Join SI.com's James Quintong in a discussion of some of the latest news in football, baseball and other sports and how it relates to fantasy teams and leagues.
7/12/2007 01:43:00 PM
As most fantasy owners and baseball fans already know, Johan Santana is an absolute beast in the second half. As long as you get a halfway decent start from Santana before the All-Star break (and this year definitely counts), there's a good chance he can help you pull away down the stretch.
But just exactly how good is Santana? My colleague David Sabino crunched the numbers, and since Santana became a full-time starter in 2004, he's got a huge lead over the competition in second-half wins, winning percentage, strikeouts, opponents' batting average and ERA.
Here's the breakdown. Also note how good Jake Peavy has been in the second half.
Ichiro was an easy choice for All-Star Game MVP after getting three hits and recording the first inside-the-park homer in All-Star history.
So the All-Star Game has come and gone, but how much did you as a fantasy owner actually care about the Midsummer Classic? My colleague Paul Forrester floated the idea that more fantasy owners would pay more attention to the whole spectacle if those stats counted toward your league totals.
Lucky Ichiro owners would've picked up a rare homer, while Jose Reyes would've helped many teams with his three hits and a steal. On the other hand, J.J. Putz owners are probably glad the stats don't count since his two runs in 2/3 of an inning, considering he'd given up just four in 41 innings before the break. Same could go with Chris Young owners after allowing two runs to get the loss.
An extra homer or steal could make a difference in a season-long league, while those results could be even more useful in weekly head-to-head leagues given the short week. Of course there are plenty of holes in the plan, and I'm sure Albert Pujols owners would've been even more upset by the fact that he never got an at-bat had those stats counted.
Some other notes for the real off-day in baseball, unless you get wrapped up in the minor league All-Star Games taking place tonight:
-- Ichiro had been one of the players actually shining in his contract year, but it looks like he'll stay with Seattle with a reported five-year extension. But while Ichiro is staying with the Mariners, the team appears ready to call up top outfield prospect Adam Jones, who's hitting .309 with 21 homers for Tacoma, and start him in right. According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, that move could move Jose Guillen to left, Raul Ibanez to DH and Jose Vidro to the bench.
-- Speaking of young outfielders, Lastings Milledge appears ready to rejoin the Mets this week after finishing his injury rehab. Milledge is needed to start in left field after Carlos Gomez became the latest outfielder to hit the DL, along with Moises Alou and Endy Chavez. He'll get his share of at-bats for at least a couple of weeks until Alou returns, which is hazy in itself.
-- Another young bat on his way up is Twins prospect Garret Jones, who could see plenty of time at DH with Rondell White injured. He had 11 homers and 58 RBIs for Triple-A Rochester and had a hit in eight at-bats for the Twins earlier this year. Not a great pickup, but when the Twins are trotting out Jason Tyner and Mike Redmond as DHs, you do need help.
Justin Upton got a chance to prove his stuff on a big stage.
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Here are a few notes heading into the All-Star break:
-- Mark Buehrle did indeed sign that extension with the White Sox, so NL-only leaguers hoping to snatch him up near the trade deadline are out of luck. However, there could be plenty of other White Sox players on the move, so there is still hope for an influx of talent come the end of the month.
-- Many keeper league owners were probably glued to yesterday's Futures Game to see the status of their prospects. Highly touted names heading into the season like Justin Upton, Franklin Morales and Joey Votto all shined, while the jury was still out on others like Jacoby Ellsbury and Ian Stewart. Nate Silver has more from Sunday's game.
-- Mark Teixeira is expected to return to the lineup on Friday, giving the Rangers nearly three weeks to showcase him for a potential trade. Brad Wilkerson hit five homers this week in his place, but his value could take a hit, at least until Teixeira gets dealt.
-- Andruw Jones has burned many owners in the first half, but maybe he's on his way to a much better second half as he went 6-for-11 with a homer and five RBIs in San Diego over the weekend. Plus, he added two stolen bases Sunday night.
-- Roger Clemens may finally be finding his game after going eight innings in his last two starts, allowing just one run in each game. Only a great outing from John Lackey on Saturday (one run allowed, 11 strikeouts) prevented Clemens from earning two victories in that stretch. With the Yankees getting the Devil Rays, Blue Jays, Royals and Orioles over the next month, it could be a good time for Clemens and others to improve on their numbers.
-- Don't fret about Homer Bailey being sent down to the minors. The Reds want to keep him on a regular throwing schedule, and the All-Star break obviously wreaks havoc with that. Still, the time down on the farm could help since he had allowed 13 runs, 13 hits and eight walks in his last two starts (5 1/3 innings) before rebounding Saturday with just one run and two hits over five innings against the Diamondbacks.