Never Too Early To Start Next Year’s Draft Prep

by Moonlight Graham

The top ten in my draft this season were Pujols, Hanley, ARod, Mauer, Utley, Braun, Miguel Cabrera, Howard, Longoria and Lincecum.  I know it’s early, but how many of these are still in next year’s first round and who replaces the guys that drop?  Artie DiSori -  Wallin, PA

Hey, Artie.  Looks like your fantasy baseball draft was standard, shotgun format last season. However, it’ll bear little resemblance to next year’s I’m afraid, especially with the emergence of a few young superstars.  If I was to sit at a draft table today, I’d still expect Pujols to top the list.  What follows may surprise some, but it’s how Moonlight’s first draft list will look.  Votto, Hanley, Cabrera, Cano, Braun, CarGO, Longoria, Tulo and King Felix.  Don’t get me wrong; I still love guys like Mauer and Lincecum but prefer to populate my Top Ten with young studs on the rise. Continue reading »

by Moonlight Graham

You know you’ve had a good run as a Fantasy Baseball League when you’ve been around to see the entire career of a Hall of Famer like Ken Griffey Jr. Long the property of the Monroe Pearls of the Hausier’s Krowedum Rotisserie League, Griffey was one of the reasons the league decided to no longer retain players from year to year. “I’d like a shot at Junior”, was a common refrain, “why should Fat Cat get to keep him forever?” Griffey, a first-ballot Cooperstown entrant regardless of the injuries that plagued the latter part of his career, was one of the game’s greats; certainly one of Fantasy Baseball’s greatest, and, now that he’s decided to retire,  will be missed. However, he was not the only giant lost to the Fantasy Baseball world as Forte Bellino, long-time owner of the U.B.40′s, U.B. Jews and charter member of the HK Roto League as well as its first champion, passed away suddenly at the sinfully young age of fifty eight.  A high school teacher, administrator and coach, Fortunato left behind legions of family, students, colleagues and waiters (his favorites)  that he filed under the one category that mattered to him most: friend. Continue reading »

by Moonlight Graham

In the Hausier’s Krowedum Fantasy Baseball League, as well as many Dynasty, or Keeper, leagues across the country, Minor Leaguers can play an important role.  Drafting and holding on to prospects that are close to making contributions on the Major League level is a great way to supplement your Fantasy Baseball roster and increase your chances for a championship. If you don’t draft Minor Leaguers, it’s still worth a look, as some are good enough to warrant selection in a regular Fantasy Baseball Draft. What follows is a list of Moonlight’s Top Ten prospects for 2010; players who have yet to play in the majors ranked as much for their chances to see significant time in the big leagues this year as for their talent.  Good luck. Just twenty one days ’til pitchers and catchers! Continue reading »

Fantasy Baseball Clock Strikes Midnight
If you’re reading this with anything more than a passing interest, it’s because you’re still alive in your Fantasy Baseball fieldwithballmoonLeague and need that little extra over the last four days to give you an edge and secure a title. Throw out the scouting reports, the tendencies and projections; you need players that can help you today.  To that end, we’ve tweaked the format a little for our final Forecast in hopes that it’ll help raise that flag.   Good luck.

Streaking- Your biggest concern here is making sure you have players that will actually be in the lineup.  As insane as it might sound to waive/bench Alex Rodriguez for Minnesota’s Matt Tolbert, it makes sense when you realize that ARod will probably rest this weekend while Tolbert and the Twins desperately strive for the post season.  Other teams that will still be playing for something are the Braves, Rockies, Cardinals, Phillies and Dodgers.  St. Louis and Philadelphia are battling for the second seed in the NL while the Braves and rockies contend for the Wild Card.  Even Los Angeles has a vested interest this weekend as they’re head to head matchup with Colorado will determine the Wild Card.  Make no mistake, Joe Torre’s boys absolutely care about that as they look to avoid seeing the Cards’ deep rotation in the first round.  You’ll also want to use players approaching milestones as well as rookies being auditioned by bad teams; Washington’s Mike Morse for example.  One other piece of advice:  Pick up as many free agents from the Twins and Tigers as you can.  If they finish in a tie, their one game playoff is a regular season game and the stats count.  Right now it looks like Nate Robertson and Carl Pavano would be the starters.

