Fantasy Baseball: Muntradamus 2nd Half Predictions
BEAST DOME NATION.
Players to buy/players to sell. Who will win the world series, and who will bounce back after a bad 1st half? All of this answered and more. Now that I have your attention..
I hope you have all had a relaxing All-Star Break. Since you’ve been gone there are some new features on the BEAST DOME site. Now there is a Facebook Fan Page, and my favorite, “PLAYER SEARCH.” Type in any player on your mind, and you can see what I have said about them throughout the season. Located at the top corner of this page.
This article will be broken up into two sections. MLB Predictions. FANTASY BASEBALL PREDICTIONS.
MLB PREDICTIONS FOR 2012
AL East Winner: NEW YORK YANKEES
Despite the pitching injuries, this offense is always a threat to take over a game. Ivan Nova has improved tremendously and this team is a force every night.
AL Central Winner: CHICAGO WHITE SOX
Look for them to add a pitcher at the deadline if they feel the need for a big move. This offense is maybe the best in the AL, and Adam Dunn + Kevin Youkilis having strong 2nd halves is a key ingredient.
AL West Winner: TEXAS RANGERS
Another team that has a dominant offense. The Rangers are going to be tough to beat in any playoff the series. The key is Derek Holland and Colby Lewis to have strong 2nd halves, while Yu Darvish remains unhittable at times. Their offense has the most top fantasy players.
AL Wild Card Winner: BOSTON RED SOX
With Andrew Bailey, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Carl Crawford returning soon. This team quickly turns into an offensive juggernaut. It will be key for their starting pitching to get on track, but you already know if the Red Sox need a pitcher. They will grab one at the deadline.
NL East Winner: PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
14 games back in the NL East, and I still think they can come back from the dead. Their team is finally nearing full strength as Roy Halladay is the last one to join the party. When this offense is healthy, they have an American League type of offense that can score runs with the best of them. Lee/Hamels/Halladay/Worley all need big 2nd halves, and they are all more than capable of doing it.
NL Central Winner: ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
The Cardinals offense is one of the best in the NL. Jaime Garcia should return soon which will give this pitching staff a huge boost in value. They are currently 2.5 games out, and the Pirates are known for not making their success last a full season. St.Louis could blow right past them even if the Pirates are having success.
NL West Winner: ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
I do not like the Diamondbacks, but they should do enough to win the NL West. The Dodgers will be a threat with Kemp and Ethier back, and the Giants will always have enough pitching to go along with Buster Posey and Melky Cabrera. But the Diamondbacks have a lot going for them in the 2nd half, and if either Chris Young or Justin Upton return to vintage form. This team will be dangerous. Ian Kennedy is due for a large market correction. More on that below.
NL Wildcard Winner: LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Kemp and Ethier make this team dangerous. Clayton Kershaw is a big X-Factor if he can get it together.
AL MVP: David Ortiz
NL MVP: Matt Holliday
AL CY Young: Justin Verlander
NL CY Young: Matt Cain
HR Champ: Jose Bautista
World Series: St.Louis vs. Boston
2012 World Series Champions
FANTASY BASEBALL 2nd Half Predictions
MARKET CORRECTIONS (Buy)
5 Hitters and 2 Pitchers that are due for a big 2nd half to make up for their terrible 1st Half. It would be wise to target all of these players in trades as soon as you can.
DAN UGGLA – 2B – ATL
Stats as of 7/13: .221 Average. 12 HR. 45 RBI.
Since 2009 Uggla has been a better 2nd half player than 1st half. Last season he hit 21 HRs in 66 games, his owners would be thrilled if the same can happen.
ADRIAN GONZALEZ – 1B/OF – BOS
Stats as of 7/13: .283 Average. 6 HR. 45 RBI.
A Gonz really missed Jacoby Ellsbury. When Ellsbury would get on base, the pitcher would not be able to focus in on only shutting down Gonzalez. Plus any ball hit in the gap could score Jacoby from 1st base. With the Red Sox healthy, look for Gonzalez to get his groove back.
MIKE NAPOLI – C/1B – TEX
Stats as of 7/13: .228 Average. 12 HR. 30 RBI.
