Tagged: Mapes Fantasy Special

The Mapes Fantasy Special

I figured it’s time to bring it over to the blog: The Mapes Fantasy Special.  It’s for fantasy baseball players in daily leagues that are looking for a starting pitcher to pick up that is widely available.  The standard for me is the pitcher must be available in at least 50% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues.  It all started with Orioles “ace” Jason Hammel (49% owned) picking up a quality start against the Twins with 6 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, and getting a win.  Nothing too great, but you’ll take the WHIP and a win any day.

And then good things started to happen.

Milone’s line: 7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, Win

He settled down after giving up two early runs and was great. I love Milone and a lot of the Athletics when they pitch at home.

Guthrie’s line: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, Win

This was my pick of the week; he was available in 99% of leagues! Guthrie has since been bumped up to 13% owned in Yahoo! leagues, but his dominance over the White Sox continues. He’s going to be a future pick I’m sure, especially when facing Chicago.

Straily’s line: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 11 K, Win

I like Straily and his make-up. It’s why he was my American League Rookie of the Year pick. He sadly got sent down to the minors after this start due to Oakland’s current six-man rotation, but man, was he fantastic blowing away Astros hitters. I’m in the court of starting any pretty good pitcher against Houston this year.

Colon’s line: 6 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, Win

Do I feel bad picking on Astros again? Yep. Do I feel good picking a 97% available pitcher for a win and quality start? Yep.

This is where I started realizing things are going quite well, but there weren’t a lot of options for Sunday and went with a guy who was facing off against the American League Cy Young winner.

Masterson’s line: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 8 K, Win

Sometimes the Rays offense is non-existent and Sunday was one of those days. Masterson was the best pitching surprise of week one, going 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA and 13 K in 13 IP. Even more impressive, he picked up wins while squaring off against each of last year’s Cy Young winners.

For Monday, I’m going with a pitcher I feel won’t be under the 50% threshold for much longer in Paul Maholm. The Marlins offense is pretty weak and Marlins Park is a pitcher’s park.

The final lines on Mapes Fantasy Special for the week. 38.2 IP, 27 H, 11 ER, 6 BB, 36 K, 6-0 W-L, 6 Quality starts, with 2.56 ERA, 0.85 WHIP. Not bad at all for guys available in at least half of leagues. Hopefully I can keep it going for all of 2013.

Follow me on Twitter for a daily Mapes Fantasy Special to (hopefully) help out your teams!

-Bryan Mapes

#MapesFantasySpecial for September 20th

Wei-Yin Chen gave us his 2nd consecutive successful #MapesFantasySpecial last night, despite not getting a win.  Mets Matt Harvey had his start pushed back due to rain, so we’ll see how that plays out tonight.  I’m not sure he can get a win against Cole Hamels, but hopefully the peripherals and strikeouts will be there.  Here’s what I like for Thursday, September 20th that’s available in more than half of Yahoo! fantasy leagues.

Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie was featured on this week’s podcast as a 3UP player and I really like him at home against the White Sox.  Guthrie shut down the White Sox just a week and a half ago, tossing eight shutout innings.  Even more impressive, Guthrie has had three starts against the White Sox since coming to Kansas City, would you like to guess how many runs he’s given up in 23.2 innings?  That’s right, zero!  I’ll trust him one more time to get solid numbers, he’s owned in just 15% of fantasy leagues.

If You’re Desperate: Cardinals Jaime Garcia (49% owned) takes on the Astros in a solid matchup, but has been so terribly up and down since returning from injury he might no be worth the chance.  Brewers rookie Michael Fiers (45% owned) had 10 strikeouts, last time he faced the Pirates, but has a 5.40 ERA in two starts against Pittsburgh this year.  A’s Tommy Milone (44% owned) hasn’t been good on the road this season and takes on Detroit at Comerica.  No thanks.  Nationals Ross Detwiler (35% owned) has been good this season and could help your WHIP, but don’t expect a ton of strikeouts.  If you need strikeouts and can afford the ERA/WHIP hit, Francisco Liriano (35% owned) could get you some strikeouts, but got lit up last time out against KC.  Lastly, Giants Barry Zito (21% owned) got beat up by Colorado last time at home, 4ER over 5.1 IP, but is 6-2 in his career with a 2.59 ERA and 1.09 WHIP against the Rockies.  The Rockies do have trouble scoring runs on the road, except against Andrew Cashner of course.

