- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade15 hrs ago
In many ways, it's the age of enlightenment for fantasy sports. Information is everywhere, advice is everywhere, stats are everywhere. In most of the leagues I play in and observe, there's less of a gap between the proven contenders and the second-division teams.
But that doesn't mean fantasy owners don't make mistakes. Even the consistent players aren't immune to a misstep here or there. Let's shine a light on some of those errors, five mistakes even good fantasy owners make.
-- Declaring some players untouchable
Every so often you hear the call in your fantasy league: a competitor is putting this player or that player on the block. One way to start a conversation, I guess. Often it's a slumping, disappointing player getting pushed into the showroom.
It's time to take a different angle to this. Why not put your good players on the trading block? Heck, why not have everyone on your team available at any time?
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade19 hrs ago
If you're a fan of young, buzzy pitching prospects, the 2014 draft board had plenty of names to take aim at. Gerrit Cole was on an island somewhat (carrying an industry rank of 21), but opinions were clustered with the next four sophomores of note: Michael Wacha (No. 29), Danny Salazar (No. 32), Sonny Gray (No. 34) and Tony Cingrani (No. 38). Which trendy picks wound up on your club?
[Baseball 2014 from Yahoo! Fantasy Sports: Still time for another league!]
Salazar is clearly the lagger of the group as we look through the opening couple of weeks, a slump no one saw coming. He had an uneven 5.2-inning stint against Minnesota to open the year, and he's allowed 10 runs over his last two starts (including Thursday's mess at Detroit). Add it all up and there are crooked numbers everywhere: 14 IP, 19 H, 12 R, 4 HR, 8 BB, 7.71 ERA, 1.93 WHIP. The league is batting .345 against Salazar.
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade2 days ago
It didn't take long for the 2014 Houston Astros to sink to the bottom of the pool, as expected. They're 5-9 through two weeks, tied for the worst record in the American League. The offense has been a joke thus far, with a pathetic .185/.258/.347 slash line. They're still light years from contention.
Obviously it's going to take a lot more than one player to fix this mess. That said, it's time to get excited: one of the team's buzzy prospects, George Springer, is on the way. The Astros made the call late Tuesday night.
Springer is a 24-year-old outfielder and a name you probably know already, no matter your level of prospect interest and sophistication. The Astros took him with the 11th overall pick in the 2011 draft and he's rocketed through the minors. Check what Springer posted last year in 135 games, covering Double-A and Triple-A: .303/.411/.600 slash, 37 homers, 45 steals (in just 53 attempts). Absurd. Those are video game numbers.Sat, Apr 191:05 PM PDTHouston at OaklandPreview Game
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade3 days ago
My fantasy baseball experience dates back to the late 1980s, a much different time. The Internet wasn't around. No Extra Innings package, no smart phones. Heck, we hadn't bailed on MTV yet. Newspapers still mattered, and a lot of your fantasy commodities were anonymous collections of names and numbers. Sometimes you had no idea what these guys looked like, how they played, what they threw.
Sometimes you didn't even know the first names. Often you'd phone a commissioner (rotary dial) and sheepishly say "pick up Thompson of St. Louis."
I'm feeling nostalgic because of a story that's brewing in the Bay Area. Let's talk a little bit about Chavez of Oakland.
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade5 days ago
Don Draper and the 60s return tonight? Swanky. The Red Sox and Yankees? Okay, that's a repeat. But let's renew our fake friendship, nonetheless.
First chat is set for 9 pm ET. Join us, pour a cocktail, grab a donut in the meeting room.Sat, Apr 1910:35 AM PDTBaltimore at BostonPreview Game
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade6 days ago
As terrific as Koji Uehara has been during his time in America, he's generally been a high-maintenance player. He's only passed the 70-inning mark once (last year), and sometimes he's not best suited for work on consecutive days. I'm not picking on the guy – he's one of my favorite watches in the game, and Uehara was baseball's most dominant reliever last year (all through the championship run). But when a pitcher turns 39, there's only so much we can realistically expect.
So when the Red Sox say Uehara has a "minor" shoulder stiffness, I'm not going to take it in stride. It's time for a Boston bullpen audit.
Boston had a push-button save chance ready to go in Friday's 4-2 victory at New York, but Uehara wasn't the man selected. He felt stiffness during his long-toss session before the game and the club decided to keep him out for precautionary reasons. According to respected beat writer Sean McAdam, Uehara won't be available Saturday.
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade7 days ago
Michael Morse has crammed a lot of movement into his decade of major league baseball. He's been an infielder (even a middle infielder), an outfielder, a DH. He's been a National and an Oriole and a Mariner, twice. He's been a PED-suspended player. He's been in and out of fantasy relevance, too.
Looks like 2014 could be an on year for this vagabond slugger.
Morse opened the season as San Francisco's starting left fielder, and he's marked his territory nicely during the opening games. A pair of doubles Thursday raised Morse's slash line to .400/.455/.733 (here's some brickball video for you), and he's already collected a couple of homers and 10 RBIs. Given how difficult it is to find power in today's game, this is a welcome reemergence.
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade9 days ago
For a couple of years in Baltimore, Jim Johnson was one of those Houdini closers, doing it with smoke and mirrors. He'd routinely pitch to contact and outperform his component stats, collecting a silly 101 saves along the way. Sure, we'd see an occasional rough patch now and then, but the Orioles stuck with him and the handshakes flowed.
Ah, the salad days. Johnson's moved on to Oakland, but there isn't much handshaking going on. Get out the clipboard and the red pen, we have another closer on the brink.
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade9 days ago
It's been a depressing 24 hours for Bernie Brewer, don't you know. He watches Ryan Braun go deep three times in Tuesday's road game and thinks, "You couldn't do this at Miller Park?"
Braun's collection of homers didn't come off the meat of the Philly staff – Kyle Kendrick served up the first two taters, Brad Lincoln the last one. But let's also give credit where due – Braun's first homer came off a decent 1-2 pitch from Kendrick, and the second one was an opposite-field shot. Only the third home run could be termed a true mistake, a fat Lincoln pitch that was screaming out "crush me" before Braun did just that.
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade12 days ago
Oh look, the Dodgers have another stand-alone game. How cute. There's been nine days of MLB season, and the Dodgers have been solitarily broadcast in four of them. Grumble, rant, complain.
[Baseball 2014 from Yahoo! Fantasy Sports: Join a league today!]
Okay, so watch the game or go on your own. That's your choice. In the meantime, let's discuss what's going on in fake baseball. Time to renew our fake friendship. Chat applet after the jump.Sat, Apr 195:10 PM PDTArizona at LA DodgersPreview Game