Gary Gramling

Fantasy Mailbag: Peavy Staying Put

As always, you can check out last week’s fantasy review right here. And be sure to share your two cents in The Brain's Baseball Question of the Week!

Read on for this week's mailbag, where I explain why Padres ace Jake Peavy is a smart man (as far as fantasy baseball is concerned) for rejecting a trade to the White Sox and staying in San Diego!

I'm mad in a sense that the best pitcher in the MLB is not coming to my favorite team, the White Sox. But I'm not mad because it is best for him and his family to stay in San Diego. But I will still like him for his pitching ability. Go Peavy, Go White Sox!
-Frank, Illinois

First of all, props to you, Frank. That's a very mature reaction to the news that Jake Peavy blocked a trade that would have sent him to the White Sox. I know I would be angry if Peavy rejected a trade to my Orioles, even though it would be wrong. But I'll tell you who should be happy about Peavy staying with the Padres: anyone who has him on their fantasy team. A move to Chicago would have meant big trouble for Peavy. He'd not only be going from the National League to the tougher AL, but he'd be going from baseball's best pitcher's park to one of the most hitter-friendly stadiums. Since 2008, Peavy has a 2.21 ERA at home in San Diego, but a 4.29 ERA on the road. He might be getting traded eventually this season, but the longer Peavy stays in San Diego, the better it is for his fantasy managers.

Last year I remember that there was a thing that you put out every week with the pitchers that would pitch twice that week. Do you think you could do that again? Also, I have a complaint about who is on your All-Star ballot. How do you put Ian Kinsler in front of Dustin Pedroia? I mean, c'mon! Ian's good, but how do you put him in front of Dustin?
-Lucas, Massachusetts

Ah, Lucas of course refers to Matty Two-Times and his weekly two-start pitchers list. I'm hearing some rumblings that Matty will be making his glorious return to the Village in June. Stay tuned! As for my All-Star ballot, you have to have Kinsler over Pedroia right now based on what they've done in 2009. In fact, I'd have Blue Jays 2B Aaron Hill and Indians 2B Asdrubal Cabrera over Pedroia right now as well. He's just not hitting for enough power at this point.

I am first in my fantasy leauge, but I'm not sure whether I should get Tigers 1B Miguel Cabrera ($7,800,000) or Twins 1B Justin Morneau ($7,700,000)?
-William, Georgia

I know I usually underestimate Morneau, William. But I think Cabrera is definitely the pick here. I think Cabrera is one of the five best pure hitters in baseball. Morneau is very good, but I don't think he's in the same class as Miggy.

Who is the better: Cardinals 1B Albert Pujols ($8,400,000) or Rays 1B Carlos Pena ($7,000,000)?
-Tyler, Massachusetts

Definitely Pujols, Tyler. In fact, I would take Pujols over anyone in baseball right now.

I need a reliever to finish my team, and I have $7,000,000 and that can buy me any reliever except Mets RP Francisco Rodriguez ($7,200,000). So who should I get?
-Harrison, Missouri

As I always say, Harrison, it's tough to choose the right reliever because their success in fantasy relies on getting saves, and to get their saves they rely on their teammates to not only set them up in wins, but set them up in close wins. I would grab up Twins RP Joe Nathan ($5,400,000) as my reliever simply because he's the best pitcher out there. Whether the Twins set him up with those close wins is out of his control, though.

Hey, Wiz, should I get Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler ($7,200,000) or Blue Jays 2B Aaron Hill ($3,100,000)? They are both on fire, and Hill would save a LOT of money. Hill is only a couple of points away from Kinsler! I could sure get a lot of great players with that money! Who would you pick?
-Sam, Maine

I know Hill is on fire, Sam, but from here on in, Kinsler is likely to be much better. Hill is an average player, and his stats will "level off" as the year goes on. Kinsler is a superstar. I'd say they'll give you equal production when you consider the salaries, so it's really just a matter of whether you want to invest the money at second base or somewhere else.

Wiz, what do you think of me having Mariners 1B Russel Branyan ($3,200,000)? My pitching staff also consists of Zack Greinke, Roy Halladay, and Chad Billingsley. What ya think of that?
-Caleb, Washington

I'm a Branyan believer, Caleb (if any of your parents or older siblings read my fantasy column, they probably read my claim of Branyan as a top sleeper entering the season). He has big-time power and seems to have gotten better in terms of plate discipline. As for that pitching staff, yeah, you're going to be just fine. Those three guys are among the Top 10 starters in fantasy baseball.

Hey Wiz, who would you rather get: Orioles RF Nick Markakis ($7,600,000) or Yankees CF Nick Swisher ($6,100,000)?
-Daniel, New Mexico

I'd go with Markakis, and I'm not just saying that because I'm a big Orioles fan, Daniel. He's simply much more talented than Swisher.