If You’re Desperate Rankings: Fiers, Zito, Detwiler, Garcia, Liriano, Milone

-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)

#MapesFantasySpecial For September 19th

The choices for the #MapesFantasySpecial are pretty slim on Wednesday, but I think there are a couple options that could help your fantasy team.

We featured his Brewers teammate Wily Peralta on this week’s podcast, but Marco Estrada has been just as great as Milwaukee has made a push for the playoffs. Estrada has given up just 1ER or less in four of his last five starts, with three of them giving up no earned runs at all. Estrada takes on a Pirates squad that he gave up just one earned run in seven innings with 10 strikeouts just three starts ago. If he puts up even slightly worse numbers, it’s a worthy pick-up that’s available in 73% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues.

If You’re Desperate: Rays rookie Chris Archer has great strikeout potential (28K in 22.1IP) if you need a boost there. If you’re worried about the match-up against Boston, in Archer’s last start he shut down Texas over 7 innings with 11 strikeouts. Archer is owned in just 5% of leagues. Reds Mike Leake (10% owned) has good numbers in his career against the Cubs, but gave up 3ER in six innings last time he pitched at Wrigley. Orioles Joe Saunders (12% owned) has a juicy match-up at the Mariners and has settled down since getting roughed up in his first start with Baltimore. Unfortunately, he’s going up against King Felix, so don’t go in expecting a win. John Lannan (4% owned) was great in his 1st start back in place of Stephen Strasburg tossing 5.2 shutout innings. The Dodgers lineup still hasn’t been great and Lannan is 4-1 in his career against Los Angeles. Don’t expect to get many strikeouts though.

If You’re Desperate Rankings: Archer, Saunders, Leake, Lannan

Good luck in your fantasy leagues!

9/18 4 PM Update: Mets pitcher Matt Harvey was scratched from his start Tuesday night and will start Wednesday 9/19 instead. I like him more than any of these.

-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)

#MapesFantasySpecial For September 18th

Well we hit a bump in the road after Kyle Kendrick, Andrew Cashner, and Dan Straily evened out the greatness that had been the Mapes Fantasy Special.  Naturally, the secondary picks of Francisco Liriano, Tommy Milone, Jeremy Guthrie, and Mike Minor were the ones I should have gone with.  Hopefully you find yourself in the next round of the playoffs.  Here’s what I like for Tuesday, September 18th.

I’m going with Mets rookie Matt Harvey making his last start of the season at home against the Phillies.  The 39% owned righty was solid pitching at Philadelphia on August 29th going 6.1 IP and giving up just two earned runs.  I think Harvey will want to leave a lasting impression on Mets fans as they head to the offseason.  Harvey’s strikeout potential (63 in 52.1 IP) is tremendous if you’re looking for a push in that category.  Plus, you’ve got to like him pitching in Citi Field where he has a 2.12 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in 17 innings.

We’re double dipping today for Mapes Fantasy Special with one of our favorites Baltimore’s Wei-Yin Chen.  Chen provided great numbers for us last week (7.1 IP, 8H, 2ER, 1BB, 7K) against the Rays.  He now gets to pitch in possibly the best pitchers park in Seattle.  Last time he faced the Mariners at Safeco, Chen just dropped a pitching line of 7.1 IP, 2H, 2ER, 0BB, and 9K.  That exactly what we’re looking for in a Mapes Fantasy Special and what Orioles are looking for in their playoff push.  Chen is owned in just 45% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues.

If You’re Desperate: Yankees veteran Andy Pettitte returns from a broken fibula after three months to take on the Blue Jays.  He’s a big game pitcher, but not a risk I think I’m willing to take, Pettitte is owned in 22% of leagues.  Athletics rookie A.J. Griffin (46% owned) has been an absolute stud since getting called up, but I’m not sure I’m willing to trust him on the road against the Tigers team that has the 3rd best OPS against righties in MLB.  Padres Eric Stults (18% owned) has a matchup at Chase Field against the D’Backs, which is usually scary, but Stults threw 7 scoreless at Arizona just four starts ago.  Braves Paul Maholm (44% owned) has been Jeckyll & Hyde lately alternating good and horrible starts.  He’s due for a good start this time (if you believe that sort of thing) at the Marlins who he held to one earned over eight innings last time he faced them.  Reds Homer Bailey (34% owned) has three straight starts of 2ER or less, but faces a Cubs team who he gave up nine hits and four earned runs last time he pitched in the Windy City.

