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Fantasy Clicks: Tulo, Ubaldo go crazy from the heat

BY JAY CLEMONS Recent Fantasy Clicks 06-07-10: The Ubaldo & Tulo Go-Loco Show 06-03-10: SI's Own Bout Of Mock Madness 06-01-10: A Fish Called Cody Saves Miami 05-28-10: The Ultimate Draft Do-Over 05-26-10: A PPR Quandary For The Masses 05-24-10: Sunny Rays Take Houston By Storm 05-20-10: Let The Mock Madness Begin 05-17-10: For Whom The Kubel Tolls 05-14-10: Less Bang For Your Bucs 05-12-10: The Marshall Plan Hits South Beach 05-10-10: The Mother Of All Perfect Games 05-06-10: Fantasy Love Is Blind Sometimes 05-03-10: Phantastic Fantasy Fun In Philly 04-30-10: Kings Of Command 04-28-10: The Post-Draft Mock Madness Quotient 04-26-10: Here Come The Sun Kings 04-21-10: Fantasy Breakdown Of 2010 NFL Sked 04-19-10: Nothing Beats A Royal Flush 04-19-10: Nothing Beats A Royal Flush 04-16-10: Oh, The Cantu-Man Can 04-14-10: Santonio's Fly-By-Night Move to N.Y. 04-12-10: Something Wild In The D 04-09-10: The Tao Of Jose Reyes 04-07-10: Donovan's D.C. Cab ... To Landover 04-05-10: Welcome To Opening Night Revelations 04-02-10: Nothing Beats A Real Fantasy Draft 03-31-10: One More Mock For The Road 03-26-10: A Fantasy-Fueled NFL Draft Breakdown 03-22-10: Fantasyland Prose & Cons: Mauer Power 03-19-10: The NL-Only Fantasy Spectacular 03-15-10: The AL-Only Fantasy Spectacular 03-12-10: Post-free agency adjustments in fantasy 03-10-10: In Case Of Emergency: Twins' Closer 03-08-10: Fantasy Preview Breakdown, Part III 03-03-10: Fantasy Preview Breakdown, Part II 03-01-10: NFL Combine Revelations 02-26-10: A Fantasy Preview Breakdown 02-24-10: Green Flag Goodness: Hitters 02-17-10: Green Flag Goodness: Pitchers 02-15-10: Red Flag Alerts: Pitchers 1-27-10: Red Flag Alerts: Infielders 1-25-10: Championship Sunday Revelations 1-22-10: Playing A Championship Sunday Hunch 1-20-10: Early Mock Draft Madness 1-18-10: Divisional Playoff Revelations 1-15-10: Divisional Playoff Round Clicks 1-13-10: Back In The Baseball Business 1-11-10: Wild Card Revelations 1-06-10: Fantasy Clicks Year-End Spectacular 1-04-10: Wild Card Round Clicks 12-28-09: Week 16 Revelations/Week 17 Clicks 12-23-09: All You Need To Know For Week 16 12-21-09: Week 15 Revelations 12-18-09: Thursday Night Revelations (Week 15) 12-16-09: Dontcha Hate When That Happens? 12-13-09: Week 14 Revelations 12-11-09: Thursday Night Revelations (Week 14) 12-09-09: Fantasy Playoff Rules To Live By 12-07-09: Week 13 Revelations 12-04-09: Thursday Night Revelations (Week 13) 12-02-09: The Believers Of Calvinism 11-30-09: Week 12 Revelations 11-27-09: Turkey Day Revelations 11-25-09: All Hail The Perfect Showdown 11-23-09: Week 11 Revelations

Crazy From The Heat

Troy Tulowitzki: Brad Mangin/Getty Images

In an effort to make Fantasy Clicks bigger and better than ever, we'll spotlight Sunday's most intriguing MLB game in an NFL-style Revelations. This week's choice -- Rockies @ Diamondbacks -- was a tough call over Reds-Nationals (Matt Capps implosion + Scott Rolen revival = Hello, Drew Storen), Yankees-Blue Jays (Robinson Cano strikes again), Angels-Mariners (Anaheim bangs out 18 hits) and even Rays-Rangers (who in the heck is Matt Treanor and why can't Jarrod Saltalamacchia or Max Ramirez bash two homers in a game for Texas?):

