Posts Tagged ‘fantasy baseball strategy’

Splits and Strategy in Fantasy Baseball

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Fantasy Strategy: Platooning your hitters

You know, I hear all the time about how certain players are substantially better against left-handed pitchers, or maybe exceptionally weak against righties, or vice-versa, or whatever. But just recently did I consider employing this knowledge as a part of my strategy. Sure, if Carlos Pena was up against a tough lefty, I’d sit him, more than likely, but I didn’t check his splits until recently. He’s currently batting .122 against left-handed pitchers, against righties hitting .252, with four times as many homers (16) in twice as many games (the ratio is less drastic looking at at-bats, I’ll admit). (more…)

Madison Bumgarner’s [Very] Poor Start: a Fantasy Perspective

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Madison Bumgarner's concern was shared by fantasy owners across the land - unnecessarily

Madison Bumgarner last night demonstrated the trouble with judging based on recent performance.  Yes, his peripherals had been very good despite the 3-8 record.  The record is now 3-9, and his peripherals aren’t quite so appealing.

It could be called ‘The Meltdown’ – Did you see it?  No, I’m not speaking of last night’s MMA bout, but of Madison Bumgarner and his impressive one-out start.  And, yes, impressive for all the wrong reasons. The game began harmless enough, with several seeing-eye groundballs through holes in the infield.  And then several more.  And then a solid line drive to the outfield.  And then another.  And another seeing-eye single.  And now the batter is Carl Pavano, who will be Bumgarner’s first (and only) out of the ballgame, the score already 7-0 Minnesota.  The next batter, Ben Revere, graciously ended Bumgarner’s night with an RBI double, much like the axe coming down on Mel Gibson’s exposed neck in the epic “Braveheart.”  So, Bumgarner’s final line: 0.1 IP, 9 H, 0 BB, 8 ER (note that there were no errors, nor any walks involved in this seal clubbing).  For the ‘outing’, if you can call it one, that’s a WHIP of 27.00 and an ERA right around 215.  It’s actually 216.0, but I rounded down, for Bummy’s sake.

What does this mean?  Get him out of there, as far from the pitching rubber as possible – Antarctica maybe?  Australia?  They only play cricket, right?  Wrong.  Well, not about cricket, but about Bumgarner. This is an example of the law of averages, the deceptions of a small sample size, regression to the mean.  Over the past week, I don’t know how many places I have read that Bumgarner is a much better pitcher than his record indicates.  Want to write that article today?  Why not?  Is he really a worse pitcher now?  He has shown us just how bad he can be, but you shouldn’t be too surprised with the awful outing.  He kept the ball in the yard, and didn’t walk people.  The balls just didn’t bounce his way.  Sure one game is a horrendously small sample size, but Twins hitters were 9 for 9 on balls hit in play.  That smells like a ridiculously unlikely BABIP; note Madison’s season BABIP of .333.  And if you watched the first inning (the rest of the game was fairly moot), you might have recognized that Bummy’s supporting defense wasn’t exactly at their best.

What matters in Fantasy Baseball (and real baseball) is not one game, but 162.  Bumgarner is a good pitcher, not a great one, but probably good enough to grace a roster in most fantasy leagues.  More importantly, he’s also a young player.  His last start was so horrible – and unlikely – that it’s a guarantee his next will be better.

A moral to this story?  Well, bad outings and games will come, they’re a part of every player’s season.  Bumgarner had had bad luck with regards to wins and losses up to yesterday, but after last night’s debacle, it’s hard to argue that he is much better than his 4-8 record indicates.  After the loss, his WHIP for the season sits at 1.39, quite a contrast to the pretty 1.29 he sported entering yesterday.  Last year’s WHIP of 1.31 makes me think this is probably the high point. The moral is, start him, he’s the same pitcher he was two days ago, and if you have a cranky owner in your league that wants to get rid of a pitcher after his worst start of the year, take advantage and trade for him.

 

All-Star Balloting: Jose Bautista Sits Atop The AL Player Rankings

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

 

Bautista has picked up right where he left off last season

 

The American League has always been home to some of baseball’s greatest hitters. So far in this 2011 season, there have been MVPs playing as well as they always have. There have been young hitters looking to prove that they belong. There has been some just trying to show the league that they still deserve some respect. This is a list of the most productive hitters in the American League as of May 2nd.

 

 

 

 

 

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Top 10 Weekly Fantasy Starting Pitchers (August 2nd)

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

This kid throws the ball with a purpose.

This week’s Top 10 boasts a few new names that are virgin to the list as well as some top dogs that have spent more time on the list than off of it. As we kick off August, it’s getting more and more difficult to unseat the top options, so let’s take a look at what this week has to offer. (more…)

Positional Power Rankings (August 2nd)

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

Even a down year is good for this guy.

As the baseball season continues so do the positional power rankings. In some positions things are starting to unfold like they were predicted, but other positions there are some new faces in the mix. So take a look at these names below to see exactly what the perfect fantasy team looks like and dominate your game.

Catcher

1(4) Joe Mauer, MIN: Mauer still hasn’t been able to find the long ball, but he has kept up his great average though. Mauer owners have been racking up great RBI numbers from this keeper catcher. (9 R, 1 HR, 10 RBI, .632 AVG) (more…)