Tag Archive | "Fantasy League"

I’m in dead last place – Help me Wilin Rosario….

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I’m in dead last place – Help me Wilin Rosario….

Posted on 06 May 2013 by Trish Vignola

… you’re my only hope.

Colorado Rockies' Wilin Rosario (20) celebrates with teammates after hitting a two run homer against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the inning of a baseball game Friday, June 1, 2012 in Denver, Colo.. The Rockies won 13-3. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)

I’m buried so far in the cellar of my fantasy baseball league there is no hope for resurrecting any semblance of a normal season.

Call me the Houston Astros of the fantasy world.

I do though refuse to back up the truck. I have a few diamonds in the rough that I’m sure members of my league would be dying to get their hands on. One of which is Wilin Rosario.

Using CBSSports.com as a metric, Rosario has averaged me about 16 points a week. In 80 at bats, he’s given me 7 home runs, has a .350 batting average and 19 RBIs. In comparison, Josh Hamilton has given me 2 home runs, has a .202 batting average and 9 RBIs in 104 at bats. Matt Wieters, who I was totally expecting to be my “starting catcher”, has give me 4 home runs, has a .214 batting average and 13 RBIs.

Rosario has shown some speed, for a catcher. On the 10th, he went 1 for 3 with a walk and a run scored. He also stole his first two bases against the Giants. “I can run a little bit, and I take advantage,” Rosario told MLB.com. “Sometimes they get a little comfortable on the mound, and I get the advantage.” Rosario stole just four bases in 117 games last season. CBSSports.com reports that Rosario sees himself surpassing that number this year. “I don’t know, because the year, it’s just starting right now,” Rosario said. “Maybe 10. Maybe nine.” He might be joking; nonetheless, it cannot be denied that Rosario has gotten a pretty good start to the season this year.

His defense has improved as well. It was on display against the Padres on the 14th. He hit his 4th home run of the season that saturday, culminating in a 4-for-5 day. He drove in three runs and scored one himself. He threw out the only base runner trying to steal against him in a 9-5 win. The day before, Rosario threw out two runners. By the 14th, Rosario caught five of the first seven base runners attempting to steal a base against him this season. “That’s one of the best experiences I can have,” Rosario told MLB.com prior to that game. “I want to be a winner. Not every time are you going to hit. The only thing you can control is your glove — catching everything, blocking balls, stopping runners.”

A draw back to Rosario’s offense is his horrific strikeout ratio. On the 18th, Rosario went 1 for 5 in his team’s 11-3 win over the Mets. He drove in two runs and scored one. He also struck out twice, giving him 15 strikeouts in 46 at-bats at that point. Wilin Rosario leads all NL catchers in strikeouts. If Rosario can keep his strikeouts to a minimum and if his defense can keep him in the starting lineup, he will be a diamond in a rough for your fantasy league. If he tires out early, I’m just going to go bury my laptop in the backyard.

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Believe It Or Not

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Believe It Or Not

Posted on 27 February 2013 by Will Emerson

That’s right folks, it’s time for a bit of “Believe it or not?”! Excited? No? What’s that? You have no idea what ”Believe it or not?” is, exactly. Oh. Well, then allow me to elaborate here.

“Believe or not?” is when I take at a look at some numbers from last season and see if I believe them or…..not. Not, people. I really thought you would get that. Anyways, what I have done is picked a few pitchers to look at and see if we should believe in their 2012 numbers. So, away we go!

Wade Miley

First up is Wade Miley. Mr. Miley actually could have won the National League Rookie of the Year Award had it not been for that no-name, out of nowhere Bryce Harper. Of course that could also speak to the weak rookie class outside of Miley, Harper and Todd Frazier. Nevertheless Miley was very solid, going 16-11, with an ERA of 3.33 and a WHIP of 1.18. Not too shabby, right? You’re darned tootin’, right. Miley is by no means an ace and no one seems to think he is either, as evidenced by his general preseason ranking in the 90s. So let’s say you’re in a 12 team fantasy league, Miley barely ranks as rosterable. Is rosterable a word? Ah, no matter. According to RotoChamp, Miley was just inside the top 25 fantasy starting picthers last season, so his current rank and general draft positions seem to show that know one believes in Miley’s 2012. But should they? Well outside of the those superficial numbers you’ve already seen, let’s look into some other numbers. Miley posted an xFIP of 3.75, which points to a good ol’ regression in ERA.  Well, if that doesn’t, that 6.66 K/9 combined with a 43.3 ground ball rate certainly should. Wins are obviously a crapshoot, but with that low amount of Ks and lowish amount of groundballs, in a hitter’s park, nonetheless, that WHIP and ERA are sure to shoot on upward. So I would tend to agree with the masses in the case of Wade Miley and say that I do not believe in his 2012 numbers.

