Archive for September, 2014

RotoGraphs Audio: The Sleeper and the Bust 09/30/2014


End of Season Bullpen Report: “Expected” Fantasy Rankings

Any day now, Zach Sanders (@zvsanders) will come out with his end-of-season FAVRz/Fantasy Rankings. Look out for them.

For this post, I will provide three sets of rankings using that same approach (summed up z-scores) for our end-of-season “Bullpen Report: Expected Fantasy Rankings”. The Bullpen Report team should follow up with role reports for each division in the coming weeks as well.

The first set of rankings you will find almost anywhere: on the fantasy sites that you use, via player-raters, etc. It’s the standard 5×5 fantasy value (Wins, ERA, WHIP, SO and Saves). The second grid will be for 6×6 leagues (addition of Holds). The last grid will be for 5×5 and 6×6 leagues, but instead of standard ERA and WHIP, we’ll look at rankings if you were to use expected ERA (via SIERA) and adjusted (adj)WHIP through BABIP differential: I will explain below.

1) 5×5 Rankings (Wins, ERA, WHIP, SO and Saves) – actual 5×5 value in column 4; expected 5×5 value in column 5:

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Ryan Howard Flips and, Kind of, Flops

Contrary to what the headline says: I have no footage of Ryan Howard actually doing a flip. If you do, though, that’d be cool.

But in all seriousness Howard isn’t what he used to be. We all know that. He’s only posted a wRC+ mark over 100 once in in the past three seasons. And, thanks to injuries, coupled with his dwindling production, he’s only surpassed the 20-homer mark once during the same span. But, despite his middling output, Howard’s still been useful versus right handed pitching – meaning he’s been useful in a fantasy platoon, something that was noted in his Fangraphs+ profile. [Shameless plug, sign up for it next year. It’s cheap, and awesome.]

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My Fantasy co-MVPs: Victor Martinez, J.D. Martinez

What is most valuable in any category depends on how “valuable” is defined. It’s one of those things that has criteria which would seem to lend neutrality to the determination of what is “most,” and yet there is really no defining, objective attribute that completely defuses subjectivity. Consensus must do. What is most valuable, then, is a poll of popular opinion, informally. Formally, it’s a ballot of popular opinion among those considered most credible or deemed most qualified to opine. There’s, potentially, a whole other debate.

According to the indubitable Wikipedia, Paul Cezanne’s “The Card Players” might be the most valuable painting, having been sold for the greatest amount of money, adjusted for inflation, in history. Many works may never see the auction floor, of course, making them, essentially, priceless. One of those types is Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa,” which is supposed to have the greatest insurance value on record.

I don’t know art, but I know what I like. You saw that coming.

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Revisiting Karl de Vries’ Bold 2014 Predictions

Looking back on this column is like reviewing a high school yearbook photo from freshman year: the pimples can’t be Photoshopped away, the hair style screams what was he thinking?? and in hindsight, it’s no mystery that none of the girls wanted to date me. In a way, it’s fitting that this piece is being published on the same week of Yom Kippur; just as the holiest day on the Jewish calendar implores Jews worldwide to atone for their sins, so must I answer for some of these predictions.
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Reviewing Mike Podhorzer’s 2014 Bold Hitter League Leaders

Aside from inspiring the annual bold predictions, I also go out on a further limb by boldly predicting each league’s leaders in the standard five fantasy categories. These predictions are obviously a lot more difficult to get correct, so even just one right is quite an accomplishment. I also rule out a lot of players that I personally don’t consider all that bold, making it a real challenge. I whiffed on all my picks back in 2012, but did manage to bat .100 last year. Let’s see if I failed just a bit less so this time around. And of course, refresh your memory with full explanations back in the original post.

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MASH Report (9/29/14)

• For the offseason, I am going to track every player who had or plans on having off-season surgery. I will remove them once they are at 100% in spring training. For some of the injured players in the post season, like Josh Hamilton and Rajai Davis, more information will become available as the postseason goes on or once it is over. Additionally, I am working through all the 2014 injured players individually to see if I need to track them in the offseason. Right now, I have two lists. One of players I have gone through (short) and one I have not examined (long). I should be done next week and have just one list.

• Must See: The Dallas Morning News created a couple of great graphics showing how much time and money was lost to the disabled list this season with a focus on the Rangers. I will go through and run my own values later, but a nice peek at how teams performed health wise in 2014.

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Reviewing Eno Sarris’ 10 Bold Predictions for 2014

It was a decent season. Won 25% of my leagues. Placed in the top third in 58%, bottom third in 17%. When you’ve got 12 leagues, mostly with sharps, it’s tough to expect much more than this, but I do. Especially since all my pitching staffs were so good. Gotta be better with hitting.

And you’ll see that I might have gotten over-exuberant with my hitting predictions. With the run environment tanking every year, maybe it’s all about safe plays (if they exist) in the lineup. Which is tough on me because I love upside.

So let’s look at the tale of the tape. How did I do on my bold predictions? I have a feeling I’m going to get a sixer of good adult soda from Jay Long of Razzball…

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Reviewing Scott Strandberg’s 2014 Bold Predictions

The 2014 season was my first here at RotoGraphs, and I’ve enjoyed it thoroughly. As for today, this column is helping distract me from the fact that Jeff Beliveau’s seventh-inning meltdown yesterday cost me a considerable sum in a deep roto league, coughing up my razor-thin leads in both ERA and WHIP, sending my team tumbling down two spots on the final day of the season. Fantasy sports are a fickle mistress.

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Brett Talley’s 10 Bold Predictions Revisited

Woof! That’s all there is to say about my preseason bold predictions as a whole. The idea was to take players at each position that I had ranked just outside starter territory in 12-team leagues who I thought could beat my ranking. Let’s break them down one by one.

Catcher – Josmil Pinto will be a top ten fantasy catcher.

The biggest problem with my Pinto projection was that I projected him for 450 PA. Pinto didn’t come close to that, finishing with just 194 PA because the Twins gave Kurt Suzuki 502 PA. The one thing my projection did get right was Pinto’s power as he hit 12 home runs in limited work. Had he maintained that pace and received the 450 PA I projected, he would have hit 16 home runs, which would have easily surpassed the 12 I projected. Pinto’s power would make him interesting if he could get regular playing time, but Suzuki is signed through 2016 in Minnesota. Read the rest of this entry »