Floppy, Floppy, Floppy Llama: Second Half Letdown (Pau Gasol’s XXX Name)

NOM NOM NOM

Since there is no accurate yang to the ying that is Adam Laroche’s second half yang-ing (the Alex Gonzalez All-Stars doesn’t have the same ring), I have taken the opportunity to make fun of Pau ” no-I-did-not-forget-the-‘L’ ” Gasol, who I could only like less if he were a Yankee.

But seriously, folks, enough tomfoolery.  There is fantasy BASEBALL to be discussed.  Coupled with the studs going forward in the second half, there are the unfortunate duds.  As I articulated in our post about guys to pick up (like, say Aramis Ramirez, who homered THREE TIMES LAST NIGHT!!!), no matter the statistics, no matter the human element of the game, baseball is a long season and therefore a game of averages.  This is also true for that guy on your team tearing it up right now, even though you were skeptical in May.  If a guy is a .200 career hitter and he’s hitting .300, you better believe those stats are going to be somewhere in the middle at season’s end.  With a newfound statistical friend in FANGRAPHS, I present to you some guys headed for various levels of downturn, to look out for, to sell high.  Without further pomp and a significan lack of circumstance, I present to you the Alex Gonzalez All-Stars (still doesn’t do it for me):

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Brett Gardner

Brett Gardner is the 50th ranked player in Yahoo leagues.  As in, ‘Brett Gardner is a top 50 fantasy player.’  If you said this to begin the fantasy season, congratulations, the men in the white coats are here to help you.  I do not mean this as a knock against Gardner, I swear.  He is the type of gritty, hard-working player I want on my team (think the anti-J.D. Drew).  However, he is not a top 50 fantasy player.  Gardner clearly has made an adjustment to the pitching in the majors and kudos to him for doing so.  He has proven he is a major league hitter.  He is also very, very fast.  Both of these positives are turning, though.  He still has issues with lefties (.258 average) and is batting .208 in July.  Pitchers learn too.  Of more concern fantasy-wise, Gardner’s steals (his most useful contribution) have consistently tailed off month to month (10,8,6,2 this month).  Gardner boasts a .351 BABIP,  far exceeding what anyone would expect from him and hits a TON  of  ground balls (51% of the time).  You can see all these stats on the aforementioned Fangraphs.  All of these factors, and the fact that he is not used to being such an everyday player, leads me to believe Gardner is bound to tail off this second half.  I’m not boisterous enough to say he won’t be a top 100 player to end the season, but I certainly can’t see him being a top-50 player going forward.

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Adam Dunn

Disclaimer: I would still and always do want Adam Dunn on my fantasy team.

Adam Dunn is hitting .283.  Read that again.  If you follow baseball, this should seem off.  Adam Dunn is an excellent player, but batting over .265 is generally unheard of.  Looking deeper, you can see that Dunn’s raised average is largely due to his staggering .363 BABIP.  This is a great number, but not Adam Dunn.  He generally is  closer to the .280-.300 BABIP range (career .279), meaning his average is bound to see a drop off soon.  Forget the peripherals and just think for a minute.  Adam Dunn has been in the league for a while.  So when I tell you that in 10 seasons, his 162 game average is as follows: .252 BA, 40 homers and 98 RBIs.  Look at his stats.  He more often than not arrives at these numbers for a season.  My point is, Adam Dunn is what he is.  Dunn will hit 40 homers and drive in 100. He will walk 100 times (ish) and strikeout about 100-200 times.  But he will likely not hit above .280.  A cold streak is in order.  And if you have the opportunity to trade him for superior value (as in, some less aware fantasy owner thinks he will be getting a .285 hitter), do it.  Adam Dunn’s stats will regress to the mean, to get all mathematical on ya’ll.  I by no means am advocating getting rid of Dunn, just highlighting an opportunity.

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Josh Hamilton

It’s tough to write up a ‘he’s-going-to-fall-off’ piece on a guy when he’s hitting .400 for a month and a half, but that’s exactly the point.  Josh Hamilton is not, I repeat NOT, going to continue to hit .400 on a month to month basis.  First, due to past history.  Look at his 2008 season. As I said with Gardner, pitchers make adjustments and guys get tired.  Even if Hamilton is a good hitter, something we can all agree on, we still don’t expect him to hit .400, or even .380.  He’s a power hitter, he’s good hitting around .300!

