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    The most roto-relevant news of the previous day, recapped in a concise format for your morning coffee.
  • Bullpen Report
    Detailed daily updates and charts on every bullpen in the Major Leagues to help you manage your saves and holds.
  • Prospect Coverage
    Our prospect team mines the minors for top prospects and useful pieces alike.
  • MASH Report
    Award-winning in-depth injury report with analysis from Jeff Zimmerman.
  • The Sleeper and The Bust Podcast
    Eno Sarris, Paul Sporer, and Jason Collette lead the RotoGraphs staff in a regular fantasy podcast.
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  • Top 50 Fantasy Prospects
    Marc Hulet adjusts (and updates) his prospect list for fantasy purposes.
  • Field of Streams
    A contest to see who can make the better picks: streaming pitcher and hitter choices for every day of the season in a podcast hosted by Dylan Higgins and Matthew Dewoskin.
C  -  1B  -  2B  -  SS  -  3B  -  OF  -  SP  -  RP

Believing the Breakouts: Haniger & Lowrie

Mitch Haniger

No one seemed to be targeting Mitch Haniger this draft season with a final NFBC average draft position (ADP) of 219. I picked him up in Tout Wars for $2 in the end game. He seemed to be a player in which owners settled for but didn’t necessarily want. Times have quickly changed as Haniger belted his 8th home run of the season last night and is 8th on ESPN’s player rater. While some regression is possible, most of his early results are sustainable.

Besides the home runs, the 27-year-old outfielder hasn’t been “lucky” to start the season even though his slash line is .324/.395/.716. His .314 BABIP is under his career make of .319. While both his walk (10%) and strikeout (20%) rate have improved, they are each with 2% points of his career numbers.

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Brad Johnson Baseball Chat: 4/24/2018

I’ll see you all at 4:00pm ET.

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Starting Pitcher Walk Rate Over- and Under-Achievers

Here in the final week of April, sample sizes are starting to build up, but there is still a lot of statistical weirdness out there. Just in the walk rate leaderboard alone there are some confounding data for fantasy owners to ponder. Jose Quintana and Michael Wacha with double digit rates? Vince Velasquez among the lowest one-fourth? It’s like I hardly know these guys.
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Bullpen Report: April 24, 2018

With so many bullpens remaining clouded due to slow starts or poor performance, Cleveland’s blueprint went according to plan closing out the Orioles on Monday night. Andrew Miller worked two-thirds of an inning giving up a hit and striking out one. Then Cody Allen entered to strikeout the side en route to his fourth save of the season.

Oddest save of the night goes to Chris Beck of the White Sox. He worked 2.2 innings allowing six hits and two earned runs with a strikeout. It’s the first save of his career and it feels dirty.

Not to be overlooked, Cincinnati dusted off Raisel Iglesias using him to retire the last four batters with a strikeout for his third save of the year. Although the Reds prefer to use Iglesias in a more traditional closer role in one inning appearances, two of his three saves required him to record four outs. It’s a shaky bridge getting to him, so perhaps the team realizes a non-traditional role like last year will be necessary.

Keynan Middleton worked for the third straight day notching his sixth save. He did allow a lead-off single and a walk, but recovered with two strikeouts and a walk-off umpire review resulting in a caught stealing. Middleton’s been solid as the Angels closer. It will be interesting to see if it’s Blake Wood given a save opportunity arises for the team in Houston this evening.

No more speculation on who backs up Kenley Jansen. The Dodgers closer received Monday night off with his velocity starting to bounce back. Enter Josh Fields who worked a scoreless ninth giving up a hit but no other damage for his first save this season. Another arm to track in this bullpen, Tony Cingrani. Cingrani’s pitched 8.1 innings so far with 15 strikeouts, no walks, a 64 percent ground ball rate and a minuscule 0.48 WHIP.

Bounce back performance by Hunter Strickland who recorded his fourth save giving up a walk with two strikeouts against the Nationals. There’s reports about Mark Melancon starting a throwing program, however, until he starts a rehab assignment, there’s no timetable for his return.

Quick Hits: It’s only April and the Texas bullpen’s in shambles. Over the last four games, the Rangers relievers have allowed 18 runs in 14 innings, yielded a home run in each of these contests, 25 hits, nine walks, a blown save and three losses. Keep tabs on Blake Treinen who’s been used heavily to start the season. According to the television crew last night, Treinen was not available for the save. Fortunately, the Rangers bullpen made it possible for him to rest. Marlins reliever Tayron Guerrero lit up the radar gun in Los Angeles. He’s turned in five straight scoreless outings with 13 strikeouts, five walks and two hits allowed in 5.1 innings of work. Speaking of Marlins, Kyle Barraclough took the loss giving up two hits and the go ahead run to the Dodgers in the eighth inning.

