Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Dr. C. Bass: Top 100 Starting Pitchers

Ask anyone who knows anything about baseball and you'll be told that pitching is 80-90% of the game. In fantasy, it's closer to 50% of the game...maybe less. It's vital to have at least one stud starter in any fantasy league. However, it's just as important that you don't reach to fill out your rotation, as good value at the starting pitching position can always be found in the middle to late rounds of your draft.

Draft your stud pitchers early, but do so with caution; starting pitchers are generally the most volatile and injury prone fantasy options around. Whatever you do, don't get caught up in a run on pitchers during the draft (or any other position player for that matter). Worry about your own draft board and let YOUR needs dictate your strategy...not the selections of others. Without further ado, below are my starting pitcher rankings as of today (2/15/06). Rankings are based on 10-12 team 5x5 league (Wins, Saves, Strikeouts, ERA, and WHIP).

  1. Johan Santana - MIN - The ONLY pitcher you should consider in the first round.
  2. Jake Peavy - SD - Edges out the next two by a nose. Love the Petco factor.
  3. Chris Carpenter - STL - Primed for another Cy-worthy season
  4. Pedro Martinez - NYM - Hopefully the Jheri Curl is gone. Regardless, Billy Wagner's presence should yield another 3-5 wins.
  5. Roy Halladay - TOR - Still not viewed as a fantasy ace by many people. Don't be one of them.
  6. Roy Oswalt - HOU - S-T-U-D. Does it all.
  7. Ben Sheets - MIL - Might be even higher if he could get some run support.
  8. Rich Harden - OAK - Finally, someone who actually lives up to the hype.
  9. Carlos Zambrano - CHC - An absolute horse. Over the last two seasons, has averaged 15 wins, 190 Ks, an ERA of around 3.00, and a nice WHIP as well. Works for me.
  10. Mark Prior - CHC - Way too low on many experts' boards right now. The one injury prone ace I feel is worth the risk.
  11. Randy Johnson - NYY - Shares a birthday with Roger Maris and Arnold Palmer...both of whom are younger than The Unit (or so it seems).
  12. Felix Hernandez - SEA - I have stuff in my fridge older than him. I don't like ranking kids this high, but he's THAT GOOD. Don't reach for him, though...remember, he's still not fully Big League-tested.
  13. Andy Pettitte - HOU - Don't reach for him, either...but do pluck him if he's still sitting around after the first 4-6 rounds.
  14. Dontrelle Willis - FLA - Won't rack up many wins thanks to the South Florida fire sale, but the D Train is still a fine pitcher.
  15. Bartolo Colon - LAA - His offseason workout regimen is well documented...he does all his lifting with a fork. Still a fine hurler, but caveat emptor.
  16. Mark Buehrle - CWS - The South Side's answer to Carlos Zambrano.
  17. Jason Schmidt - SF - Last year was an abberation. You should be able to get him later than you think in the draft, but don't sleep on him too long.
  18. John Smoltz - ATL - Given his age and history, I'd be leery of injury. Keep some denture cream on hand if you plan to draft this graybeard.
  19. Josh Beckett - BOS - Blistering stuff...pun intended.
  20. Brett Myers - PHI - Loss of Wagner will hurt, but addition of Rowand in CF will help, as will the extra few feet of turf in left field at CBP.
  21. B. Webb - ARZ
  22. D. Haren - OAK
  23. J. Patterson - WAS
  24. Z. Duke - PIT
  25. B. Zito - OAK
  26. N. Lowry - SF
  27. C. Lee - CLE
  28. F. Garcia - CWS
  29. C. Young - SD
  30. D. Davis - MIL
  31. T. Hudson - ATL
  32. C. C. Sabathia - CLE
  33. M. Mulder - STL
  34. A. J. Burnett - TOR
  35. J. Vazquez - CWS
  36. J. Lackey - LAA
  37. S. Kazmir - TB
  38. C. Schilling - BOS
  39. C. Capuano - MIL
  40. J. Garland - CWS
  41. M. Cain - SF
  42. J. Bonderman - DET
  43. K. Escobar - LAA
  44. J. Blanton - OAK
  45. B. Radke - MIN
  46. K. Millwood - TEX
  47. J. Lieber - PHI
  48. J. Towers - TOR
  49. Ol. Perez - PIT
  50. M. Morris - SF
  51. M. Clement - BOS
  52. L. Hernandez - WAS
  53. R. Madson - PHI
  54. B. Penny - LAD
  55. E. Loiaza - OAK
  56. R. Clemens - ???
  57. A. Harang - CIN
  58. F. Liriano - MIN
  59. J. Westbrook - CLE
  60. J. Contreras - CWS
  61. A. Reyes - STL
  62. S. Chacon - NYY
  63. M. Mussina - NYY
  64. K. Wood - CHC
  65. D. Lowe - LAD
  66. Od. Perez - LAD
  67. J. Suppan - STL
  68. E. Bedard - BAL
  69. J. Weaver - LAA
  70. G. Chacin - TOR
  71. C. Pavano - NYY
  72. C. Silva - MIN
  73. G. Maddux - CHC
  74. J. Washburn - SEA
  75. J. Thomson - ATL
  76. N. Robertson - DET
  77. C. Hensley - SD
  78. S. Baker - MIN
  79. E. Santana - LAA
  80. B. Arroyo - BOS
  81. J. Marquis - STL
  82. P. Byrd - CLE
  83. J. Sosa - ATL
  84. J. Verlander - DET
  85. T. Glavine - NYM
  86. B. Backe - HOU
  87. J. Vargas - FLA
  88. C. Meing-Wang - NYY
  89. B. McCarthy - CWS
  90. T. Lilly - TOR
  91. A. Eaton - TEX
  92. J. Seo - LAD
  93. K. Loe - TEX
  94. K. Rogers - DET
  95. K. Benson - BAL (wife: Anna)
  96. D. Bush - MIL
  97. J. Papelbon - BOS
  98. P. Maholm - PIT
  99. B. Chen - BAL
  100. R. Lopez - BAL

