2013 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

2013 Fantasy Baseball, The Daily Fix: June 5th, 2013

It’s been a down time for your’s truly on the Daily Fix. Those that follow me on twitter (@sbarzilla) know I’ve had weather issues several times during my prescribed days to play. In the last one, a Brandon McCarthy start was rained out. Judging by his performance the next day, it was a good thing I was spared the embarassment. As the ol’ adage goes, when you fall off the horse you have to get back on. However, they never said you had to go full speed when you got back on the horse.

Therefore, I’m playing in a Double Up! contest. They range anywhere from a dollar to ten dollars, but each works the same way. If you finish in the top half you get almost twice as much as you put in. Naturally, Draftkings gets their cut because they have to pay their employees, the light bill, and make a little for their trouble. That being said, they are very generous to those that start playing as they will give you a deposit bonus you can access here.

My Lineup

Pitcher: Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Chicago White Sox

I wouldn’t have believed it before the season, but Iwakuma has been one of the top five starting pitchers in the American League this season. He’s earned more pitching runs than his more famous teammate Felix Hernandez. Meanwhile, the White Sox continue to be one of the more pedestrian offenses in the American League. It adds up to pretty good odds you will score 20 or more points. Alternative: Johnny Cueto vs. Colorado Rockies

Pitcher: Alex Cobb vs. Detroit Tigers

I don’t love the matchup, but you have to give Cobb some credit. He’s been dominating his opponents recently and racking up the strikeouts in the process. Strikeouts equals points in this business, so you can be fairly certain he will give you a positive effort. As long as Miguel Cabrera doesn’t kill him, he should be in decent shape to give you 15-20 points at the very worst. Alternative: John Lackey vs. Texas Rangers

Catcher: Matt Wieters vs. Dallas Keuchel

Regression is like any other woman (with apologies to our female audience), she can be really sweet or she can be a real witch depending on the situation. The Astros are on a hot streak at the moment that had them sweep the Angels. The Orioles are not the Angels and the Astros are not contenders. Furthermore, there is no way anyone can expect Keuchel to pitch decently more than a couple times in a row. Alternative: John Jaso vs. Yovani Gallardo

First Base: Adam Laroche vs. Dillon Gee

Dillon Gee burned me last time, but I reference sweet lady regression. Gee is an average pitcher at best and the law of averages is not working in his favor. Furthermore, Laroche had a huge May, so he is actually better than his overall numbers suggest. Alternative: Chris Davis vs. Dallas Keuchel

Second Base: Brandon Phillips vs. Jon Garland

Garland is an older version of Dillon Gee. He used to rack up big win totals back in the day, but now he is just a glorified innings eater. He’ll give you 180 innings, but they won’t be quality innings. Enter Brandon Phillips. He has already reached double figures on home runs on the season and he’ll steal the occasional base as well. It adds up to a good day for Phillips. Alternative: Danny Espinosa vs. Dillon Gee

Third Base: Josh Donaldson vs. Yovani Gallardo

At some point, we have to stop worrying about distant history and start worrying about what has been happening this season. In the distant past, Donaldson was nothing more than a scrub that got to play third base because the Athletics really didn’t have anything else. Yovani Gallardo was either the staff ace or the number two starter for the Brewers. Now, Donaldson is a rising star and Gallardo is struggling. Take heed. Alternative: Manny Machado vs. Dallas Keuchel

Shortstop: Ian Desmond vs. Dillon Gee

Last season, Ian Desmond was the best shortstop in the game according to most advanced metrics. This season he has continued his ascent into the elite of the position while Gee has continued to be mediocre. I like to double and triple up on struggling pitchers, so Desmond provides us with an opportunity to do so. Alternative: Didi Gregorius vs. Joe Kelly

Outfield: Nate McLouth vs. Dallas Keuchel

Like my friend Brett Talley, I love to take advantage of inefficiencies in the cost for players on Draftkings. McLouth leads the AL in steals and has been really effective in left field. He is priced as a part-time player because that’s what he was coming into the season. Meanwhile, it gives us an opportunity to double up on Keuchel. The idea here is that if he gets bombed then we double (or triple) our chances to capitalize. Alternative: Coco Crisp vs. Yovani Gallardo.

Outfield: Jay Bruce vs. Jon Garland

This is another double up opportunity. I picked Bruce over Choo because they seem to be moving in opposite directions. Choo started the season scalding hot, but has since seen his numbers dip. Bruce was more luke warm and has begun to slowly heat up. He is now back on pace to hit 30 or more home runs and drive in more than 100 runs on the season. Garland is very hittable as we have already seen. Alternative: Adam Jones vs. Dallas Keuchel.

Outfield: Gerardo Parra vs. Joe Kelly

I think I managed to gang up on four pitchers twice each for my eight position plays. Parra is another example of going with recent history over career history. His career suggests he is a decent enough fourth outfielder when his fielding is taken into account. In 2013, he is hitting for average, getting on base, and acting as a nice table setter for the Dbacks. Take advantage while the price is low. Alternative: Cody Ross vs Joe Kelly.

Walk the Plank?

I get it. Losing four straight to the Houston Astros is the last straw for a number of Los Angeles Angels fans. They want someone to pay and that person will likely be Mike Scioscia. Managers serve as scapegoats more often than not when things start going awry. Ironically, his crosstown brother is in the same shoes. It is very possible that both LA teams will have new managers by the time the all-star break hits. Let’s consider what these two teams have in common and ask ourselves who’s fault it is.

  • Both teams have had significant starting pitchers miss significant time. Jered Weaver has missed nearly half of the season so far for the Angels while both Zack Greinke and Josh Beckett missed a lot of time for the Dodgers.
  • Both teams have issues at the back of the bullpen. The Dodgers situation has been more accute as Mattingly can’t seem to settle on a closer. Ernesto Frieri has been okay for the Angels but he is probably miscast in the role. The Angels signed Ryan Madson, but it appears he is still in witness protection.
  • Both teams have so-called star performers that aren’t performing like stars. For the Dodgers it is Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. For the Angels it is Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols.

We could certainly add to that list, but that list seems to be pretty routine for disappointing teams. You have some players that were brought in that aren’t doing the job. You have some key players that get hurt. You have existing stars that aren’t performing like stars. So, is that the fault of the manager or is that the fault of the general manager? In both cases, the teams are spending a ton of money and not getting a lot of bang for the buck. Admittedly, I’m not watching Dodgers and Angels baseball regularly, so I really can’t comment on the day to day managerial decisions that Scioscia and Mattingly are making, but it seems to me the blame should lie with the guy above them.

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