• 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

Looking to Fill Your League or Join a League? Click Here! 2018 Edition

Welcome to the RotoGraphs Matchmaker Service. No, I cannot find you a date. However, we could hopefully facilitate the marriage of league owner with leagueless owner. If you are seeking an owner to fill your fantasy league or are the owner hoping to be seeked to join that unfilled league, this is your new home. In the comments, please advertise your league openings or your availability and desire to join a league. To make things easier, it would be helpful to include the details of the league you’re seeking to fill or prefer to join in the following format:

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Bullpen Report: March 23rd, 2018

A Trip through the Relief Pitcher Rankings

No matter where one stands in regards to tiers, it helps streamline cumulative rankings in an effort to streamline assessment of a position. When trying to predict closers, well, do not. There’s going to be volatility, pitchers will get hurt or lose the role due to performance which proliferates the need for this column to run daily each week of the 26-week marathon of the fantasy baseball season.

Trying to make sense of Paul Sporer, Jeff Zimmerman, Al Melchior, Ben Pasinkoff, Keith Farnworth and my ranks seems surreal. But with the last few days of drafts looming, it’s time to figure out who to target in spite of several teams yet to announce their closer. Yes, looking at you Arizona, Texas, St. Louis, Baltimore and the Angels, with the mercurial Mike Scioscia. Agree or disagree, if one feels strongly, go with your gut. Our rankings posted yesterday and can be found here. With deference to the rankings, the tiers formed from the adjusted average to sort out the arms.

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Pitcher Spotlight: The Noah Syndergaard Flaw We’re All Ignoring

Today I’ll be talking about the holy one, the pitcher with arguably the filthiest repertoire, the most dominating stuff, the man who should win every single at-bat.

And I’m going tell you why that probably isn’t going to happen. At least not yet.

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March Composite Rankings – Relief Pitcher

It’s closing time!

We’re using Yahoo! eligibility requirements which is 5 starts or 10 appearances. These rankings assume the standard 5×5 categories and a re-draft league. If we forgot someone, please let us know in the comments and we’ll make sure he’s added for the updates. If you have questions for a specific ranker on something he did, let us know in the comments. The Bullpen Report team, plus Jeff and myself did these rankings. We can also be reached via Twitter:

There will be differences, sharp differences, within the rankings. The rankers have different philosophies when it comes to ranking, some of which you’re no doubt familiar with through previous iterations. Of course the idea that we’d all think the same would be silly because then what would be the point of including multiple rankers?! Think someone should be higher or lower? Make a case. Let us know why you think that. The chart is sortable. If a ranker didn’t rank someone that the others did, he was given that ranker’s last rank +1.

Note – The first Bullpen Report will be out this weekend!


  • AVG– just the average of the seven ranking sets
  • Adj. AVG– the average minus the high and low rankings
  • SPLIT– the difference between the high and low rankings

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Paul Sporer Baseball Chat – March 23rd, 2018


Paul Sporer: Good afternoon, everyone!! It’s MLB The Show release weekend and we’re less than a week from Opening Day, let’s goooo!!!!


Dylan: Drop David Dahl to grab Lew Brinson in 10-team mixed?  Sounding like Dahl is destined to being the year at AAA.


Paul Sporer: Ya, I think you have to be super active in 10-team and not sit on guys


Joba: Bump up Arrieta based on yesterday’s velocity readings?

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Does It Matter If Healy Heals?

Real baseball starts next Thursday. Let’s wrap up the final full week of the offseason by checking in on an old sabermetric darling.

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Justin Vibber’s 10 Bold Predictions for 2018

After batting .100 in my first attempt at bold predictions here on RotoGraphs, and .200 in my second go around, I’m back for a third season with .300 as my goal. Anyone can hit .300 hitting softballs, so let’s make sure these predictions are bringing the heat, shall we?

1) Willson Contreras finishes as the #1 catcher in all formats

A biased pick based on my Cub fandom, but I am calling for the young backstop to beat out Gary Sanchez and Buster Posey. Part of that is my belief in his hitting (.362 career wOBA in just 711 PA), and in Joe Maddon’s ability to find creative ways to keep his bat in the lineup (25 starts between LF and 1B the past two seasons). Contreras has a small advantage in 5×5 by virtue of his speed (projected for 6 SB per DepthCharts projections).

