Friday, August 8, 2008

(Fantasy) Baseball Corner

1. Don't worry Yankees Fans:
Starting pitcher phenom Joba Chamberlain is expected to join the Yankees rotation some time this month. At only 22 years old, Joba is naturally a quick recoverer, and could ultimately decide the fate of the Yankees this year. The Yankees do, however, have the odds against them because of their losses of Wang and Hughes. Yet I think that the return of Joba and his electric pitching style could spark the team and bring some confidence. To me, the Yankees have appeared to be a team lacking and heart or competitive nature, when compared to say, the Angels. I guess it could just be that the Yankees are used to winning, but the attitude they had up until now isn't gonna cut it during their fight to make it in the playoffs, something that has become expected of the stripes. Along with Chamberlain, Hideki Matsui also appears to be rehabbing well, and should be able to return to the lineup this season. So if whether you have Joba on your fantasy team or you are a diehard Yankees fan, I wouldn't worry too much because he'll be back soon. One quick note about Hideki Matsui: he chose not to undergo season-ending surgery. Therefore, (if and) when he does return, I personally don't think he'll be the same batter he was for the first part of the season. However, his presence will certainly bring experience and leadership to a lackluster ballclub.

2. Angels Fans: you should be real happy. The only division that has a clear winner right now is the American League West, where the Angels sit 12 games in front of the second place Rangers. Now, with the addition of Mark Texiera, an even more potent lineup will tee off against the upcoming games against Seatle and Cleveland, both of which are last placed teams. When most people think of the Angels, they think of Vlad crushing home runs. But this year, with only one regular player batting above .300 (Howie Kendrick at .322), the Angels have had to rely on a shut down pitching staff. Led by Ervin Santana and Joe Saunders, the 5 starting pitchers have a combined 55 wins. And the consistency with which K-Rod has been converting saves has put an end to all possible late inning meltdowns (which currently plague teams such as the Mets and Braves). So as the Angles look ahead to the ALDS, where they will possibly meet the Red Sox, it will be the workhorses of the Angels that will make the difference between win and loss.