Archive for August, 2013

Roto Riteup: August 31, 2013

Apologies for the tardiness of today’s Roto Riteup. If Kanye West penned these articles then you should be honored by my lateness (warning: language).

On today’s agenda:
1. The Baltimore Orioles have a new designated hitter
2. Welcome back, Angel Pagan
3. Evan Gattis gets sent down
4. Corey Kluber could return next week
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Daily Fantasy Strategy – 8/31 – For Draftstreet

Tomorrow marks the start of September, which means expanded rosters and frustrating lineup cards from managers. For the month, it’s likely you’ll want to stack your picks with the same start time so that you can easily go in at the last minute and adjust as guys are benched or started. It also means occasionally my picks, which go live at 10 a.m., will have a guy on the bench. Be forgiving.

It also means there are a few more interesting names to dial up. Zach Sanders has started to write up the interesting names who could be getting call ups. I’ll highlight a few notable names below so you can be prepared to move on them next week.

Danny Duffy – Sanders highlighted his strikeout potential and he didn’t disappoint in his debut on Thursday night, striking out seven over 6.7 shutout frames.
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Stream, Stream, Stream: 2x SP 9.2-9.8

Here are this week’s recommendations:

Jose Quintana – 17.7% ESPN – @NYY (.302 team wOBA), @BAL (.327)

The 24-year-old left-hander has been a revelation of sorts for the White Sox this year, going 7-4 with a 3.66 ERA and 7.5 K/9. Pitching for the White Sox has made it tough for Quintana to be a good fantasy commodity, however, as his 16 no-decisions are the most in the big leagues.

Quintana seems to be a better bet with the White Sox playing better lately — and likely soon to overtake the Twins to get out of the Central cellar — and so far, he’s the real deal, as his 3.66/3.65/3.83 pitching slash will attest. The Yankees matchup this week is a much more accommodating one, but as loyal readers will attest, a lot of times it’s one good matchup, one possibly shaky matchup with these sorts of recommendations.

Joe Kelly – 21.0% ESPN – @CIN (.314), v. PIT (.309)

After a three-inning outing versus the Dodgers on May 25, Kelly’s season ERA stood at 7.13. Since then, in Kelly’s 16 appearances (10 starts), the right-hander has tossed 72 innings of 1.88 ERA ball, with middling peripherals (5.0 K/9, 3.5 BB/9) and a .235/.310/.328 opponent’s batting line.

In that time frame, Kelly is 6-1, though it certainly helps that he’s pitching for the NL Central leading Cardinals, whom have the second-most wins in the National League. Still, in a strategy set-up like this where wins and losses can be a bit hard to projection, Kelly — at least to me — seems like a pretty good bet.

Danny Duffy – 3.9% ESPN – v. SEA (.310), v. DET (.345)

Duffy’s 2013 body of work includes a pair of starts against an admittedly awful Minnesota Twins lineup, sandwiched around a solid six-inning effort where he beat the Detroit Tigers in half of a twinbill on Aug. 16. In those 16.1 innings, Duffy has racked up 17 strikeouts, walked just five, and allowed only two earned runs on 12 hits.

Duffy’s velocity isn’t all the way back from missing nearly all of 2012 with a torn UCL and Tommy John surgery, and it appears as though he’s scrapped his slider, but he still has plenty of velocity to spare with a 93.7 mph average heater so far. The Seattle matchup this week is a solid one, and he’s already shown well against the Tigers this year — though that’s probably not all that predictive — and as a result, he’ll reel in the third recommendation of the week.

Also, here’s the link to the spreadsheet I keep of results so that readers can feel free to peruse it at their leisure.


Don’t Forget About Marco Estrada

Right-hander Marco Estrada was a popular sleeper for 2013, and I certainly championed that cause. After all, he was coming off a season in which he compiled a 3.35 FIP with more than a strikeout per inning and an ADP (average draft position) between 225-250. He represented solid value and legitimate upside in the later rounds.

Unfortunately, it didn’t work out. The 30-year-old hurler struggled with the long ball and owned a 5.32 ERA when he landed on the disabled list with a hamstring injury in early June. His peripheral numbers remained solid, but his home run rate of 1.82 HR/9 ranked among the worst in the league in the first half. It undermined any chance he had to post a respectable earned run average.

Most owners understandably dropped Estrada, especially when his hamstring injury lingered longer than expected and he missed 58 games in June and July. Since returning, though, the right-hander is reminding fantasy owners why analysts included him in so many sleeper lists prior to the season. It may be time to swipe him off the waiver wire, as he’s only owned in 14.1% of ESPN leagues.

