Fantasy sports: Don’t sleep on pitchers

The game plan sounds simple: Power hitters and speed early in drafts, starting pitchers later on. 

That’s an unexploitable strategy, until our ERA and WHIP spiral out of control before April ends. The only way it works is if we know what starters to target in the middle-to-late rounds.

Ex-closers
Pitchers often become closers because they throw hard and strike people out. That’s also the kind of upside we’re looking for in our starters. This year, ex-closers Neftali?Feliz (Rangers) and Chris Sale (White Sox) are expected to get their shots every fifth day. Daniel Bard (Red Sox) and Aroldis Chapman (Reds) are also starting candidates.     

Pitcher’s parks
When we think about ballparks where runs go to die, the first place that comes to mind is San Diego’s Petco Park. That’s what makes Cory Luebke so exciting. Max Scherzer is off a down year, but still calls Detroit’s cavernous confines home. And for a deep sleeper, Oakland’s Brandon McCarthy had a 2.65 ERA at home last year.

Young guns
 
When all else fails, we look for young prospects with impressive pedigrees. We know that Tampa’s Matt Moore fits the bill, while Atlanta’s Mike Minor and Texas’ Yu Darvish have major upside as well.

Baseball power

Chicks dig the long ball. That’s why getting these big bats later in drafts is vital:

1. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, ARZ — The 6-foot-3, 244-pounder smashed 30 homers in the minors last year and then eight more after a late-season callup. He’s now locked into the starting role in a hitter’s park. 

2. Ike Davis, 1B, NYM
— The devastating ankle injury is behind him, and the fences at Citi Field have been brought in. Davis won’t be 25 until March, but already has 26 homers in 183 career games.  

Top NBA pickups

Isaiah Thomas
PG, Kings
Thomas was the last pick in this year’s draft and is 5-foot-9. He’s also an explosive
playmaker and new starter. 

Andray Blatche
PF, Wizards
Blatche (calf) is expected back soon after the All-Star break. His $35 million contract means he’ll start again.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Girl, 10, dies after being pulled from water…

A 10-year-old girl died after being pulled from the waters off Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, police said.

News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 7,…

Drunk girls and ghost brownies: here’s your weekly ‘Pretty Little Liars’ recap by way of Q&A. Q: do they really not check for feet under…

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.