Wednesday, April 14, 2010

2010 Fantasy Baseball: Week One Top Performers

This series is devoted to spotlighting each week’s top fantasy producers. Each player awarded a position is determined by their statistics for the last seven days. Game changing contributions are also considered.

Top Stat Stars

American League: Vernon Wells OF (Tor)
7-Runs, 4-HR, 7-RBI, .500-AVG

National League: Edgar Renteria (SF)
4-Runs, 1-HR, 3-XBH, 5-RBI, 3-BB, .688-AVG

American League Stat Stars

C Matt Wieters (Bal)
3-Runs, 1-HR, 2-RBI, 2-BB, .429-AVG

1B Miguel Cabrera (Det)
3-Runs, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 2-BB, .471-AVG

2B Robinson Cano (NYY)
3-Runs, 1-HR, 2-XBH, 3-RBI, .375-AVG

SS Jeff Pennington (Oak)
3-Runs, 1-HR, 3-XBH, 5-RBI, .353-AVG

3B Evan Longoria (TB)
2-Runs, 2-HR, 3-XBH, 5-RBI, .375-AVG

OF Vernon Wells (Tor)
7-Runs, 4-HR, 7-RBI, .500-AVG

OF Nelson Cruz (Tex)
4-Runs, 3-HR, 4-XBH, 7-RBI, 2-BB, .500-AVG

OF Magglio Ordonez (Det)
4-Runs, 1-HR, 3-XBH, 2-RBI, .500-AVG

DH: Vladimir Guerrero (Tex)
3-Runs, 1-HR, 2-XBH, 2-RBI, .600-AVG

SP Matt Garza (TB)
9-K, 1.13-ERA, Win

RP Mariano Rivera (NYY)
1-K, 0.00-ERA, 2-Saves

Team: Minnesota Twins 5-1

Other notable Stat Stars:
C Jorge Posada (NYY) 3-R, 1-HR, 2-RBI, 4-BB, .357-AVG
1b Justin Morneau (Min) 7-R, 2-HR, 4-RBI, 5-BB, .389-AVG
2b Mark Ellis (Oak) 6-R, 1-XBH, 3-BB, .400-AVG
SS JJ Hardy (Min) 3-R, 2-HR, 3-RBI, .333-AVG
1B/3B Kevin Youkilis 4-R, 3-XBH, 3-RBI, .385-AVG
OF Franklin Gutierrez 3-R, 2-XBH, 2-BB, .389-AVG
OF Rick Ankiel 1-HR, 3-XBH, 4-RBI, 1-SB, .375-AVG
OF Rajai Davis 6-R, 1-HR, 2-XBH, 4-RBI, 2-SB, .375-AVG
SP Dallas Braden (Oak) 10-K, 1.29-ERA, No Decision
SP Carl Pavano (Min) 6-K, 1.29-ERA, Win
SP Mark Buehrle (CWS) 3-K, 0.00-ERA, Win
SP John Lackey (Bos) 3-K, 0.00-ERA, No Decision
SP Brett Anderson (Oak) 4-K, 0.00-ERA, Win
SP Max Scherzer (Det) 3-K, 0.00-ERA, No Decision, *1-hit in 6 innings
SP Luke Hochevar (KC) 2-K, 0.00-ERA, No Decision
RP Chris Perez (Cle) 1-K, 0.00-ERA, 2 Saves

National League Stat Stars:

