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Brad Johnson’s 10 Midseason Bold Predictions

I was going to review my preseason bold predictions today, but that can be done in two words. “Too bold.” There. I’m done. Pleasure chatting.

In lieu of reviewing mostly busted prediction updates, let’s make some new ones.

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Poll 2018: Which Group of Pitchers Performs Better?

Since 2013, I have polled you dashingly attractive readers on which group of pitchers you think will post the better aggregate ERA post all-star break. The two groups were determined based on ERA-SIERA disparity, pitting the overperformers versus the underperformers during the pre-all-star break period.

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Two Good Starts, Two Bad Starts: Luke Weaver and Chase Anderson

After trending the wrong way for more than a month, Luke Weaver pulls into the All-Star break with two of his strongest outings of the year. Just when it seemed safe to start Chase Anderson again, he finished his first half with a sputter.
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The First Half All-Fantasy Team

Here’s a look at the best players by position through the first half:


J.T. Realmuto, MIA | .310 AVG, 12 HR, 45 RBI, 46 R, 1 SB in 303 PA, 109th ADP

Being stuck on a rough Marlins team hasn’t held Realmuto back, though there’s also the glaring fact that the position has been a dud on the whole this year. Gary Sanchez is hitting .190, Willson Contreras has just seven homers, and the late round standouts have only ascended to C2 status.

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Midseason Review of Alex Chamberlain’s Bold Predictions

You don’t care about this part! You care about the predictions.

I originally wrote my bold predictions for 2018 here; they arrived late and incomplete, but they arrived in some capacity, and that’s all we can ask for at this point.

I make bold predictions not for the sake of being bold but, rather, (1) using earnest judgments of player abilities and market inefficiencies and (2) to create teachable moments. My better bold predictions include prescient forecasts for Jose Ramirez and Austin Barnes; my worse ones have typically revolved around Giancarlo Stanton and Chris Davis in some capacity.

Let’s see how everything’s going so far.

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Justin Mason Baseball Chat – 7/17/18

Lots of Derby and Tommy Pham questions today. Had to cut it a bit short because of a prior commitment.
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Hitter Auto Out Percentage Regressors

Yesterday, I discussed the nine hitters whose Auto Out% (AO%) had improved most versus 2017. As a reminder, AO% is simply the sum of strikeouts and infield fly balls (aka, popups) divided by plate appearances. Let’s take a look at the hitters whose AO% has risen most dramatically versus last season.

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Los Angeles Dodgers Top 10 Prospects Updated

The Dodgers are said to be big players for Baltimore’s Manny Machado but this system isn’t as deep as it used to be due to promotions, trades, etc. A couple of so-so drafts in a row have not helped, either.

Click here for the pre-season Top 10

1. Alex Verdugo | OF | AAA —> With most organizations, Verdugo would be a starting outfielder — and would have been since the beginning of the year. With the Dodgers, though, he’s a handy player to have at triple-A to fill in for injuries. He’s an extremely advanced hitter for his age, as witnessed by his .352 average, and he rarely gives away an at-bat. The biggest knock on him is the modest power output (which is more a result of his all-fields approach than a lack of strength).

2. Keibert Ruiz | C | AA —> I’ve been leading the bandwagon on Ruiz for a couple of years now but, as he finally starts to get the attention he deserves, he’s having a down year with the bat. Now to be fair, he’s 19 and playing in double-A. Even with being a little overmatched he’s only struck out 20 times in 251 at-bats. Like Verdugo above, this switch-hitter has an uncanny knack for making contact, which can sometimes work against him if he doesn’t wait for a good pitch to hit (as he’s learning right now). Defensively, he needs some polish but should be able to stick behind the plate.

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Bullpen Report: July 16, 2018

The final day of games before this year’s All-Star break was a busy one for bullpens…and for fantasy owners looking to make a surge in the saves category in the second half.

St. Louis was one site where there was intrigue, as brand-new interim manager Mike Shildt had a save situation to handle in his very first game as the Cardinals’ skipper. It seemed he would have had Bud Norris at his disposal, as his appearance in the final inning of the Cardinals’ 8-2 loss to the Reds on Saturday was his first in a week. That’s why it was especially curious that Shildt went with Jordan Hicks for the save on Sunday. For his part, Hicks continued his recent struggles, allowing a run on two hits, but it was enough for a 6-4 Cardinals win and the rookie’s second save of the season. It was Hicks’ fourth straight appearance in which he had allowed at least one run.
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Hitter Auto Out Percentage Improvers

Last week, I introduced Auto Out% (AO%), which is just strikeouts and infield fly balls (IFFB) as a percentage of plate appearances. I began by discussing the starting pitchers who have increased their AO% most since 2017. Let’s now turn our attention to the hitters. Using the same formula, these are the nine hitters who have most improved their AO%.

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