Wednesday, 16 May 2012

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Sunday, 13 May 2012

May 14th - 20th Hitters Outlook

Streaking Hitters Going into May 14th- 20th
I endorsed Ryan Doumit and Yonder Alonso early this week, and they haven’t come close to slowing down. Doumit has been as good as any Fantasy Cacther and Alonso has been a top First Base option this past week. Now, it is only fair to note that I leaned against Josh Reddick and he has not slowed down either, but I do believe that pitchers will figure him out and his impact will be limited in the future. If you own Reddick, I’d be selling high, while I feel that it is a sign of things to come for Doumit and Alonso.

Here are some other candidates to consider adding.

Allen Craig - If he isn’t gone in your league add him right now. He may have to fight for playing time here and there, but he also has some position flexibility and he is a professional hitter who cannot stay out of the lineup long. He is surrounded with injury prone players in St. Louis so there will be plenty of at bats to keep his hungry bat feed. He was along with Doumit and Alonso for me a few days ago but I assumed he was being snatched up across the board already. Two Steps: 1. Click Add 2. Sit Back and Enjoy.

Danny Esponisa - Until Friday Danny Esp hadn’t knocked in a run since the 2nd game of the season, and has looked lost for most of the year. His struggles really date back to the second half of last season, but suddenly he has three homers in his past two games, and might be ready to get back to the power-speed game we saw this time last season. It is a risky because he fans with the best of them, but his value is at an all time low, and he has shown he is a legit fantasy starter in the past. Roll the dice if are weak at 2nd or have bench options.

Andy Dirks - Dirks is battling a sore hammy right now, but that doesn’t seem to be slowing him down. He has been batting in the two hole lately and that means that he has some huge bats behind him. With Austin Jackson looking better than ever in front of him, it is a great situation for Andy. Add him, but just beware that he might fight for some playing time here and there. No risk here though, add Dirks for OF help.

Paul Goldschmidt - It has been a disappointing start to the season for the young slugger, but the signs are there that he is almost ready to kick the funk and get some solid production going. Gibson has been patient with him in the desert and hopefully down the stretch he’ll be a must start option. I would buy low on Goldschmidt across the board, as long as you have some bench space to afford the luxury to wait on him until he fully gets going. He is hitting above .300 in May - and has actually doubled his .193 Batting Average from April.

Sean Rodriguez - Sean has a 12 game hitting streak going, and although his numbers aren’t startling along the way, he is going to play, and depending on league settings has 2B, SS and now 3B status. Rodriguez was a hyped sleeper a few years back out of Spring Training and has been red hot at times in the past. He is a nice bench option - similar to once red hot, now cooling Mike Aviles. Rodriguez batted second last night and is settling into a nice groove.

Brandon Inge - We have seen this hot streak from Inge in the past, he was the joke of Fantasy Baseball just two weeks ago as a Tiger, but how things can change. Inge is a veteran who has some position eligibility, with the third baggers out thus far this season he might be a valuable pick up. Inge went 0 for last night, and today he faces Verlander - yikes - so there are reasons to keep tabs on him before clicking add. Inge might flop again, but right now he is as hot as anyone in baseball.


Position Outlook


Red Hot:
Ryan Doumit - Most points of any Catcher over the last 7 games in standard CBS Fantasy Leagues.

Sleeper: Jonathan Lucroy - he is hot and has some favourable matchups this week. Yesterday he was in the 2 hole and we know who hits 3rd. Roll with Lucroy and his 9 game hit streak.

Bust: Joe Mauer - he is a must start right? If you have another option roll with it. He is ice cold and faces some good pitching this week. Ending the week with Gallardo and Greinke on the road isn’t mouth watering.


First Base

Red Hot:
Adam Dunn - 3 bombs this week, too bad no one is on base ahead of him.

Sleeper: Adam Lind - 7 home games on the schedule against mediocre pitching. Everyone else in Toronto is getting it going, so why not Adam Lind. First base isn’t as deep as it once was, so give Lind a shot if you’re in a coin flip situation.

