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Am I crazy? Some people may tell you differently, but I am so confident in this prediction that I am willing to put anything on the line. This is why I made a slap bet with my friend this week (those of you who watch “How I Met Your Mother” will know what I am talking about). The terms are simple: If C.C. Sabathia outperforms Dan Haren in ERA, WHIP and BAA, I win. The winner gets to slap the loser in the face. Read below for my analysis on both players.
With that said, this week’s edition of the Fantasy Radar will focus on the second half of the season. As we all know, every year a certain group of players always performs better or worse in the second half and I will point out the big ones for you to target (or not target) so you can make that final push and win your league!
Dan Haren (SP), Diamondbacks: Haren is going to be my main focus for this section because I want to make sure everyone here’s me loud and clear. Yes, Haren is enjoying an amazing season this year. He has posted a 2.01 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and a .189 opponent’s batting average, which are numbers better fit for a closer’s stat sheet. However, it seems like we say this every year with him. Midway through the season he is a top-three pitcher and then is a top-15 pitcher the rest of the way. Here are his splits from 2006-2008:
382 2/3 IP, 2.85 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, .219 BAA
Post All-Star: 279 IP, 4.42 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, .290 BAA
He still strikes out a lot of batters (8.48 strikeouts per nine) despite the worse numbers elsewhere, so he is not a bad pitcher to own in the second half. However, right now you could probably get a top-notch hitter for him and if that is the case you should sell immediately.
What happened to Gonzalez mashing the ball away from Petco Park? Before this season he had a career .301 batting average on the road, which helped him post reasonably good numbers despite having the offense sucked out of him by his home park. I want to believe that he will turn things around in the second half, but owners have to be worried because Adrian is being walked at an alarming rate (32 BB’s in June) and for good reason. The Padres already rank last in the majors in runs, hits, RBI, batting average (.233 yikes!!), on-base percentage, slugging percentage, AND…you guessed it, on-base plus slugging percentage. Take Gonzalez out of the lineup and you can guess how much worse the numbers get. It’s getting to the point where you just feel sorry for the guy and hope that he gets out of there sooner rather than later.
The team found no ligament damage to Bruce’s wrist so that’s the good news. The bad news is he will be out until September and you will probably have to make the playoffs without his services in order for him to matter on your team. Also, with wrist injuries, players don’t usually just jump right back in and dominate and since Bruce wasn’t really dominating before it might take him a while to find his groove. He is drop worthy if you don’t have a DL spot on your team.
Jose Reyes responded well to recent agility drills during the break and the team is eyeing an early August return as a best case scenario. However, he is still running with pain and gets winded easily. He may not be the same player when he returns since he relies on his legs so much. Hopefully he doesn’t suffer any more setbacks because the Mets need their players back ASAP if they are going to make a run at the playoffs.
Often the forgotten part of the very lopsided Erik Bedard trade, Tillman has been dominating in the minors since his arrival in the Orioles farm system. This season he has 16 starts and has posted a 2.50 ERA with a 1.09 WHIP and 88 strikeouts in 86 2/3 innings. Look for the Orioles to try him out sometime in the second half and he could provide some immediate value if the matchup is right. Man do the Orioles look good for 2011 with pitchers Chris Tillman, Brian Matusz, Brian Bergesen and hitters Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, Matt Wieters and Nolan Reimold!
Tags: Adam LaRoche, Adrian Gonzalez, C.C. Sabathia, Chris Carpenter, Chris Tillman, Corey Hart, Dan Haren, Fantasy, Fantasy Radar, Ichiro Suzuki, Jay Bruce, Jimmy Rollins, Johan Santana, Jose Reyes, Justin Morneau, Mark Teixeira, Matt Cain, Roy Oswalt