• Roto Riteup
    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.
  • Daily Fantasy Strategy
    The RotoGraphs team discusses daily fantasy strategy and then makes picks for the day.
  • Ottoneu Strategy
    Strategy for the year-round FanGraphs Fantasy game.
  • 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

A Minor Review of 2017: Houston Astros

The Astros have a talented, young team but the minor league system is starting to thin out now. With that said, there are still a few prospects with high ceilings, such as outfielder Kyle Tucker and pitcher Forrest Whitley.

The Graduate: Francis Martes, RHP: The Astros have a relatively young team but the club didn’t rely heavily on rookies in 2017. Derek Fisher led the first-year hitters with 166 plate appearances while Martes led the freshman pitchers with 54.1 innings — narrowly edging a more effective James Hoyt. Why focus on the former and not the latter? Hoyt has solid potential as a one-inning reliever but Martes has additional value as a guy that can go multiple innings out of the ‘pen or could eventually move back into the starting rotation. Just 21, he already flashes three potentially-plus offerings but it’s his lack of control and command that holds him back. Martes sits in the mid-90s with his heat but until he trims his walk rate (5.13 BB/9) he’ll be pitching in triple-A or mopping up games in the Majors.

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Digging Deep – Oswaldo Arcia and Colin Moran

This time of year, I tend to look over leaderboards. My leaderboard perusing extends beyond MLB to the upper minors, NPB and KBO. It’s often a fruitless waste of time, but is it ever really a waste of time immersing yourself in something you enjoy (don’t answer that)? Sometimes players will stand out who I deem worthy of tracking in the offseason, and that’s the case with 26-year-old outfielder Oswaldo Arcia and Colin Moran. The former is well traveled and spent the entire 2017 season in the minors, and the latter is still rookie eligible and coming off of a career year with the stick. Read the rest of this entry »


Reviewing 2017 Pod’s Picks & Pans — Outfield

Today we complete the hitter side of the 2017 Pod’s Picks & Pans with the outfielders. Let’s see how my rankings on the players I disagree with the RG consensus performed.

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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 502 – LCS Previews

10/13/17

The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is brought to you by Out of the Park Baseball 18, the best baseball strategy game ever made – available NOW on PC, Mac, and Linux platforms! Go to ootpdevelopments.com to order now and save 10% with the code SLEEPER18!

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Open

  • AL LCS Preview
  • NL LCS Preview

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Forgive the Pitchers Who Wronged You

Masahiro Tanaka and Jeff Samardzija had perplexing, enigmatic, and ultimately bad seasons. Many attempts were made to ascribe reasons or causes for their struggles. I think both will bounce back for very simple reasons; accordingly, I think both will be undervalued in 2018 for equally simple reasons.

Masahiro Tanaka

Travis Sawchik and Eno Sarris discussed his various ailments, so to speak, long after I gave up trying to diagnose him. The heat maps are interesting, and the splits are interesting, albeit a bit of an archaism.

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Arbitration Advice from the Community

Sunday, October 15th is a significant signpost for the fantasy baseball off-season as it marks the beginning of Ottoneu arbitration, the 30 day process that helps leagues maintain competitive, economic balance. Ottoneu offers a ton of great features in its standard platform, but there are few more intimidating to a brand new owner than this annual salary-sharing arbitration event. Here is a summary of the more popular “allocation” option:

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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 501 – October SP Rankings

10/12/17

The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is brought to you by Out of the Park Baseball 18, the best baseball strategy game ever made – available NOW on PC, Mac, and Linux platforms! Go to ootpdevelopments.com to order now and save 10% with the code SLEEPER18!

Follow us on Twitter

It’s Mr. Solo Dolo! Just me (Paul) on this one and I run down the first three tiers of my October SP Rankings. I didn’t timeline it because it’s a bit free-flowing, but it’s also 10 minutes from Game 5 of the NLDS. It’s probably more of the latter, but I hope you’ll forgive me.

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Reviewing 2017 Pod’s Picks & Pans — Second Base & Shortstop

Let’s finish the infield by reviewing my 2017 Pod’s Picks at second base and shortstop.

We start with my picks at each of the two positions, those players I was significantly more bullish than the RotoGraphs Consensus:

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When Good Stuff Goes Bad

While 2017 was the year of the dinger, it also looks like it was the year of velocity. Has baseball changed (both the sport, and the physical ball itself)? The signs point to yes – but on the pitching from, the importance of velocity has never been higher. Exhibit A:

That’s not average. That’s not maximum. That’s … the slowest. Let’s borrow a little bit of math from the documentary “Fastball” to just put into context how crazy this is.

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Kevin Gausman’s Very-Bad-but-Actually-Very-Good Season

For all intents and purposes, Kevin Gausman had a bad season. Like, catastrophically bad, such that has ERA was 10th-worst among qualified starters. That he was allowed to see enough innings to become a qualified starter should be construed as nothing short of a blessing for him.

On paper, sure. This narrative works on the surface, at the macro level. But Gausman had himself a season of two incredibly different halves. An aside: if you don’t pay attention to FanGraphs’ community research, you should. User jkved10 wrote a post about Gausman on July 24 — about the time I reluctantly convinced myself to roster him in my primary home league — in which jkved10 noticed a sudden change in Gausman’s release point. Kudos to the author for doing all the heavy lifting for me. Click through to familiarize yourself with the events that unfolded and the ensuing analysis, or dig around Brooks Baseball for yourself.

The results weren’t immediately promising at the time of his/her writing: a 4.94 ERA across six starts. Everything else under the hood, however, had changed: 12.2 strikeouts and only 2.6 walks per nine innings (K/9, BB/9), good for a 3.19 xFIP. Sure, everything else stunk; he was still allowing home runs and hits on balls in play at astronomical rates. But the peripherals very dramatically improved, having essentially doubled his K’s and halving his walks in that span.

Such success continued. In his 19 starts from June 21 onward, Gausman struck out 10 hitters-per-nine and recorded a 3.39 ERA despite a still-inflated rate of home runs to fly balls (HR/FB). A tale of two halves, indeed: prior to June 21, his 6.60 ERA was almost exactly doubly large. He was a second-half ace, and this was more than just regression to the mean — his success correlated, if not directly resulted from, his adjustment.

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