C Miguel Montero
2-Run, 1-XBH, 3-RBI, .545-AVG

1B Ryan Howard (Phi)
4-R, 2-HR, 5-XBH, 7-RBI, .400-AVG

2B Placido Polanco (Phi)
7-Runs, 1-HR, 8-RBI, .579-AVG

SS Edgar Renteria
6-Runs, 1-HR, 3-XBH, 5-RBI, 3-BB, .688-AVG

3B Martin Prado (Atl)
5-Runs, 2-XBH, .625-AVG

OF Matt Holliday (Oak)
6-Runs, 2-HR, 4-XBH, 5-RBI, 1-SB, .471 AVG

OF Carlos Gonzalez (Col)
5-Runs, 1-XBH, .450-AVG

OF Jeff Francoeur (NYM)
3-Runs, 2-HR, 4-XBH, 6-RBI, .429-AVG

SP Jorge De La Rosa (Col)
9-K, 0.00-ERA, Win

RP Brian Wilson (SF)
4-K, 0.00-ERA, 2-Saves

Team: St. Louis Cardinals 4-1

Other notable Stat Stars:
C Ivan Rodriguez (Was) 2-XBH, .462-AVG
1b Daric Barton (Oak) 3-R, 2-XBH, 7-RBI, 6-BB, .438-AVG
2b Jeff Keppinger (Hou) 3-XBH, .545-AVG
SS Jimmy Rollins (Phi) 6-R, 4-XBH, 6-BB, .467-AVG
3b Juan Uribe (SF) 4-R, 2-XBH, 3-RBI, 1-SB, .375-AVG
OF Ryan Braun (Mil) 2-XBH, 2-RBI, 2-BB, .429-AVG
OF Chris Young (Ari) 3-R, 2-HR, 3-XBH, 7-RBI, .400-AVG
OF Colby Rasmus (Stl) 4-R, 1-HR, 2-XBH, 7-BB, 1-SB, .400-AVG
SP Tim Lincecum (SF) 7-K, 0.00-ERA, Win
SP Hiroki Kuroda (LAD) 7-K, 0.00-ERA, Win
SP Roy Halladay (Phi) 9-K, 1.29-ERA, Win
SP Barry Zito (SF) 5-K, 0.00-ERA, Win
SP Chris Young (SD) 5-K, 0.00-ERA, Win, *1-hit in 6 innings
SP Ryan Dempster (ChC) 9-K, 1.50-ERA, No Decision
SP Chad Billingsley (LAD) 7-K, 1.69-ERA, Win
SP Ubaldo Jimenez (Col) 6-K, 1.50-ERA, Win
SP Rodrigo Lopez (Ari) 5-K, 1.50-ERA, Win

2010 Fantasy Baseball: Week One Top Pitcher Report

This is a weekly focus on the hurlers that dominated their adversaries. These pitchers put up nasty numbers this week and made big league hitters wish they were playing T-Ball again.

SP Jorge De La Rosa (Col)
9 K, 0.00 ERA, Win

Jorge De La Rosa was stellar when he handed the San Diego Padres nine strikeouts in seven innings. He was straight up nasty for the home opener, pleasing the fans of the Colorado Rockies.

De La Rosa had an excellent March with 30 innings of work. He left the small parks of Spring with 1.50 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. He is carrying that over into the regular season.

It looks like his hot streak is on full steam. I think it’s time to get excited about Jorge De La Rosa.

SP Matt Garza (TB)
9 K, 1.13 ERA, Win

Matt Garza was dripping with awesome when he sat down nine hitters with eight innings on the mound. Garza looks poised to continue the season with excellent production.

SP Tim Lincecum (SF)
7 K, 0.00 ERA, Win

The Freak came back where he left off. Lincecum put away seven hopefuls and walked away with another win.

With a new two-year contract in hand, Lincecum is sitting comfortable in San Francisco.

SP Roy Halladay (Phi)
9 K, 1.29 ERA, Win

Halladay has new laundry to care for with his move to Philadelphia.

The Phillies looks to win more pennants and championships in 2010 and will have the arm of the newest National League threat on the hill.

Halladay didn’t do anything that he hasn’t been doing. He made nine guys wish they could ask for a “do over” and left with a win on his debut for National League champions.

SP Hiroki Kuroda (LAD)
7 K, 0.00 ERA, Win

The Dodgers have an injury-free Hiroki Kuroda and the result is a win with his first game.

A confident Kuroda was on the mound Friday. He had command and struck out seven Marlins after eight innings. Make the trade if it’s available, he’s going to have a nice year.

