• 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

The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 541 – His OPS+ is 6… SIX!

4/19/18

The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is brought to you by Out of the Park Baseball 19, 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 SLEEPER19!

Follow us on Twitter

GET THE SLEEPER & THE BUST T-SHIRT FROM ROTOWEAR!

Notable Transactions/Rumors/Articles

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Hitters to Target in the Bottom Third: Week 3

This week’s exploration of lightly-owned hitters includes an aging veteran, a versatile defender with upside and a slugger on the rise. As always, each of the players featured here is worth considering in mixed leagues with at least 15 teams.

Note: Ownership percentages are listed in parentheses, with CBS listed first and Fantrax listed second.

Jose Bautista, OF/3B(?), Braves (9/27): The Braves signed Bautista to a minor league deal on Wednesday, and they are sending him to extended spring training to see if he can handle playing third base. If all goes well, Bautista would spend some time in the Florida State Leauge — perhaps within a week — and then presumably take over third base duties from Ryan Flaherty. Though Johan Camargo was activated from the 10-day disabled list on Wednesday, he would likely fill a utility role, so playing time shouldn’t be a concern for Bautista. In his final season with the Blue Jays, Bautista showed he still had some power left in the tank, slamming 23 homers, but both his hard contact and overall contact rates were on the wane. Taking a flier on Bautista is not without its risks, but if your team is short on power and well-positioned for batting average, he could be a good fit.
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Elbow Room: Desperation Waiver Wire, Pitcher Edition

So you drafted, say, Taijuan Walker, Joe Musgrove, or Dinelson Lamet—a starting pitcher you had reason to think would be useful, and now, because of injuries, isn’t and might not be for quite a while. What do you do? It depends, as always, on how deep your league is. In a relatively shallow league, there will be starters who are available as free agents and whose acquisition by you isn’t tantamount to outright surrender.

You could get, for example, Trevor Cahill or Steven Brault (both of whom we like), Brian Johnson (whom we kind of like), or Junior Guerra (whom we don’t trust at all), and no one will laugh at you. But if you play in a deeper league, all those possibly-useful starters are gone. You could of course plug the hole in your roster with a good do-no-harm reliever, perhaps even someone who has a shot at getting saves if something untoward befalls his team’s closer (Scott Alexander and our heartthrob George Kontos come to mind).

But you want something more: a Cahillesque bullpen pitcher who should provide good stats while there, but has a decent shot at becoming an effective starter should injury or failure befall a member of his team’s rotation. Yes, yes—by all means get Collin McHugh if he’s available. But is there anyone less obvious who might work out for you? Read the rest of this entry »


The Daily Grind: Is Lowrie For Real?

In response to the title: inconclusive.

AGENDA

  1. TDG Invitational
  2. Weather Reports
  3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse
  4. SaberSim Says…
  5. Lowrie Bombs

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Which AL Starting Pitchers Are Inducing More In-Zone Whiffs?

As it remains far too early to actually analyze results (like ERA and WHIP), let’s continue discussing the underlying skills driving those results. Those skills are significantly more important when projecting for the future. So let’s find out which American League starting pitchers have improved their in-zone whiff rate the most. In FG metric parlance, that means calculating who has reduce their Z-Contact% by the greatest rate.

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Roto Riteup: April 19, 2018

The Roto Riteup wants to remind you that deception is key:

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Bullpen Report: April 19th, 2018

All 13 Tampa Bay Rays fans in attendance last night almost got a little too much excitement with their “closer” once again. Romo and Colome were both warming in the bullpen, up by three runs, as the Rangers threatened with two on, two out in the bottom of the eighth.

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Lineups Update (4/18/18)

I look at each lineup to find any recent changes. Big thanks to Baseball-reference.com for tracking the lineups.

Angels

  • Since Ian Kinsler has returned, he’s led off three of the four games with Cozart moving down to the 5th/6th spot.

Astros

  • Since returning, Yulieski Gurriel has batted in the 4th and 5th spots.
  • Last night, Alex Bregman dropped from the 2nd spot to the 5th spot with the normal players in the lineup. The likely reason is Bregman’s struggles (.214/.321/.300).

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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 540 – Hit ‘em with the Hot Takes

4/18/18

The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is brought to you by Out of the Park Baseball 19, 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 SLEEPER19!

Follow us on Twitter

GET THE SLEEPER & THE BUST T-SHIRT FROM ROTOWEAR!

Read the rest of this entry »


Waiver Wire Week 3: 10 Starting Pitchers To Consider Under 15% Owned

Each week through the season, I’ll be looking at the collection of starting pitchers owned in under 15% of leagues (consensus Yahoo/ESPN ownership from Fantasy pros) and pointing out the options to consider if you need an extra arm or two at the end of your staff.

It’s been another week of Fantasy Baseball, and the waiver wire has shifted. Let’s highlight my ten favorites, roughly ordered from top to bottom.

