Thursday, April 12, 2012

LoC Standings Update

The MLB 2012 season is a week in (well, a week + 2 days if you count the games in Japan).  At the end of the first week Ravishing Ricky Bo has taken a slim lead compiling a total of 293 points.  Benefiting RRB is the performace of Javy Guerra who has contributed 4 saves so far...not bad for a player taken extremely late in the draft.   Having Roy Halladay also helps.  The race is pretty tight at the top five, with some breathing room being created from the bottom three.   Braunovan, to my surprise hasn't made a single move yet (this is after all the team that made the most moves last season).  

Top 10 Hitters (based on Yahoo! Rankings)

1) Matt Kemp
2) David Freese
3) Miguel Cabrera
4) Yoenis Cespedes
5) Austin jackson
6) Pablo Sandoval
7) Carlos Beltran
8) Ian Kinsler
9) Corey Hart
10) Omar Infante

Top 10 Pitchers (based on Yahoo! Rankings)

1) Chad Billingsley
2) Roy Halladay
3) Aroldis Chapman
4) Kyle Lohse
5) Javy Guerra
7) Stephan Strasburg
8) Fernando Rodney
9) Jeff Samardzija;
10) Barry Zito

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Fear Franchise..

You gotta feel for Fear Franchise...he tossed out Josh Johnson for opening night in Miami only to have him shelled by the St. Louis Cardinals lineup and more specifically David Freese (Vancouver Canadians), who went 3-5 with a run scored and 2 RBIs.   Still Franchise managed to pick up 17 points on the evening thanks to Jason Motte earning the save...which almost didn't happen.   Undrafted Kyle Lohse cruised through 8 innings of 2 hit ball to earn the first win of the season for the Cardinals.

In other league news...Team Avenger has become the Westboro Knights...I'd have preferred something like "Horse walks into Aybar"...not much to add this morning to the blog, but in light of Yu Darvish's arrival to MLB baseball, lets take a look at why the Japanese really love baseball...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Alright now that the MLB 2012 season started it's time to get serious.   But first...check out the video!

One game on the slate tonight...The Miami Marlins taking on the St. Louis Cardinals, Kyle Lohse vs. Josh Johnson.   We get a chance to new the new 3B-SS combo in Miami, as Hanley Ramirez and Jose Reyes take to the field together.

St. Louis has lost Chris Carpenter to injury already, but the biggest off season loss was the departure of Albert Pujols to the Angels.  Can Adrian Beltre replace Pujols offensive numbers?  

Most teams take to the field tomorrow and the opening weeks should see many of the teams jockeying for position.  Now I know all the projections were done along with the team reviews...but just before all the scoring starts taking place, I took one last look at the numbers and re-adjusted them to account for player movements.  To make it really simple, I the value of your bench players were divided in half...and with that the rankings ended up looking like this...

Rank Team
1 Vancouver Canadians
2 Braunovan
3 Toronto Blue Jays
4 Ravishing Rickybo
5 Riverside Southpaws
6 The Buckmartinez-ez
7 Hooter Hunters
8 Alkickurass
9 Under Ceege
10 Situ-Asians
11 Bulgarian Great "8"
12 Team Avenger
13 Siba Style
14 Fear Franchise

Team Preview - Part IV

Riverside Southpaws Projected Rankings

The Riverside Southpaws seemed to have found balance in their lineup despite drafting nothing but pitchers for the first seven rounds of the draft.  

Miguel Montero, Lance Berkman, Ryan Robert, Mark Reynolds and JJ Hardy form the Southpaws infield.   I'm in doubt that Berkman will find the bounceback form he had a couple of seasons ago.   Mark Reynolds simply strikes out to much to be effective in this format, and the JJ Hardy we saw last year...well I doubt he'll make an appearence this year.  Montero is probably the only saving grace here...

I'm just gonna say that this OF and it's project just completely off.  David Ortiz is not going to get 400 fantasy points...Chris Young and Tori Hunter...are all overrated.  Carlos Beltran is good, but he won't replace Pujols in St. Louis' lineup.

Despite drafting nothing but pitchers for the, I don't think this is all that great of a starting rotation.  Cole Hamels and Dan Haren are without a doubt great starters, but after that it gets a bit tricky.  James Shields and Ricky Nolasco?  Ok, I can give some credit for Shields - but Nolasco?  As good as Michael Pineda was last year, 2012 doesn't look like such a good season for the Yankees and Pineda.  He's already on the DL with shoulder tendenitous. 
Coming off the bench, RSP have Chris Carpenter (another DL candidate) and the erratic Carlos Zambrano.  