SP Dallas Braden (Oak)
10 K, 1.29 ERA, No Decision

In his first outing against Seattle, Braden was impressive with 10 strikeouts. Oakland’s starting pitcher was also amazingly able to pick off Ichiro Suzuki.

It wasn’t pretty when he threw a wild pitch and balked, but he is worth taking a shot at.

RP Mariano Rivera (NYY)
1 K, 0.00 ERA, 2 Saves

Rivera already has a save against the Boston Red Sox and looked flawless doing it. Every time critics start to count out the Yankees closer, he shows them why is he is the best at ending a ball game.

RP Brian Wilson (SF)
4 K, 0.00 ERA, 2 Saves

Wilson ripped the Astros in the ninth Tuesday and picked up his second save.

Wilson agreed to a two-year, $15 million dollar contract with the San Francisco Giants last Friday.

More Impressive Pitchers:
SP Barry Zito (SF) 5-K, 0.00-ERA, Win
SP Chris Young (SD) 5-K, 0.00-ERA, Win, *1-hit in 6 innings
SP Ryan Dempster (ChC) 9-K, 1.50-ERA, No Decision
SP Chad Billingsley (LAD) 7-K, 1.69-ERA, Win
SP Ubaldo Jimenez (Col) 6-K, 1.50-ERA, Win
SP Luke Hochevar (KC) 2-K, 0.00-ERA, No Decision
SP Rodrigo Lopez (Ari) 5-K, 1.50-ERA, Win
SP Carl Pavano (Min) 6-K, 1.29-ERA, Win
SP Mark Buehrle (CWS) 3-K, 0.00-ERA, Win
SP John Lackey (Bos) 3-K, 0.00-ERA, No Decision
SP Brett Anderson (Oak) 4-K, 0.00-ERA, Win
SP Max Scherzer (Det) 3-K, 0.00-ERA, No Decision, *1-hit in 6 innings
RP Chris Perez (Cle) 1-K, 0.00-ERA, 2 Saves
RP Francisco Cordero (Cin) 3-K, 3.00-ERA, 1-Save

2010 Fantasy Baseball: Week One Hot Streak Report

During the first week of baseball we have all been spending our days in front of the tube watching as much baseball that the women in our lives will allow. Here are a few guys that have shocked us with their savage bats during week one.

1.) Edgar Renteria, SS

San Francisco Giants short stop Edgar Renteria has been on fire. He is sporting the best average in baseball: .688. Surprisingly, he is only owned in 23 percent of fantasy leagues.

Renteria had a horrible 2009 that included right elbow surgery. He needs to stay healthy for the duration of the season to have any hopes of a comeback. At 35-years-old and with 14 seasons under his belt, he doesn’t have a lot of time.

In 1996 he started out with the Florida Marlins, ending the season with a .309 batting average. He stuck around Florida for three years, until he left for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1999, where he spent six productive seasons. Since then, Renteria has bounced from team to team, landing most recently in San Francisco.

I would recommend picking up Renteria as a free agent in exchange for one of your bench players. If he cools off, drop him and cut your losses. He is worth the risk at this point, though.

2.) Vernon Wells, OF

The Toronto Blue Jays must be happy with Vernon Wells this past week. Wells is the American League-leader in nearly every offensive category. He already has four home runs and has the second best average in the AL.

Wells is yet another player that has been plagued with injuries in past seasons. Now healthy, he has the makings of an All-Star.

I wouldn’t be jumping at the opportunity to make any trades for him; it is, after all, only the first week of baseball. Count yourself lucky if you already have Vernon Wells on your roster. Enjoy those monster stats he’s giving your team.

3.) Martin Prado, 1b, 2b, 3b

The former Atlanta Braves utility man is holding a .625 average, good for second best in the majors. Martin Prado is a valuable fantasy player, as he qualifies for 1b, 2b, and 3b.

During the fantasy drafts, Prado was undervalued and went for dirt cheap. Take him off your bench and let him bring in the points.

