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C  -  1B  -  2B  -  SS  -  3B  -  OF  -  SP  -  RP

The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 473 – Interesting Arms; Ramos Returning

6/24/17

The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is brought to you by Out of the Park Baseball 18, the best baseball strategy game ever made – available NOW on PC, Mac, and Linux platforms! Go to ootpdevelopments.com to order now and save 10% with the code SLEEPER18!

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Leading Off: Question of the Day

  • Why is it completely acceptable for pitchers to load up before pitching these days?

Strategy Section: Tentative 2-Starts

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Roto Riteup: June 24, 2017

Paul is on vacation this weekend and I will be filling in for him. I assume this is where he is right now:

 

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Bullpen Report: June 23, 2017

On Friday night, a couple of shaky closers dug their holes deeper, but perhaps the greatest stress was felt by Roberto Osuna‘s owners. The Blue Jays’ closer has been close to automatic since late April, and he was sorely missed as the Toronto bullpen tried to hold a 4-1 lead without him. John Gibbons told Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet that Osuna was unavailable due to illness, so fantasy owners and Blue Jays fans caught of a glimpse of what the ninth inning might look like without their dominant closer.

At least for this one game, it was not pretty. Ryan Tepera, who got the final out of the eighth inning, was brought back for the ninth to get the save. He came within an out of notching his second save of the season, but he was removed after allowing an RBI single to Alcides Escobar. Aaron Loup was summoned to get Alex Gordon out, but instead, he gave up a run-scoring single on the first pitch. Then Gibbons tried Jason Grilli, but he yielded a Whit Merrifield double that brought in Escobar and Gordon, giving the Royals a walk-off win. Read the rest of this entry »


#2xSP (6.26-7.2)

Guh, we are in absolute free fall mode. I’m tryin’ folks! It’s a weird state of affairs with pitching this year, which makes it hard to find anyone worthwhile with a pulse under 50 percent ownership. I won’t quit, though I’ll understand if you tune me out for a bit.

Here’s how we’re doing so far this season (through half of Week 11)

19-19 record
5.22 ERA
7.5 K/9
2.1 K/BB
1.56 WHIP
20 quality starts

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

RHP Joe Biagini – 6.1% ESPN – v. BAL (93), v. BOS (94)

Up until the last two starts, Biagini had been fairly interesting as a starter. Right now, he’s got a 4.91 ERA, .688 OPS against and 36-11 K/BB ratio in 44 innings as a starter, but two starts ago, here’s what his numbers looked like: 3.38 ERA, 31-9 K/BB ratio in 37.1 innings and a .554 OPS against. I still think he’s interesting, though. First of all, he’s got a couple interesting matchups this week, as both teams aren’t particularly good offensively. Second of all, as a starter, he’s managed to sustain his groundball rate (58.2 percent in the rotation, 58.3 percent as a reliever), which is certainly among the elite rates in the game. He’s also making both of these starts at home, where he has a 2.93 ERA this season as opposed to a 5.66 mark on the road.

RHP Alex Cobb – 33.1% ESPN – @PIT (90), @BAL (93)

Cobb has been so-so in his return to the Rays rotation this season — 4.05 ERA (4.15 FIP), 6.4 K/9 and 1.39 WHIP — but it’s also a matter of an accomplished pitcher against a couple iffy offenses this week. After the Mariners rocked him in his first start of the month, Cobb has been really good over his last three outings: 2.29 ERA in 19.2 innings, 14-5 K/BB ratio and .698 OPS against. Also, just two of his last 11 starts have resulted in more than three earned runs, and he’s posted a 3.76 ERA over that stretch. At the very least, he feels stable, which is what we’re truly seeking here.

