What's on the Menu - Week 14: A Masterson Delight?
email@example.com - 6/26/2008
The "What's on the Menu" column is geared to give Head to Head owners advice on making the right moves when setting their lineups for the upcoming scoring period. Every week, "Uncle Charlie" provides you with the players who will become the fantasy studs for your team. I will also include my thoughts on players who are not worth adding and the column will end with a bold prediction for the upcoming week.
Week 14 includes a lot of baseball, with only 10 teams (Atl, Min, Phi, Pit, SD, Cle, TB, TX, Tor, LAA) having six games and the rest having a full seven game week. We are just about at the midway point in the season and it is beginning to become a make or break time for our fantasy teams. Fantasy owners need to ensure they are making all the right moves to push for a playoff spot in the second half. If you are an unlucky owner who invested relatively high draft picks on hurt players and are stuck waiting around for production from guys like: Albert Pujols, Victor Martinez, Travis Hafner, or Gary Sheffield you need to make the moves to get some wins before your sluggers come back. Have no fear; "Uncle Charlie" is here.
The Soup of the Day -- I feel this player might be worth a "taste" for the upcoming week.
Justin Masterson - SP, Boston
Masterson seemed destined for the minors until Bartolo Colon went on the disabled list with a strained lower back. Now Masterson is the beneficiary of Colon's top heavy body as he will see two starts in week 14. The "Papi-Less" Red Sox's are playing well right now and Masterson has great numbers thus far in his rookie campaign. If you couple Masterson's strike out potential (6.86 K/9), 3.43 E.R.A. and 1.19 WHIP with the scorching Sox's you get a recipe for at least one win, double digit strikeouts and a fairly low E.R.A. next week. Masterson is a sinkerball pitcher and can be compared to Derek Lowe when he played in Boston. His ability to get ground ball outs keeps his pitch counts low and keeps the Red Sox's offense in the game. Both starts will be on the road where he is holding opponents to a .190 average and posting high strikeout numbers (10 k's in 11.2 innings). Not to mention his second start will be in New York where he is facing off against the journeyman Sidney Ponson. Masterson can be one Ponson outburst away from a win in Yankee stadium.
The Porterhouse -- I feel this player will provide big power numbers in the upcoming week.
Brad Hawpe - OF, Colorado
Hawpe is 7-for-20 (.350) with two homers, five RBI and nine walks in his last seven games. He has been scorching since coming off of the DL June 6 th , and gets 7 games at home in Week 14. The Rockies have 3 games against the beat up San Diego Padres pitching staff and then they follow that up with 4 games against an inexperienced Marlins staff. Hawpe has pleased those owners who stuck with him after a disappointing early season and pushed through his time on the DL. But if an owner in your league gave up on Hawpe pick him up and activate him immediately for Week 14. Hawpe should produce big offensive numbers at home where he has 6 of his 9 home runs this season.
Waiter's Choice -- I feel this player is worth the gamble for the upcoming week.
Brandon Morrow - RP, Seattle
Morrow has put up "Vintage Putz" numbers so far this season with an E.R.A. & WHIP below 1.00. His strikeouts are climbing at an alarming rate (13.5 K/9) and with J.J. Putz on the DL, Morrow should handle all of the closing duties. On paper you have to be asking yourself, where is the risk on this player? Well, Morrow suffered from back spasms he claimed were related to the BP that Mariners pitchers had last Wednesday at Safeco Field, leading into the nine-game stretch of Interleague games played in National League ballparks. He sat out the weekend series last week because of the back issues and missed the series opener with the Mets on Monday. Morrow says the back issues are behind him and if his nine pitch outing on Tuesday is any indication that seems to be the case. Activate or pickup the young closer immediately.
Chocolate Cake - I feel that although this player seems tempting, you should stay away.
Mike Aviles, SS, Kansas City
Aviles has been one of the few sparks for the Royals offense this season. They had high hopes for Alex Gordon this year but he can't seem to hit his stride and Billy Butler is now down in the minors, Mike Aviles has been the hidden sparkle in this lineup since taking the starting SS position in early June. Aviles had great numbers throughout his minor league career and always hit for a high average with a low BB: K ratio. But, Aviles is a rookie and if Gordon and Butler are any indication of the youngster fate, he should cool off a bit in the weeks to come. Don't give in to the temptation many fantasy owners are experiencing with Aviles, odds are there will be another player down the road who can contribute to your team with bigger numbers. If you are in need of a SS than Aviles can be a serviceable one but I wouldn't plan the rest of your season with him in that role.
Bold Prediction: Edison Volquez will strike out 25 batters next week between his two starts at home against Pittsburgh and Washington.
Do you disagree with this week's bold prediction? Send me your thoughts before Week 14 begins and if you are right and I' am wrong I will post your prediction at the bottom of next weeks story. Send your predications and any questions you have to firstname.lastname@example.org