4.) Placido Polanco, 2b

The Philadelphia Phillies welcomed Placido Polanco to their club this offseason. Now, Polanco has the best average in the National League. To top it all off, he is the RBI leader and has scored seven runs.

He is a 2006 ALCS MVP, 2007 Silver Slugger, and has pair of gold gloves. Polanco is a solid player to make a decent trade for.

Already hating your fantasy baseball team? Head over to Fantazzle to play daily and weekly fantasy baseball games to win cash prizes!

For fantasy baseball advice and MLB team previews, head over to MLB Soup .

UFC 112: Renzo Gracie to Defend Family Legacy

On April 10th, 2010 Renzo Gracie will have the weight of the world on his shoulders as he steps into the Octagon against former two-time UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes.

Renzo Gracie is a BJJ expert and Gracie Barra black belt. He is a part of MMA royalty as a member of the Gracie family. On the night of UFC 112, he will fight for the family name.

The match has all the makings of a Hollywood blockbuster. The storyline is compelling and has a lot of history behind it. A feared and hated warrior conquered the beloved family members and students. Now one man is the last hope to avenge the family.

Hughes made a controversial statement prior to the Royce Gracie fight back in 2006.
Hughes said, “The Gracie name means nothing to me. He’s just another opponent. The Gracie’s think that Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is all you need to win and that’s wrong. B.J. Penn could take him, Georges St. Pierre could take him, there’s a bunch of people in the welterweight division who could take him. Winning the first two UFC’s means nothing.”

Matt Hughes dominated Renzo’s cousin, UFC legend Royce Gracie at UFC 60.
Matt Hughes later would feud with Matt Serra, a Renzo Gracie black belt, during the Ultimate Fighter 6 show. Matt Hughes would go on to defeat Matt Serra at UFC 98.

Matt Hughes has already been to Abu Dhabi, the location of UFC 112, when he defeated Gracie standout student Ricardo Almeida in an ADCC championship match in 2000.

Renzo Gracie is coming off three victories over MMA legends Frank Shamrock, Carlos Newton and Pat Miletich. There are some who would say Renzo never looked better in those victories.

Renzo however has not fought in nearly two years. Renzo stated “I’m feeling like a kid”. Gracie said, “I lost 27 pounds and I’m back in the game. I can’t wait to fight.”

Renzo Gracie’s schools and businesses are at a point they are running themselves according to Renzo. He said that now he is concentrating on himself for the first time and is only training to fight.

Gracie said, “I believe I’m going to surprise a lot of people.”

Gracie and Hughes have not fueled the fight with any disrespectful interviews. Matt Hughes actually gave Renzo praise in a comment he made that cited Renzo as the best of the Gracie clan.
“I’ve always said that from the beginning, if you want to fight the best Gracie, you need to fight Renzo, and I still say that. He’s the best one carrying the name in my opinion.”

“I’ve watched (Hughes) develop from just a pure sport-wrestler to a well-rounded mixed martial artist” Renzo Gracie said. “I have a lot of respect for the guy’s fighting ability and his achievements. I admire his work ethic and longevity”.

Despite his obvious intent to avenge Royce’s loss, Renzo knows that Hughes is one of his strongest opponents of his career.

Matt Hughes secured a multi-fight deal with the UFC in 2009.

Renzo Gracie recently signed a six-fight contract with UFC which guarantees that we will see more of Renzo Gracie in the Octagon.

For more MMA news and fight previews, check out

The Ultimate Fighter 11: Ep.2 Recap

The show begins with the fighter cast running around the fighter house excited about making it on the show. Chris Camozzi and Clayton McKinney talk about the injuries they sustained in their first fights.

Picking Teams

Dana White explains that after the first fight the winning fighter’s team picks the next fight. Tito Ortiz wins the coin toss and chooses to get the first pick, which leaves Chuck Liddell with the first fight pick.

