• Thinking About Future Alex Bregman
    by Randy Holt - 10/18 -  7
    Alex Bregman came into the 2017 with rather large expectations, to the point where I opined that he might end up in the top five third basemen in Major League Baseball by year's end in my bold predictions at the beginning of the year.
  • 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.
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    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

Paul Sporer Baseball Chat- October 20th, 2017

Thanks for coming out to chat ahead of Game 6 of the ALCS! Go JV!


Paul Sporer: Almost time for Game 6 of the ALCS! Let’s talk some baseball!!!


CT: Hey Paul, thanks for doing this, hope all is well. In my 6×6 12 team roto w/ $260 budget and 3 keepers, my best options (because I don’t wanna keep SPs) are C. Seager $35, C. Bellinger $10, T. Mancini $10, and R. Devers $10. Thoughts?


Paul Sporer: Bellinger and Dever for sure. I like what Mancini did, but I still think I’d rather pay the freight on Seager


Mike: 18 team H2H point Auction league only 2 keepers –  who do you keep.


Paul Sporer: Ideally Trout and Harper ;)


Mike: Who do you keep?   Betts for $13 with 1 year left or J.Ramirez with 2 yrs left.   Other keeper is Bellinger for $4 for 3yr

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Pitchers with Divergent Strikeout Rates (Part 1)

The season seems to never end for fantasy baseball writers. Once the regular season is over, it’s time to begin writing player previews for the next season. Pitchers who’ve had their strikeout (K% and K/9) and walk rates change in different directions spin me for a loop. Now, I query these schizophrenic pitchers to start the preseason previews. I’ll give a quick look at some of these pitchers. I’ll start with those pitchers who’ve seen their K% (strikeout per batter faced) drop while K/9 (strikeouts per nine innings) increase.

Two reasons exist for why the rates diverge. The key for both is increasing the number of plate appearances per innings. More plate appearances lead to their K% dropping if the strikeouts remain constant per inning. The other factor is how many hits a pitcher allows (basically BABIP). If a pitcher had good luck on balls in play and recorded more outs, they could quickly get through an inning and thereby raise their K%. Once the BABIP normalizes, the K% will drop.
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Unlikely Pairs: Man Versus Fish

Most people in fantasy baseball have tiers of players. You likely believe that certain players are roughly interchangeable, and others are definitely superior or inferior to one another. Sometimes the differences between players appears so vast that it is obvious where you would draw the distinction, and other times it feels more fluid and dynamic. Intuitively you might feel there is a strong distinction between the two tiers, but it may be difficult to find a precise line in the sand.

In the past few days I have been going through my xStats, looking at where certain players fell on certain metrics. In doing so, I have noticed several pairs of players. Players who have performed very similarly on several different metrics. Some of these pairs, arguably, cross skill tiers. And boy do I love when players cross tiers. Read the rest of this entry »

2017 Bargain Hitters

Justin Vibber has released his final 2017 dollar values by player.  I’ve captured Ottoneu average player salaries as of the end of the season (prior to inflation and arbitration).  Let’s combine the two to determine which hitters were the best bargains of 2017, and take a quick look at what might be in the crystal ball for 2018.

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A Minor Review of 2017: Chicago Cubs

The Cubs system has been hurt by promotions and trades but there are still some interesting players throughout the minors.

The Graduate: Ian Happ, IF/OF: Happ (aka Mr. Ben-Zobrist-lite) reached the Majors more quickly than expected thanks to the injuries that plagued the team in May. He produced some outstanding power numbers with 24 of him 92 hits going for home runs (good for a .261 ISO). Impressively, he also managed to hit .253 despite striking out more than 31% of the time. His versatility makes him incredibly valuable and he played mostly second base and center field but also dabbled in third base and both corner outfield spots. Happ, 23, needs some work to become a more complete player with the bat but he should continue to play every day in 2018.

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Paul Sporer Baseball Chat – October 19th, 2017

Filling in for Eno today!


Paul Sporer: Gooooood morning (for me, at least), everyone! Eno is a little under the weather so I’m filling in!


hscer: so what do you got that eno don’t


Paul Sporer: Health, currently


RonWeasley: Edwin or Jake Lamb next season?


Paul Sporer: Gimme Rake Lamb, maybe ’18 is the year he dominates for a whole season instead of a 2H swoon again


Jaime: Any Padres worth drafting next year?

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Scooter Gennett, Giancarlo Stanton, and RBI Luck

This being FanGraphs, I don’t spend a ton of time thinking about RBI and runs. Both of those stats are contextual in nature and say less about a player’s quality of performance than many of this site’s context-neutral metrics, such as wOBA and WAR. But I still play in a number of roto leagues where RBI and runs are categories, and just because they mean less in real life doesn’t mean I can’t put some analytical thought into how players accumulated them.

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Reviewing The 2017 Starting Pitcher Strikeout Rate Downsiders

Yesterday, I reviewed my 2017 starting pitcher strikeout rate upsider list, which produced embarrassing results. Let’s hope the downsider results look much improved. Once again, this list was compiled by using my pitcher xK% equation to identify starters whose 2016 xK% marks were significantly above their actual K% marks.

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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 503 – Jason’s Lessons


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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  • AL LCS Review
  • NL LCS Review

Strategy Section

  • Jason’s Lessons from ‘17


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Turning Scoutable Traits Into Projections

Last week I laid out my plans for combining prospect grades and “scoutable” traits to help project major league performance. Finally, I’m able to output projections with encouraging results. Just by using traits people can scout with their eyes, I created a set of projections which competes with Steamer projections. Additionally, it helps point to the traits people should look for in prospects.

Previously, I tried to use just the five traits prospects get graded on (Hit, Power, Speed, Field, and Arm) to come up with a player’s value. I found the Speed and Power grades useful but came to the following conclusion on the Hit grade:

Basically, the Hit tool is a useless component to determine hitter value as it’s currently being distributed.

The more I thought about the Hit tool, the more I concluded that it’s trying to evaluate too much information (examples of different Hit tool definitions).

For these projections, I matched up the traits hitters display with common stats. To start with, here are the core traits I decided to utilize:
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