Colorado 3, Arizona 2
What I Liked: It's always great to see fantasy stalwarts bring the goods on Sunday -- the last day of competition in weekly leagues -- and the quartet of Troy Tulowitzki, Brad Hawpe, Carlos Gonzalez and Kelly Johnson each finished with two hits and at least one RBI or run scored. Tulowitzki, according to, currently ranks as the No. 2 shortstop in all of fantasyland (behind Elvis Andrus) -- high praise, especially since Tulo (.300 average, 7 HRs, 41 runs, 28 RBIs, 6 steals) hasn't even scratched the surface of his second-half potential.

What I Liked, Part II: I was at a party Saturday night, talking shop with one of the bar patrons; and as god as my witness, I uttered the following prescient words: You could do much, much worse than Rodrigo Lopez. Heck, he might even outduel Ubaldo on Sunday. OK, so Lopez didn't emerge as the victor, but there was plenty to like about his indirect mano y mano against Ubaldo Jimenez. Lopez allowed three runs in seven innings, while posting a 6/1 K-BB ratio. As for Jimenez, well ...

What I Loved: Only Ubaldo The Great could go seven masterful innings, yielding just two runs and see his ERA climb to 0.93. For good measure, he also racked up eight strikeouts and his 11th win, in a season that's slowly but surely becoming one for the ages. Will he win 25 games? Will he threaten Bob Gibson's long-standing ERA record of 1.12? Will he register 225 Ks for the season? The answers are still "No" at this point, but there's no doubting Jimenez is the hottest pitcher on the planet ... with absolutely zero competition in that race.

What I Loathed: In the & Friends fantasy league last month, I traded Matt Garza to Lonny Krasnow's Youkeleiles for Ian Stewart (1 hit, 1 run on Sunday) ... on the belief Stewart was primed for a Kinsler-like breakout with the Rockies. But right here, right now, the whole I-Stew experience (7 HRs, 30 RBIs, 26 runs, 5 steals, .273 average) is just a little underwhelming. What's worse, I don't see any July or August streaks in Stewart's future. Damn!

What I Loathed, Part II: In my CBS weekly league, D-backs first baseman Adam LaRoche collected minus-2 points for the whole week, singlehandly ruining any chances of winning the head-to-head matchup. Am I bitter? You betcha. Am I losing faith that LaRoche won't start heating up until August ... after my CBS team has dropped out of the playoff picture? In the immortal words of Kool-Aid Man, Oh Yeah!

What Makes Me Say 'Yikes': At a Vegas sportsbook in March, I made a small bet of Mark Reynolds winning the MLB home run title this season, at 15-1 odds. And while I don't regret my choice -- yet -- there's also no evidence suggesting Reynolds will pull himself together and become the power-speed dynamo of 2009. For that matter, who's to say he'll even rebound from his Mark Belanger-esque .215 batting average? Ouch!

Fantasy 2-Pack: Pitchers

These potentially gold pitchers are scheduled for two starts in Week 10 (June 7-13):
Yovani Gallardo, Brewers
Matt Cain, Giants
Phil Hughes, Yankees
Dan Haren, Diamondbacks
Cole Hamels, Phillies
Mike Pelfrey, Mets
Jeff Niemann, Rays
Barry Zito, Giants
Zack Greinke, Royals
Johnny Cueto, Reds
Colby Lewis, Rangers
Felix Hernandez, Mariners
Jered Weaver, Angels
Cliff Lee, Mariners
Daisuke Matsuzaka, Red Sox
Ted Lilly, Cubs
Derek Lowe, Braves
Scott Kazmir, Angels
Stephen Strasburg, Nationals
Edwin Jackson, Diamondbacks
Ben Sheets, Athletics
Fausto Carmona, Indians
Clayton Richard, Padres
Gavin Floyd, White Sox
Kris Medlen, Braves
Jeff Francis, Rockies
P.J. Walters, Cardinals
Armando Galarraga, Tigers
Scott Feldman, Rangers
Jason Hammel, Rockies
Chris Volstad, Marlins
Vin Mazzaro, Athletics
Sam LeCure, Reds
Kevin Millwood, Orioles
Kyle Kendrick, Phillies
Dana Eveland, Blue Jays
Carlos Monasterios, Dodgers
Brian Moehler, Astros
David Huff, Indians
Jeff Karstens, Pirates
Brian Tallet, Blue Jays
Wade LeBlanc, Padres

Feeling A Draft In Here?

