Archive for Ottoneu

Another Reason to Avoid Giants Hitters

It’s a well-established fact that AT&T Park is one of the worst ballparks in the major leagues for offense. That’s why, despite putting up a 132 wRC+ over his last 1,500 or so plate appearances, Brandon Belt is not a very valuable fantasy first baseman. It’s also why Buster Posey, a catcher with a career 136 wRC+, has never really been worthy of a top-10 pick on fantasy draft day.

In recent years, however, a new and troubling trend has emerged for the Giants offense. While the league has been on an historic home run tear the last year and a half or so, the Giants have not kept up. In fact, they’ve done the opposite: they’re hitting more ground balls (and fewer fly balls) than just about any other team in baseball.

Ground balls are almost always worse than fly balls, even for a team that plays in a cavernous ballpark like the Giants. Since 2014, Giants hitters have a .245 AVG, .263 SLG, .223 wOBA, and 45 wRC+ on ground balls at home. On their fly balls at home, however, they have a .226 AVG, .598 SLG, .332 wOBA, and 119 wRC+ since 2014.

While the team batting average is actually higher on ground balls, the slugging percentage, wOBA, and wRC+ are so, so much worse. This is strong evidence to the effect that even a team that plays in an extreme pitcher’s park is not better off hitting ground balls — flies seem to be indisputably better no matter what. Read the rest of this entry »

Ottoneu 101: Is it too early to sell?

If you’ve ever played Ottoneu, you likely realized that it’s a different fantasy format. The 40-man rosters are deep, and the player universe is much larger than the standard fantasy offering. There are auctions for nearly all acquisitions, and during the season there is no FAAB (just the money you decide to budget for free agents.) However, perhaps the biggest difference between Ottoneu and other formats is the playoff structure. Ottoneu doesn’t have one.

Ottoneu is a season long race, starting the first day of the regular season and ending with the season’s final game. The objective is pretty simple. Score more points over your allotted game and innings caps than your opponents. If you aren’t playing in a money league, or your league has not designed some added incentives of their own, then there likely aren’t incentives to finish in second place relative to twelfth. Read the rest of this entry »

Robbie Grossman Figured Out Lefties, Is Relevant

At the time of this writing, there are 37 major league hitters with a wRC+ of 150 or higher. There are the usual suspects: Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, and Nolan Arenado are on the leaderboard to no one’s surprise. There are exciting young prospects, including Mitch Haniger, Aaron Judge, and Joey Gallo. Then there are unexpected names like Eric ThamesCesar Hernandez, and Robbie Grossman.

Lengthy articles could be, and have been, written about any of the players above. One player who hasn’t received much publicity despite some relatively prolonged success is Grossman.

He checks in with a 158 wRC+ in 67 plate appearances so far this year. Steamer projects a .322 wOBA and 99 wRC+ for the rest of the season (ROS), and that projection puts him just a few ticks behind his highly-touted teammate Max Kepler. Although Kepler is three years younger and may have a higher ceiling, the point is that name recognition can play a pretty big role in how we analyze players.

Also, Grossman used to be bad. From 2013 to 2015, he had just a .281 wOBA and 77 wRC+ in 202 plate appearances against left-handed pitching, despite being a switch hitter. Since 2016, however, Grossman has a .417 wOBA and 166 wRC+ in 170 plate appearances against lefties. Even with his early-career struggles against lefties, Grossman now has a lifetime .344 wOBA and 118 wRC+ against them. Read the rest of this entry »

Ottoneu Hitter Projection Changes

Last year around this time I posted an article taking a look at the hitters whose rest of season Depth Charts projections had changed the most, and even after just two plus weeks some players saw significant increases and decreases. I’m following up with the same analysis for this very young 2017 season, so let’s take a look at the players whose projections have moved the most in the early going (based on projected FanGraphs points per game):

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Ottoneu Prospect Report: April 14, 2017

Like many ottoneu owners (and baseball fans in general), I’m a bit of a prospect hound, always looking for the next Mike Trout or even the next Kole Calhoun. Unlike many of our writers, I have absolutely no scouting chops, so I prefer to take a more analytic approach to prospect evaluation. That includes looking at prospect reports from John Sickels and our own Eric Longenhagen, as well as reviewing projections from Steamer/ZiPS and KATOH. That’s only part of the story though, and with minor league games well under way we have some actual performances to add to our evaluations. Using the fantastic website, I put together a list of the top ten hitting performances in the minor leagues so far (using ottoneu FanGraphs points scoring, and filtering on prospects in the organizational Top 10s).

