My viewing habits have changed
By Steve Schwarz, Fantasy Sports Editor
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - I don't watch baseball games anymore. That may sound hard to believe for a guy who runs the fantasy department here at The Sports Network, but it's true.
Oh, I watch plenty of baseball. In fact, I'm a baseball junkie, but I just don't watch entire games.
Instead, I watch little vignettes thanks to MLB Network and others.
My remote gets quite a workout and, fortunately, I have a large supply of AA batteries to keep it going.
No longer do I watch a game from opening pitch to the final out. I jump from game to game when there is an exciting scoring situation. Or a great batter versus an ace pitcher.
Most times, I'm watching my fantasy players and how they perform. Because seeing them is much more valuable than just reading a box score. You can't know whether a fly ball to center was a lazy "can of corn" or a frozen rope that the center fielder made a great diving catch.
A box score doesn't tell you when a batter isn't seeing the ball well, but dribbles a couple of singles though the infield and goes 2-for-4 for the game.
I had Wednesday off and spent the afternoon and evening watching baseball (yes, I know, I need to get a life).
Here are some of my observations.
Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto is a great hitter, but his fantasy value isn't what it should be because he's too patient at the plate. He's led the league in walks the past three seasons and only knocked in 56 runs in 2012 and 73 in 2013. He needs to be more "selfish" if he wants to improve his fantasy value.
I like what I've seen from Minnesota second baseman Brian Dozier despite the .152 batting average. He has a nice combination of power and speed and should end up being a 20-20 guy.
White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu is for real. He is going to produce plenty power and RBI this season.
Colorado outfielder Charlie Blackmon is only owned in 51 percent of all Yahoo! leagues. That's a mistake by fantasy owners. He batted .309 in part-time service last season and with Dexter Fowler roaming center field for Houston, Blackmon has a full-time gig as the Rockies' leadoff hitter. He's batting .471. If he's available in your league, make room for him on your roster and claim him today.
If you haven't given up on Kansas City third baseman Mike Moustakas yet, please do.
Washington second baseman Anthony Rendon is thriving in the No. 2 hole, batting .419 with six runs scored and eight RBI. While he obviously won't bat .400 for the season, I like him to finish in the top 10 at the position.
And while I'm talking about the Nationals' roster, there is no way third baseman Ryan Zimmerman's shoulder lasts the entire season. If you own him, trade him before he's placed on the disabled list.
In what planet does Neal Cotts reside on that he thought he could throw a fastball past Boston designated hitter David Ortiz with the game on the line?
Masahiro Tanaka has given up a few gopher balls, but he's also shown great strikeout numbers and the ability to get past his mistakes. He should be a very good fantasy option, though he won't go 24-0.
Although Victor Martinez came up big on Wednesday night (3-for-3, home run, 2 RBI), teams will continue to pitch around Miguel Cabrera. The fear of a Martinez RBI single isn't enough to make them throw Cabrera a hittable pitch in most situations. The Tigers may end up trying Torii Hunter or Ian Kinsler to protect Cabrera, which would help their RBI totals. In the meantime, expect Cabrera to struggle to post numbers like the past two seasons.
In the dictionary under "owned" is a picture of Paul Goldschmidt and Tim Lincecum. Goldy is 13-for-24 with seven homers and a 1.994 OPS. If he's not in your daily fantasy lineup every time this matchup comes up, you aren't doing it right.
By the way, the last game I watched from start to finish was the final game of the 2013 World Series because there were no other games to click to that night. The next game I'm likely to watch in its entirety will be the first game of the 2014 World Series ... unless it lands on an NFL Sunday.
04/10 12:33:25 ET