Bust: Bryan Lehair - I am going to pass, Lohse, Westbrook, Hallady, Worley and Peavy. He has slowed down and my Cubbies are a mess offensively. I hope I’m wrong though.


Second Base

Red Hot:
Dustin Peoria - 9 RBIs, 7 runs and a .487 OBP. He is even hotter than Robinson Cano.

Sleeper: Gordon Beckham - Has he finally shred his year plus slump? He has found his way into the number 2 spot in the lineup and should be a sound post hype sleeper and buy low candidate. I have always liked Beckham.

Bust: Aaron Hill - It was fun while it lasted, Hill is streaky and is cool right now. He is generally a good hitter against lefties, and he faces at least 4 of them. In fact, I’d start even cooler Ryan Roberts at 2nd over Hill this week. The clincher is the ‘Backs 7 road games this week.

Third Base

Red Hot:
Jose Bautista - Sorry David Wright, but Joey Batts has 3 bombs in two games and is going to explode at the Rogers Center on this home stand.

Sleeper: Wilson Betemit - He faces some tough arms this week, but he has been heating up and with Reynolds on the shelf he isn’t going to miss any playing time. Wieters is in front of him and the Orioles are playing great baseball. Betemit should continue to raise his batting average this week.

Bust: Pedro Alvarez - He has one hit this week. I’m not chasing his hot streaks again. I wish he could figure it out, but he clearly cannot. Alvarez stuck out 9 times in 19 at bats. He was the waiver wire gold two weeks ago from a lot of experts, but I’ve been there and done that. I passed then, he is just too streaky.

Short Stop

Red Hot:
JJ Hardy - 4 round trippers, 3 doubles and a .387 batting average over the past week.

Sleeper: Jhonny Peralta - April was a tough month, but Jhonny has started to get things ticking at the plate and Jake Peavy is the only pitching matchup that is worrisome. It should be open season for the Tigers` offense and Peralta is getting it going just in time.

Bust: Jed Lowrie - He has really slowed down and he hasn’t had success against any of the pitchers he is set to face this week. Everyone in Houston was overachieving, but it is funky town now. Take a wait and see approach with Lowrie over the next few weeks, or sell high if you can.


Red Hot:
Josh Hamilton and Carlos Beltran - Who has the smoother swing? Combined 14 Home Runs with 28 RBIs, and 16 runs scored in the past week. Which one gets hurt first? Impressive numbers.

Red Hot: Andrew McCutchen - This week he has 3 home runs and a .588 Batting Average. Just imagine what he could accomplish with some lineup protection. Cutchs Crew are going bonkers.

Sleeper: Austin Jackson - He is nearing must start territory, and the Tigers have great pitching matchups this week. Jackson has 24 runs scored this year and has got on base at a .429 rate over the past week, with a dinger and stolen base.

Sleeper: Melky Cabrera - Melky has brought his Batting Average up almost 50 points in the past 10 days. As the Giants number 3 hitter he has 18 hits, batting to the tune of .429 in just 10 games. Melky is highly under rated and is getting it done in the heart of the lineup.

Bust: Bryce Harper - The kid has one hit in his last 4 games and is due for a day off to collect himself and come back swinging. I don’t like the 7 home games and he faces some crafty underrated pitchers this week. I like to see the youngsters do well, but right now he is a bench option only.

Bust: J.D. Martinez - Like ’Stros brother Jed, the future is looking sad in Houston. Martinez has been a huge bust since jumping out of the gate, and has gone from being dropped down in the batting order to not even starting the past two games. The days off should help the youngster, but I’d take a wait and see approach from here on out.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Is it time to consider trading Stephen Strasburg ?

The only concerning question going forward with Strasburg is when he is going to be shutdown? Fantasy Leagues are not won in May and June, it is always the teams that get hot through the July and August and at the very least hold it together during September. This is especially true for my preferred H2H Leagues.

