Author Archive

Dozier Closure: A Second Baseman’s Second Half Woes

The numbers on the surface tell a really good story for Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier. Just one of his contemporaries was even within 10 of Dozier’s MLB-high — among second basemen — 28 home runs (Robinson Cano, 21). Similarly, just one player was within 10 of his MLB-high 101 runs scored (Ian Kinsler, 94). His 77 RBIs (No. 2, Cano) and 12 steals (tied at No. 8 with Jace Peterson) were nothing to sneeze at either, and he was sixth (of 20) among qualified second basemen in walk rate as well at 8.7 percent.

It’s pretty clear to see why Dozier jumped to No. 6 in Zach Sanders’ end-of-season second base rankings with a value of nearly $18 in a $260 auction, 5×5 format. He was a four category stalwart who only really hurt owners in batting average, where his .236 mark paled in comparison to the MLB mark of .261 for second sackers. Read the rest of this entry »

Scoresheet Retrospective and Keeper Help

Last week we took a look at my Ottoneu build, and this week I’d like to take a look at the recap from another successful season in Scoresheet.

I play in the BP Kings league — which has Baseball Prospectus roots — and have put together some pretty solid seasons. Here’s a look back at the season-ending standings for as long as I’ve been in the league.

2015 – Wasted Aces – 95-67 (tied for 1st)
2014 – Four Aces and a Nolasco – 95-67 (2nd)
2013 – new Warne order – 76-86 (tied for 2nd)
2012 – Warne – 76-86 (3rd)
2011 – Warnhardt Dynasty – 68-94 (last) Read the rest of this entry »

Slow Burn: A Look at My Ottoneu Build

I hesitate to call anything in Ottoneu a rebuild, especially in our Fangraphs Experts League II (linear weights) just because it hasn’t been around long enough for anyone to really “rebuild.” I finished third in the league’s inaugural year (2012), but had slumped to sixth the next season before bottoming out at 10th out of 12 teams a season ago.

I’ve long made youth a big part of how I conduct business — most certainly to a fault — but that really started to pay off in 2015. With a roster that appeared likely to finish in the middle of the pack with strong possibility of finishing strong, I was at least semi-enthused about my chances to make progress this season and perhaps a run in 2016. Read the rest of this entry »

Brandon Warne Revisits Terrible Ten Bold Predictions 2015

Because I hate myself to the core, this is one of my favorite articles to write every season. I really do enjoy writing the 10 Bold Predictions too — I’m just terrible at it — and so I also like the opportunity to harshly criticize myself when the season draws to a close.

Let’s have a look at the hot takes that I laid out some six-and-a-half months ago.

1. Kyle Gibson is no worse than the second-most valuable Twins starter in fantasy this year.
Success! Gibson took a nice step forward this year, toying with a league average strikeout rate while maintaining a strong groundball rate. He wasn’t necessarily better on the whole from a value standpoint, but he did take steps to improve his peripherals and he got some help along the way. Ervin Santana got suspended, Phil Hughes and Ricky Nolasco got hurt and nobody really stepped up the challenge Gibson for this crown. Tyler Duffey might have with a longer sample size and so too might have Jose Berrios, but that is neither here nor there. (1/1) Read the rest of this entry »

Stream, Stream, Stream: #2xSP (9.28-10.4)

This is the last week of the season for #2xSP, and I just want to express my sincere gratitude to anyone still reading at this point in the season. It’s been a rocky one, but after two really solid seasons I guess it’s OK to go all Ricky Nolasco on the bit and throw up a clunker. Due to some (very) minor health reasons I’m taking a short winter hiatus, but I plan to be back in the saddle for opening day 2016. Be well, friends.

