They’re here. The fantasy baseball playoffs have now begun for many fantasy baseball leagues. that means you will be looking for any edge you can get to give yourself a little extra push to the finish line. Especially true for head-to-head leagues, each and every advantage you can squeeze out of your line up will make a difference.
Knowing which players have had success in the month of September is a good place to start. after all, anything a player has done in the past, he is capable of doing again in the future. considering also the fact that some players tend to play better in certain months (or even just down the stretch), if you can determine which players have shown success in September, you might just get the edge over your fantasy baseball competition.
Here are a few players to consider for your playoff run:
Jim Thome (CLE) -
It’s been quite a year for Thome. He reached the incredible career milestone of 600 HR this season and is now back with the Tribe, the team for which he toiled from 1991-2001. He swatted 25 HR in only 276 AB with Minnesota last year including 7 in September alone. He also put up a.357 BA during the final month of the 2010 season with an eye-popping 1.399 OPS. Thome would no doubt like to end his career on a high note and he is in a position to do some damage with the lumber in September 2011.
Carlos Beltran (SF) -
The Giants somehow find themselves in the middle of a pennant race with little-to-no offense. if one of their players can step up with the bat in September, it may be enough to put them past the Diamondbacks in the NL West. last season, Beltran hit 5 HR, 13 RBI over the final month of the season with a slash line of.321/.365/.603. that was nothing new to Beltran as he went.344/.440/.645 with 6 HR and 19 RBI in September 2008. He is in a position to contribute down the stretch in San Francisco this year as well.
Randy Wolf (MIL) -
Inconsistency has plagued Wolf for years. however, he always seems to step up his game a notch in September. last year, he put up 28 K to go with a.82 WHIP and 1.47 ERA. His WHIP in September 2009 was a very similar.87. In the final month of 2008, Wolf had a 1.05 WHIP and 2.23 ERA. Let’s hope the trend continues in 2011.
Madison Bumgarner (SF) -
During his rookie campaign in 2010, Bumgarner finished strong, putting up a K/9 rate of 9 to go with a 1.09 WHIP and 1.13 ERA. after an up-and-down first half, the Giants lefty has pitched very well in the second half of this season and should thrive again in another fall pennant race.
Jayson Werth (WAS) -
Sure, he’s not in Philadelphia anymore and has delivered a poor fantasy season thus far in the nation’s capital but Werth seems to save his best until season’s end. September 2010: 8 HR, 20 RBI with a.920 OPS. September 2009: 6 HR, 18 RBI with a.947 OPS. For good measure, in 2008 he swiped 7 bases in the final month. if history is any lesson, expect some decent fantasy numbers over the final 4 weeks of 2011.
Derrek Lee (PIT) -
Atlanta’s gun-for-hire in 2010, Lee fills that role for the Pirates this season. He had a September to remember in 2009 while with the Cubs, putting up a slash line of.386/.500/.795. He also launched 9 home runs and 23 RBI while walking 19 times vs. 13 strikeouts. He has hit well since the trade that sent him to Pittsburgh, going 11-for-27 with 3 HR (including 2 HR in his debut). The big man might just have enough in the tank for another late-season surge.
Fausto Carmona (CLE) -
The Tribe’s nominal ace to begin the 2011 season, Carmona was shelled for 10 ER in just 3 IP on opening day and it has been an up-and-down ride ever since. however, with Ubaldo Jimenez’ inconsistency since being acquired by the Indians, Carmona needs to step up and lead the team. In 2010, he did put up a.98 WHIP and 1.82 ERA in September so it should be an interesting final month.
Kelly Johnson (TOR) -
Already starting to show some pop with the bat in Toronto, Johnson is now hitting.300 with his new club (and new league). last year, he hit 7 HR in September and put up a slash line of.337/.396/.609. after a bumpy 2011 season, he’s got something to prove and will be looking to end the year with a flourish.
Good luck in the fantasy baseball playoffs. hopefully a few of these players can produce in September as they have in the past. if they do, you could be in for a very nice playoff run.