The following is the order of picks by each coach:

Nick Ring 10-0 Team Ortiz
Kyle Noke 16-4-1 Team Liddell
Kyacey Uscola 18-15 Team Ortiz
Rich Attonito 7-3 Team Liddell
Kris McCray 5-0 Team Ortiz
Charles Blanchard 7-2 Team Liddell
Jamie Yager 2-1 Team Ortiz
Josh Bryant 10-0 Team Liddell
James Hammortree 5-1 Team Ortiz
Brad Tavares 5-1 Team Liddell
Clayton McKinney 4-2 Team Ortiz
Court McGee 9-1 Team Liddell
Chris Camozzi 12-3 Team Ortiz
Joe Henle 3-0 Team Liddell

Ortiz says that Liddell picked all the guys he didn’t want and was happy with his team. Dana White questions Liddell’s strategy during the picks. Liddell tells White that he watched their previous fights and looked at their records.

Chuck said that he is going to focus on refining what his fighters already have, rather than teaching them new techniques.

Ortiz believes Clayton McKinney isn’t training hard and wants to stay on top of him to push him to be his best. McKinney is shown nursing his shoulder during training. McKinney says that he is limited due to his shoulder injury.

Chris Camozzi says that he is all banged up and expects to be picked to be the first fight.

Fight Announcement

Chuck Liddell chooses his top pick Kyle Noke to face Clayton McKinney. They pose for the fight face-off.

Kyle Noke said he wants to be Australia’s first UFC champion and hopes to open doors for other Australian fighters.

At the House

Jamie Yager, Brad Tavares, and Kris McCray talk about how they have bonded and would remain a clique regardless of team affiliation.

Yager, Tavares, and McCray run around the house with horns after declaring no one would sleep that night.

James Hammortree said during an interview that he thought it was an alarm and he was back at his fire house.

McKinney’s MRI reveals that he sustained only a minor injury and that there are no torn ligaments. Ortiz pokes fun at McKinney for milking the injury.

At the Training Center

Liddell talks to his team about what Ortiz said during an interview. Ortiz claims that Liddell was an alcoholic and that Dana White had to have an intervention, which Liddell refutes. Liddell then says that he might drop Ortiz. Liddell states that “knowing Tito, he’s that much a pussy, he would press charges.”

Ortiz tells his team that it’s his birthday. Ortiz starts punching a “Chuck Liddell” piƱata full of cash. But his team is disappointed that the cash was just one dollar bills.


Both Noke and McKinney make weight and do the face-off for the matchup. Dana White picks Noke to win but believes it would have been tougher if McKinney were healthier.



Noke and McKinney touch gloves and begin to trade leg kicks for about two minutes. McKinney takes Noke’s back and attempts to slam him without success. Noke rolls for a knee bar on McKinney. McKinney stuffs the submission attempt and a scramble takes place. Noke throws up his legs and catches McKinney in a triangle. Not much defense on McKinney’s part as he taps quickly.

McKinney is upset and attempts to walk away but Ortiz calls him back. Ortiz asks him to give him a minute. Ortiz demonstrates a triangle escape. McKinney reluctantly demonstrates two triangle escapes after Ortiz asked him to. Ortiz reminds McKinney that there is a wild card and it isn’t over yet.

Preview for the next show:

Dana has a shocking announcement.

More footage of Jamie Yager as he continues to cause problems in the house.

The Ultimate Fighter 11: Ep.1 Recap

It’s hard to believe that this is the 11th season of The Ultimate Fighter. The coaches for this season are Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell. Both coaches have suffered some recent losses but are still riding the wave of fame associated with their championship reigns.

The feud between Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell has lasted for years. Their rivalry fuels the hype behind this year’s TUF 11. Both Ortiz and Liddell have been coaches before on TUF during previous seasons. Ortiz has proven to be one of the best coaches of the series despite his arrogant attitude. At the conclusion of the season, Ortiz will face Liddell in the cage for an anticipated rematch.

