I Don’t Get The Hype: Ross, Davis, Pederson

Everybody has their sleeper lottery tickets. By that, I don’t mean known quantities like Adrian Beltre who may be slightly underpriced. Players like Lance McCullers, Corey Seager, and Xander Bogaerts have flashed impressive talent, but they’ve yet to truly prove it’s sustainable. We’re making informed guesses when we reach for them in the draft. Today, we’ll talk about three reaches that I just don’t get.

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Sleeper: Chad Bettis

Chad Bettis is on the Rockies. You might be inclined to move on after the very first sentence of this post, but let me convince you otherwise.

Chad Bettis finished 2015 with a 4.23 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. However, on July 7th, he was shellacked in Colorado by the Angels. Excluding this 2.1 IP start, he would have ended the year with a 3.50 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. That has utility in most, especially deep leagues. I personally just drafted him in the 47th round of my only NFBC Draft Champions League thanks to his Arsenal Score, which is sandwiched between Dallas Keuchel and Max Scherzer.

Don’t get worked up. Bettis should not be in the same sentence – or matrix – as Keuchel and Scherzer. The matrix should be updated next week with pitch usage weights (increasing the Fastball value due to usage approximately three-fold to approximate MLB rates). This will drop Bettis in the rankings significantly. If we look at his 2015 sabermetric outcomes on his Brooks Baseball Player card, we can see that his Fastball whiff-per-swing rate is -0.74 standard deviations worse than the average fastball.

Still, the rest of his repertoire is great from a whiff/swing perspective:

Pitch Type Count Pitch Usage Whiff/Swing GB/BIP HR/(FB+LD)
Fourseam (1139) 915 48.9% -0.74 1.36 -1.02
Sinker (741) 202 10.8% 0.73 0.49 -1.92
Change (554) 296 15.8% 0.98 2.97 3.36
Slider (706) 179 9.6% 0.99 2.77 0.33
Curve (531) 280 15.0% 0.27 -2.43 1.04

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The Case For Doug Fister

Doug Fister had a bad season in 2015. His 4.19 ERA was half a run higher than in his worst season between 2011 and 2014, and his FIP and xFIP were even higher. His best seasons with the Tigers featured close to seven strikeouts per nine and a groundball rate over 50 percent. Last year, he struck out five and a half batters per nine and induced under 45 percent groundballs. That is why Fister had to sign a one-year, $7 million contract with the Astros.

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5 Hitters With Major HR/FB Downside

Yesterday, I whipped out my xHR/FB equation and compared its calculation to every player’s actual HR/FB rate to come up with a list of eight hitters destined for a HR/FB rate spike off their 2015 marks. Today I visit those on the opposite end of the spectrum, the guys who outperformed their xHR/FB rates the most.

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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 305 – Arsenal Scores, Revisiting OF Ranks

2/3/16

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

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Notable Transactions/Rumors/Our Columns

Strategy Section

We have a new email address for questions: sleeperpod@gmail.com. Send your fantasy-relevant questions. You can send keeper questions, but those are much better for Twitter. Questions most likely to get selected are those that apply more broadly, as opposed to specific trade or keeper queries. However, if you do ask a league-specific question, please include the league size and categories.

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Play

Corey Dickerson’s Value in Tampa Bay

In the aftermath of Corey Dickerson being traded to the Tampa Bay Rays last week, we have seen numerous thoughts and predictions on his future fantasy value in Tampa. The prevalent belief being that he is no longer mixed league worthy. I actually saw someone in a Facebook discussion group post a tombstone with his player card on it. Photoshop aside, it is time to examine Dickerson’s fantasy value in Tampa. Read the rest of this entry »


2016 Ottoneu FGpts Rankings – First Base

Below is the First Base installment of our 2016 Ottoneu FGpt rankings.

In the context of Ottoneu, perhaps rankings are a misnomer, because you really want to know the dollar value each player is worth. We’ve included this information for our benefit. In all, these rankings should help to give you a spread of four dollar values for each player, as well as a comparison to average prices (post-arbitration, pre-cut deadline) within the Ottoneu FGpts universe. Each player’s Ottoneu eligibility (5GS, 10 appearances) is included as well, though players are ranked at their most valuable position. If you have questions on a specific ranking, or a question for a specific ranker, feel free to let us know in the comments.

Consider this your very early, subject to change, Ottoneu pricing cheat sheet.
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Game Balanced Fantasy Baseball

If I have one complaint about fantasy baseball, it’s the importance of an early lead. Of course, it’s possible to scuffle through April and still win a roto league. In such a scenario, victory requires a heroic effort. The roto game is rigged to favor April’s top performers, and H2H isn’t much different. I’ll present an alternative today, but it does require some manual work from your commissioner.

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Ladies And Gentlemen, The Bronx Is Gentrifying

“The romance of New York [City] during that era is contagious.” So comments a reviewer of a recent book of photographs from said era. And what era might that be? The melting-pot 1920s? The beatnik 1950s? The pot-and-protests 60s? The dot-com 90s? Nope; the 70s. The pink mist of nostalgia that now envelops 1970s New York City puzzles us a bit. In memoir after memoir—most of them quite good, by the way—1970s NYC is portrayed as culturally and intellectually heady beyond the imaginings of those then unborn or unfledged. But at the same time, it’s depicted as dirty, dangerous, and broke, and the memoirists describe it as if they’d survived the trenches at Guadalcanal.

We ourselves aren’t nostalgic about 1970s New York, or 1970s anywhere else, for that matter. In one respect, though, we kind of miss the decade, because (awkward segue coming) it saw the rise of the lively-ball-era stolen base. Even in the 60s, of course, there were stolen-base avatars like Maury Wills and Luis Aparicio. They’d steal fifty or more bases and lead the league every year. Otherwise, though, nothing: on average, a 60s team would attempt a stolen base about every other game. Read the rest of this entry »


8 Hitters With Major HR/FB Upside

How does one project a power breakout? It is difficult, perhaps impossible, to develop a system that more often than not uncovers a player due for a power spike. So rather than sift through an array of underlying metrics searching for clues, there’s an easier way. It’s the same thing we do when we look at a hitter’s BABIP and compare it to his xBABIP or check a pitcher’s BABIP and assume better/worse fortune the following year will lead to improved/decreased performance.

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