• 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

Gary Sanchez’s Season Is Not As Bad As It Looks

It’s hard to put a good spin on Gary Sanchez rolling into late June as the seventh-ranked catcher in Roto value (per ESPN’s Player Rater), but while his season has been disappointing, it has its bright side. For one thing, at least he is having a better fantasy season than Willson Contreras. For another, he leads all catchers in runs (35) and is second in home runs (13) and RBI (39).

It’s clearly Sanchez’s .194 batting average that is holding him back, and now that he is mired in a 6 for 62 slump, it’s heading in the wrong direction. He is a bit off last season’s home run pace and his strikeout rate has risen slightly from 22.9 percent in 2017 to 24.6 percent so far in 2018, but his real problem is what he is doing on balls in play.
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Matt Boyd’s Surprising Success

Matt Boyd was terrible last year. In fact, let’s just be really honest and acknowledge that he was pretty bad through the first 290 innings of his career with a 5.47 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, and 11% K-BB rate. His best effort through three seasons was a 4.53 ERA and 1.30 WHIP back in 2016. While never a Top 100 guy, Boyd was a prospect of some acclaim and expectations had him becoming a capable backend starter.

He’s starting to meet those expectations with a 3.23 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 75 innings so far this season. His success has perplexed analysts and fantasy players alike as no one can seem to make sense of how he’s throwing the best baseball of his career despite virtually no change to his base skills. I decided to dive in and see what’s going on.

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Brad Johnson Baseball Chat: 6/19/2018

We chatted. Here is the transcript which ends with some ROY picks. Enjoy.

4:01
Vegan Man!: What are you doing with Jon Gray and Castillo in 12 team leagues? Benching or dropping? Thanks!

4:01
Brad Johnson: Playing matchups. Definitely not dropping. Gray is actually top 10 SP by FIP WAR

4:01
Brad Johnson: Oh, hello everyone

4:02
Brad Johnson: Greetings and such

4:02
Brad Johnson: Onward

4:02
Julian H.: Been offered Verlander for Ohtani in a keep forever h2h pts league. I’ve got a top contending team. I love Ohtani and am anguishing over this. Talk to me.

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Mining For Pitchers: Suarez, Littell, & Kennedy

Last week I re-introduced my hitter prospect finder and today, the pitchers take center stage. The process uses K%-BB%, age, and level as inputs to find potential off-the-radar prospects.

While the hitter finder finds all the top hitters from scouting sources, the pitcher is not as robust. It just looks at results which sometimes can be off with known fastball velocities and pitch quality. Even though it doesn’t replicate the top prospects, I find it’s great at finding lesser-known targets.

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Justin Mason Baseball Chat – June 19th, 2018

Here is today’s transcript from the chat. Lots of Nimmo questions.

9:27
Justin Mason: Hey everyone! Sorry about starting late. It is going to be a shorter chat today (30-40 minutes) as I am fighting a bad cold. I am going to try and skip around to answer a variety of questions today, so I am not answer multiple questions about the same players. Please give me format and size of leagues for context. Just a reminder that I will answer as many questions as I can, but please don’t repeat questions. If I can’t get to your questions then hit me up on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008744507752 or on twitter @justinmasonfwfb.

9:28
Mike: Soroka, Heaney, Bundy, Flaherty, Castillo, Fulmer ROS

9:29
Justin Mason: I lean Heaney, but there is risk that they limit his innings. I don’t know if they can with their lack of depth in the rotation though.

9:30
Jammer: Any hope for Murphy this season? Is snell for him too much given he looks completely hobbled or gamble on the upside ?

9:30
Justin Mason: I think he is a risky gamble. There is upside, but I really prefer Snell going forward.

9:30
Kyle: Rendon, Devers and Andujar who’s next 3 years are the brightest?

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Bullpen Report: June 19, 2018

• Instead of waiting until the deadline to improve their bullpen, the Nationals went out and got Kelvin Herrera from the Royals for three minor leaguers. While Herrera was the closer for the Royals (and pitching quite well) he will likely be a setup man in Washington. However, with the lefty Sean Doolittle and now Herrera the Nationals could have a two-headed closing monster as they work towards October. Ryan Madson, Brandon Kintzler (when he’s back from injury), and the recently  dominant Justin Miller should all help as well in the setup innings.

As far as Kansas City’s new closer is concerned, the  names to consider are Kevin McCarthy, Brandon Maurer, Jason AdamTim Hill, and Justin Grimm. In no particular order, let’s go through the options with a few indicators:

  • Kevin McCarthy: 30.1 innings pitched, 3.86/3.49/3.38/3.31 ERA/FIP/xFIP/SIERA, 15.7 K%, 5.8 BB%, previously used in the 10th, 7th, and 7th innings. Saved games in the minors.
  • Brandon Maurer: Only 5.1 innings pitched, 13.5/12.65/5.96/4.77 ERA/FIP/xFIP/SIERA, 17.9 K%, 10.7 BB%, previously used in the 8th and 8th innings. Closing at AAA this year and the previous two years in San Diego
  • Jason Adam: 15.1 innings pitched, 4.70/7.26/4.73/3.53 ERA/FIP/xFIP/SIERA, 25.0 K%, 6.3 BB%, previously used in the 9th on 6/13. No closing experience.
  • Tim Hill: 21.1 innings pitched, 4.89/2.81/3.19/3.08, ERA/FIP/xFIP/SIERA, 24.2 K%, 8.4 BB%, previously used in the 8th/9th, 6th, and 8th. Saved games in the minors.
  • Justin Grimm: 9.2 innings pitched, 16.76/7.44/7.10/6.57 ERA/FIP/xFIP/SIERA, 13.7 K%, 19.6 BB%, previously used in the 7th, and 8th/9th.

Based on previous experience, Brandon Maurer would be the leading candidate for saves. Looking at production this year, Kevin McCarthy would be the likely candidate. But if one looked at strikeouts and a mixture of the other indicators, Jason Adam and Tim Hill could be in line as well which leads to a total free for all/committee until we see how it plays out.

If I had to rank them I would go McCarthy, Mauerer, Hill, Adam, Grimm but I don’t have much confidence in either that rank or anyone being a particularly good closer moving forward. The Royals are likely to get worse with additional trades so there won’t be too many save opportunities and none of the relievers mentioned, at least at this time, look like potential ace relievers either.

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The Daily Grind: Sweet Jesus Sucre These Pitchers Are Bad

I’m very pleased I was the first to break yesterday’s stunning blockbuster trade. You know, the one between the Mets and Yankees.

AGENDA

  1. TDG Invitational
  2. Weather Reports
  3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse
  4. SaberSim Says…
  5. In Play, Run(s)

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9 Potential BABIP Decliners, June 2018

Yesterday, I used my xBABIP equation to identify and discuss eight hitters who appear due for a BABIP surge. Today, I’ll check in on the other side of the ledger, those whose xBABIP marks are significantly below their actuals, suggesting serious downside.

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Roto Riteup: June 19, 2018

Bartolo Colon is a national treasure:

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Automatic Outs

Remember Eno Sarris? Yeah, me neither. But I used to co-host the podcast with a guy who liked to talk about infield flyballs or pop-ups and their value for a pitcher. In essence, they are automatic outs. They almost never turn into hits and the rare times they yield a base runner is usually because of an error. Pop-ups are gold for pitchers. After years of thinking that pitchers had zero control once the ball left their hands, we now acknowledge the value of contact management for pitchers. Their arsenal and approach can improve their ability to induce poor, playable contact either on the ground or in the air.

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