RHP Mike Fiers – 41.7% ESPN – v. OAK (98), @NYY (116)

His season numbers — 3.81 ERA, 7.7 K/9, 5.65 FIP and 2.1 HR/9 — don’t do justice of how far he’s come since a brutal start. Fiers headed into Minnesota on May 30 with a 5.21 ERA — having allowed an MLB-worst 18 home runs to that point. Opposing batters were hitting a ridiculous .287/.350/.622 of him to that point. Fiers held the Twins in check that night at Target Field, which started a five-game stretch that has his season back on track. Since then, he’s got a 1.72 ERA, .522 OPS against and 29-11 K/BB ratio in 31.1 innings. Perhaps most importantly, he’s also allowed zero home runs in the meantime. He’ll be put to the test this week, as he’s facing the A’s for the second time in a row and the toughest offense in the game other than his in the Yankees. Still, in a week that isn’t particularly strong pitching-wise, we’ll take a shot with him.

Last two out: Junior Guerra (@CIN, v. MIA) and Mike Clevinger (v. TEX, @DET)


Starting Pitcher Rankings Update (June)

Here is my latest starting pitcher rankings update! Please review the May 18th update for information on the tiers. Keep in mind that this is a narrower focus than just “rest of season” as I’ll be updating these again at the All-Star break. Pitching is just too volatile to have confidence in a single ranking set for more than 4-6 weeks at a time.

Hell, things will probably change this weekend that will make me reconsider some slots, but we can deal with those on a one-off situation. The tiers are what’s important. I’ll reiterate again that the Must-Starts aren’t automatically the best pitchers, but rather the guys that you can’t sit with any confidence (they don’t have a platoon split or home-road split and their track record speaks more than the first three months of this season.

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Rick Porcello: What’s Gone Wrong?

No one expected Rick Porcello to repeat his 2016 Cy Young season besides maybe his mom. And she probably had some doubts. Before the season started, I thought he was getting punished too much especially after some second half changes. So far, I have been wrong with Porcello maintaining his 2016 production with a 3-9 record and a 5.05 ERA. Here’s what has gone wrong.

Less Help

Last season, quite a bit of Porcello’s fantasy value came from his 22 Wins. While 22 Wins was out of the question this season, owners expected more than three. Porcellos has giving up an extra run per game and the Red Sox offense has dropped off.

Last season, they average scoring 5.4 R/G and this season that number has dropped to 4.7 R/G. With the league scoring up, the Red Sox have gone the other direction. Read the rest of this entry »


Paul Sporer Baseball Chat – June 23rd, 2017

Chat transcript is below!

2:27

Paul Sporer: Good afternoon!! Let’s talk some baseball. Gotta keep it to a tight hour so I can release my SP ranking update.

2:27

Trader Danny: Is my Pollock for his Strasburg defensible?  12 team mix keeper, roughly equal salaries (low 20s), I’m stocked with OF and crushing it in SB but short on SP, most of the other aces are on other contenders.  This makes sense, right?

2:27

Paul Sporer: Definitely. Get any ace-level arm you can at a fair cost in this environment

2:27

Tiger Love: Castellanos or Avila ROS (position eligibility not important)? 12-team H2H 5×5 OPS league. Thanks.

2:27

Paul Sporer: Castellanos, but it’s v close

2:28

Casey: Which sides wins this trade–Paxton for Bradley Jr/Tanaka? Thanks.

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Are the Dodgers playing DL games?

On the last MASH report, I discussed Alex Wood’s S/C joint sprain, and many of the commenters claimed it was #FAKENEWS.

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Players I’m Buying In Ottoneu: June 2017

As I did last year, today I’ll be taking a look at some players I would be targeting in ottoneu (specifically FGPts, but the advice works for all formats) as both a title contender and a rebuilding team. There are plenty more targets than just the ones I’m naming here, but this group is a good start.

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Waiver Help – Finnegan, Chisenhall and Gamel

Last week I suggested nabbing and stashing one of Cincinnati’s starting pitchers who’s nearing a return, and this week I do the same with a different arm of theirs. A pair of outfielders owned in under 25% of leagues across the industry also stand out as worthy of the attention of gamers. Read the rest of this entry »