“Jim Thome: Lefty Launcher” is the first book ever written about the man who has hit 30 or more home runs for four-consecutive seasons, the first left-handed hitter in franchise history to accomplish that feat. Thome also ranks sixth on Clevelands all-time list for career home runs. “Lefty Launcher” details the life of the fan favorite, and how he is very active in the community, distributing toys to area youths at Christmas the last three years. the 29-year-old is a native of Peoria, Illinois,
Mms Health BooksBooks about MS And Jim HumbleMms Health Books
It may have been a forgettable season for Twins fans, but along the way, there were still memorable moments in Minnesota. some of those moments and performances could be honored with the annual Greatness in Baseball Yearly awards. Major League Baseball’s A-listers will take home GIBBYs trophies — the ultimate honors of baseball’s awards season — based on votes by you the fans at MLB.com, media, front-office personnel and MLB alumni. The 2011 GIBBYs feature nominees in 19 categories. Individual honors will go to the top everyday player, starting pitcher, closer, setup man, rookie, breakout player, comeback player, defensive player, wow factor, manager, executive and postseason performer. GIBBY trophies also will be awarded for the year’s best play, moment, performance, oddity, walk-off, fan moment and postseason moment from MLB.com’s must C highlight reels. Fan voting ends Dec. 4, and you can vote up to 25 times per category. Winners will be announced Dec. 16 from 8-10 p.m. CT on MLB Network and MLB.com. The Twins have nominees for top play, performance, oddity and moment. Ben Revere brought back memories of Willie Mays with his jumping, over-the-shoulder catch while hitting the center-field wall on Aug. 22, which is nominated for top play. The Orioles’ Vladimir Guerrero hit the ball to center field, which Revere initially misjudged. But Revere’s speed helped him catch up to the ball while running straight back. he jumped and caught the ball as he crashed into the wall in one of the best catches you’ll ever see. Francisco Liriano only pitched into the seventh inning once in his first five starts of 2011. But in his sixth start, he threw a no-hitter against the White Sox, earning him a nomination for top performance. It was far from perfect — as he walked six batters — but Liriano was able to stay composed and finish with the fifth no-hitter in Twins history. Another one of Revere’s treats for Twins fans was his somersault triple against the Royals in July, which is nominated for top oddity. Revere smacked a ball into right field, where Royals outfielder Jeff Francoeur overran it. as Revere rounded second and headed to third, he tripped over his own feet and began falling to the ground. as he was falling, he rolled to his left side and did a somersault and landed on his feet. he lost his helmet but slid safely into third. Revere could only smile as he lay on the ground and his teammates in the dugout also grinned.History was made in Detroit on Aug. 15, when Jim Thome hit two home runs — the second of which was No. 600 in his career — which is a nominee for best moment. Thome had hit more home runs against the Tigers than any other team in his career, so it was only fitting that it came against Detroit. The first one broke a 3-3 tie in the sixth inning, and No. 600 came off Daniel Schlereth and turned a one-run lead into a four-run lead in the seventh. With the home runs, Thome became just the eighth player in MLB history to reach the milestone. The crowd in Detroit, which had seen Thome hurt them so many times in the past, gave the slugger a standing ovation.
Terry Pluto’s Talkin’ … about a much-needed Browns victory, the Tribe’s increased attendance and Akron’s hoop potential
CLEVELAND, Ohio — really, the sky isn’t falling, even if we are talkin’ …
About the Browns…
1. if the Browns can beat Seattle — Why not? We’re not talking about Vince Lombardi’s Packers — the Browns will be 3-3 for the first time since 2007. before that, it was 2003 and 2001. That’s right, only three times since the team returned in 1999 have the Browns been .500 after six games. They were 4-2 in 2001 (their best start ever), but that team faded to 7-9.
2. There’s a case to be made that this is the biggest game of Pat Shurmur’s young coaching career. First of all, it’s at home — where the Browns are 1-2. Both losses were stinkers: the Sleeping Defense game (27-17 to Cincinnati) and the 31-13 spanking by Tennessee.