The real gems on this roster might be the two closers.  Jose Valverde may have a great year in Detroit, closing out games for the Tigers and JJ Putz may become the leagues best closer this year pitching for the Diamondbacks. 

I wouldn't say there are any exceptional names on the reserve roster, but RSP can be happy they have aging veterans Chipper Jones and Alfonsio Soriano riding the pine for them.  

Braunovan Projected Rankings
Team Total

Honestly, this was one of two really big surprises for me when I was doing the projected rankings.  But this is what the numbers say.  Braunovan's second entry into Fantasy Baseball resulted in a far better team. 

JP Arencibia, Miguel Cabrera, Howie Kendrick, Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus form the core infield for Braunovan.  Cabrera just kinda fell to Braunovan given the slew of SP taken with the first three picks.   All should produce.  If that doesn't work there is always Brendon Belt, Danny Espinosa and Jared Saltalmacchia on the bench. 

The teams OF/Util is fairly young (with exception of Johnny Peralta).  Hunter Pence and Alex Gordon are former high end prospects that are starting to show signs of stardom.   Brian LaHair was a surprise entry in the OF rankings for this team, outshinning the strikeout mast Jayson WErth. 

Matt Cain, Matt Garza, Ervin Santana and Wandy Rodriguez share the starting rotation with Josh Beckett.  The only real concerns here are Rodriguez playing in Houston and Beckett's recently announced thumb injury.   Edwin Jackson, and Randy Wolf are waiting in the wings to fill in.

I happen to love these two closers on Braunovan's roster.  Greg Kimbrel should dominate once again, but Joel Hanrahan will surprise some with his work in Pittsburgh. 

Toronto Blue Jays Projected Rankings
Team TotalINF

I seem to remember reading someone elses predictions for this team and it wasn't all that flattering, but than again I don't agree with how those "other" projections were produced.   How this team finished 11th on those standings confounds me.

Jesus Montero, Albert Pujols, Brian Phillips, Ryan Zimmerman and Yunel Escobar represents a strong infield put together by the TBJ.   Montero is going to be a monster, even in that Seattle ballpark.   This could also be the year that Yunel Escobar becomes an elite SS. 

The OF/Util positionning of Ryan Braun, Josh Willingham, Nick Markakis and Prince Fielder is just dominating and should produce a ton of ponts for the TBJ.   This allows the team to reserve Andre Either and Desmond Jennings that should pay dividends as injuries occur. 

What I am not a fan of on this team is the pitching staff.  Ubaldo Jimenez is the ace?  Likely not...Matt Moore will take the reigns and lead this rotation.  Jordon Zimmerman, Nefateli Feliz and Gavin Floyd fill out the rotation, with Henderson Alverez and Bartolo Colon waiting on the wings. 

The TBJ will need Greg Holland to get the closer role in KC for this pairing of closers to work out.   Still Francisco Rodriguez could be traded and provide a source of points for the TBJ down the road.  

Vancouver Canadians Projected Rankings
I guess sometimes you need to be given a last place belt and the duty to write down draft picks for all teams in order for one to become the highest pre-season ranking team.  Maybe paying attention to the whole draft gives you an either case the Vancouver Canadians have the opportunity to go from worst (sorta) to First this year and has built the lineup to do it.

The infield consists of the underrated Yadi Molina, the returning Justin Morneau, the emerging Jeff Kipnis and David Freese and the happy to be on a new team...Jose Reyes.   A pretty good infiend that will produce points. 

The OF/Util is kinda interesting.  I really like the Matt Holliday and Josh Hamilton combination, but I really think Melky Cabrera and CoCo Crisp are overrated players...especially Crisp and his projected 434 points. 

The starting rotation here is already hampered by Ryan Vogelsong, who will start the season DL.  Jared Weaver, Juir Jurrjens and Jonny Cueto provide the MLB veteran presence...but the real star here could be Yu Darvish.  Darvish to me will become the ace of the Rangers staff and really be a force this year. 

Closer wise, the VC did well by drafting Mariano Riveria during his farewell tour of the majors, but Kyle Farnsworth has been diagnoised with elbow issues and start the season on the DL. 

The VC bench is deep and holds plenty of replacements and potential.   RA Dickey, Mark Buehrle should be adequate substitutes in case a starter falters, and who knows maybe Mitch Moreland will emerge as a force this year. 

With that the tour of LoC teams is complete.  Good luck to everyone and remember...these were just projections and have nothing to do with how the season will play out.  Trade well and prosper everyone. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Season Preview - Part III

Situ-Asians 2.0 Projected Rankings

With the exception of Adrian Gonzalez, the Situ-Asians 2.0 infield will need a lot of help to help this team climb up the LoC standings.  Ryan Doumit should get some additional at bats in Minnisota and hopefully Dan Uggla is able to make more contact for hits, rather then simply homers (although homers are always appreciated).  Mike Moustakas and Astrubal Cabrera are real question marks...if Cabrera can build on last year he could be a very good pick up for this team. 

