Ive made what may seem like some brash statements over the past couple of months about certain players. I might have said âsellâ when you thought you should âbuy,â and I’m sure I’ve also done the opposite at times as well. Today I’m going to review some of those âcallsâ and we’ll get a chance to see how I’ve done so far.
Early Season Trends that Won’t Continue.
In this oldie but good, the season was about three weeks old. I made a series of predictions in the piece, and other than the obvious one (Matt Kemp isn’t hitting .474), I think I’ve done pretty well here.
I said… Jaime Garcia will not improve upon his impressive 2.70 ERA from last season.
Garcia has done pretty well to this point indeed, but his 3.18 ERA is elevated from where it was last season. Just as an aside, it could go a bit higher before all is said and done.
I said… Jonny Gomes won’t make the All-Star team.
Not only will he not make the mid summers classic, he’s not even playing every day for his own club. Even with a recent âhot streakâ he’s still hitting only .209 on the year while his OBP has plummeted to .332. Now who could have predicted that, I wonder…
I said… Sam Fuld will not have a better season then Carl Crawford.
Seems crazy obvious doesn’t it? Back when the piece was written, it wasn’t to most the people I was hearing from. At the time I wrote the original piece Fuld was destroying Crawford across the board. However, since then, things have, predictably, totally reversed themselves.
I said… Jeff Francoeur has not figured out how to hit.
Over his last 40 games Frenchie is hitting .238 with an OBP under .285. On the year he is batting .257 with a .311 OBP, numbers that make all the sense in the world when you look at his career levels of .268 and .310.
The Sky is Falling
I said… Ben Zobrist has been awful but that he was the perfect buy low candidate.
How many of you listened? According to CBS Sportsline Zobrist is currently the fifth most valuable second base option in the game and it’s not hard to tell why when he is on pace to go .260-21-85-100-16 on the season.
I said… Jorge Posada was not someone you should count on.
Despite his hot start, and great work of late, Posada is hitting .226 with 15 runs scored on the season. He’s not even been a solid option as a #2 catcher in standard sized mixed leagues.
I said… that while Matt Joyce had looked great that he was âone lucky guy… Be careful not to overestimate the hot start of Joyce.â
This article was written on May 9th. Here are Joyce’s numbers since May 10th:
.287 with eight homers and 22 RBI in 31 games.
The power numbers have been strong, just like I said they would be, but his batting average has really fallen. While you might be saying to yourself ‘.287 is still really good,’ remember, Joyce was hitting .351 when this piece was written. In addition to seeing his season long mark dip to .316, Joyce has been flat out dreadful in June hitting .128 with one home in 47 at-bats.
Time to Panic?
I said… You can ride Lohse while he is hot, but if you were a cagey fantasy performer youâd peddle him off before the inevitable slide begins.
Consider the slide underway.
On April 22nd when this article was writing Lohse had a 2.17 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. While his season long marks now are still terrific at 2.88 and 1.04, they are clearly a notch below expectations based on his hot start. Of bigger concern is the fact that Lohse has looked horrible in his last three starts with a 6.48 ERA and 1.62 WHIP. There’s a long way to go before this book is finished, but Lohse’s recent work is just as actually closer to his career long numbers as his early season work. Check the numbers.
April 1-22: 2.17 ERA, 0.92 WHIP
June 1-17: 6.48 ERA, 1.62 WHIP
Career: 4.68 ERA, 1.41 WHIP
April 1-22: ERA was 2.51 off career, WHIP was 0.49 off
June 1- 17: ERA is 1.80 off career, WHIP is 0.21 off
Keep that in mind when you think about Lohse.
I said… that you shouldn’t panic with Pedro Alvarez.
Oops. I deserve a Golden Sombrero on that one.
I said… not to panic with Daniel Hudson.
At the time Hudson was 0-4 with a 5.92 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. Everyone was panicking because of his horrible record an unsightly ERA, but as I suggested in the piece, there was plenty of reason to still be bullish on Hudson. Looks like I nailed that one too.
Over his last 10 starts Hudson has gone 7-1 with a 3.06 ERA, a 1.28 WHIP an a phenomenal 5.00 K/BB ratio.
Now you might be saying that I’m cheery picking here, and to a certain extent you would be right. However, I hope the point is becoming clear. I’m not always right, no one is, but I would put my track record up against anyone on issues such as this.
How did I know that all of this would happen? To be fair, no one can âknow.â The game is often about probabilities, and knowing where to look. When judging a pitcher for example, ERA and a win loss record, the first place that may people look, is a horrible way to understand how a pitcher is actually performing. For batters, batting average can often be completely misleading.
The fact of the matter is that, even with over a hundred years of data to draw on, not to mention the actual details of any players career, no one is always right. I’ve said over an over that Jose Bautista can’t keep this up. To this point I look like an idiot on that one since his OPS is 1.163. I’ve said over and over that Alexi Ogando will not be able to keep this up. Somehow he is 7-1 with a 2.71 ERA and 0.96 WHIP.
In the end there are always, an I mean always, players that fall outside the norm, conventional wisdom, and logical statistical analysis. All any of us can do is try to ferret out the frauds, and hopefully I’ll be able to do that more times than not to help your fantasy squad to raise the trophy at years end.
Ray Flowers can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio on The Fantasy Drive, 5-8 PM Eastern, on Sirius 210 and XM 87. Ray’s baseball analysis can be found at BaseballGuys.com and his minute to minute musings can be located at the BaseballGuys’ Twitter account.
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