This season started with all of the hopeful fighters entering the new TUF gym. UFC President Dana White announced to the fighters that there will be a “wild card” this season. White explained that 14 fighters will make it into the house leading to seven preliminary matches. The coaches and White will decide which two of the losing fighters will have a second chance to fight their way into the quarter finals.

Dana White gave his broken record speech about not leaving it in the hands of the judges and failed dreams. White mercifully left out his usual “So you want to be a fighter?” catch phrase.

Jamie Yager dropping Ben Stark after a series of vicious head kicks.

Brad Tavares finishes Jordan Smith with a right hook knocking out Smith.

Kris McCray defeats Cleburn Walker after a beautiful hip throw by McCray causing a possible injury to Walker.

James Hammortree wins after Norman Paraisy actually quits in between rounds without any known injury. Paraisy in an interview prior to the match stated that he would prove that the French were not soft. Paraisy obviously failed in disproving the stereotype. Ortiz, Liddell, and White sat cage side surprised by the outcome. Paraisy later explained that he wasn’t feeling himself.

Nick Ring defeated Weatherby via decision.

Kyle Noke defeated Thompson via decision.

Court McGee wins via decision after a battle with Baczynski.

Chris Cmozzi defeated Victor O’Donnell via decision after a brutal war that left O’Donnell with a broken orbital socket.

Kyacey Uscola knocked out Brent Cooper with a nice right hand.

Joe Henle wins via last minute armbar over Philippou.

Rich Attonito defeated Steffens via decision after doing what wrestlers do, take down and hold down.
Josh Bryant defeated Rebello via decision.

Charles Blanchard defeated Flynn with ease.

Clayton McKinney knocks out Charley Lynch after a war and leaves Lynch with a badly broken nose. During the bout, McKinney even told Lynch in between punches that his nose was disfigured. Let’s give some kudos to Lynch for being one tough son of gun.

Fighters that made it into the house:
Jamie Yager Brad Tavares Kris McCray
Nick Ring Kyle Noke Court McGee
Kyacey Uscola Joe Henle Rich Attonito
Charles Blanchard Clayton McKinney James Hammortree
Chris Camozzi Josh Bryant

To close the show, interviewed fighters expressed the strength of the talent this season and admitted that there was tough competition ahead.

The show ends with future episode highlights depicting disorderly conduct between the fighters inside the house and coaches destroying those poor doors yet again.

There isn’t a door safe on The Ultimate Fighter show. This season looks like it may redeem the series which was criticized the last few seasons for choosing fighters based on their entertainment qualities rather than their talent.

For more Mixed Martial Arts news and fight previews

2010 Major League Baseball's Opening Night: Yankees Vs. Red Sox

It’s the day you have been waiting for since your favorite NFL team was knocked out of Super Bowl contention. Baseball is here and the boys of summer are ready for another fight to make it to October.

On April 4th, Major League Baseball opens the 2010 season with the most storied rivalry in all sports. The defending 2009 World Series champion New York Yankees will be in enemy territory when they battle with the Boston Red Sox.

The first game will feature two the American League East’s top pitchers. The rivals are sending in their best with CC Sabathia to face off against Josh Beckett.

Josh Beckett has struggled against the Yankees with a career 5.33 ERA. The Yankees hit several bombs last year with eight home runs when Beckett was on the mound. It gets worse as Yankee sluggers Jeter, Posada, and Cano have a .300 plus avg. against the confident hurler. Beckett is the ace of the staff but Lester would have been a better choice for the opening night game against the Evil Empire.

CC Sabathia has owned the Red Sox and is rocking a 3-1 record with a 2.22 ERA last season. Red Sox standouts like Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre hit under .200 when in the box against the Yankee ace. If anyone will do well on Sunday night for the Red Sox it will likely be new additions Mike Cameron who sports a .462 avg. and Marco Scutoro with a .353 avg.

The Yankees have lost some key players with Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui. Yankee management attempted to answer the void in the off-season by bringing in Curtis Granderson and Nick Johnson. Even without “A Thrilla from Godzilla," the Bronx Bombers are still contenders with Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, and Mariano River in pinstripes.