3. in the last three years, the Browns are 7-17 at home. only once (7-1 in 2007) have they had a winning home record since 1999. Part of the reason the home folks often turn angry is that the Browns too often have saved their worst for the paying customers.
4. Yes, Seattle is coming off a stunning 36-25 victory at new York. But the Seahawks are 2-3, aren’t sure who should be the quarterback and have allowed 20 sacks, no. 2 in the NFL. The Seahawks have also given up 45 quarterback hits, also no. 2. The Rams with the shell-shocked Sam Bradford led the league in quarterback hits and sacks.
5. By comparison, the Browns have allowed only nine sacks, their 31 quarterback hits are tied for ninth.
6. this from ProfootballFocus.com on Jabaal Sheard: “He is currently ranked no. 3 in our Rookie of the Year race, mostly on the strength of his pass-rushing abilities. he has 12 pressures, two quarterback sacks and two quarterback hits. he has proven to be a 3-down left defensive end.”
7. There is much talk about the no-huddle offense used by Seattle in its last six quarters, producing an impressive 57 points. The Browns should not be as vulnerable as most teams as they rarely substitute on defense. D’Qwell Jackson has played every snap, while Sheldon Brown has missed only one and T.J. Ward has missed two. On the line, Jayme Mitchell (92 percent of snaps), Sheard (90 percent), Ahtyba Rubin (85 percent) and Phil Taylor (65 percent) carry a heavy load.
8. The point is the Browns rarely substitute unless it’s to take out a linebacker for an extra defensive back — or to alternate Michael Adams and Usama Young at safety. So the quickness of the no-huddle should not impact them.
9. Yes, I’m also wondering when the Browns will come out in the no-huddle offense early in a game. Colt McCoy often played it last season with Eric Mangini, who believed McCoy’s ability to recognize defenses and keep the offense organized worked well in the no-huddle.
10. since Joshua Cribbs talked about going back to coverage units on special teams, I tried to check how often he has played that role. I couldn’t find any hard data. But in 2007, he had 23 tackles on special teams to lead the Browns. in 2008, it was 22 tackles, again the most on the team. After Mangini became the coach, Cribbs began to play more on offense — and less on coverage. he had nine special teams tackles in 2009, zero in 2010 and only one this season.
11. in the last four years, Cribbs’ percentage of offensive plays has risen from 16 to 49 percent.
12. Here’s the problem for the Browns: They really do want to run the ball more, but this may be a very hard week to do so. That’s because A) Seattle ranks no. 1 against the run. B) Peyton Hillis (hamstring) may not play. C) Montario Hardesty has only one run over seven yards in 40 carries. D) Hardesty also has struggled catching the ball (six drops), which hurts because screen passes may work against Seattle.
13. Hopefully, the Browns will have Joe Haden back. The longest pass against him has been for 18 yards. Yes, he was charged with the 41-yard touchdown pass in that Sleeping Defense against the Bengals, but that was not his fault. Receivers against Haden are 11 receptions out of 26 targets (42 percent), the fifth-lowest percentage of any cornerback. in the loss to Tennessee, receivers caught only one of four passes when covered by Haden.
About Lee Evans…
This email came from Joe Allie: “As a local kid (from Bedford) who has had a pretty decent professional career playing on also-ran Buffalo teams, Lee Evans deserved a better comment from you, or at least a more complete comment (than last Sunday’s mention). in fact Lee does have only two receptions this season. But, he has been down with a severe ankle sprain since week two. you mentioned Braylon Edwards’ injury. Why no mention of Lee’s (ankle)? I’d stack Lee’s career numbers against any and all Browns’ wide receivers over the span of his career to this point — and I’m confident Lee would be superior to all of them: 43 touchdowns and 379 receptions with an average yards per catch of 15.8.”
About the Tribe’s attendance …
1. no team had a bigger increase (449,191) than the Tribe this season. They still ranked no. 24 with 22,726 a game, so this is not a blast from the past of the 1990s with a sellout every night. to the Indians, it was encouraging to see improvement from 2010′s attendance of 1,391,644 (28th).
