Fake Teams Hits the Fantasy Baseball Links

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 07: (L-R) Adam Wainwright and Mitchell Boggs #41 of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrate in the locker room after they won 1-0 against the Philadelphia Phillies during Game Five of the National League Divisional Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 7, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Fantasy baseball links for today, October 17:

Keeper Question: Adam Wainwright | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

There is one caveat I should point out before unequivocally recommending that you keep Wainwright: There are very few pitchers I am in favor of keeping, especially in mixed. Pitching is so deep right now that even if you were to lose Wainwright, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find a suitable replacement.

Closer Keeper Candidates: Joel Hanrahan | Roto Hardball

...while you shouldn't expect him to repeat his 2011 ERA, he should otherwise retain his status as an elite fantasy closer. Expect an ERA south of 3.00, a WHIP south of 1.10 and 65-80 strikeouts from Hanrahan next season, as well as 35+ saves. He should be drafted well ahead of more prominent names such as Jose Valverde, Carlos Marmol and Heath Bell, and is a borderline Top Five closing option headed into 2012.

Matt Harrison Breaks Out, What Happens in 2012? | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

The bottom line is that Harrison is definitely an improved pitcher, but is clearly not as good as his 3.39 may suggest to some. I think he flew under the radar this year as I would bet the majority of fantasy owners have no idea how good his ERA was. However, a strong rest of the postseason could increase his perceived value heading into next year’s drafts. With a nearly guaranteed ERA spike coming, and decent, yet unspectacular skills, it is difficult to get excited about his prospects and fantasy attractiveness next year.

M-Pineda Sounds Muy Delicioso As A Keeper | Razzball
Lots of praise for Pineda here. Where do you think he goes next year?

Roy Oswalt Ages, Adapts, Achieves | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

Despite being 34 and for all practical purposes, without a team, Oswalt seems to have a lot left in the tank. As stated earlier, his landing spot is going to impact his fantasy value to a degree, but if he’s able to give you 180 innings as a fantasy manager, he should give you a good source of wins and a solid ERA with a WHIP that won’t sink your team. His resurgence in strikeouts in 2011 towards his career average make him far less of a risk than a cursory glance would indicate, and at 180 IP, he should still be good for 150 strikeouts.

The Missing Allen Craig | Roto Hardball

However, if Craig wins the job at second base, and gets to stop bouncing around, playing all the time instead of most of it, he's a must draft in any format. His offense should be well above the average at the position, making him a valuable commodity -- and hey, if he's still a utility guy who plays two-thirds of the time, his numbers still might be better from a counting perspective than those of many everyday second basemen.

Hey, Didn’t You Used To Be Casey McGehee? | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball
Some good stuff about McGehee in here. The main takeaway for me, though, was just how shallow third base was and will continue to be.

Carl Crawford: Total Failure | Baseball Guys

I wouldn’t be at all shocked if Crawford was a major bargain next year since he’s going to be drafted much later than he should be because of his down 2011 effort. Still, he’s gonna be part of a good offense, in a good park for hitters, and he’ll be just 31 years old next season.

On Keeping Colby Rasmus | Roto Hardball

The Jays play in a crazy-good ballpark for hitters and Rasmus has too good of a pedigree to just disappear the way he did in 2011. Chalk it up to injuries or bad luck, but it looks like a lot of his problems are correctable. If you have a league with a lot of keepers and Colby is on the fringe, I'd likely take my chances.

Buy or Sell: Cruz, Young Power Up in October | Fantasy Baseball 365

The bottom line is that Cruz still is the same player he ever was, prodigious postseason power display or not. He’ll likely hit around 30 bombs and steal a few bases (maybe less given his declining speed), but he won’t give you the same counting stats in runs and RBI as other players might simply because he is very unlikely to play more than 120 or so games. He’s also a career .270/.330 hitter with the propensity to swing and miss quite often.

Will Bobby Abreu Be An Unusable Option In 2012? | Rotoprofessor

In other words, while there may be a little bit of hope that Abreu can post a passable season as a fill-in for those in five-outfielder formats (given his SB and line drive rate), there currently doesn’t appear to be a spot for him to play regularly. Barring an offseason trade (which is possible), he’s no longer an option for fantasy owners in his current situation.

Looking ahead: 2011 xBABIP-adjusted batting lines | The Hardball Times
Lucky and unlucky players using BABIP-xBABIP.

Mining for Strikeouts: The Underperformers | Roto Hardball
More messing with the numbers to try to find some inefficiencies going into next year's draft. I'm starting to come around on Hellickson, I suppose, but he still strikes me as a helium pick.

Batted Ball Outliers: Starting Pitchers | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball
Sell high on Verlander? I say absolutely.

Initial 2012 Keeper Rankings: C | Fantasy Baseball 365
Some interesting decisions to make after listing 8 or so. Mesoraco or Rosario? What do you do with Yadier Molina?

Prospect Chatter | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball
Here I am linking to a page that links to a bunch of other pages. Can it get more meta than this? Maybe next week I'll link to this whole article.

Robbie Grossman: A Hidden Gem in Pittsburgh's Future? | Minor League Ball
Our Ray Guilfoyle examines an under-the-radar outfielder that could force his way onto the scene in a couple of years.

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