Fantasy Clicks
By Jay Clemons
Meet Your Fantasyland All-Stars
Albert Pujols: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Matt Cain. Johan Santana. Javier Vazquez. Ian Kinsler. Marco Scutaro. Victor Martinez. Brandon Inge. Without a doubt, these strong first-half contributors deserve a spot on the MLB All-Star rosters ... but since this is fantasyland -- and we have limited space per section (that's not really true, but it sounds legitimate, doesn't it?) -- I didn't have time to squeeze them onto the Fantasy Clicks All-Star rosters. So, before I get any nasty e-mails detailing the early brilliance of Jonathan Pabelbon, Jonathan Broxton, Adam Lind, Miguel Tejada, Justin Morneau or even Michael Bourn ... take solace in the fact that there's still time to make the year-end All-Star Clicks team in October:

American League
Catcher: Joe Mauer, Twins (44 runs, 14 HRs, 44 RBIs, 1 steal, .392 average)
First Base: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers (48 runs, 16 HRs, 47 RBIs, 1 steal, .331 average)
Second Base: Aaron Hill, Blue Jays (48 runs, 19 HRs, 56 RBIs, 3 steals, .301 average)
Third Base: Evan Longoria, Rays (45 runs, 16 HRs, 63 RBIs, 2 steals, .297 average)
Shortstop: Derek Jeter, Yankees (48 runs, 9 HRs, 32 RBIs, 17 steals, .307 average)
Outfield: Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners (40 runs, 6 HRs, 20 RBIs, 17 steals, .370 average)
Outfield: Carl Crawford, Rays (55 runs, 8 HRs, 35 RBIs, 40 steals, .320 average)
Outfield: Jason Bay, Red Sox (50 runs, 19 HRs, 69 RBIs, 5 steals, .262 average)

Starting Pitcher: Zack Greinke, Royals (10 wins, 114/18 K-BB ratio, 1.95 ERA, 1.02 WHIP)
Starting Pitcher: Justin Verlander, Tigers (8 wins, 130/35 K-BB ratio, 3.54 ERA, 1.20 WHIP)
Starting Pitcher: Roy Halladay, Blue Jays (10 wins, 95/14 K-BB ratio, 2.56 ERA, 1.05 WHIP)
Relief Pitcher: Mariano Rivera, Yankees (20 saves, 1 win, 40/3 K-BB ratio, 2.76 ERA, 0.95 WHIP)
Relief Pitcher: Brian Fuentes, Angels (23 saves, 0 wins, 30/9 K-BB ratio, 3.49 ERA, 1.24 WHIP)
Relief Pitcher: Joe Nathan, Twins (21 saves, 1 win, 39/6 K-BB ratio, 1.44 ERA, 0.77 WHIP)

National League
Catcher: Brian McCann, Braves (23 runs, 8 HRs, 33 RBIs, 8 steals, .309 average)
First Base: Albert Pujols, Cardinals (62 runs, 30 HRs, 77 RBIs, 10 steals, .335 average)
Second Base: Chase Utley, Phillies (54 runs, 17 HRs, 52 RBIs, 7 steals, .300 average)
Third Base: David Wright, Mets (51 runs, 5 HRs, 42 RBIs, 20 steals, .338 average)
Shortstop: Hanley Ramirez, Marlins (50 runs, 13 HRs, 58 RBIs, 12 steals, .348 average)
Outfield: Ryan Braun, Brewers (56 runs, 16 HRs, 58 RBIs, 6 steals, .328 average)
Outfield: Matt Kemp, Dodgers (50 runs, 12 HRs, 44 RBIs, 5 steals, .309 average)
Outfield: Raul Ibanez, Phillies (51 runs, 22 HRs, 59 RBIs, 4 steals, .312 average)

Starting Pitcher: Tim Lincecum, Giants (8 wins, 132/28 K-BB ratio, 2.37 ERA, 1.07 WHIP)
Starting Pitcher: Yovani Gallardo, Brewers (8 wins, 114/46 K-BB ratio, 2.75 ERA, 1.05 WHIP)
Starting Pitcher: Dan Haren, Diamondbacks (7 wins, 113/15 K-BB ratio, 2.19 ERA, 0.81 WHIP)
Relief Pitcher: Heath Bell, Padres (22 saves, 3 wins, 36/14 K-BB ratio, 1.34 ERA, 1.01 WHIP)
Relief Pitcher: Trevor Hoffman, Brewers (18 saves, 1 win, 19/5 K-BB ratio, 1.93 ERA, 0.94 WHIP)
Relief Pitcher: Francisco Rodriguez, Mets (21 saves, 2 win, 40/22 K-BB ratio, 1.59 ERA, 1.18 WHIP)

