• 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

Low-Ownership Starters for Saturday (9/23)

Quite a few aces (and Matt Harvey) are throwing on Saturday so owners may not have many open slots but here are some lowly owned starters. While I normally limit my ownership rate to 10%, I bumped it up to increase the options.

Henderson Alvarez (1% owned) vs Braves (Julio Teheran)

Starting Alvarez is like playing Russian roulette with five chambers filled. It may kind of possibly end up good, but likely not. The basic issue is that it’s about impossible to have a feel for his talent level with spotty starts since coming back from shoulder surgery. Instead of trying to make sense of the rehab starts, I will let Steamer and Zips do the work. They put him with a near 5.00 ERA and 5.5 K/9. If those stats along with a possible Win, if he can make it five innings, against Teheran and the Braves are usable, start him.

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Paul Sporer Baseball Chat – September 22, 2017

Chat transcript is below!

1:39
Paul Sporer: It’s chat tiiiiimmmeee!!! I can’t believe the regular season is almost over :(

1:39
Eric: For next year: Olson or Hoskins and how close is it?

1:40
Paul Sporer: Hoskins, but it is close. I just prefer Hoskins w/the much better K%. Olson will struggle to hit .263 in a full season at a 28% K rate

1:40
Guest: Will Dahl play next year and if so, will he be any good?  Or is he just never going to be able to stay healthy?

1:41
Paul Sporer: I mean, I certainly *think* he’ll play next year, but I don’t know for sure. I expect him to be a solid OF when healthy

1:41
weezy: When starting a league, what’s your keeper format philosophy? Increase in cost/draft round per year? # of keepers? And is snake or auction a preferred format?

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2018 Dynasty Prospect Draft Review: Rounds 4 – 6

On Wednesday I reviewed the results of the first three rounds of a new dynasty league prospect draft.  I’ll continue that review today with rounds 4 – 6, where some deeper, more interesting prospects appear.

Dynasty Prospect Draft Review: Rounds 1 – 3

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.

Before I review my own thoughts on the draft, you should know this Ottoneu league uses the “FanGraphs Points” scoring system based on linear weights, so offense is heavily slanted towards wOBA skills (and speed is almost a non-factor).  We also somewhat arbitrarily removed the Top 12 overall offensive prospects to save them for the standard 40-man auction next spring.  Otherwise, any minor league player without one (1) MLB PA or IP is eligible to be drafted.  You can read more about the custom rules of this dynasty league here, and follow along with the draft here.

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The Daily Grind: Monster Strength

Sometimes, I like to read the bad advices. I feel slightly bad for calling out a fellow writer, but this is one of the top three articles to appear when you search Shohei Otani. That means a ton of people are reading it, and it’s hilariously misinformed. The fourth paragraph in particular is almost entirely incorrect. And it happens to be the crux of the article.

AGENDA

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

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A Minor Review of 2017: Los Angeles Angels

There were a few years there that I dreaded writing about the Angels for this series but no more… The organization has some legitimately intriguing prospects. Don’t just take my word for it, let’s have a look!

The Graduate: Parker Bridwell, RHP: Earlier this week, I stated that the Dodgers had one of the best player development systems in the game. Well, the Orioles probably have one of the worst… and Bridwell is a perfect example of a player simply needing a change of scenery to realize his full potential. With that said, the right-hander’s potential is modest and he’ll probably settle in as more of a No. 4 starter. He doesn’t miss a lot of bats and he produces a lot of fly balls, which is a dangerous combination. His heater is average but it plays up because he has above-average control and keeps hitters off balance with multiple offerings.

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Field of Streams: Episode 299 – Also Opposite A “Bum”

Episode 299 – Also Opposite A “Bum”

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

In this episode, Dylan Higgins and Matthew Dewoskin discuss Edwin Jackson continuing to slow down, Matt borrowing a quality Lucas Duda joke, the rule of Brent Suter and Brandon Woodruff, the return of Travis Jankowski, marveling over how bad Dylan Covey has been, Doug Fister falling apart, the only no-hitter in Field Of Streams history, Matt’s visit to Atlanta, and looking back on 350+ episodes.

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Bullpen Report: September 21, 2017

If there was any uncertainty around Brad Brach taking over the closer duties for the Orioles while Zach Britton is out due to a PRP injection, we didn’t have to live with that uncertainty for very long. Brach’s first save chance in his third iteration as the Orioles’ primary closer came on Thursday night against the Rays. It had some drama, as he issued a two-out walk to Steven Souza Jr., which was followed by a J.J. Hardy error that put runners on the corners with a 3-1 lead. Brach worked out of the jam by getting Kevin Kiermaier to fly out, collecting his 18th save of the season and his first save since Aug. 27.

Mike Minor needed only six pitches to close out a 1-0 win over the Blue Jays on Thursday night, earning his second save in a week. The Royals’ closer situation is still ambiguous, though. The Kansas City Star reported that Scott Alexander has been dealing with fatigue, and may not be available for Friday’s series opener at the White Sox. Even if Minor were to get another save on Friday, that would not necessarily mean he has the closer’s job all to himself.
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The Balls Keep On Flying

Earlier this week Alex Gordon hit a home run. Okay, sorry, that’s a mean joke. I am referring to the MLB single season home run record, of course. There have been more home runs hit this season than in any season in Major League Baseball history. Whether this is a good or bad thing is a matter of debate. I’ve heard from many people who are unhappy with this turn of events, others who are quite pleased, and a small minority who have no strong opinion on the matter. That third group seems to be rather small, but that’s the way of things these days.

It appears that this home run record has been spurred on by artificial means, namely an apparent change to the ball. The exact change is difficult to pin down, unfortunately. On some level it deals with the flight characteristics of the ball, though. What some call the coefficient of drag. Essentially, the air isn’t slowing down the ball as much as before. There are conflicting reports as to why this might be the case. Some say the radius of the ball is smaller. Others say the seams are smaller. Maybe both are true, maybe neither. Maybe there are other variables. It is all very much up in the air at this point. But, we do know that the ball is flying ever so slightly further now, in 2017, than it was in, say, 2015. Or 2014. Or 2013.

Perhaps counter-intuitively, very small changes in flight distance can make rather large differences in home run rate. Perhaps more intuitively, differences in flight distance can be represented as changes in effective velocity. Read the rest of this entry »


#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.

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