Once a feeble baseball organization, the Seattle Mariners have turned things around in the 2011 MLB Season. Fueled and energized by talented starting pitching, the Mariners are now 22-24 and are currently only 1 ½ games behind the Texas Rangers in the AL West. For fantasy baseball, every single starting pitcher on the Mariners baseball team can be considered for fantasy baseball. Specifically, Doug Fister, Erik Bedard, Felix Hernandez, Jason Vargas, and Michael Pineda should be considered. Also, Ichiro Suzuki and Justin Smoak should be considered for fantasy baseball. Baseball players are listed in alphabetical order.
Doug Fister (Sea- LHP)
The 27 year-old Doug Fister had a great first half of baseball last season as his ERA was below his career average of 3.87 and had a strong whip. Fister did not finish the 2010 season strong as his final record was 6-14, 93:32 K/BB ratio, 4.11 ERA, and a WHIP of 1.29. This season he has been pitching very well and has a record of 2-4, 35:15 K/BB ratio, 2.93 ERA, and a WHIP of 1.29. His WHIP has stayed remarkably consistent throughout his first two seasons and this year as his WHIP was 1.28, 1.28, and is now 1.29, respectively. Draft Fister in the late rounds and expect that his ERA will rise to his career average. If already drafted and you do not have him on your roster, add him to your watch list or try to acquire him.
Erik Bedard (Sea- LHP)
Another starting to pitcher of the Seattle Mariners to consider is Erik Bedard. Like Fister, Bedard has a record of 2-4, 41:17 K/BB ratio, 3.72 ERA, and a WHIP of 1.32. Bedard, in my opinion, is a much better pitcher than Fister as his career statistics indicate, but Bedard has been inconsistent health-wise. Draft him in the late rounds. If already drafted and you do not have him on your roster, do not trade for him. Instead, add him to your watch list. Bedard is a high-risk, high-reward pitcher.
Felix Hernandez (Sea- RHP)
There is not much to be said about “King” Felix Hernandez besides he is arguably one of the best pitchers in baseball. Last year, with little run support, Hernandez won his first Cy Young Award with an average record of 13-12, excellent 232:70 K/BB ratio, 2.27 ERA, and a 1.06 WHIP. The best thing about Hernandez is that he is only 25, and is constantly improving. In 10 games this season, he has a record of 4-4, 64:21 K/BB ratio, 3.23 ERA, and a WHIP of 1.13 Draft Hernandez in either the second or third round. If already drafted and you do not have him on your roster, try to trade for him. His stock is incredibly high, but will help in all four starting pitching categories.
Ichiro Suzuki (Sea- OF)
Suzuki, 37, has seemingly regressed in hitting performance as his 2011 numbers are well-below his career averages. This future hall of famer has currently reached home plate 23 times, has not hit a home run, contributed 15 RBI’s, stole 11 bases, and has a .290 average which is .040 below his career average. While a fantasy owner may draft him in the first or second round based on name recognition, do not be that fantasy owner. Draft Suzuki in either the fourth or fifth round. If already drafted, add Suzuki on your watch list. At this time, I do not recommend trading for Suzuki.
Jason Vargas (Sea- LHP)
The best numbers to use for predicting Jason Vargas’ 2011 numbers are his pitching statistics from last season. Last year, Vargas compiled a 9-12 record, 116:54 K/BB ratio, 3.78 ERA, and a 1.25 WHIP. This season Vargas has compiled a 3-2 record, 41:14 K/BB ratio, 3.39 ERA, and a 1.20 WHIP. Draft Vargas in the middle to late rounds. If already drafted and you have Vargas, keep him on your roster. If you do not have Vargas, the best option is adding him on your watch list then possibly trade for him.
Justin Smoak (Sea- OF)
One of the most talented baseball players under 25 is the slugging Justin Smoak. Smoak, known for his offensive prowess, is having an average season so far and has scored 12 times, belted 6 homeruns, 26 RBI’s, zero stolen bases, and an average of .267. Expect Smoak to hit around 20 homeruns this season while hitting around .280. Draft Smoak in the late rounds. If already drafted and you have him, keep him. If you do not have Smoak, add him to your watch list and watch him regularly.
Michael Pineda (Sea- RHP)
By far, the best rookie this season is the incredibly talented Michael Pineda. Pineda is off to a great start this season as he has a record of 6-2, 61:14 K/BB ratio, 2.16 ERA, and a 0.94 WHIP. Pineda will most likely outduel other pitchers who are fifth in their team’s rotation, so his wins will probably amount to at least 15 by the end of the season. Draft Pineda in the middle rounds because the season is still too young to know what to expect for the remainder of the season. If already drafted, definitely hold on to Pineda. Do not trade for Pineda as most owners would like to sell Pineda while his stock is incredibly high as it is right now.
As with any article, I welcome opinions from all sports fans, even from sports fans who disagree with my opinions/perspectives. Also, if you would like more fantasy baseball advice from me, feel free to leave me a comment below or e-mail me at [email protected] You can also comment below if you would like me to analyze the fantasy baseball options on your favorite MLB team. Thank you.