WHIP Masters

The following is a list of Major League Baseball's best performers in the all-hallowed WHIP category since June 3 (minimum 19 innings):

SP Dan Haren, Diamondbacks (0.66)
SP Jose Contreras, White Sox (0.78)
SP Brad Bergesen, Orioles (0.81)
SP Kevin Correia, Padres (0.83)
SP Jon Lester, Red Sox (0.85)
SP Josh Beckett, Red Sox (0.87)
SP Javier Vazquez, Braves (0.88)
SP Chris Carpenter, Cardinals (0.89)
SP Tim Lincecum, Giants (0.90)
SP Luke Hochevar, Royals (0.92)
RP Gavin Floyd, White Sox (0.93)
SP Jason Hammel, Rockies (0.96)
SP Felix Hernandez, Mariners (0.97)
SP Scott Baker, Twins (0.97)
SP CC Sabathia, Yankees (0.97)
SP Ricky Nolasco, Marlins (0.97)
SP John Danks, White Sox (0.97)
SP Huroki Kuroda, Dodgers (0.99)
SP Dallas Braden, Athletics (0.99)
SP Roy Halladay, Blue Jays (1.00)
SP Jordan Zimmerman, Nationals (1.01)
SP Randy Wells, Cubs (1.03)
SP Aaron Cook, Rockies (1.03)
SP Russ Ortiz, Astros (1.03)
SP Kenshin Kawakami, Braves (1.04)
SP Ricky Romero, Blue Jays (1.04)
SP John Lannan, Nationals (1.05)
SP Garrett Olson, Mariners (1.06)
SP Joel Pineiro, Cardinals (1.06)
SP Edwin Jackson, Tigers (1.06)
SP/RP Burke Badenhop, Marlins (1.07)
SP Josh Outman, Athletics (1.08) (out for the season -- elbow)
SP Scott Richmond, Blue Jays (1.09)
SP Matt Cain, Giants (1.11)
SP Jeff Niemann, Rays (1.14)
SP Randy Johnson, Giants (1.14)
SP Andrew Miller, Marlins (1.14)
SP Andy Sonnanstine, Rays (1.14)
SP Carlos Zambrano, Cubs (1.15)
SP James Shields, Rays (1.15)
SP Ubaldo Jimenez, Rockies (1.17)
SP Vin Mazzaro, Athletics (1.17)
SP Mark Buehrle, White Sox (1.18)

Earning Their Stripes

One good turn deserves another. Here are baseball's ERA kings since June 3 (minimum 18 innings):

SP Felix Hernandez, Mariners (0.94)
SP Gavin Floyd, White Sox (1.02)
SP/RP Burke Badenhop, Marlins (1.45)
SP Tim Lincecum, Giants (1.48)
SP Dan Haren, Diamondbacks (1.64)
SP Aaron Cook, Rockies (1.75)
SP Jon Lester, Red Sox (1.85)
SP Russ Ortiz, Astros (1.91)
SP Ricky Nolasco, Marlins (1.91)
SP Ricky Romero, Blue Jays (1.91)
SP Kevin Millwood, Rangers (1.98)
SP Javier Vazquez, Braves (1.98)
SP Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers (1.99)
SP Brad Bergesen, Orioles (2.03)
RP Ramon Troncoso, Dodgers (2.04)
SP Yovani Gallardo, Brewers (2.04)
SP A.J. Burnett, Yankees (2.10)
SP Jordan Zimmerman, Nationals (2.12)
SP Jose Contreras, White Sox (2.17)
SP Max Scherzer, Diamondbacks (2.17)
SP John Lannan, Nationals (2.19)
SP Fernando Nieve, Mets (2.25)
SP Dallas Braden, Athletics (2.29)
SP Josh Beckett, Red Sox (2.32)
SP Roy Halladay, Blue Jays (2.32)
SP Nick Blackburn, Twins (2.37)
SP Doug Davis, Diamondbacks (2.43)
SP Tommy Hanson, Braves (2.48)
SP Mike Hampton, Astros (2.50)
SP Joel Pineiro, Cardinals (2.65)
SP Glen Perkins, Twins (2.67)
SP Matt Cain, Giants (2.76)
SP Randy Wells, Cubs (2.84)
SP Ubaldo Jimenez, Rockies (2.89)
SP Carlos Zambrano, Cubs (2.91)
SP Edwin Jackson, Tigers (2.91)
SP John Danks, White Sox (2.91)
SP Josh Johnson, Marlins (2.93)
SP Matt Garza, Rays (2.93)
SP Luke Hochevar, Royals (2.94)
SP Vin Mazzaro, Athletics (2.95)
SP Jason Hammel, Rockies (2.95)
SP Jair Jurrjens, Braves (2.97)