If You’re Desperate Rankings: Maholm, Griffin, Stults, Pettitte, Bailey

Good luck in your fantasy leagues!

-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)

#MapesFantasySpecial For September 16th

Down to the wire time! You’re looking for anything that can help you win on Sunday in the playoffs. Here’s what could help out your pitching staff on Sunday, September 15th.

Here’s a pitcher that is available in 94% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues. A’s rookie Dan Straily has been very good in three of his four starts since getting called up. He also has great strikeout potential if you’re facing an uphill climb in that category. I also like that this was Jason Hammel’s rotation spot for Baltimore and Hammel unfortunately got hurt. This means the Orioles will have to go with a spot starter or someone on short rest on the road. Advantage: Athletics.

If You’re Desperate: Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco (31% owned) has given up just one earned run over his last three starts with two shutouts against the 1st place Nationals. He gets another 1st place team in the Reds at home. If you’re truly desperate you can do worse than Nolasco’s upside. Twins rookie Scott Diamond (38% owned) has been pretty great at home this season with a 3.13 ERA and 1.14 WHIP, but he has limited strikeout potential. Diamond faces the White Sox, who tagged him for four earned runs in 5 innings, just ten days ago in Chicago. I like him to be better in the confines of Target Field. Braves Mike Minor (44% owned) has bounced back after a disastrous start to the season. Minor hasn’t given up a earned run in his last two starts, with 15 strikeouts in 12.2 IP. He gets the Nationals and 19-game winner Gio Gonzalez, so if you’re looking for a W, it might be better to look elsewhere. Padres rookie Andrew Werner (7% owned) has been amazing for San Diego giving up two earned runs or less and six innings or more in all four of his career starts. You have to like the combo of Petco and the Rockies. He also has provided strikeouts with 23 in 24.1 innings this season for San Diego.

Good luck in your fantasy leagues!

-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)

#MapesFantasySpecial For September 15th

It’s Saturday, only two days left that can make or break your week and advance you into the next round of your fantasy playoffs.  If you’re losing it’s desperation time.  You have to do whatever it takes to get over the hump.  Here’s who I like for Saturday that’s owned less that 50% of leagues.

There hasn’t been a hotter team right now than the Philies and they partly have Kyle Kendrick to thank for that.  The 40% owned starter has a 5-1 record with a 1.49 ERA and 0.80 WHIP over his last six starts.  He was even our 3UP player on the podcast this week.  This start may be on the road, but the Astros are the worst team in the league, just ask former #MapesFantasySpecial Travis Wood.  Kendrick is a must pick-up if you need pitching help.

If You’re Desperate: A’s Jarrod Parker (40% owned) has been solid this season, especially at home with a 2.48 ERA and 1.17 WHIP.  However, Parker got tagged for 6 earned runs in five innings last time he faced the Orioles.  Parker faces Zach Britton (26% owned) who was brilliant before getting rocked by the Yankees in his last start.  Britton, like Parker, got rocked in his previous start against his opponent, giving up 6ER in 5.2 IP last time against the Athletics.  Yankees Ivan Nova (also 40% owned) returns for New York at home and has a quality start all three times he has faced Tampa Bay this year.  You’re playing with fire with a player that’s returning from injury.  14% owned Jeremy Guthrie of the Royals has a 4-0 record and 1.70 ERA over his last seven starts and has 2ER or less in 6 of the 7 starts.  Guthrie takes on the Angels at home, not exactly a team you want to face if you’re hunting for wins.

Good luck in your fantasy leagues!

-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)

#MapesFantasySpecial For September 14th

Mapes Fantasy Special’s have been doing quite well since making a comeback on the blog to help you out in your fantasy playoffs.  Travis Wood, Clayton Richard, and Wei-Yin Chen have combined for three quality starts, with a 2-0 record, 1.63 ERA, 0.82 WHIP and 18 strikeouts in 22 innings.  Hope you were able to grab all three.  Let’s see what’s in a bag of tricks for Friday.

