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Fantasy Game Of The Night: Texas Rangers at Cleveland Indians

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Cliff Lee is coming off his worst start of the 2008 season against the Cincinnati Reds - a 5.2 inning disaster. No matter how good Lee had been this season, and he was historically good, no one saw that game's statline and thought, "I can't believe it!" Everyone thought just the opposite, "I knew it."

What makes this game interesting is how Lee rebounds from that start. Does he restore the belief that he was a different pitcher this season or does he instantly become a sell high candidate that no one will buy?


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2008 - Cliff Lee 6-1 8 8 1 1 0 0 59.1 42 11 9 3 5 46 1.37 .79


Also of interest is whether or not Travis Hafner has officially become washed-up. The word in fantasy circles is certainly one of resignation that he is done. A look at his monthly splits kind of supports that feeling.

In April, he had a slashstat line of 208/304/33 with 12 BB and 96 ABs. So far in May, he is hitting 235/355/392, but he has drawn 9 BB in just 51 ABs. He has also matched his total XBHs from April (6) so far.

I think Hafner is a legitimate buy low candidate in that you can actually get him for 12-15th round value. I'm just not sure he rebounds back to levels that make that swap look good for the team getting Hafner.


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2008 - Travis Hafner 44 151 18 33 9 0 4 22 21 42 1 1 .219 .320 .358


While fantasy owners have been disappointed by Hafner, it pales in comparison for his team. The Cleveland Indians gave Hafner a four-year extension in 2007 that doesn't kick-in until 2009 for $11.5M that season and the next and $13M in the two seasons after that. There is a fifth season at $13M, but it is a club option that costs the team $2.75M to buyout.

That contract may be one of the most onerous in sports. In close competition is the one the Texas Rangers gave to Michael Young. It also doesn't kick in until 2009 for a total of $80MM. The most onerous may belong to the Mets if Johan Santana does not rebound towards his previous season levels. (For details, visit Cot's Contracts and click on the team.)