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Daily Fantasy Strategy – 8/30/13 – For Draftstreet

September call ups are almost here, so some new names will enter the daily fantasy pool. This is probably more true on other daily sites besides Draftstreet, but call ups tend to be undervalued. Because pricing models are based on previous statistics, it makes sense that guys without a track record would be somewhat conservatively priced. Here are just a few call ups that could be useful in the final month.

Nick Castellanos – OF – Detroit Tigers

Castellanos didn’t destroy Triple-A or anything, but he hit for a little power (.168 ISO) and displayed good plate discipline (16.4% K%, 9.3% BB%). He’s unlikely to see regular starts, but that’s the beauty of daily fantasy. We don’t need him to play everyday to have a use for him. He may take some starts from Matt Tuiasos0po against left-handed starters. He had a .852 OPS in 109 PA versus lefties in Triple-A, so if he’s cheap enough he could be an option when starting. Read the rest of this entry »


Adam Eaton, Healthy and Scoring Runs

It seems so long ago now, but Diamondbacks outfielder Adam Eaton was hyped as a pretty nice sleeper headed into the season. Eaton collected 198 hits and 44 steals to go with a .456 OBP between Double-A and Triple-A in 2012, then made a solid impression with a .382 OBP in just over 100 plate appearances for the big club. Though he didn’t add a lot of pop, that kind of potential for on-base skills, steals, and enough speed to stretch singles into doubles set him up to be a nice under-the-radar choice. With Justin Upton & Chris Young traded, Eaton would man center while Kubel & Cody Ross would handle the corners, and Gerardo Parra would spot all over.

But that situation never really came to fruition, since Eaton injured his left elbow in the spring. He didn’t get into minor league games until May, suffered a setback, and finally returned to the Diamondbacks in July. Now Kubel has been DFA’d, Ross is out for the season, and Eaton finds himself playing left field as much as center, with Tony Campana & A.J. Pollock filling in up the middle.

He’s also hitting .306/.372/.459 in August, and it’s time to see if he can be the asset that everyone hoped he’d might be entering the season. Read the rest of this entry »


Roto Riteup: August 30, 2013

Happy National Marshmallow Toasting Day! This is undoubtedly the greatest marshmallow toasting scene in any baseball movie.

On today’s agenda:
1. Taijuan Walker to debut today
2. The Texas Rangers receive reinforcements
3. New bat(s) to Baltimore?
4. Yovani Gallardo continues to roll
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Bullpen Report: August 29, 2013

Grant Balfour had a pretty big hiccup in Detroit today, blowing a three-run, ninth inning lead. The cherry on the not-so-cool sundae was a grooved offspeed pitch which Torii Hunter deposited into the left-field bullpen for a walkoff three-run shot. The outing is not something A’s fans have seen a lot from their closer this year; his ERA ballooned from 1.76 to 2.44. While he hasn’t been low-2.00’s ERA good this year, his 2.82 SIERA is the second-lowest of his career (behind 2008). The 35-year-old has turned back the clock a bit, seeing an uptick in fastball velocity and SwStr%, which means a jump in K%. Like last year, he seems to be getting stronger as the year wears along, so ride him through the last few weeks of the season.

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RotoGraphs Audio: The Sleeper and the Bust 8/29/13

Episode 57
Today’s episode of The Sleeper and the Bust stars yours truly and features RotoGraphs editor Eno Sarris. We discuss the imminent return of a disappointing outfielder, a surprising demotion and a couple of young starting pitchers.

Note: There will be no podcast this Sunday. Happy Labor Day weekend!

Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @mikepodhorzer or @enosarris on Twitter and tweet us any fantasy questions you have that we may answer on our next episode.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or via the feed.

Intro by DJ Sinton (no, contrary to popular belief, I do not moonlight as a rap star)

Approximately 43 min of joyous analysis.


MASH Report (8/29/13)

I narrowed down the PAIN list to just August vs. the rest of the season for today. Additionally, I looked at Justin Verlander and ran an updated HURT list.

• In our Tuesday night chat, someone asked Paul Swydan and me if Verlander’s decline is because of an injury. Challenge taken. The 30-year-old’s average fastball velocity and Zone% are down over the last few seasons.

Season: Average Fastball Velocity, Zone%
2010: 95.4, 52.3%
2011: 95.0, 51.0%
2012: 94.3, 51.9%
2013: 93.1, 50.7%

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