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Simming an Ottoneu Season for Fun (and Profit?)

I’ve been a baseball fan as far back as I can remember, and for me that fandom didn’t end when the season did. I was always a numbers guy, so in middle school I made up the rules to my own baseball (and football) games using dice to simulate results, and latched onto fantasy baseball shortly after. When the baseball season ended and I still needed my fix, I turned to Strat-O-Matic, the much more advanced version of my simple dice game. As I entered college I discovered baseball sim games on the computer, starting with Baseball Mogul and ending with Out of the Park Baseball (OOTP). I’ve been playing OOTP to get me through the long baseball offseason for at least ten years, and every new iteration becomes more and more immersive. The newest version (OOTP 18) is out, so I decided to project the results for one of my ottoneu leagues (League #530) with an OOTP simulation of 2017 (hat tip to league-mate Brent Daily for the idea!).

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Five Under 50%

With about a week of 2017 baseball data in the books, there are already thousands of innings, plate appearances, and batted balls to parse through. We’ve seen a perfect game bid, a cycle, multi-home run performances, and a huge lead blown in the ninth. Unfortunately, something else we’ve seen are injuries to key players. Like the crack of the bat and pop of the glove, injuries are a part of the spot. They’re bad for the player, the team, the fans — and fantasy owners.

When a key player on your fantasy roster gets injured, it often leaves you scrambling to fill the unexpected hole. The following exercise is designed to help you survive such situations. We’re going to look at viable players who are readily available in most fantasy leagues. To qualify for this list, a player must be owned in less than 50% of all Ottoneu fantasy leagues, based on the Ottoneu Average Salaries page. He also must be able to help your team right now (i.e., no prospects).

Getting right to the list, here are of five players worth a shot in an emergency who are owned in less than 50% of Ottoneu leagues, along with their positional eligibility, average salary, and owned percentage: Read the rest of this entry »

Ottoneu Most Wanted: April 7, 2017

The season is less than a week old, but the ottoneu waiver wire is as busy as ever. The sample sizes of early performances are microscopic, but if you want to snag the next breakout or “popup” performer the early bird gets the worm. In what will likely be a recurring feature again this year, let’s look at the ottoneu most added (and cut) players in the early going.


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My Ottoneu Penny Stocks

For fantasy purposes, ottoneu rosters are large. (40 rosters spots that can be split between hitters and pitchers, including all minor league players.) This leads to many platoon players and prospects being rostered as ways to fill our rosters. Many times, these back of the roster types end up being $1 plays on prospects who are many years away. However, what if we took a different approach and went with players who could have an MLB role entering 2017, while still offering some potential upside?

Certainly, the argument can be made that these prospects are really just trade chips for rentals in season, and I buy that argument. However, I don’t think that every prospect owned is a trade chip, or at least an enticing one. Generally, there are the prospects most teams want (the top-20 or so) then various options throughout the rest of most top 100s that appeal to different owners depending on their biases. Could we be better off going with uncertain MLB players to fill these spots in place of the less notable minor leaguers?

Today, I wanted to go through several players I am rostering as $1 plays in several of my leagues. Thought process being, that I will have a pretty good idea of if they are a $1 player, or useful piece some time within the next month or two. At that point, I can cut them if they don’t pan out, and pick up the prospect I would have drafted originally. Read the rest of this entry »

My 2017 Ottoneu Portfolio

As I did last year, I went through the rosters of all eleven ottoneu teams I’ve drafted to see which players most frequently found their way onto my roster. These aren’t always the the best or most exciting names, but they are the ones I felt had more value than acquisition cost.

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