FLB: The Coors Crackdown
Updated: June 15, 2006, 3:09 PM ETBy Tristan H. Cockcroft | ESPN Fantasy Games
A quick look at the Coors Field statistics suggests the humidor remains in full effect, not only keeping the park from being so hitter-friendly, but actually dropping it into league-average territory. In 32 games at Coors, the Rockies and their opponents have averaged 9.5 runs per game, batted .277 and posted a 4.54 ERA, none of which rank the park in the eight most hitter-friendly in those categories. But remember, park effects are determined by comparative rates between home and road games, and to this point, the Rockies and their opponents have scored five percent more runs and hit 15 percent more homers at Coors, both of which place it in the league's top 10 hitters' environments. Plus, history shows that when the temperatures rise in Colorado, Coors usually reverts back to its top-five hitter-friendly status. This Rockies team might not be the power-hitting bunch of the Blake Street Bomber days, meaning you should be less afraid to use your quality fantasy starters when they make the trip to Coors, but I'd strategize around expecting Rockies hitters to revert to their old hit-at-home, not-on-the-road ways and pitchers to become risky options at home. Jeff Francis is about the only Colorado pitcher I see with a chance at remaining consistent, and even he should be an ERA/WHIP gamble, especially at home. Speaking of Coors, some interesting numbers ... Among current National League pitchers with at least three career starts there, here are the five best in ERA: The Cubs' Mark Prior (1.80 ERA, 4-0 record in 4 GS); Phillies' Brett Myers (2.63, 4-0, 4 GS); Dodgers' Brad Penny (3.07, 4-1, 7 GS); Padres' Jake Peavy (3.15, 3-2, 5 GS); and Nationals' John Patterson (3.22, 2-1, 5 G, 3 GS). Among current National League hitters with at least 25 career plate appearances there, here are the five best in OPS: The Pirates' Jason Bay (1.537 OPS, .520 AVG in 8 G); Reds' Ken Griffey Jr. (1.324, .345, 18 G); Nationals' Jose Guillen (1.315, .438, 16 G); Pirates' Sean Casey (1.315, .415, 23 G); Brewers' Chad Moeller (1.252, .432, 15 G); Padres' Khalil Greene (1.233, .351, 24 G); Braves' Todd Pratt (1.192, .393, 14 G); Giants' Barry Bonds (1.188, .339, 69 G); Reds' Adam Dunn (1.179, .313, 13 G); and Dodgers' Russell Martin (1.179, .391, 6 G). • The Angels can't possibly consider demoting rookie Jered Weaver now. Since making his major-league debut on May 27, Weaver has as many wins (4) as the team's other four starters combined, and his 1.37 ERA during that span is nearly two and a half runs lower than the other four starters' combined (3.74). If the reports out of Los Angeles are correct, that Weaver is taking batting practice in anticipation for interleague play and the Angels have even mulled an Ervin Santana-for-Carl Crawford trade with the Devil Rays, it's a sure sign Jered's rotation spot should be pretty secure. Barring a surprising demotion, Weaver should maintain a fair share of value all year, getting perhaps 18 more starts, winning 7-9 of them and keeping his ERA in the mid-3s. He's that talented.
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