2) Greg Bird hits 35+ HR, and finishes as a top six first basemen in ottoneu points leagues

No, your memory isn’t deceiving you, I made (almost) this exact same prediction last year, but Bird never really got off the ground in 2017 due to injury issues. I’m taking a mulligan on the prediction, and it may be even more bold this year given how far removed we are from Bird providing above average offense at the major league level (137 wRC+ in his cup of coffee to end the 2016 season). I thought about expanding this prediction to cover all formats, but I don’t think Bird will be an asset in batting average and he definitely won’t be in stolen bases. All told, I’m predicting that Bird will finally have a healthy season and show the potential he’s teased in the past.

3) Robinson Cano finishes outside the top 15 second basemen in all formats

I don’t like making negative predictions, but in this case I wanted to highlight a player where I’ve seen a big disconnect between my ranking and the consensus. Cano was the eighth highest drafted 2B in the Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational (a collection of 13 15-team 5×5 leagues engineered by Justin Mason), and has been the seventh highest paid 2B in first year ottoneu FanGraphs points leagues, but I think there’s a very real chance he doesn’t come close to earning back that draft capital. Cano is now at an age (35) where skills and physical performance can deteriorate quickly, and two of his last three seasons have looked decidedly average. The last time I made a negative bold prediction about an aging Mariner (Nelson Cruz ’16) it blew up in my face, but I’m getting right back on the horse.

4) Corey Seager puts his elbow woes behind him and finishes as the #1 shortstop in ottoneu points leagues

It’s Corey Seager, and not Carlos Correa, who will prove to be the best of this magnificent group of young stud SS. That’s the hill I’m choosing to die on with this prediction. I love Carlos Correa right along with the rest of you, but while Correa broke out in a big way in 2017 I feel like the breakout is still coming for Seager. This prediction likely relies on Seager making significant gains in his power and improving his contact rate, and I’m confident he can do that.

5) Nick Castellanos validates the Statcast data and finishes as a top five third baseman in all formats

Castellanos has been very good the past two seasons (.350 wOBA in ’16 and .341 wOBA in ’17), but his batted ball profile suggests he should have been even better (.360 xOBA in ’16 per xStats.org, .362 xOBA in ’17). He’s also been tearing the cover off the ball this spring, with five HR in 51 PA. Castellanos is still just 26 years old, and I think fantasy baseball players are sleeping on how much upside he still provides.

6) Rhys Hoskins proves the doubters wrong and finishes as a top six outfielder in all formats

Some may wonder where Hoskins was hiding after his electric performance after his call up to the Phillies last year (.417 wOBA in 212 PA), but maybe he’s been here the whole time? It’s not like his performance in MLB was uncharacteristic for him, as he’s put up a .410+ wOBA at every stop of the minor leagues beyond his first partial season in low A. His plate discipline is elite, he hits the ball hard, and he makes good contact. The only negative I can see in his profile is his low BABIP, which limits his batting average upside in 5×5, but if he hits 40 HR with 90 R and 110 RBI a .260 batting average is just fine.

7) Eloy Jimenez, not Ronald Acuna, will be the best rookie hitter in ottoneu points leagues in 2018

Don’t get me wrong, I think Acuna is going to be a stud, but this prediction is effectively an arbitrage play. Acuna has been going for $15.5 in first year FGPts auctions, and Jimenez has an average price of $8.7. Acuna is projected for a .331 wOBA on the Depth Charts projections (Steamer/ZiPS), and Eloy is projected for a .330 wOBA. It seems to me the price difference is due to hype (Acuna is a fantastic prospect, but is he really worth paying as much as Nomar Mazara or Domingo Santana?) and ETA (Acuna should be up in April, but I don’t think Jimenez is too far behind). This prediction will look silly if Eloy is held down by the White Sox until mid-summer, but I have a feeling he’ll be launching bombs on the south side in short order.