The Situ-Asians OF is among the leagues best...especially when you consider that Carl Crawford has been relegated to the bench of this team.   Curtis Granderson will hopefully continue his strong play in New York and Ichiro has found a new home batting 3rd in the Mariners lineup.  Cory Hart has shown he can be a big player and it's hoped that he continue to improve.  Then there is the ever consisten Paul Konerko holding down the Util spot for the Situ-Asians.

Zach Greinke looks like he's ready to have another Cy Young type year in Milwalkee and he'll need to do so if the team is to improve on it's 12th spot ranking.  CJ Wilson's projections are a bit low -especially if you consider his new situation in Anahiem and his numbers on the road last year.   Chris Sale could make a breakthrough as a starter, and Colby Lewis and Josh Tomlin round out the rotation...good not great 4th and 5th starters.

The Situ-Asians closers are solid..and Grant Balfour already has a save under his belt.  Not a great pair of closers, but ones that should keep this team in contention. 

The real suprises could come off the Situ-Asians bench.  Ian Desmond, John Mayberry, Devin Mesoraco, and Mike Trout all find themselves on the reserve side of things, but any breakout signs will force them into the lineup.   The team is also hoping that veterns Andy Petite, Eric Bedard and Phil Hughes can contribute this year. 
The Buck Martinez-ez Projected Rankings

The defending champions find themselves in the middle of the pack despite having a great infield and outfield.  

Veterans Mike Napoli, Dustin Pedoria, Michael Young and Alexi Ramirez provide much of the infield offensive threat, with much hyped 2012 draftee Eric Hosmer working his way into the mix.   Hosmer is considered to be a "sure thing" by almost every "expert" analyst - but with so much hype, will be contribute?

The BMZ's 3rd ranked OF/UTIL consists of Jose Bautista, Shane Victorino, Martin Prado and Andrew Jones.  Effective and efficent.  This OF/UTIL should produce all season long. 

The BMZ starting rotation doesn't have any great names.  Ian Kennedy emerged last year but it's uncertain whether he'll repeat that performance this year.  Vance Worley was a surprise in 2011, but can he be in 2012?  The real gems in this rotation could be Justin Materson, Brandon McCarthy and Madison Bumgartner.  

Brandon League and Chris Perez have the closer situation locked down for the BMZ.

The BMZ bench could contribute, especially Mike Aviles on his new team in Boston.  Ryan Howard might be a story if he can come back this year.   With a few moves here and theere, BMZ looks poised for another solid season.

Under Ceege Projected Rankings

Under Ceege has some issues in the infield and outfield, but the strength in the starting rotation and relief pitching could keep this team out of trouble. 

Hanley Ramirez is the only real player in the infield that also includes Kurt Suzuki, Carlos Pena, Alexai Casilla and Edwin Encarnacion.   If any of these guys falter, Freddy Freeman, Kendrys Morales and Giovanni Soto wait in the wings.   Surprising Lonnie Chisenhall was sent down to the minors by the Cleveland Indians. 

The UG OF, will depend on strong outputs from Jay Bruce and BJ Upton along with Michael Cuddyer.   Giancarlo "Mike" Stanton projections seem a bit low, but they could be accurate if he doesn't improve on his strikeout rate. 

Of all the starting rotations, this is the one that puzzles me the most.  Tim Lincecum could have a solid year, but he had some issues in 2011 that still concern me.  Adam Wainwright has looked like an ace in the spring, but he could fall flat to injuries during the season.  Brandon Beachy has shown signs of greatness, but has yet to really reach that level.  I'm not a big fan of either Anibal Sanchez and Doug Fister, but I do think Fister will have a good year in Detroit. 

The UF has the best relief dou in Jonathan Papelbon and Joe Nathan.   Papelbon could see a bump in his numbers as he heads over to the NL and a team that will likely provide him with lots of save opportunities.  

This bench is loaded with talent and could provide some much needed support for the starting lineup in the event of injuries. 

Ravishing Rickybo Projected Rankings

With the exception of David Wright (who I think is an injury waiting to happen), I really like this infield...including Rafeal Furcal.   Joey Votto and Joe Mauer provide much of the production while Jamille Weeks will provide steals and runs (if he can bunt his way on). 

