Nick Kappel’s Fantasy Focus: Advancing to Your League Championship Game

Ross Ohlendorf

For most fantasy baseball leagues, today marks the beginning of the semifinal playoff round.

If you’ve made it this far, it’s important to know that this is the most critical time of the year. Everything that’s happened up until this point is irrelevant; because in a one-week matchup, anything can happen.

Forget about the fact that you nabbed Ben Zobrist off of waivers in May, or that you successfully avoided Josh Hamilton‘s injury-plagued season.

The shocking truth is that Casey McGehee is currently more valuable than David Wright, so listen up.

Every game, every at-bat, and even every pitch at this point in the season is crucial. It’s important to play the matchups and ride the hot hand. Here are a few pointers for the upcoming week:

Ross Ohlendorf has turned in seven quality starts in his last nine outings. During that streak, the 27-year-old has posted a 2.94 ERA in 58 innings and boasts a respectable 42:20 K:BB ratio.

His next scheduled start is Friday in Pittsburgh against the Padres. In 92 innings at home this season, Ohlendorf is 8-2 with a 2.74 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. In his only start against San Diego this season, he pitched seven strong innings, allowing just three runs on five hits while picking up the win. He’s an excellent spot-start this week.

In just 95 at-bats with the Rangers, Julio Borbon is batting .347 with 19 runs, four dingers, 15 RBI and 14 steals. The 23-year-old is batting leadoff in the potent Texas lineup, further strengthening his value.

The Rangers play six games in Arlington this week, where Borbon is batting .500 in 48 at-bats. The left-handed batter is likely to face only one southpaw this week, so fantasy owners can count on him being in the lineup.

Frustrated with Alex Rios‘ recent lack of production? There’s no time to wait. Borbon would be a great replacement this week.

David DeJesus is putting together an impressive hitting streak. The Kansas City outfielder has a hit in 14 straight games, and has a hit in 31 of his last 34 games. During that 34-game span, DeJesus is batting .341 with 24 runs, four long balls and 14 RBI.

I could mention his home/road or lefty/righty splits, but it probably wouldn’t matter. The 29-year-old is hitting everything in sight, and would serve as a nice fill-in this week for any of your sluggish batters.

Albert Pujols and Ryan Howard will continue to produce, but playing hot hands such as Borbon and DeJesus (among others) will help separate you from your opponent. Check your matchups each day this week, and make spot-starts when it’s appropriate. The extra effort will go a long way in ensuring your championship game berth. Good luck!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


  1. Peter

    September 14, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    Hey Nick,

    Haven’t the Pirates shut down Ross Ohlendorf for the year now that he has gone 30+ innings over last year’s totals?

  2. Nick Kappel

    September 14, 2009 at 4:11 pm


    Pirates’ manager John Russell said “When (Ohlendorf) gets between 170 and 180 (innings), we’ll probably shut him down”.

    Ohlendorf’s start on Saturday put him at 169 2/3 innings, so my guess is they will let him pitch once more; on Friday against San Diego.

    Have you heard anything different?

  3. Nick Kappel

    September 14, 2009 at 4:36 pm


    That’s the same story I read, but after reading it again, they kind of leave it up for interpretation.

    The first paragraph says they are ready to shut him down, but then Russell says they will wait until Ohlendorf gets between 170 and 180 innings, which he has yet to do.

    I guess I was under the impression that he still had one start left. Let’s hope he does, otherwise this would be incredibly embarrassing on my part.

  4. Peter

    September 14, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    Rotoworld has him as being shutdown, too, but they are going by that article.
    .-= Peter´s last blog ..Nick Kappel’s Fantasy Focus: Advancing to Your League Championship Game =-.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply