I have been lazy in posting of late, and for that, dear reader (s), I apologize.
Today I thought I'd take a look at one of everybody's favorite online activities, and one of the worst to actually talk about. (It's not what you think).
It's fantasy baseball! My annual squad, the Double Baggers, is in first place in Yahoo Public 475862 after three weeks, although I'm currently getting beat down 7-2 thanks to a rough week for my starting pitching.
A word about actual strategy - I tend to ignore closers and go after a ton of starting pitchers, more because I like to watch SPs in actual games than anything else. Its not necessarily a winning strategy but when it works well, it REALLY works - you either dominate wins, strikeouts, ERA, and WHIP, or you lose three out of the four, but if it's a good week, you're winning, period.
Anyway, here's three guys who have been playing well for me to start out the season, and three who have stunk it up.Ryan Braun, OF, Milwaukee Brewers (first round pick) - He was the best available player with the fifth pick in the draft, although I seriously considered Tim Lincecum (see hilarious sportscenter video here -- I love Big Time Timmy-Jim!) or even Roy Halladay. But I really didn't feel great about the pick, and Braun started out slow. However, with the Brew Crew exploding offensively over the last two weeks, the 26-year old outfielder has rounded into form as one of the best all-around offensive threats in the league.
With 19 runs, 20 RBIs, 5 homers, and six steals over his first 97 at-bats, Braun is a complete five-tool player (currently #4 overall in the game) and I was wise to listen to the Y! Rankings over my own sentiment here. Go Brewers. Thumbs up to Braun. And yes, that is him and his ex-girlfriend after last year's season.
Victor Martinez, C/1b, Boston Red Sox (third round pick) - I figured this was about the safest pick I could make. V-Mart has always been consistent power and a lock at the catcher position, and I could even shuffle him to first if I wanted, right? Well, he has sucked so far. Between his O-Rank (Yahoo's projected ranking) of 32 and his ACTUAL rank of 874, Martinez is hitting just .235 (he's a career .300 hitter) and his OPS is off by over 200 points.
His lack of production out of the 3 and 5 spots in the Red Sox lineup is one reason why they're scuffling along at 11-13. Like Bostonians everywhere, I can only hope for a turn around. Till then, thumbs down on V-Mart.
Ubaldo Jimenez, SP, Colorado Rockies (seventh round) - He already pitched a no-hitter this year. His numbers (5-0, 0.79 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 31 Ks) are ridiculous. He's only behind Lincecum and Roy Halladay in the rankings, yet he was drafted just after Yovani Gallardo and Jake Peavy. A big thumbs up on Jimenez.
Also, I have Mark Buehrle, SP, White Sox, whose perfect game was AWESOME and won me that week. But he has struggled ever since. Still, I will be keeping Number 56 on the roster - I'm willing to take the hit on his bad starts just to get his good ones.
On the subject of White Sox, how about Gordon Beckham, 2b/3b (eighth round) - There's no sugar coating this. Beckham is having a terrible spring. Like most of the Pale Hose, his batting average has hovered around .220, and he has scored just ten runs despite batting in the 2-hole, with a single home run and just four RBI. This, my friends, is a sophomore slump. Beckham is currently planted on my bench.
Lucky for me, I grabbed Brewer Casey McGehee, 2b/3b off the free agent wire! I also got Ricky Romero, Colby Lewis, and Hideki Matsui this way. McGehee is batting fifth in the Brew Crew order, which means he gets to follow Braun and Prince Fielder to the plate. How awesome is that? He's batting over .300 with 19 RBIs, tops among eligible second basemen.
So there you have it, my own personal three up, three down.
How are your teams doing? Who's been breaking your heart or carrying the squad? And does anybody care about fantasy baseball?