Saturday's Surprise

Need an emergency starting pitcher off the waiver wire in time for Saturday's games? Here's one (very rough) gem to consider, as a short-term fix and, ahem, possible long-term keeper:

Luke Hochevar, Royals (vs. White Sox)
Normally in this space, I provide statistical evidence as to why said pitcher will have a fantasy-friendly outing. But who are we kidding with Hochevar? Yes, he's gone at least seven innings in three of his last four outings (12/8 K-BB ratio during that span); yes, he's sporting a 2.94 ERA/0.93 WHIP since June 3 ... but there's also a first-inning meltdown in his immediate future -- we just have to guess right on when that day will come. Bottom line: On July 4, America's birthday, are you more comfortable starting Hochevar (4.96 ERA, 1.21 WHIP this season) ... or someone like Milwaukee's Braden Looper, who gets his share of strikeouts but also has the unfortunate capacity for getting rocked more often than not? To me, it's just like the great mayoral race between 'Diamond' Joe Quimby and Sideshow Bob in that classic Simpsons episode from the early 90s: Pick the lesser of two evils ... and then pray for mercy from the fantasy gods.

M*A*S*H Unit

Here's a list of prominent major leaguers currently on the disabled list:

SP Edinson Volquez, Reds
SP Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks
SP Jake Peavy, Padres
SP Ervin Santana, Angels
SP Daisuke Matsuzaka, Red Sox
SP Brett Myers, Phillies
RP Matt Lindstrom, Marlins
SP Chris Young, Padres
RP Scott Downs, Blue Jays
SP John Maine, Mets
RP J.J. Putz, Mets
RP Hong Chih-Kuo, Dodgers
SP Manny Corpas, Rockies
SP Antonio Bastardo, Phillies
SP Casey Janssen, Blue Jays
SP Kyle Lohse, Cardinals
RP Scot Shields, Angels
SP Matt Harrison, Rangers
SP Josh Outman, Athletics (done for the season)
SP Koji Uehara, Orioles
SP Jesse Litsch, Blue Jays (done for the season)
SP Dave Bush, Brewers
SP Oliver Perez, Mets
RP Jorge Campillo, Braves
SP Yusmeiro Petit, Diamondbacks
SP Justin Duchscherer, Athletics
SP Anibal Sanchez, Marlins
RP Joey Devine, Athletics
SP Kelvim Escobar, Angels
SP Huroki Kuroda, Dodgers
RP Troy Percival, Rays
SP Dustin Moseley, Angels
SP Anthony Reyes, Indians
SP Shane Loux, Angels
RP Rafael Betancourt, Indians
SP Dustin McGowan, Blue Jays

OF Josh Hamilton, Rangers
OF Raul Ibanez, Phillies
3B Adrian Beltre, Mariners
3B Mike Lowell, Red Sox
SS Jose Reyes, Mets
1B Carlos Delgado, Mets
OF Coco Crisp, Royals
OF Endy Chavez, Mariners
OF Eric Byrnes, Diamondbacks
C Chris Snyder, Diamondbacks
3B Troy Glaus, Cardinals
C Kenji Johjima, Mariners
3B Aramis Ramirez, Cubs
OF Carlos Quentin, White Sox
SS/2B Mike Aviles, Royals
2B Rickie Weeks, Brewers (out for the season)
C Ryan Doumit, Pirates
3B Alex Gordon, Royals
1B/3B/OF Carlos Guillen, Tigers (likely done for the year)
2B/3B Akinori Iwamura, Rays
OF Xavier Nady, Yankees
SS Khalil Greene, Cardinals
3B Edwin Encarnacion, Reds
SS Jed Lowrie, Red Sox
C Jesus Flores, Nationals
OF Alfredo Amezega, Marlins
3B Eric Chavez, Athletics
1B Tony Clark, Diamondbacks
C Jose Molina, Yankees
1B/2B Jeff Baker, Rockies
1B Doug Mientkiewicz, Dodgers
1B Gaby Sanchez, Marlins
OF Brian Anderson, White Sox
C Michael Barrett, Blue Jays
C Matt Treanor, Tigers
OF Travis Buck, Athletics
1B Dmitri Young, Nationals

Take This To The Bank

Based on Accuscore's sophisticated statistical evaluations, here are the top 20 projected strikeout masters from this point forward (July 3-Oct. 1). So, grab 'em ASAP, via trade:

