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
International

PHOTOS: Places to visit on Shakespeare's 450th birthday

William Shakespeare would celebrate his 450th birthday on Wednesday, and England's greatest playwright let his imagination roam as widely as his characters.

National

Train selfie star who got kicked in the…

  A 22-year-old Canadian man who posted a video of himself getting kicked in the head by a train conductor is set to cash in…

National

Call of Duty hoaxer blamed for $100K SWAT…

A heavilly-armed SWAT team and an army of police officers stormed a Long Island home fearing a grisly double homicide – only to find it…

National

Minnie Driver tweets naked celebrity snap to 'shut…

Actress Minnie Driver has responded to bitchy critics who sniped about her bikini body by Tweeting a naked picture of herself. The 44-year-old star of…

Movies

Review: 'The Railway Man' is a literal-minded look…

In "The Railway Man," Colin Firth plays a WWII vet suffering from massive trauma acquired from his days as a beaten POW.

Books

'#GIRLBOSS': Nasty Gal CEO shares unlikely success story

Nasty Gal CEO Sophia Amoruso shares her rags to riches, dumpster to Porsche tale in her new book "#GIRLBOSS."

Movies

App Appeal: Unf— Your Habitat is a sweary…

Guilt trip yourself into some spring cleaning with the app "Unf— Your Habitat," which uses swearing and some rudeness to get you to get your s— together.

Movies

Review: 'The Other Woman' needs to be angrier,…

Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton play women who team up to destroy the man they're all unwittingly sleeping with in "The Other Woman."

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers,…

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees surge. The A's, Braves, Rangers, Giants and Rockies are also in the top 10.

NBA

Breaking down the Sixers top draft options

With the NBA Playoffs now in full force, there’s only one thing on the mind of Sixers fans at the moment -- the 2014 NBA Draft Lottery.

MLB

Metro one-on-one: Q&A with Phillies centerfielder Ben Revere

Charlie Manuel used to say that the Phillies go as Jimmy Rollins goes. Well, Ryne Sandberg might have a new Phillies catalyst, Ben Revere, in his midst.

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon results: American Meb Keflezighi wins…

2014 Boston Marathon results: American Meb Keflezighi wins men's race

Education

The benefits and challenges of intensive summer programs

Get the facts on taking an advanced college course.

Wellbeing

Why you need a facial

What can a facial do for your face that a washcloth and soap can’t?

Wellbeing

You can have your healthy snacks delivered

To take the guesswork out of procuring snacks good for you and your family, check out one of these companies.

Wellbeing

Jillian Michaels wants to ‘Maximize Your Life’

The fitness star returns for her second “Maximize Your Life Tour.”