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Chicago Cubs Trade Matt Garza to Texas Rangers: Fantasy Impact

Chicago Cubs Trade Matt Garza to Texas Rangers: Fantasy Impact

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

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According to Ken Rosenthal and Jeff Passan, the Cubs have traded Garza to the Rangers in exchange for prospects Mike Olt and C.J. Edwards, Justin Grimm and a player to be named later.

Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw: Putting His 2014 Season into Context

Tue, Aug 12, 2014

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Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw: Putting His 2014 Season into Context

Clayton Kershaw is authoring a masterful season, one that deserves to be mentioned among the best of all-time.

2012 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Report: Arizona Diamondbacks’ Tyler Skaggs

Mon, Aug 20, 2012

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2012 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Report: Arizona Diamondbacks’ Tyler Skaggs

Taken 40th overall by the Angels in the 2009 draft — one pick ahead of the Diamondbacks — Skaggs was the crown jewel of the Dan Haren trade that sent him to Arizona two summers ago.

The 6-foot-4, 195 pound southpaw has advanced three levels since, and is now regarded as one of the top prospects in baseball. In fact, Baseball America ranked Skaggs as the seventh overall prospect on their mid-season top-50 list last month.

2012 Fantasy Baseball Projections: What’s Wrong with San Francisco Giants’ Tim Lincecum?

Sun, Aug 19, 2012

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2012 Fantasy Baseball Projections: What’s Wrong with San Francisco Giants’ Tim Lincecum?

From 2008 to 2011, only Cliff Lee had a FIP better than Lincecum’s mark of 2.81 (which happened to match his ERA). During those four seasons, no pitcher with at least 500 innings had a better strikeout rate than Tiny Tim’s 9.97. His contact rate (74.8 percent) was second-best and his swinging-strike rate (11.1 percent) was in the top four.

Less than a full year removed from one of the best four-year runs in recent memory, The Freak owns the seventh-worst ERA among qualified starters (5.45). So what the heck happened?

2012 Fantasy Baseball Projections: How Good is San Francisco Giants’ Madison Bumgarner?

Thu, Aug 16, 2012

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2012 Fantasy Baseball Projections: How Good is San Francisco Giants’ Madison Bumgarner?

This season, Bumgarner’s WAR (3.2) tops that of Jered Weaver (3.0), Matt Cain (2.9) and Cliff Lee (2.6). A legitimate case can be made for Bumgarner being a top 10-15 fantasy starter. And he just turned 23…

2012 Fantasy Baseball Projections: What’s Wrong With Pittsburgh Pirates’ James McDonald?

Sun, Aug 12, 2012

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2012 Fantasy Baseball Projections: What’s Wrong With Pittsburgh Pirates’ James McDonald?

One month ago, following his four-hit, 10-strikeout performance against San Francisco, James McDonald’s ERA was a minuscule 2.37. The Pirates’ right-hander appeared to be the steal of the season, the guy you drafted late or picked up in April who’d lead you to a championship.

McDonald’s pre-all-star break numbers were more than any fantasy manager could have hoped for: 9-3 with a 2.37 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 100/31 K/BB ratio in 110 innings. His success was thanks in large part to his new-found control. In 310 big-league innings prior to 2012, McDonald owned a 4.10 walk rate. Through 17 starts before the all-star break this season, he was walking just 2.53 batters per nine. He also picked up a slider, which has been his most dominant pitch.

So McDonald entered the all-star break as a legitimate Cy-Young award candidate. He had held opponents to three runs or less in 16 of his 17 starts, and two runs or less in 12 starts.

Since the all-star break, McDonald has been a disaster. He’s allowed at least four runs in five of his six starts, amassing an unsightly 8.71 ERA, 2.03 WHIP and 26/21 K/BB ratio in 31 innings.

What’s been the difference?

2012 Fantasy Baseball Projections: Who the Heck is Colorado Rockies’ Josh Rutledge?

Sat, Aug 11, 2012

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2012 Fantasy Baseball Projections: Who the Heck is Colorado Rockies’ Josh Rutledge?

Josh Rutledge has done an admirable job filling in for the injured Troy Tulowitzki at shortstop over the last month. Upon Tulowitzki’s return — which may or may not be this season — Rutledge will likely move to second base.

Rutledge’s performance thus far may win him a starting job for 2013. While he continues to hit, the fantasy baseball community wonders: Who the heck is Josh Rutledge?

2012 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Report: Baltimore Orioles’ Manny Machado

Fri, Aug 10, 2012

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2012 Fantasy Baseball Prospect Report: Baltimore Orioles’ Manny Machado

The Baltimore Orioles surprised everyone Wednesday when they announced the big-league promotion of Manny Machado. The 20-year-old went 2-for-4 with a triple and a single from the nine hole in his major league debut Thursday night.

The baseball community is buzzing over Machado’s promotion, but fantasy owners just want to know: Is he worth a pick-up?

2012 Fantasy Baseball Projections: How Good Is Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s Mike Trout?

Thu, Aug 9, 2012

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2012 Fantasy Baseball Projections: How Good Is Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s Mike Trout?