In honor of today's MLB draft, here are the first 20 picks from's most recent mock (updated June 6). You'll notice that Washington has a chance to land two once-in-a-lifetime players in back-to-back seasons -- Stephen Strasburg in 2009 ... and Vegas power-hitting legend Bryce Harper this season:

1. Nationals: C Bryce Harper, Southern Nevada Community College
2. Pirates: SS Manny Machado, Brito HS (Fla.)
3. Orioles: P Jameson Taillon, The Woodlands HS (Texas)
4. Royals: C Yasmani Grandal, Miami
5. Indians: P Drew Pomeranz, Mississippi
6. Diamondbacks: P Chris Sale, Florida Gulf Coast
7. Mets: 3B Zack Cox, Arkansas
8. Astros: 3B/OF Josh Sale, Blanchet HS (Wash.)
9. Padres: OF Michael Choice, University of Texas-Arlington
10. Athletics: SS Christian Colon, Cal-State Fullerton
11. Blue Jays: C Justin O'Conner, Cowan HS (Ind.)
12. Reds: P Deck McGuire, Georgia Tech
13. White Sox: SS/3B Nick Castellanos, Archbishop McCarthy HS (Fla.)
14. Brewers: P Matt Harvey, North Carolina
15. Rangers: P Karsten Whitson, Chipley HS (Calif.)
16. Cubs: P Asher Wojciechowski, The Citadel
17. Rays: OF Bryce Brentz, Middle Tennessee State
18. Angels: P Dylan Covey, Maranatha HS (Calif.)
19. Astros: OF Delino DeShields, Woodward Academy (Ga.)
20. Red Sox: P Anthony Raunado, LSU

Long-Term Pickup Of The Week

Obviously, if you're in a league where Strasburg remains available -- keeper, 5x5 roto, weekly, daily -- by all means, literally drop everything and grab him. And just in case Marlins outfielder Michael Stanton really is the next hybrid of Ryan Braun/Miguel Cabrera, assign him waivers priority, as well. But this mini-section wasn't constructed with no-brainer pickups in mind. Rather, if you're seeking a solid slugger/runner with second base/third base eligibility who has the full backing of a beleaguered franchise that's simply dying for a sturdy core of youngsters ... look no further than unheralded Pittsburgh rookie Neil Walker.

Drafted as a catcher, then moved to first base, before making second base his temporary (but perhaps permanent home), Walker is rather big for his new position (6-foot-3, 205) but possesses the underrated 5x5 traits prized by the savvy fantasy owner. In fact, if I had to attach a comparison to Walker's skill set, I'd lump him with Brian Roberts, Ian Stewart or Casey McGehee. In just 43 games at Triple-A Indianapolis, Walker amassed 6 HRs, 26 RBIs, 25 runs, 10 steals, a .321 average and .392 OBP; and with the Pirates (39 at-bats), Walker has 4 runs, 1 HR, 6 RBIs, 1 steal and a .359 batting average.

Dare To Compare

In a nod to the classic Pepsi Challenge of 1980s lore, here's a blind taste test for fantasygoers (based on Accuscore projections): Which of the five high-profile first basemen would you most prefer from this point forward (June 7-Oct. 1)? And can you guess which projections represent that of prospective MVP Kevin Youkilis?

