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Reds’ rookie Jay Bruce had quite the major league debut for himself. Bruce went 3-3 with two walks and a stolen base. The same thing applies to Bruce that I said about Kershaw the other day. There’s not much more to say about Bruce. If he is available, go get him right away, he should have a major fantasy impact in 2008.

I have been avoiding writing about Eric Hinske because I don’t believe this production is for real. Hinske has been bouncing around the league for about ten years now, and as I have said before, guys just don’t all of a sudden figure it out at age 30. Hinske’s career high in homers in a season is 24, and that was in his rookie season. Hinske hasn’t topped 15 since. It is a safe assumption he will do that this season (he already has 10), but I don’t believe he will set a new career high.

Reds’ pitcher Johnny Cueto had a pretty decent start on Tuesday, as he went five innings, allowed two earned runs and struck out four. Not bad, and this is three straight starts where he hasn’t allowed more than three runs. Cueto certainly has taken a big step back from all the hype that surrounded him in the beginning of the year, but he still can be an effective starter.

Aaron Laffey continues to be a very effective pitcher for the Indians, but you would never know it by his 3-3 record. Laffey allowed just one earned run on Tuesday, and although he didn’t record a strikeout, he still pitched well enough to earn his third run of the year. Continue to add Laffey in leagues where he is still available.

With the injuries to Brad Hawpe and Matt Holliday, Seth Smith has been given the chance to play the last few days, and although he has generally played well over the time that he has been on the field, I can’t recommend picking him up except for the most rare cases. I would only pick him up if he was an injury replacement for one of his teammates, and the league had at least 12 teams in it.

Twins starter Nick Blackburn pitched well right into the ninth inning, but Joe Nathan could hold the lead for him. Blackburn allowed just one run in 8.1 innings and struck out four, but was denied the win. Even though he has been pretty good the last few times out, I would still try to find better options than Blackburn.

Since his call up in place of Rich Hill, Cubs’ starter Sean Gallagher has been rotating good starts with bad starts. Tuesday was a time for a good start. Gallagher allowed just one run over seven innings and struck out three. Except in the most desperate of situations, I would look for better options if I were looking to add a player.

Given the injury to Travis Hafner, it is looking like former top prospect Andy Marte will get another chance to prove his value for the next week or so. Once a white-hot prospect, Marte is now just a marginal player at best and isn’t worth a spot on your fantasy roster. However, this guy had a ton of hype, and if he gets a chance to play, keep an eye on him for the future.

Injury News

Gary Sheffield has been placed on the 15 day DL with a left oblique strain. Sheff was barely batting over .210 before this injury and really shouldn’t have been on many fantasy teams. Give him a couple of weeks to see if he heals, although oblique injuries typically last closer to four weeks than two.

Pedro Martinez has been slated to start the June 3rd game against the San Francisco Giants. Pedro has been on the DL all season long with a hamstring injury, but barring any setbacks it looks like he is close to returning. Martinez will have a favorable matchup against the light hitting Giants, so he could have a successful return but I wouldn’t trust him in the long term.

Yankees rookie pitcher Ian Kennedy left his start on Monday after four innings with a strained muscle in his rib cage. Kennedy was having his usual ineffective start as he had allowed three runs in three innings before he left. I don’t see any reason to have him on your roster at this point, but wanted to report this injury.

Diamondbacks outfielder Eric Byrnes was placed on the disabled list with sore hamstrings that have been bothering him since Spring Training. His fantasy owners are hoping and praying that this was the cause for his ineffective play all season, as Byrnes was batting under .220 with just six homers and four steals. Hopefully when he is able to return, he will be able to pick up where he left off last season.

Indians DH Travis Hafner missed his second consecutive start on Tuesday with a sore shoulder, and he could be heading to the DL. Hafner won’t be playing on Wednesday and the Indians are off Thursday, so it is looking like Pronk will miss most of the week. If he doesn’t show some improvement soon, they will place him on the disabled list.

