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The Fake Teams Fantasy Podcast: Episode 2
Zack Smith and Andrew Ball hosted Episode 2 of the Fake Teams Fantasy Podcast on Sunday night, where I made an appearance and rambled for about 40 minutes, and I am pretty sure Zack and Andrew were texting each other asking when I was going to shut my pie hole. I discuss how I got involved with Fake Teams, how my Tout Wars team is faring, along with my thoughts on Paul Konerko, George Springer and others. Here is a link the Episode 2:
And if you wanted to listen to the podcast on ITunes, check out this link:
Julio Teheran surprising fantasy owners
If I am not mistaken, Braves starter Julio Teheran struggled mightily in spring training, giving up plenty of long balls. Things have quieted down for him and he has now strung together five solid starts in a row, after limiting the Twins to just one run last night. He gave up just 5 hits, a walk and struck out 4 in the Braves 5-1 win. Teheran is now 3-1 with a 3.99 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and a 30-9 K-BB in 49.2 innings. He has given up 3 runs or less in each of his last five starts, lowering his ERA from 7.31 to 3.99. He has walked just one batter in his last 33.2 innings. Pretty impressive.
For more on Teheran and the Braves, make sure you check out Talking Chop, the SB Nation Braves fan site.
Cole Hamels: back on track?
I wrote about Hamels here in the Roundup recently, asking whether he was hurt or not. I felt that if he got knocked around vs the Marlins last night, then I would be convinced something was wrong with him. Well, the good news is, he seems to be perfectly healthy. The bad news: he did not get a win. Hamels pitched great last night, limiting the Marlins to two runs, on 7 hits, no walks and 10 strikeouts. He is now just 1-7 with a 4.45 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and a 57-24 K-BB rate in 62.2 innings. He has been hurt by the long ball and the free pass this season, so maybe this start gets him back on track. He will face the Nationals in Washington next Sunday.
Clayton Kershaw: Top 5 overall pick in 2014?
When making your first round pick in fantasy drafts, you want to make sure you draft a player that you know is not going to be a bust. One player who could be in the discussion to be a Top 5 overall pick in 2014 drafts, yeah I know it's early, is Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw wasn't as dominant as usual last night, but he almost unhittable. Kershaw limited the Brewers to just one run in a complete game three hitter last night in the Dodgers 3-1 win. Kershaw walked just one and struck out four en route to his fifth win of the season. Kershaw is now 5-2 with a 1.35 ERA, 0.82 WHIP and a 72-18 K-BB rate in 73.1 innings. Kershaw was coming off a 132 pitch outing vs Washington last week and he showed no ill effects from that outing. He has given up one run or less in seven of his ten starts this season, including five in a ro, and has yet to give up more than three runs in any one start.
Here are some amazing stats on Kershaw, courtesy of Eric Stephen at True Blue LA:
Kershaw's ERA over his last 58 starts is 1.97.
I of course cherry-picked endpoints for that one, but my main goal was wondering just how far back we could go and still have Kershaw's ERA under 2.00. The answer is back to July 7, 2011, just when Kershaw was beginning his Cy Young Award finishing kick. Going back 62 starts, his ERA is 2.01.
Kershaw has allowed zero or one earned run in 12 of his last 15 starts, and during that span has allowed 14 total earned runs and has a 1.16 ERA.
For more on Kershaw and the Dodgers, make sure you check out the great work that Eric Stephen is doing over at True Bliue LA, SB Nation's Dodgers fan site.
Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp has been a huge disappointment to his owners thus far in 2013, as he entered Monday night's game with just one home run. Kemp managed to hit his second home run of the season last night, and as an owner, I am hoping he this is the start of a power run for him. Kemp went 1-3 with a HR, a walk, 2 runs and an RBI, and is now hitting .267-.315-.358 with 2 HRs, 20 runs, 16 RBI and 6 stolen bases. His on pace numbers are pitiful, so he will need a huge power surge to reach 20-25 home runs this season. I have said it here before, his power, or lack thereof, has been a result of him still recovering from his offseason shoulder surgery.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been on fire of late, and his hot hitting continued yesterday, as he went 2-4 with a walk, a run and a stolen base. Over his last 10 games, he is 15-40 with 11 runs, 5 doubles, 3 HRs, and 3 stolen bases. He is now hitting .264-.329-.500 with 7 HRs, 22 runs, 24 RBI and 9 stolen bases. Coming into the season, I felt that Kipnis's stolen base numbers would drop from the 31 bags he stole last year, but he is on pace for 34 stolen bases this season.
Every offseason, I make sure I read Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster as part of my offseason preparation for fantasy drafts. For me, it is a must read for all fantasy owners. In the 2013 Forecaster, he was pretty high on Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis, which surprised me. I own Markakis in an AL-only keeper league, and decided to keep him as a result. Markakis went 2-5 with a double, run, and 2 RBI in the Orioles 6-4 loss to the Yankees. Markakis won't help you in the home run category, but where he does help you is in runs scored and batting average. He also doesn't hurt you in the RBI category. Markakis is now hitting .293-.342-.397 with 3 HRs, 25 runs, 22 RBI, and an excellent 14-15 K-BB rate.
A's outfielder Yoenis Cespedes was moved to the third spot in the A's lineup last night, and he responded by going 1-3 with a 3 walks, a run, an RBI and a stolen base in the A's 9-2 win over the Rangers. Andrew, Zack and I discussed Cespedes in the podcast on Sunday night, and all three of us think Cespedes will turn his season around after his slow start, yet the stolen bases may not meet my projections (20+) this season. With that said, he could approach 30 home runs, he has 8 right now, but the stolen bases will probably end up in the low double digits.
Rangers top prospect Jurickson Profar made his 2013 debut and drove in both of the Rangers runs in their 9-2 loss to the A's. Yesterday afternoon, Rangers manager Ron Washington announced that Profar and Leury Garcia would split time at second base, deflating Profar's value while he is up. It appears more and more that Profar will be sent down as soon as Ian Kinsler returns from the DL.
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