The Red Sox let Jason Bay go without a fight and took in the gold gloves of Mike Cameron and Adrian Beltre.

The Red Sox have arguably the best pitching rotation in baseball and that’s with Dice-K on the disable list to start the season. There is fantastic group of relievers to set up a nice ninth inning for closer Jonathan Papelbon.

It’s apparent the focus this season for Boston is pitching and defense but they still have some bats in their line-up to provide some run support.

This will be the first of many games between the two big market franchises. But ask any member of the Red Sox Nation and you will learn that every game against the Yankees is important. The Fenway faithful root for the Red Sox and any team facing the Yankees that night.

The Yankees and Red Sox are heavy favorites to go to the World Series. We get the see what could be an early preview of the American League Championship Series with the first game of the season. Let’s all take a seat and enjoy another great season watching our heroes play the game we all love.

For fantasy baseball advice and MLB team previews, head over to MLB Soup .

2010 Fantasy Baseball Draft Focus: Hitting

Your first round drafts are Albert Pujols (Stl), Hanley Ramirez (Fl), Alex Rodriguez (NYY), Ryan Braun (Mil), Chase Utley (Phil), and Mark Teixeira (NYY). Any fantasy team owner would be happy ending up with one of those guys as their first pick on a snake draft.

The auction draft is a different beast. Those headline grabbers can be a budget buster. Be mindful that Albert Pujols and Hanley Ramirez are going to be in the high 40s. In some leagues, you might have a maniac bidder which could drive up their prices into the 50s.

Remember, you still have 24 other roster positions to fill after that so be careful when bidding on the sexy picks. You don’t want to blow one fifth of your cash on one player and be stuck with bottom dwelling hitters for your outfield.

Pablo Sandoval (SF) should be on your team if you expect to win. The Kung-Fu Panda was making a big splash in San Francisco last year hitting .330 with 25 home runs. Sandoval was only second to Hanley Ramirez in NL batting. I think Sandoval is perfect fit for anyone’s roster because he is qualified for both first base and third base.

Listed for first base and third base is a big plus in fantasy. Kevin Youkilis (Bos) like Kung-Fu Panda falls into this category. Youkilis has been consistent with the Red Sox for the last few years and will bring nice numbers to your categories.

Jose Reyes (NYM) will be on the DL on opening day but it won’t effect his draft position. Hanley Ramirez is of course your dream short stop but if you can’t pick him up or afford him, I would go with Jason Bartlett (TB).

Chase Utley (Phi) is far and beyond the top second baseman. Ian Kinsler (Tex) will bring some power and speed that most second basemen don’t give. You can’t go wrong with Dustin Pedroia (Bos) was Rookie of the Year and MVP in his first two years.

Andre Ethier (LA), Ichiro Suzuki (Sea), Johnny Damon (Det), Adam Lind (Tor), Andrew McCutchen (Pit), and Nyjer Morgan (Was) are my picks for the outfield if you are staying away from big dollar players like Ryan Braun (Mil), Matt Kemp (Phi), Justin Upton (Arz) and Matt Holliday (Stl).

Jacoby Ellsbury (Bos) has 70 stolen bases and is an early round two draft pick. Ellsbury is also very over priced in auction drafts. Ellsbury just isn’t enough bang for your buck.
Instead of dropping your second pick for steals, I would recommend taking Andrew McCutchen who has 22 steals and Nyjer Morgan with 42 steals in later rounds. If you can’t get McCutchen, you could settle for a Juan Pierre who will get you 30 stolen bases.

Don't forget Juan Pierre had a fantastic 2007 with 64 steals, Ellsbury will likely slow down after this year and isn't your man for a keeper league but thefts should not be ignored.

