Curtis Granderson hit 3 HR on consecutive days. He’s got 20 (!) already – 9 in only 70 AB versus lefties…Troy Tulowitzki strung together four multiple hit games and his batting average has now hopped up to .270. Coors Field is beginning to kick in, and it’ll be great throughout the summer…Brian Roberts languishes on the disabled list. If there ever were a point to say “I told you so,” it would be now…Carlos Gonzalez is 9-14 over his past 3 games, but batting leadoff won’t help his RBI…Whoops! Allen Craig ran into a metal fence on Tuesday, and he’s headed to the DL. He’ll be joining Brett Lawrie, whose hand injury looks to keep him out of games for the next two weeks…Matt Joyce Watch: The Joyster is down to .330, and is a paltry 2-16 in his last week… Adam Dunn just whacked his 7th HR, for those going down with the ship. The rest can continue to laugh…
In previous pieces, we discussed that strategically, value is the key to winning a fantasy league. The key to winning a league is obtaining more useful pieces via tactics we can take en route to victory. The first scheme mentioned, the draft, needs a tiered implementation to succeed. Sleepers late in the draft help gain strong advantages, and the late round picks they cost won’t hurt you. It’s also important not to whiff on the first few picks, the selections where you should be adding the majority of your statistics.
Again, the ship has sailed on the draft for owners. And while I enjoy locating undervalued players available in free agency, another effective and much more satisfactory way to win a league is through smart trading. Very few things beat outsmarting your friend in a deal. This week, we’ll analyze two trades, but before that we should review three basic trading rules. (All Examples are deals asked about in normal 10-12 team leagues.)
1. In most scenarios (non-dumping moves), try to make sure you’re not giving up the best player in a trade. The talent you gain from the second pair of players being swapped likely isn’t worth the downgrade from the first two. (Ex. Andrew McCutchen and Carlos Lee for Carlos Quentin and Todd Helton. Helton is a tier above Lee, but McCutchen is the best player involved and shouldn’t be traded here.) Similarly, don’t trade down in 2-for-1 deals. (Carl Crawford for Adam Jones and Jhouyls Chacin)
2. Know what your league holds near and dear objectively and subjectively. H2H leagues shouldn’t value SB as much roto leagues should, because owners can easily punt it. If your league hoards closers, then bump up top ones like Brian Wilson accordingly.
3. You need your hitting to stay afloat, and pitchers are fickle. There are a bevy of arms that pop up on the scene each year, and too many fine pitchers succumb to arm injuries. Aces that consistently produce and are healthy – it’s a short list – keep value, but hitting retains it better.
Trade #1: 10 Team 5×5 Roto League – Redraft
Team A Gets: OF Andrew McCutchen, OF Drew Stubbs, RP Mark Melancon
Team B Gets: 1B Miguel Cabrera, 2B/3B/OF Ryan Roberts, OF Rajai Davis.
(No position eligibility issues on either team here…both loaded at the keystone and hot corner)
Team A: SB, HR, R
Team B: AVG, RBI
First off, the best player in this trade is clearly Cabrera. He’s the safest bet to continue to producing, which means .310-35-110 seasons. McCutchen and Stubbs should each eclipse the 60 (HR+SB) mark, critically useful numbers in roto. Davis is a one category Drew Stubbs, having no pop and a worse AVG, while Melancon is equally constrained to saves. (Yes, his job is probably in jeopardy.) And while Ryan Roberts has been drilling the ball – 10 HR, 9 SB is nothing to sneeze at – he’s 30 years old, and owners cannot rely on him to continue producing at this or any pace. I would eschew Miggy and take the pair of young OF. (In a H2H league, take Cabrera and run.) Team A Wins
Trade #2: 10 Team H2H league – Redraft
Team A Gets: 3B/OF Jose Bautista, 2B Darwin Barney
Team B Gets: 3B Evan Longoria, 2B Ian Kinsler
(Actually, this trade was originally posed with Matt Cain next to Bautista instead of Barney, but we immediately rejected the laughable move.)
You’d think this would be a good example of selling high on a player who is hot, but Jose Bautista simply isn’t the player to pull this schtick with. Not only is he on pace to hit 50 HR, his AVG is well over .330 and he possesses 5 SB to boot. Kinsler was once the top player at his position, but his age 27 year has come and gone. Perennially nicked up and never good for AVG, he isn’t worth the downgrade from Jose to Longoria. Barney has been awful the last four weeks (.229/.259/.267), but he should be replaced in free agency instead. Team A Wins
To sum up, remember that in most value-trading scenarios, you don’t want to give up the best player in the deal. Superstars are safer to trade for because people believe they inevitably will bounce back. Finally, when Jeter clears 3000 hits, some stupid Yankee fan will be there to pay top dollar for him. (But you’d probably take anything.)
Investments of the Week:
Nyjer Morgan continues to hit over .300 in Milwaukee. He has picked up the “LH” side of the platoon, but he could steal more at bats with continued success. David Freese looks to return from a broken hand, and should have no trouble cracking that lineup with Allen Craig going down. Daniel Descalso will either slide to second base or the bench.
For any questions, comments, or fantasy advice, reach me @ twitter.com/zomberg or email@example.com
Follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/TSHQsportsblog