Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Phil Kaminski: The fantasy corner

Spring is in the air and that means one of our favorite American pastimes, fantasy baseball, has begun. It’s time to bust out your cheat sheets and positional rankings.

Spring break should not have been spent on the beach. To rise to the top of your fantasy league, numbers should have been crunched in anticipation of opening day.

What makes me qualified out of the plethora of people who enter the many leagues on the Internet? I know baseball. Some people love politics, some follow the stock market. I know numbers. Follow this column’s advice.

BUY: Players off to slow starts in hitting ballparks.

See Manny Ramirez. When he was still hitting .252 at the end of May last season, there was talk his skills may have been diminishing. When he finished hitting .292 with 45 homeruns and 144 RBI, he was mentioned as a most valuable player candidate.

2006’s prediction: Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. These two Philly lefties are entering their primes and happen to play at the Coors Field of the East, Citizens Bank Park. Don’t be fooled by Utley’s sub .250 average and Howard’s measly two homeruns and two RBI. You can pencil in Howard for near 40 homeruns and Utley for a .300 average and 100 RBI season. Honorable Mention: Aramis Ramirez, Brad Wilkerson, Jhonny Peralta.

BUY: Players on teams with great lineups.

While the advice may seem obvious, many fantasy players do not recognize its importance. Todd Helton, Jason Bay, Ichiro Suzuki, Miguel Cabrera and Lance Berkman may be perennial all-stars, but the anemic lineups in which they bat do not provide many opportunities with runners in scoring position, and also allow pitchers to pitch around them.

Players on the Indians (Grady Sizemore, Travis Hafner, Victor Martinez), Yankees (Gary Sheffield, Hideki Matsui, Alex Rodriguez, Red Sox (Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, Coco Crisp) and Mets (David Wright, Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran).

BUY: Players in contract years.

When players enter the final year of their contracts, their numbers often skyrocket as they try to warrant lucrative long-term contracts in the offseason. The most likely candidates to step up their performances this season are Juan Pierre, Milton Bradley, Melvin Mora and Randy Winn.

SELL: Players who have switched to teams that play in pitchers’ parks.

See Adrian Beltre. The breakout performer of the 2004 season signed with the Mariners and struggled mightily in the spacious confines of Safeco Field.

Most likely candidate this year: Alfonso Soriano. As if the position switch wasn’t bad enough, Soriano’s value dipped tremendously switching from Arlington, Texas, to RFK, where 25 homeruns could be tough to come by.

Please e-mail me with comments, questions and trade offers that you would like me to address in future columns at [email protected]. Until next time, here’s to hoping that your teams don’t come at you.

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