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Fantasy Sports

Fantasy Baseball: Matt Kemp and Other Stars off to Slow Starts

Kelvin Kuo, USA Today Sports

After one week, some fantasy baseball managers might be getting antsy about the slow starts of their star player. Matt Kemp leads the list of high draft picks who have not really got their stroke going so far this season. We will highlight three stars that have failed to record either a HR or a steal after eight games and are batting below the Mendoza line.

Kemp’s slow start is a cause for concern among his managers since he is returing from a major injury. 2011 was a fantasy MVP year for Kemp. He recorded 39 HRs, 126 RBI and 40 steals to go along with a .324 AVG. But in 2012, he missed time early in the season with a hamstring injury, then injured both his knee and shoulder when he banged into the outfield wall in Colorado in August. He played out the season, but then required surgery to his shoulder to repair a torn labrum and damage to the rotator cuff. So it is reasonable to ask if Kemp’s power and speed will return to 2011 levels this season. 25 at-bats are not sufficient to make that judgement, but the .120 AVG isn’t very comforting to fantasy managers.

Giancarlo Stanton is suffering from a lack of protection in the Miami Marlins lineup. There really isn’t any reason to give Stanton anything to hit with runners on base. In his first 26 at-bats, he had only four hits for a .154 AVG. He has already received 8 walks. In two games, he struck out three times. Without some help in the lineup, Stanton is going to be hard pressed to repeat his 37 HRs of last year.

In the off-season, Josh Hamilton signed with the Los Angeles Angels. In 2012, he had 43 HRs and 128 RBI. But he started this season going 4 for 29 for a .138 AVG.

In statistical circles, there is a concept call “regression to the mean.” It basically means that regardless of whether a player starts out ice cold or red hot, he will eventually start to get his numbers to approach his normal level of production. So before pushing the panic button, just keep this in mind.

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