So we have to address Strasburg as if we know an injury is coming don’t we? Obviously in a Keeper format you take the numbers while you can and prepare to replace him come play-off time. But when will the kid call it a year? 150-160 IP seems likely, which leads to other questions - should you try to move the star arm? And if so, when? And further, what should you target as a return? I currently do not own a single Stephen Strasburg share, but I have a savvy owner consistently offering him my way for a big bat in one league. I’m avoiding now because I did in March. I didn’t want to be faced with this dilemma then, and it is only going to get tougher each start.

Strasburg was sensational last night, and he might have the most electric stuff in baseball. I have seen portions of nearly all his games and he is helping a lot of owners, but how do owners replace an Ace? You don’t. My thoughts on my approach if I owned him would be to openly shop him and try to improve my club in another area, or maybe get a buy low pitching candidate. Perhaps Yovani Gallardo and mid tier outfielder, like Adam Jones.

I really don’t know what the answers to these questions are but it is important to take notice, because as the summer comes Strasburg’s value decreases, and we all know how hard it is to replace an Ace in our Fantasy Rotation.

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Thursday, 10 May 2012

Two Start Pitcher Notes May 14th to 20th

Stormy Skies Ahead for Wei-Yin Chen

Usually a Two Start pitcher is a dream in weekly lineup leagues, but Chen has his work cut out for him next week. Further, Chen is a starter on one of the best teams in baseball with an ERA well under 3 - that is automatic start territory - right? We better monitor his success today against a potent Rangers lineup, because next week he matches up against red hot C.C. Sabathia and April’s NL Pitcher of the Month Stephen Strasburg. Lovely.

Just when a guy like Chen - who I have streamed successfully - might find permanent roster spots across the fantasy world, he gets three tough matchups in a row, but don’t fear there are some great fantasy starters beyond the upper echelon of must start talent.

Positive Outlooks

Yovani Gallardo - A prime buy low candidate who mows down batters and is coming off a good start this week. He lines up against Miguel Batista and Carl Pavano of the Mets and Twins respectively. Where do I sign? Gallardo should be next best thing to a fantasy ace the rest of the way.

Jon Lester - I like his chances to fully turn the page and pick up at least his 2nd win of the season. He should be able to get two wins and help prolong the sinking Beantown boat. Kevin Millwood and Joe Blanton are just not that good and their respective offenses aren’t either. Look for the Red Sox to kick start a mini run and put up some big numbers.

Anibal Sanchez - Anyone taking notice of his 2012 start? If he had any kind of run support and bullpen; he’d have 6 wins. Bedard is a health concern for their matchup and Jeanmar Gomez best just intentionally walk Giancarlo Stanton because he is streaking. Anibal is just filthy at times, I wonder how long it will last?

Zach Greinke - Remove a thrashing from my Cubbies and Zach Greinke has been dominant. He K’d 11 yesterday, allowing only 2 hits and pitched 8 scoreless without a walk. Is it time for Zach to reach must start status week in week out? Don’t worry this week though, like fellow ‘Crew member Yovani, he is facing the Mets and Twins.

Brandon Morrow - Has won his last four games with a combined 30 punchouts and only 2 earned runs and 5 walks. Cleary the Rays’ pounding on April 18th was a wakeup call and he is as hot as any pitcher in MLB. Plus he is at home facing inferior pitchers, and I guess that the Toronto Blue Jays are what you would call a potent offensive team.  Enjoy the Ks and run support.

Colby Lewis - A rough outing last Friday against the Tribe aside, Lewis has been 2010 Colby and not so much 2011 Colby. Lets face it, Lewis needs to throw 6 innings and give up less than four runs and he should be in line to win 75% of the time. Enjoy Mr. Colby Lewis this week, he is going to reward your confidence in him.