Should I get Mets RP Francisco Rodriguez ($7,200,000) or Dodgers RP Jonathan Broxton ($4,200,000)?
-Jason, Wisconsin and John, Michigan

I'd save the money and go with Broxton, guys. They're equally dominant relievers on great teams, meaning most weeks they'll have pretty even fantasy production. So you might as well save the $3,000,000.

Should I get Mets 3B David Wright ($9,000,000) or Rays 3B Evan Longoria ($6,600,000)?
-Ethan, Massachusetts

I think Wright is a little better, Ethan, but I'd save the money and go with Longoria. He shouldn't be too far behind Wright in terms of fantasy production.

Who would you say is a good center fielder to get who costs less than Yankees CF Brett Gardner ($2,400,000)?
-MasterFerret1, New York

MasterFerret1, I'd definitely go with the Rockie rookie, Rockies CF Dexter Fowler ($2,000,000). Obviously, you're not getting a star at that price, but Fowler is a speed-burner who will rack up fantasy points via the stolen base.

Hey, Wiz! What's up? I want to hear who is your top five fantasy baseball players this far into the season. You're a genius so we'll believe you!
-AceCharger11, California

I totally agree with you on me being a genius, AceCharger11. As for my top five (or is it Fave Five?), right now I'd go with Cardinals 1B Albert Pujols, Royals SP Zack Gerinke, Marlins SS Hanley Ramirez, Indians C Victor Martinez (since it's so hard to find a good catcher), and Mets SP Johan Santana (even though his teammates keep blowing his wins!).

Do you think I should trade any of my pitchers? I have Johan Santana, Chad Billingsley, and Zack Greinke.
-Cheese, Hawaii

No way, Cheese (if that is your real name). Those guys are three of the top 10 starting pitchers in baseball.

Who should I get for a relief pitcher for less than $6,400,000? Right now I have Marlins RP Matt Lindstrom ($2,800,000).
-AceCoyote, New Hampshire

I'd go with Twins RP Joe Nathan ($5,400,000), AceCoyote. I think he's the best reliever in baseball. It's just a matter of whether or not the Twins will set him up for saves.

Hi, I'm wondering who you would pick, Padres SP Jake Peavy ($6,900,000) or Red Sox SP Josh Beckett ($7,200,000)? Peavy has more points but Beckett has a lower salary and he'll probably have more wins down the stretch because of the offense behind him.

I'd stick with Peavy for now, BigBear487. I love the fact that he has his home games in pitcher-friendly San Diego. But if Peavy were to get traded (which he probably will at some point in 2009), I'd make the switch to Beckett.

I have Whit Sox C A.J. Pierzyenski ($5,400,000). Do you think I need a new catcher? P.S: Jose From Illinois is a White Sox Fan. Boo Cubs, Mets, Yankees, and Orioles.
-Jose, Illinois

C'mon Jose! Boo the Orioles? What did they ever do to you?! You don't need a new catcher because Pierzynski is decent, but I'd rather have Indians C Victor Martinez ($3,500,000) on my team. Martinez is better and cheaper.

Blue Jays Aaron Hill ($3,100,000) is cheap, and he's been just plain nasty this season. He looks like a another chapter in the era of the second baseman (Chase Utley, Ian Kinsler, Dustin Pedroia, Robinson Cano, etc.). By the way, I gotta give you props man. You destroyed my Fighting Flyers team and knocked me outta second place in the league.
-Amin, Massachusetts

Hey Amin, that's just what I do: Destroy my WOW League opponents! As for Hill, he's definitely a great value. But I don't see him tearing it up like this for much longer. He's a decent, but not great hitter. I'd compare him to someone like Braves 2B Kelly Johnson in terms of skill.

Hey, Wiz. I was just reading your Fantasy Fix and it was pretty good. But imagine my shock when I find the word "save" spelled S-A-E-V. HAVE SOMEBODY PROOFREAD YOUR WRITING BEFORE EXPOSING IT TO THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD FOR GOODNESS SAKE!!!!!!!
-Joel, Pennsylvania

Nah Joel, SAEV is an awesome new word I just made up. It means "to save, for people who are bad at spelling." But you're right man. We've been flying with all the content on our Splogs, and sometimes typos slip through the cracks.

ADAM JONES?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
-Ben, Massachusetts

Oh, you'd better believe it, Ben. Jones has been absolutely tearing it up this season (.372 batting average, 1.087 OPS, 9 HRs, 30 RBIs, 36 runs), and he's one of the best defensive centerfielders in baseball. If this guy isn't voted into the All-Star game starting lineup, there should be an investigation!

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