Neil’s Weekly Fantasy Baseball Preview: May 20th – 26th

May 19

Neil’s Weekly Fantasy Baseball Preview: May 20th – 26th

This week I want to share a few waiver wire columns that I thought were particularly good as a part of my weekly fantasy baseball preview. I take care of the waiver wire article over at The Fake Baseball and it can be a tough racket! However, roster management is sometimes even more important than your initial fantasy draft, so keeping active is critical. This weeks targets include Yasmani Grandal, Brandon Beachy, David Phelps, Justin Morneau and Eric Chavez. Fantasy Smack Talk: Dustin Barkley breaks down a few options for all mixed leagues, deeper leagues and players to keep an eye on. Francisco Liriano anyone? Bretsky Ball: Wayne Bretsky lines the options up by position and also takes a look at deeper league options. How about a little Jason Vargas, or would you prefer some Juan Pierre stolen base expertise? Rotoworld: D.J. Short has some mixed leagues and low-owned options for fantasy owners to consider and also discusses Don Mattingly’s bullpen tease! Wasting Away Again on the Waiver Wire: Here is my looks at some of the hotter hitters of the past few weeks! I’m a big Chris Tillman supporter right now. Let’s get our fake baseball uniforms dirty this week my friends!   Weekly Fantasy Baseball Preview: Bats   Catchers Pick – Joe Mauer: Batting .500 over the past 2 weeks. That is good, the 5 RBIs aren’t great, but how about 12 doubles and 13 runs? Sleeper – Salvador Perez: The power has evaporated, but he has 7 multi-hit games in May and 4 in his current 9 game hitting streak. Bust – Jesus Montero: I love this guy, but he got picked off second yesterday and then couldn’t keep his foot on home plate on the game winning run. Have to wonder if there is a dent in the toolbox!   First Base Pick – Joey Votto: When he was drafted in the first round owners were looking forward to weeks where he got on base at a .621 clip. Hands up if that is good enough for you Billy Beane? Sleeper – Adam LaRoche: Owners who cut ties might regret it, the guy is dialed in and capable of monster stretches! Bust – Ike Davis:...

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2013 First-Quarter Fantasy Baseball Awards

May 17

2013 First-Quarter Fantasy Baseball Awards

So Gonos zaps me an email, “Hey man, want to host a Fantasy Baseball Awards Show?” and I was all like “For sure, dude, love to.” I didn’t realize that I was going to be handing out quarterly Fantasy Baseball awards for a sport that doesn’t even have quarters! Furthermore, there are no after parties, red carpets or nominees luncheons, and I’m in charge of nominations and the only judge. So basically, I’m randomly selecting categories to give out fake awards based on fake baseball performances. I know, sounds sweet doesn’t it! And I’m hosting so we don’t have any debacles like Conan’s attempt to get to the Emmys. Hit the music, or whatever you do at these things and let’s get this show on the road, you gorgeous human person you! (Man, I am a natural at this host thing, must be all the parties I threw as a teenager.)   2013 First-Quarter Fantasy Baseball Awards   Andre Dawson Award Handed out to the fantasy baseball player who has joined a new team and absolutely mashed, like The Hawk did in 1987. Mark Reynolds: I had to start off with an easy one, as my wife would say, “Come on Man!?!” Reynolds had an ADP of 256 and is currently ranked 22nd on the ESPN Player Rater, Helllllo? Obviously, Reynolds has been hanging out with Drew Carey and loving him some Buzz Beer!   Larry Jones Award Handed out to the young Fantasy Baseball shortstop who is pushed to third and becomes an All Star like Chipper did in 1996. Manny Machado: He is a lot younger than Chipper too, he could easily hit 20 bombs, drive in 100, score 110 and steal over 15 bags, all with a .300 batting average. Man this guy is a rare example of a player who may be better than advertised! I wonder if Manny has ever been to Double Dime Ranch? Aaron Rowand Award Handed out to the Fantasy Baseball player who has joined a new team and absolutely gone ice cold, like Long Neck did in 2008. BJ Upton: Alright, it is still easy and Josh Hamilton is an obvious choice too, but he is turning it around. Upton had an ADP...

