Monday, November 12, 2012
Adam Dunn is an anomaly. After popping up in History Lesson 1, I discovered yet another oddity in his 2012 season...
Sun, Aug 12, 2012
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?
Sat, Aug 11, 2012
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?
Fri, Aug 10, 2012
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?
Thu, Aug 9, 2012
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.
Tue, Jul 31, 2012
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…
Tue, Dec 20, 2011
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….
Wed, Dec 14, 2011
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?
Wed, Nov 23, 2011
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?
Tue, Nov 22, 2011
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…
Fri, Oct 7, 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…
Thu, Sep 15, 2011
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)…
Fri, Jun 10, 2011
2010 was a banner year for Dan Uggla, as the slugging second baseman posted career-highs in batting average (.287), home runs (33) and RBI (105).
A trade to Atlanta last November sent his fantasy value even higher, as managers salivated at the thought of a lineup that included Martin Prado, Jason Heyward, Chipper Jones, Brian McCann and Dan Uggla, and for good reason. Since his major league debut in 2006, Uggla had hit the second-most HRs (154) among non-first basemen in the majors.
My preseason second base rankings pegged Uggla as the third-best two-bagger this season, behind only Robinson Cano and Dustin Pedroia.
Yet despite all his past success, Uggla has struggled mightily this season, leading many to ask: What’s wrong with Dan Uggla?
Fri, Jun 10, 2011
In one of the most anticipated roster moves of the 2011 season, the Kansas City Royals have promoted third base prospect Mike Moustakas from Triple-A. He is expected to make his major league debut Friday night at Anaheim.
Moustakas ranked as the No. 9 prospect according to Baseball America prior to the 2011 season, one spot behind teammate Eric Hosmer, and several spots ahead of productive rookies Michael Pineda (16), Freddie Freeman (17), Zach Britton (28), Danny Espinosa (66) and Craig Kimbrel (86)…
Thu, Jun 9, 2011
Texas Rangers’ pitcher Alexi Ogando twirled another gem on Wednesday, limiting the Tigers to just one run on six hits in 7.2 innings. The 27-year-old outfielder-turned-reliever-turned-starting pitcher has turned in 10 quality starts in 12 outings this season, and is fourth among qualified starters with a 2.10 ERA.
The question is, of course: Is Alexi Ogando for real?
Thu, Jun 9, 2011
The news fantasy managers have been waiting for has finally been confirmed: San Diego Padres’ first base prospect Anthony Rizzo has been promoted, and will make his major league debut Thursday against the Nationals.
Rizzo was drafted by the Red Sox in the sixth round of the 2007 draft. He was hitting .373 in low Class A in April 2008 when he was diagnosed with limited stage classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma. After missing the rest of the 2008 season to receive treatment, Rizzo has been cancer-free…