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Fantasy Baseball Advice: Schilling, Ponson, Smoltz

Here is your daily dose of fantasy baseball advice. Today we'll try to cover all the pertinent fantasy baseball topics briefly.  An excellent source for up-to-date fantasy baseball news is Roto World.  For cutting edge insight into that news, park your browser right here at The Roto Authority. 

The latest MLB trade rumor to emerge is Sidney Ponson to the Devil Rays or Padres.  No matter where Ponson may go, don't pick him up.  He's been terrible since the beginning of 2004.  Don't roll the dice on him, even if he pitches in pitcher-friendly Petco.  A Ponson deal involving Phil Nevin would help Nevin's value.  More RBI opportunities, more home runs playing for the O's.  Richard Hidalgo is in the midst of one of his patented hot streaks right now, but he can't go to a better hitting environment than Texas.  Don't play with the fire that is his batting average.

Curt Schilling is already talking about returning to the starting rotation for the Boston Red Sox.  Apparently the Sox have seen the error of their ways.  The move, of course, increases Schilling's value quite a bit.  Considering his pre-season price, expect Schilling's owner to stick with him no matter what his role.  The ripple effect is that the saves opportunities truly will fall to Mike Timlin.  He's a great pickup, but comes with the caveat that the Red Sox have been linked to every reliever in baseball in trade talks.  Eddie Guardado, Billy Wagner, J.C. Romero, or Brian Fuentes could be closing in Boston next Sunday.

Al Leiter is still spent, and his one good start against Boston was clearly a mirage.  Let's hope you weren't delirious enough to pick him up in the first place.

A John Smoltz to the Yankees rumor has surfaced.  As the article says, don't buy into this one.  Smoltz loves Atlanta and has had plenty of opportunities to leave but has chosen to stay.  Besides, Atlanta is in a pennant race and Smoltz is a key to their success.

John Lackey makes a decent pickup at this point.  His ratio may be poor, but he can win games and rack up Ks.

We still have to advise against Chris Young.  Next year he may make a decent 5th starter for you, but he plays in the American League Coors.  Too dangerous for fantasy baseball.

Dustin Hermanson was hit hard last night.  Hermanson is a major candidate for a regression in the second half - his peripheral numbers simply do not support his ERA.  Few strikeouts, plenty of walks, low batting average on balls in play.  These qualities spell out major luck being involved in the 1.50 ERA.  If he strings together a few saves, ship him off for any warm body.  The ramifications of Billy Wagner entering the picture are discussed here

The Arizona Diamondbacks' bullpen situation is a mess.  Don't be the one trying to sort between Tim Worrell, Brian Bruney, Brandon Lyon, Jose Valverde, and maybe Shingo Takatsu.  Just find saves elsewhere.

Dontrelle Willis has strung together three awful starts in a row.  As we've said in this space, he'll be a decent pitcher by year's end but dont trade him away when his value is at a season-low.

         


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