Tim Lincecum - Yes - He hasn’t been that bad his past 4 starts. He is striking out batters at an impressive rate and last night his command was better as he threw 73% of his pitches for strikes. Roll with Lincecum against Colorado and Oakland and their two youngsters on the mound, and hope the Giants can score some runs.

Get The Fantasy Advice You Need - With 20 years of Fantasy Sports Experience; in Baseball, Football and Hockey leagues this is the place to get the advice you need to compete week in and week out in your league.

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Who is Scott Van Slyke ?

The Dodgers recalled Andy’s son Wednesday and the kid drove in a run on a pinch hit single in the 6th inning. A great start to any MLB career, but Van Slyke has never been a hyped prospect and you certainly wont find him near the top of any lists. But there are three reasons to keep an eye on Mr. Van Slyke Jr.
First, he has raked in Triple-A to the tune of 25 RBIs in 32 games, hitting at a .336 clip which is paired with a .411 OBP. Van Slyke has also shown legit pop with 8 bombs. Those are great minor league numbers and now he is in the show. Good on you Kid. So could he be this week’s Will Middlebrooks? I’ll answer that later …

Secondly, Van Slyke is a corner outfielder, who could also play some First Bag, and who stands in his way for playing time? Bobby Abreau, James Loney and eventually Juan Rivera when he returns; all are beacons of fantasy mediocrity. Van Slyke isn’t going to play everyday, but he could see enough at bats around the diamond in the beginning to earn more and more playing time.

Thirdly, Matt Kemp plays for the Dodgers. If you hit anywhere near Matt Kemp you are going to have a chance to benefit from his lineup presence. There is no telling what might happen or not happen with Scott Van Slyke, but he is an intriguing player to keep tabs on over the next few weeks, for the above three reasons and that his dad was a classy ball player.

Scott Van Slyke is not this week’s Will Middlebrooks though, because Middlebrooks is a hyped prospect, whereas Van Slyke has just slid under the radar en route to the big leagues. However, what is more important is that Van Slyke doesn’t have the talent blocking his playing time, to go with some position flexibility to help find his way on the diamond.

Keep Tabs on Scotty Jr.


Question of the Day

“Im in 16 team H2H league. I was offered J-Ham & Jeter for Tulo,King Felix & Markakis. I declined. DId I do the right thing?”

Thanks for your question.

I would have countered that deal and asked for a first tier arm to be included returning my way. As a principal I always want to get the best player in a deal, not the hottest. With that being said, I don't know who that player is right now. Josh Hamilton is absolutely on fire, but last week he sat and his resume is far from a clean bill of health. Mr. Jeter is the best Fantasy Short Stop in 2012, and his success has been well documented since his 3000 hit. So it is fair to say you’re getting two of the best players in Fantasy right now.

Here is why I agree with your decision. You invested a high pick on Tulowitzki; likely a top 5 pick and he has been decent thus far and although he is nursing a sore groin he should get back to his elite self through June, July and August. Nick Markakis is just a throw in amongst these names, however, he is a fine bottom tier starting outfielder, especially in a 16 team league. Markakis will improve as the season continues. He is a lock for 15+ dingers, 70+ RBIs and is often cited as an underrated H2H performer.

The difference in this deal is the Felix Hernandez component and the significance of your deep league. This deal isn’t even close when you consider that Hernandez is leading the league in punch outs and has a proven track record as a top notch arm. The King’s ERA and WHIP are below 2 and 1 respectively and with the Mariners flirting with .500 and some better young bats in the lineup - he is irreplaceable.

This trade boils down to the question of how you replace Felix Hernandez and the answer isn’t blowing in the wind … it is in flashing neon lights … You Can’t. You made the right decision.


Get The Fantasy Advice You Need - With 20 years of Fantasy Sports Experience; in Baseball, Football and Hockey leagues this is the place to get the advice you need to compete week in and week out in your league.