1. Tim Lincecum, Giants -- 138.2
2. Brandon Morrow, Mariners -- 116.2
3. Zack Greinke, Royals -- 115.6
4. Javier Vazquez, Braves -- 114.1
5. Yovani Gallardo, Brewers -- 113.2
6. Dan Haren, Diamondbacks -- 112.2
7. Jorge De La Rosa, Rockies -- 109.1
8. Johan Santana, Mets -- 107.5
9. Justin Verlander, Tigers -- 107.4
10. Gio Gonzalez, Athletics -- 107.4
11. A.J. Burnett, Yankees -- 106.5
12. Felix Hernandez, Mariners -- 106.4
13. Max Scherzer, Diamondbacks -- 106.3
14. Chad Billingsley, Dodgers -- 105.3
15. Jon Lester, Red Sox -- 105.2
16. Roy Halladay, Blue Jays -- 105.2
17. David Price, Rays -- 104.2
18. Rich Harden, Cubs -- 103.4
19. Chad Gaudin, Padres -- 100.3
20. Joba Chamberlain, Yankees -- 100

We Interrupt Fantasy Clicks ...

... To announce the arrival of Sports Illustrated's fantasy football spectacular, available online and at magazine racks nationwide. This 168-page tome is chock-full of rankings, columns (two from yours truly), features, draft-day advice, in-season strategies, booms, busts and an experts' mock draft, enlisting an army of SI's award-winning fantasy and NFL writers (including Peter King). Last but not least, it boasts perhaps the coolest cover of any fantasy magazine you'll ever see!

Am I overselling it a little bit? Perhaps. But the early feedback I've gotten from my fantasy brethren suggests SI's first major foray into fantasy football will be an absolute triumph -- and that it could become an all-time best seller within the genre.

Thursday Afternoon Revelations
Derrek Lee: AP

As an American League apologist, I'm not really a Cubs fan (especially after The Bartman Incident -- Chicagoans should be ashamed of themselves for letting Alex Gonzalez off the hook in Game 6) or Brewers honk (sad but true: I miss County Stadium). But together, their games are captivating for both fantasy and non-fantasy baseball enthusiasts. That belief rang true on Thursday, as the teams entertained the Wrigley faithful with a performance long on offense (thanks to one specific Cub) and even longer on strikeouts (thank you, Mr. Dempster):

Cubs 9, Brewers 5
What I Liked: Five regular fantasy contributors (Derrek Lee, Ryan Theriot, Prince Fielder, Mike Cameron, Jason Kendall) either racked up two hits or two runs on the day. Cubs outfielder Sam Fuld also recorded two hits ... but let's be serious: He's not even relevant in 20-team NL-only leagues.

What I Liked, Part II: Cameron, Lee, Fielder, Geovany Soto and minor-league wunderkind Jake Fox all launched home runs. In fact, Fielder registered his 75th RBI after his moon shot in the 6th inning.

What I Loved: Speaking of RBIs, Derrek Lee had seven -- count 'em, seven! -- against Milwaukee pitching. Yes, Lee struggled mightily in April and May. But since June 3, he's hitting at a .330 clip (34-for-103), while racking up eight homers, 16 runs and 27 RBIs. Muy impressivo!

What I Loved, Part II: Cubs starter Ryan Dempster struck out nine Brewers hitters, running his total to 89 on the season. Maybe, just maybe, this will be the year I actually trade for him down the stretch.

What Makes Me Cringe: It's a little self-serving on my part, but I really need Brewers third baseman Casey McGehee (1-for-5 on Thursday) to go on a certifiable hot streak in the coming weeks. Along with the slumping Mark Reynolds, they represent the only glaring holes for my high-stakes head-to-head mixed league.

Analyze This

We had a very interesting 2-for-1 swap in the & Friends league on Thursday ... but I'm still having trouble wrapping my head around it: guru Scott Wraight, perhaps in a moment of frustration, dealt away red-hot Ryan Braun (56 runs, 16 HRs, 57 RBIs, 6 steals, .330 BA in '09) to Charlie Kight for A's outfielder Matt Holliday (8 HRs, 40 RBIs, 9 steals, .275 average) and Brewers shortstop J.J. Hardy. As commissioner of this particular league -- not to mention the current leader atop the standings -- it'd be unfair for me to comment on such a blockbuster trade. But that doesn't mean the geniuses at Accuscore cannot have a little fun with the matter. Here are their projections from this point forward (July 3-Oct. 1):

Braun: .315 average (.388 OBP), 55.9 runs, 18.5 HRs, 60.2 RBIs, 6.8 steals

Holliday: .283 average (.377 OBP), 49.5 runs, 10.8 HRs, 46.2 RBIs, 12.2 steals
Hardy: .249 average (.319 OBP), 42.5 runs, 11 HRs, 38.5 RBIs, 0.4 steals