Here are the totals through week 23 (with updates from previous listing):

35-48 record (same)
4.66 ERA (-0.01)
7.1 K/9 (+0.1)
2.2 K/BB (-0.1)
1.41 WHIP (same)

Here’s a look at this week’s recs, with team wRC+ in parentheses. Y! ownership numbers usually pulled courtesy of twitter pal @PandapPete21 (but not this week) whom you should give a follow:

LHP Daniel Norris – 6.4% ESPN – @TEX (96), @CWS (88)

I, like many others, have always loved Norris as a talent, and he’s been pretty good when he’s been healthy so far with the Tigers. ERA barely tells any of the story, and his 3.90 ERA in Motown is virtually the same as he had with the Jays (3.86), but he’s really cleaned up his rates if we’re going to compare the small-ish samplings (five starts with Toronto, six with Detroit). The strikeout rate is roughly the same and around the the league average, but Norris has walked one-third as many batters (by per nine rates) as he did with the Jays. Three of his six starts with Detroit have resulted in zero or one earned runs, and two of the other three were three runs apiece. The most worrisome thing here is durability, as he’s failed to pitch through the sixth in four of six starts. Mind you, the pickings were pretty slim this week as teams have been shutting players down and dipping deep into their 40-man bags of tricks to get creative this September. Should Norris see the back end of this week — and I expect that he will — you should be thusly rewarded. Read the rest of this entry »

Stream, Stream, Stream: #2xSP (9.21-9.27)

UPDATE: Bolsinger is starting Sunday, so we’re rolling with Martin Perez (@OAK, @HOU) in his place.

We’re coming down the home stretch, and with it we’ve found a little bit more luck with regards to wins and losses. Hopefully that can continue as players are in crunch time with fantasy league playoffs. Onto this week’s recs…

Here are the totals through week 21 (with updates from previous listing):

35-48 record (4-1)
4.67 ERA (-0.07)
7.0 K/9 (same)
2.3 K/BB (same)
1.41 WHIP (same)

Here’s a look at this week’s recs, with team wRC+ in parentheses. Y! ownership numbers usually pulled courtesy of twitter pal @PandapPete21 (but not this week) whom you should give a follow:

LHP Eduardo Rodriguez – 36.3% ESPN – v. TBR (99), v. BAL (97)

Rodriguez has quietly strung together five really nice starts since the Marlins cleaned his clock five weeks ago (eight earned in five innings). That stretch has brought his season ERA down from 4.83 to 3.94, and looked a little like this: 1.72 ERA, .666 OPS against and 26-7 K/BB ratio in five starts (31.1 innings). He’s strangely been hit harder by lefties (.380 wOBA) than righties (.285) this season, so I do have a little concern about he’ll fare against Chris Davis. But given this week’s paucity of good recs and Rodriguez’ most recent success, I still think he has a good chance to be an asset. Read the rest of this entry »

Stream, Stream, Stream: #2xSP (9.7-9.13)

Of note this week is that five of the six starts are slated to come for pitchers at home, and considering the typical home/road boost — 3.73/4.18 splits for MLB starters this year — that should bode well for these selections as we come down the home stretch.

Here are the totals halfway through week 20 (with updates from previous listing):

31-47 record (1-0)
4.74 ERA (sadly, no change)
7.0 K/9 (same)
2.3 K/BB (same)
1.41 WHIP (-0.01)

Here’s a look at this week’s recs, with team wRC+ in parentheses. Y! ownership numbers usually pulled courtesy of twitter pal @PandapPete21 (but not this week) whom you should give a follow:

RHP Matt Shoemaker – 23.3% ESPN – v. LAD (107), v. HOU (100)

Shoemaker absolutely has the toughest matchups of the three this week — he’s facing two of baseball’s eight offenses at or above 100 team wRC+ — but he’s also the best bet to put a good foot forward. He hasn’t been able to replicate last year’s insane success, but in two starts after his temporary banishment to the minors, he’s allowed just one earned run (0.63 ERA) with a .371 OPS against and 10-3 K/BB ratio. We’re talking about impossibly small sample sizes here and I get that, but I believe he’s trending in the right direction. Those trends are a bit more evident in the longer term as well; his last 100 innings or so since his ERA peaked at 6.61 have been quite good: 3.59 ERA, .686 OPS against and 84-26 K/BB ratio in 18 appearances (17 starts). If he’s available, I’d take a shot. The Dodgers are still pretty good on the road (101 wRC+) but the Astros are considerably worse (middle of the road at 91). Read the rest of this entry »

Stream, Stream, Stream: #2xSP (8.31-9.6)

Better late than never, right? *checks stats* OK, maybe not. But I think these are three pitchers with pretty good matchups this week that can help you if you’re looking for late two-start help.

