The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 339 – HURT Rankings


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Notable Transactions/Rumors/Articles/Game Play

Strategy Section:

Closer Updates

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MASH Report – Initial 2016 HURT Rankings

Raisel Iglesias is on the DL with shoulder impingement.

Iglesias, 26, felt a “pinch” in the shoulder while throwing a bullpen session on Friday. It’s unclear at this point how long he’ll be sidelined.

“It looks like it’s an impingement inflammation,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “We will know a lot more when we see him on Monday. However, it doesn’t sound like it’s going to be a long-tenured stint on the DL.”

I am not surprised one bit with Iglesias’s injury. I own him in several leagues and have noticed his velocity (91.7 to 90.4) and Zone% (50.5% to 46.3%) down compared to last year. Not surprisingly, he showed up my initial PAIN Report as a pitcher with a possible injury.

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2016 Second Base Tier Rankings – May Edition

Jose Altuve

Altuve isn’t just the best second baseman in fantasy baseball, he’s currently the most valuable overall player regardless of position. The soon-to-be 26-year-old already has seven homers and nine steals on the board, while hitting a robust .306/.404/.633. The power is the truly incredible part, seeing as he launched 36 total bombs in his first 668 major-league games.

Altuve’s walk rate currently sits at 11.4%, which even in a one-month sample is a huge improvement from last year’s 4.8%. Wrap your head around this one: Last year, Altuve earned 25 unintentional walks. Through one month of 2016, he’s already got 13.

Altuve was already the top fantasy 2B, and it’s staggering to see how much better he’s getting. I mean, the guy is about halfway to his HR and BB totals from last year after just 25 games. Oh, and he’s doing all this with a career-low .303 BABIP, despite career-high line-drive (30.1%) and hard-hit (32.5%) rates. Unreal.

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Here Come the Prospects: Mets and Nationals

When it comes to fantasy baseball, not all prospects are created equally. In keeper leagues and dynasty leagues it’s important to have strategies around your prospects; you don’t want to just randomly grab a Top 10 or 20 prospect and hope for the best.

Along with skill, knowing a player’s ETA is key. Is the player advanced enough to help in 2016… or is he headed for a 2019 debut? Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is a talented dude but he’s not likely to visit the Great White North until 2020. Chicago (AL) drafted Carson Fulmer in 2015 with the eighth overall pick but he’s considered advanced enough to perhaps help the club in ’17. And then there’s Colorado’s Trevor Story, who has turned the Jose Reyes soap opera and strong spring into a ’16 starting gig.

As a result, your strategy around acquiring prospects should vary. If you’re grabbing a guy earmarked to help in 2017 or later, you should look at them like a stock — an investment that you hope to see increase in value before you cash out (either by adding to your active roster or by trading for an opportunity to win sooner). You also have to consider if you’re truly committed to a long-range prospect and willing to commit a roster spot to someone who may not help for three or four years — if at all. Prospects with a ’16 or ’17 should be viewed as players that can be valuable (albeit potentially inconsistent) contributors to the current makeup of your roster at a reasonable cost.

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The Daily Grind: DFS, Streaming, and More for May 2


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

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RotoGraphs Audio: Field of Streams 05/02/2016

Episode 147 – Featuring Ben Lindbergh

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

In this episode, Dylan Higgins and Matthew Dewoskin discuss Matt retiring from weather predictions, an interview with Ben Lindbergh about his new book (starts around 39:30), Matt’s upcoming trip to Montreal, boring but useful shortstop options, Matt Wisler’s continuing and exploitable platoon split, Matt gloating about a good Nick Markakis pick, digging deep to find Brewers lefties against Jered Weaver, digging deep to find any Angels hitters, the perfect time to use Jon Gray, and Matt’s up-and-down weekend with Marlins pitcher picks.

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xK% and Potential Pitcher Strikeout Rate Surgers

Two years ago, I modified the first equation I developed to yield an improved expected strikeout rate formula. The formula uses a trio of strike type rates found at, including a pitcher’s looking, swinging, and foul strike percentages, as well as his overall rate of strikes thrown. The beauty of the equation is that it uses components that stabilize quickly, as the rates as per pitch, rather than per inning or per batter. I calculated the xK% marks for all qualified starting pitchers, compared it to their xK% marks, and sorted. Let’s discuss those with the most significant potential upside, as suggested by xK%.

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Roto Riteup: May 2, 2016

Today’s Roto Riteup has an NFL Draft theme…

On the agenda:

  1. News from Rehab
  2. Various News and Notes
  3. Streaming Pitcher Options

News from Rehab

Yu Darvish pitched well in his first in his first rehab assignment at Double-A Frisco. Darvish pitched two scoreless innings striking out two and only walking one. Reports were that he hit 97 mph and threw a nasty breaking pitch. He is currently on track to return before June.

Henderson Alvarez threw four shutout innings for High-A Stockton. He allowed only one walk and one hit during the outing. He is expected to pitch at Triple-A Nashville on Thursday and could return to the Athletics before June.

Shin-Soo Choo is progressing and hopes to begin a rehab assignment sometime in the next two weeks. Currently he is on track to return in mid-May, which would force the Rangers to make a roster decision on what will be a crowded outfield.

Pirates GM Neal Huntington said on Sunday that Jung-ho Kang will play two out of every three games once activated from the disabled list. Kang has started playing in back-to-back games in his rehab assignment, but considering Pittsburgh’s depth in the infield they do not need to overdo it with his return.

Various News and Notes

According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, Tim Lincecum will hold a showcase for interested teams on Friday in Scottsdale, Arizona. Reportedly, at least 20 teams have expressed some level of interest and it is an #EvenYear, so you never know…

Michael Foltynewicz will be recalled to start monday night for Atlanta. Folty, who was considered a top 100 prospect last season, has pitched well in Triple-A Gwinnett. While his long term future may be in the bullpen, the Braves are willing to give him a shot to show that he belongs in the rotation.

Angel Pagan left Sunday’s game with a mild hamstring strain. While the injury does not appear to be serious, with Joe Panik already day-to-day with groin injury, the Giants could be forced to make a roster move to have some depth on the bench. Mac Williamson would most likely be the first up from Triple-A Sacramento.

Streaming Pitcher Options

If you enjoy streaming pitchers or play DFS, tune into the Roto Riteup for recommendations each and every day.

A pitcher for today: Jon Gray @ SD (James Shields)

Jon Gray throws hard and hopefully his secondary stuff plays up better away from home. I’ll take a shot in a two-start week away from home and in pitcher’s parks. High Risk/High Reward!

A pitcher for tomorrow: Nicholas Tropeano @ MIL (Junior Guerra)

He is not in a great park, but gets to pitch against an awful team in the Brewers and the pitcher hitting.

Roto Riteup: May 1, 2016

Today’s Roto Riteup celebrates the return of a staple.

On the agenda:
1. Fun with arbitrary endpoints
2. Various News and Notes
3. Streaming Pitcher Options

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Bullpen Report: April 30, 2016

Zach Britton left a tied game with a lower body injury and took the loss. Britton struck out the first two batters he faced, and then left the game after Adam Eaton bunted towards him. Vance Worley came in to replace Britton and gave up the inherited run with two walks and a single. We don’t know the severity of Britton’s injury yet, but certainly monitor that situation moving forward. A potential replacement if he were to be shelved for any time would probably be Darren O’Day, who earned his first blown save of the season. O’Day pitched the 8th gave up three hits including a three-run homer by Todd Frazier.
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