Fantasy Baseball Pitching Methods “101”


San Francisco Giants v Chicago White Sox

When it comes fantasy draft day for all you baseball “freaks” like myself we like to have a game plan. Most of us like to “pre-rank” the players we set out to draft. We do not always get every player we want, but it is a good strategy to use. I see a lot or most of us add a lot of pitchers to that list. It is not a bad thing, we all love to have those “aces” on our fantasy roster. I myself can be fine with a couple and stack up on legitimate closers. I personally will use the “waiver wire” to my advantage all season when it comes to pitching. Once I see a trend with a pitcher after five or six starts I can get a feel for them. It really does not matter what their name is, but more analyzing the numbers they are putting up. It is not that hard to do a little research to make an educated decision on who to pick up and put up a quality start for your squad.

I always like to look at a starting pitchers numbers while factoring in the IP.It is always nice to see how deep a pitcher is pitching through starts. I check out how many home runs they have given up, the opponents batting average against that pitcher, and his K/BB ratio also. A starting pitchers ERA and WHIP can easily fluctuate so that is another reason you should factor in the amount of innings he has been on the mound. This is just a method I like to use when picking up a pitcher off the “wire”.

This especially helps when playing in daily fantasy leagues. I look at daily fantasy baseball as more skill than anything else. When it comes to picking pitchers I like to put them on a “tier.” Meaning “low-cost” to “high-cost.” You can find some low-priced pitching that can do as much damage as your elite purchases. It is not about the name, but about the numbers. I am sure a lot of people might disagree with this method, especially in standard and deeper fantasy leagues. Some just like to have a so-called “solid” squad they can run with for the season, but we all know injuries are a given through the season also. I just personally like to roll with a hot hand and not feel bad if I have to let him go either. I see pitching as an art in baseball, and there are always those that are going to surprise us. So good luck to all. Feel free to disagree and harass me on Twitter @thekid9ball .


Reds’ Billy Hamilton Getting Ready to Shine


MLB: New York Mets at Cincinnati Reds

Billy Hamilton is getting ready for his encore season after a very impressive rookie year for the Cincinnati Reds outfielder. Hamilton set a Reds rookie record in steals (56) and tied for second overall in the majors last season. He also led all NL rookies in runs, hits, stolen bases, extra-base hits and multi-hit games in his debut. Hamilton did fade in his production towards the last half of the season. I personally think the wear and tear of playing 152 games caught up with him a bit. I would bet this spring training he is concentrating on fixing his wrongs to make them right. I also think he is underrated going into the 2015 fantasy draft and is really going to surprise some with his production and growth as a player in general.I am not jumping on the “overrated” wagon.

Hamilton last year batted .250 with 72 runs, 48 RBI, 56 steals and 141 hits for the Reds. Billy does like to swing, with just 34 walks in 563 AB’s I look for a little more plate discipline from Hamilton this year. Every player goes through a slump in baseball, especially a rookie having to play 152 games in his first full season. I have no doubt he is preparing to have that stamina he lacked and will be ready to show us more of what he can do and the positive impact he can have. He is a threat to any pitcher on any team when he gets on the bases. Hamilton can easily turn a single into a double, and a double into a triple with the speed he possesses. I would look for a decent jump in AVG. and hits for Hamilton with a ton of steals, and runs to go with it. A player like this has one direction to go and I believe it is up.

I think Hamilton belongs on any fantasy roster in any fantasy format this year, and he probably will be easily available if you have the guts to jump on him. I myself traded for him in the beginning of the season last year in one of my leagues and could not of hoped for more out of the rookie. The fantasy baseball rankings can really shape the mindset of owners. I am not saying they are not a good tool, but we know it is a long season and roster moves are a given. I would rather be able to grab a player like Hamilton then try to grab him later in the season from an opponent. In the end it is up to you though. Feel free to disagree and hassle me on Twitter @thekid9ball .

Anthony Rizzo One of the Best Buys in Fantasy Baseball?

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I was actually surprised to see the Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo’s rank on most fantasy baseball rankings list this year.  Rizzo is coming off a breakout season in 2014 where Anthony put up a .286 AVG. with 32 home runs, 78 RBI’s and 89 runs in 524 AB’s. Compared to his previous season where in 606 AB’s he hit .233 with 23 home runs with 80 RBI’s and 71 runs. Given his teammates hit the ball a little better this season, which I personally think they will, I would look for Rizzo’s RBI numbers to jump up as well a rise in runs. The strike zone changes talk that might play in the hitters favor could help too this year. I say might because it was more a swing and miss problem these hitters were having last season. Now let us compare the 2013 season to the 2014 season a little bit.

