• 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

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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Prospect Stock Watch: Tatis Jr., Guerrero Jr., Lewis, Kopech

The Prospect Stock Watch is back for another year. The first month of baseball is dwindling down and with all the weather cancellations it’s really flown by. Let’s have a look at some of the prospects that are off to either fast or slow starts to the year.

Fernando Tatis Jr., SS, Padres: San Diego has been extremely aggressive with this 19-year-old star-in-the-making. He’s shown uncanny in-game power for a teenager and went deep 22 times last year as an 18-year-old hitter in A-ball. The jump to double-A has been quite the challenge for him, though. He appeared at that level last year for 14 games and posted a strikeout rate of 30%. This year… another 14 games so far and another strikeout rate at 30%. Perhaps just as alarming, Tatis Jr.’s walk rate is hovering around a minuscule 2.5%. And he’s even stopped running. After stealing 29 bases a year ago, he has yet to even make an attempt to run. In hindsight, the decision to skip him over high-A ball may have been a mistake. But the good news is that he’s still young, still loaded with tools and should eventually rebound. It just might take him another two to three months to really adjust to the more advanced pitching in the upper levels of the minors.

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The Daily Grind: The Readers Have Spoken?

Last week, I ran a twitter poll to see if we should stick to DraftKings or spend a week on FanDuel. The results were… inconclusive.

That’s 15 for yes, 30 for no, and two folks suffering existential crises. On the one hand, the DraftKings crowd won by a two-to-one margin. On the other hand, the 15 FanDuel votes are nearly enough to fill a contest on that platform. Here’s my compromise. We’re going to bump up to a 40 entry contest on DraftKings. Top 10 paid. If we don’t fill the contest, we switch to FanDuel tomorrow.

AGENDA

  1. TDG Invitational
  2. Weather Reports
  3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse
  4. SaberSim Says…
  5. Some Minor League Reports

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Bullpen Report: April 23, 2018

Brandon Morrow is now a perfect 4 for 4 in save chances, but his most recent save was far from perfect. In Sunday’s series finale against the Rockies, Morrow allowed a pair of singles to Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story and then loaded the bases with a two-out walk to David Dahl. With Ian Desmond at the plate, Morrow uncorked a wild pitch that initially appeared to allow the Rockies to slice the Cubs’ two-run lead in half. Arenado had been called safe on a close play at the plate, but he was called out on review.
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2018 Early BABIP Surgers

Last year, I unveiled the latest version of my xBABIP equation. It utilizes our Splits Leaderboard in order to account for defensive shifts, something that has never been reflected in xBABIP formulas previously. As a result, it does the best job we’ve seen so far in estimating BABIP. So let’s check in on early xBABIP marks and discuss those who have underperformed the most. These guys are due for an imminent surge as balls fall in for hits on a far more frequent basis.

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Roto Riteup: April 23, 2018

The Roto Riteup reminds you, when you first don’t succeed, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try again.

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Sunday Fantasy Waiver Wire & FAAB Chat


The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 542 – The Return of Kahn IV

4/22/18

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!

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Bullpen Report: April 22, 2018

Jeurys Familia has been absolutely brilliant to begin the 2018 season. Coming into Saturday’s games he had allowed 0 ER on 5 H with a 13/5 K:BB ratio over 11.1 IP. But as in life, all good things must come to an end at some point. Familia was summoned in the eighth inning with two outs and a man on third. The Mets had already allowed two runs in the inning (Ramos/Blevins made appearances), hence the decision to not mess around and bring Familia in. He would make quick work of Preston Tucker – striking him out on four pitches. He came back in for the ninth inning with the Mets continuing to cling to a 3-2 lead. He walked the lead-off man – Dansby Swanson – on four pitches, and fell behind Johan Camargo as well.

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