As always, your questions (adds, drops, trades) and comments are welcome at I guarantee a response within 18 hours. Don’t forget to check me out at on Tuesdays under In The News. Also go to to find me in the Gurus Blog.

We’re Moving

Posted: May 28, 2008 in Uncategorized

We can now be found at The new site will have all the same archives, all the same great articles and insight and hopefully some added organization and features. Head on over to the new site and don’t forget to bookmark us or add us to your feed, for all your fantasy info. If you have any comments or suggestions about the new site, please send them to

Two days after the best pitching prospect gets the call to the majors, the best hitting prospect will be hitting Cincinnati on Tuesday. Jay Bruce will be joining the Reds in time for their game on Tuesday. What else do I need to say? Bruce was hitting .363 with ten homers and eight steals for the Reds AAA affiliate. He is a must own in all formats and could have a big time fantasy impact for the rest of the season. Look for him to replace Corey Patterson in the Reds’ outfield.

Garrett Olson continues to pitch impressively for the Orioles. Olson had his best start as a pro on Monday, as he shut out the Yankees over seven innings with seven strikeouts. For a guy with a 4-1 record, his ERA is still a little high at 4.04, but a lot of that came from one really bad game. I can’t say that I feel comfortable counting on Olson every time out, but right now he is hot, so start him while you can.

One of my favorite players may be taking the first step towards turning around his season. In Baltimore, Nick Markakis went 3-4 on Sunday with his ninth home run. Nick also got off to a pretty bad start last season and went on to have a pretty good year. Now is the time to try to acquire him, while his average is still below .250. Expect another great second half from Markakis.

Darrell Rasner gave the Yankees another great start, but this time the offense didn’t show up for them. Rasner allowed just one run over six innings and struck out three. Incredibly, through four starts, Rasner has an ERA under 2.00. Is he for real? The jury is still out on that one. If you look at his past statistics, there have been some pretty impressive parts to his career, but he obviously can’t keep THIS up. However, he is on a pretty potent offensive team, so he could give you a decent number of wins.

For all of the complaining about the Mets team, and in particular Jose Reyes, there is one thing to remember about the Mets’ shortstop…..he has a world of talent. Reyes hit two homers on Monday, bringing his season total to six. For all the negative press the Mets and Reyes have been getting, perhaps he may be available at a slight discount. Check that out, as Reyes is a top 5-10 player.

Bartolo Colon is making the most of his comeback attempt with the Red Sox. Colon took his second win in two starts, giving up just one run in seven innings. If Colon can regain some of the magic that made him a former Cy Young Award Winner he could be a viable fantasy player, he does pitch for the best team in baseball.

Although he had his fourth consecutive great start on Monday, allow me to present three reasons why I am not sold on Nationals pitcher Jason Bergmann. First, although he was good in the minors, he wasn’t great, which leads me to think that he can’t keep this up. Two, he was sent to the minors in April because he simply couldn’t get anyone out. Finally, he plays for the Nats, there’s only a slight ray of hope for a win each time he takes the mound.

As always, your questions (adds, drops, trades) and comments are welcome at I guarantee a response within 18 hours. Don’t forget to check me out at on Tuesdays under In The News. Also go to to find me in the Gurus Blog.

Today, the big time prospect did not disappoint. Clayton Kershaw was as good as advertised on Sunday as he had his way with many of the St. Louis Cardinals. Kershaw went six innings, allowed two runs and struck out seven. There’s not too much else to say, if you were debating on using your waiver priority on him, this should seal the deal. Pick him up in all formats.

It finally looks like Justin Verlander has figured it out again. Verlander threw seven innings of one run baseball and struck out three. Control was still a bit of a problem as he walked four batters, but this is SO much better than the outings he was having in April. Verlander was still a victim of poor run support as the Tigers scored just one run and the bullpen lost the game, but it is a big step in the right direction. Hopefully you bought low on Verlander a couple weeks ago, the opportunity might still be there, but the price tag must have gone up some by now.