Player A
Projected stats: .270 average, .389 OBP, 54.5 runs, 22 HRs, 61 RBIS, 0 steals
Player B
Projected stats: .281 average, .371 OBP, 58.2 runs, 26.1 HRs, 72 RBIS, 0.4 steals
Player C
Projected stats: .272 average, .366 OBP, 59.1 runs, 19.5 HRs, 64.6 RBIS, 1.3 steals
Player D
Projected stats: .250 average, .340 OBP, 41.1 runs, 20.4 HRs, 46.9 RBIS, 0.9 steals
Player E
Projected stats: .308 average, .431 OBP, 82.3 runs, 20.9 HRs, 68.3 RBIS, 3.8 stealss

A -- Adam Dunn, Nationals
B -- Paul Konerko, White Sox
C -- Derrek Lee, Cubs
D -- Russell Branyan, Indians
E -- Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox

The Road To Wellville

These hitters should fare well against average-to-subpar pitching in Week 10 (June 7-13):
Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox (@ Cleveland, vs. Philadelphia)
Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
David Ortiz, Red Sox
Adrian Beltre, Red Sox
Marco Scutaro, Red Sox
J.D. Drew, Red Sox
Mike Cameron, Red Sox
Adam Dunn, Nationals (vs. Pittsburgh, @ Cleveland)
Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals
Nyjer Morgan, Nationals
Ian Desmond, Nationals
Roger Bernadina, Nationals
Adam Kennedy, Nationals
Alex Rodriguez, Yankees (@ Baltimore, vs. Houston)
Derek Jeter, Yankees
Mark Teixeira, Yankees
Curtis Granderson, Yankees
Nick Swisher, Yankees
Brett Gardner, Yankees
Robinson Cano, Yankees

Trouble Ahead

On the flip side ... here's a list of hitters who are likely headed for slow starts in Week 10 (June 7-13), due to poor pitching matchups. I'm not saying "Don't start 'em" ... just be wary of these guys, who'll face at least four high-quality hurlers during this period:

Billy Butler, Royals (@ Minnesota, @ Cincinnati)
Jose Guillen, Royals
Alberto Callaspo, Royals
Scott Podsednik, Royals
Chris Getz, Royals
Mitch Maier, Royals
David DeJesus, Royals
Michael Bourn, Astros (@ Colorado, @ N.Y. Yankees)
Hunter Pence, Astros
Lance Berkman, Astros
Pedro Feliz, Astros
Carlos Lee, Astros
Jeff Keppinger, Astros
Tommy Manzella, Astros
Jose Bautista, Blue Jays (@ Tampa Bay, @ Colorado)
Vernon Wells, Blue Jays
Aaron Hill, Blue Jays
Adam Lind, Blue Jays
Fred Lewis, Blue Jays
Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays
John Buck, Blue Jays
Rajaj Davis, Athletics (vs. Los Angeles/Anaheim, @ San Francisco)
Ryan Sweeney, Athletics
Cliff Pennington, Athletics
Kevin Kouzmanoff, Athletics
Kurt Suzuki, Athletics
Daric Barton, Athletics
Mark Ellis, Athletics

SI Recommends

A Race Against Time

I don't have enough time to fully explain the Super Twos rule when it comes to MLB clubs promoting top prospects around Memorial Day ... and how it affects each player's arbitration status down the line. But I can hazard an educated guess on which touted prospects will be the next to earn permanent promotions to the majors (Buster Posey, Chris Tillman, Austin Jackson, Jason Heyward, Neftali Feliz obviously don't apply here):

1. OF Michael Stanton, Marlins (maybe this list's greatest prospect come 2014)
2. SP Stephen Strasburg, Nationals (perhaps you've heard of this kid?)
3. C Carlos Santana, Indians (long term, I'd rather have Santana over Bryce Harper)
4. OF Jose Tabata, Pirates (a major piece of Pittsburgh's Rays-like rebuilding)
5. SP Jake Arrieta, Orioles (Baltimore has five dynamite starters of 24 or younger)
6. OF Michael Saunders, Mariners
7. 1B Chris Carter, Athletics (yes, Oakland's leading the AL West, but it needs an imposing hitter)
8. 3B Brett Wallace, Blue Jays
9. OF Desmond Jennings, Rays (meet Carl Crawford, circa 2004)
10. SP Nick Hagadone, Indians
11. OF Michael Taylor, Athletics
12. 1B Yonder Alonso, Reds (his only hurdle from the majors is a big one: Joey Votto)
13. SP Brad Lincoln, Pirates
14. 1B Eric Hosmer, Royals
15. SP Madison Bumgarner, Giants

FYI: Here is's Top 50 prospects special from March. Enjoy!