Stalling- Veteran players and starting pitchers on the Angels, Red Sox and Yankees will likely be no help to you this weekend as they will be rested by managers fine-tuning their lineups for the post season.  You’ll get a game from each, probably, but that won’t do you any good if you need a few R or RBI.  You’ll also want to rid yourself of young pitchers whose teams are looking to limit their IP.  No matter what’s listed, the possibility exists they won’t go.  Stay on top of that.  Continue, also, to keep away from veterans like Miguel Tejada who are losing playing time while the organization auditions rookies at their positions.

It’s always sad to see the season come to an end.  Congratulations to the winners and good luck to those less fortunate as they prepare their rosters for a big 2010.  We’ll be back next week with a playoff preview and follow that up with out Fantasy Awards.

By Moonlight Graham

It’s been a disappointing Major League season for those fans that enjoy September pennant races fieldwithballmoonas each division seems to be locked up and only the NL Wild Card spot is still being contested.  We might see one more divisional race if the Twins can sweep the Tigers this weekend but, with their pitching, it’s not likely.  For baseball purists, the final month has been a letdown.

The absence of close races will have a bearing on Fantasy Baseball owners also, as they’ll be forced to keep an eye on star players that are vital to their Fantasy Baseball teams being rested as their MLB team preps for the post season.  So, if you’re looking to pick up an important point or two in the W or ERA categories, be aware that C.C. Sabathia or Chris Carpenter might be passed over in order to get a little more rest before the playoffs.  Likewise, dependable veterans on teams out of the mix; guys like Paul Konerko and Miguel Tejada, to name two, may find a seat on the bench as their teams audition younger players.  The bottom line is, if you’re lucky enough to still be in the running for your league title, it is more important to keep an eye on the box scores now than at any other point in the season.

Streaking

Arizona’s Juan Gutierrez is making a case to be the D’Backs’ 2010 closer with 4 S and 1 W in September… Tommy Hanson has a 0.45 ERA over three September starts for Atlanta… Kansas City’s Robinson Tejeda is 2-0 over three starts with 18 K.  When did you ever think he’d be a piece of your puzzle?… Seattle’s Ryan Rowland-Smith has gone 7 IP in each of his last four starts while posting a 2.61 ERA…

Stalling

Houston’s Miguel Tejada will see his playing time decrease as the Astros audition Tommy Manzelli at SS… Chad Billingsley’s most recent turn in the rotation was skipped as he has struggled over the last month… Despite extended rest, Milwaukee’s Yovani Gallardo was ripped in his last start and could be shut down for the rest of the year… Even though his last outing was a strong one, Chris Tillman may be shut down by the Orioles as they try to limit his IP… Cleveland’s Fausto Carmona is 1-5, 5.48 in his last nine starts… Jorge Posada will miss the weekend after being suspended for his ridiculous display during the Yankees- Blue Jays game on Wednesday… A.J. Burnett continues to struggle, going 1-4, 6.75 over his last six starts.  It’s been awhile since any of his teammates hit him with a pie… Take the 5-0 record given you by Pedro Martinez and run.  In his last start, the fragile Martinez threw 130 pitches, the most he’s thrown since 2002.  That followed a 119 pitch game in his previous outing.  You can’t expect him to hold up under the strain…

Sick Bay

Washington C Jesus Flores is done for the year after shoulder surgery… Justin Morneau will be out for the year with a stress fracture in his back… Kevin Youkilis has missed three straight with back spasms and could be out through the weekend… Detroit’s Jarrod Washburn is out with a bad knee… Yankees’ starter Andy Pettitte will miss a turn due to shoulder fatigue… Texas OF Josh Hamilton may miss the rest of the year with back issues…

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