Mike Trout has more home runs (20) in less plate appearances (411) than Adrian Gonzalez (12 HRs in 474 PAs), Justin Upton (9 HRs in 434 PAs), Dan Uggla (12 HRs in 450 PAs), Ryan Zimmerman (15 HRs in 433 PAs), Paul Konerko (18 HRs in 423 PAs), Prince Fielder (19 HRs in 482 PAs) and Adrian Beltre (19 HRs in 449 PAs).

Following games played Thursday, Aug. 9, Trout led the majors in WAR (+6.9), and it’s not even close. Andrew McCutchen — who has played in 18 more games that Trout — is second with a WAR of +6.0.

Trout’s +6.9 WAR in 89 games this season is better than the best single-season WAR of Prince Fielder (+6.4), Carlos Gonzalez (+6.5) and Robinson Cano (+6.5). It’s also better than career WAR of seven-year veteran, Delmon Young (+0.9).

And that’s just scratching the surface. Buckle up, folks.

Chicago Cubs Trade Ryan Dempster to Texas Rangers: Fantasy Impact

Tue, Jul 31, 2012

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Chicago Cubs Trade Ryan Dempster to Texas Rangers: Fantasy Impact

Tuesday’s MLB trade deadline featured a few surprises, but none greater than the Texas Rangers’ acquisition of Ryan Dempster.

The 35-year-old is enjoying a career year, and was perhaps the most talked about player on the sports betting market. After Dempster nixed a deal to the Braves last week and trade talks between the Cubs and Dodgers fell apart as the deadline approached, the Rangers swooped in Tuesday afternoon and landed him for two prospects: third baseman Christian Villanueva and right-hander Kyle Hendricks.

First, let’s take a look at how the move to Texas might affect Dempster’s fantasy value…

2012 Fantasy Baseball Projections: Texas Rangers Earn Rights to Japanese Pitcher Yu Darvish (Video)

Tue, Dec 20, 2011

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2012 Fantasy Baseball Projections: Texas Rangers Earn Rights to Japanese Pitcher Yu Darvish (Video)

The Texas Rangers earned the rights to sign pitcher Yu Darvish Monday night, after his Japanese team, the Nippon Ham Fighters, accepted the Rangers’ posting fee bid of $51.7 million. The Rangers will now have 30 days to negotiate a contract with the 25-year-old right-hander.

Assuming Darvish does sign with Texas (we have no reason to believe he won’t), he’s a potential ace in terms of fantasy value.

During his five seasons in Japan, Darvish averaged 204 IP per year while compiling a 1.72 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 9.5 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9.

While some have been quick to compare him to Daisuke Matsuzaka, this anonymous scout warns against it….

The Evolution of the Pitcher

Wed, Dec 14, 2011

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The Evolution of the Pitcher

Major League pitching has changed drastically over the last few years. For example, the 2010 and 2011 seasons combined to produce nine no-hitters. The previous 10 seasons saw a total of 15. Collective ERAs are down in recent years (from 4.77 in 2000 to 3.94 in 2011), as are batting averages (from .270 in 2000 to .255 in 2011).

Admittedly, these are very small sample sizes considering organized baseball began in 1871. But that raises an even bigger question: If baseball has changed this much over the last 12 years, how has it changed over the last 140? Any perhaps more importantly, why has it changed?

2012 Fantasy Baseball Projections: Matt Kemp or Ryan Braun?

Wed, Nov 23, 2011

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2012 Fantasy Baseball Projections: Matt Kemp or Ryan Braun?

Milwaukee Brewers’ left fielder Ryan Braun was awarded the National League’s Most Valuable Player award on Tuesday, in what has to be considered a mini upset over Los Angeles Dodgers’ center fielder Matt Kemp.

While Braun hit 33 HRs, stole 33 bases and finished second in the N.L. with a .332 batting average, Kemp batted .324 and came up one dinger shy of the 40/40 threshold, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since Alfonso Soriano went 46/41 in 2006.

While a worthy case for MVP could be made for both players — such as the ones made here and here — we’re here to determine something even more important: Which player will have more fantasy value in 2012?

Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Revisiting My 2011 Top 10 Rookie Predictions

Tue, Nov 22, 2011

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Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Revisiting My 2011 Top 10 Rookie Predictions

In March I predicted the top 10 rookies of 2011 in terms of fantasy value. Now that the season is over, lets review my rankings…

The Sub-2.50 ERA Curse Revisited: How The Elite Starting Pitchers of 2010 Fared in 2011

Fri, Oct 7, 2011

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The Sub-2.50 ERA Curse Revisited: How The Elite Starting Pitchers of 2010 Fared in 2011

Before the 2010 season, I got familiar with the idea of regression to the mean. This concept illustrates the phenomenon of an outlying statistic in one season (such as an extraordinary ERA) coming back down to earth in the next, simply by chance.

My study examined how the best pitchers (in terms of ERA) fared in the following season, dating back to 2000. To measure this, I (somewhat arbitrarily) choose 2.50 as the cutoff for ERA.

Here’s what I found…

2011 Fantasy Baseball Player Profile: Ricky Romero’s Boston Red Sox Woes

Thu, Sep 15, 2011

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2011 Fantasy Baseball Player Profile: Ricky Romero’s Boston Red Sox Woes

Ricky Romero has become a valued fantasy asset over the last two seasons. His numbers against division rival Boston, however, have been downright awful.

Here are all seven of Romero’s starts against Boston over the last two seasons (not including Wednesday night)…

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