POWER RANKINGS: World Baseball Classic

Now that I've given you a pool-by-pool breakdown, Fantasy Sports Doctors would like to unveil our first ever (and to our knowledge, the first ever) World Baseball Classic Power Rankings. I'll eschew the detailed commentary this time around and keep it all business:

1) USA
2) Dominican Republic
3) Cuba
4) Venezuela
5) Puerto Rico
6) Mexico
7) Japan
8) Korea
9) Canada
10) Chinese Taipei
11) Italy
12) Panama
13) Netherlands
14) China
15) Australia
16) South Africa
17) *Liechtenstein
18) *Malawi
19) *Brunei
20) *Kansas City Royals

*Honorary squads that are just too terrible to actually field a team for the contest

Agree? Disagree? Take your best shot!!!

Baseball Tourney should be a classic...


What better way to get fans pumped up for the 2006 baseball season than to kick it off with a tournament featuring the best players in the world playing for their country's pride. Fans will get to see their favorite players go head to head in games that actually mean something versus the meaningless spring training games that no one really pays attention to except for die-hard fantasy enthusiasts who track certain player's stats to see who's hot heading into the regular season.
While this tournament provides some excitement to the average sports fan, it does in fact have fantasy implications as well. One thing that jumps out at me is the extra work that the starting pitchers will get during the tournament. Some may look at it as a good thing since these guys will get some good hard innings prior to the start of the season and be in great form come April. Others may look at it and say that it may be a bad thing adding those extra innings to their arms when some already pitch a ton during the regular season. I have mixed feelings on this issue but I'll tell you one thing....I'll be paying special attention to the Venezuelan staff, who will be relied on heavily, as I have 3 pitchers from the team on one of my keeper league squad's and I don't want to see any of these studs harmed before fantasy time. Sounds selfish but these guys are the difference between fantasy glory and the toilet bowl.
As for the hitters, this tournament should only help them to get their timing down and hopefully have them firing on all cylinders when the gun sounds in April. Sure there is the risk of them being injured as well, but the pitching they'll face in the tournament trumps any they would face in spring training so they should have an edge over those hitters who will be facing Johnny Double A Dreamer in the Tangerine League in March. Lets just hope we don't see too many studs go down fighting for their homeland so that the MLB season will be able to benefit from their services as well as us fantasy fiends.
Looking forward to routing for the US team and watching the powerful Dominican Republic lineup face the sick Venezuelan pitchers. My early bets would lean towards the US to pull this thing out as they are a very good all around team, but don't sleep on the Dominicans or Venezuela and who knows what Japan is capable of if they turn out to be a team full of talent in the likes of Godzilla and Ichiro. Should be an exciting time for fans and yet another excuse to go to the bar to watch sports with your buddies, so throw in a lipper, kick back and enjoy.

On a side note, look for much more baseball notes and fantasy analysis coming your way over the next few weeks as we get closer to the tournament and the 2006 fantasy season. Dr. X will also be providing his pre-season rankings and drafting tips during this time so be sure to come back for more. YUH!

