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 »

After the Break, Some Fly, Others Flop

by Moonlight Graham

Moonlight regular, Joe Mreczko, posed a question about pitchers that might be able to help his Fantasy Baseball team over the second half of the season.  It’s actually a two-sided question, as any Fantasy Baseball owner should be just as worried about the hurlers to avoid as the ones to target.  So, in order to help Joe work his way past all of the Phillie cheese steaks in his league, here’s a special, Moonlight, second half preview from sixty feet six inches.

Grab Bag

Any list of post All Star Break Studs has to begin with Johan Santana as the Mets’ ace is 64-19 over his career in the second half.  Don’t be fooled by his mundane 8-5 record, either. He’s suffered eight no decisions in which he’s allowed just nine runs.  Use his struggles to your advantage by grabbing him from J-Roller frustrated to this point.

Detroit’s Max Scherzer must have been given a magic elixir upon being sent to the minors a little more than a month ago as he suddenly discovered the velocity that had been missing through the early part of the season.  Since his return, Scherzer is 4-3 while averaging 7 K per start.  His numbers still appear unimpressive because of the slow start so, he may come cheap.

Javier Vasquez has spent half a season seeking the approval of ignorant Yankee fans convinced he didn’t belong in the rotation.  He’s the #2 starter now, (as predicted here in February), but may still be undervalued.  Go out and grab him. Continue reading »

MLB Clubs Undermine Own Chances at Title

by Moonlight Graham

In 2003, in an attempt to regenerate fan interest just a year after a lack of available pitchers forced MLB Commissioner Bud Selig to declare the All Star Game a tie, Baseball’s hierarchy decreed that the Mid-Summer Classic would now determine home field advantage in the World Series. It wasn’t already bad enough that the rosters were watered down by the requirement that each team, no matter how bad, must be represented; now, a player from a second division club could have a hand in deciding the outcome of the sport’s premier event months in advance.

While the move was and is opposed by many, I never really had a problem with it.  Not because I agree with the concept; it’s completely ridiculous to think I’m staying up that late to watch Garrett Jones of the Pittsburgh Pirates face Kansas City Royals’ closer Joakim Soria because I’d like the Mets to have home field if they get that far.  However, because the old system of alternating the privilege was also completely without merit, I figured, “Who cares?”  Until I realized that the new policy actually gives mindless fans the opportunity to hurt their team’s shot at a championship; often at the prompting of it’s own front office. We’ve all been to the ballpark in the early part of the season and heard the huge pitch to vote for the hometown boys.  Actually, you don’t even have to attend a game anymore, as on-line balloting has given everyone a voice.  “Send Joe Blow to Los Angeles for the All Star Game”, blare the ads.  “Forget the stats, vote for our guys!”  On the surface, a nice marketing strategy, but one that could prove fatal to a championship run.  Continue reading »

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

by Moonlight Graham

Once upon a time, before the evolution of the internet, Fantasy Baseball information was hard to come by.  News regarding critical issues such as day-to-day injury situations, rookie callups and even trade rumors were rarely current.  Often, it was necessary to directly call the MLB club in question but, even then, it was as likely as not that you’d reach someone that didn’t already frown on the entire concept of Fantasy Baseball.  Which brings me to the kid in Milwaukee.  I  never got his name so, I couldn’t say if he’s still in baseball but, wherever he is, there’s a former, public relations intern of the Brewers that, probably, still curses ole’ Moonlight at the very mention of Dan Plesac.

Sometime in the early nineties, Plesac, the Brew Crew closer, was nursing a bad elbow while a member of Moonlight’s Master Batters.  After a few absences from the daily box scores and no mention of an injury, I placed my first call to the unsuspecting intern.  Surprisingly, he really didn’t seem all that interested in the fact that a tight Saves race might decide my league.  He was equally unsympathetic when I explained that I couldn’t pick up a replacement unless Plesac was disabled by Milwaukee.

So, I asked, “Hey, what’s up with Plesac?”  “Is he going on the DL?”  “Not to my knowledge”, came the reply and thus started a daily correspondence over the course of the next six days.  Exasperated, he finally admitted to me that Plesac was likely out for awhile but, as rosters were about to expand on September 1st, would not go on the DL.  If he’d have only told me that in the first place, I’d have had another relief pitcher and he; an enjoyable week. Continue reading »

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