Looks like I pulled out Padres flamethrower Andrew Cashner!  Cashner returned from injury to give up 2ER in 5 innings against the Diamondbacks and now gets a last-place Rockies team at Petco.  The Rockies are 28th in MLB in road OPS this season and have had their troubles away from hitter-friendly Coors Field.  Cashner also provides some great strikeout potential with 50K in 41.2 IP this season.  Cashner is owned in just 14% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues.

There are some other good options for a spot start tomorrow that are available in 50% or more of Yahoo! fantasy leagues.  Athletics Tommy Milone (44% owned) is home against the Orioles who as I type just walked-off against the Rays in the 14th inning and have to travel all the way across the country.  Milone has a 2.77 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP at home this season.  You can use him before the Athletics hit the road against some tough competition.

White Sox Francisco Liriano looks intriguing against his old team, the Twins, at Target Field.  The 33% owned pitcher gave up 2 runs in 6 innings with 8 strikeouts the first time he faced his former team on the road.  If you can afford the WHIP hit and need strikeouts, he may be worth the risk.  Be warned though that the Twins are the 2nd hardest to strikeout in the Majors this year.

If you’re looking for ERA/WHIP help I’d go Milone.  If you’re looking for strikeouts, I’d go Liriano.  However, I think it’s Andrew Cashner that will get the best mix of everything on Friday and is available in the most leagues.  Good luck in your fantasy playoffs!

-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)

#MapesFantasySpecial For September 13th

3U3D brought back the Mapes Fantasy Special with Travis Wood yesterday, plus a side of Clayton Richard. We’re still waiting to see the results, but here’s my pick for Thursday, September 13th.

Orioles “ace” Wei-Yin Chen has been their most reliable pitcher the entire season. The Rays are a great team pitching-wise, but still have their hitting woes. Chen threw 7 shutout innings against Tampa on August 4th and has a 3.72 ERA and 1.14 WHIP against the Rays in 19.1 innings this season. Chen will be completely focused and looking to bounce back after a distastrous start against the Yankees. Chen is owned in just 43% of Yahoo! leagues.

He doesn’t qualify for the Mapes Fantasy Special because he’s now over 50% owned, but if Brett Anderson (62% owned) is still available, go grab him! Now!

-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)

#MapesFantasySpecial For September 12th

It’s playoff time for fantasy baseball head-to-head leagues.  Not a better time to try and give a daily recommedation to try and help you out down the stretch!  We’re looking for pitchers that are available in more than half of leagues.  Here’s my pick for Wednesday, September 12th.

Cubs pitcher Travis Wood is just 7% owned in Yahoo! fantasy leagues.  Wood has had a quality start in 3 of his last 4 starts and only missed the 4th by 1/3 of an inning.  He takes on the Astros who he has dominated in his career with a 2.09 ERA and 0.98 WHIP over 43 innings.  Wood threw 7.2 shutout innings last time he faced Houston on July 1st.  I also think Clayton Richard at home in Petco against the Cardinals could be serviceable if you’re looking to use up some innings.  Richard is owned in 28% of leagues and has a 2.76 ERA and 1.07 WHIP at home this year.  Good luck!

-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)

Weekend Watch! Interleague Style Part Two!

It’s time for another round of interleague play!  These match-ups aren’t as exotic as the last “Weekend Watch” with interleague play involved, but it doesn’t mean that cross-divisional series aren’t as fun.  Here’s what I’m looking forward to watching this weekend as I sneak the MLB At-Bat app on while tailgating at the Belmont Stakes.

6) Indians at Cardinals

Battle of the two 2nd place teams in the Central where both are trying to get back to the 1st place perch they had just recently.  The injury bug continues to hit St. Louis as Jaime Garcia finds himself joining teammates Jon Jay, Skip Schumaker, and Lance Berkman on the disabled list.  The Indians, on the other hand, seem to be the least talked about “good” team in the Majors.  They keep plugging away without doing anything too special, they sit 8th in the AL in batting average and a dismal 2nd to last in ERA, but there they are at 30-26, just a game out of 1st place.  Jason Kipnis has been great for Cleveland in his sophomore season leading the team in home runs (9) and stolen bases (14).

