Wednesday links: the return of Dice-K

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- ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick takes a look at some of baseball’s best utility men. Guys that can play multiple positions are extremely valuable in fantasy. It’s the reason I’ve kept Nick Swisher on my bench all season. Still, I’m not sure Darin Erstad helps anyone, unless you get points in your fantasy league for grinding. If so, that is awesome, and please invite me to play next year.

- If you’re in a fantasy league with a bunch of guys that stopped paying attention to baseball five years ago, now would be a great time to deal Richie Sexton to one of them.

- Daisuke Matsuzaka may be the hyped foreign baseball player of all-time, and so far, he’s lived up to the billing. Dice-K was pretty good last season in helping the Red Sox win their second World Series in four seasons. This year, however, he was unhittable before going down on May 27 with a rotator cuff sprain in his pitching arm. Now he's back, and he is expected to pitch on Saturday.

Dice-K has a lot of value in fantasy for two reasons: a) he strikes guys out, b) he pitches for a good team, so he accumulates a lot of wins. While his walk numbers were up before getting hurt, Dice-K still has an unblemished record (8-0) and boasts a 2.5 ERA .

With a slew of injuries around the majors the last two weeks, it’s great to be able to pull Matsuzaka off the DL.

- Lost in all the Clayton Kershaw mania has been the performance of Chad Billingsley, another young Dodgers starter with a cool name. While no one tops Clayton Kershaw in the name department (besides for maybe Lance Broadway), Billingsley has actually been more reliable so far. He picked up a win last night, only allowing one earned run and striking out nine. Since the NL West is so mediocre, Billingsley should be able to continue pitching well. If you need pitching help, try to swing a trade for him.

- Just like the White Sox' Carlos Quentin, Chase Utley now finds himself in a bit of a slump. While some fantasy owners may consider peddling off Quentin if the price is right, hang onto Utley at all costs. He’s already matched his home run total from last year, 22, in 59 fewer games.

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2 Comments

My buddy in the A's system is named Dusty Napoleon...beat that name! Actually somebody did...Will Startup, in Minor League Best Baseball name challenge:

http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080411&content_id=383585&vkey=news_milb&fext=.jsp

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