Category: Houston Astros

Due for an Update

This week feels familiar. Not only am I back to being jobless and describing myself as a “starving artist” as I sit around in my underwear watching YouTube videos all day (I’m kidding, I’m very productive…) but the Miami Carlins are also performing well and without much worry.

The Miami Carlins have a nice 185-157 lead over Drunkin’ Drafters. We’re tied up in starts with 3 and will remain tied after today with 5. For the Carlins, Matt Moore and newly acquired Jake Westbrook will look to add to the team’s point scoring deluge. For Drunkin’ Drafters, C.J. Wilson and Kyle Lohse will be pitching. Moore has had some bad starts lately, many of which he hasn’t been in the starting lineup for the Carlins during. I’m hoping he’ll bounce back from his last start and put in a good performance now that he knows I’m relying on him.

Not much other news has happened in the league or for the Carlins specifically. It’s almost as if many of the teams in this league are counting on free agent signings to help them win this season. Currently in the Carlins starting lineup Matt Carpenter, Jhonny Peralta, and a combination Torii Hunter/Carlos Gomez/Daniel Nava are all free agent signings. The only player I dropped this season I wish I had not dropped is Domonic Brown, who I guess only had one good month and has since cooled off. I have him in my Yahoo league so not all is lost from releasing him.

Matt Carpenter, Carlos Gomez, and Daniel Nava are 3 of the top scoring players on the Carlins and in the league. I never thought so much of the team would be created in free agency. Pitchers are of course different as those are changing much more frequently such as signing whoever is pitching against the Astros or Marlins. You may at this point be able to add the Chicago White Sox to that list, a team that seems to rely on Adam Dunn home runs to get by. Surprise teams near the bottom of runs scored are the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers. The Houston Astros are actually 21st in runs scored this season. Why are they so bad? It’s their pitching, the worst in the majors. When the Astros win, they win 10-8. When the Astros lose, they lose 8-1. You should still feel confident enough starting a pitcher against them though. Younger guys may be a little riskier, especially rookies considering many of the guys on the Astros probably faced them in the minors.

astros pitcher(Houston Astros pitcher Jacob Clarke pitching last week on his 11th birthday. He got a blown save and a new bike!)

This post was ridiculous and gave no real insight into how to help your own fantasy baseball team. I’m really getting the hang of this expert thing.

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Ringers

Coming into Sunday against Stone Cold, the Miami Carlins lead 284-266. Even more impressive could be the fact that Carlins seem to almost always keep pace with the higher scoring teams each week. This week Stone Cold is ranked third in points. With any other opponent, they might be looking at an easy victory.

One thing to look at with this week’s match-up is whether Stone Cold lost or if the Miami Carlins won. Not that it’s over yet, but here’s hoping to it.

Max Scherzer in his first start for Stone Cold earned 32 points. Last night, Derek Holland earned 27. After these two there is a major fall-off in points earned by starting pitchers.  Bronson Arroyo and Tommy Milone both earned 12, Justin Masterson added 7, and just last night Felix Hernandez tacked on a measly 6. Scherzer goes again today for Stone Cold, hoping to repeat what he did his first time around.

The Carlins have had a similar week with starting pitching. Last night Mike Minor earned 31 points and after him there is significantly less points earned by each of the starting pitchers, the lowest being 10 points for Yu Darvish.

Since starting pitching is a main component in this league, some saying the most important part, the Miami Carlins have decided to designate one of their starting pitching spots as the “ringer” position. A.J. Griffin was brought in this week to pitch against the Houston Astros. He earned 16 points last night. Immediately following the victory, he was released in favor of Jerome Williams who will be facing the Astros later this week.

Astros-2013-Jerseys(When your team only has a few more wins 2 months in than you do jerseys, it’s time to stop being a baseball team and start your own clothing line)

I’m still not completely confident in my pitching rotation overall. Yu Darvish, Jordan Zimmermann, Matt Moore, and Mike Minor are more than reliable. I still have faith that Cole Hamels will get with the program. My feelings about Brandon Morrow are complicated. Unless he’s up against the Astros or he starts pitching more consistent, I’m afraid to start him. His last outing was not a bad one so maybe soon he will fall back into the fold and not just be a wasted roster spot.

Speaking of wasted roster spots, I’m still not sure if a release for Brandon League should happen once J.J. Putz is back. I like the availability of a fourth closer in case of an injury or one for sure will not be pitching, but that is also a spot that could be better spent on a starting pitcher. Perhaps if one of the ringers turns out to be more than that I can transfer it over. With only 5 starting pitchers that aren’t going anywhere, the possibilities are endless. Or at least they go until they can end.

18 points up on Stone Cold, the Miami Carlins will push Cole Hamels out onto the mound while Stone Cold does the same for Max Scherzer. A win will get the Carlins back to their winning ways. A third straight loss and well, it’s not going to be good.

Baseball Opening Day – Praise from Glen Macnow

Yesterday while listening to Sports Radio WIP based out of Philadelphia which I do way more than anyone probably should, a conversation came up between the hosts on my favorite show.

Host Anthony Gargano was complaining to fellow host Glen Macnow about baseball’s opening day and how it means nothing these days. Opening day is Sunday night, Easter Sunday for some reason, and it is a game between the Texas Rangers and the Houston Astros. The Rangers will be pretty good this season once again, but the Astros will have an epic season as far as terrible play is concerned. All sports fans whether you follow baseball or competitive eating is more your thing, can agree this is not a match-up that gets anyone interested.

