• Brian Anderson & Chase Utley: Deep League Wire
    by Mike Podhorzer - 9/20 -  0
    With just over a week to go before the end of the season, it's past time to use the schedule to help identify smart pickups. The Rockies end the season with a six game homestand, welcoming the Marlins and Dodgers for three game sets.
  • Roto Riteup
    The most roto-relevant news of the previous day, recapped in a concise format for your morning coffee.
  • Bullpen Report
    Detailed daily updates and charts on every bullpen in the Major Leagues to help you manage your saves and holds.
  • Prospect Coverage
    Our prospect team mines the minors for top prospects and useful pieces alike.
  • MASH Report
    Award-winning in-depth injury report with analysis from Jeff Zimmerman.
  • The Sleeper and The Bust Podcast
    Eno Sarris, Paul Sporer, and Jason Collette lead the RotoGraphs staff in a regular fantasy podcast.
  • Daily Fantasy Strategy
    The RotoGraphs team discusses daily fantasy strategy and then makes picks for the day.
  • Ottoneu Strategy
    Strategy for the year-round FanGraphs Fantasy game.
  • Top 50 Fantasy Prospects
    Marc Hulet adjusts (and updates) his prospect list for fantasy purposes.
  • Field of Streams
    A contest to see who can make the better picks: streaming pitcher and hitter choices for every day of the season in a podcast hosted by Dylan Higgins and Matthew Dewoskin.
C  -  1B  -  2B  -  SS  -  3B  -  OF  -  SP  -  RP

#2xSP (9.25-10.1)

The season numbers aren’t great but we’ve picked up some steam over the last few weeks and hopefully will finish strong. As always, if you have any suggestions or tips, please feel free to mention them in the comments section, and thank you for reading.

Here’s how we’re doing so far this season (through half of Week 23). Since this is the last column of the year, find me on twitter or on the #2xSP hashtag for end-of-season results:

45-41 record
4.73 ERA
7.8 K/9
2.4 K/BB
1.40 WHIP
45 quality starts

Here are this week’s recs (with team wRC+ for this season in parentheses):

RHP Jake Junis – 20.1% ESPN – v. DET (99), v. ARI (94)

Junis gets a couple nice offensive matchups here, though the numbers are certainly deceiving in that the Diamondbacks will be tougher than the true-talent Tigers. But nevertheless, it’s two nice matchups for Junis before considering how good he’s been lately. Since more or less moving back into the rotation — save for one relief appearance — to begin August, he’s been terrific: 3.02 ERA, 41-6 K/BB ratio in 50.2 innings and an OPS against of .632. Four of the 17 earned runs he’s allowed in that time frame came in one relief appearance, which is worth noting as well. I’ve already grabbed Junis in my deep keeper for safe winter storage — you might want to do the same. Read the rest of this entry »


Quick Looks: Leiter and Ynoa

Continuing my Quick Looks series, today looks at a pair of NL East arm…

Mark Leiter

It’s like the 26-year-old righty didn’t exist before this season. I like to look at previous reports on popup guys to see what has changed. I was able to find one report on him at 2080baseball.com.

“A senior sign out of New Jersey Institute of Technology, he certainly got on some radars when he posted a 20-strikeout game his senior year before being drafted by his favorite hometown team, the Phillies. He doesn’t have pure “stuff” – his fastball barely touches 90 – but he’s a smart pitcher who works with what he has and has posted a 3.37 career ERA in 95 games, 69 of them starts, over 445 2/3 innings. He underwent shoulder surgery prior to the 2016 season but enjoyed a strong campaign that summer and now gets his call-up just a few games into his Triple-A debut.”

It’s not exciting but it’s at least a starting point. Now to move onto the starts I watched. There are no good camera angles for any of his starts. The best was against the Mets (9/4) when he lasted just three innings (video from it). Also, I watch his last start at home (9/15) against Oakland to see if anything changed.

Read the rest of this entry »


The Daily Grind: These Are Not The Puns You’re Looking For

So, you’re here to hear about baseball, eh?

AGENDA

  1. Sales Pitch
  2. Weather Reports
  3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse
  4. SaberSim Says…
  5. TDG Invitational Returns!

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Low-Ownership Starters for Friday (9/22)

I’ll be looking at starters owned in less than 30% of CBS leagues.

Read the rest of this entry »


Bullpen Report: September 20, 2017

Even with less than two weeks left in the season, it’s not too late for some closer turnover. Zach Britton is scheduled to get a stem cell injection in his left knee Thursday, and that will likely shelve him for the rest of the season. That probably means that Brad Brach will once again take over as the Orioles’ closer for the final nine games. The earned run that Brach allowed against the Red Sox on Tuesday was the first he had yielded in September, so he has rebounded from a difficult August. His control has been inconsistent, and that has contributed to a total of five walks in 10.1 innings this month (two of which came on Tuesday). A 64.3 percent ground ball rate has helped Brach to minimize the damage.

