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21 Fun Facts – Fantasy Baseball 2011

As you may know, at Fantasy Baseball Scholars we’re all about the trends and numbers.   It seems like several times a week while analyzing players we run across stats that don’t seem possible.  So we thought that we would come up with 21 stats that stood out to us. 

Jay Bruce

Jay Bruce, Cincinnati Reds

1. Jay Bruce was the NL Player of the month in May hitting 12 HR with 33 RBI. In the other 3 months combined he has 9 HR 24 RBI. 

2. CC Sabathia has been on a roll winning 8 of 9 starts from 6/14-7/26. In his last 7 starts he has allowed only 5 ER. He has done it before. During the 2010 season from 6/3-7/22 he won 9 of 10 starts. The big fella cranks it up a notch once the calendar turns June.

3. In 2010 While Playing in San Diego, 1B Adrian Gonzalez had 118 At bats the entire season with runners in scoring position(RISP) batting .407 with 69 RBI. As of July 26th with the Boston Red Sox this season he already has 130 at bats with RISP driving in 63 Runs while hitting .362. Gonzalez is on pace to have 208 at bats with RISP this year and he is currently the MLB leader in RBI’s. 

4. Reds OF Drew Stubbs has 135 Strikeouts in 401 official at bats. Stubbs is the major league leader in strikeouts so far in 2011. From June 26th to July 20th Stubbs had zero HR, Zero RBI, and 1 SB.

5. Curtis Granderson has been on quite a roll this season. He figured out how to hit Left Handed Pitching. In 2010 Granderson hit .234/.292/.354 with 4 HR and 12 RBI off left handed pitching. His 2011 Season to date Granderson against LHP? .269/.341/.622.  The 317 basis point increase in OPS has produced 11 HR & 30 RBI.

6. DH Adam Dunn has been dreadful this year. How bad is it? Dunn has more walks (51) than base hits (48). He has scored 28 Runs on the season (he averaged 82 runs the past three years). Dunn is 2-68 off LHP this year with 31 K’s.

7. Jered Weaver has been dominant this season. In 22 starts this season Weaver has not pitched fewer than 6.0 innings in any start, has thrown over 100 pitches in each of the 22 starts, and has allowed either one or no earned runs in 14 of those 22 starts.

8. Want to know why the Pirates are still in the hunt for the post season?  Pitching.  During the month of July Pittsburgh’s top three starters have been outstanding. Their ERA’s – James McDonald (1.90), Jeff Karstens (1.61), & Paul Maholm (3.65). For comparison the Philadelphia Phillies big three starters have July ERA’s as follows: Roy Halladay (3.21), Cole Hamels (3.49), & Cliff Lee (4.97). 

9. Justin Masterson just keeps getting better for the Tribe. His April ERA was 2.18, May 3.79, June 2.78, and so far in July 1.43. Masterson, long known for a bit of wildness, has started throwing strikes. He has not walked more than 2 hitters in any of his last seven games started.

10. Two Cubs are going in the opposite directions. OF Alfonso Soriano ended April with 10 HR and 20 RBI. Since May 1st he has a total of 5 HR and 23 RBI. Cubs 3B Aramis Ramirez first two months was brutal. He ended May with a YTD total of 2 HR and 19 RBI. Since June 1st it is a much different story – 17 HR and 43 RBI.

11.  Who is the #1 scorer in fantasy baseball over the last 30 days?  None other than superstar…..Errrrrr……..I mean utility man Emilio Bonafacio of the Florida Marlins who has a 26 game hitting streak.  During the streak he has 19 SB’s, batting .380, scored 25 runs, and posted a .480 OBP.  The amazing part is he is still not owned in 15% of all leagues. 

12.  As Fantasy Baseball Dugout pointed out this week, Vance Worley is the current statistical ace of the Phillies.  If you don’t believe me check out these numbers.  He is 7-0 in his last seven starts; he has a .872 WHIP, and has only allowed 6 ER’s in that time frame (47 innings).   The fascinating part about Worley is that in 2010 between AA and AAA he posted pedestrian numbers in the minors but was a late season call up and went 1-1 with a 1.38 ERA in five appearances.   Though he has been mentioned in trade rumors recently Charlie Manuel has come out and said that this kid isn’t going anywhere. 

13.  The Fantasy Baseball Scholars would like to congratulate Dan Uggla for finally getting over the Mendoza line after 60 games being below it.  We don’t know what’s more impressive, the fact he was below .200 for 60 games or the fact it took an 18-game hitting streak to get him over it. 

14.  The often-criticized Mark Buerhle has made 15 consecutive starts giving up 3 ER’s or fewer.   While we still don’t recommend this Animal Rights Activist who loves to hunt deer we thought we would give him credit when it’s deserved.

15.  Hanley Ramirez is starting to turn it on and fantasy owners around the world are rejoicing.  In his last 28 games he has a .421 OBP, hit 5 HR’s, driven in 22 runs, and has stolen 4 bases.   While those numbers aren’t striking, consider he had 6 HR’s, 14 SB’s, and 23 RBI’s in his first 58 games this season. 

16.  We found it interesting that speedster BJ Upton hit his first triple of the season this week.  He is now tied with fellow speed demons Kevin Youkilis, Chipper Jones, Yadier Molina, Pablo Sandoval, John Buck, and the smooth strider Prince Fielder.   We would also like to point out that the hefty Benji Molina had a triple last season and as Mitch Williams alluded to “The last time he had a triple I’m pretty sure it had cheese on it”.  

17.  In light of Carlos Beltran’s trade to the Giants we thought we would point out that he has exactly zero home runs in 22 games played at SBC Park.  It sounds like he will fit in nicely with the rest of the Giants lineup from afar but then again we could see a 2004 Beltran who ignited a fire in Houston and led them to the NLCS.  

18.   This is not the reason we had Joe Mauer as the #4 ranked catcher going into this season but when the former batting champ swings on an 0-2 count he is batting .034 (1-29).  Just so you know, for his career he is a .251 hitter when swinging on 0-2.  Another side note is Joe Mauer is averaging a HR every 166 at bats this season.  Joe Mauer is a great player but is one of the most overrated fantasy baseball players.  

19.  The key to getting Jose Bautista out?  Get ahead in the count.  When he hits while ahead in the count this year he has 17 HR’s, 39 RBI’s, a .607 OBP, and a .392 average.   We know it’s easier said than done but on the flip-side he only has 6 HR’s, 13 RBI’s, a .292 OBP, and a .250 average when the pitcher is ahead in the count when he hits. 

20.  David Wright came back this week so we thought we would take a look at his second half numbers for his career to see what to expect from a fantasy standpoint going forward. 

1st half home runs- 89

2nd half home runs- 88

1st half OBP-  .382

2nd half OBP-  .382

That is not a misprint. 

21.  Think Jacoby Ellsbury is important to Boston?  In their wins he has posted a .428 OBP and in their losses he has posted a .297 OBP.  Ellsbury is the catalyst for this offense and is great at setting the table for the league’s most potent offense. 

We hope you enjoyed the material this week.  Once again, much thanks to Fantasy Baseball Dugout for sharing our thoughts on fantasy baseball.    

The Scholars,

Ryan Jones and Tim Lander

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