Baseless Bold Fantasy Baseball Predictions

matt harvey...may have used this photo already

Do you know how much easier it is to make fantasy predictions with almost no research to back it up? ESPN posted 53 bold predictions with almost zero facts explaining them, and it included the bogus Troy Tulowitzki will remain healthy for a majority of the year fact! It’s total BS and it’s beautiful, unlike the new ESPN format, but maybe I just hate change. I’m going to make a bunch of fantasy baseball predictions with very little facts to back me up and a ton of bias! Some of them might even be underlined instead of bolded!

Matt Harvey is a bust
He’s on an innings limit and if the Met’s aren’t in the playoff hunt I can see him getting shut down earlier than expected. He’s coming back from Tommy John surgery and I know he’s looked excellent in spring training, but spring training doesn’t mean too much. He has to carry the weight of all of New York’s expectations now that the Yankees stink, that’s too much pressure! He’s getting drafted in the 3rd/4th round now, so people are expecting ace numbers, but he hasn’t pitched a real game in more than a year. Also the Mets can’t have nice things.
Joey Votto finishes as a top 5 1B
He was a top 1B before and I like the Reds’ offense this year with Billy Hamilton likely improving, Todd Frazier and Marlon Byrd providing reliable power, and Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips can’t possible play as bad as they did last year. He’ll provide Freddie Freeman like numbers but for a 3 round discount. Bring on those sweet walks baby!
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What’s in my Portfolio

These are some of the players I ended up owning on multiple teams if you haven’t figured it out already…

stock-chart-blueBecause I own them…they’ll do better!

Trevor Rosenthal – Well I never invest in “elite” closers, but somehow I landed this guy and I’m actually pretty happy about it. With the way that some of the lower tier closers are getting knocked around it feels good to have a guy who could end up as the most valuable closer in the league, even if he went undrafted in most leagues last year. Rosenthal is on a great team (both talent wise and managing wise), pitches in the NL, and strikes out a ton of guys. I think this is going to be a great relationship.
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My Starting Pitching Draft Strategy

I’m writing this looking at both the Yahoo! and the ESPN rankings. League settings should change your respective strategies. If you’re in a Roto league I’d value SPs a little higher than in H2H. Points leagues really depend on the scoring, but in my limited experience I found SPs provided me with a ton of points. It really depends on the settings though. I can’t really help with auctions too much because every draft is different. I can only recommend spending the extra dollars on the guys you like, it’s better to get to as close to $0 as possible and at the end of the draft extra money is useless money. This piece will cover how I would draft in a snake format for a 12 team standard scoring league.
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Random Thoughts on a Random Pack of Baseball Cards

A piece from the mind of James Boyce

Roy Halladay

I always liked Roy Halladay, mainly because he usually went or tried to go the distance, tossing the complete game. A throwback to a older and lost generation – before there were closers, and 8th inning guys, and 7th inning guys, before quality starts became more of a mark of mediocrity. Anyway, Doc had himself a pretty good career, and looking back at the numbers puts things in perspective. 67 Complete games – the # 1 spot according to Baseball-Reference.com (a great site BTW) of active pitchers (I guess since the upcoming season has not yet started, BRef hasn’t yet recognized his retirement), which ranks tied for 636th (!) all-time. The next active pitcher doesn’t even crack the top 1000. Had to check the active leader list on MLB.com sortable stats to see Livan Hernandez w 50, CC Sabathia w 37, and Bartolo Colon w 35. Just for perspective, of recent HOF pitching nominees, Jack Morris is at 180 w 175, Roger Clemens at 327 w 118, Greg Maddux at 355 w 109, Curt Shilling at 495 w 83, Mike Mussina at 736 w 57, Tom Glavine at 750 w 56. Roy’s 20 Shut Outs rank 244th, again he was the active leader in that department. The next were Chris Carpenter w 15, Tim Hudson w 13, Bartolo Colon, Cliff Lee, and CC Sabathia w 12. Times have changed.
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The Cole Report: 2 Takes on Cole Hamels

As former interns for the prestigious Cole Hamels Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to “enriching the lives of children through education…” I think my colleague and I know a thing or two about our former boss, Colbert Mike Hamels, that the fantasy community at large may not. Today we’re here to share our knowledge and discuss his fantasy impact this upcoming season. Colbert is currently ranked on ESPN #44 overall and the #10 SP while Yahoo! rankes him #46 overall and the #13 SP.  Make your case.

The Case for Drafting Colbert by Jamie Will

NLCS+Teams+Workout+Before+Game+1+dfzjWnHC8jul

* Edit: Ok, so a day or so after we posted this the news came out about Hamels’ shoulder tendinits. While I don’t think it’ll be a long term thing, it is right to be concerned when you hear “Pitcher” and “shoulder” in an injury report. That definitely hurts my argument a bit, but people out there should keep an eye on Hamels in drafts because he might plummet a bit and, if so, scoop him up because he will be back in a bit.