TM Closer First Second DL/Minors
ARI Brad Boxberger Archie Bradley Yoshihisa Hirano
ATL Arodys Vizcaino A.J. Minter Dan Winkler
BAL Brad Brach Darren O’Day Mychal Givens Zach Britton
BOS Craig Kimbrel Matt Barnes Joe Kelly
CHC Brandon Morrow Carl Edwards Jr. Steve Cishek
CWS Joakim Soria Nate Jones Bruce Rondon Danny Farquhar
CIN Raisel Iglesias Jared Hughes Kevin Quackenbush David Hernandez
CLE Cody Allen Andrew Miller Zach McAllister
COL Wade Davis Jake McGee Adam Ottavino
DET Shane Greene Joe Jimenez Alex Wilson
HOU Ken Giles Chris Devenski Brad Peacock
KC Kelvin Herrera Justin Grimm Blaine Boyer
LAA Keynan Middleton Blake Wood Blake Parker
LAD Kenley Jansen Josh Fields Pedro Baez
MIA Brad Ziegler Kyle Barraclough Drew Steckenrider
MIL Josh Hader Jacob Barnes Matt Albers Corey Knebel
MIN Fernando Rodney Addison Reed Zach Duke
NYM Jeurys Familia A.J. Ramos Robert Gsellman Anthony Swarzak
NYY Aroldis Chapman David Robertson Dellin Betances
OAK Blake Treinen Ryan Buchter Chris Hatcher
PHI Hector Neris Luis Garcia Tommy Hunter Pat Neshek
PIT Felipe Vazquez George Kontos Michael Feliz
STL Bud Norris Greg Holland Jordan Hicks
SD Brad Hand Kirby Yates Phil Maton
SF Hunter Strickland Cory Gearrin Tony Watson Mark Melancon
SEA Edwin Diaz Juan Nicasio Nick Vincent
TB Alex Colome Sergio Romo Jose Alvarado
TEX Keone Kela Alex Claudio Chris Martin
TOR Roberto Osuna Ryan Tepera Seung Hwan Oh
WSH Sean Doolittle Ryan Madson Brandon Kintzler

Justin Mason Baseball Chat – April 24th, 2018

Here is the transcript of my Tuesday chat!

9:00

Justin Mason: Hey everyone! Let’s have a fun chat. Be patient and I will try and answer every question I can. Do not repeat questions. If you wait, I will most likely get to it.

9:00

Kiermaier’s Dashing Good Looks: In a 7×7 10-team keeper league with Total Bases and OBP, would you roster any of Odubel, Dahl, Michael Taylor, or Franchy Cordero over Dexter Fowler? Thanks!

9:01

Justin Mason: I would probably roster most of them, if not all over Fowler.

9:01

Kiermaier’s Dashing Good Looks: What are your thoughts on Gausman potentially sacrificing velocity early on in games for additional sink/run. Last night against the Indians, he was consistently working down in the zone with good movement and was able to reach back for 95-97 when he needed it. Seems as though he’s really working on actually “pitching” instead of being the thrower that he was when he first came up. If last night’s start wasn’t a sign of encouragement, then I don’t know what is.

9:01

Justin Mason: Last night was very encouraging. Need to see him continue to do it on a regular basis, but I am a sucker for him.

9:01

Struttin’ Stratton: Trade Porcello for Thames?

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The Daily Grind: Something About the Castros

The 40-entry Invitational was a success. It took about three hours to fill. My deal stands. We’ll keep doing a larger Invitational until it doesn’t fill. Then we switch to FanDuel for a week. Sorry to those waiting to switch platforms. I’m just being a good little economist and following the demand.

AGENDA

  1. TDG Invitational
  2. Weather Reports
  3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse
  4. SaberSim Says…
  5. Is Daniel Castro Actually Good?

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2018 Early BABIP Decliners

Yesterday, I ran my newest xBABIP calculations, comparing it to actual BABIP. I discussed a slew of hitters who are due for an imminent BABIP surge given xBABIP marks that greatly exceed their actuals. Today, let’s check in on those hitters whose xBABIP marks are significantly below their actual marks. These batters are at serious risk of dramatic regression over the rest of the season.

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Roto Riteup: April 24, 2018

I created a GIF reenacting my victory over Paul Sporer in H2H Tout Wars last week:

 

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SSNS: Bundy, Berrios, Corbin

Every time an analyst uses the caveat “small sample size, but,” an angel gets its wings. And then that angel takes flight and also analyzes a small sample size.

I preach patience when it comes to the first few weeks of a Major League Baseball season, and I try to practice it, too, regarding both early-season breakouts and duds. Aside from transactions related to the disabled list, I have yet to drop any player I drafted who wasn’t legitimately dead weight (like my decaying shares of Melky Cabrera and John Lackey) or, in ottoneu, a roster burden, such as a hapless $7 share of a helpless Alex Cobb.

That said, I can’t simply wait until mid-May or whatever to make meaningful analyses of players. But I also can’t make knee-jerk reactions about 30 innings or 90 plate appearances. I try to reconcile this cognitive dissonance by engaging in what I called last year Small Sample Normalization Services (SSNS). The intent: first, to attempt to find similarly long and (un)productive streaks in a player’s past; second, to evaluate how similar or comparable those streaks actually are; and, last, to slap an appropriate level of excitement or panic to the performance in question. If we can’t say with absolute certainty that we’re watching a player do something sustainable, then maybe it helps to know if he had done something similar in the past. If not, what befell him afterward? And if so, how should we move forward with him?

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Pitchers Trending Down: Kimbrel, Gausman, & Sanchez

Craig Kimbrel

The Kimbrel discussion starts with this graph:

Plenty of narratives can exist explaining the initial velocity drop. He missed a good part of spring training. The cold weather is keeping his velocity down. He’s still warming up.

The drop doesn’t bother me as much as the trend. If he’s still building strength for the season, shouldn’t his velocity start trending up at some point?

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