2. The Indians edged out Texas (441,778) for the biggest increase. The Rangers also averaged 36,382 fans and nearly drew 3 million. San Francisco (350,036) had the third-largest increase. The biggest drops were the Dodgers (627,179) and Tampa Bay (335,814).
3. It seems Tampa Bay is just a hopeless baseball situation. The Rays drew only 1,529,188 fans for a team that won 91 games and made the playoffs. this came after they were 96-66 in 2010 and made the playoffs. in 2008, they went to the World Series. how can this team average only 18,879 fans and have the second-largest drop in baseball? Very rarely do I think a team should consider moving, but Tampa Bay doesn’t seem to care about the wonderful young teams that have been on the field in the last four years.
4. according to the Tribe’s internal statistics, most of the new tickets sold were in the $10 and $8 range. Fans especially embraced the $10 bleacher seats — and that will be the price again in 2012. The $8 were in the upper deck. So the Indians were excited to see the increase, but it didn’t bring in a major haul of cash compared to the 1990s when suites and prime seats were often sold first.
5. The Tribe started at about 7,000 season tickets on opening day, and ended at 8,700. Remember, partial plans are combined in the count. four people who bought 20-game tickets plans become one season ticket. in other words, that 8,700 is a very fluid number as it’s not backed heavily with corporate, full-season dollars.
6. The Tribe season-ticket base dropped from 15,100 in 2008 (after the playoff appearance) to 11,900 in 2009, 8,100 in 2010 and 7,000 at the start of this season. that meant they had to sell 15,726 tickets for each game to reach the final season average of 22,726.
7. at their peak, the Indians averaged about 27,000 season tickets in the late 1990s.
8. The good news (in addition to the rise in attendance) is the response of fans in surveys. most enjoyed the ballpark experience and viewed it as a good place for families. They were caught up with team’s hot start and embraced the return of Jim Thome for the final six weeks of the season.
9. while fans didn’t pay major bucks for tickets, the Indians were wise to try to keep prices low and bring fans into the park — where they can buy shirts, concessions and other souvenirs.
10. Television ratings were double that of 2010, and nearly matched 2007 when the Tribe won 96 games and went to the playoffs.
11. The most popular promotions remain Dollar Dog Night and fireworks.
12. Fans also liked the team’s advertising approach … The What if? and this Ball is campaigns that were heavy on nostalgia and silent about pushing ticket plans. President Mark Shapiro believes this is the approach that helps fans connect with the team and remember good times at the park in the past.
About Akron basketball …
1. Benedictine product Nick Harney had 30 points and nine rebounds in the Zips’ most recent scrimmage. Coach Keith Dambrot said, “Nick had not been practicing well, but he really turned it on in the scrimmage. he has a lot of natural ability.”
2. Dambrot is using Harney and Euclid product Demetrius Treadwell at power forward, but it’s doubtful either will start. that spot is held down by Nick Cvetinovic, who is a second-team all-MAC player. “Treadwell and Harney remind me of [Jeremiah] Wood and Rome [Romeo Travis] when they first arrived,” said Dambrot. “We’ll see if these guys end up being as good as Rome and Wood.”
3. The Zips have more size and depth than ever before under Dambrot. There’s 7-foot center Zeke Marshall: “He’s improved a lot — I just wish he’d realize that he can be great.” The junior is a defensive force in the middle. Add in Cvetinovic, Treadwell and Harney and that’s four players in the front court. Dambrot also is pleased with power forward Josh Egner from Massillon Jackson.
4. The Zips will start Alex Abreu at point guard, but Dambrot is looking a backup. Xavier transfer Brian Walsh is a possibility. at 6-5, he also may play shooting guard. Dambrot believes sorting out his backcourt could be a key to the season.
5. The Zips have been to the NCAA tournament in two of the last three seasons. Expectations are high once again, and this is one of his most athletic teams ever. “But they still have to develop that Akron toughness,” said Dambrot. “We are a little naked when it comes to leadership, some of our upper classmen have to step up. But you’re right, we can be pretty good by the end of the season.”