Napoli never got a in a hot streak hitting groove, which led to what felt like a whole 1st half slump. He did get hot in at one point in April where he hit 6 of his 12 HR’s in 5 days. If he can pull off a few streaks like that in the 2nd half, he will easily end up as the #1 Catcher in fantasy baseball.
JUSTIN UPTON – OF – AZ
Stats as of 7/13: .273 Average. 7 HR. 37 RBI. 10 SB.
Upton is finally starting to get some momentum going now that the weather is heating up. Expect Upton to do what he can to lead Arizona to the playoffs, because right now they feel unbeatable raising from the dead range of the NL West.
MICHAEL MORSE – 1B/OF – WAS
Stats as of 7/13: .289 Average. 4 HR. 16 RBI. (33 Games).
Morse never got in any type of rhythm in the first half, and it is hard enough to jump into the season a month before the All-Star Break while all the pitchers are pitching at their highest level/when their arm will be in the best shape. Morse has tremendous power, and he can start his power surge as early as today. Once he gets hot, he could easily end up leading the MLB in HR’s for the second half. He is that good.
JON LESTER – SP – BOS
Stats as of 7/13: 4.49 ERA. (5-6). 1.35 WHIP. 94 Ks in 112 INN.
With the Red Sox gaining full strength in health, the attitude in the Red Sox dugout will make everyone turn into better players. This team is full of studs, and now they know it is time to get it together. Lester is too good to be pitching at the level he is. Easily a top 10 guy and an ELITE option when he is on.
RICKY ROMERO – SP – TOR
Stats as of 7/13: 5.22 ERA. (8-4). 1.47 WHIP. 76 Ks in 110 INN.
Romero went from being an unhittable pitcher, to a pitcher that everybody could hit. Toronto needs Romero to be an automatic Ace from here on out if they have any chance of making the playoffs. He knows this is the best offensive team he may ever pitch for in his career. Time to take advantage of it.
JACOBY ELLSBURY – OF – BOS
Stats as of 7/13: .192 Average. 0 HR. 3 RBI. (7 Games)
Yes I know Ellsbury was injured and this one does not really count. But I want to go on the record and just say that Ellsbury will return to 1st/2nd round value for the second half. He is hungry to make up for lost time, and lead Boston to the postseason.
*5 Hitters and 2 Pitchers to Watch right out of the gate to start the 2nd Half.
RYAN RABURN – 2B – DET
Stats as of 7/13: .171 Average. 1 HR. 10 RBI. 1 SB. (54 Games)
Raburn was maybe the best player during Spring Training, and that resulted into only 1 HR in the entire 1st half of the season. That does sound alarming, but Raburn has always been a 2nd half player. He has hit over .300 in every 2nd half since 2009, and in 2010 he launched 13 HR’s in the 2nd half when he only hit 2 in the 1st. Keep a close eye.
TODD FRAZIER – 3B – CIN
Stats as of 7/13: .278 Average. 9 HR. 29 RBI. 1SB. (60 Games)
The Reds are finding out they are a better team with Todd Frazier than Scott Rolen at 3B. If Frazier would have been playing consistently the entire 1st half, he could easily have at least 12 HRs on his resume. Look for him to be a must-start by the time mid-August rolls around, if not sooner. Frazier plays in a friendly ballpark, and is a fantasy friendly 6th in that stacked Reds batting order.
ELLIOT JOHNSON – SS – TB
Stats as of 7/13: .275 Average. 4 HR. 22 RBI. 15 SB.
With Evan Longoria looking more and more in doubt to play until mid-late August. Elliot Johnson could do what it takes to earn a full time position. For possibly the rest of the season. His speed alone makes him a great fantasy option, but the fact he does everything else makes him one of the most underrated in the game. A good waiver wire snag in Stats as of 7/13: deeper leagues.
LORENZO CAIN – OF – KC
Stats as of 7/13: .133 Average. 1 RBI. (5 Games)
The Royals are stacked with young talent, and we have really yet to see Cain to the level he is capable of. This is a guy who can hit 2 HRs in the same game, while also stealing a base. He is an electric fantasy player that we have yet to see reach his potential, maybe now that he is healthy we can finally see it.
