|Fantasy Baseball: MC Fantasy Mailbag Week of 3/17/08|
Written by Mike Chiari (Contact & Archive) on March 17, 2008
The Fantasy Mailbag is back again, and I continue to get great response. As numerous fantasy leagues have already drafted, and the MLB is in the midst of spring training, there’s no shortage of things to talk about. Let’s get right into the emails.
C- Russell Martin
SP- Jake Peavy
I must say Ryan, I feel like this is a very good team. You seem to be pretty solid in all aspects. Offensively you’re very well-rounded. You have a nice mix of power and speed throughout your lineup. You were able to pluck top tier options at weak positions (Martin at catcher and Cano at second). I feel as though Hank Blalock is an excellent sleeper pick. He played great prior to his injury last season and is expected to be back to complete health. Matt Kemp looks like a guy who’s ready to make the leap this season and has 30 HR potential. Your outfield is extremely deep, and you have five potential stars at that position. Your pitching staff also looks very strong. Peavy and Matsuzaka are strong at the top of the rotation, and you’ve supported them with some nice depth. Rich Harden seems like a good guy to take a risk on as he’s looked good this spring. If he’s able to return to form, your staff will look that much more formidable. You also have three very nice closers. If there was one thing that your team needs, I’d say it’s one more good starting pitcher. If I were you, I might consider moving an outfielder since you have so much depth to draw upon there. You should be able to get a high impact starter for any one of your top 5 outfielders. In my opinion your team is very good, and with a move or two, without seeing the other teams, yours should be an elite one.
What’s up MC,
When it comes to playing fantasy baseball, everybody’s looking for an advantage. While people often over analyze certain aspects of the game, ballpark conditions can sometimes have a huge effect. While most ballparks in the league can be considered neutral, meaning they don’t overwhelmingly favor hitters over pitchers or vice versa, there are a handful that really make a difference. The stat that ballparks have the most effect upon is homeruns. Whether it be dimensions or atmospheric conditions, they really can matter. ESPN conducts park factor tests each season. During the 2007 season it was found that Citizen’s Bank Park (Philadelphia), Great American Ballpark (Cincinnati), Camden Yards (Baltimore), US Cellular Field (Chicago), and Coors Field (Colorado) are the easiest parks to hit the long ball in. Petco Park (San Diego), Busch Stadium (St. Louis), Metrodome (Minnesota), PNC Park (Pittsburgh), and McAfee Coliseum (Oakland) allow homeruns at a much below average rate. It’s important to consider these factors when drafting. Pitchers hypothetically have the most upside when they pitch in bigger ballparks. If a hitter moves to a smaller park, a power spike can be expected. Granted these conditions aren’t the be all, end all, but they can give you that slight edge you’re looking for.