Fantasy Forecast: The Week Ahead
Friday, July 9, 2004
Modified Friday, July 9, 2004
Fantasy Hitting Line of the Week (through Thursday games)
7 G, 30 AB, 13 R, 12 H, 5 HR, 13 RBI, 7 BB
It looks like being drafted after Mark Prior isn't so bad after all. Mark Teixeira's on a tear having turned a Texas road trip into a week of fantasy redemption. Texiera's hit safely in 9 consecutive games and is one of the few Rangers swinging a better bat away from Arlington. His July numbers include a .419 average with 8 of his 13 hits going for extra bases.
Fantasy Pitching Line of the Week (through Thursday games)
2 G, 2 W, 14.0 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 7 K
Everyone's favorite spot starter, Steve Trachsel, pitched two gems last week against two of the league's slugging powerhouses, the Yankees and the Phillies. The quintessential finesse pitcher, Trachsel has a 1.28 WHIP and 3.36 ERA this season. Factor in his 7-2 record and 1.59 ERA and you know what to do when the man takes the mound at Shea. Trachsel's also known to be stronger after the break, so hit the wire if you're looking for pitching help.
What We Learned Last Week
Don't read too much in Randy Winn's "resurgence." He's been swinging a hot bat, but it was either against Texas pitching or away from Safeco Field. The Mariners' firesale is inevitable so Winn is as good as he's going to be now, which isn't worth a few mouse clicks to the wire to check him out.
Johnny Damon has had 5 consecutive multi-hit games, but hasn't stolen a base since June 17. He's on pace for less than 20 swipes this season and has to be considered a disappointment despite his recent revival. Time to deal him for someone who actually steals.
Time to consider pawning off Esteban Loaiza, who's been a fantasy headache this season. While no one expected him to duplicate his miracle 2003 season, he hasn't been sharp in any of his last four outings and the cutter isn't fooling anyone. His K/9 ratio is down to 5.31 from 8.23 last season, and ChiSox manager Ozzie Guillen is determined to leave him long enough to throw a hundred pitches regardless of how badly he's fairing meaning your WHIP takes a beating.
Also punch a one-way ticket out of Fantasyville for Kevin Millwood, who's upped his ERA to a venomous 5.15. He has a decent strikeout-to-walk ratio, but opponents are rocking him for a .286 batting average and .450 slugging percentage. No, Citizens Bank Park isn't to blame: Millwood's struggling on the road too with a 3-4 record and 1.53 WHIP.
Can the A's really afford to move Barry Zito? Zito's looked awful at times, but so is what used to be the heir apparent to the Big Three, Rich Harden. Harden throws lightning bolts, but he's pitching like he went to the Kazuhisa Ishii School of Pitching and walking guys left and right. This leads to nights like Thursday's game against Boston: 7 ER, 6 BB, 7 K in 6.0 innings. He has 10 free passes in his last two starts, and while Harden averages a strikeout per inning pitched, he also has 48 walks to give him a 1.48 WHIP. Buyer beware.
David Riske is back as the Tribe closer. Cleveland could be leading the Central if not for the plethora of blown saves. Fresh off the DL, Bob Wickman should eventually be the fireman, but you shouldn't be desperate enough for saves to nab Riske unless you don't value your WHIP.
How bad is Derek Lowe? He has the seventh best run support of all starters in the league at over 7 runs per game, but his ERA, which is north of 6, makes him worthless. Same goes for the new El Guapo, Bartolo Colon, for whom the Angels score 6.57 runs per game, but that still can't offset his 6.57 ERA.
Mark Teahen Watch at Omaha (AAA): .272 average with .778 OPS, but the .370 OBP is promising. No power yet meaning he may not be all that different from Joe Randa.
Start shopping any Rockies on your fantasy roster. Any hitter who ends up being traded away from Colorado is going to be poison if he's still on your squad after the deal. Thinking about Jeromy Burnitz before this season in Coors Field should make you shudder in fear.
Looking Ahead (beginning Monday)
Barry Bonds and the Giants travel to Coors after the break so it's time to load up on guys like A.J. Pierzynski and Pedro Feliz. Although San Fran pitching is solid, Preston Wilson could be resurrected with more games at home.
Marcus Giles can return from the 60-day disabled list on July 15. Coincidentally, that's the day of the first game after the All-star break. How important is Giles' return? Before he was injured he was numero uno on the FLB Player Rater.
Carlos Delgado's been an enigma all season, but his walkoff on Thursday looked vintage. Toronto's been a disappointment this season, but they'll face Texas next week in a three-game set giving hope to Delgado owners.
Will any runs be scored when the Dodgers travel to the BOB to face the Diamondbacks? Both teams are almost at the bottom of the NL in run scored, but LA is playing well and the better team. Look for plenty of Guillermo Mota and Eric Gagne.
The Twins annihilated the Royals this week and will face them again after the break. With Lew Ford and Joe Mauer batting behind him, Christian Guzman looks poised for a great second half.
If a man dwells on the past, then he robs the present.
But if a man ignores the past, he may rob the future.
The seeds of our destiny are nurtured by the roots of our past.
[i]-- Master Po[/i]