Follow The Fantasy, Week 4: The Loss
With every sweet victory there is a looming inevitable defeat. This week I was humbled by the Fantasy Gods and met that first unpreventable loss. It was really one of the closest fantasy baseball matchups I have every encountered; with the final score being 4-5 in favor of my opponent Gee. Let’s break down the defeat and see how we can start a new winning streak.
I followed my own advice and picked up shortstop Jean Segura of Milwaukee. The man is hot, (in more ways than one…) batting a .350+ average and stealing bases at a consistent rate, which I badly needed. Angel Pagan hit the cutting room floor to create some the roster spot. Pagan has fantasy value however he wasn’t producing where I needed him to, stolen bases. Martin Prado has been sent to the bench as a utility player. Mr. Prado emailed me to express his disappointment, I told him to bring his average up. I still lost the stolen base category but I see that trend getting bucked like a bronco with the addition of Segura.
As you can see 3 of the 5 offensive categories were extremely close with home runs resulting in a tie. Receiving no home runs by Albert Pujols, Ian Kinsler or Dexter Fouler was a disappointment and a win that slipped though my fingers. What I found most impressive was that I had 6 players hit over .300! David Ortiz has been crushing the ball since starting the season late with heel spurs; he has more RBI’s than games played. I’m still searching the market to trade Papi, Albert, Chase Headley or Adrian Beltre plus a closer for an elite starter or outfielder. I simply don’t need this many bench players really, all of which are starting caliber. My bench is more crowded than an inner city school’s ESL classes. (EDITORS NOTE: That’s pretty crowded awful Greg!)
With less people on my bench I could have another starter. With another starter I could have tied or won the wins category. With another starter I could have tied or won the strikeouts category. While a 5 man rotation works in the big leagues, here on the cyber space diamond 7 starters probably works best in this particular roster format.
Clayton Kershaw gave me 17 strikeouts this week and a victory to set an example for the rest of the pitching staff. Ryan Dempster up in Bean Town has been a quiet surprise thus far, with 43 k’s and a very respectable ERA in the low 3.00’s. Ryan Vogelsong is on the chopping block however. With only 26 strikeouts and an ERA higher than me, Vogie might get ousted to the fantasy minors. I think it is safe to say that Vogie is never going to find that lights out stuff of his breakout season 2011 when he had a 2.71 ERA. (EDITORS NOTE: That’s what he wants you to think…till you drop him!) Max Sherzer’s 9.00 ERA and Vogie’s 6.75 inflated what would have been a spectacular performance from the rest of the staff. Maybe without those two atrocities I could have competed with the ultra unfathomable ERA of 1.34, Gee put up this week. This is in fact the lowest fantasy ERA ever, its science look it up. (ED: It is neither)
After an impressive outing against the defending champ Giants, Andrew Cashner of the Padres is a hot pickup this week for starters. While not striking out the world Kyle Kendrick has strung together several appearances including shutting out the Mets. Look to pick him up to average down a ballooning weekly ERA. These guys are top candidates to supplement my pitching staff.
Players on your roster that might be weighing you down… the Mets. Get rid of them while there is still time, Daniel Murphy’s average is plummeting, and John Buck will come back down to earth. Other players that are overdue to be cut might be David Freese of the Cardinals, and Ben Revere of the Philadelphia Crap Sandwiches. Why anyone would ever have Revere I don’t understand, but he is owned in about 50% of yahoo leagues. His 6 stolen bases don’t justify his .204 average. You can do better, surf the waiver wire.
This upcoming week I will be playing a fantasy rookie, Harold. Harold’s team Fireballz hasn’t had a win since the Clinton administration, no but really he hasn’t won since week one. While he has an impressive outfield of Adam Jones, Carlos Beltran and Ryan Braun and Josh Hamilton his team just hasn’t put it all together. Also his pitching staff is pretty weak, void of any true ace besides Matt Harvey. I hope to use this weaker opponent to catapult myself back into first place.
I’m 5.5 games back in second place of the Commish who is battling my roommate, Robert who is in third. If they have a close game and I have a decisive victory the throne will again be mine, and once I’m back on top I don’t plan on relinquishing my crown. It’s a long fantasy season, you can’t win the ‘ship week one, but you certainly can lose it.
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Greg is a New York based writer. Go drinking with him, and you’ll have a great night!