Next up is Reds “ace” Johnny Cueto. Ya see how I put ace in quotation marks? Looking at Cueto’s 2012 numbers, he was ace-like. He was 19-9, with an ERA of 2.78 and a WHIP of 1.17. Dems right there are Cy Young type numbers. Based on Cueto’s 2011 numbers, it does not appear the 2012 numbers were completely out of nowhere. In 2011 Cueto was 9-5 with an ERA of 2.31 and a WHIP of 1.09, so the 2012 numbers were not completely unprecedented, although you will notice the slight increase in ERA and WHIP. However, while those numbers are great and all, he also posted a 3.90 xFIP in ’11 and a 3.65 xFIP ’12, well above his ERAs for those respective seasons. Cueto’s ERA and WHIP are due for a sizeable regression and with a career K/9 under seven, I don’t see him being a top 20 fantasy pitcher in 2013. So I guess I am saying I do not believe in Cueto’s 2011 or 2012 numbers. I’m not saying that he will be a flop in ’13, but I tnink he should be drafted as a three or four SP, instead of a one or two, which is where it appears he is being taken in early fantasy drafts.

Next up, we have former Cy Young Award winner, Timmy Lincecum. Lincecum had, without a doubt, his worst season in the majors, in 2012. An ERA over 5?! What?! That’s right the former Cy Young Award winner who posted a sub three ERA in 2011 had an ERA over five in 2012. However, his xFIP was 3.82 which is not great, but much, much, much better than his actual ERA. Plus, he still posted a K/9 over nine, so he was still striking guys out in 2012. The biggest problem for Lincecum in 2012 were walks and the longball. Lincecum had a 4.35 BB/9 and a HR/FB of 14.6%. Timmy’s fly ball rate was about the same as it has been over the past few seasons, but when batters were putting balls in the air against Lincecum in 2012 they were putting them over the fence at almost twice of his 2011 rate. Now there was a slight increase in hard hit balls for Lincecum, so expecting the Cy Young Award winning Tim Lincecum to show up in 2013 may be a bit of a stretch, but I would say you can expect much better than 2012. So when it comes to Lincecum’s 2012 numbers, I would say I do not believe in them that much. You will see a stat line in the middle of Lincecum’s 2011 and 2012 numbers.

So there ya have it kids. What did we learn this week? Well with regards to these three pitchers, I guess I don’t believe in any of their 2012 numbers. Maybe I should have just called this article, “Three Pitchers Whose 2012 Numbers I Just Plain Don’t Believe In”? Eh, seems a bit wordy, don’t ya think? Anyways, to be fair, it’s not like I was being all negative in my disbelief, right? I did not believe in Lincecum’s 2012 numbers, but in a good way. Unlike with Miley and Cueto, I do believe Lincecum’s numbers will improve over his 2012 campaign. So for now, take a tip from Journey and don’t stop believin’. Or, I guess, based on this post, don’t start believin’?

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Field Of Streams: Fantasy Baseball Pitching Options

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Field Of Streams: Fantasy Baseball Pitching Options

Posted on 23 September 2012 by Will Emerson

Welcome to the season finale of Field of Streams! One final  in depth look at some viable, and some not so viable, fantasy streaming options for the upcoming fantasy week. The major league, and thus fantasy, baseball season is winding down so there will be no need to stream pitchers, unless you are in some fantasy baseball league for the major league playoffs, after this week. I know, I’m sad as well folks, but I promised myself I wouldn’t cry. And this is by no means good-bye! Oh no, I will continue to give you something to read on Sundays, so you’ll still have that! Now, as I get into this week’s pitching options, I just want to say this this was one of the most difficult weeks for this. Not a lot of great options jumped out at me and if you are streaming this week, you are most likely in your fantasy championships, so good streaming is important now, more than ever. That’s quite a bit of pressure! Nevertheless, I will press on and without further ado, on with the show! Here comes your look at your fantasy streaming options, owned in less than 50% in ESPN and Yahoo! leagues, for the week of 9/24-9/30 (all stats and information are prior to Saturday’s games):

Jake Odorizzi (KC)- One of the many talents in the Royals system, Odorizzi is getting his call up and will make his first start Sunday. So as a streaming option next weekend he is a bit of a wild card. One, because I have no major league appearance to evaluate and two, because you never know exactly who the Tribe will have in their lineup as the season winds down and neither team has much to play for ‘cept maybe their pride. Odorizzi has torn up the minors, most recently at triple-A where he had a 2.93 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. Now while I would like to have a look at his first start before getting into what to expect from him against Cleveland, I do like him as a wild card starter. His K/9 went down about four when he made the jump from double to triple -A and his triple-A FIP is over four, so there will be a struggle or two in the majors. However I like him alright enough starting against Cleveland. I feel like he may benefit from not a lot of Indians batters having faced him. Now I cannot give him full fledged stream endorsement, based on the no stats at the major league level, but watch his Sunday start closely and see what you think. He could be the wild card that helps you close the door on that fantasy title. (.2% owned in ESPN and 1% in Yahoo!)