Just when you think Danny Cabrera has turned the corner, he goes out and puts up a stinker like he did on Sunday. Cabrera was up to his old tricks again, as he gave up four runs and walked six in just 5.2 innings. I believe that this will be what you get more often than not, and can’t recommend adding him to your roster at any time.

Jon Lester had his first start since his no-hitter and……not so good. You obviously don’t expect him to throw another no-hitter, but it was not even close. Lester gave up three runs over five innings and took the loss. He is still a decent pitcher that belongs towards the back end of your rotation so don’t drop him after this subpar outing, but you can’t expect the kind of brilliance that he showed last week either.

J.J. Putz owners, are you worried? Should you be? Putz was always a so-so reliever before given the opportunity to close when he suddenly became Superman. After a few years of dominance, Putz has struggled mightily in 2008. Is it the result of a nagging injury? It could be. Is it that he has just lost it? That could also be. Putz blew his third save in eight attempts, and his ERA is at 4.50. Some closers just lose it one day and never get it back (Brad Lidge, Eric Gagne, etc.). Is this what is happening with Putz? Too soon to tell, but if I owned him I would be shaking in my boots.

Dustin McGowan was a big disappointment on Sunday. After two consecutive starters threw complete games, McGowan was only able to go seven innings and allow one run. The Blue Jays just simply can’t have this! But seriously, McGowan was great today and struck out seven hitters and raised his record to 3-4, while lowering his ERA under 4.00. After the successful end of the season in 2007, I expect McGowan to continue this type of success and approach 15 wins this year, even after a bad start.

Micah Owings continued his great start to the season with his sixth win of the season. Owings allowed just two earned runs over six innings against the Braves, and although his strikeouts weren’t as high as other starts, he still got the job done. He was probably upset that he took an 0-fer at the plate, as Micah is possibly the best hitting pitcher in baseball. I don’t expect him to win 18 games or anything, but I believe he will be an effective pitcher all season long and win 13 to 15 games.

One of the better surprises of the first two months of the season is Rockies pitcher Aaron Cook. He actually might be the only thing that is going right in Colorado. Cook shut down the Mets today, as he went the distance, allowing just one run. Looking back at his career, Cook has been a .500 pitcher at best. As I have said many times before, guys don’t usually just become stars at 29 years old. Cook is a great sell high candidate, if you own him, shop him heavily this week.

Although the Diamondbacks are still doing very well, a huge disappointment has been Eric Byrnes. After averaging 23 HRs and 35 SBs for the past two season, Byrnes hit just his fifth on Sunday (a grand slam at least), has only four steals, and his average is around .220. Byrnes is one of my favorite players for the way he plays the game, and I believe he will improve from this horrendous start. Don’t give up too much, but I would try to buy low on a guy who can give you some power and steal a bunch of bases.

Baltimore rookie Adam Jones is making small strides towards proving he was worth acquiring in the deal that sent Erik Bedard to Seattle. After an atrocious start to the year, Jones is starting to drive in a few more runs, and has his average above .250. This is not a ringing endorsement to go grab Jones now, but certainly keep your eye on his progress, he has a load of speed/power talent. Plus, (and I am required to write this) he has the funniest picture in history on his Yahoo profile.

Jason Kubel has long been one of the top hitting prospects for the Twins, but he was never able to stay healthy. So far in 2008 he has been on the field on most days, and he is showing signs of that potential. Kubel hit a grand slam on Sunday, and brought his RBI total to a respectable 25. His average (.255) is still lower than he would like, but it is looking like the injury issues are behind him, and he is someone to watch in the second half.

Rangers 2B/leadoff hitter Ian Kinsler is again off to a great start. Kinsler hit his sixth homer of the year and drove in his 28th run, and his average is near .300. Kinsler is close to being a top 5 option at second, and if he can stay on the field he has a real chance of cracking that top 5. Kinsler has never played more than 130 games however, but when he is in there, he puts up great stats at a weak position.