8) Luiz Gohara becomes the ace of a young Braves rotation and finishes as a top 20 starting pitcher in FanGraphs points leagues

When I released the early version of the ’18 ottoneu Surplus Calculator, one dollar value that jumped out was Gohara ($17 using Steamer only), and it was hard not to take notice. Gohara was a pitcher I snapped up in as many leagues as I could last September based on a rosy rest of season Steamer projection, and he’s now become a popular sleeper for 2018. He’ll be on the disabled list to start the season after tweaking his ankle in the spring which pushed back his throwing schedule, so there’s some extra boldness to this prediction given that he’ll likely miss the month of April.

9) Joe Musgrove takes a big step forward and will be a top 50 starting pitcher in all formats

Musgrove was traded to the Pirates in the Gerrit Cole deal, and now has the benefit of pitching under the tutelage of Ray Searage in the National League. Musgrove was a classic case of a pitching prospect with excellent results and very little scouting buzz, but he’s not the usual soft tosser with that profile (92.9 mph average fastball in ’17), so his excellent command is backed up with underrated stuff. Musgrove has been prone to making mistake pitches and the resultant home runs allowed, but making any gains at all there will pay huge dividends.

10) A.J. Minter finishes as a top 10 reliever in all formats

I’m very much a skills over role proponent when it comes to filling out my fantasy bullpens, and there’s no pitcher with as much skill as Minter that’s not currently a closer. Equipped with a classic fastball/slider combo, Minter made mincemeat of the National League last year (15.6 K/9, 1.63 xFIP, albeit in just 15 IP), and while Aroldys Vizcaino is currently the Braves closer I expect that Minter would excel if he pushes his way into the role (or Vizcaino falters).

11) Ronald Torreyes wins AL MVP

Spring Training Notes (3/23/17): Updated Friday Afternoon

This post will provide updated information on the upcoming draft weekend. I’ll update as I find relevant news over the weekend.

• A notice to those owners setting their Sunday waiver claims: I will be hosting a RotoGraphs chat every Sunday during the season from 8:00 pm EST for an hour or so starting this weekend. It will run every Sunday during the season. I may not host it every week but someone will fill in.

Friday Afternoon Update

Erick Aybar has opted out of his Twins contract meaning Eduardo Escobar will be the Twins the second baseman until Jorge Polanco returns from this 80-game suspension. As a replacement, owners could do worse than Escobar as a replacement. He’s projected for home runs in the high teens with a few steals.

Albert Almora Jr. seems to be batting 8th quite a bit. His value swings a ton depending if he is leading off or in the 8th spot (fewer AB and SB).

• Here are the spring training team stolen base totals with the new managers in yellow.

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Josh Shepardson’s 2018 Bold Predictions (Hitter Edition)

I always enjoy when the Bold Predictions series rolls out here. It’s fun seeing my colleagues go out on a limb, and it’s even more fun tossing my hat in the ring with bold predictions of my own. Below, you’ll find five bold hitting predictions. Initially, this piece was set to include all of my bold predictions. However, it began getting lengthy quickly, so I’ve opted to split up my hitter predictions and pitcher predictions. Read the rest of this entry »

Top 10 Prospects with a Fantasy Twist: The AL Central

The American League Central doesn’t feature the strongest minor league systems but there are some interesting prospects littered throughout the teams.

Previous Reviews:
AL West Top 10s
NL West Top 10s

Cleveland Indians

The Indians always find a way to develop players in house — and the current system has some interesting players — but it lacks depth overall.

2018 Arrivals:
1. Triston McKenzie | SP | 2018 Level: AA
2. Francisco Mejia | C/3B | 2018 Level: AAA
5. Bobby Bradley | 1B | 2018 Level: AAA
9. Eric Haase | C | 2018 Level: AAA

2019 Arrivals:
6. Shane Bieber | SP | 2018 Level: AA
7. Willi Castro | MIF | 2018 Level: AA

2020 and Beyond:
3. Nolan Jones | 3B | 2018 Level: A
4. Will Benson | CF | 2018 Level: A
8. Tyler Freeman | MIF | 2018 Level: A-
10. Johnathan Rodriguez | RF | 2018 Level: A-

Other Names to Know:
Sleeper: Sam Hentges, SP
Beyond the Top 10 Help in 2018: Greg Allen, OF

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Roto Riteup: March 23, 2018

It’s the last weekend of draft season before the official games begin! Good Luck and Cheers!

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