Alex Cobb (TB)- Okay, so Cobber has been up and  down lately, lasting only 4.2 innings against the Os, but then baffling the Red Sox batters over six innings in his next start. To be fair though, his xFIP in that Os start was below two and he did only allow two earned runs in each  of those starts. The fact that he is keeping the ball on the ground, with a rate above 60% in both starts, is good and bad. Good, because those worm burners do not often end up as home runs, but bad because it does put more pressure on your defense and seeing eye singles can hurt him at any time. But he has a good defense behind him, so generally he is in good shape and I am sticking with him this week against the White Sox. (14% owned in ESPN and 22% in Yahoo!)

Lucas Harrell and Bud Norris (HOU)- If you’ve had a heaping helping of Field of Streams in your diet, it should be not be new knowledge that both Budrick and Lucas  have been studs at home this season. Well, if it is new info, then, hey, welcome to the party! These two fellas have been greatastic at home. Yes, they have been so good at home, that I went ahead and created an adjective to describe this goodness. Well both pitchers start the week with a home start, so go ahead and pounce if they are available in your league. Now Norris is only scheduled for the one start, but young Lucas has a second start on the docket, on the road, at Milwaukee (which means land of the good). But what many have not noticed is Harrell is actually pitching fairly decently outside of the Juice Box as well. In his last three road starts he has thrown 18. 2 innings and allowed seven earned runs. Not too shabby, right? And two of those starts were at St.Louis and Cincy. Two good hitting teams. While I would say the second start against the Brew Crew is still not a huge lock, it will be the end of your week and season and with his 19 strikeouts over those 18.2 road innings, he may me nice stream option to finish off your season. (Norris is 24.4% owned in ESPN and 30% in Yahoo! Harrell is 2.8% in ESPN and 11% in Yahoo!)

Marco Estrada (MIL)- The ownership numbers for Ponch are rising, so I am not riding this bandwagon alone, but he is still widely available in ESPN and Yahoo! He did not end up with a two start week last week as expected, so he looks to have two starts on the docket this week. The first start on the road against the Nationals could be bit tougher than other starts, but it could all depend on when the Nats will start resting folks for their playoff run too. I still recommend him and his lovely K/9 over nine in this matchup and for his second start? Well that will be at home against the Disastros, who admittedly are winning at a very high pace (for them anyways) in September, but still…a good matchup for Ponch. (25.6% owned in ESPN and 30% in Yahoo!)

Ross Detwiler (WSH)- Detwiler continues to be more than solid for the Nationals down the stretch. In his last outing against the Dodgers, he tossed six innings and allowed only one measly run. He also struck out five, which is not spectacular, but for Ross Detwiler, he of the 5.68 K/9, this is a good number. In fact he has a rate of 7.5 K/9 over his last two starts, so that is promising, especially if you combine that with his ground ball rate over 50! Now I’m not saying he’s working his way towards a future strikeout crown or anything, but this definitely makes him more appealing as a fantasy option. He faces Tyler Cloyd and the Phils this week, which is not a great matchup, but Mr. Detwiler has been pitching well enough that I would not expect him to get knocked around too much and hurt your pitching numbers by any means. (37.1% owned in ESPN and 39% in Yahoo!)

So there you have it, another season of Field Of Streams in the books! So what did we learn this season, children? 1) Lucas Harrell and Bud Norris have been must starts at home  B) Ks/9 are  the bomb diggity 4) “Ponch” Estrada is more solid than you know and plenty of spots on his bandwagon are still available and F) Alex Cobb and his sexy ground ball rate can be a good get for your fantasy squads. Good day and godspeed!

