- SaberSim Conditions
- The Daily Grind Invitational and Leaderboard
- Daily DFS
- SaberSim Observations
- Tomorrow’s Targets
- Factor Grid
In this episode of OttoGraphs, Tom and Joe discuss some players who have changed their value in the early going, specifically with respect to the Ottoneu FGPts format.
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Lastly, special thanks to Treemen who provided our intro and outro music. If you like what you hear, please check out their other work at http://treemen.bandcamp.com/
Episode 148 – The 18-8 White Sox!?
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In this episode, Dylan Higgins and Matthew Dewoskin discuss Jon Gray’s outing, trusting in every hitter in the Giants lineup against Jon Moscot in Cincinnati, having no faith in anyone in the matchup in San Diego, Dylan’s five-year plan for podcast sponsorships, bad lefties representing DFS gold, looking at a few batter-versus-pitcher records (and recognizing how pointless they probably are), picking against Matt Wisler again, returning to Matt’s theory on the White Sox advance scouting department, Collin McHugh having bounceback potential, what would happen if Dylan and Matt ran a baseball team, Steven Wright, and baseball hats.
The A’s may not boast one of the more prolific rotations in baseball but entering the season they certainly featured one of the deepest. Now with Felix Doubront lost to Tommy John Surgery and one of my favorite sleepers, Chris Bassitt, likely facing a similar fate, the rotation suddenly looks a tad shallower. So this week we look at two pitchers available in a vast majority of leagues who’ve either made it back to the East Bay or who we can expect to arrive there shortly.
Jesse Hahn (7% Yahoo, 8.6% ESPN, 23% CBS) – Hahn pitched well last season in just under 100 innings before ultimately succumbing to elbow inflammation and forearm tightness. Overall, he finished the season with a 3.35 ERA, sub-4 FIPs, and a 1.17 WHIP. So it was a bit of a surprise that even after a rocky spring, the A’s sent him down to Nashville to work on his command. After all, Hahn was widely considered to be one of Oakland’s three best starters at the outset of the year.
Hahn’s 2015 peripherals were a mixed bag but hinted at future promise. His ground ball rate would have ranked 14th in baseball just behind teammate Sonny Gray had he pitched enough innings to qualify. Hahn also posted the lowest BB/9 of his young career (including MiLB) so it was a little discouraging to see his control escape him as he walked 7 in just over 15 spring innings.
The walks were still an issue in Nashville but he pitched well enough for the A’s to promote him, albeit after Sean Manaea. In his first 2016 MLB start, Hahn went 6 and 2/3rd innings, walking just 2, striking out 4, and inducing ground balls more than ¾ of the time. And then there’s this:
It’s too early to draw any conclusions but if Hahn pairs the elite ground ball rates he’s displayed over his career with this newly found velocity, we can afford a little more patience while he struggles to regain his command. Hahn likely won’t be available in deeper CBS leagues but can still be plucked in many Yahoo and ESPN formats.
Henderson Alvarez (1% Yahoo, 2.3% ESPN, 7% CBS) – first Doubront, then Bassitt. Next up? It’s hard to say. Perhaps Manaea struggles to adjust to Major League hitting and the A’s demote him. Or Kendall Graveman’s home run problems turn out to be more fact than fiction and he winds up in the bullpen. Or Hahn’s elbow issues resurface. Or Rich Hill V.15-16 relapses into V.08-14. Or Buster Olney’s premature trade musings prove…mature. There’s quite a bit of volatility in this rotation so with Alvarez on the mend, it’s more a question of when than if.
So far Alvarez has made three rehab starts, totaling 9 innings over which he’s struck out 6, walked just 1, and induced his typically unfair share of ground balls. It’s been difficult finding reliable reports on his velocity but it looks like he was around 90-94 in his last start, which is in-line with his career averages. Alvarez won’t help you in strikeouts but remember, this is the same guy who from 2013-2015 allowed just 0.49 home runs and 1.93 walks per nine while hanging a 54% ground ball rate on NL hitters.
The risks here are obvious. Alvarez is clawing his way back from shoulder surgery and moving to the AL. But the change in ballpark is hardly drastic and if you act quickly he won’t cost much to acquire. The A’s have quietly put together an excellent ground ball-heavy rotation this season so it’s not hard to see them adding Alvarez to their shrinking stable of worm burners at some point soon.
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 Baseball-Reference.com, 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.
Yesterday, I discussed the starting pitchers whose xK% most exceed their actual strikeout rates. Today, I’ll look at the other side of the list — those starting pitchers whose actual strikeout rates most exceed their xK% marks. These pitchers are at significant risk for regression.
I’ve long wanted to toy around with a league format where pitcher’s hitting stats – only the counting ones, not averages – are a bump to your team. It’s tough, because the value between pitchers in the two leagues is already a little askew, and N.L. arms would get a boost, but wouldn’t you love for one of your star pitchers to also give you this:
The Cardinals turn everyone into a hitter.
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Notable Transactions/Rumors/Articles/Game Play
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.
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.
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.