This OF/Util is pretty good...although I think Drew Stubbs will eventually replace Dexter Fowler in the OF3 spot.   Carlos Gonzalez could be the #1 OF in MLB if he can stay healthy.  The Colorado air should give him a legitimate shot pending he avoids those injuries. 

The starting roation is solid, especially now that Danial Bard has been named into the Red Sox rotation.  The machine that is Roy Halladay fronts a pretty young rotation.  I think Matt Latos is going to get lit up in Cinncinati, but Marcum, Bard and Norris are good fill ins.   Not much going on from the bench, but Ogando may get himself a shot back in the Rangers rotation this summer. 

If Kasey Jansen or Javy Guerra can become the closer of the Dodgers, Rickybo has it made.  Carlos Marmol is a legit closer, but sometimes he worries the best of fantasy managers.  

The Ravishing ones bench, boasts some strong potential in Dominque Brown and Alondois Chapman.  Chase Utley is also there and could be a real threat when he becomes healthy.  

Alkickurass Projected Rankings

Alkickurass surprised everyone by not drafting Stephan Strasburg or Bryce Harper in rounds 1 and 2.   Instead he went the more veteran route and should be rewarded with a better result this year. 

Buster Posey, Kevin Youkilis, Ian Kinsler, A. Ramirez and Jimmy Rollins form a solid infield for Kickassers...Posey will look to bounce back after spending most of last year on the DL list.   The others are consistent, with Youkilis potentially improving on his semi-poor numbers from 2011. 

This is another underrated OF/Util, with Jason Heyward likely breaking out and showing what kind of a OF beast he can be.  Jeff Francoeur is consistent, as is Carlos Lee.  Cespedes will be a real interesting player to keep an eye on.  I expect a no so stellar season. 

The starting rotation of Cliff Lee, Felix Hernandez, Stephen Strasburg, Scott Baker and Nicasio is an interesting mix.  Strasburg will provide up to 160 IP and be shut down, so Lee and King Felix will have to really produce.  Francisco Lirano is on the bench and could return to form and really produce.  Not big on Vinny Pestano...

Josh Walden and new minted Red closer Sean Marshall will provide the closign duties for this team.  Jim Johnson could also contribute off the bench. 

This bench is deep and loaded with talent.  Look for this team to use this as a strength during the season.

Up Next: The Top Four

Monday, April 2, 2012

Team Preview - Part II

Team Avenger Projected Rankings

Team Avenger's infield centres around the performance of Pablo Sandoval, who returned to form last year.   Ike Davis may have a big year in New York, with the fences being drawn in.  A lot of fantasy baseball players will be wondering of Alex Avila can find the form he had last year, or whether he will become another "average catcher".  

Justin Upton is set to hit another level and at 24, that's pretty sick.  Upton I think has a great chance to win the NL MVP award.   The TA outfield is filled out by Brent Gardner and Jose Tabata.  Lucas Duda might surprise many and exceed his projected totals.

The TA starting rotation is centred around David Price and Daniel Hudson.   However, Jamie Garcia will contribute a lot of valuable points.  If Clay Buchholz and Trevor Cahill can avoid injuries, this rotation could be very dangerous.

Sergio Santos and John Axford will provide lots of closer points for TA.

Perhaps the biggest potential for success lies on the TA bench.  Lorenzo Cain, Marco Scutaro (yes, Marco Scutaro) and Cameron Maybin could all have breakout years and contribute greatly to this teams success.  

Hooter Hunters Projected Rankings

I honestly don't know if you can put together an uglier infield then this one...actually I think you can...but we won't go there.   Ben Zobrist is the infield offensive catalyst for the Hooter Hunters this year.  I'm not overly convinced that Sterling Castro will live up to expectations, but I am convinced that Wilson Ramos will exceed his projected long as he's not kidnapped in Washington.

To me, this OF is underrated.  Matt Kemp, Andrew McCutchen, Nelson Cruz are exceptional outfielders and should have put this OF among the top three.  Logan Morrison is a wildcard and how great this OF could be, might depend on him.

CC Sabathia and Gio Gonzalez front a rotation that also includes Chad Luebke, Jhoulys Chacin and Hiroki Kuroda.  Jeremy Hellickson could easily replace Chacin or Kuroda in value during the season.

Andrew Bailey is the sole closer, but Addison Reed could find himself taking over the closer role for the White Sox.   This is probably where the HH suffer the most and may need some luck in order to improve.  

A lot of good talent sits on the HH's bench and some good player management may pay dividends for this team.  Will Pedro Alvarez break out this year?  or what about Matt Gamel?  