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jason kipnis

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The Jason Kipnis Dilemma

Posted on 05 September 2012 by Will Emerson

What a long, strange road it has been for Jason Kipnis this season. Well, perhaps just strange. Kipnis came into 2012 with a nice little bit of hype surrounding  him after a nice performance in his 2011 call-up. In 36 games in 2011 J-Kip hit .272, with seven dingers and 19 RBIs. His OPS in that stint was .841 and a highly impressive wOBA of .378. To expect this over a full season would be a silly assumption, but just for kicks and to lengthen this article, let’s say he did stretch these out over a full season, how would that have compared with your qualifying second basemen in 2011? Well, if he were to keep up his rates over a full season’s worth of ABs, he would hit roughly 30 home runs, with 82 RBIs and 103 runs scored. Again, there is most likely no way he would have kept up that pace and these estimates are based on crude simplistic equations created by yours truly, but the home runs and runs would be top three amongst second basemen. The RBIs? Those would have been fifth. Batting average? That would be good for 8th amongst second basemen last year and his OPS would have ranked third at the cornerstone. Okay, okay, like I said there is nothing that would make these specific projections a reality, but these still paved the way for some decent preseason projections for Kipnis and he started off the season looking like he would live up to, and exceed, said projections.

The general consensus amongst the fantasy pundits and prognosticators before this season started was that Kipnis would be around the twelfth best two bagger in the fantasy game in 2012. As the twelfth best option at second base, that makes him a starter in pretty much every fantasy league around. On average, he was the 15th second baseman taken in Yahoo! fantasy drafts and and 16th in ESPN drafts and for all intents and purposes was still considered to be something of a sleeper pick. Well, compared to his average draft position and what he has done this season, he has been a great value pick. At his position he ranks 6th in Yahoo! and 9th in ESPN, so stellar season right? Sure, very solid, but a lot of these high ranks are based on a good start to his season. Through May he had a slash of .280/.330/.450 with eight homers, 30 RBIs and 34 runs scored and eleven stolen basesm making him one of the highest ranked second basemen in the game. But even these numbers were a bit inflated by what he did in May. For that month he had a slash of .295/.351/.459 to go along with five home runs, 18 RBIs 21 runs and seven stolen bases. That big May had many, including myself, thinking Kipnis was the real deal and ready to jump up into the upper echelon of fantasy second baseman. But then June came and the downward trend began. The June slash line was .267/.322/.381. He still had three dingers, 16 RBIs and 13 runs, which is respectable, sure enough, but let us see what happened since then, shall we?

For July and August, Kipnis had a slash line of .215/.299/.305 which is just not very good at all. In fact those numbers are below replacement level. In July and August, Kipnis has hit two, count ‘em TWO, home runs! And the first of those two home runs came on August 20th! He went just shy of 50 games without knocking one out of the park. That is a drought of pretty serious proportions. So the big question is, what in the heck happened? Why did the numbers drop so danged much? Well let’s see if we can pinpoint the trouble and see if we can expect Jason to right the ship.

Well the first thing that jumps out at me is Kipnis’ strikeout rate. Through June, he had a K-rate of 15.9%. For the past two months that rate has been at 17.3%, which is only a slight uptick, but in August that K-rate was 23.8% which is a much larger rise and also not  a great number. Striking out almost every fourth time to the plate is bad, unless you are belting out around 30 home runs a season. But really that does not seem like it would be the biggest factor in his recent woes. It is not so much that he is putting the ball in play less, but rather what he is doing when he does put the ball in play.

Here is a break down, by month, of his ground ball rates:

Mar/Apr- 41.7%

May- 44.8%

June- 43.5%

July- 51.4%

August- 56.7%

Yikes! Close to 60% of balls in play being put on the ground in August, which could only possibly be considered a good strategy if you are, maybe, Billy Hamilton or the Flash. Kipnis has decent speed but he needs to get the ball up in the air to be successful. But what is causing the increase in ground balls and general lack of effectiveness on batted balls? Well it seems that pitchers know what to throw to get Kipnis to chase and make weak contact. He chasing the same amount of balls outside of the strike zone and making contact on those just as much, but it seems that Kipnis is having trouble with pitches that are moving. Considering he is making contact on balls outside of the zone almost 90% of the time, it would stand to reason that he his not making great contact most of the time, but rather flailing at pitches and putting them into play weakly.

According to picth values on his Fangraphs page, straight ball, he hit it very much. Sliders, curveballs, and split-fingered fastballs, bats are afraid. He has a negative value on all of these pitches this season. His linear weight against the slider is -.68, wihch is behind the average hitter and also behind 94 other major league hitters. Kipnis has struggled even more against curveballs. His weighted linear value against curves is -1.96 which is behind over one hundered other major league hitter this season. But these are not anything compared to how he handles the split-fingered fastball, where his linear weighted value per one hundred pitches his a paltry -3.23. Since he is already seeing 3% more curveballs and 1.2% more split-fingered fastballs than last season, it seems that if he does not change his approach and start hitting these pitches that are a movin’, he will not be able to turn things around. Maybe he should ask Jobu to come? You know, offer him cigar, rum. He will come. Or, you know, change his approach at the plate. Well, he may have done one or the other, since he is off to a decent enough start in September. For Kipnis’ and his fantasy owners’ sakes, let’s hope whatever he has done lately will continue to work and he can start climbing back towards the upper echelon of fantasy second basemen.