Magglio Ordonez had a .368 avg. with 25 home runs in 2007. I believe that he will get you a decent .300 average with 15 home runs this season. Ordonez would be a nice fourth outfielder for a bargain or a later round snake draft pick. Your catcher should be Victor Martinez or Brian McCann. V-mart and McCann will provide 20 plus home runs and .290 avg. Joe Mauer is projected to hit 25 home runs and a .332 avg. Mauer is just a tad better but way too popular this year and will cost you a pretty penny to land him. The Twins are moving into their new stadium which could cause problems for Minnesota’s favorite son. Yadier Molina (Stl) is the perfect back-up catcher to your fantasy team.

In a Keeper League you will want to secure prospects Jason Heyward OF (Atl) and a Justin Smoak 1B/DH (Tex). Heyward is a top notch hitter in the minor leagues and looks like he might get the nod on opening day for the Braves. Justin Smoak did well last year after battling some injuries, bet on his appearance in the majors sometime in 2010.

Gamble on injured players. They will be cheap and if they return to greatness, your team will get the benefits.

Remember, video game cover boys alone won’t win you a fantasy baseball championship.

For fantasy baseball advice and MLB news, head over to MLB Soup and

2010 Fantasy Draft Focus:Pitchers

There are various theories about when and where to draft your pitching in fantasy baseball.

I would avoid picking up too many big name hurlers at the high dollar or 4th round picks. Use those early rounds to draft big bats. Zack Greinke, Tim Lincecum, CC Sabathia, Jon Lester, Johan Santana, Chris Carpenter, Felix Hernandez, Justin Verlander, Josh Beckett, and Roy Halladay are your top tier starters. I suggest picking up just one of those rock stars.

Spend your cash on cheaper (but just as effective) names like John Lackey, Wandy Rodriguez, Ubaldo Jimenez, Josh Johnson, or Clayton Kershaw. In an auction league you could pick up two of the aforementioned players for the same cash as just one Roy Halladay.

Some guys will spend some cheddar on those magazine cover boys which leaves their batting order at a Kansas City Royals level. Stack your staff with Second Tier starters and pick up some sluggers to get those winning points.

If you are in an auction league, you can get Ted Lilly, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Ben Sheets, and Randy Wolf for dirt cheap. On a snake draft, those cats would not even be on page one for starters. Dice-K is going to start the season on the DL which makes some fantasy owners stay clear. You should pick him up and put him on the bench. When the season begins, place him on the DL and snatch up a replacement lower level starter from waivers like a Kawakami.

When Dice-K starts to pitch, he is going to put up at least 14 wins for you this season. Ben Sheets is coming back from injury and is on a new team. Sheets would be a nice number 9 pitcher on your roster who could pay off big time.

Ted Lilly and Randy Wolf are really cheap steadfast pitchers that you could place on your 7 or 8 slots. Some other pitchers you might want for later in the draft are John Maine, Jason Marquis, Hiroki Kuroda and Joel Pineiro.

Your top closers are Mariano Rivera, Jonathan Papelbon, Francisco Rodriguez, Heath Bell, and Jonathan Broxton. I would always snatch up one of those names to help out in the superhero saving. Some guys throw away the saves category which I believe to be a big mistake. If you can’t grab a top tier guy, you should pick up Jose Valverde and Frank Francisco.

With Joe Nathan out for the season, the Twins closing spot may be a revolving door so stay away from the flavor of the week. Brad Lidge will bounce back after a horrific 2009. He is listed for $1 on most auction drafts and nearly forgotten on snake drafts. He will start the season on the 15-day DL but he will return with championship thunder when he steps back on the mound. Lidge would be a great last pick for your team.

Everyone gets giddy like a school girl when talking about sleepers. All fantasy owners want to find that virtual unknown. You imagine putting him on the mound and giving you an unexpected 12 plus wins. It will be the talk of the town. You must take Brian Matusz of the Baltimore Orioles if you are in a keeper league.

Another sleeper pick to wow your opponents is Kyle Drabek of the Toronto Blue Jays. Kyle’s dad is CY Young winner Doug Drabek. Your pitching staff is now ready to fast ball your way to a fantasy baseball championship.

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