The left-handed hitting Cubs first baseman last season had a big increase from previous seasons in his line-drive rate (27 percent) and home run-to-fly-ball rate (14.5 percent.) Rizzo had 150 hits last year compared to 141 hits in 2013. Let us remember the AB’s in 2014 (524) compared to 2013 (606) again when we think about that stat. I predict we will see even more hits from this young player this season as his game develops. We should also see a similar stat of 30 plus home runs also with power he possesses. The Cubs Wrigley field is a perfect platform for this beast of a ball player to do some damage. Rizzo also played in just 140 games in 2014 compared to 160 games in the 2013 season.

I am going to guess that most owners might be hesitant, rankings or not, to draft Rizzo. I personally think it would be foolish not to. When you have a healthy player with the potential to take his game to even a higher level, and a Cubs team that could surprise a lot of people this 2015 season what is the problem? I say take what you might think as a risk and jump on this first baseman in the draft if you get the chance. I believe this season Rizzo means Bizzo. I do not doubt that and statistics do not lie. Having Joe Maddon as a coach might do a lot more than you think for this Cubs team. If you do draft him and he does let you down feel free to complain to me on Twitter @thekid9ball . I will not apologize, but I am man enough to take a verbal beating.

Great Prices on Pitchers to Impact the 2015 Fantasy Baseball Season



The more hype I read about trades and acquisitions with pitchers this season makes me smile. Yes, Max Scherzer is going to be a Washington National. Does that really up his value? The Nationals had a great starting five last year. So we depend on better offense and less injuries for this to get him some wins? Ok, that is fine with me because I’m looking at Yordano “Ace” Ventura. Ventura put up a 3.20 ERA for the AL Champion Kansas City Royals his rookie season. Any player that can put up triple digits on the gun in the sixth inning looks like a good grab to me.

We are also forgetting a pitcher that is notorious for keeping the ball in the park and getting wins. The Red Sox new addition pitcher Rick Porcello. Porcello carried a 3.43 ERA for the Detroit Tigers last season while grabbing 15 wins. I think the Red Sox are perfect for Porcello and Rick is perfect for the Red Sox. We can also look to see a much better team coming out of Boston this year. I hope we can agree on that at least.

Another pitcher who is not too generous with giving up the long ball is Alex Cobb of the Tampa Bay Rays. Cobb posted a 2.87 ERA last season and in my opinion was the best starter on that team. It is hard to say how good the Rays will be this season, but Cobb just makes them that much better. When he hits the mound he gives Tampa a chance to get that win. Definitely someone to keep your eye on.

When we think of the San Diego Padres we move on to thinking about something else. This year we can not let a couple of pitchers that can do some damage on the mound slip our mind. Andrew Cashner was great last year and the Padres were not. Cashner had a very impressive 2.55 ERA for San Diego. Another pitcher who goes by Tyson Ross put up a deadly 2.81 ERA himself for the Padres. The lack of offense did not get many of their jerseys sold unfortunately. With San Diego actually looking like they are ready to score some runs this upcoming season, these pitchers could be some good grabs for your upcoming fantasy roster.

I have to mention the hard throwing lefty John Lester newly acquired by the Chicago Cubs. A team that looks like, well not the Cubs. Lester held a 2.46 ERA last season, and now is in a division I think he can just dominate. With an offense led by an up and coming star in Anthony Rizzo Chicago might just surprise us with some wins this season. I would actually put some money on that last statement. (Follow me on Twitter at @thekid9ball and we will talk)

I could go on and on with names and why they should be some good bargains for your fantasy baseball draft this season, but with a little research and some gut intuition I will leave the rest up to you. Wishing a great fantasy season to all!

NBA Season Outlook: The Los Angeles Lakers



The Los Angeles Lakers might some of us eat our words this upcoming season. That is of course if they can stay clear of the injury plague. I hate to say Steve Nash might lifting a lot of bags this season after hurting his back lifting his own.