Total Bases Recall

Joey Votto: AP

For the loyal Clicks readers of fantasy football, you've heard me prattle on a thousand times about the importance of Targets -- the number of times a receiver is thrown to -- and how it's a fail-safe method for evaluating receivers. Well, I am equally passionate about Total Bases in fantasy baseball. By my way of thinking, TB is the perfect convergence of coveting power hitters and on-base machines who make a living from doubles. It's also a stellar indicator of future success. Here are the top 30 leaders (with ties) in total bases (through June 6):

1. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers -- 141
2. Robinson Cano, Yankees -- 138
3. Vernon Wells, Blue Jays -- 136
4. Justin Morneau, Twins -- 132
5. Evan Longoria, Rays -- 123
6. Jose Bautista, Blue Jays -- 121
7. Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox -- 120
8. Vladimir Guerrero, Rangers -- 117
9. Matt Kemp, Dodgers -- 117
10. Albert Pujols, Cardinals -- 117
11. Josh Hamilton, Rangers -- 116
12. Alex Rios, White Sox -- 115
13. Alex Gonzalez, Blue Jays -- 113
14. Ryan Braun, Brewers -- 112
15. Martin Prado, Braves -- 112
16. Adrian Beltre, Red Sox -- 109
17. Paul Konerko, White Sox -- 108
18. Scott Rolen, Reds -- 108
19. Dan Uggla, Marlins -- 108
20. Joey Votto, Reds -- 108
21. Marlon Byrd, Cubs -- 107
22. Derek Jeter, Yankees -- 107
23. Kelly Johnson, Diamondbacks -- 107
24. Jayson Werth, Phillies -- 107
25. Michael Young, Rangers -- 107
26. Adam Dunn, Nationals -- 106
27. Shane Victorino, Phillies -- 106
28. Billy Butler, Royals -- 105
29. Alberto Callaspo, Royals -- 105
30. Carl Crawford, Rays -- 105
31. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees -- 105

I Tweet, Therefore I Am

@RyanSchick wonders: My quest continues -- Jered Weaver or Chris Carpenter? Also, would you please rank Ricky Romero/Shaun Marcum/Jeff Niemann? Gonna use Rod Barajas + 1 SP for Weaver/Carpenter.

Answer: I don't care what the numbers say, I'd want Carpenter over Weaver every day and twice on Sunday. The way I see it, the Cards' duo of Carpenter/Adam Wainwright is slightly more, ahem, dynamic than Tim Lincecum/Matt Cain -- although that may be the closest race in fantasyland history. As for the pitching rankings, I'd go 1)Marcum 2)Niemann 3)Romero ... although you could make a case for either one at any spot. From a strikeout perspective, it's Romero; from a pure efficiency standpoint, it begins and ends with Marcum; and from a wins perspective, you gotta love Niemann's chances on the best team in baseball.

Another Leap For Fantasy-kind

I don't have all the particulars yet, but Sports Illustrated and will soon release a brand-new, state-of-the-art fantasy football game on Facebook, one that'll rival (and hopefully surpass) the and games. Throw in the early-July release of SI's fantasy football magazine -- the sequel to last year's runaway best-seller -- and we'll have plenty of discussion topics for the sports-radio media caravan after the Fourth of July holiday.

