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Chicago White Sox SP Jake Peavy: 2011 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper

A common recommendation from fantasy baseball writers this spring is to wait on pitching, as there is value to be found in the latter stages of fantasy drafts. While there are certainly a few blue chip starters like Roy Halladay and Felix Hernandez who command an early-round pick, there are also late round value picks or sleepers who could pay dividends for owners this summer. 

One such player is Jake Peavy, the 2007 Cy Young winner who was acquired by the Chicago White Sox via trade in 2009. Although Peavy has not been able to replicate his award-winning form in which he went 19-6 with an impressive 2.54 ERA and a league leading 240 strikeouts, he is just 29 years old and does have the ability to be a viable third or fourth starter for fantasy owners. 

Drafting a player like Peavy is like placing a roulette bet in Vegas or Internet Casino.  Yes, you may lose your initial bet if he ends up being a bust. However, the return on your bet and the odds that you receive are well worth the gamble.  At his current ADP of 375, Peavy is an excellent value pick in all formats. 

In his only spring training outing so far in 2011, Peavy delivered two scoreless innings with one walk and two strikeouts. The White Sox appear to be slowly working him back into the rotation, and there has been some speculation that he may miss a few starts this April.  

When drafting this spring, owners should view Jake Peavy as a low risk, high reward pick.  If he struggles to perform well due to injuries or age, his owner will only be giving up a late round pick.  Conversely, if he recaptures some of his former self he could be the key to a championship season.

Check out our other sleepers for 2011:

Craig Kimbrel

Jeremy Hellickson

Rick Porcello

Mike Aviles 


This article was originally published on The home of free fantasy baseball news, rankings and advice.

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Erik Bedard: 2011 MLB Fantasy Baseball Sleeper Alert

One key to winning a fantasy baseball league is finding value in the latter stages of the draft, especially starting pitchers who can provide help with wins and strikeouts without hurting a team’s overall ERA. Late-round value picks who pan out can also be excellent trade bait to help bolster other weak areas of a fantasy roster.  

After spending all of 2010 on the disabled list, Erik Bedard returns to the Mariners rotation this spring after making only 30 starts for the club since being acquired in 2007. Bedard joins a rotation of young arms led by defending AL Cy Young winner Felix Hernadez, who will again be the team’s ace and opening day starter. 

A Franco-Ontarian, Bedard’s journey to the major leagues can be described as anything but typical. He began his college baseball career by haphazardly accompanying a friend to tryout for the Norwalk Community College in Norwalk, Connecticut. After making the team as a walk-on, he quickly made a name for himself and became a junior college All-American. 

One of the things that makes Bedard so valuable from a fantasy perspective is his ability to strike batters out. In his seven-year major league career, he amassed an excellent strikeout-per-nine ratio of 9.0, including an impressive 10.9 k/9 average in his best season in the big leagues.  

It goes without saying that Bedard is a huge risk and should not be counted on when building a fantasy roster. However if he can somehow stay healthy this season, he could be a viable low-end starter.  His 3.72 career ERA will not hurt an owner too much and he will help out with strikeouts and wins.  

In two starts this spring, Bedard has pitched three scoreless innings while striking out six batters. His once-famous curveball appears to have regained some of its bite and for the first time in a while he appears to be pain-free. The question is: will he be able to deliver his first full season in a Mariner uniform?

Check out our other sleepers for 2011:

Craig Kimbrel

Jeremy Hellickson

Rick Porcello


This article was originally published on The home of free fantasy baseball news, rankings and advice.

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Fantasy Baseball 2011: Why CC Sabathia Is an Excellent Value This Season

One of the most important qualities for a fantasy baseball starting pitcher is consistency. Having a pitcher who can deliver a solid performance week in and week out is worth its weight in gold, especially in head-to-head leagues that are scored on a weekly basis. 

Even the most seasoned pitcher will have an off night now and then. However, finding a bookend starter who will provide a consistent level of strikeouts and wins with a below-average ERA is the key to a successful season. 

This leads me to the curious case of CC Sabathia, a pitcher who has fallen down draft boards this season despite being the epitome of consistency over the past four seasons. During that period, Sabathia averaged 19 wins and an ERA of 3.12, while striking out 213 batters and pitching no less than 200 innings each season.   