Here are the totals halfway through week 19 (with updates from previous listing):

30-47 record (1-1)
4.74 ERA (-0.03)
7.0 K/9 (+0.03)
2.3 K/BB (+0.1)
1.42 WHIP (no change)

Here’s a look at this week’s recs, with team wRC+ in parentheses. Y! ownership numbers usually pulled courtesy of twitter pal @PandapPete21 (but not this week) whom you should give a follow:

RHP Scott Feldman – 7.9% ESPN – v. SEA (99), v. MIN (91)

Feldman gets a pair of below average offenses this week, and as an added bonus gets them both on the road. The Twins have a 79 wRC+ as a team on the road — an MLB worst — and the Mariners are markedly better but still just a 94. Feldman is also on a pretty nice roll, allowing three or fewer earned runs in his last six starts, resulting in a 1.80 ERA, .588 OPS against and 20-6 K/BB ratio. He won’t do much for you strikeouts-wise, but I like his chances to grab a couple wins.

LHP Brett Anderson – 20.7% ESPN – v. SFG (108), @SDP (89)

MLB’s surprise leader in groundball rate, Anderson has sort of flown under the radar while rejuvenating his career on arguably the NL’s grandest stage. That’s kind of amazing. At 27, Anderson appears headed for possible career highs in innings and starts. He’s got 25 starts and 147.1 innings, both of which could threaten his 2009 marks of 30 and 175.1. Nevertheless, it’s amazing that a guy who hasn’t done it in that long — back when he was 21 — still had it in him to get close to it. The Giants matchup isn’t ideal as they’re one of baseball’s best offenses, but getting them at Chavez Ravine is a nice bonus. The Giants are still one of baseball’s best road offenses, but it’s a bit more muted with a 104 wRC+. It’ll also be interesting to see how much Anderson’s groundball tendencies can neutralize the Giants’ power, as you’d expect it to do just that, but home runs have actually been an issue for the left-hander this season (0.9 HR/9, 15.9% HR/FB).

RHP Joe Ross – 39.4% ESPN- @STL (96), v. ATL (86)

I almost hesitated recommending Ross because my brain is automatically programmed to think the Cardinals have a stellar offense, but in fact their team wRC+ is below average, and it doesn’t hurt opposing pitchers that they have entire outfield of injured players — Randal Grichuk, Matt Holliday and Jon Jay — along with Matt Adams. The Cardinals are a little better at home (101 wRC+), but the matchup to stay for this week is the Braves anyway. Only four Braves with appreciable plate appearances have a wRC+ over 100, and that includes Freddie Freeman who has really struggled since returning from the DL in late July (.205/.293/.356 in 82 PA). Ross struggled last time out when we recommended him in this space, but those were basically his only two rough starts of the season. He’s got a 3.24 ERA, nearly a strikeout per inning and exactly a 50% groundball rate. You won’t be able to stream him for long — if at all. If he’s owned in your league — and there’s a good chance he is — consider one of the guys below.

Also considered: Tyler Duffey, Jake Peavy and Felix Doubront.

Stream, Stream, Stream: #2xSP (8.24-8.30)

Alright, we’ve seen generally positive marks from last week’s bunch so far — 1-1, 2.70 ERA, 7.7 K/9 — so hopefully that can be the semblance of consistency needed to get this thing turned back around. Onto this week’s picks…

Here are the totals halfway through week 18 (with updates from previous listing):

29-46 record (3-2)
4.77 ERA (-0.10)
6.7 K/9 (no change)
2.2 K/BB (no change)
1.42 WHIP (-0.04)

Here’s a look at this week’s recs, with team wRC+ in parentheses. Y! ownership numbers pulled courtesy of twitter pal @PandapPete21, whom you should give a follow:

RHP Nate Karns – 32.7% ESPN/34% Y! – v. MIN (92), v. KC (100)

I specifically love Karns against the Twins at the Trop, because the Twins an MLB-worst 76 wRC+ on the road. The Royals, on the other hand, are pretty solid at 93 — especially since just four teams have wRC+ figures over 100 on the road. In other words, the Royals rank 10th in that respect. My sense is that Karns is on the fringes of being something special. He’s just under a strikeout per inning and with a tweak here or two could bump his groundball rate above league average as well. For now though, he walks too many batters and has a few too many blowups to be a full-time rosterable guy in shallower leagues. Something worth watching is that he’s a considerably worse at home (4.04 ERA, 4.34 FIP) than he is on the road (2.82, 3.63). I don’t think it means a whole lot yet, but it could be reason enough for you to look elsewhere. I still like him better than most.