-X

Sunday, February 12, 2006

World Baseball Classic Preview

While the rest of the world fawns over ice dancing, women's ice hockey, the biathlon, and other winter sports no one cares about, rest assured that Dr. C. Bass is getting ready for the start of the fantasy baseball season.

Several fantasy freaks have complained about a dearth of free fantasy baseball information on the web and the good doctor has answered the call. I'm currently compiling my position-by-position rankings which I'll soon unveil, one position at a time. In the meantime, whet your hardball appetite with a Major League - style preview of the World Baseball Classic.

POOL A

1. Korea - The Koreans feature more MLB players and prospects than any other team in their pool. That said, I'll let the movie dialogue do the analysis for me:

Board Member 1: I've never heard of half of these guys and the ones I do know are way past their prime.

Charlie Donovan: Most of these guys never had a prime.

Board Member 2: This guy here is dead.

Rachel Phelps: Cross him off then.

2. Japan - Iiiiiiiiichiiiiiirooooooooh!!!!!!!!! The presence of the long-established Japanese leagues have inspired millions of young children in the land of Nippon over the years. Many have played Major League Baseball. Many more will, too.

3. Chinese Taipei - All those Little League World Series wins are bound to pay dividends someday. Taka Tanaka (see photo above) may not play for them, but at least Chien-Ming Wang does.

4. China - "Who are these f*cking guys?"

POOL B

1. United States - The prohibitive favorite in this field of four. What are the chances of the Americans drowning in this pool? About as good as Pedro Cerrano vs. the curve ball. By the way, good to see Pedro getting lots of work these days as President David Palmer on the hit TV show 24 and the pitchman for Allstate (Are You In Good Hands?)...

2. Mexico - Esteban Loiaza and the underrated Oliver Perez are respectable starters, and the bullpen is fairly deep. The offense features loads of young talent led by middle infielder Jorge Cantu, but I don't see anyone on this team capable of vaulting this team over the Americans...certainly not the animated corpse of Vinny Castilla.

3. Canada - Feature the best name of any player in the field: Stubby Clapp. Aside from that, this team boasts Jason Bay and Justin Morneau as leaders of a fairly respectable team...but do they have the starting pitching to let a solid bullpen do its thing?

Eddie Harris: Crisco...Bardol...Vagisil. Any one of them will give you another two to three inches drop on your curve ball. Of course if the umps are watching me real close I'll rub a little jalapeƱo up my nose, get it runnin', and if I need to load the ball up I just...wipe my nose.

4. South Africa - Hey guys, thanks for showing up. Better luck next decade. They should've signed Ernie Els...at least he can hit the longball.

POOL C

1. Cuba - The best players no one's ever heard of...and if talent doesn't get them to Round 2, a huge scouting advantage will. Thanks for all you do, Fidel...we hear it's not easy being a tyrranical despot.

2. Puerto Rico - When you have to decide between Javy Lopez or Ivan Rodriguez as your catcher, you know your team's going to be good. The Puerto Ricans can pitch...a combination of Javier Vazquez-to-JC Romero-to-Fernando Cabrera can shut down anyone...and the offense is star-studded with the likes of Carlos Delgado, Felipe Lopez, Carlos Beltran, et al. This team is a shoe-in to make Round 2.

3. Panama - Carlos Lee (the OF, not the C) is a good player, but he can't carry the load all by himself.

4. Netherlands - "These guys are shitty."

POOL D

1. Dominican Republic - Look at this team's roster. Ridiculous. Thankfully for the Americans, A-Rod turned his back on his countrymen and will don the Team USA uniform.

2. Venezuela - Another Round 2 sure thing thanks to presence of stars like Bobby Abreu, Melvin Mora, Magglio Ordonez, Miguel Cabrera, and Johan Santana, to name a few. This team's chances are as good as any.

3. Italy - This team is led by Mike Piazza and a bunch of scrappy, half-decent Italian-American major leaguers who just aren't good enough to play for Team USA. There just isn't enough here to get this team to the next round.

4. Australia - Can this team score a run? Better yet, will they get on base?

"Harry Doyle: That's all we got, one goddamn hit?

Colorman: You can't say goddamn on the air.

Harry Doyle: Don't worry, nobody is listening anyway."

PLAY BALL!!!

-Dr. C. Bass

The Go Daddy.com Chick Exposed!!......




Remember the Superbowl commercial with the hot chick whose straps on her top snapped off and just when you thought you'd see her big 'ole boobies you were denied because of PG TV........well here at FSD.com, we have no ratings so here's what the rest looks like.....Boo YA!