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Most Added Players of the Week

May 15

Most Added Players of the Week

This article will look at the most added players over the last seven days according to ESPN’s calculations (the percentages are current up to Tuesday night). This exercise should be able to allow us to see if some recently successful performances have been authentic or fraudulent. While it may be justifiable to react and pick up several of these recent risers, there are some other players on this list that should be disregarded like the 1995 sixty-five inch Mitsubishi television that is currently in my room, weighs more than I would like to think about, and is currently inoperable for one reason or another. Just like my inability to move this behemoth of a television out of my living quarters, Fantasy owners should dissuade their motivation from action, and not pick up certain players on this list despite their recent, larger than life performances. Most Added Players:   10. Justin Morneau: +26.1% (79% Owned)   9. Mitch Moreland: +30.3% (36.9% Owned) Owned in fewer leagues than Albert Pujols, Billy Butler, and Lance Berkman, Mitch Moreland is also ranked higher than the aforementioned first basemen on ESPN’s player rater. If Moreland is able to avoid the injuries that derailed his playing time last year, he should be able to continue the production he has had in 2013. While Moreland’s BABIP is a little high—nothing inflated enough to be worried about—his HR/FB ratio suggests that his power production can be sustained, if not improved upon from last year, because of his surge in FB% (42.9% this year, compared to 37.7% last year). 8. Scott Kazmir: +30.3% (30.6% Owned) Kazmir consistently averaged 92 mph on his fastball until 2010, but soon after that time his skillset declined to the point that he only averaged 88 mph on his fourseam in 2011. So far this year, Kazmir has averaged 92 mph on his fastball and has regained his velocity and effectiveness. 7. James Loney: +30.8% (43.7% Owned) As we discussed last week, Loney currently has the third largest differential between his 2013 BABIP and his career BABIP among qualified players this year. Loney’s BABIP has largely increased because of his line drive rate. But, as Matt Klaassen discussed on Monday, since batted ball...

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The Luckiest Hitters of 2013

May 10

The Luckiest Hitters of 2013

Earlier this week, I wrote about the luckiest pitchers of the year, but in this article our attention will be pointed toward the luckiest hitters of 2013. In the same way that our previous article used FIP to discover which pitchers have been the luckiest, we will use BABIP as our tool to discover what hitters have received the most assistance from randomness. How did I use BABIP? Simple. You take a hitters career BABIP and subtract it from his 2013 BABIP (all numbers used for this article are current up to mid-day Thursday), and the number you get is the hitters BABIPdif. The larger the BABIPdif, the unluckier a hitter has been from batted balls; the smaller the BABIPdif, the luckier a hitter has been from batted balls. You get the point. This list of the luckiest hitters was restricted to players with over one hundred plate appearances in 2013. If you want a laugh, go to Nick Punto’s FanGraphs page and do the math on his BABIPdif for yourself. The Luckiest Hitters of 2013:   10. Jhonny Peralta, BABIPdif: -.067   9. Jay Bruce, BABIPdif: -.068 This could be the first post of the season that says Jay Bruce has actually been lucky this year! But, his luck has only brought him from awful to bad, and is an indication of what a mess he has been at the plate this year. This is a recap of Bruce’s plate discipline numbers in 2013: more swings at pitches outside and inside the strike zone, and less contact with pitches inside and outside the strike zone. Bruce has also swung and missed on 15.3% of the pitches he has seen, which is the highest percentage of his career and the ninth worst percentage in the majors this year. While Bruce’s power numbers are down because of his deteriorated plate discipline numbers, the only reason his batting average has not seen the same plunge is because of the assistance he has gotten from an inflated BABIP.   8. Adam Jones, BABIPdif: -.074   7. Yadier Molina, BABIPdif: -.078 Molina’s contact rate is up from 85% last year to 89% this year, which could explain his rise in in BABIP, but...

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The Luckiest Pitchers of 2013

May 08

The Luckiest Pitchers of 2013

It’s May. We are a month into the season, and there have been many surprises. Starling Marte is second on the player rater, and Clay Buchholz is the number one rated pitcher … Wait, that does not sound right. But it’s true. However, while we know better than to believe that Starling Marte and Clay Buchholz will keep up their current pace, it is easy to fall into the trap of overrating a player’s April statistics. How can we avoid these pitfalls? Well, let’s take our time, and look at pitchers. What do we know? ERA is a poor indication of a pitcher’s future performance. What else do we know? FIP is a way to more accurately predict a pitchers future production. Below is a list of pitchers that have had the largest differential between their ERA and FIP, and have outperformed their peripherals — also known as “the luckiest pitchers.”   The Luckiest Pitchers of 2013: The list was restricted to starters that have thrown 28 innings or more. The term FIPdif indicates the differential between the pitchers ERA and FIP. The larger the FIPdif, the more the pitcher has gotten lucky.   9. Jordan Zimmerman, FIPdif: -1.28 I thought it would be worthwhile to take the time and look at Jordan Zimmerman as a cautionary tale. Zimmerman has shown the ability over the course of his career to regularly outperform his FIP. Some would say this is a skill, and that he and other pitchers like himself—Matt Cain and Jeremy Hellickson, to name a couple—have the ability to control batted balls. When it comes Zimmerman, think of him as the exception to the rule, and expect his ERA to regress less to his FIP than most pitchers.   8. Jason Marquis, FIPdif: -1.49   7. Hisashi Iwakuma, FIPdif: -1.58 Make no mistake, Iwakuma has pitched spectacularly this year, but it is unlikely that he will finish where he currently ranks as the number eight starting pitcher on the player rater. While Iwakuma has a large FIPdif, that differential is largely because his ERA is so low (1.61), and not because his FIP is high (3.19). The .191 BABIP that Iwakuma currently sports will regress, and when it...

