Archive for March, 2014

Bullpen Report: March 31, 2014

It’s not even April yet and the closer carousel is in full swing. Here. We. Go.

• Before the game started, White Sox manager Robin Ventura named Matt Lindstrom the team’s closer over Nate Jones and Daniel Webb. I apologize in leading anyone to draft Nate Jones but Ventura hadn’t named a closer and Jones was the most compelling option on the team. He likely still is the best option, but the ninth inning belongs to Lindstrom now and he succeeded today, converting his first save of the year against the Twins. Lindstrom isn’t a particularly exciting reliever with high K-rates but he throws hard, kills worms and is generally pretty good. He’s also closing now and should be owned by all teams. I can’t imagine Nate Jones will be setting up games all season but whether he’s closing games in August or May I can’t really tell you, and it might largely rely on the bullpen health and effectiveness of other teams. Regardless, Nate Jones profiles to give teams value outside of receiving save opportunities. If you need saves and missed out on Lindstrom on the waiver wire, a sneaky play might be acquiring Jones via trade or waivers as he will likely finish the year with a handful of opportunities.

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MASH Report (3/31/14)

Note: With the DL sheets at the end of the article, teams are still adding players to the DL (and making last minute roster moves). MLB.com is trying to keep up, but the list of transactions is behind. I will keep the list of possible DL players for this article and then finally remove them later this week.

Clayton Kershaw goes on the disabled list for the first time in his career with a sore back.

…Kershaw was scratched from starting Sunday night’s domestic opener because of an inflamed teres major muscle, which stabilizes the upper arm near the upper back. Now, he also will miss his projected start for the home opener against the Giants on Friday.

And they believe placing him on the DL is the smart thing to do. Especially with four off-days within this portion of the schedule’s first 13 days, and no fifth starter needed until April 19.

Kershaw would be eligible to come off of the disabled list early the following week — the move is backdated to March 23 — but the Dodgers are making no promises about when he will pitch again. Mainly, because there is little urgency in the season’s first few weeks given the spate of off-days, and because they want to remain ultra-conservative and make sure Kershaw is right when he returns.

It seems like the injury just needs time. It seems like April 19th may be the day to expect him back.

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2014 Second Base Tier Rankings: April

It’s Opening Day for the vast majority of teams, which means it’s also the day in which fantasy leagues begin in earnest. Let’s run down the tiered rankings for the second base position, with the kind reminder that not every player with second base eligibility will be named in this space and that rankings will certainly shift throughout the season. This captures a moment in time and serves as my rough rankings coming into the season.

TIER ONE

Robinson Cano
Jason Kipnis

Cano may not flirt with 30 home runs in his new pitcher-friendly ballpark — as Yankee Stadium was one of the best power parks for lefties and Safeco is below-average — but his fantasy demise has been slightly overblown. He’s still hit over .300 in seven of the past eight seasons. People are also placing too much weight on Cano’s switching to a “lesser” offense. The Yankees weren’t exactly a juggernaut in 2013. Cano compiled 100+ RBI for a team that only scored 26 more runs than the Seattle Mariners. Admittedly, he likely shouldn’t be expected to log 100+ runs and 100+ RBI this year; however, the 31-year-old didn’t do that in 2013 and was still the number-one second baseman at the end of the season.

Kipnis could very well be the top fantasy second baseman in 2014, but that’s more because I’m high on Kipnis, not necessarily because I believe Cano’s production will fall off a cliff in Seattle.

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What Your Players and Your League Settings Say About You

You know, I can advocate for different types of leagues. I can talk about the pros and cons of head-to-head, and how redraft leagues are great for the refresh, and about deep leagues and shallow leagues. It’s my job!

But when it comes to playing, to the leagues I actually join, the rubber hits the road. In other words, I vote with my wallet when I join these leagues, because I’m spending actual time and energy in this way. So I thought I’d look through my leagues and see what kinds of leagues I like. And while I’m there, I might as well count up my pitchers so you can see what sorts of arms I’m investing in. My arms and my leagues, and now you know what I *really* like.

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The FanDuel Daily Grind: 3-31-14

An agenda of sorts

  1. It’s here!
  2. A friendly request regarding comments
  3. FanDuel notes for today
  4. Traditional fantasy notes for tomorrow
  5. An embedded chart of today’s games

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Clearly, We Like Sonny Gray a Lot

Sonny Gray is littered across the RotoGraphs bold prediction posts, so I felt obligated to break Gray down and elaborate on why I and most of the team feel so confident in Gray this season.
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Daily Fantasy Strategy — March 31 — For Draftstreet

Welcome back, degenerates.

We covered a lot of ground last year in our first year covering daily fantasy strategy. We covered everything from big stuff like how big of an impact weather has on run scoring to more minutiae-like topics such as identifying hitters who hit specific pitches well with matchups against pitchers who struggle with that particular pitch. But one thing I don’t believe we ever covered was the value of stacking multiple players from the same team in your lineup.

This offseason I read a great daily fantasy strategy book written by Jonathan Bales, Fantasy Football (and Baseball) for Smart People. It’s 120 pages of well researched, daily strategy goodness, and it only costs seven bucks. It’s highly recommended.  In the book, Bales tackled the issue of how to properly use stacks, and the results of his research might surprise you.

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Why I Love Carlos Carrasco

Though my love for Carlos Carrasco is no longer a secret, I feel like I haven’t shared my optimism as much as I did for my favorite sleeper from last season, Andrew Cashner. However, I did first recommend him in deep leagues last summer (he failed to deliver, oops), discussed a bit of his intrigue when delving into the Indians rotation depth chart this year and then boldly predicted that he would outearn names like Danny Salazar, Justin Masterson and Corey Kluber to finish as the most valuable Indians starter. Now that he has officially won the fifth starter job in Cleveland, there is cause for celebration.

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Roto Riteup — Presented by DraftKings: March 31, 2014

Today’s Roto Riteup welcomes the one true Opening Day with open arms, even though the present offer will be stuck in the office all day and miss most of the tantalizing action.

On today’s agenda:
1. Manny Machado heads to DL
2. Shane Victorino questionable for today
3. Kevin Slowey makes the Marlins
4. The Daily Five

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Bullpen Report: March 30, 2014

Happy “Opening Night!” Well, domestically at least. An early version of the Bullpen Report tonight since your author is on his way to San Diego (unfortunately, I’ll be in the air during Dodgers/Padres and not in a seat).

• The big surprise this afternoon was the annoucement Casey Janssen will open the season on the disabled list with a back strain. The news is odd timing; Janssen had battled shoulder weakness during the spring, but had just made his spring debut last week (and pitched Thursday and Friday). If the team had any inkling he’d have to open the season on the DL, they likely wouldn’t have thrown him in major league games, because his stint is now backdated to March 29th, meaning he’s not eligible to return until around the 3rd week of the season (at the earliest).

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