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Overrated teams

Postby Ender » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:09 am

To continue my negative Topics I'd like to explore those teams who are getting overrated going into the season!. Please don't just respond to what I post(though feel free to respond), I want to hear other peoples opinions on the teams that will fall short of expectations.

AL Central - Detroit Tigers. I don't think this team is better than last year. The rotation is a potential mess, the bullpen isn't that great and the defense isn't any better than last year. Add to that the fact almost the entire offense overproduced last year I just don't think Cabrera is going to lead to that many more runs. I think this team sits in 2nd place again this year unless Sabathia or Carmona go down with an injury.

AL East - Boston Red Sox. Just playing the odds here since it is rare to see a repeat. Lowell regresses to his normal numbers, Ortiz/Manny struggle with injuries and the rest of that lineup is not amazing. Dice K was abused last year and I don't buy Beckett being healthy two years in a row. I just don't see any upside in this team other than the amazing bullpen.

AL West - I guess Seattle if people think they'll compete. This is a one team race and I'd be shocked if the Angels don't run away with it.

NL West - Arizona Diamondbacks - This is still a bad lineup and the rotation is set up for a fall. Haren won't match last year even in the NL and his workload makes him a big injury risk. I'm a believer that RJ is done and Davis was horrible last year and lucky to have a sub 5 ERA much less a sub 4. The bullpen overproduced last year and all of this adds up to a .500 team or so.

NL Central - Chicago Cubs - The Brewers do not fade like last year and walk away with this division, the Reds step up and are the 2nd place team. You heard here first the Cubs come in 3rd place. That rotation overproduced last year, the defense overproduced. Pie, Soto and Fukudome are all question marks and Theriot and DeRosa could easily be a black hole in the MI. I think the bullpen gets exposed this year too. I just do not think this team repeats. Ramirez had wrist problems he didn't fix, Soriano is going into spring training less than 100%, who knows with Lee. The rest of the lineup is all question marks.

NL East - Phillies - The lineup is great but the pitching isnt'. The lidge injury makes the bullpen ugly, I'm not sure Myers can step back into a full time starting spot. Hamels is a huge injury risk, Moyer is 300 and will fall off eventually, Kendrick was pure luck last year, Eaton is miserable and there is no depth behind him. This is a 3rd place team in the NL East.
Last edited by Ender on Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Overrated teams

Postby OneLoveBoomer » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:15 am

Agree, except for the cubs. And I'm not a cubs fan.
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Re: Overrated teams

Postby smoovethug » Mon Feb 25, 2008 3:19 am

Ender wrote:NL East - Phillies - The lineup is great but the pitching isnt'. The lidge injury makes the bullpen ugly, I'm not sure Myers can step back into a full time starting spot. Hamels is a huge injury risk, Moyer is 300 and will fall off eventually, Kendrick was pure luck last year, Eaton is miserable and there is no depth behind him. This is a 3rd place team in the NL East.


Hamels was an injury risk last year as well and still started 28 games. When are we going to get over him being an injury risk? Why does Moyer have to fall off? Sure he's old, but he doesn't rely on overpowering hitters (ala Greg Maddux?) so he can still last even though he is 300? years old. If you're going to make that point about Moyer the same can also be said about Glavine and Smoltz. Why is Kendrick pure luck? Because you've never heard of him? He has great poise on the mound for his age. He won't K many but he doesn't issue free passes either. He's as solid a #4 as any. The rotation really can't be any worse than last year where Lieber, Garcia, and Eaton gave them nothing everytime they took the mound. Not to mention the patchwork of junk pitchers such as Segovia, Durbin, Happ, and others. The team ERA was 4.73 last year. I just can't see it being any worse. A healthy Madson, and the experience of Romero and Gordon is a fine bridge for Lidge when he gets back. Had to stick up for my team. :-°
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Re: Overrated teams

Postby Bloody Sox » Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:43 am

Ender wrote:AL East - Boston Red Sox. Just playing the odds here since it is rare to see a repeat. Lowell regresses to his normal numbers, Ortiz/Manny struggle with injuries and the rest of that lineup is not amazing. Dice K was abused last year and I don't buy Beckett being healthy two years in a row. I just don't see any upside in this team other than the amazing bullpen.

Couldn't see this one coming :-) When you were the best team in baseball, didn't have much turnover, and most of the new regulars are better than those they are replacing (Ellsbury over Coco, Buchholz as #5) you don't really need any upside.