Andrew Triggs (Oakland Athletics) – Did you realize that Triggs hold a 25.8% strikeout rate? What about a 58.1% groundball rate and 25.6% soft contact? How about his 3.32 SIERA? Okay, this is a really poor style of telling you information, but it does illuminate how quietly Triggs is performing out of the gate in Oakland. Sure, his 9.1% walk rate and 9.4% whiff rate are questionable, but you’re going to have warts and I’d gladly chase his batted ball profile mixed with strikeout upside.

Mike Minor (Texas Rangers) – Minor is back again, despite getting roughed up by the Astros last week. It’s hard for me to discredit him plenty after facing one of the toughest offenses in the league, while Seattle and Oakland are next in line. Given enough time, I can see Minor getting more comfortable with his repertoire as he features higher velocity than his time as a starter back in 2014. My colleague Ian Post wrote a fantastic GIF Breakdown of the stuff he brings to the table, and he’s well worth the investment off the wire.

Trevor Cahill (Oakland Athletics) – Cahill may not actually make this list if I made it tomorrow as more players become aware of his studly shutout seven innings with eight strikeouts against the ChiSox Tuesday night. I can see owners repeating his name wondering why they recognize it only to think “hey, wasn’t he really good for a moment last year?” That was a stretch of seven starts to begin 2017 with a 3.27 ERA, 29.5% K rate, and 1.21 WHIP. While you shouldn’t be expecting a replication moving forward, he has the ability to miss bats with his curveball while keeping batters off balance with a lively two-seamer and solid changeup. There’s value to be had here.

Nick Tropeano (Los Angeles Angels) – He missed the entirety of 2017 with TJS after being an intriguing sleeper option after producing a 23.0% K rate and 12.5% whiff rate across 68.1 IP in 2016. His breaking ball (Slider? Curveball?) was the catalyst with a fantastic 24%+ whiff rate in 2016, and with his first start back against the Royals, that number exceeded 20% again, leading to a stellar 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks line. This is far from what to expect and he’s a massive risk tomorrow against the Red Sox, though keep an eye on him. This could turn from a streaming option to a back-end starter quickly.

Vincent Velasquez (Philadelphia Phillies) – I’m actually a little surprised to see Velasquez as an option in the heavy majority of leagues, even not as a big fan myself. Without the strong secondary pitches, Velasquez is sure to have his valleys, but with one of the better fastballs around, his peaks can be massive. His last two starts have combined for 13 strikeouts, two walks, and two earned runs in 12.2 IP – not a sample to get behind, but more of an expression of a ceiling to chase. Don’t start him against strong offenses, feast on the average and below average, and this will work out well.

Luiz Gohara (Atlanta Braves) – Stashes aren’t the most popular of moves in fantasy, but Gohara looks ready to be an arm that will help your team by the middle of May. He had a rehab start on Tuesday and while it wasn’t impressive, given another few weeks, he could start producing results at the big level. He comes with an overpowering fastball and a slider that earned a 24.3% whiff rate across 140 thrown in 2017 – and he didn’t have the best command of it! – suggesting that he can be successful even if he doesn’t take the next step with his changeup. It’s only a matter of time before he gets picked up in your league, you may want to consider it now.

Jimmy Nelson (Milwaukee Brewers) – With Gohara, there’s Nelson, another productive stash as he should help your team through the second half of the season. It’s an easier stash given his DL eligibility, though his return will be later in the year – think June/early July – and it’s still hazy as to how productive he will be. Yes, Nelson went on a tear to complete his 2017 season, though returning from a torn labrum may hold him back from repeating his 2017 breakout. Nevertheless, the risk is worth the gamble if you have room for another on your squad.

Chris Stratton (San Francisco Giants) – It’s a familiar list last from last week, with over half the names returning as they made a home on the wire. Stratton’s outlook hasn’t changed, still acting a possible streaming option with a glimmer of hope to become a sturdy arm if his curveball gets a larger spotlight. His slider has potential as well, and monitor its consistency moving forward, while his heater is good enough to set up his secondary pitches. Don’t anticipate greatness but he should be in consideration for a roster spot.

Andrew Heaney (Los Angeles Angels) – Like Tropeano, Heaney returned for the Angels this week, though his road has been a little rockier with just six starts since the end of 2015. He profiles to be an innings eater, though he shocked with seven strikeouts to his name in his 2018 debut. His curveball has earned whiffs every step of the way – 23.3% career whiff rate – while he has featured great fastball command in the past. There may be some growing pains here as Heaney finds a rhythm, but there is upside to be had that could label him a Top 60 starter.

Daniel Mengden (Oakland Athletics) – I don’t see Mengden becoming a staple of staff. At the same time, he’s known to go on stretches where his fastball command is on point and he’s able to throw his curveball in the zone for strikes. Now could be that time as he’s fresh off a fantastic 8.0 IP 1 ER outing against the White Sox. At 3% ownership, Mengden could be a sneaky play in deeper leagues in the short term.