Sunday, April 12, 2009

Favorable Matchups - 4/12

Before I start on the matchups, I wanted to address a question that reader Scott Berger asked: "What is the current thinking on Bedard?". I'm glad he asked, because this raises a few interesting points. When I'm down on a talented pitcher coming back from injury, it doesn't take much for me to change my mind. Bedard's eight strikeout, no walk performance definitely impacts my opinion of his effectiveness. I'm not saying I expect him to be dominant like in 2007, but this definitely makes it substantially more likely that he's healthy enough to pitch effectively. Strikeout rate in particular is a VERY sensitive indicator with great predictive ability. If he has two or three more games like that, I'd be sure he's fine. As it is, he's worth getting if cheap in any format, and I'd now consider him in certain situations in daily contests.

For today's matchups, Lincecum is the clear standout on the pitching side. He's already possibly the best pitcher, and he'll be in the best pitcher's park in baseball against a weak offense. Interestingly, his opponent Chris Young is probably one of the best bargains among those looking for a less expensive pitcher in daily contests.

On the hitting side, the White Sox, Rays, Mariners, Phillies, and Rockies are in favorable situations. Unfortunately, there appears to be a threat of rain for the Phillies-Rockies game, so they should be avoided if possible. There's also a threat of rain for the Yankees-Royals game.

The White Sox are at home in a hitters park against a relatively weak pitcher. While Blackburn has good enough control to keep his ERA in check, his low strikeout rate makes his a good target for opposing hitters...especially those prone to strikeout a lot against better pitchers. Sometimes these things aren't symetrical. A wilder pitcher with a better strikeout rate might be a worse choice to have on your team than Blackburn, but also a tougher matchup for opposing hitters.

The Rays and Mariners both face bad pitchers, although they're both on the road and in the Mariners' case in a tough ballpark, so their hitters may not present as good an opportunity.


Anonymous said...

do u think it is better strategy right now to hold Downs and K Gregg (as my only 2 closers) or to ditch them and closers altogether right now and grab K davies and another upside sp?


Anonymous said...

Marmol was warming up before Soriano hit the home run, so don't take this as a sign that Gregg has been replaced out of hand. I think Gregg will get the next shot, as Lou is more inclined to use Marmol as a fireman in the 7th / 8th innings than save him for the 9th.

As for Downs, Ryan has to be near the end of his leash. If you weren't willing to hold him for a week (in which the established closer has faltered every step of the way), then why did you draft him?

I like both of those guys long term, but you may need a more established closer short term to keep you from getting blown out in that category.

Scott Berger said...

Thank you for the Bedard answer. I am weak on starting pitching an was considering trading Francisco Cordero for Bedard. I feel you can ALWAYS pick up saves cheap during the year on the waiver wire or via trade with somebody who is doing well in the SAVES category.

Another pitcher I have questions about is Fausto Carmona. Trying to comeback from a BAD year and had a GREAT spring, but looked poor in his 1st outing. Thoughts?

For what it's worth, my two sleepers for the year were Nelson Cruz, OF, Texas and Kendry Morales, 1B/OF for the Angels. If you can still get them cheap, good luck.

Alex said...

G is right - Gregg make get a few more shots at closing, despite the fact that Marmol is clearly the better pitcher.

Davies hasn't ever shown that he's a decent pitcher. All he's got on his side is youth.

Carmona isn't worth anything unless his control improves.

Cruz is terrific, and Morales not bad either - I like both.