If you are thinking of adding a closer (or replacing Britton) for the home stretch, Brach should be sufficiently reliable. Then again, if you are in a 12-team mixed league, he is not necessarily the best option. Hector Neris, who converted his 17th straight save on Wednesday against the Dodgers, has not only been steady, but is a better option for strikeouts. As Ben Kaspick mentioned in the previous installment of the Bullpen Report, Alex Claudio was passed over for a save opportunity on Sunday, but he was back in his customary role on Tuesday, Claudio set the Mariners down in order, notching his ninth save of the season, and then he came back for a scoreless two-inning save on Wednesday.
Read the rest of this entry »


Pitcher Spotlight: The Pros and Cons of Brandon Woodruff

You’ve probably seen Brandon Woodruff’s name tossed around as a streaming option this season. Even including a 6 ER blowup against the Pirates, the 24-year-old rookie is still sporting a 3.28 ERA with a 1.18 WHIP, numbers that could have helped you in five of his six starts. He’s also peppering a 94.1mph Fastball while hinting at a 50% groundball rate and that’s sure to turn some heads as well.

I’ve watched a few games from Woodruff this season and I thought it would be best to roll through the Pros and Cons to outline if Woodruff is someone we like or not. I’ll be using his latest start against the Marlins as context, as he pitched to the tune of 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks.

Pro

Velocity with life!

The first Pro should be the easiest to grasp as Woodruff’s Fastball is a solid pitch. It comes it with good velocity that can touch 96+ and even with a bit of tail on it at times:

Read the rest of this entry »


Low-Ownership Starters for Thursday (9/21)

The march towards inning caps and strikeout titles continues with today’s lowly owned pitchers (<10% in Yahoo! leagues)

Gabriel Ynoa (0% owned) vs. Rays (Matt Andriese)

I spent way too much time analyzing Ynoa (I’ve decided to do a Quick Look on him and Leiter tomorrow). He’s shown some major-league talent and may just be one pitch from being a top-50 starting pitcher.

The 24-year-old throws a 4-seamer, sinker,  and a slider. He throws his slider (35%) more than either fastball (28% for each) to help his strikeout numbers. This season, he has allowed an above average rate of flyballs (32% GB%) but maintained a respectable 1.1 HR/9. His 7.6 K/9 is reasonable, especially paired up with a 1.9 BB/9. Both values are in line with his recent minor-league performance. Signs point to a potential sleeper but I have my doubts about a pitcher’s upside with only one breaking pitch.

I would gladly start him this game against Tampa who leads the majors in striking out. My only reservation is if he gives up too many home runs in Camden Yards and runs up his ERA.

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2018 Dynasty Prospect Draft Review: Rounds 1 – 3

Recently I created a new dynasty baseball league customized around the basic game of Ottoneu.  The more you play Ottoneu the more you come to appreciate how deep the player pool really is, and the longer I play fantasy baseball the more interested I become in the minor league development process.  While there is still plenty of luck involved, the satisfaction of “discovering” the next Rhys Hoskins before everyone else is a feeling that keeps me coming back to the game over and over.

In addition to the standard economics of Ottoneu where each league consists of twelve owners and 480 rostered players (minors and majors), our league will roster an additional 180 minor leaguers (15 extra per team) in an attempt to “develop” successful franchises for years to come.  Since the regular MLB season is wrapping up soon and many fantasy owners are starting to look towards 2018, I thought it might be helpful to review our prospect draft over the next several posts to give you some insight into the valuation of these minor league lottery tickets.  If nothing else, this draft should help you “discover” a few names to keep an eye on going forward.  If you have specific questions about players or the thought process of why they were selected, fire away in the comments section, as I’ve asked each owner in the league to be on standby to provide feedback as we review the rounds.  

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The Daily Grind: The Worst Kind of Fan

My primary laptop fan is dying. And that, my friends, is the worst kind of fan. Until a new one arrives, I have to turn off my computer every 20 minutes or so. Oh joy.

AGENDA

  1. HR Record
  2. Weather Reports
  3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse
  4. SaberSim Says…
  5. TDG Invitational Returns!

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Hot Hands Who Might Be Available

I wrote up 10 bats for the stretch run just five days ago and there is admittedly some overlap here as I go position-by-position and highlight another group of hitters you may want to add, but it’s minimal (only one is completely re-recommended, the others are essentially reminders in case they’re still available). Given that we are so short-term focused at this point, I thought even five days was enough to mention them again as they continue to standout atop the leaderboards of the last month or so.

CATCHER

Christian Vazquez, Boston Red Sox

.392/.431/.598, 4 HR, 14 RBI, 20 R, 3 SB in 109 PA over Last 30 Days (all samples will be over L30 days unless otherwise stated)

Vazquez is smacking both righties and lefties during this run, but the power comes against righties (.214 ISO). He’s hitting so well that the Sox put him at DH in a recent game to keep his bat in while getting Sandy Leon a start. Vazquez has five multi-hit games in his last seven starts (spans eight games, but one was a PH appearance).

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