Anthony and Glen came to the conclusion this was the choice because they are in-state rivals. Up until this season it would have been interleague play, but the Astros are now in the AL West which has causes a lot of pandemonium as far as opponent match-ups is concerned. Every night there will be interleague play this season since both leagues have 15 teams. That means on opening day an AL team will play an NL team and on the final day of the season this will happen again. All throughout the season there will be match-ups that don’t get anyone excited.

I knew this would always happen. When I was younger I envisioned it. In my school planner rather than writing down my homework I would write down fake baseball schedules with interleague games all-throughout. Maybe finally it’s paying off.

Anthony threw out a few other possibilities of opening day match-ups. He didn’t go with the one I thought was perfect, the Baltimore Orioles at the Washington Nationals. Here are a few reasons why:

1) It introduces interleague play from the start

2) It will be taking place in the nation’s capital which means Obama can show up and there might actually be some more hype to it

3) Both teams last year surprised everyone by making the playoffs for the first time in over 10 years (the Nationals technically never making it unless you consider them the Montreal Expos franchise which I do)

praise from glen macnow

Glen Macnow has always been kind enough to respond to me on Twitter whenever I have sent him my garbage opinions. I sent him my thoughts on this in less than 140 characters and he loved it! Then I sat by the computer for an hour hoping he would bring it up on the radio. He never did, but I have photographic evidence anyway. Him mentioning it through spoken word would have lasted only in a blip of time. This lasts forever. It made my day to have one of my favorite radio hosts not only pay attention to what I was saying, but to acknowledge it was a great idea.

Glen Macnow, thank you for entertaining me and other sports fans with your wit, humor, and knowledge of all sports not called soccer. You will probably never read this because I am too chicken to send it to you. It’s probably better that way. Howard Eskin would cry if he knew how much people like you more than they like him.

The 2013 Houston Astros’ Payroll in a Nutshell

The Houston Astros baseball squadron is expected to have a payroll of around $15.1 million dollars in the 2013 season. To the average human being this is an amazing amount of cash. In the baseball world it’s chump change. Alex Rodriguez is so stinking rich it is rumored that he paid Cameron Diaz $10 million to remain less pretty than him while they were together. Here are some numbers to back-up just how cheap the Houston Astros are.

astros

(From left to right: Who, What, I Don’t Know, I Don’t Care, Tomorrow, Why)

Battlefield Earth earned almost twice as much in theaters than the Houston Astros will be paying its players in 2013. This goes to show us that people care more about a terrible movie than the Astros’s owner cares about his players and fans.

Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Shark Boy earned an upfront total of $25 million for the latest installment of the Twilight Saga. Perhaps if Astros Carlos Pena, Brett Wallace, and J.D. Martinez were to get caught up in a patriarchal love triangle they might see their paychecks inflate a bit more.

Jeopardy Champion Ken Jennings earned a total of $3,172,700 from his winnings on the popular game show. This is about five times less than the Houston Astros earn, but keep in mind Ken Jennings is a Mormon. He’s incredibly rich in spirit and smiles which is something no money can ever buy.

The latest sale of MySpace was for $35 million dollars. Yes, a website nobody uses anymore is worth more than twice the lives of everyone on the Houston Astros.

Jim Carrey’s home is on the market for $14 million dollars. It contains five bedrooms, five and a half bathrooms, and has a rooftop with a hot tub overlooking the ocean. If all of the Astros put their piggy banks together they could buy this home and still have a million left over. They can live five players to a bedroom and if anyone hits over .300 or wins more than 10 games they can share the coveted half bathroom.

Iron Butterfly album In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida sold 30 million copies. This album sold twice as more individual copies than individual dollar bills the Astros will earn this season. The lesson here, give up sports and come up with one popular 17 minute song if you want to be successful.

*I submitted this to the website CollegeHumor and they told me this was not good enough. They really enjoy breaking my heart.

Teams to Avoid

In my last post I mentioned teams I thought would do well enough this season offensively that picking players from these teams would be helpful because of the offense around them. Today I am doing the complete opposite. There are a few teams out there who offensively appear to be so bad it will rub off on the rest of the team. Call it some crazy theory, but picking players from the following teams may do more harm than you will ever bargain for.

Miami Marlins

miami_marlins_logo_alternate

The namesake of my fantasy team, the Marlins historically screwed South Florida by trading away Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, and Josh Johnson to the Blue Jays for two pears, a Canadian penny, and a bag of used diabetes socks. Giancarlo “Don’t Call Me Mike” Stanton will be heading up this lineup with nearly nothing around him. Nobody expects the Marlins to do a single thing this season. They might be so bad they will finish 6th in the NL East. This may appear mathematically impossible, but we thought the same thing about a team trading away its core.

Houston Astros

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This team looks to be historically bad. Shakespeare has considered rising from the dead to write a tragedy about them. The only name players they have in their lineup are Jed Lowrie and Carlos Pena. The rest of the team will be randomly picked from the stands. It’s been a while since the Astros were anything to brag about and things do not look to be getting much better. A move to the American League West, you know, the division with the Angels, Athletics, and Rangers who all made the playoffs last season, WILL prove disastrous for Houston.

New York Mets

apu-mets

The only positive to take away from the Mets’ lineup is that these players have been together for a while already. Unfortunately this is baseball where teamwork means less than the other sports. David Wright is the only shining star in this lineup as has been the case for some time now. The only way the Mets have a chance at putting up good offensive numbers this year is if they move the CitiField outfield walls in another 150 feet.