Sunday - Jan 24, 2021

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Diary of an Expert League: Mayday!

The term “Mayday” refers to the international radiotelephone signal used by aircraft during a time of distress or emergency.  Thankfully, none of us are in immediate danger in an airplane, but my fantasy team is certainly experiencing a difficult, stressful stretch. After darting out of the gate with an early lead in the first three weeks of the season, it now feels as if one of our engines has failed and we are nose-diving into the ocean. As several games wrap up this Monday evening, team Fantasy Sharks now cowers in eleventh place.

Early in the season, I was among the top teams in ERA, WHIP, homeruns, saves, and batting average.  I have fallen quickly in each of these categories to near bottom.   It has not helped that several players have continued starting the season lackluster.  Let’s take a dive at several key players and pick-ups that I made in preparation for this week.

Joe Saunders

– With five quality starts in a row and a 1.24 ERA, I saw Saunders on the free agent wire as a two-start option this week. Maybe he has turned around this year I wondered.  With my luck, Saunders suffered the loss in Monday’s decision yielding six earned runs in 3 1/3 innings. My recommendation is to use Saunders as a spot start in case his early success may have been a combination of fluke and luck.

Jason Hammel

– The Baltimore Orioles are baseball’s version of “Angry Birds”.  They sit atop the AL East in first place and Hammel has four wins, a 2.09 ERA, and K/9 thus far.  He has even silenced the mighty divisional offenses of New York, Boston, and Toronto.   He seems legit and may be in line for a career season, so I’d take a chance on him if he is available.

Gordon Beckham

– Although he may have never lived up the hype of a few years ago, Beckham may be useful in deeper leagues. He has begun May with three multi-hit games, two homeruns, and a stolen base.  If he is available in a deep league, he may be worth a try to see if he can stay hot and consistent, or whether this is just a flash in the pan.

Rafael Dolis

– The Cubs said goodbye to Carlos Marmol as closer and welcome Dolis to the role. Although I placed bids on several other new closer options, I was outbid for them all except Dolis.  With 18 innings pitched and only five strikeouts, I am concerned about his dominance and velocity in the new role. However, I need saves, so hopefully he will continue to pitch well enough to snag a few and secure his role as closer.


Rickie Weeks

– Weeks has been just plan “weak”, therefore he is getting a “week” off. After Monday’s 0 for 4 effort, his average sits at .174.  Weeks is a valuable power and speed threat, but has caused much more harm than good to my team thus far.

Francisco Cordero

– Cordero has been declared the closer in Toronto while Sergio Santos is sidelined.  However, this veteran has allowed earned runs in four of his last five appearances.  His security in this role is definitely at risk along with completely killing my team’s ERA.  I will start him again assuming he returns to form.

Good luck this week!

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