Major League Baseball returns to action today and with it comes the second half of the fantasy baseball season. My three fantasy teams are primed for a solid finish, with Hurts to Pee (my Yahoo Rotisserie team) having held strong in first place for most of the first half. I've pulled off some pretty solid trades and free agent pickups, including this gem in my CBS Keeper League: Kolb for Bonderman, right before Kolb lost his closing gig. A solid move, indeed. So, now I pass onto you some helpful advice as you hope to pull out your second half victories and comebacks.
Top 5 guys to Trade AWAY:
5. Preston Wilson - He's come to DC, which is exciting for the local squad, but is not good for fantasy purposes. RFK is a bad place for hitters, and it certainly is no Coors Field. He could surprise me since Frank Robinson is arguably the manager of the year (sorry, Bobby Cox), but is it worth the risk?
4. Jeff Kent - LA is not usually a good place for hitters and he left the All-Star game pretty quickly for some reason. His stock is high, make the move.
3. AJ Burnett - This is his first year back from arm surgery and though, he's been doing well, he may start to weaken as the season goes on. Also, he's in the trade rumors and a trade usually ends up hurting a pitcher...especially if he comes to the AL where there is one more batter to face.
2. Jon Garland - If I had to tell you this, you're probably in the bottom half of your league any way, even with Garland's stats. He's not an overpowering pitcher and doesn't have a track record to justify his numbers. He's never going to be worth more than he is now...get rid of him.
1. Brian Roberts - I'm a big fan of this guy after reading an article about him and his dad in ESPN the Magazine, but his stats are more surprising than a Brady Anderson 50 HR season. He'll still be up there in SB by the end of the season, but the HR and AVG are gonna take a big dip. I'd move him for a legit stud while you can.
Top 5 Guys to Trade FOR:
5. Scott Olsen - This young gun has a track record for high K/IP and Florida has a track record for quality young guns. Seems like a no brainer to me, and you might not even need to trade for him (waivers).
4. Matt Lawton - This is a more risky move and would need to be done quickly, but if he gets traded to the Yankees to play CF, you won't be able to get him away from his owner...because he'll be nasty.
3. Sammy Sosa - I have faith in old Sammy...even without his Cream and Cork. I think the move to DH will help keep him fresher, and seeing him end the season with 30 HR does not seem unrealistic to me...but translates to 21 second half HRs. That's nice.
2. Lance Berkman - He's healthy and hopefully his owner hasn't really noticed the hot couple weeks he's had. Even if he has, make the move for Berkman. He'll put up a .310-40-24-50 second half and I'm sure you won't have to give up something comparable to those lofty goals.
1. Jimmy Rollins - His stock is not really low, but Thome is bound to return to health in the second half and the team is likely to start running a lot more if they start falling out of contention. If that happens, I see Rollins stealing 40-50 (No, I'm not on crack) and getting much more Runs in the second half. The guys you move to get these stats will be worth it.
That's my advice, take it or leave it. I'll write more about Fantasy in September when I am inches away from an unprecedented 3 league sweep (actually, third one will be tough).