Thursday, April 8, 2010

Rolling the Dice with Wake

Four days into the new fantasy season, my head-to-head matchup is a dead heat.

My opponent is smoking me in ERA and WHIP due to strong starts from his co-aces, Tim Lincecum and Johan Santana. Meanwhile, one of my gambles (Ben Sheets) and one of my aces (Jon Lester) both got smoked in their first starts. So I'm well behind in ERA and WHIP and ready to punt those categories for the week.

However, I'm tied for strikeouts and only down one win, so it's time to go fishin' in the stream -- streaming pitchers, that is. I'm not usually one to stream, but with Webb, Bedard, and Lidge all on the DL, I don't have enough working pitcher spots at the moment to avoid going fishing. For catfish. Because tomorrow is fifth-starter day, and the pitchers going tomorrow (almost all of them available on the free-agent wire) are all bottom-feeders.

I asked the Psychic who she preferred amongst the available catfish, but I didn't bother asking her about the fellas who are going against good teams, or the ones with god-awful numbers last year.

I had pretty much narrowed it down to Rodrigo Lopez, who had an unexpectedly good spring training and goes tomorrow against the lowly (but currently overperforming) Pirates...

Or Tim Wakefield, a homer for me (I do love my Red Sox) who is hurling against the crappy Royals (sorry, Trey Hillman, I love you -- you are a true gentleman, the classiest gut in baseball -- but your team is full of quad-A players who shouldn't really be in the majors, Willie Bloomquist and Cy Young Greinke excepted).

I asked the Psychic, moments before she fell asleep on Snuggle Couch while watching an old episode of The Office, who she thought I should go with. She liked Lopez all right, but was definitely more keen on Wakefield. Maybe it's because it'll be windy in KC tomorrow, and Wake's knuckle ball will be dancing. Maybe it's because the Red Sox have that sick new defense, and barring a slugfest he's likely to keep the baserunners down. Maybe it's because the Royals haven't yet fixed all those pesky holes in their bats.

I will never know.

I will never know, because when I asked the Psychic WHY she preferred Wakefield to Lopez, she wrinkled her nose, gave me a look bordering on disgust, and reminded me that it doesn't work that way. SHE doesn't know why she prefers Wake, so how is she supposed to tell ME? She prefers Wake because she prefers Wake. It's very Zen.

So I just have to go with it, and Wake it is for probably the one and only start he will make this year. I'm certainly not keeping him after tomorrow, not with the likes of Chris Young available on the waiver wire (with any luck, Young will make a start for me this weekend).

A couple other random nuggets: The Psychic did envision Lopez in purple and gray (accurate, since he used to play for the Rockies and his picture on Yahoo Sports still shows him in a Rockies hat), and she sees Wakefield in green and yellow (odd, but maybe he'll sign on with the A's when the Sox are finally done with him. I kind of doubt it, but you never know).

I'm hoping for a 4.00 ERA and 1.5 WHIP from Wake tomorrow, but I don't really care since Sheets and Lester already ruined those categories for me this week. If he strikes out 5 Omaha batters (sorry, I meant Kansas City batters), and grabs the W (you should never chase wins, but I'm doing just that), I'll be happy.

Hey Wake, it's my birthday about an early gift for a loyal Red Sox fan? You'll always be a favorite, even when you fade from fantasy relevance when Dice-K comes off the DL. C'mon, Wake, do me a solid. And prove the Psychic right yet again.


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