Fantasy Baseball: Team Previews

By Jason Fukao

Milwaukee Brewers

Projected Line-Up

2B: Rickie Weeks

SS: J.J. Hardy

1B: Prince Fielder

CF: Bill Hall

C: Johnny Estrada

RF: Geoff Jenkins

LF: Corey Hart

3B: Corey Koskie

Projected Rotation

Ben Sheets

Chris Capuano

Jeff Suppan

Dave Bush

Claudio Vargas

Closer: Francisco Cordero

Player Spotlight:

SP: Dave Bush – All this pitcher did last year in his first season as a starter was record 12 wins, strike out 166 batters and record a strong 1.14 WHIP in 210 innings. However, he did end up with a high 4.41 ERA, which can be attributed to his poor pitching away from Miller Park. He posted a 3.53 ERA at home, but on the road his ERA ballooned to 5.38. Still, he is a solid 4th or 5th starter on your fantasy team. Don’t reach for him until you have a solid foundation in pitching. If you can stomach his ERA, he can contribute in WHIP and Ks.

SP: Jeff Suppan – Don’t let a superb post-season fool you as it did the Brewers front office. This guy is not even fantasy worthy. During last year’s regular season, “Soup” put up 12 wins, struck out 104 batters and compiled a 4.12 ERA and 1.42 WHIP with the Cardinals. Expect even worse numbers this year, as he will have to face division rivals – the Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs and his old team, the St. Louis Cardinals – as all three have very potent offenses. However, today in an exhibition game against the Los Angeles Angels, Suppan pitched 5 scoreless innings with 5 Ks. This just supports the fact that preseason performances do not matter.

New York Yankees

Projected Line-Up

CF: Johnny Damon

SS: Derek Jeter

RF: Bobby Abreu

3B: Alex Rodriguez

DH: Jason Giambi

LF: Hideki Matsui

C: Jorge Posada

2B: Robinson Cano

1B: Doug Mientkiewicz

Projected Rotation

Mike Mussina

Andy Pettitte

Chien-Ming Wang

Carl Pavano

Kei Igawa

Closer: Mariano Rivera

Player Spotlight

RF: Bobby Abreu – After joining the Yankees after the two-thirds mark of last season, he almost equaled the number of home runs with Philadelphia that year in half the number of at-bats. He also hit .330 as a Yankee compared to .277 as a Phillie. It doesn’t hurt being a part of one of the most potent lineups in baseball, and that is why his numbers should be even better this year. That short porch in right field of Yankee Stadium is bound to see more of Abreu’s homerun balls. One note of caution is his strained oblique muscle. He hurt it in late February and at the time of publication has yet to take batting practice. He is scheduled to be ready for Opening Day, but keep an eye on his progress.

SP: Chien-Ming Wang – 76 Ks, 3.63 ERA and 1.31 WHIP in 218 innings does not sound like Cy Young-caliber numbers, right? These are Wang’s stats from 2006 when he finished 2nd behind Johan Santana in the AL Cy Young voting. To his credit, he did have a 19-6 record. He should post similar numbers this year, but don’t expect him to anchor your staff. If it wasn’t for that win total, Wang would just be another mediocre pitcher. We can thank the Yankee offense for keeping Wang on the map.

All images courtesy of AP Photo.

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