Monday, April 14, 2008

Fantasy Baseball Weekend Happy Recap - Week 2

Bat Of The Weekend: Raul Ibanez – 7/13, 5R, 2 2B, 1 3b, 3 HR, 9 RBI

Ibanez took fantasy teams on his back this weekend and did everything in his power to get them that W. He lead all players with 9 RBI, tied for the weekend homerun crown with 3 and was the only guy to double, triple and homer.

Arm Of The Weekend: Brian Bannister – 9 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (CG, W)

Bannister is becoming a regular recipient of this honor and with good reason. The 27 year old righty is off to a red hot start, sporting a 3-0 record with a miniscule ERA and WHIP of 0.86 and 0.71 respectively. Bannister represents the next generation of the “thinking man’s pitcher” as he makes up for what he lacks in stuff with control, location and a strong feel for the game. This was evidenced yesterday when he indicated after the game that he worked faster in order to keep the pressure on Francisco Liriano who was making his first start since coming off the DL. Bannister’s ownership has now shot up to 86% in CBS leagues. If he is still available in your league, grab him without hesitation.

Bottom Line: CC Sabathia – 3.1 IP, 12 H, 8 ER, 4 BB, 2 K (L)

Sabathia continues to struggle, posting this awful line against a weak Oakland lineup. CC remains one of the game’s best pitchers and is in a contract year so we are confident he will turn it around. However, his 11.57 ERA and 2.36 WHIP after 3 starts is a bit disconcerting.

Honorable Mentions

Top Five

Some really great pitching performances this weekend including 3 complete game victories thrown by Brian Bannister, Chien-Mien Wang and Roy Halladay – a rarity in today’s bullpen dominated game. Carlos Pena and Ryan Ludwich muscled up at the plate while Casey Kotchman hit everything that moves racking up 8 hits; 6 of the extra base variety.

Bats

Carlos Pena - 3/9, 3 R, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 4 BB
Ryan Ludwick – 5/11, 3 R, 3 HR, 5 RBI
Jeff Francoeur – 4/11, 3 R, 2 HR, 8 RBI
Casey Kotchman – 8/12, 1 R, 5 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI
BJ Upton – 6/11, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI

Arms

Chien-Ming Wang – 9 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (CG, W)
Roy Halladay – 9 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K (CG, W)
Tim Hudson – 8 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K (W)
Derek Lowe – 8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K (W)
Javier Vasquez – 7 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K (W)

Relief Stud

Eric Gagne – 2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K. 2 Saves

Shaky coming into the weekend Gagne found his salvation deep in the heart of Queens closing out both the Saturday and Sunday games in flawless fashion.

Bottom Five

Some struggling big name pitchers on this list headed by Roy Oswalt who has been terrible thus far. Kenny Rogers failed to get the Tigers on the right track while Phil Hughes got shelled at Fenway. Tough weekend for both young and veteran hitters alike especially Jose Guillen who is in a funk.

Bats

Adam Jones - 0/8, 5 K
Jose Guillen – 0/12, 4 K
Troy Tulowitzki – 0/8, 3 K
Andruw Jones – 0/9, 4 K
David Murphy – 1/12, 3 K

Arms

Kenny Rogers – 4 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, 4 BB, 1 K (L)
Joel Pineiro – 3.2 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 0 BB, 0 K (L)
Chris Young – 3 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 4 BB, 2 K (L)
Roy Oswalt – 4 IP, 9 H, 8 ER, 0 BB, 6 K (L)
Phil Hughes – 2 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 K (L)

Relief Dud

Mike Timlin – 2 G, 0-1, 0.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

Timlin was ineffective in both of his appearances against the hated Yankees this weekend and earned the loss Friday night giving up two earned run in a third of an inning.

Making A Case...

Cliff Lee – 8 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K (W)

Lee has looked great in the early going as he tries to put an awful 2007 campaign behind him. He has been dominant in his first two starts going 2-0 with a ridiculous 0.61 ERA and 0.46 WHIP over 14.2 innings. In addition, he has struck out 12 while only walking 1 batter. As good as Lee has looked keep in mind that both starts came against a light hitting Oakland lineup. However, pitching out of the 5 spot for a contender in Cleveland, Lee should see good pitching matchups each time out and is a great pickup right now. He is currently available in nearly half of all leagues.

Gavin Floyd – 7.1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 4 K (W)

Floyd dominated a struggling Tigers’ lineup allowing only a single hit over 7 innings of work, his second consecutive strong outing against Detroit. The former top Phillies prospect was written off a bit after getting hit hard in his first season with the White Sox in 2007 but has come out of the gate hot thus far. He faces another favorable matchup at Baltimore Thursday and is available in over 70% of leagues. Floyd is a solid spot start candidate this week.

Wandy Rodriguez – 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K (W)

This makes back to back dominant performances for Rodriguez over which he has allowed just one run and one walk in 14.1 innings of work while striking out 13. Wandy showed flashes of brilliance last season as well and despite a high ERA did put up solid strikeout numbers. He has limited the walks this season and it is possible this could be a breakout year for the now 29 year old lefty.

Stephen Drew – 5/10, 2 R, 3 2B, 2 RBI

Coming off a strong weekend which included 3 doubles, I noticed that the younger Drew is still only owned in 79% of CBS leagues. Come on people the kid is hitting .317 with 2 homers, 4 RBI and 7 runs scored and even has the ability to swipe double digit bags on the season. Further, he hits in a good lineup for an emerging power in Arizona and plays the scarce position of shortstop. ADD HIM.

Fantasy Observations & Thoughts

- BJ Ryan saved Toronto’s win Sunday afternoon against Texas and looked good in the process. Get him back in those lineups.

- Evan Longoria was called up this weekend and notched 2 hits and an RBI in his first two starts Saturday and Sunday. He is going to be a stud and has drawn many comparisons to David Wright. Grab him if he is still available in your league.

- Francisco Liriano was outdueled by Brian Bannister in his season debut for the Twins and looked rusty. His fastball was topping out at around 90 mph for much of the game and his control was shoddy. Look for Liriano to steadily improve over the course of the season as he gets more starts under his belt. We expect a good second half from Johan Santana’s heir apparent.

- Ryan Ludwick homered in all three of the Cardinals’ weekend games and landed in our top five bats list for the first time. If I were Ludwick’s platoon mate Skip Schumaker I would be worried about my job security right now. If he continues to hit, Ludwick might be considered a viable fantasy option soon enough.

- Gabe Kapler sighting! Kapler who is keeping Mike Cameron’s outfield spot warm until he returns from a 25 game suspension hit long homers against Met lefties Johan Santana and Oliver Perez this weekend. Not bad for guy who was coaching this time last season.

- Johnny Cueto got touched up for 5 ER by the Pirates on Sunday. Cueto should be fine but will have to make some adjustments as teams begin to figure out his stuff.

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