No, Kobe Braynt will not be on the court the entire game this season, or average 27 points a game this year either. I would expect an increase in assists and steals though. He will be on more limited minutes than previous years on the floor most likely. The new edition Jeremy Lin was a must need pick up for Los Angeles. He provides the skill that could give them someone who can run an offense while Kobe is taking a breather. The Lakers now have an eager point guard that is willing do whatever the Lakers need to do to win. Playing besides a “hall of fame” player in Kobe gives him quite a mentor on the court also. The addition of Carlos Boozer and Jordan Hill still on the squad I think the Lakers should focus more on the defense, and getting the ball down low on offense. Transition defense will be a factor, and spacing on both ends will also be a key for Lakers to win. Relying on their big men to put up some numbers will be a must also.

Yes, we will see Kobe heroics and he will get his shots. In my opinion the Lakers have to create more shots for Kobe so he does not have to create his own. I think the newly appointed coach Byron Scott and Kobe realize that also. This will be an adjustment for Los Angeles and the fans also. Nick Young or “Swaggy P” will still have to prove he can make some “Swaggy” points before I am believer, personally speaking.

It is early to go over any stats that we will see from the Lakers. Well, maybe the one about the previous season, where they had the worst record in franchise history. I think they will show some critics they can play much better than that. When you have a player like Kobe Bryant I could say that about any team he played for.

The adjustments on defense and relying more on your big guys down low than previous seasons might take a little time, but having a coach on and off the court like Scott and Bryant could speed that up a bit. I think we all might be looking at a team that could make the playoffs. We all know anything is possible.

The Kansas City Royals: ” A Royal Flush”




We can all see as baseball fans the Royals mean business. After sweeping the Angels with no fear in their eyes or doubt in their heads we are witnessing how the game is supposed to be played. Whether it is Eric Hosmer or Mike Moustakas the list just keep going on and on of big hits and great defense.Hosmer alone has two home runs and is batting.435 with 7 RBI’s. Mike Moustakas has also found his place this postseason. The “Moose” has four home runs while batting .318 and five RBI’s.The Royals have 12 infield hits this postseason. I call that hustle.With Lorenzo Cain showing us “no pain, no gain” in the field, I say good luck trying to find a gap in the outfield.The Royals showing us more than just power, especially if you have Billy Butler stealing bags will throw any opposing team off a bit. I know the opposing pitcher’s do not care for that much, trying to keep any timing kind goes out the window sometimes.

The Royals bullpen has been phenomenal to say the least. Kelvin Herrera,Wade Davis and “The Dagger” Greg Holland have allowed but three earned runs in 19IP this postseason. Coming to the plate against these guys can not give any team much confidence when they are on the rubber.The Royals on the other hand facing Hosmer and his piercing eyes at the plate could scare any opposing pitcher at this point. I see a star in the making and that is hard to debate at this point. It seems like any player on this team is a threat to the Orioles or any team they face.

I think most analysts see Baltimore making this a tighter series. I see a flustered team that is very frustrated. When Adam Jones and Nelson Cruz expected to up their game to get the Orioles team back on track, I do not see much as a “team.” I wish the Baltimore Orioles the best of luck because they need it. After the Royals taking both games in Baltimore looking to take Game 3 at home, I am not counting on the Orioles to pull off a 2004 ALCS comeback. So it should be fun to see the Royals in the World Series. You can call it a bold prediction I guess. Jarrod Dyson might agree.

Daily Fantasy Pitching Option- 7/8 Let’s give Vance another Chance





Ok, my last pitching option for all you gamblers out there was Vance Worley. I want to apologize but I won’t, Vance was great the Pirates were not. We have a pitcher who brought a no-hitter into the sixth inning? Worely ended up going seven innings allowing three earned runs, one was a 2-run shot and another hit that drove in a run in the sixth. Vance allowed four hits with giving up only two walks, and struck out six. The Pirates went on to allow seven more runs to end up with the obvious loss. I can not blame Vance for that either. He looked pretty good, well he looked good enough to recommend him again and some might agree.

The Pirates starting pitcher is now 2-1 on the season with a 2.28 ERA along with a .094 holding batters to a .210 average at the plate. Worley is bringing a  18/5 K/BB ratio going into Tuesday to face the Cardinals in St. Louis. I can not give up on numbers like that, once again. The Pittsburgh Pirates starting five have all been electric lately, and I believe will be as the season carries on. Let’s just say the team ERA is nothing to complain about. Andrew McCutchen hitting .458 with four runs and six RBI’s tagging on a home run and a stolen base last week makes me want to give Vance another chance. There are some players starting to hit well for the Pirates and with run support should only make Worely better.