Analyze This

To the delight of many, there is never a slowdown period with trades in the & Friends league. Whether it's BIG ones involving Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia, or little ones involving Brandon Wood and Aaron Harang, there's always something going down between the graveyard-shift hours of 2-6 a.m. ... which, in turn, gives us an excuse to let the mathematical geniuses at Accuscore be the knee-jerk judge and jury:

Team A gets ... Hunter Pence, Joakim Soria, Aubrey Huff
Pence (Accuscore yearly estimates -- June 7-Oct. 1)
.277 batting average, .328 OBP, 53.6 runs, 16.4 HRs, 48.1 RBIs, 9.6 steals
.259 batting average, .338 OBP, 42.7 runs, 10 HRs, 48.4 RBIs, 0.8 steals
1.2 wins, 26.1 saves, 2.39 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 52.3 strikeouts

Team B gets ... Prince Fielder, Raul Ibanez, Mitch Talbot
Fielder (Accuscore yearly estimates -- June 7-Oct. 1)
.285 batting average, .406 OBP, 65.2 runs, 24.1 HRs, 68.6 RBIs, 1.5 steals
.263 batting average, .351 OBP, 62.3 runs, 18 HRs, 61.3 RBIs, 1.8 steals
7.0 wins, 3.83 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 59.4 strikeouts

Verdict: Yes, Soria is an elite closer, and yes, Hunter Pence should have been playing at an All-Star level by now; but Team B is still the victor here, on the strength (or girth) of Fielder. It's like the old commandment from fantasy football: Unless you're desperate to fulfill a certain statistical category, ALWAYS get the best player of a deal. In this case, it's Prince.

Analyze That

Since we have the Accuscore Predictatron 5000 cranking, here's another trade to investigate:
Team A gets ... David Wright
Wright (Accuscore yearly estimates -- June 7-Oct. 1)
.290 batting average, .384 OBP, 57.8 runs, 11.4 HRs, 59 RBIs, 19.7 steals

Team B gets ... Andre Ethier
Ethier (Accuscore yearly estimates -- June 7-Oct. 1)
.297 batting average, .376 OBP, 62.9 runs, 23 HRs, 78.6 RBIs, 2.7 steals

Verdict: This one's rather obvious, even to the owner who's craving steals. Ethier, when fully recovered from a broken finger, has become the more palatable option in fantasyland. And should Wright accrue 20 steals from this point forward, Ethier still gets the nod.

Stock Report

Here's an update for the highly volatile & Friends league (15-team, 5x5-roto):
1. The Youkileles (Lonny Krasnow) -- 105.5 points (after seven loooooong weeks ...)
2. The Baltimore Choppas (Jay Clemons) -- 102 points (... yours truly gets bumped from 1st)
3. From First To Worst (Jon Machota) -- 100.5 points (boasts best team across the board)
4. Tulo's Dirtbags (Scott Wraight) -- 99 points (highest-ranking team with a '1' category)
5. Bronx Bulldogs (Charlie Kight) -- 97.5 points (you can't win title with poor ERA/WHIPs)
6. TEAM COCO Crisp (Micah Hart) -- 97 points (waited two months for Strasburg payoff)
7. Crotch Bats (Jeff Ritter) -- 96 points (held 1st-place for about 12 minutes on Saturday)
8. Dominican Lous (Cory McCartney) -- 89 points (has Hanley/A-Rod/Prince in the same lineup)
9. Kershawshank Redemption (D. Lampson) -- 87 points (sent trade offers during honeymoon)
10. Joba Rules (Bobby Kight) -- 81.5 points (stole Neil Walker from my FAAB clutches)
11. Ruxin's Rabbits (Brandon Marcus) -- 66 points (needs Hail Mary, in the form of Mike Stanton)
12. Cabrera's Cannibals (David Komer) -- 58 points (proud new owner of Jayson Werth)
13. Albert's On The Big Mac Diet (Andrew Lamb) -- 45 points (needs a bigger shovel for digging)
14. Milwaukee Schlitz (Jeff Lewis) -- 43 points (sacre bleu ... he traded Prince!)
15. Lenny Loves Twizzlers (Drew Packham) -- 32.5 points (beseiged by injuries all year -- whatcha gonna do?)

Jay Clemons can be found on Twitter, day and night (@SI_JayClemons), accessing your fantasy questions and comments. You can also read his award-winning Revelations every Sunday/Monday during the NFL and MLB seasons.

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