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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Innings Limit Tracker

This is our new Innings Limit Tracker. This covers young pitchers (age-25 season or under) who could face an innings limit this year. If you think someone should be on the list, please let me know in the comments. Also if you see a source confirming someone’s inning limit one way or the other, please let me know!

I’ll be updating this throughout the season, especially as prospects with potential IP limits come up and start making an impact.

The chart shows how old the player will be for 2016, his 2015 innings breakdown, how many innings he’d have with a 20% increase of his 2015 count, his IP limit status assuming we know something, and then the source.

(This will show up in the sidebar under Draft Tools.)

(And it’s sortable in case you’re wondering!)

IP Limit Tracker
PITCHER AGE MLB* MiLB TOT +20% IP LIMIT? SOURCE
Noah Syndergaard 23 169 29.7 198.7 238 No MLB.com
Aaron Nola 23 77.7 109.3 187 224
Henry Owens 23 63 122.3 185.3 222
Jerad Eickhoff 25 51 133.3 184.3 221
Andrew Heaney 25 105.7 78.3 184 221
Carlos Martinez 24 179.7 0 179.7 216
Matt Wisler 23 109 65 174 209
Adam Conley 26 67 107 174 209
Eduardo Rodriguez 23 121.7 48.3 170 204
Taijuan Walker 23 169.7 0 169.7 204
Lance McCullers 22 132 32 164 197 Yes Twitter
Luis Severino 22 62.3 99.3 161.6 194 Kinda… MLB.com
John Lamb 25 49.7 111.3 161 193
Steven Matz 25 50.4 105.3 155.7 187
Jon Gray 24 40.7 114.3 155 186 No Twitter
Joe Ross 23 76.7 76 152.7 183
Daniel Norris 23 60 90.7 150.7 181
Carlos Rodon 23 139.3 10 149.3 179
Kevin Gausman 25 112.3 22.3 134.6 162
Nick Tropeano 25 37.7 95 132.7 159
Raisel Iglesias 26 95.3 29 124.3 149
A.J. Cole 24 9.3 105.7 115 138
Aaron Sanchez 23 99.6 9.7 109.3 131
Brandon Finnegan 23 48 57.3 105.3 126
Brian Johnson 25 4.3 96 100.3 120
Jesse Hahn 26 96.7 0 96.7 116
Jose Fernandez 23 64.7 24.7 89.4 107 Yes MLB.com
Archie Bradley 23 35.7 29.3 65 78
Marcus Stroman 25 46.3 7.7 54 65
*including playoffs

10 AL/NL-Only League Platoons for 2016

August Fagerstrom did a fantastic piece of the most promising platoons for the upcoming season. They were focused on WAR which of course includes defensive value and that doesn’t really do us any good. August kindly included a wRC+ column in the piece so we can isolate the offense and pick out the best platoons for fantasy purposes. These are best deployed in a deep league (ideally an AL/NL-Only league) with daily transactions. They require diligence to pay off. The internet age has cut out or minimized a lot of the hustle advantages in fantasy baseball and this is still one of them.

These are my 10 favorite platoons for the upcoming season. Note that these are my favorites so in some instances I expect them to do better than their projected wRC+ so this isn’t just a list of the 10 best projected wRC+ totals.

TAMPA BAY RAYS OF: Corey Dickerson v. RH, Steve Pearce v. LH [124 wRC+]

This one just so happened rank highest on August’s list by wRC+ (his calculation was 67% for the v. RH player and 33% for the v. LH player). Dickerson has owned righties in his career with a .934 OPS in 728 PA, though a lot of that is no doubt influenced by Coors Field (1.085/.695 home/road split). There will be a piece later this week by new writer Justin Mason on Dickerson that outlines why I’m not afraid of him outside of Coors.

Pearce didn’t do his normal work vs. lefties last year (just .623 OPS in 124 PA), but he has a career .824 OPS against them. He only comes into the season with OF/1B eligibility, but he played 18 games at 2B and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Rays gave him some time there. He hasn’t been terrible against righties lately, either. In fact, he was flat out good in 2014 (.856, 12 HR) and while it dropped to .765 in 2015, he still hit 11 HR. Both of these guys could end up as full-time plays ,but if they happen to struggle against same-handed pitchers, they’re a perfect platoon.

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The Change: Arsenal Scores

The theory first. By looking at the results on a per-pitch level, we can spot pitchers that have somehow been worse than the sum of their parts to date. Those pitchers, with better sequencing and selection of their existing pitches, or just luck, could be better in the future.

In order to avoid the problems inherent in balls in play data, we’re going to focus on two classes of information that help us the most — ground balls and strikeouts. We’ll z-score every pitch thrown over 100 times last year and sum up the scores. Let’s focus on starters — depth of arsenal matters more for them. And let’s report summed up z-scores as well as average ones per pitch. One tells us how good their collective pitches are, the other how even their arsenal is.

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Dodgers’ Playing Time Battles: Hitters

Two weeks ago, we inaugurated what will likely still be a few more weeks of depth chart discussions in the form of playing time battles. RotoGraphs staff will discuss and assess noteworthy battles for playing time and/or starting gigs for position players and, separately, pitchers. Here, specifically, this author will investigate the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ position player situations.

Around the horn.

Catcher

No surprises here: Yasmani Grandal will assume the primary backstop role while A.J. Ellis sticks around for his defensive acumen. Grandal is the only name you care about here; he has pretty easy 20-homer power if he can make it through an entire season unscathed. The BABIP (batting average on balls in play) is ugly, no thanks to his lack of speed and his non-ideal tendency to pop balls up, but the league’s 7th-best on-base percentage (OBP) helps mitigate those losses, especially in OBP leagues (obviously).

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The Beauty of the Roto 5×5

The 2016 fantasy baseball season has unofficially begun. Yahoo opened its doors over the weekend. I’ve already renewed two keeper leagues, and undoubtedly more will follow. In fact, I’m planning to unveil some quirky reader leagues in the near future. What follows is an ode to the Roto 5×5 and common twists on the original.

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