Bullpen Report: May 5, 2016

Somewhat quiet night on the bullpen front tonight…

Luke Gregerson certainly did not look great tonight, coughing up three runs in a tie game and talking the loss. With the outing, the righty’s xFIP climbed to a palatable, but less exciting 3.16 on the young season. While the Astros’ closer hasn’t really hasn’t been striking too many guys out (20% K%), he has been inducing ground balls at a Zach Britton-like rate (71%) which is one of the reasons both xFIP and SIERA seem happy with him in the ninth inning. His closest competition likely remains Ken Giles, who didn’t have a great outing himself today. While most folks have jumped ship on Giles and his 9.26 ERA, it’s worth noting that he’s off to a pretty unlucky start, with a .382 BABIP and a 61% strand rate. His fastball velocity is right where it was last year, and it’s not like he’s walking a ton of guys. Unfortunately, he seems to be pretty far away from save opps right now, but I’d hold in deeper leagues — the rates should be back soon enough.

Read the rest of this entry »

MASH Report (5/5/16)

• I may be reading too much between the lines here, but I don’t expect Jung-ho Kang to be playable in mixed leagues because of a lack of playing time when he returns. The Pirates have said that he won’t play more than two days in a row.  Also, I think there is a decent chance he gets sent to the minors to continue his progress. Here are the quotes which I make my stance on.

Saturday is the final day of Kang’s 20-day rehab assignment with Triple-A Indianapolis. The Pirates essentially have three options. They could choose to activate him and add him to their roster this weekend in St. Louis. They could pause his rehab assignment and resume it shortly afterward, resetting that 20-day clock. Or they could activate him and option him to Triple-A to get more playing time.

The Bucs are mulling over those options, head athletic trainer Todd Tomczyk said Wednesday, but they remain encouraged by the third baseman’s progress.
In 13 games with Indianapolis, Kang has hit .150/.217/.225 with four walks and nine strikeouts. He’s taken 40 at-bats, nearly reaching the threshold of 45-60 that the Pirates set for their players in Spring Training.

Over the past two weeks, Kang has played on back-to-back days before taking a partial day off to pinch-hit or come off the bench to play defense. General manager Neal Huntington recently said Kang likely will continue on that schedule when he returns to Pittsburgh.

Devin Mesoraco is going to be out for a while with a torn shoulder labrum.

After he missed most of last season with a hip injury, Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco is now facing the specter of losing most of 2016, too. On Monday, Mesoraco was placed on the 15-day disabled list with another serious injury — a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

Surgery is a possibility, which would mean Mesoraco would miss the rest of the season.

I would expect nothing from him this season even if he comes back. I would begin now looking for other options at catcher if you rostered him.

Read the rest of this entry »

Paul Sporer Rotographs Chat – 5/5/2016

Thanks for coming out! Back at it next week.

Paul Sporer:
Paul Sporer: Let’s roll!!
einstein2u: thoughts on jesse hahn? was that gun running hot?
Paul Sporer: Readings seem to check out. I’d like to see more Ks, but talent is there
bob: Thoughts on Hearn 1b royals?
Paul Sporer: Who’s that?

Read the rest of this entry »

xOBA and Using Statcast Data To Measure Offense

For many years, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on batted ball velocity and launch angle data. When Statcast data became public last year, I wasted no time jumping in and playing around with the data. Last season, I began to develop a series of stats using information from Statcast, the fruits of which are what I call xOBA and xBABIP, with various spin off stats such as xRA (expected runs average for pitchers).

Over time, I hope to delve deeper into these stats, how I think they may be useful, and some interesting results I have found, but before all of that, I bet you’re curious how they are calculated.

Read the rest of this entry »

DFS Strategy: Using Conditionals to Fade Pitchers and Stack

In order to differentiate DFS lineups in large tournaments, you can utilize a maneuver commonly referred to as “fading.” A fade consists of avoiding a pitcher who may be highly owned — for instance, Masahiro Tanaka against the Orioles today — in order to capitalize on the off-chance that he has a subpar outing. By using SaberSim’s Conditionals to fade a pitcher, you will also determine which combination of opposing hitters would be optimal in the event of that pitcher having a below-average outing.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Daily Grind: DFS, Streaming, and More for May 5


  1. Tulo Talks
  2. The Daily Grind Invitational and Leaderboard
  3. Daily DFS
  4. SaberSim Observations
  5. Tomorrow’s Targets
  6. Factor Grid

Read the rest of this entry »

RotoGraphs Audio: Field of Streams 05/05/2016

Episode 150 – Mr. 400

The latest episode of “Field of Streams” is live!

In this episode, Dylan Higgins and Matthew Dewoskin discuss another bad Star Wars joke, assessing players’ stats through the first month, J.T. Realmuto being awesome, Matt having to accept Jimmy Rollins, comparing Matt Cain to John Danks, not learning how to pronounce Chris Rusin’s name, sadly not being able to trust Chase Anderson at this time, and Matt fearing rain for Chris Sale bobblehead day.

Read the rest of this entry »


Matt Harvey and Men on Base

Matt Harvey has now made six starts this season. His strikeouts per nine are down from 8.9 last season to 6.6 this season. His walks per nine are up from 1.8 to 2.9. His ERA is up from 2.71 to 4.76, and his xFIP is up from 3.24 to 4.36. It is just six starts, but given that his most recent was on Tuesday and featured just four strikeouts and two walks against the hapless Braves, his early-season struggles seem much more alarming than they did on Monday. At the very least, he is the preseason top 10 starter who has fantasy owners the closest to panic.

At times this season, Harvey has been visibly frustrated on the mound, which I take as a sign that he is having mechanical issues. His fastball velocity is also down from 95.9 mph in 2015 to 94.1 mph so far this season. But what has intrigued me the most is his apparent unease in pitching from the stretch, something his pitching coach Dan Warthen has mentioned as an area that Harvey has had difficulty in his career. I had never noticed his issues with men on base prior to this season, but I’m sure that Harvey’s declining performance has me looking for problems that I could easily have ignored before.

Read the rest of this entry »

2016 AL Starting Pitcher Tiers: May

It’s that time of year again, American League starting pitcher tier update time! You are no doubt well aware by now that ERA means literally nothing to me this early in the season. Player movement between tiers will only occur when there’s a change in underlying skill, pitch mix, or velocity.

Tiers are named for the best characters on the brilliant FXX show, Man Seeking Woman.

Read the rest of this entry »

Roto Riteup: May 5, 2016

“Don’t throw a fastball down the middle to Big Papi.”

That’s Carlos Rodon’s advice to the world after feeding David Ortiz a 93 MPH fastball down the chute for a home run. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

Also, here’s this:

Read the rest of this entry »