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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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Bullpen Report: May 4, 2016

• Well, it finally happened — Jeanmar Gomez finally blew a save. It wasn’t pretty either, as the righty was touched up for two runs on three hits and a pair of walks. The outing was ugly enough to bring his (SSS) xFIP from 3.27 to 3.81, which is actually not too far off last year’s 3.98 mark. We’ve mentioned here a couple times that Gomez is probably just good enough to hold onto the gig when things are going well, but he doesn’t have enough swing-and-miss stuff to avoid bad stretches where guys are making solid contact and putting the ball in play. He has been used a lot lately (8 times in the Phillies last 12 games), so maybe a day or two off will do him good. I expect he’ll get the next save opportunity, but we’ve kept him yellow even through the “good times” for a reason. I’ll slide Hector Neris (2.05 xFIP, 43% K%) ahead of David Hernandez (2.26 xFIP, 39% K%) based on his save a couple games ago (when Gomez was getting a day off). However, it wouldn’t be shocking if either of them (or even Andrew Bailey) saw run in the ninth inning for Philly at some point going forward.

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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 340 – Aledmys to Introduce Myself


The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is live!

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Notable Transactions/Rumors/Articles/Game Play


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The Continued Ascent of Mike Moustakas

Perhaps more than anything, the Kansas City Royals are a lesson in maintaining patience with your prospects. It was true with Alex Gordon, who got off to a slow start in his career and now represents one of the more consistent outfielders in the game, in a variety of ways. It was probably even more true of Mike Moustakas, who as recently as 2014 spent time in the minor leagues. And yet, here we are just a couple of years later, living in a world where Mike Moustakas has become a reliable presence not just for the defending World Champions, but for prospective fantasy owners as well.

For Moustakas, 2015 featured career highs across the board. He hit 22 home runs, knocked in 84, with a slash that went .284/.348/.470/.817. His ability to hit for extra bases was reflected in his .186 ISO, which ranked eighth among big league third sackers. His 124 wRC+ also, unsurprisingly, represented a career mark and trailed only names like Josh Donaldson, Matt Carpenter, Kris Bryant, and Manny Machado in that regard. So exactly what changed for Moustakas, and how has he furthered that development into what could be another career campaign in 2016?

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