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Fantasy baseball: Don't get burned by players moving to different ballparks

Fantasy baseball owners who aren’t paying attention to scenery changes are asking to get burned.

Robinson Cano Robinson Cano won't have a short porch to pull them ball into at Safeco Field.
Credit: Getty Images

A wise man once explained that the difference between a .250 hitter and a .300 guy is one extra “dying quail” that goes for a hit a week. “Just one,” Crash Davis said in “Bull Durham.”

That was merely a movie, but fantasy owners who aren’t paying attention to scenery changes are asking to get burned. Certain ballparks yield more hits and certain lineups create better opportunities. It adds up to far more than that one hit a week. These guys in new places will be overdrafted because owners will be chasing last year’s stats, not being predictive.

Canoes without paddles

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Robinson Cano took his $240 million and ran away from the Yankees to the Mariners. It was a no-brainer move for his wallet, but it’s an atrocious move for his box scores. Last year, Safeco Field ranked 21st in adjusted home run rate, while Yankee Stadium was ninth. Additionally, Safeco is especially bad for a left-handed power hitter, as it’s 331 feet down the left-field line. Cano was accustomed to 318 feet of the Bronx’s friendly confines. And finally, he leaves the protection of the Yankees’ annually stacked lineup for the likes of Kyle Seager and Corey Hart hitting in front of and behind him. Jason Kipnis and Dustin Pedroia are better options than Cano at second base.

Dexter: serial disappointer

Dexter Fowler has been an annual upside flier because he has speed/power tools and played in Coors Field. But he never turned into anything more than deep-league filler, posting career-highs of 27 steals in 2009 and 13 homers in 2012. Now that he’s finally left Colorado to join Houston’s rag-tag bunch, we can let the dream die. In his career, Fowler is a .298 hitter with 27 homers in Coors Field. On the road, he’s at .241 with 13 dingers.

Motown blues

Ian Kinsler isn’t in as bad shape as Cano because the lineup he’s joining in Detroit is just as strong as the one he left in Texas. But he still gets a downgrade because he’s leaving hitter-friendly Rangers Ballpark for the cavernous confines of Comerica Park. During Kinsler’s eight years with Texas, he hit .304 with a .898 OPS versus .242 and .710 on the road. That’s drastic and scary stuff.

NBA pickups

1. Vince Carter, SG, Mavericks — When he’s feeling it, Vince bombs. He is making 3.6 treys a night over last five games.

2. Trevor Booker, PF, Wizards – Both Nene and Kevin Seraphin are sidelined, leading to 27 to 30 minutes nightly for Booker.

3. Dion Waiters, SG, Cavaliers – He is finally back from the knee injury and ready to be the second unit’s No. 1 option.

NBA stock down

Stream in hot players over these struggling guys:

1. John Henson, PF, Bucks – He has gobs of natural talent, but a bench role and constant foul trouble are devastating.

2. Shawn Marion, SF, Mavericks – He has just three blocks in last 24 games after swatting 24 in first 31 games. He is wearing down.

3. Ben McLemore, SG, Kings – The Marcus Thornton trade was McLemore’s cue to get going. Instead, he’s been brutal.

Follow Metro fantasy writer Adam Levitan on Twitter @adamlevitan.

 
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