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2015 Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft – Rounds 3 & 4

May 07

2015 Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft – Rounds 3 & 4

Last week, we held the very first Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft for the 2015 season. Oh my, we are proactive! We gathered together 12 of the very best Fantasy Baseball writers across the worldwide web, and stuck them into a time machine. We sent these to the year 2015, to hold the first baseball mock draft of the year, while also battling cyborgs and zombies and Shia Labeouf. Zombie baseball is obviously a big part of the Fantasy Baseball landscape in the coming seasons. Unfortunately, stolen bases are going to take a BIG hit. So now, we’re entering the third and fourth rounds of this Fantasy Baseball mock draft, after an eventful first two rounds. We’ve already had two pitchers taken (both in the second round), along with 12 different outfielders! Heck, there were three shortstops taken in the first 12 picks! Let’s get right into Rounds 3 & 4! While we don’t yet have Fantasy Baseball in space, it’s only a matter of time. Bill Lee, obviously, would be the commissioner. 2015 Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft Participants 1. Derek VanRiper, RotoWire.com 2. Cory Schwartz, MLB.com 3. David Gonos, DavidGonos.com 4. Nick Raducanu, FantasyTrade411.com 5. Adam Ronis, RotoExperts.com 6. Nicholas Minnix, KFFL.com 7. Nando DiFino, CBSSports.com 8. Eric Mack, SI.com 9. Paul Sporer, BaseballProspectus.com 10. Tim Heaney, KFFL.com 11. Neil Parker, 101FantasyTips.com 12. Jeff Mans, FantasyAlarm.com Again, here’s a link to the first two rounds of this baseball mock draft. Now, put away your computers and enjoy this mock draft. That’s right — where we’re going, we don’t need computers! … Seriously, though, keep your computers. You do, in fact, need them in the future. 2015 Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft   ROUND THREE   3.01 Prince Fielder, 1B, Detroit Derek VanRiper of RotoWire.com Prince Fielder at 3.1 in #Mock2015 – Not young and trendy, but 31 to start '15 and should still have elite power. http://t.co/Inpok7Tb8I — Derek VanRiper (@DerekVanRiper) April 18, 2013 3.02 Carlos Santana, C, Cleveland Cory Schwartz of MLB.com Carlos Santana 3.2 in #Mock2015 – nice to get .290 with 35-40 HR from your 29-year-old catcher http://t.co/POqVcZh0x5 … — Cory Schwartz (@schwartzstops) April 22, 2013 3.03 Buster Posey, C, San Francisco David Gonos of DavidGonos.com #Mock2015...

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Neil’s Weekly Fantasy Baseball Preview: May 6th – 12th

May 05

Neil’s Weekly Fantasy Baseball Preview: May 6th – 12th

I have been enjoying telling stories, sharing links and other fantasy baseball goodies, but this week I’m going to name my April Fantasy Baseball All Star Team.  I have no clear criteria and no idea who is on this team yet, or why I am picking anyone in particular, so lets see how it goes! Carlos Santana – C -CLE: Obviously his production isn’t the best out there, but he is hitting .383, with an OPS of 1.147 which tops MLB.  You can have John Buck and certainly Mike Napoli has been awesome, but what Carlos Santana is doing might just make him the first backstop off the board next draft season. Prince Fielder – 1B – DET: My wife calls him ‘The Wookie’ and I’m always able to be like, “Hey Rae, you’re favorite player just hit a bomb!” and she’ll say, “I don’t have a favorite player.”  So, I’m like, “No Look, seriously,” and Rachel laughs, but more often just looks over annoyed, calls him a wookie and then questions whether he can he run fast enough to play baseball.  But seriously, I haven’t owned Fielder in 2 years and I generally only watch players I own, but that is a weekly conversation we have.  It is better than Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Ian Kinsler – 2B – TEX: I completely punted the two-bag in all my leagues this season and went with the Matt Carpenter and Jedd Gyorko approach, in my big money league I took Kinsler in the 3rd and I am loving it.  I own him every season in that league I think.  He has 18 runs and RBIs, 5 bombs, 3 swipes and I’m happy, I got Matt Halliday in the 4th round there, like I did in every other league this season. Matt Carpenter – 3B – STL: He isn’t the best, obviously, but he is out performing his ADP by leaps and bounds right now, not to mention leading the NL in runs.  Now he slots into the 2B position, while also having OF and 1B eligibility.  I wish I owned him a little more actually and runs are an often overlooked roto stat. Troy Tulowitzki – SS – COL: The Rockies...

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