Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Long December...

It's cold, dreary and rainy here in sunny Southern California as I write this... just the kind of weather which is perfect if you want to catch up on your reading. If you're into sports like me, and most especially into fantasy baseball then this time of the year has some added importance. You're probably thinking at this point why am I thinking about baseball when it's still almost 3 1/2 months until opening day??? Well, it's around this time of the year when the most important fantasy resource around is published - Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster. Now in it's 22nd year, Ron's methodologies have been the foundation of my (and many others') success in fantasy baseball leagues the past several years. The Forecaster is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of what can be gained from Ron, his associates, and their wealth of knowledge and expertise. I strongly recommend everyone to check out and subscribe to his site at BaseballHQ.com for an even more in-depth look into the world of fantasy baseball. The forums there also can be quite informative and interesting as well. Many of the outstanding contributors to the Forecaster make regular appearances in the forums.

Anyways, I've been perusing my copy of the Forecaster since this past Saturday when I received mine in the mail, looking for some hidden pitching gems that no one other than those of us in "Ron's world" know about. Last year's prize new find was probably James Shields of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who had a breakout season in 2007 and was a major contibutor to my successes last year. Shields put up a 1.11 WHIP (3rd best in the AL), a 3.85 ERA, 184 strikeouts and 12 wins. Great numbers for someone who, chances are, wasn't drafted in your fantasy league last year. Ron was also VERY bullish on Javier Vazquez of the Chicago White Sox and Jake Peavy of the San Diego Padres (who suffered through an injury-plagued 2006) to have breakout years, and they both delivered... Vazquez won 15 games last year, while striking out 213 batters, allowed a miniscule 1.14 WHIP and perhaps unlucky 3.74 ERA. All Peavy did in the National League in 2007 was win pitching's version of the Triple Crown, as he led the senior circuit in ERA at 2.54, strikeouts (240) and wins (19). This success led to his winning the NL Cy Young award as well.

Who is going to step up and perform next year? It's too early to tell yet, but once I start doing some number crunching and working the spreadsheets I will have some guys I'll be looking target come next February and March.



lil jimmy said...

WOW. Thats awesome. I can't wait to hear your updates. Are you a fantasy guru? Since you knew a lot about fantasy football. I just startd playing baseball. Would love to play in a league with you sometime.

Dont forget to show your WOW stickers guys. As we all know. Its Wednesday.

John C said...

Thanks, lil jimmy.

Well, I fancy myself somewhat of a fantasy baseball guru... To me, fantasy baseball is definitely a more interesting and fun game than fantasy football as a lot more skill is involved to win. In fantasy football, the best team wins a relatively small percentage of the time, rather the LUCKIEST team is more often than not the winner.

To illustrate the above: Last year I had a fantasy football team go 6-7 in the regular season, and finish in a 6-way tie for the 2nd wildcard playoff spot - I won the tiebreakers to secure that spot. In the playoffs, I took down the #1 seed in the first round (weeks 14-15) and took down the 2 #seed in the second round (weeks 16-17) to take home the league title!

Definitely hit me up for baseball in February. I prefer to play in the CBS Sportsline leagues in what's called a ROTISSERIE format. You can actually win some pretty nice cash prizes if you come in first!

lil jimmy said...

Wow thats awesome. I would feel honored to be in a league with someone like yourself. Im sure I would learn a lot from a fantasy baseball guru. Whats this whole rotisserie format?

Im sure that you ahve won many cash prizes for coming in first.

Dont forget its still Wednesdays ladies.