Which leads me to that nifty stat, BABIP.  Hamilton trails only Austin Jackson (a fantasy ticking time bomb) in  BABIP, with an average of .397 currently.  That is high for anyone. Hamilton should be closer to .300, meaning these statistics should correct themselves one way or another.  He is the definition of a trade-high candidate, as the stats and history all point to a drop off from his absurd production right now.

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Corey Hart

whoops, wrong guy.

Having been thrice scorned, I must remind you, Corey Hart is still Corey Hart.  Even if he’s not that Corey Hart.  He streaks more than a drunken exhibitionist.

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Jaime Garcia

No matter how many times you call him ‘Jamie,’ Garcia has been extremely effective for the Cards…. somehow.  He has a 2.27 ERA.  This is an undeniable stat.  Only relievers can truly fool you with their effectiveness via ERAs.  The man isn’t allowing a lot of runs.  But let us look at some other numbers.  Garcia has a 1.301 WHIP.  This is mediocre at best.  Going deeper, you will find he has allowed a .301 BABIP.  SO HOW IS GARCIA KEPT MEN FROM SCORING?  Well he has a good K/9 rate despite not having dominant stuff (7.3 K/9) and plays in the National League.  In my town the pre-little league league is called ‘the National League.’  I’ll leave it at that.  Garcia also benefits from being a newcomer.  In today’s game, so many players are students of video, they’re like walking encyclopedia’s of guys’ stuff.  So when a control pitcher comes up, they often experience immediate success as the hitters in both leagues adjust to them.  The learning curve seems poised to smack Garcia right in the head.

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Phil Hughes

Hughes has recieved an AVERAGE of 8.07 runs scored per 9 innings in his starts.  That is a full run better than the next guy on the list.  That is a lot of runs.  Look at his splits, he has gotten worse every month.  He has a 46% fly ball rate and pitches in a banbox called Newyankee Stadium (right?  that’s what they’re calling it?).  Seriously, it’s approximately 285 feet down the right field line (give or take…).  Hughes is a young guy and a new starter, he looks as though he is getting tired-and fast.  Last night he got shelled by the Angels, continuing his spiral towards a DL stint with something like ‘shoulder fatigue.’  Or maybe he can sneeze and hurt himself too, like Mat Latos.  Hughes is slipping and will likely need to rest soon.  He can still be a valuable asset, but for the time being he scares the crap out of me, fantasy-wise.

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Tim Hudson

Tim Hudson has been great this year.  He’s also getting older.  Hudson has a crazy .232 BABIP against him this year.  He also has pitched to an insane 66.7% ground ball rate.  Look over his career stats and you see that the ground ball rate is slightly elevated from his normal averages, but fairly consistent.  The BABIP is out of control, though. His career BABIP is .286 and in more recent years, it has hovered around .300.  Some statistical correction is due and that never bodes well for older guys.  Hudson is one of my favorite players, but a drop off is coming.

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Ubaldo Jimenez

OK, OK, calm down.  I’m not saying he’s going to be bad (though his last starts haven’t been ‘good’  by any means.).  I am merely saying that he is leaving a lot of men on base (80% strand rate), and I don’t think he’s going to post a sub-2 ERA in the second half.  Relax.  But he is an excellent sell-high candidate going foward, especially as the fantasy trade deadline comes nearer.

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So there you have it, guys I did some reading up on.  I was right, oh so right, about my pal Aramis, so hopefully I’ll catch lightening in a bottle twice with one of these fellas.  Until next time, enjoy this outstanding throw by Melky Cabrera

-w

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2 Comments

Filed under Cajones, Fantasy Baseball, MLB, Opinion, Posted, Random Thoughts

2 responses to “Floppy, Floppy, Floppy Llama: Second Half Letdown (Pau Gasol’s XXX Name)

  1. BuRGER

    this was terrible you were wrong about all these guys and none of them are on my fantasy team lol.

  2. Anonymous

    Burger…..these are for 2nd half duds. Can you read? lololololololol. dumbass.

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