2D) Blue Jays and Braves

This is a series as a Braves fan that I wish I could go down to Turner Field and attend in person.  Friday night, the Braves are retiring the great John Smoltz’s number (more on that in a blog tomorrow) and on Saturday is the greatest promotion the team has ever done, Sid Bream Slide Bobblehead Day!  Seriously, this thing is awesome and are already being offered on eBay from $55-75.  Both the Jays and Braves are playing in tightly contested races in their East divisions.  As I type this the AL East is separated by just four games.  The NL East is only a game and a half difference between 1st place and 4th place.  Every team in those two divsions is .500 or better except for the Phillies, who saw that coming?   No wonder why FOUR East interleague series make the “Weekend Watch” this week.

2C) Nationals at Red Sox

1st place vs. last place gets 3rd place here, that’s the average.  Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez have been wunderkinds in the National League, but how will they do on the road against a quality offense in Boston.  Gonzalez’s track record against the Sox while he was in Oakland was not very good as he has a 5.79 ERA over 28 innings in his career.  Red Sox Kevin Youkilis also feasts on Gonzalez pitching going 6 for 11 in his career.  I’m also intrigued to see Daisuke Matsuzaka’s return on Saturday to the Red Sox after recovering from Tommy John surgery.  If he can give Boston anything after they had to send down Daniel Bard to AAA it’d be a great plus.

2B) Mets at Yankees

The Subway Series means something!  The Yankees have been on fire winning 10 of their last 13 games going into Thursday night’s game with the Rays.  The Mets are still reveling in the teams first no-hitter by Johan Santana last Friday night and he’ll start the opener against Huroki Kuroda.  The no-hitter has been an extra spring in the step of Mets fans.  I live in Connecticut, where you get a mixture of Yankees, Mets, and Red Sox fans.  I’ve seen more Mets hats and jerseys in the past week than I had the entire season before Santana’s no-no.  Wonder if some will actually try to infiltrate the Bronx this weekend.  Derek Jeter thrives against his cross-town rivals hitting .385, the best batting average he has against any team he has 40 at-bats against.

2A) Rays at Marlins

The Battle for Florida means something!  I don’t expect a lot of runs this weekend between these two as the pitching matchups are pretty solid and Marlins Park has played towards the pitcher so far.  I really want to see if Matt Moore can continue his recent success as he has a 2.55 ERA over his last three starts compared to a 7.20 ERA his three starts before that.  Maybe he can still salvage my AL Rookie of the Year pick.  Mike Trout you say?  Yeah, I’m doomed.  James Shields vs. Anibal Sanchez on Sunday is an underrated pitchers special.

1) Rangers at Giants

Can’t be yelled at for East Coast bias if I put the Rangers and Giants in the top spot!  Despite Tim Lincecum’s worst efforts the Giants are the hottest team in the National League winning 8 of their last 10 games.  The Rangers have only won one game in each series against the Mariners, Angels, and Athletics coming into this series.  Roy Oswalt can’t get up to the Majors fast enough it seems as Derek Holland now joins Neftali Feliz on the DL from the rotation.  Alexi Ogando will come out of the bullpen to make the start in place of Holland.  Even better is that this could be a potential World Series match-up down the road.

Mapes Fantasy Special

Another great week for the Mapes Fantasy Special.  I’m now 10-2 since moving the Mapes Fantasy Special over to the Weekend Watch.  I’ll slow clap for myself.  Here are this weeks picks, remember these pitchers must be available in 50% or more of Yahoo! fantasy baseball leagues.

6/8 Gavin Floyd (32% owned) vs. Astros, Floyd has been absolutely terrible lately, but if he can’t do it at home against the Astros I have no hope for him.  I wish I could just quit you Gavin.

6/9 Scott Diamond (22% owned) vs. Cubs, Diamond has been a find in the rough for the Twins, sorry I couldn’t resist, he’s been stellar going 4-1 with a 1.89 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP.  Even better are his 4 walks in 38.2 innings this season.  Diamond faces the Cubs who have drawn the 4th least walks in the Majors this season, bodes well for him if they put in in play at Target Field.

6/10 Andy Pettitte (49% owned) vs. Mets, I have no explanation for what Pettitte is doing right now, so I’m just gonna enjoy the ride before he gets over 50% owned.

What are you looking forward to this weekend?  Who do you like in fantasy?  Tweet me using #MapesFantasySpecial

-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)