CARL CRAWFORD – OF – BOS
Stats as of 7/13: Has not Played.
Crawford is already playing in rehab games. If he is on your waiver wire now, I would snatch him NOW! This guy is an ELITE fantasy option when healthy, and a 2nd round pick in all drafts two seasons ago. Look for him to make an immediate impact on your fantasy roster, which will turn Cody Ross into waiver wire material.
TOM MILONE – SP – OAK
Stats as of 7/13: 3.57 ERA (8-6). 1.18 WHIP. 72 Ks in 108.1 INN.
Every season the A’s have an ace pitcher in the 2nd half that you never really heard about until the season he performs. This season, that man is Tom Milone. He has C.J. Wilson type potential, and it will be interesting to see if he is the real deal when he faces a real offense.
JOSE QUINTANA – SP/RP – CWS
Stats as of 7/13: 2.04 ERA. (4-1). 0.98 WHIP. 37 K in 57.1 INN.
Quintana has already proved he is a valuable pitcher by shutting down the Rangers, limiting the Yankees to only one big INN and then settling down, and then dominating every other team. The only thing that has his fantasy owners worried is, who is this guy? He is on everyone’s good side now, but he could quickly go Lance Lynn on us. For now enjoy the ride.
BUSTS (Players to Sell)
4 Hitters and 2 Pitchers Who could prove their 1st Half was more of a fluke than anything. Maybe a sell, but do not sell for nothing.
EDWIN ENCARNACION – 1B/3B – TOR
Stats as of 7/13: .295 Average. 23 HR. 58 RBI. 9 SB.
I definitely think Edwin Encarnacion is a BOSS when he is at the plate. But consistency has always been his biggest problem. He has never put it together for a full season, but then again he has never had a season like this. If you could upgrade with a proven elite player, you should explore your options.
JOSH REDDICK – OF – OAK
Stats as of 7/13: .268 Average. 20 HR. 43 RBI. 8 SB.
If Reddick has a big 2nd half, I will litreally have to rethink of a formula to see why a skinny stick player can hit 40 HRs in a huge Oakland ballpark when he never got the chance for consistent playing time before. It would not surprise me if Reddick ended up with less than double digit HRs in the 2nd half.
CARLOS RUIZ – C – PHI
Stats as of 7/13: .350 Average. 13 HR. 46 RBI. 3 SB.
The power stroke was nice in the 1st half. Something we have not seen from Ruiz his entire career. To expect this pace continue is not even close to guarnteed. The Phillies are getting healthier/better, which will lead to a lot of RBI opportunities. But I question where was this ability all of those previous seasons when he ended up 14 HRs in the last two seasons combined!
A.J. PIERZYNSKI – C – CWS
Stats as of 7/13: .285 Average. 16 HR. 49 RBI.
The ride was nice while it lasted, but A.J. is far from youth. This power stroke is by far the best we have seen on him in sometime, as he has 17 HRs in the last two seasons combined! Age is a concern for catchers because their knees get a lot of ware and tear, and the older the faster.
LANCE LYNN – SP/RP – STL
Stats as of 7/13: 3.41 ERA. (11-4) 1.23 WHIP. 105 Ks in 103 INN.
The Lynn-Sanity train has already began to leave the station. This is the last chance to get rid of a good pitcher for ELITE value. His ERA has gone up every month of the season, to the point where it was 5.67 in June. Trade him now as it is very hard to see a pitcher who has never pitched a full season continue to pitch well, especially when his arrow is trending down.
JASON HAMMEL – SP – BAL
Stats as of 7/13: 3.47 ERA. (8-5). 1.22 WHIP. 101 K in 106 INN.
The 1st half of the season Hammel dominated to the point where Rockie fans have to question where this was last season? Well now that hitters in the AL are starting to get a scouting report on him, it will not be easy for Hammel to pitch in August and September against that tough AL East. All of those offenses can put up runs with the best of them, except for TB, and all of those hitters are too good to continue to be slowed down by a pitcher they continuously face.