I will agree on it being tough to repeat and that Lowell regresses a bit. However, Ortiz played hurt all last year and was phenomenal, so with his knee cleaned up I can't see any regression there. And by all accounts Manny is in his best shape of the last 5 years - but then again, we've all heard that before. And that unamazing lineup was amazing enough last year - even with horrendous years out of Drew and Lugo which couldn't possibly be any worse this year.

If you don't buy Beckett being healthy two years in a row, then how has he been healthy for two years in a row already? And even before that he was at 26 and 29 GS the two years before that. Dice-K was in no way abused... he struggled early to get adjusted, was phenomenal in the middle, and tired late. He'll be much better this year. I'm surprised you didn't mention the rest of the starters - after Beckett and Dice-K, the Sox are relying on Wakefield, Lester, and Buchholz to round out the rotation. There's some vulnerability there.

My picks:

- AL East: Yankees (Posada can't repeat that year a la Lowell, Matsui/Damon/Posada/Jeter/Abreu/Rivera are another year older, rotation is full of question marks. Joba needed as a setup guy, who knows what you'll get if they make him a starter).
- AL Central: Detroit (a great lineup got better, but a suspect staff after Verlander got worse by trading Miller and the bullpen is lousy)
- AL West: Angels (only because other three teams aren't good enough to be overrated)
- NL East: Phillies (can't see many flaws with the Mets, and the Phils have another mess on their hands at closer)
- NL Central: Not sure... Cubs look good, Brewers are a year better, ... Houston?
- NL West: The rotation is great, but I think Haren is due for some problems with the high workload. They really shouldn't have won the AL West last year with that lineup.
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Re: Overrated teams

Postby Yoda » Mon Feb 25, 2008 9:56 am

smoovethug wrote:
Ender wrote:NL East - Phillies - The lineup is great but the pitching isnt'. The lidge injury makes the bullpen ugly, I'm not sure Myers can step back into a full time starting spot. Hamels is a huge injury risk, Moyer is 300 and will fall off eventually, Kendrick was pure luck last year, Eaton is miserable and there is no depth behind him. This is a 3rd place team in the NL East.


Hamels was an injury risk last year as well and still started 28 games. When are we going to get over him being an injury risk? Why does Moyer have to fall off? Sure he's old, but he doesn't rely on overpowering hitters (ala Greg Maddux?) so he can still last even though he is 300? years old. If you're going to make that point about Moyer the same can also be said about Glavine and Smoltz. Why is Kendrick pure luck? Because you've never heard of him? He has great poise on the mound for his age. He won't K many but he doesn't issue free passes either. He's as solid a #4 as any. The rotation really can't be any worse than last year where Lieber, Garcia, and Eaton gave them nothing everytime they took the mound. Not to mention the patchwork of junk pitchers such as Segovia, Durbin, Happ, and others. The team ERA was 4.73 last year. I just can't see it being any worse. A healthy Madson, and the experience of Romero and Gordon is a fine bridge for Lidge when he gets back. Had to stick up for my team. :-°


Hamels is hurt every year. That makes him an injury risk.
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Re: Overrated teams

Postby Pogotheostrich » Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:26 am

Ender wrote:NL Central - Chicago Cubs - The Brewers do not fade like last year and walk away with this division, the Reds step up and are the 2nd place team. You heard here first the Cubs come in 3rd place. That rotation overproduced last year, the defense overproduced. Pie, Soto and Fukudome are all question marks and Theriot and DeRosa could easily be a black hole in the MI. I think the bullpen gets exposed this year too. I just do not think this team repeats. Ramirez had wrist problems he didn't fix, Soriano is going into spring training less than 100%, who knows with Lee. The rest of the lineup is all question marks.

This is hard for me to say as a Cardinal fan but the Cubs are the team to beat. Lily overproduced but I think the rest of the staff should be just as good if not better than last year. Plus I think the Cubs offense underproduced last year. The Brewers have a great lineup but Gallardo is already hurt and Sheets is always one pitch away from the DL. The Brewers can take the title but they need the SP to come through.
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Re: Overrated teams

Postby Ender » Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:42 am

They won the division last year so they are most certainly the team to beat and if they weren't they couldn't be overrated!

I just see too many question marks on that team for my tastes.