I know we question Worely breaking down, but I would not recommend a pitcher that has not at all this season. He looks great the Pirates still owe Vance a win, and they also owe you one too. I am going to throw some change at Worely myself.

Daily Fantasy Bargain Pitcher of the Day 7/3: Vance Worely





I remember 2011, what a year for Vance Worley and what he did for the Phillies. Showing off his goods going 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA along with a 1.23 WHIP in 131.2 IP. Worley humbled the opposing batters to a .237 BAA and had 119 strikeouts that year. It was very impressive. Then a slump of a season the following year, with high expectations. Worley has dealt with injuries, trades and now none of that really matters. You can argue he has only had three starts this season for Pittsburgh, but what has he done for you to doubt him? It is hard to predict a total melt down when the numbers and the way he has pitched has show me that to be a gut feeling. That is perfectly fine by me, we all get choices. I’m going with momentum and the way he looks personally. His numbers are not that bad either.

Worley has started three games for the Pirates this season going 2-0 posting a punishing 1.74 ERA a 0.97 WHIP to go with a 12/3 K/BB ratio in 20.2 IP. He is holding batters at the plate to a .224 BAA to start his 2014 campaign for the Pirates. Vance of course is just starting and has not proved everyone wrong, we have to give him a chance. Worely has allowed only four earned runs in those three starts combined. Coming of back-to-back wins against the Mets and the Chicago Cubs Vance will look to take down the  Diamonbacks on his home turf on Thursday. If you are weary and afraid to go after Worley I personally do not understand, especially when you have a man with a hot hand. I most defiantly think he is a worth a penny, I know he can pitch and he looks like he is worth a shot in my book. You might get one heck of a deal.

Fantasy Baseball “tips”: “Player on the Radar”- Marlon Byrd




Ok, what has got into Mr. Byrd? I do not think the just the fantasy baseball addicts, and baseball lovers in general are the only ones thinking that either? Marlon Byrd has been bringing a symphony of destruction to opposing pitchers when he trots to the plate lately, and what a better time than “real” baseball trade time talk. He is most certainly a must add player for the time being, that is not a question. Last week alone Byrd went 10 for 25 batting .400 at the plate scoring five runs, knocking in four and attached wings to three balls to set flight out of the park.To add the consistency factor other than just one week of validity, Byrd in the last month has scored 18 runs adding 10 RBI’s while belting eight out of the park. Six of those eight home runs have come in the last two weeks I must add, for the “man on fire” spin. Personally, I could roll the dice and gamble with those numbers. He could also really do some damage if the reports of the Royals, and Red Sox being heavy on caging Byrd are accurate. Those are two teams in need of some help.


Marlon Byrd does make a case right now for a grab in all shallow head-to-head leagues. I noticed in Yahoo standard  leagues he is just 60% owned and is ranked 64th. Hmmm? What is the problem that people are not swallowing him whole off waivers? The thing is this “new” power we are seeing as of late is actually a player (let us put the “name” aside) knowing a trade is a strong possibility and mentally focused on the game because of it. Major League Baseball players like a nice place to work themselves. In the case of Marlon Byrd he is focused on taking a flight to a nice place to start a new job. Byrd went to 2 for 4 yesterday with another home run while drawing one walk against the Marlins in a losing effort. There is no reason to hold onto old names that are household but still continue to struggle badly this season. I can name more than a couple that got drafted in early rounds. I understand the “marathon” with fantasy baseball, but watching these players that have been a bit of surprise come and go will not help your season. There comes a point where for me where any player can be disposable. It is not a popularity contest, it is a game of stats and winning categories based off numbers in some leagues. If I was in your position and Byrd is available you might want to see if he can help on your roster, it is only Wednesday and if the Byrd starts declining at some point I can probably help with at a later date.

I would like to congratulate  Mr. Byrd on receiving this notable nod for his outstanding achievement he has shown to receive the “Player on the Radar” to add to his resume. Please go check him out, even if it is because you have nothing better to do.

