Friday - Jan 22, 2021

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Diary of an Expert League: Call to Arms

If only my arms were heating up like my bats.   Team Fantasy Sharks moved up a few points this week, but still sits in tenth.  However, the batting order had an amazing week with eight players (Joe Mauer, Ian Desmond, Mark Trumbo, Jose Bautista, Ryan Roberts, Alfonso Soriano, Cody Ross and Andrew McCutchen) hitting over .300 for the week.  In fact, McCutchen had a couple of two homerun games this week and has caught fire. Unfortunately, the pitching staff is still cold and growing more inconsistent.

Five of my pitchers posted ERA’s over 6.00 this week and over 1.50 WHIP.  The Sharks continue to fall in the strikeouts category as Adam Wainwright and Roy Halladay have seen a decrease in strikeouts per nine innings.  Colby Lewis has also cooled off lately, but still nearly earns a strikeout per inning K.  To quote former WWF superstar Owen Hart, “Enough is enough, and it’s time for a change!”   For this upcoming week, I plan to use only two closers, Dale Thayer and Jim Johnson in hopes of catching up in strikeouts and wins. In addition, I have two-start weeks for Roy Halladay, Hiroki Kuroda, Adam Wainwright, and Jerome Williams.  My objective is to climb out of last place in strikeouts and near the cellar in ERA, WHIP, and Wins.  As Monday’s games have concluded, Kuroda and Williams combined for six strikeouts and two losses, not the start I was looking for.

Take a dive with me as we highlight a few players that are on the “upswing”.  

Jose Bautista–  It may have taken a month, but Joey Bats is back. With three homeruns this week, a stolen base, and batting over .300, he is returning to form as a first round pick. Bautista is a must-start every week.

Ian Desmond–  After a slow start, Ian Desmond has swung a hot bat.  The Nats’ shortstop hit .343 last week with two homeruns and two steals. His speed may be slightly lower, but the power and average have improved over last year.  Keep your fingers cross this week as the Nats will be on the road against division rivals Atlanta and Philadelphia.

Andrew McCutchen– Pittsburgh is terrible, but their rising start McCutchen continues to keep the Pirates’ ship afloat.  Although the team is last in the league batting .217, McCutchen

Is hitting .340 and had two multi-homerun games last week.  McCutchen will earn a 20/20 season with potential to hit 30/30.

Scott Diamond– Minnesota’s pitching staff ranks near the bottom in all categories, but Diamond has been a pleasant surprise.  Diamond is now 3-0 with a 1.39 ERA.  Although the sample size may be limited, he is worth an extra look or even an add for a spot start.

Jim Johnson–  Baltimore has surprised the baseball world with their early success as they sit atop the AL East.  Johnson has been a key contributor to this success as he earned another four saves last week to tally 15, which leads the league.  If you drafted Mariano Rivera, Heath Bell, and/or Carlos Marmol this season, you are probably relatively annoyed seeing one of the last ranked closers leading the way.

Best of luck this week!

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