The Daily Grind: Juicy, Middle-In Fastballs

There are some things you want to be juicy. Most cooked meat products. Watermelon. Fastballs (if you’re a hitter).

AGENDA

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

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Mookie Betts and Pull Power

Mookie Betts hit a pair of home runs against the Athletics on Tuesday, which hopefully for the Red Sox means that their star player’s power slump is over. Entering last Friday’s game, Betts had not homered in more than a month. Then, he hit this Fenway special.

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Bullpen Report: September 13, 2017

On Wednesday, for the first time since Aug. 12, Scott Alexander gave up a run. In fact, he coughed up two of them in the ninth inning against the White Sox, taking the loss for the Royals. While Alexander’s ERA grew from 2.00 to 2.26 as a result, there is a possible silver lining in that Ned Yost entrusted him to preserve a tie in the top of the ninth. Yost also gave Alexander the ball for Tuesday’s save opportunity against the White Sox, so there is at least the appearance of him being at the head of the Royals’ closer committee.

Alexander has certainly done everything possible to earn that distinction. While going a month and 15 innings without yielding a run, Brandon Maurer has posted a 7.71 ERA over that same period. Mike Minor has been more reliable over the last 30 days, though he has been less effective at getting batters to chase pitches out of the zone (29.1 percent O-Swing rate, as compared to a 35.8 percent season-to-date mark).
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Pitcher Spotlight: Chase Anderson’s 2017 Transformation

Chase Anderson wasn’t supposed to be a must-own pitcher this season. His first three years in the majors all rendered ERAs north of 4.00 and WHIPs above 1.30, with his strikeout rate falling under 20% in 2015 and 2016. It didn’t look to be much different at the start of this season, with Anderson holding a lackluster 4.25 ERA, 7.58 K/9, and 3.51 BB/9 through his first nine games of the season. However, he’s turned on the jets since, with a sparkling 1.99 ERA, 9.13 K/9, and 2.51 BB/9 over his last twelve starts and he’s making us question where to draft him in 2018.

There are a few apparent changes to Anderson with a tick of velocity added to his Fastball (turning it from a -1.5 pVal to 8.4) and an extra 1.5 inches of drop to his Cutter (pVal increase from -3.4 to 2.4) and I could call it a day by showing off those pitches.

But there’s more to the story than those two changes and I want to expose it. In short, Anderson has become a pitcher. Read the rest of this entry »


Second Half Hitting Standouts

I honestly can’t believe how close we are to the end of the regular season. This is a great time of the year without question, especially if you happen to like football a bit in addition to baseball. You have the playoff races, hopefully some fantasy chases, the start of football, and the transition to Fall. Oh, and then my birthday on October 24th, don’t forget please! Today, I wanted to look at some interesting second half performances that might’ve slipped your radar for any number of reasons.

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Is Kris Bryant Really Sacrificing Power for Contact?

It’s an interesting thing to think about that as far as MVP candidates go, Kris Bryant has managed, in the span of a year, to go from the choice for National League MVP to not even in the conversation. What’s even stranger about such a situation is that it’s not like Bryant has fallen off dramatically from a sophomore campaign that featured a WAR over 8. In addition to the early inconsistencies that his team experienced, some of the changes in his game might be leading to him being somewhat of an overlooked quantity at this point, even with the Cubs serving as one of the best teams in baseball since the All-Star break.

Despite his virtual exclusion from any sort of Most Valuable Player discussion, Bryant has actually managed to improve in a number of ways. Sure, there are a couple of aspects in which he’s taken a modest step back, but overall, we’re still talking about a player that ranks at or near the top of the third base category in a number of ways on the offensive side of things. In fact, as far as his Off rating alone is concerned, Bryant ranks at the top of the 26 qualifying players at the hot corner, with his park-adjusted offense coming in at a 142 mark that trails only Justin Turner. Turner is also the only player that bests Bryant in reaching base overall, as Bryant has posted a .402 mark to date that has been the result of some adjustments he made over the course of last year’s offseason.

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Low-Ownership Starters for Thursday (9/13)

After the feedback from yesterday’s post on low ownership starters, I may continue this series until the season’s end. All these pitchers featured are owned in less than 10% of Yahoo! leagues.

Additionally, I’ve added the opposing team’s strikeout rate for reference. The league average is 21.6%.

Chad Bettis (5% owned) vs Arizona (Zack Godley, 23.9% K%))

After returning from beating cancer, Bettis is not throwing his best. His fastball velocity is down ~2 mph from last season (91.7 mph to 89.8 mph). The velocity loss could explain why his home run rate (2.1 HR/9) is at a career high.

Besides giving up a ton of home runs, the velocity loss has pushed his strikeout rate (6.0 K/9) to a career low. One favorable aspect is a career low walk rate (1.3 BB/9). Pulling the preceding data points together, he’s a below average starter with little chance for strikeout and ERA help (WHIP could be OK with the low number of walks).

The Rockies are trying to secure a Wild Card spot and that is what Bettis is now, a chance for a Win. Not much else.

Daniel Gossett (1% owned) at Red Sox (Drew Pomeranz, 19.2% K%) Read the rest of this entry »


Ottoneu Power Rankings: August 2017

We are nearing the homestretch in the baseball and ottoneu season, and this will be the last in-season power rankings. The next time power rankings are released, they will be final 2017 results, and I plan on releasing the full team/league standings files for each format at that time as well.

You can find prior power rankings here: July, June, May , April, 2016 Final
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The Daily Grind: Batting Around

Some days, I have things to say above the fold. Some days, I don’t. Guess what kind day this is?

AGENDA

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

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Roto Riteup: September 13, 2017

The Roto Riteup loves cool stats, but loves cool GIFs even more:

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