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Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Surfing the Waiver Wire

Hot Streaks in Waiting

Yonder Alonso – OF/1B

Alonso was blocked at First Base by Joey Votto in Cinncy, so he packed his bags for San Diago as the centerpiece in the Mat Latos deal. Thus far in the pitcher friendly PETCO Park Yonder is batting at a .293 clip, and with a recent 6 game hitting streak the former Red is gearing for a red hot run in the middle of the Padres lineup.

The Padres do have a tough schedule in the immediate future facing the top notch Phillies and National rotations, but they miss Kershaw in a two game stint with the Dodgers. Alonso will be rewarded at the end of this month, when he visits hitter friendly parks Wrigley Field and Citi Field.

Look for some power to join Alonso’s already solid batting average and he will quietly sneak into competition for a spot on most fantasy team’s starting roster. It is a buy low opportunity to get a middle of the order, former top prospect who can contribute in RBIs, OPS and Batting Average. Alonso is available on the Waiver Wire in the majority of leagues.

Ryan Doumit – C/OF

Doumit can hit; he has always hit for average and power. His lowest batting average is an even .250 back in 2009, and although he has never topped 15 round trippers, he also has never been healthy enough to get 450 ABs. Currently, Doumit has Catcher and Outfield eligibility and should see 500 ABs.

It could be argued that the best attribute of a fantasy catcher is not catching, and Doumit is obviously not an everyday catcher with teammate Joe Mauer around. The opportunity to DH and play in the outfield should allow the switch hitting 8 year veteran to contribute his first 20 HR and 75 RBI season, which means he is a starting fantasy backstop.

Doumit started a little slow, but he has 3 bombs in his last two games and sits in the middle of the Twins lineup. He will avoid the wear and tear on his body this season in the AL and could even land 1B eligibility by the end of the season. Doumit should be on your roster unless you have one of the elite catchers, and he is available in almost all leagues.

Proceed with Caution

Josh Reddick – OF

Reddick is hot right now, but he owns an ugly home vs. away split and is far from a consistent hitter week to week. Although, he has an everyday job, and is likely a serviceable player at times, it is a concern that his best statistical minor league season is similar to his statistics thus far in 2012. Also, Reddick wont be confused as a patient hitter either, his KO to BB rate (20/5) is concerning, as is his OBP.

Reddick is the perfect sell high candidate right now, he was never a hyped prospect, plays in a pitcher friendly ball park and doesn’t mind stringing together a few days of 0 for’s. He is a popular Waiver Wire target on a number of lists, but I’m not buying it. He does chip in each category across the board, but he has never played this good at any level. Which leads you to wonder when the bottom will fall out?

If Reddick keeps up this pace he is going to finish with a respectable stat line, but I don’t project that he will. Often times the most touted prospects, who have banner rookie years fall victim of the sophomore slump, Reddick will hit the wall. He is a temporary fix when hot, which is a streak that likely has just passed. Are you willing to wait it out for the next one?

Joe Blanton – SP

Blanton has been serviceable so far this season, only twice has he allowed more than 3 earned runs, and he has 21 Ks in his last three starts. Blanton is an experienced starter, at 31 years old he has only twice had an ERA under 4.50 since 2006, and only once struck out more than 150 batters. Joe Blanton is not worth a permanent roster spot.

The second major issue with Blanton is that the Phillies aren’t providing him with any run support, and although Howard and Utley will return at some point, they’re far removed from their 2009 primes. Blanton has been mediocre for almost a decade, but you just don’t own mediocre starters on below average offensive ball teams that don’t strikeout a lot of batters.

Blanton is worth streaming and spot starting based on matchups, but there have to be better options available. He may be back after his injury plagued season last year, but Blanton is just not worth a roster spot with so many available arms on better ball teams. Look for an option with a higher upside because Blanton has already reached his ceiling, and is likely on his way down.


Get The Fantasy Advice You Need - With 20 years of Fantasy Sports Experience; in Baseball, Football and Hockey leagues this is the place to get the advice you need to compete week in and week out in your league.

Send your questions to:

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