2B - DeRosa hasn't played a full season in his career and has only been decent two years and both years were high BABIP driven.
SS - Theriot was miserable for all but 1 month last year.
3B - Aramis still has concerns with his wrist and foot and there isn't much of a backup if he goes down
LF - Soriano says he is only 75% and lingering quad injuries on 30+ year olds worry me.
CF - Pie hasn't shown he can hit major league pitching yet and wasn't very good in the winter league this season.
RF - 31 year old import with a pretty big injury track record, not sure he can replace the .375 OBP they got out of RF last year.
C - Soto was good all of one season in the minors and it was his 3rd in AAA.

SP - Zambrano has seen all of his peripherals slip for 3 years in a row. Marquis fell apart in the 2nd half. Lilly had over 200 IP for the 1st time in his career at age 31, even if he doesn't regress the injury concerns are for real. Marshall had a 4.54 xERA and had control problems yet again. I don't buy Dempster as an effective SP and well Lieber is a risk in many ways.

RP - Wood is still an injury risk. Marmol's control died in the second half (5.1 BB/9!), his ERA was LOB% driven which I don't think repeats, he reminds me of Derrick Turnbow from a few years back. Howry's peripherals are starting to slip with age as well, K rate down, BB rate up, FB% up.

I don't know I look at that Cubs team and I see only a little bit of upside over expectations and a ton of little risks everywhere. Teams like that are the kind that I usually think are overrated. People seem to already be penciling in great seasons from Pie, Fukudome and Soto and if those guys fall short I think this team will really struggle at times.

3rd place might be a stretch with Baker managing the Reds since he won't play the young talent, but I will be putting the Brewers in 1st when i enter my Predictatron ballot at BPro. The Brewers have risks of their own but people are judging them with the risks included, people just seem to be ignoring the risks with the Cubs.
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Re: Overrated teams

Postby knapplc » Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:54 am

Ender those are all very good and very true points, but that doesn't mean any other team in the Central has fewer question marks, or is in a better position to overcome them. The Brewers seem like the odds-on contender but they played way over their heads for most of 2007. That kind of play is difficult to maintain (as evidenced by their late-season collapse) and even harder to repeat. The Brewers' own risks combined with the Cubs' possible upside makes this a pretty close race.

Having said that, I cannot disagree with the "overrated" tag placed on the Cubs. I just heard someone on ESPN this AM say the Cubs were their pick to get to the World Series. Really? Over the Mets? Seems far-fetched to me.

If nothing else, this should be an interesting season to be a Cubs fan. But then again, aren't they all? :-D
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Re: Overrated teams

Postby Ender » Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:15 am

I look at last year very differently. The Brewers were a young team that collapsed under the pressure of a pennant chase. The rest of the year they played to expectations. This is a really good young offense and while guys like Braun and Fielder might slip some guys like Hall and Weeks can do better than last year and make up for it.

Here are their month to month splits last year.

April - 117 RS, 114 RA
May - 126 RS, 121 RA
June - 156 RS, 114 RA
July - 116 RS, 128 RA
August - 119 RS, 173 RA
September - 167 RS, 126 RA

They went 9-18 in August with a complete collapse of the pitching and lost the division lead and as soon as they lost the division lead they turned it around and played well in September just the Cubs played well too. This team was very good for most of the year last year, it was very up and down but that is to be expected wtih a young team.

But I agree they have plenty of little risks, every team does but whenever the NL Central discussions come up it always reverts to a discussion about the risks on the Brewers and the great new players on the Cubs. People seem to forget that the Cubs have plenty of risks of their own.
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Re: Overrated teams

Postby KCollins1304 » Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:41 pm

Bloody Sox wrote:
My picks:

- AL East: Yankees (Posada can't repeat that year a la Lowell, Matsui/Damon/Posada/Jeter/Abreu/Rivera are another year older, rotation is full of question marks. Joba needed as a setup guy, who knows what you'll get if they make him a starter).


You talk about the Yankees like they are the only team where players get older every year. I can play the same aging game with the Red Sox, Manny/Ortiz/Lowell/Wakefield/Schilling/Varitek are all another year older as well. The AL East is going to be a race within 3-4 games just like it has been for the last couple years. The Yankees played horrible in the first half last year, as in they were under .500 until July 10 last year. Damon/Matsui/Abreu underperformed for most of the year. A regression from A-Rod and Posada will be matched by Abreu/Damon/Matsui returning to their '06 numbers. Also, Melky and Cano have another year of experience. As far as Joba, maybe you don't realize that he started the entire year last year until he was called up to the Yankees in relief. This was all done to limit his innings while allowing him to contribute, he isn't some complete unknown in the rotation. He had a phenomenal year going from A ball to MLB.
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