White Sox OF Carlos Quentin hit two homers Sunday night to reclaim the sole lead in the AL home run race. You might expect me to tell you to sell him high, but that will not be the case. As a Diamondback prospect, Quentin always flashed 30 HR potential. Now past his shoulder injury it is looking like Carlos will be living up to that potential, as he bombed out his 14th of the season, a game winner off of John Lackey.

As always, your questions (adds, drops, trades) and comments are welcome at I guarantee a response within 18 hours. Don’t forget to check me out at on Tuesdays under In The News. Also go to to find me in the Gurus Blog.

I would like to start out tonight by welcoming the NEW (and second) member of the Fighting Chance Fantasy Sports Team.  Andy Houle will bring a number of things to the table.  One, he is a great fantasy player.  He has been playing in leagues with me for about eight years now, and has been my stiffest competition.  His opinions and knowledge are very respectable.  He made his blogging debut today with the article “Need Some Saves?”  Take a look at it, and give him a welcome and some feedback.  Not only will he bring fantasy knowledge, but also brings a good deal of web design as well.  There will be some great changes to the Fighting Chance site in the coming days/weeks, so we are all looking forward to that.  Organization and beautification have been long overdue.

The “next big thing” is arriving on Sunday! The Dodgers have called up phenom pitcher Clayton Kershaw to start the final game of the series against the Cardinals. A few things need to be said. First, he may be on an innings limit for the season. Many teams put a maximum on the number of innings they want their young pitchers to throw. Two, he is going to get bombed from time to time. Almost all young pitchers have rough patches and are prone to big innings. Finally, as soon as he is available in your league, go get him. Use your waiver priority, as he could have the biggest fantasy impact of any young player.

The “next big thing” in the hitting category isn’t disappointing. Ok, so we would like to see Evan Longoria hitting for a better average and striking out less, but after a two homer, six ribbie game, Longoria has seven homers and 26 RBI in 39 games. Not to mention that two of those homers are game winners. If he’s still available, I would grab him if you have the available roster spot.

Cliff Lee collected his eighth win of the year tonight against the Texas Rangers, although he wasn’t incredibly sharp. He did allow just two runs over 6.2 innings, but he also walked four. The walks didn’t cost him since they went with eight strikeouts. Lee’s ERA still sits at 1.50, but I am still urging you to sell high on Lee while his value is still very high.

The strong pitching of the Toronto Blue Jays continued on Saturday, as it continues to be what is keeping them hanging around in the standings. A day after Roy Halladay went the distance, Jesse Litsch did him one better. Not only did Litsch throw a complete game, but his was a shutout to boot. Litsch isn’t a fireballing strikeout machine, but at 6-1 is a great option at the bottom of your rotation, and possibly a very valuable trade chip.

We warned yesterday that Robinson Cano could be breaking out of his funk. Apparently Seattle pitching is just what the doctor ordered. Cano went 4-4 on Saturday, doubling three times and driving in another run. If you are planning on making a move to trade for Cano, do it quickly before the Yankee 2B gets any hotter.

Randy Johnson did something on Saturday that he hadn’t done in just over a year, reach double digits in strikeouts. Unfortunately for the Unit, the Diamondbacks didn’t provide him with any run support, and his masterful outing was for nothing. Johnson lasted six innings, allowed just the one run and fanned 10. He left trailing by a run, and although the D-Backs quickly tied the game, they would lose it on the walkoff homer by Jeff Francoeur. Continue to play Johnson while he is pitching well, but be ready to have a back up plan for when the Unit goes back on the DL, which is almost inevitable.

As much as I would like to endorse picking up a guy who isn’t named Boof Bonser, he is just not pitching in a way that makes picking him up possible. Boof lasted just three innings and gave up eight runs, raising his ERA to over 6.00.

Royals rookie Luke Hochevar just seems to pitch on the wrong day. His last outing he opposed Jon Lester in his no-hitter, and then Saturday his opponent was Jesse Litsch who threw a shutout. In fact in Hochevar’s seven starts the Royals have only scored ten runs. Luke’s ERA is over 4.50 so you can’t just blame no run support for his 3-4 record, but it isn’t helping him either. Chances are there is someone better on the waiver wire than Hochevar at this point.