Analyze That

As long as we have the Accuscore Projections Analyzer 5000 cranking ... I am torn between four strikeout-heavy (but admittedly mediocre) pitchers for the & Friends league -- but I can only keep one: Jorge De La Rosa, Todd Wellemeyer, Jason Hammel, Paul Maholm. Here are Accuscore's projections from this point forward:

De La Rosa: 3.4 wins, 5.49 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 109.1 strikeouts
Wellemeyer: 3.6 wins, 4.96 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 60.1 strikeouts
Hammel: 7.0 wins, 3.96 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 65.2 strikeouts
Maholm: 4.5 wins, 4.32 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 63.7 strikeouts

Verdict: Taking Wellemeyer and Maholm quickly out of the equation -- given their pedestrian numbers across the board -- the big decision comes down to De La Rosa and Hammel. In terms of wins, ERA and WHIP, Hammel is the clear winner. But if you're in dire need of strikeouts -- and willing to absorb the occasional meltdown -- the enigmatic De La Rosa may be the bolder choice. In fact, De La Rosa would be the perfect selection for fantasy owners who can correctly guess which game Jorge will allow 12 hits and 10 runs in July/August ... and thus had the clarity to bench him earlier that day.

A Flameout For The Ages

The following nugget arrives to our doorstep, courtesy of college hoops writer and obsessive Red Sox honk Bill Trocchi: Prior to Tuesday, Boston's relief corps had allowed only eight runs in the previous 14 games. On Tuesday night, while the club possessed a 10-1 lead against Baltimore after seven innings, the Red Sox bullpen surrendered 10 runs in just two innings (punctuating the Orioles' greatest comeback victory in franchise history). D'oh!

Addition By Subtraction

Here are the Top 10 'Most Dropped' players in CBS Sports leagues this week. Not surprisingly, this list is littered with players who are either on the DL or now relegated to non-essential hitting roles:

1. 3B Adrian Beltre, Mariners (out 6-8 weeks to injury)
2. SP Matt Palmer, Angels (he has quite the legion of non-believers)
3. OF Xavier Nady, Yankees (done for the season after re-aggravating his injury)
4. SP Koji Uehara, Orioles (gets nailed by more line drives than any pitcher I know)
5. SP Antonio Bastardo, Phillies (his trip to the DL halts any late-spring momentum)
6. SP Andy Sonnanstine, Rays (still a productive pitcher in AL-only leagues)
7. OF Juan Pierre, Dodgers (the world's hottest hitter becomes the world's best sub)
8. 2B Kelly Johnson, Braves (benched while Martin Prado rides his hot streak)
9. OF Elijah Dukes, Nationals (sent down to the minors -- what a sad, sad tale to date)
10. C Rod Barajas, Blue Jays (a real head-scratcher -- he's still serviceable in all leagues)

Addition By, Um, Addition

Conversely, here are the top 10 'Most Added' players for the week:

1. SP Chad Gaudin, Padres (boasts a stellar 38/10 K-BB ratio since June 3)
2. OF Brett Gardner, Yankees (hitting .348 with 7 steals in the last 30 days)
3. RP Leo Nunez, Marlins (the possible final solution to the Marlins' bullpen woes)
4. SP Mike Hampton, Astros (start him at your own risk -- no matter the stats)
5. OF Franklin Gutierrez, Mariners (hitting .373 with 3 HRs since mid-June)
6. SS Everth Cabrera, Padres (a reliable source for good steals/decent hitting)
7. OF Nate Schierholtz, Giants (who's gonna bench this quietly superb 5x5 master?)
8. SP Sean O'Sullivan, Angels (another strong Anaheim pitcher comes up the pipeline)
9. 3B/2B Martin Prado, Braves (enjoy your 15 minutes of fame -- it's been a good ride)
10. 2B/3B Emilio Bonifacio, Marlins (amazing runner, but still vulnerable to moronic plays)

I Cannot Leave Without Touting ...

The new and improved Along with The Baseball Cube and Rotowire, these are the pre-eminent sites for tracking the daily, weekly and monthly travails of minor league stars -- essentially the lifeblood talents for deeper fantasy leagues. has undergone an eye-pleasing site re-design (much like, and it's certainly worth checking out ... even if you're not obsessed with the absurd 5x5 numbers for Rays uberprospect Desmond Jennings (like me).

Have A Link, Comment or Question For Us?
Your name:
Your E-mail Address:
Your Hometown:
Paste URL below:

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.