Daily Fantasy Pitching Options: Tuesday-7/1 “The Forensic Picks”




Another day and a another dollar to be made, god willing. If you do play daily fantasy sports (whether if it is online or in an actual sports book) we know there is no tomorrow when it comes to betting. For those who have read my advice on pitchers before I’m hoping you might want to consider taking a look at some more options of mine, there could be a few things you might like that I see also. Here are my picks for Tuesday the 1st of July, Shall we…


The Fastball: Josh Beckett (LAD)- I have to say I have stuck by my buddy Josh through all the nasty motivation thrown at him before the season. Beckett is proving once again how great he is when healthy, and how this dominate southpaw can be so disliked and keep winning with a smile after. Josh is one of a kind in my book. I have watched hundreds of outings from him and his approach has not changed much. Beckett is classic for conceding one earned in the first inning or getting in a jam at least. Sometimes I think he does it on purpose to get himself in a mental state of mind that makes other teams upset, just like he is pitching on the mound. He can be ruthless and that is when Beckett is unstoppable. He has not been the nicest face to put on the jumbo screen at games. Some might ask why? It is because Josh is winning, and that is how Beckett is and always has been.

The Los Angeles Dodgers starter has had five shutouts in his last 10 starts, and has been putting up stellar outings. Beckett is coming off dominating back-to-back shutouts heading into Tuesday. He has been unreal on the mound, and a top 15 pitcher at this point in my book. Not a bad pick for a later spot in any teams rotation. He is 5-4 with a 2.11 ERA a 1.00 WHIP and has a 88/28 K/BB ratio on the season. Beckett is holding opposing hitters to .199 BAA this year in 93.2 IP on the year. Those are “CY Young” award-winning numbers other than the wins and loss column. I will blame his supporting role because there is no one else to really hide from the truth of the situation. He is a must start without a second blink. With enough said Beckett and the Dodgers will be hosting the Indians in Los Angeles on Tuesday. We never dislike the bad performing athletes. Yankees fans might want to be unbiased on this one.


The Change-up: Mike Leake (CIN)- Mr. Leake has been huge for the Reds in winning a game sometimes this season. In Mike’s last two starts he has limited both the Giants and the Blue Jays to just one earned run in eight innings of work. Leake will be looking for his fourth straight win on Tuesday. Leake is one of those pitchers that does not “look” good, he just “is” good. He always has been. Leake this season has already thrown 108.1 innings in 16 starts. In Mike’s defense do not let the Reds give him a bad name, especially after seeing the numbers and noticing that he is only 6-6 on the season. It is kind of sad.

Leake is rocking a 3.41 ERA a 1.14 ERA along with 84 strikeouts and only 23 walks. He is actually on pace for more strikeouts than in his previous seasons, but what really impresses me is that he has on given up only 11 home runs so far. That is quite a bit of time on the mound for a disabling stat for opponents to face when Leake is on the rubber. I think the Cincinnati Reds will bring the goods on Tuesday when Leake will take the mound against the Padres. I do not see a poor pitching performance in this match, nor a poor offensive performance from the Reds either. That is the leak on Leake. There is nothing stopping me from starting him. The Reds offense actually seems to be showing up and in reality Leake should regulate for another victory for his squad and himself.


The Curveball- Jeff Locke (PIT)-  With the Pirates looking to turn up the heat in their division they have a pitcher on Tuesday that is more than capable of adding fuel to their fire. Locke has been great in his five games he has started for the Pirates this year. He is coming off his first win of the season in a game against the Rays where he pitched 7.1 innings allowing just three earned runs. Locke has unfortunately had three no decisions in his first five starts. In those starts he has not surrendered more than three earned runs in any game, and took a 0-1 loss against the Brewers allowing three hits in seven innings. So you see he is receiving the short end of the stick for how well he is pitching. Jeff was one of my choices on his last start and got the win for Pittsburgh and my heart, so I think it is safe to start him on Tuesday.

Locke has a 3.74 ERA a punishing 0.98 WHIP along with 23 strikeouts and allowing just four walks in 33.2 IP this year. Jeff is limiting opposing batters to a .236 BAA. Locke looks like the dominating left-handed pitcher he was last season, it is like clock work. He can pitch when he is not winning in a game, and pitch when his team is winning a game. Jeff is very mentally disciplined on “his” game when he takes the mound. Some Pirates runs on the board and Locke leading the way I suspect we could see back-to-back wins for the lefty. He is a start in my book of sports when he is set to touch the rubber on Tuesday facing the Diamondbacks at home.


All Comments Welcomed!