Although his average is still really low at least Carlos Delgado is starting to hit for some more power than he did last season. Delgado hit only 24 homers all last season, but on Memorial Day Weekend he is already up to eight. His stock has fallen to an all time low for Delgado, but if you have an injury, you could do worse than Delgado. At least he should hit for some power for you.

A sleeper going forward is Cleveland’s Ben Francisco. After a fairly successful call up in 2007, Francisco followed that up with a great 2008 Spring before being sent back down to the minors to start the season. Francisco is making the most of his second opportunity, as he is hitting .365 and driven in 11 runs in just 19 games. I don’t know how long he will be playing everyday, but he is certainly worth keeping an eye on for the next couple of days to see if this hot hitting continues.

The Tigers dropped 19 runs on the Twins on Saturday, with the attack led by Magglio Ordonez. Maggs hit his eighth and ninth homers today, and has pretty much picked up where he left off in 2007. I wouldn’t recommend trying to trade for Ordonez, but if you own him, he should put up great stats again in 2008.

A sleeper going into the season who has disappointed greatly is Washington’s Lastings Milledge. I expected him to hit for a good average with 20/20 capabilities. Well, he’s got a shot at the 20 steals, but Milledge hit just his second home run on Saturday, making 20 HRs a long shot. In a year-to-year league, it may be time to cut ties with Lastings if he doesn’t turn it around in the next couple of days. Keeper league players, you have to exercise more patience with a guy under 25 with this kind of potential.

Injury News

Matt Holliday suffered a slightly strained hamstring and left Saturday’s game. It isn’t believed to be a serious injury, but he may miss a game or two. Holliday will be re-evaluated on Sunday, so stay tuned for further details.

Not only was Holliday injured but the Rockies put two other starters on the disabled list. Clint Barmes has a sprained knee and Brad Hawpe has a sore right hammy. Neither injury is considered serious, but if you own these players you will have to be looking for a short term replacement. More important than these injuries was the news that prospect Ian Stewart was recalled when Barmes was DL’d. Stewart has a chance to play some third, some first, or some outfield. Saturday Garrett Atkins missed the game and Stewart filled in for him. Ian was having an incredible year at AAA this season, so if you are a Hawpe or Barmes owner I would go right after Stewart. Given the chance to play, he could have an impact.

A day after leaving his last start, Indians’ starter Fausto Carmona was placed on the DL due to his hip injury. Carmona had an MRI to determine the extent of the injury, but the results are not yet known. Stash him in your injury spot for now.

As always, your questions (adds, drops, trades) and comments are welcome at I guarantee a response within 18 hours. Don’t forget to check me out at on Tuesdays under In The News. Also go to to find me in the Gurus Blog.

No Brainers

Cole Hamels, PHI—5/25 vs. HOU (Sampson), 5/31 vs. FLA (Hendrickson)

C.C. Sabathia, CLE—5/25 vs TEX (Mathis), 5/31 vs. KC (Tomko)

Brandon Webb, ARI—5/26 vs. ATL (Jurrjens), 5/31 vs. WAS (Bergmann)

Ben Sheets, MIL—5/25 vs. WAS (Bergmann), 5/31 vs. HOU (Sampson)

Gotta Play ‘Em

John Maine, NYM—5/25 vs. COL (De La Rosa), 5/30 vs. LAD (Billingsley)

Chien-Ming Wang, NYY—5/25 vs. SEA (Silva), 5/31 vs. MIN (Perkins)

Javier Vasquez, CWS—5/26 vs. CLE (Byrd), 5/31 vs. TB (Kazmir)

James Shields, TB—5/25 vs. BAL (Cabrera), 5/30 vs. CWS (Contreras)

Scott Kazmir, TB—5/25 vs. TEX (Ponson), 5/31 vs. CWS (Vasquez)