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Drew Stubbs, Reds OF, Sell his stock

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Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch: Buy Jose Reyes Now

Posted on 06 August 2012 by Patrick Hayes

After a week off due to vacationing in the great state of Meeeeechigan, Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch returns to wheel and deal on a few interesting major leaguers. I do realize that the trade deadline in your fantasy league may have passed already but for those that haven’t, I suggest you take my following predictions and reactions to the bank, but not the one in Greece. Yeah, yeah, enough rambling, here we go:

Jose Reyes – SS, Miami Marlins

Jose  Reyes, Marlins SS, Buy his Stock

#1 on ESPNs 5×5 Player Rater for SSs

Jose Reyes is one of the last few remaining “names” on a dissipated Miami team that was ravished before the non-waiver trade deadline. He also happens to be completely on fire of late, to the tune of a .434/.474/.755 slash line in his last 14 games. Outstanding right? Right. He also has swiped six bags in this time frame and has touched home thirteen times in this span. The only lack of production has been his six RBI’s, with a majority of these ABs coming from the three-hole. I’m not too concerned about that from a fantasy perspective though, as with any shortstop position (outside of the injured Troy Tulowitzki), you aren’t expecting jaw-dropping power numbers anyway.

Manager Ozzie Guillen has gone on record saying that with the pending return of Giancarlo Stanton expected in the next week, Reyes will continue to bat third, which is good news for current owners. Adding to the optimistic outlook is the season BABIP of .304 that Reyes has currently, which is down a tick from his career average of .313. The only downside is that the rest of the lineup is one that draws blank stares and has nothing to play for, but nonetheless, Jose is finally playing the way he has in the past and what we have came to expect.

My verdict: Buy Now Candidate

Drew Stubbs – OF, Cincinnati Reds

Drew  Stubbs, Reds OF, Sell his stock

#27 on ESPNs 5×5 Player Rater for OFs

Drew Stubbs, synonymous with being part of a group of players who has all the potential in the world, gets drafted high each year, and still continues to disappoint and break hearts. When looking at the season in a whole, that previous sentence is dead on. However, Stubbs has been on point of late. Blasting 4 HRs in the past 14 days along with 5 SBs, these are the type of power and speed stats that makes scouts and fantasy owners go gaga. The accommodating slash of .362/.415/.660 is mighty appetizing as well, which makes now the perfect time to maximize take your gains and head home.

Have you looked at his season stats? .238/.307/.399 wreaks of a havoc. If you have kept him lingering around to experience this explosion of unsustainable hope, then you might have more patience than me. Striking out at a rate of over 27% is disgusting, as well as his walk rate of 8.7%. I’ll give you credit that his BABIP is well below his career average (.300 in 2012 to .328), but I just can’t fathom putting him in the lineup for the long haul. Sure, he may get a few SBs and pop a HR out here or there, but he will also frustrate you even more so once he and the Reds start to cool down. Do the smart thing here.

My verdict: Sell High Candidate

Chase Utley – 2B, Philadelphia Phillies

Chase  Utley, Phillies 2B, Hold his Stock

#9 on ESPNs 5×5 Player Rater for 2Bs in the last 30 days

Oh, where to begin. Chase Utley has been an injury riddled shadow of what he once was. After starting the year on the DL for those terrible knees, he got off to a slow start but has been steadily getting his swagger back. Three homeruns, six RBI, two stolen bases and a line of .297/.458/.622 in the last 14 days. He knows how to draw a walk too, his eye has remained sharp as ever and is at a rate of 12.5% this year (in line with 2009 and 2010).

While the second base position might not be as scarce as it used to be in his heyday, Utley is proving to be valuable in your fantasy lineup of late. It’s almost impossible to expect a sudden reemergence of his capabilities from his peak years, but it’s equally impossible not to root for him to regain those marks. I love looking at BABIP’s and so far this year, Chase’s is well below his career average, .253 in 2012 vs .308, which provides that glimmer of hope that maybe it’s possible. But seriously now, he had a cameo in It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, you should hold onto his bandwagon for the rest of the year just because of that.

My verdict: Hold while nostalgically grasping your shersey from the depths of closet in remembrance of yesteryear. 

Reactions and opinions are always welcomed. Find me on twitter: @pf_hayes

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