In addition to his excellent stats, Sabathia has been able to stay relatively injury free while pitching in no less than 27 games in each season of his 10-year major league career. This begs me to wonder why Sabathia has a Mock Draft Central ADP of 49.64, behind Cliff Lee, Jon Lester, Zack Greinke and Dan Haren.

In the case of Greinke and Lee, I believe the media and baseball fans alike have been blinded by the fact that both pitchers have only had a few good seasons apiece.

Aside from Greinke’s Cy Young season of 2009, he has not posted a single winning season and has a career ERA of over 4.00. The move to the National League and the improved run support afforded by the Brewers should help Greinke regain his form. However, I would not feel very comfortable having a No. 1 pitcher with so many question marks.

Lee is still cashing in on an excellent postseason career that was over-hyped in last year’s NLCS, as baseball fans were bombarded with exaggerated comments that would make one think Lee is the second coming of Sandy Koufax. In reality, Lee has posted two consecutive seasons with a pedestrian ERA of 3.20, failing to win more than 14 games in either campaign.

Yes, Lee pitched for a poor Mariner team that failed to provide sufficient run support and a Ranger team that plays in a hitter-friendly park. However, that argument does not hold much water after Felix Hernandez won the 2011 Cy Young under similar circumstances.  

Fantasy baseball by definition is unpredictable. Players emerge out of nowhere to become stars only to regress to the shadows as another player steals the spotlight. The unpredictable nature of sport is what makes the game so interesting and so engaging.

Yet as a fantasy owner, having a starting pitcher who can mitigate some of that risk and unpredictability is a very valuable asset. When comparing second-tier pitchers like Lee, Greinke, Lester and Sabathia, consistency and lack of risk should be the determining factor, which is why I believe CC Sabathia is by far the most valuable pitcher of the group. 

Please visit for a complete version of this article, including an in-depth statistical analysis of why CC Sabathia is a great value in 2011. 

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Fantasy Baseball 2011: 10 Young Pitchers To Target On Draft Day

Most pitching coaches and baseball aficionados would agree that it takes a few years for a starting pitcher to learn what it takes to be a successful big league pitcher. As Tom Glavine explained to John Feinstein in Living on the Black, “Young pitchers know how to throw hard, but very few know how to pitch”.

When looking for a young pitcher to target late in fantasy drafts, owners should identify players who have yet to produce top level fantasy stats despite having gifted arms and a collection of filthy pitches. 

Take for example Clayton Kershaw, a 23-year-old southpaw for the Los Angeles Dodgers. In his first year in the majors, Kershaw was 5-5 with a 4.26 ERA and a WHIP of 1.49. Although he had excellent stuff, including a mid 90’s fastball and a knee-buckling curve, Kershaw was young and needed to learn how to pitch, and not just throw hard. 

In his third year with the Dodgers, Kershaw struck out 212 batters while posting a sub-three ERA. After taking the typical few years to learn how to be a pitcher, Kershaw is now the team’s top pitcher and is poised for a CY Young caliber season. 

Here is a list of 10 young pitchers who are poised to have a breakout season. Some of these pitchers may still be a year or two away from learning their craft; however, all of them have excellent skills and could become stars in 2011.

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2011 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide: Second Base Rankings with Analysis


Robinson Cano posted an excellent 2010 campaign in which he was in the top three of four out of the five offensive categories, including first overall in runs batted in and batting average. 

Although Dan Uggla is fourth on our list, he has been an incredibly consistent hitter over the past four years, becoming the first second baseman in MLB history to hit 30 home runs in four straight seasons.

Look for Uggla to continue his solid play as he will be surrounded with talented hitters as the newest member of the Atlanta Braves.

Tsuyoshi Nishioka is an excellent sleeper candidate for 2011. He joined the Twins in December after playing seven years with the Chiba Lotte Marines of Japan’s Pacific League.

Nishioka is an excellent hitter, and could prove to be a nice late-round selection in both mixed and AL-only formats.

Visit for complete player rankings, news and advice.

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