4 under .500

Tex – Mitch Moreland is hitting .308/.381/.506 w/8 HR, but just 19 RBI. Prob bc of 1.056 OPS w/no one on against .691 w/men on & .687 w/RISP

Cle – Cleveland is 12-15 in last month & just 4-9 since big sweep of Cincy. Sets at NYY-DET-SF-ARI-CIN & home v. NYY in next month will show a lot

LAD – Matt Kemp is on fire since 5/23: .341/.413/.829 w/6 HR, 16 RBI, 10 R, 2 SB; has played in 263 straight games… MLB’s longest. Rest easy, Cal.

Cin – Johnny Cueto is a lone bright spot in CIN rotation, but K sliding yearly down to 5.2 this yr. BABIP & LOB% fueled 2.27 ERA will rise. Sell.

Tor – Yunel Escobar is sitting comfortably atop TOR lineup & is on pace for career year: .293/.373/.451, 7 HR-24 RBI paces for 19 HR-66 RBI.

Bal – Kevin Gregg‘s weak skills (1:1 K/BB) could open the door for Koji Uehara. He hates being healthy, but 11.7 K/9 & 6.4 K/BB are great. Speculate.

Oak – Brett Anderson‘s ERA is 4.00 thru Sunday start, but 6.6 K/9, 2.4 K/BB & 60% GB rate make his a must-buy profile. Discount possible.

Bos – Overall numbers don’t show it, but Carl Crawford is red-hot the last month: .306 AVG, 4 HR, 12 XBH, 22 RBI, 20 R, 3 SB. Hard to erase ugly starts.

Bos2 – Tell a friend Adrian Gonzalez has 12 HRs & ask him to guess how many came in April. Answer is 1. See why 1st mo. is no reason to freak out?

Mil – It’s never been talent w/Rickie Weeks, only health & he’s en route to 2nd str8 huge, healthy yr: .288/.358/.500, 30 HR, 71 RBI, 19 SB, 113 R

Mil2 – Weeks played w/fire in terms of his health last yr leading baseball w/25 HBP. On pace to cut that nearly in half w/13.

Flo – Marlins are being propped up by a bullpen that features 1 arm w/an ERA over 3.86. Easing pain of Johnson out & awful back end of rotation.

Phi – Chase Utley is hitting a paltry .227/.333/.318, but 3 SBs suggest he’s healthy meaning the rest will come. I’d buy where available.

Pit – Some prospects are late-bloomers: Neil Walker was 4-time top 81 ‘spect ’05-08, debuted in ’10, now on pace for 22-109. Can’t give up.

CHC – Do not stare directly into Tyler Colvin‘s 20 HRs from ’10, it’ll distract you from .147/.220/.250 line since Sept 1. of last year.

StL – Here comes Albert Pujols: .322/.395/.504 w/5 HR, 18 RBI, 16 R & 3 SB since Cinco de Mayo. Ole!

Min – With inj.ravaging MLB, you could do worse than Alexi Casilla: .329/.406/.353 w/13 R, 5 SB & 7 RBI since May 1st. Elig. at both MI positions

KC – Until Sat. Aaron Crow hadn’t even pitched much less SV’d a gm this wk. KC has either won big (1), late (1) or lost (4) since he got CL role.

NYY – Brett Gardner is really struggling in areas he excelled in last yr: pace of 51 BB in 159 G, 79 in 150 in ’10; 28/20 SB/CS (47/9 in ’10)

LAA – Bobby Abreu has .393/.493/.547 line since May 18th, up 40 pts to .292. On pace for 27 SB, but other #s struggling. Perhaps a selling point.

Col – Troy Tulowitzki hitting .289/.362/.404, 0 HR, but jello is shaking w/noise in the distance. Brace yourself, could be a hot streak coming.

Col2 – Daily leaguers: platoon Chris Iannetta home & away for maximization of value: H-.310/.432/.676, 6 HR, 19 RBI; R-.149/.329/.209, 2 HR, 4 RBI

SF – Ryan Vogelsong stays hot w/big 2 start week: 13 IP, 10 H, 2 ER, 10 K, 3 BB. Season ERA down to 1.68, 7 K/9, 3 K/BB. Hard not to buy in.

Col-SF – 10 R scored in Col-SF series; all SP went 6+ IP; all SF SP went 7+. Bullpens combined for 11 IP w/1 ER (Lindstrom today, game-winner).

Was – Jason Marquis is a fantasy baseball amusement ride, though the drops can induce vomit: ERA in 1st five-2.62, next five-6.21, last two-1.54.

Ari – Kelly Johnson was hitting .190 on 5/24. Since: .326/.436/.739 w/6 HR, 10 RBI, 15 R & 2 SB. Up to .224, on pace for 30 HR/22 SB.

TB – On Apr. 23, Sam Fuld was hitting .365/.407/.541 w/13 R, 10 SB (3 CS); since .157/.215/.240 w/8 R, 4 SB (3 CS). #bonifacioed

Sea – Brandon League since 4 gm meltdown-fest: 9 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.56 WHIP, 7 SV; tied for AL lead w/16 SV. Good luck getting that job Aardsma.

Hou – Welcome to the bigs, Jordan Lyles. Even the lowly Padres are tougher than the best AAA team: 4 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 3 K in 2nd career start

SD – Surely 3B is too thin for Chase Headley to be owned at only ~50% at the major outlets? Sure 1 HR sucks, but passable AVG & 20 SB is OK.

Atl – Freddie Freeman‘s .217/.314/.380 Apr may’ve dissuaded some, but patience has been rewarded w/.327/.378/.453 since May 1.  Power remains light, but that was expected.

NYM – Dillon Gee has been a gem for the Mets rotation this yr: 6-0, 3.33 ERA, 1.11, 6.5 K/9, 2.0 K/BB. Numbers support success, espec. in NL-Only