Three Up and Three Down
With this being my first article on this site, I will give a quick introduction and talk a little about my column.
I have been blogging for about a year and half now. I once ran my own Streak for the Cash site, but have since started a more blog based site at http://thenewyorksportsguy.com
In regards to this site, I will primarily be focusing on fantasy sports. Throughout the baseball season I will be posting a weekly column titled, “Three Up, Three Down.” Basically this article will talk about three players that have been playing very well the last couple weeks, and will talk about three players that have been struggling in the last couple weeks.
Given that the fantasy baseball week starts every Monday in most leagues, I will try to get this article up every Monday.
It is important to note that any owner percentages, or position eligibilities that I refer to are based on espn.com’s game. I will also be referring to the player rater one espn.com. If you are unfamiliar with this, I recommend you checking it out. It is a great tool which helps you evaluate players’ value based on what categories they are producing in.
Since this is the first time I am posting this kind of article, I will be evaluating each player based on their entire season, not the last couple of weeks.
1. Justin Upon
Throughout this season Justin Upton has been one of the best players in fantasy baseball. Right now he is ranked number four on espn’s player rater, only behind Miguel Cabrera, Starling Marte, and Carlos Gomez. Most of Upton’s fantasy impact has been because of his power surge, especially early in the season. Upton is leading the MLB in homeruns, currently sitting at 12. Though Upton is still one of the hottest hitters in baseball, he has not hit a homerun since April 27, however it is only a matter of time until that changes. Upton has also made a significant fantasy impact in the runs category. Though this category does not often get a whole lot attention, it can sometimes be the difference between losing and winning. Right now Upton is in the top 10 of runs scored, with 24 on the season.
2. Clay Buchholz
Buchholz has been arguably the best fantasy pitcher this season. Right now he is only behind Yu Darvish on the player rater for best pitcher, and ranks sixth overall. Buchholz is getting it done in every category. His 1.01 ERA and 0.96 WHIP are both remarkable. On top of that, he has been getting run support to help him earn his six wins. He has also been helping himself out with his 47 strikeouts. It appears that after a couple down years, Buchholz is back to his old self. Though his 1.01 ERA and 0.96 WHIP will both be very difficult to maintain, I do not see Buchholz falling off a cliff. Though is value is very high right now, I do not recommend selling him high, but if the trade is right, I do recommend trading for him. I think the manager change meant a lot to him. To have his old pitching coach back in Boston was a very significant move, and I think the impact is showing here.
3. Nate McLouth
Over the last few weeks, there have not been many players hotter than McLouth. In the last 15 days, McLouth is ranked number four on the player rater. If McLouth is still available in your league, he is an obvious pickup. His ownership has sky rocketed in the last few days so it is unlikely that he is still available. McLouth is batting .313 this season and has 25 runs which ranks among the best so far this season. Though he only has three homeruns and ten RBIs up to this point, much of that production has come within the last fifteen days. The only unforuntate news about McLouth is his playing time. The Baltimore outfield is crowded and finding playing time for McLouth may be a problem. He is currently in a platoon with Reimold, but if his production keeps up, he will continue to get regular at bats.
1. Eric Hosmer
Hosmer has been one of the most disappointing players in fantasy this season. After having decent production in the last two years, many thought this year he would take the step forward and develop into a star. That has not been the case. He is only batting .258, has no homeruns and only nine RBIs. There is no room on a roster for him. If you have not already, I recommend dropping him. Unfortunately it does not look like he is going to turn it around anytime soon.
2. Roy Halladay
Halladay has been the most disappointing pitcher this year. Through his first few starts, he has an 8.65 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, and has only earned two wins. After an injury plagued year last season, Halladay is back on the DL. Prior to his two recent DL stints, I do not think it was fair to say anyone could see this coming. Though he is getting up their in age, his downfall has come on very quickly; too quick for fantasy owners to react. Unfortunately I do not know if we will ever see the Halladay that we came to know. If he is still on your roster, I recommend either shopping him or dropping him.
3. Albert Pujols
For some this may be a surprising pick as my final player for this column, however the more you break it down, the more obvious it becomes. When you look at Pujols’ numbers on the season, he actually looks to be having a pretty solid season. He has five homeruns and has 19 RBIs which are both above average numbers at this point in the season. However, over the last 15 days, Pujols is only batting .164, and has just three homeruns, two of which came in one game. One of the major reasons for his struggles has been his lack of health. Throughout this season, Pujols has been batting with a sore foot, a similar injury that Bulls’ center Joakim Noah has been dealing with this postseason. Unfortunately for Pujols, this means a potential DL stint, or at least a couple off days every week or so. My recommendation to fantasy owners who own Pujols, is to trade him now. As I said earlier, his season numbers are actually not bad and because of his name you can get decent value. However recently he has been regressing, most likely because of his own going injury, which is more likely to get worse than better.
Feel free to comment and let me know what you think! Thanks for reading!