Bulgarian Great "8" Projected Rankings

The Bulgarian Great "8" (BG8) has a pretty balanced roster and some great depth on the bench.   The Yankee Old Timers (Teixeira, A-Rod and Derek Jeter) club forms the core of the infield, along with Brian McCann and Rickie Weeks.   Teix and A-Rod are still productive and Jeter could have a bounce back year for the Yankees.  

A Yankee, A Tiger and two former Blue Jays hold down the outfield and utility positions for the BG8.   Brandon Boesch could turn in a big year for this team given the addition of Fielder to the Tigers lineup.   Rios is a prime candidate for a big bounceback year.  I definitely think Vernon Wells is done and his projection is too high.

Last years AL MVP and AL Cy Young winner fronts the BG8 rotation.  Jon Lester has been consistent but he did have a slightly off year last year.  Derek Holland will benefit from the Rangers offense and provide some valuable points.   If Max Scherzer can continue to improve, he should be able to exceed the projected figures.  Ted Lilly should benefit from his new home field and produce

Will Heath Bell prove his worth to his new franchise?  BG8 might have to rely on Bell for points with Drew Storen set to start the season on the DL.

The bench strength provides some good balance for the rest of the team.  Jason Bourgeois could breakout with the move to Kansas.   Ivan Nova and Tim Hudson might struggle this year, and Nova has already been put into the bullpen.  

Up Next:

Situ-Asians 2.0, Buck Martinez-ez, Under Ceege, Ravishing Rickybo and Al Kickurass...

Team by Team Preview Pt. 1

Siba Style Projected Rankings

You can't deny that any major league team would drool at the chance to see a projected infield consisting of Carlos Santana, Adam Lind, Robinson Cano, Brett Lawrie and Troy Tulowitzki but Siba Style's infield came at a pretty steep price. 

The OF/UTIL group is headed by Michael Bourn.  Newly minted Jays left fielder Eric Thames joins this shallow OF/UTIL talent pool.   SS will need Colby Rasmus to overachieve, while Mike Trumbo learns 3B. 

Tommy Hanson and Ricky Romero will need to be staff aces if the SS pitching staff is going to keep this team in contention.   Huge seasons will also be needed from Brandon Morrow, Matt Harrison and Mike Minor.   Morrow could be a major breakout candidate this year.

Brian Wilson and Houston Street are the SS principal closers, but Matt Capps and Jonathan Broxton are waiting on the bench for some action too.   SS will need to turn these additonal assets into useful peices during the course of the season.  The man with the "Beard" will need to return to his form to solidify this closing situation for this team. 

* Kelly Johnson should have been in the utility spot instead of Trumbo, but the point difference (54) would not have changed SS ranking in the overall. 

With the exception of Capps, Broxton and Johnson, the rest of the bench is made up of largely unknowns.  Rick Porcello will start the season in the Tigers rotation, but he's been given this chance before.   An pair of interesting sleepers in De Aza and Presley. 

Fear Franchise Projected Rankings

Now I read that Fear Franchise released their own set of "projected numbers" last night, and for the life of me I can't figure out how he managed to get his "projected total" to be 7,378, when the best lineup I set for him can only muster a total of 7,000 points.
The FF infield is made up of Matt Wieters, Justin Smoak, Dustin Ackley, Even Longoria and Dee Gordon.   I'm not huge on Smoak, but Acknley and Gordon have the potential to be breakout stars this year.   Evan Longoria will need to find his form from 2 years ago in order to be the cornerstone of this infield.   Of course, Wieters is a long known Chiser man-crush and this really could be his season for stardom.

The FF outfield hinges on Jacoby Ellsbury, and if last year was any indication of how good Ellsbury is it's scary to think he could get better.   Mike Morse, Delmon Young and Aaron Hill fill ou tthe remaining OF/Util spots.  Chiser could really benefit if Young and Hill can find shades of their former selves this year...while Morse could be a breakout candidate. 

The starters for FF is among the leagues best.  Clayton Kershaw and Yvonnie Gallardo anchor this roation, which also includes Josh Johnson, Johan Santana and late addition Jake Peavy.  If the two aging arms return to form, this could be a dangerous rotation to compete against.  

FF took Brett Myers to place him in the closer role as an SP (but his total was well short of the other starters) so he finds himself on the bench, while Jason Motte and Matt Thornton represent the best of FF closers.   Thornton isn't the White Sox closer yet so that projection might be a bit high. 

Hype and has been and post-hype players dominate the FF bench.  The hype players are obviously Alongso and Bryce Harper, while the post hype player is Emilio Bonifacio.   Grady Sizemore starts on the DL once again.  Adam Dunn and AJ Pierzynski have seen the best of their playing days go by. 

Up Next:

Team Avenger, Hooter Hunters and Bulgarian Great "8"....