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News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fantasy baseball: Cliff Lee trade impact

If you're an Indians fan, you're probably bitter.

OK, forget probably. I've read too many comments on our Web site and heard too much talk radio today to even think there are more than a handful of Tribe supporters who are in favor of the Cliff Lee trade.

Well, I have some positive news for those of you who believe Mark Shapiro and Eric Wedge are a more notorious tandem than Swann and Stallworth, Roethlisberger and Polamalu or Heidi and Spencer.

If you have Cliff Lee on your fantasy team, you're better today than you were yesterday.

Does that help? A little?

All kidding aside, Lee owners can feel better about the fact that he went from an Indians team that is 18 games below .500 to a Phillies club that entered Wednesday night's game having won 15 of its last 17 games.

Lee, despite a 3.14 ERA that ranks seventh among American League starters with 100 or more innings pitched, is 7-9.

In his nine losses, the Tribe scored a total of 14 runs. The Indians scored one run or fewer in six of the nine defeats, and they failed to score more than four runs in each game.

The Tribe -- even with an offense that ranks fifth in the majors in runs scored and sixth in home runs -- didn't exactly tear the cover off the ball in Lee's seven victories and six no-decisions.

The Indians tallied four runs or fewer in four of Lee's seven wins, and they scored a total of 26 runs in his six no-decisions, including three games with three or fewer.

Lee will pitch the remainder of the season with the defending champs, who entered Wednesday third in all of baseball in runs scored, homers (140), total bases and OPS (.794). The Phillies rank only 14th in hitting (.264), but they make it count when they do connect, thanks to a powerful lineup that is tied for second in MLB with a .451 slugging percentage.

At best, Lee was a No. 3 fantasy starter this season. He might be a low-level No. 1 from this point forward.

Your feelings for ownership, the front office and management might not change, but your championship hopes can.

See, I knew I'd brighten your day.


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