Gary Gramling

Fantasy Mailbag: Is the (David) Price Right?

As always, be sure to share your two cents in The Brain's Baseball Question of the Week! If you want to send me a question for next week's mailbag, just click right HERE!

Read on for this week's mailbag, where I discuss whether super rookie David Price belongs on your roster...

Should I release Rays SP David Price ($2,000,000) and sign Brewers SP Yovani Gallardo ($2,000,000)?
-Armand, New York

Well Armand, I think a day will come when David Price is considered the best pitcher in baseball. But that day isn't here yet. His command just isn't where it needs to be for him to be a top-notch fantasy pitcher. Because he walks a lot of hitters, he throws a lot of pitches. And because he throws a lot of pitches, he can't work deep into games. That means few innings, and few wins. And a pitcher who's throwing so few innings and getting so few wins isn't much of a fantasy option. Meanwhile, Gallardo is mowing down hitters. He's been a bit wild of late, but not as much as Price. For 2009, he's clearly a better option.

Who should I take at shortstop? I have Yankees SS Derek Jeter ($6,800,000), but I am thinking about getting either Rays SS Jason Bartlett ($4,900,000) or Dodgers SS Rafael Furcal ($3,400,000). Who should I take? Also, who should I take in left field: Rays LF Carl Crawford ($5,100,000) or Red Sox LF Jason Bay ($7,800,000)?
-William, Georgia

William, you won't often hear this from an Orioles fan like me, but I'd stick with Jeter. He's simply the best talent of the three. I think Bartlett was a little fluky when he was hitting great in April. I'd take Furcal over Bartlett if you want to save money by dropping Jeter. As for your leftfielder, Bay is clearly better. But Crawford is close enough to Bay that you can take him instead and spend the $2,700,000 at another position.

Hello Wiz, who should I have at first base who costs about $6,600,000? I have White Sox 1B Paul Konerko ($5,600,000), and Mariners 1B Russell Branyan’s ($3,200,000) good days are over. And who's better: Cubs or Orioles?
-Jose, Illinois

Jose, I have to say "Ouch!" for Russell Branyan! I don't think he's done yet, but it would be a big help if the Mariners actually put some runners on base for his home runs! Konerko is a decent option, but I'd rather go with Branyan or Rockies 1B Todd Helton ($4,300,000). And as for Orioles versus Cubs, of course the Orioles are better! Okay, maybe not. I do think the Cubs are going to win the NL Central. But the O's have a lot more young talent than the Cubbies! And speaking of Branyan...

I have $5,500,000 left, so which first baseman should I get? Are Mariners 1B Russell Branyan ($3,200,000) or Rockies 1B Todd Helton ($4,300,000) good suggestions? GO RED SOX!!!!
-CadillacBomber1, Massachusetts
Branyan and Helton would definitely be my two top picks with that much money, CadillacBomber1. I'd put it this way: Helton is the safe choice. Even when he's not going great, he's a sound enough hitter to give you average production. But Branyan's monster power gives him the potential to simply blow up. He'd be my preference, but he's definitely a risk.

What is up with Yankees SP CC Sabathia ($9,900,000)?
-Cameron, Georgia

He's going to be fine, Cameron. Big CC was having some soreness in his upper arm, but it wasn't a big injury. Obviously, he was sharp Friday night against the Mets. He should be fine next week.

Should I keep fellow Kansan Tony Clark with only $3,100,000?

Definitely respect for sticking with the hometown hero, ShortstopSquirrel. But Clark isn't much of an option in fantasy. He's just a part-time player, which means his chances to produce points are limited. I'd rather have Mariners 1B Russell Branyan ($3,200,000).

If you had $23.4 million for three starting pitchers, who would you get? I have Blue Jays SP Roy Halladay ($9,600,000), Giants SP Matt Cain ($7,500,000), and Reds SP Aaron Harang ($6,300,000). Do you think that these are the best choices for that amount?

Well SmoothSkater, if he comes back healthy next week (which he probably will), I'd go with Halladay. Then I'd go with Giants SP Tim Lincecum ($9,900,000) and then I'd probably flip a coin between Brewers SP Yovani Gallardo ($2,000,000) and Cardinals SP Chris Carpenter ($2,000,000).

Ah come on! Seriously? When the guy asked you for a good catcher, you have to give him White Sox C A.J. Pierzynski ($5,400,000)! He's been hitting well but sadly, he's a horrible defensive catcher. Plus Indians C Victor Martinez ($3,500,000) is playing first base right now. Why go through the trouble of putting him at catcher when he has been playing first from the beginning of this season?
-Frank, Illinois

Pierzynski is decent, Frank. But Martinez is an elite offensive catcher. And he plays first base about half the time because the Indians want to rest his knees, but V-Mart will qualify at catcher for the rest of 2009. I still think he's by far the best value pick at catcher.

I'm new to this fantasy baseball and I check the mailbag whenever I can. I've seen questions about the WOW League. What is it?
-DinosaurForce1, New York

First of all DinosaurForce1, let me officially welcome you to the mailbag! As for the WOW League, the WOW stands for Winning Over Wizards (Bryan from Massachusetts came up with that way back in the day). It used to be known as the Wizards Academy Fantasy League. But, basically, before the season fantasy players can join a league with me, Duane from New Jersey, or The Brain and test their fantasy mettle! There will be another one starting up for fantasy football season in August!

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