Justin Verlander, DET—5/25 vs. MIN (Perkins), 5/30 vs. SEA (Silva)

John Lackey, LAA—5/25 vs. CWS (Contreras), 5/31 vs. TOR (Marcum)

Ted Lilly, CHC—5/25 vs. PIT (Maholm), 5/30 vs. COL (De La Rosa)

Micah Owings, ARI—5/25 vs. ATL (Glavine), 5/20 vs. WAS (Redding)

Chad Billingsley, LAD—5/25 vs. STL (Wellemeyer), 5/30 vs. NYM (Maine)

Jon “No Hitter” Lester, BOS—5/25 vs. OAK (Blanton), 5/30 vs. BAL (Trachsel)

Jair Jurrjens, ATL—5/26 vs. ARI (Webb), 5/31 vs. CIN (Belisle)

Dustin McGowan, TOR—5/25 vs. KC (Meche), 5/30 vs. LAA (Weaver)

Daniel Cabrera, BAL—5/25 vs. TB (Shields), 5/31 vs. BOS (Colon)

Worthwhile For Two Starts

Shaun Marcum, TOR—5/26 vs. KC (Tomko), 5/31 vs. LAA (Lackey)

Ryan Dempster, CHC—5/26 vs. LAD (Kuroda), 5/31 vs. COL (Cook)

Todd Wellemeyer, STL—5/25 vs. LAD (Billingsley), 5/31 vs. PIT (Maholm)

Joe Blanton, OAK—5/25 vs. BOS (Lester), 5/31 vs. TEX (Mathis)

Aaron Cook, COL—5/26 vs. PHI (Moyer), 5/31 vs. CHC (Dempster)

Greg Maddux, SD—5/25 vs. CIN (Belisle), 5/31 vs. SF (Misch)

Bartolo Colon, BOS—5/26 vs. SEA (Washburn), 5/31 vs. BAL (Cabrera)

Mark Hendrickson, FLA—5/25 vs. SF (Misch), 5/31 vs. PHI (Hamels)

Tom Glavine, ATL—5/25 vs. ARI (Owings), 5/30 vs. CIN (Arroyo)

Hiroki Kuroda, LAD—5/26 vs. CHC (Dempster), 5/31 vs. NYM (Pelfrey)

Getting Desperate

Jose Contreras, CWS—5/25 vs. LAA (Lackey), 5/30 vs. TB (Shields)

Tim Redding, WAS—5/25 vs. MIL (Parra), 5/30 vs. ARI (Owings)

Gil Meche, KC—5/25 vs. TOR (McGowan), 5/30 vs. CLE (Lee)

Carlos Silva, SEA—5/25 vs. NYY (Wang), 5/31 vs. DET (Verlander)

Manny Parra, MIL—5/25 vs WAS (Redding), 5/30 vs. HOU (Moehler)

Mike Pelfrey, NYM—5/26 vs. FLA (Nolasco), 5/31 vs. LAD (Kuroda)

Jason Bergmann, WAS—5/26 vs. MIL (Sheets), 5/31 vs. ARI (Webb)

Paul Maholm, PIT—5/25 vs. CHC (Lilly), 5/31 vs. STL (Wellemeyer)

Glen Perkins, MIN—5/25 vs. DET (Verlander), 5/31 vs. NYY (Wang)

Matt Belisle, CIN—5/25 vs. SD (Maddux), 5/31 vs. ATL (Jurrjens)

Patrick Misch, SF—5/25 vs. FLA (Hendrickson), 5/31 vs. SD (Maddux)

Brett Tomko, KC—5/26 vs. TOR (Marcum), 5/31 vs. CLE (Sabathia)

Chris Sampson, HOU—5/25 vs. PHI (Hamels), 5/31 vs. MIL (Sheets)

Doug Mathis, TEX—5/25 vs. CLE (Sabathia), 5/31 vs. OAK (Blanton)

Jorge De La Rosa, COL—5/25 vs. NYM (Maine), 5/30 vs. CHC (Lilly)