RHP Nathan Eovaldi – 44.16% ESPN/38% Y! – v. HOU (100), @ATL (85)

With the juggling of C.C. Sabathia last week in the Yankees rotation, Eovaldi was pushed back and will now make two starts this week rather than last. The same deal applies as last week, and that is that I like his chances to steal a couple cheap wins over the week to come. He’s 13-2, and has been pretty good in the second half (3.66 ERA, 6.9 K/9 and 1.29 WHIP).

LHP Danny Duffy – 15.6% ESPN/23% Y! – v. BAL (101), @TBR (97)

Duffy has struggled for much of the season, but he’s at least been decent in seven starts since the All Star break. He’s got a 3.48 ERA and .711 OPS against, but for some reason still just a 20-13 K/BB ratio over those 41.1 innings. It’s always puzzled me that he doesn’t strike out more batters with his excellent stuff, but at this point it’s worth wondering if this is just who he is. He might be a guy who benefits from a move to the bullpen, a la Wade Davis and Luke Hochevar before him. But nevertheless, I still like him a bit more than the guys below this week, since I don’t really envision either of these offenses blowing him up. I could eat my words with Baltimore, because Chris Davis crushes lefties.

Also considered: John Lamb, Matt Cain, Felix Doubront, Robby Ray and Adam Morgan.

Stream, Stream, Stream: #2xSP (8.17-8.23)

Sigh. I suck. Now onto this week’s recommendations….

Here are the totals halfway through week 17 (with updates from previous listing):

26-44 record (2-3)
4.87 ERA (+0.24)
6.7 K/9 (no change)
2.2 K/BB (no change)
1.46 WHIP (+0.04)

Here’s a look at this week’s recs, with (A CHANGE, SO TAKE NOTE!) team wRC+ in parentheses. Y! ownership numbers pulled courtesy of twitter pal @PandapPete21, whom you should give a follow:

RHP Raisel Iglesias – 7.4% ESPN/5% Y! – v. KCR (101), v. ARI (98)

It’s pretty simple for me with Iglesias, a pitcher whom I think is criminally underowned. And yet, I think I get it, as nobody really wants to own a guy with a 4.70 ERA even if he is fanning a batter per inning. He’s on a pretty solid, though short stretch of pitching really well, as he’s allowed just six earned runs over his last three starts (2.89 ERA). He’s fanned 19 batters and walked just four in those 18.2 innings, including stymying a really good Diamondbacks offense at Chase Field. This is a good chance to get in on a guy at ground level, and he could prove worth keeping for the long haul. But for now, I really like him this week.

RHP Nathan Eovaldi – 42.1% ESPN/34% Y! – v. MIN (91), v. CLE (99)

Like Drew Hutchison last week, I like Eovaldi’s chance to steal a couple cheap wins. And beyond that, he’s pitched semi decently since July 1 (3.28 ERA in eight starts). Of note is that he’s coming off facing both of these teams in recent weeks. He dominated the Twins with eight strong innings to take home his 10th win, and he beat Cleveland last time out with a subpar effort for his 12th. He’s now 12-2, something I wouldn’t usually care about, but I think when you’re 18 games under .500 for the season, you gotta dig out somehow.

RHP Kevin Gausman – 15.6% ESPN/23% Y! – v. NYM (90), v. MIN (91)

Between Eovaldi and Gausman I feel like I’m playing with matches, and don’t get me wrong I don’t love it because they’ll provide the gas. And with Gausman, who has burnt me numerous times before, the talent is there to just be so, so much better than his 4.48 ERA indicates. Heck, that was under 4.00 after his first August start, before he allowed nine earned runs over his last two starts, spanning 12.2 innings. I think he can get back on track, especially against two of the shakier offenses in the game. But make no mistake, both offenses have made additions that make them better — specifically, Miguel Sano for the Twins and some of the Mets’ trade deadline acquisitions — but I still like Gausman’s chances of turning in a good start or two.

Also considered: Kyle Gibson, Carlos Rodon and Aaron Nola