Jared, Three Down, Three Up

↑Three Up, ↓Three Down


by Jared Cothren

(Editor’s Note: Stats through July 21)

↑Three Up

Dustin Pedroia – The Laser show finally seems to be back after a disappointing and injury filled year in 2010. In the last 2 months, Pedroia has drastically cut down on his Ks and brought his average up 48 points to .293. His confidence has returned and with that my confidence has returned in him. Hitting in the heart of the Boston order, in front of RBI machine Adrian Gonzalez, should help his value and I expect him to score well over 100 runs this year.

Travis Snider – It appears the trip down to the minors helped him find his power stroke and consistency. Since his Independence Day call up, Snider is hitting .357 with 20 hits (11 for extra bases) and 17 RBIs. Over the last week, the dirty-mustached Snider has hit .346 with 9 hits and 9 RBIs. Get ’em while he’s hot folks, but beware of a cool down.

Emilio Bonifacio – I know what you are thinking, “Emilio Bonifacio? Seriously, The one month wonder from 2009?” Yes, he’s back and again proving fantasy relevance. Bonifacio currently has a 20 game hitting streak and has stolen 10 bases in July. He won’t drive in runs, but he will get on base and score them. Ride out the hot streak. My advice is when things get ugly…don’t stick around for the funeral, drop him immediately.

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Butler, Players of the Week

Players of Week 15


by Ryan Butler

Hanley Ramirez (4 R/1 HR/4 RBI/1 SB/.412 BA) seven-for-17: Hanley decided to show up fashionably late for the 2011 season. But really, no harm, no foul, right? As L.L. Cool-J said, “it’s not how you start the date, it’s how you finish the date. Doesn’t matter the color of the cat as long as it catches rats.” Not sure how that last sentence fits in here, but OK. Ramirez was hitting a dreadful .200 on June 20. His OPS sat at .593. Those are numbers I would expect from Adam Everett, but certainly not from the best offensive shortstop in baseball. However,  history has shown that you can’t keep a good Han down. He has raised his average to .255 and his OPS to .742. Both are far below his career averages of .308 and .891, but rest assured he’ll be (close to) there by season’s end.

Brett Gardner (5/0/0/3/.625) 10-for-16: Gardner’s season is starting to shape up much like most had anticipated. He’s hitting a very solid .290 with 29 SB in 39 attempts (74%). That’s lower than his career rate of 82%, but he has been successful in each of his last 15 tries. He’s a great source of steals and won’t hurt your batting average. He has an outside chance of scoring 100 runs this year.

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Brian, The Injury Blog

The Injury Blog


by Brian Dorsey

Goodness gracious, the summer heat is wearing me down like I’m Josh Hamilton! With temperatures rising around the country, some players are dropping like flies. Elsewhere, in air-conditioned rehabilitation rooms, some players are working their way back to the field. Here’s a look at who’s coming and who’s falling to pieces.

"Ow, my elbow."

The Seattle Mariners have been without their prized closer, David Aardsma, the entire season, but it hasn’t really mattered because Brandon League has been phenomenal. And it’s a good thing, too; Aardsma is set to have Tommy John surgery, a right of passage for pitchers in this modern era.

The Phillies’ closer situation can be likened to a four month long game of musical chairs. With Brad Lidge on the DL all year, Jose Contreras, Ryan Madson, and Antonio Bastardo have all sat in the closer seat. Lidge, who should be coming off the DL by July 22, isn’t going to land in the 9th inning, at least not right away. Madson also just came off the DL, but look for him to overtake Bastardo in the coming weeks.

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Butler, Players of the Week

Players of Week 14!


by Ryan Butler

Early struggles are now a memory.

Raul Ibanez (6 R/3 HR/13 RBI/0 SB/.310 BA) nine-for-24: Thanks to his amazing week 14, Ibanez can look upon his first half numbers with a smile. Since becoming a regular in 2001, he has not hit below .272, so his .241 BA this season is probably age (39) catching up with him. But it’s hard to knock a guy who’s been so consistent so late into his 30’s. He’s only owned in 35% of Y! public leagues, but he still plays every day (85 games) and has been more productive than Vladimir Guerrero (65% owned), who has shown a disheartening lack of power this season (seven HR, 31 RBI) after a fantastic ’10.

Jose Bautista (7/4/9/0/.370) 10-for-27: Just another week for the man who has all of a sudden usurped Albert Pujols as the best right handed hitter in baseball. Remember “Bases Loaded” on old-school Nintendo? The most devastating hitter in that game was Paste. He played for Jersey, I’ll never forget it. Jose Bautista is a real-life Paste. .468 OBP, .702 SLG, 1.170 OPS is all you need to know.

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Brian, Rumblings

Rumblings: Looking at the Second Half


by Brian Dorsey

The post All-star Game push has begun, fantasy owners. It’s important, right now, to reassess your team. By this point, your league probably has a pretty big gap between the first place team and the last place team, but this doesn’t mean the season is over. If you’re that floundering last place team, you need to mix things up. What you’ve done thus far isn’t working. Your two avenues are “the waiver wire” and “massive trade overhaul”.

If you’re looking at the waiver wire, check out these names (owned in less than 35% of Y! public leagues): A.J. Pierzynski (34%), Derek Lee (26%), Jemile Weeks (17%), Danny Valencia (26%), Alcides Escobar (29%), Nyjer Morgan (17%), and Roger Bernadina (10%). What do all of these players have in common? Over the past month, they’ve all been productive (ranked in the top-200 over that span). Don’t be shy; make a move.

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Awards, Brian, Butler, Feature, Jared

Rotoballs Midseason Awards Extravaganza!


It’s that time of year where we, fantasy owners, like to boast about our players. We have enough data to evaluate who’s having a bad season and who’s having a fantastic season. Without further ado, here are our writers’ awards.

Rotobrian’s Winners:

AL ROY: Michael Pineda

NL ROY: Danny Espinosa

AL MVP: Adrian Gonzalez

NL MVP: Ryan Braun

AL CY: Justin Verlander

NL CY: Cole Hamels (Over Halladay because of where Hamels was drafted)

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Brian, Three Down, Three Up

↑Three Up, ↓Three Down


by Brian Dorsey

↑Three Up:

↑Aramis Ramirez – 3B – CHC

Over the past two weeks, Ramirez is the number one ranked player in Y!. He’s played more like the ’06 version of himself, rather than the recently injury-prone ’09 and ’10 campaigns. Considering the lack of talent at the third base position this year, Aramis is a beacon of light, guiding your fantasy ship to shore.

"Coach doesn't beat me when I don't strikeout."

↑Mark Reynolds – 3B – BAL

I know I just said that third basemen are underperforming, but this guy isn’t, not lately. Reynolds, a preseason favorite, struggled mightily early on. Up until June 8th, he was still hitting below the Mendoza line with a piddly 10 dingers. Since then, he’s doubled his homer total, while raising his average .031 points (.230).

↑Justin Masterson – SP – CLE

This ex-Red Sox prospect has truly “turned the corner” this season. Last year, his first full season as a starter, he compiled a 4.70 ERA to go along with a 1.50 WHIP. This season, he’s nearly cut his ERA in half (2.66) and his WHIP is down to a respectable 1.22. He’s won his past two starts, allowing only one earned run. What’s more remarkable about that is who the wins came against (@Cin, NYY).

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