Good old Cole… Before I get going on the greatness-to-come of Cole Hamels, let me make it clear that I am a Phillies fan.  That said, I think this team is likely to be as bleak as the current icy landscape in Philadelphia.  The experts and casinos agree, with their projected win totals ranging from bad to worse (actually between 70-80..  that’s sad).  I am going to go out on a limb here and say that, even if the Phillies end up as bad overall as is expected, Cole Hamels will win 20 games for the first time.  Yes, you heard me… Colbert will get 20 of the 70-80 wins and here is why.  

Prior to last season, in which the whole ship sank in Philadelphia, Hamels’ increased his strikeout totals, thrown more complete games, and posted ERA’s of 2.79 and 3.05 in back to back seasons, earning All-Star nods and entering the back end of the Cy Young conversation.  While I will admit that last year can’t simply be written off, I think that Hamels is absolutely deserving of his current rankings in ESPN and Yahoo and should be targeted in drafts.  

One reason why is that I believe the ever-swinging pendulum of poor run-support in Philadelphia will swing back to Cliff Lee after returning to Hamels last season.  Yes, I know that there is no statistical backing for an assertion like that, but if you look at the last several seasons, Hamels and Lee have seemingly alternated being the bearers of the bad bats.  This year is Hamels’ turn to get the support and, even though the lineup is hardly filled with world beaters anymore, there is enough pop left in those bats to support a strong pitcher like Hamels.
A second reason is the lowering of expectations surrounding the Phillies could very well take the pressure off of Colbert.  For years, as the team around him has slowly crumbled through mismanagement and age, the public has looked to Hamels to put the team on his back and carry them as the “Ace of Aces.”  It did seem like that may have worn on him a bit over time, culminating in last year’s decline.  This year though?  Everybody has written the Phillies completely off.  I am sure the remaining core of players (Hamels, Howard, Utley, Rollins, Ruiz) are pissed off about that and want to do something about it.  
To sum it all up, you can trust Colbert “Hollywood” Hamels to strongly assert himself against the mass disrespect aimed at him and the Phillies, ultimately giving the proverbial finger to the naysayers by shutting opponents down. Also if Hamels slides a bit during the draft because the perception of the Phillies being ass, grab him and run. 
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Don’t Draft Colbert! by Kevin Boyce
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*Edit: Okay so Cole Hamels has shoulder tendonitis, so…I guess I win the argument? Not necessarily. Depending on how much Cole falls in the draft and how much more information comes out on his shoulder can change my opinion on him. But things don’t really look as I’m typing this so unless Hamels drops considerably, I’m avoiding him all together.

Did you know that Colbert grew up in San Diego and not Philadelphia? Everyone knows that only true Phillies grow up in Philly. Fact, he’d rather pitch in San Diego.

Did you know that his wife, Heidi Strobel, was a contestant on Survivor? Did you know she lost? How can we expect Cole Hamels to win games when his wife can’t even win? Fact, we can’t.

Colbert Hamels is past his prime and couldn’t throw a strike to save the children he literally saves in his non-profit organization. Fact, he theoretically in this scenario I just made up doesn’t help children in need. 

Okay, maybe I’m being a little overly dramatic (hint: I am) but I’m not as high on Colbert than my colleague is. Let’s make things clear that I am a Mets fan, but that doesn’t mean I’m biased or anything. I mean I worked for the guy’s organization for months and got paid a whopping $0…they didn’t even give me a signed ball, which they had a closet full of. On a slightly more serious note, when I first met Cole Hamels, this tall handsome goofball, I pretty much liked him instantly. We didn’t even talk about baseball, we talked about Australia for 5 minutes. And that’s a longtime considering there were to tons of his friends and donators there. Colbert is genuinely a funny and nice person, he did start a charity organization out of his own pocket…so yeah, pretty cool dude. However, when it comes to fantasy I only see value, and I’m don’t see any value with Hamels this year.

For the price Colbert Hamels is going for this year, you’re drafting him to anchor your fantasy rotation. He’s always had an elite K/BB rate, which keeps his WHIP low and is generally a pretty good thing. He pitched 5 more innings in 2013, but had a dozen less strikeouts than his 2012 totals. He still managed 202 Ks, and he has a K/9 rate above 8, which is what you want in a pitcher, but 27 other pitchers had a K/9 rate over 8, 31 if you count 7.96 and up. Having a K/9 over 8 isn’t rare in the golden age of pitching, HRs are rare. Pre-All Star Break he had 129IP, 4W, 118Ks, 4,05 ERA, and a 1.22 WHIP. He managed to pitch better in the second half, but I just don’t know which Hamels we’re going to see this year. I’d be worried about spending my 4th round pick on him and so should you.

Also in 31 IP against the Mets, Cole gave up 35 hits, 17 ERs, 34 Ks,  .282 batting average against. Let me reiterate, he did this against the METS. Cole Hamels is 30, on a weak team, and pitches in a hitter friendly park. Pitching is deep this year, and unless I’m getting lights out stuff, I’d rather take a bat than an arm. That said, I’ll be rooting for his success this year.