Fantasy Baseball: Team Previews

By Jason Fukao

Houston Astros

Projected Line-Up

2B: Craig Biggio

CF: Chris Burke

1B: Lance Berkman

LF: Carlos Lee

3B: Morgan Ensberg

RF: Luke Scott

SS: Adam Everett

C: Brad Ausmus

Projected Rotation

Roy Oswalt

Jason Jennings

Woody Williams

Fernando Nieve

Wandy Rodriguez

Closer: Brad Lidge

Player Spotlight

3B: Morgan Ensberg – How is it that the Astros always manage to have three guys at the top  of their order whose last names begin with the letter ‘B’? Anyways, Ensberg suffered an injury-riddled year after a career 2005. It seemed as though he could get nothing going last season, finishing with 23 homers, 58 RBI, and a career-low .235 BA. But expect a turnaround. Although he might not reproduce his awesome 2005 stats, it is reasonable to foresee a .280-30-100 season.

SP: Woody Williams – “I don’t think we are in San Diego anymore, Woody!” Williams enjoyed success at the hitter’s hell, Petco Park during his two seasons there, but will soon find out that Minute Maid Park is not so friendly for pitchers. Plus, he is now 41 years old. There is nothing wrong with 40+ year old pitchers, but he is not close to the likes of Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson and Jamie Moyer. Expect a tumultuous season where he will wish that he did retire already.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Projected Line-Up

CF: Gary Matthews Jr.

SS: Orlando Cabrera

RF: Vladimir Guerrero

LF: Garrett Anderson

DH: Shea Hillenbrand

1B: Casey Kotchman

2B: Howie Kendrick

C: Mike Napoli

3B: Chone Figgins

Projected Rotation

John Lackey

Kelvim Escobar

Ervin Santana

Jered Weaver

Joe Saunders

Closer: Francisco Rodriguez

Player Spotlight

RF: Vladimir Guerrero – Why couldn’t the Angels have gotten another bat to protect Big  Daddy Vladdy in the line-up? Besides, they are the “Yankees of the West,” right? Garrett Anderson is not the player he once was, and don’t expect Shea Hillenbrand to be that much of a threat either. But who cares because Vlad definitely doesn’t. Sadly, he has never been in a line-up stacked with hitters, as in Montreal he was also a one-man-wrecking-crew. Imagine how he would be in a line-up like the Yankees or Mets. Fantasy owners can dream on about that all day long.

SP: Jered Weaver – The arrival of Weaver contributed to the second-half run for the playoffs for the Angels last season, which eventually fell short to the Oakland Athletics. He won 7 straight games after being called up, and finished the season 11-2 with a 2.56 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in 123 innings. He also added 105 punch-outs. Fantasy owners are salivating at what he can do in a full season, but expect the Angels to monitor his innings. He is still only 22 years old, but that makes it even more exciting to see what this righty with electric stuff can do.

Ensberg image courtesy of SI.com
Guerrero image courtesy of Sportsline.com

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