Archive for May 11th, 2012

Friday: 05.11.2012

Trolling the Wire – Weekend Edition

Here are the weekend selections:




Jeff Samardzija (CHC) – He’s been excellent this year without question.  I was skeptical when he debuted with a gem, felt justified for that skepticism when he followed it up with a pair of 5 ER outings, but now can’t help but be impressed by his last three outings during which he has yielded just 2 ER in 21 innings.  He also has 23 strikeouts in those three starts with a pair of wins.  (@ MIL)

A.J. Burnett (PIT) – He followed up his disastrous outing against the Cardinals with eight strong (2 ER) striking out 10 and walking just one.  He was left out to dry in that meltdown, but I don’t think it completely ruins his season.  Not only can be useful for your fantasy team the rest of the way, but it isn’t a stretch to suggest he finishes the season with a sub-4.00 ERA.  Let’s say he’ll go about 175 innings this season after missing a pair starts at the outset.  He’d only need to be a 3.64 ERA pitcher in his remaining 151 innings to finish with a 3.96 ERA for the season.  He’ll be fine.  (vs. HOU)

Edwin Jackson (WAS) – If you participated in Trolling last year, then you aren’t surprised to see Jackson here.  He was the most often recommended spot starter here last year.  To read/hear some write/speak about him, I can’t help but find him underrated.  You would think he has had a 4.50 ERA in the last three years as opposed to two sub-3.80 seasons along with a 4.47 one.  And in that latter one, he surged late posting a 3.24 ERA in 11 starts with the White Sox.  This year he has his best peripherals ever with a 7.9 K/9 and a 2.1 BB/9 which is a major improvement over anything he has ever done.  (@ CIN)

Jonathon Niese (NYM) – A pair of 4 BB starts bookend his 6 outings thus far raising his walk rate, but otherwise his peripherals are still sharp while his xFIP continues to suggest his ERA should be lower.  A trip into the cavernous Marlins Stadium seems like a nice remedy to get back on track after an OK start in Philly.


Friday: 05.11.2012

BP Work This Week

A quick look at my work available over at Baseball Prospectus this week.

  • First up was the Starting Pitcher Value Picks piece in which I looked at Felipe Paulino, who threw alright on Friday night against the White Sox.  I still like him as at least a stream option in all formats if not a full-time player.  I was surprised to learn that Jeff Samardzija was so available across the three primary outlets.  He is only out there in 18% of CBS leagues, but even that was surprising while his availability in ESPN and Yahoo! leagues ranged from 53-60%.


  • Next up was the Weekly Planner piece which takes a look at the all the two-start pitchers for next week and decides who you should go with and who you should probably avoid.  There are several aces going and falling in the Auto-Start category, but there are also a ton of Start options as well.  That should allow you find an adequate arm to fill in for Johnny Cueto who I have as merely a Consider this week with trips into Atlanta and the Bronx on his docket.  I’ve long been a fan of Cueto, but I’m also realistic and he is likely going to start his path to regression this upcoming week.


  • And finally, episode 3 came out for the The Towers of Power Fantasy Hour, a BP Fantasy Podcast.  We discussed stars playing like stars and how to handle them, cover a bunch of unexpectedly hot pitchers and whether or not we believe in them as well as read plenty of your emails.  Send your emails to  We record on Thursdays.  We also have a Facebook Group that you should definitely join.