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C  -  1B  -  2B  -  SS  -  3B  -  OF  -  SP  -  RP

The Weird and the Wonderful Pt. 4 — 4/15/21

Today marks the final installment of this season’s wacky small sample rate discussion. Let’s finish things off by sticking with starting pitchers, but moving along to the plate discipline metrics.

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Bullpen Report: April 15

The 2021 version of Bullpen Report includes five different sections, as well as the closer chart, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

  1. Notable Workloads: Primary closers or valuable members of a closer committee who have been deemed unavailable or likely unavailable for the current day due to recent workload.
  2. Injury News 
  3. Outlier Saves: Explanation for a non-closer earning a save during the previous day.
  4. Committee Clarity: Notes on a closer committee that clarify a pitcher’s standing in the group.
  5. Losing A Grip: Struggling closers who could be on the hot seat.

The “RosterResource” link will take you to the corresponding team’s RosterResource depth chart, which will give you a better picture of the full bullpen and results of the previous six days (pitch count, save, hold, win, loss, blown save.)
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Statcast Gains and Increasing Value

Now is that time in the season where you’re probably starting to get a little antsy. Why hasn’t Player A hit any home runs yet? When will Player B steal a base? Do I cut this player? Do I add that player? You may fall into the trap of cutting players on a whim because of a 3-for-31 performance thus far, but then regret that cut when he goes on a home run hitting bonanza in a few weeks. So, what indicators can you look for when trying to decide whether to buy or sell, cut or claim? 

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The Weird and the Wonderful Pt. 3 — 4/14/21

Over the last two days, I have shared the wacky rates hitters have posted over the small sample early season so far. Let’s now jump to starting pitchers. Only a handful of starters have made three starts so far, while the rest are sitting on just one or two. So these rates are not very meaningful, but are fun to look at.

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Bullpen Report: April 14, 2021

  1. Notable Workloads: Primary closers or valuable members of a closer committee who have been deemed unavailable or likely unavailable for the current day due to recent workload.
  2. Injury News
  3. Outlier Saves: Explanation for a non-closer earning a save during the previous day.
  4. Committee Clarity: Notes on a closer committee that clarify a pitcher’s standing in the group.
  5. Losing A Grip: Struggling closers who could be on the hot seat.

The “RosterResource” link will take you to the corresponding team’s RosterResource depth chart, which will give you a better picture of the full bullpen and results of the previous six days (pitch count, save, hold, win, loss, blown save).
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MLB DFS Pitching Analysis: April 13, 2021

Our MLB DFS lineups don’t start and end with pitching. I’m not saying to punt pitcher every night or even every now and then. I’m just stressing that each and every slate does not rest upon our pitching. But the pitcher position is so vital because it’s the slot where we can get the most accurate projection in an extremely volatile wing of DFS.

Our pitching isn’t just a source of fantasy points. The price tags on pitchers make it so they shape they dictate the freedoms and restrictions of building our lineups. Before reading this article, it’s highly suggested that you read my article, “DFS Pitching Primer,” so the concepts discussed here make more sense.

That we’re not selecting the best players. We’re constructing the lineups which carry the most leverage without sacrificing many projected fantasy points.

Tonight’s slate features a wide variety of pitching quality, but we’re gonna focus on the top — the best pitcher, the best play, and the best contrarian option — or else some poor editor is gonna have to sift through 3,000 words, as there is just so much really good pitching.

The best pitcher of these three is Shane Bieber and it isn’t particularly close. His 3.09 SIERA, 11.99 K/9, and 27.9% K-BB rate all lead the slate. And his matchup against the White Sox is not as scary as many think it is. The White Sox only have a 102 wRC+ against right-handed pitching and they carry a 24.5% K rate. Vegas has the implied run total for the White Sox around 3.5, which is totally fine. And Bieber is about $1k too cheap on both sites for his skill level. That all said, Bieber won’t carry the most ownership.

Trevor Bauer will likely actually be the heavily-owned chalk tonight because he’s a couple hundred cheaper than Bieber and is projecting better across the industry, despite being far short of Bieber in SIERA at 3.77 and overall skill. There are three key reasons why:

      1. The Rockies are a trainwreck. Forget the home-road garbage. We don’t have to speculate on the extremes of Coors Field. The Rockies active roster has a 79 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers with a 25.1% K rate.

      Is Trevor Story legit-good? Sure. Is Charlie Blackmon nothing to slouch about? Sure. Does C.J. Cron have the type of power that transcends the Coors advantage? Sure. Can Ryan McMahon be a real thing? Sure.

      But the rest of the Rockies lineup is hot garbage and none of the guys I mentioned are elite. According to the RotoGrinders Plate IQ tool, their projected starting lineup has an Earth-shattering 27.2% K rate.

      2. Bauer’s environment is better for run prevention. Guaranteed Rate Field is a low-key big-time hitters park. It has a 102 park factor for wOBA and a 116 for home runs, according to EV Analytics, compared to 101 and 109 for Dodger Stadium. The rumor is that Dodgers Stadium’s home run factor goes down at night because of the marine layer. Not sure I believe it, but still a significant park advantage for Bauer.

      Vegas sees (1) and (2) to give Colorado a 2.51 implied total — almost a full run under the White Sox.

      3. Bauer’s one of the best pitchers in the league. Not like Bieber, but still… Bieber is probably a top-three pitcher in baseball, while Bauer is somewhere in the middle or bottom of the top-12, depending on who you ask. The most valuable quality Bauer possesses after his 11.23 K/9 and sub-4.00 SIERA is his ability to pitch deep into games. We get points for innings and more innings equal more Ks. His 6.36 innings pitched per start is elite in today’s game and his three complete game shutouts (CGSO) since 2019 as tied with one guy in MLB over that span.

This is the worst wRC+ versus any handedness in the league and one of the worst K rates in a much better ballpark for pitching than Bieber has to face. Add Bauer’s leash and there is legitimate CGSO upside for Bauer tonight.

That said, projecting considerably lower than Bauer, there’s Lucas Giolito. His matchup isn’t as finger-lickin’ juicy as Bauer’s and he’s pitching in the same park as Bieber, but no one’s gonna play him. His 3.48 SIERA is better than Bauer’s. His 11.89 K/9 is higher than Bauer’s. And his 24.6% K-BB rate is higher than Bauer’s.

Cleveland doesn’t strike out much (22.9% against right-handers), but their 90 wRC+ against right-handers is awful. Vegas has the game as a pick-em, so the implied total for Cleveland is even with the White Sox.

In cash games, we play Bauer. In smaller tournaments, we take a stand on Bauer or Bieber. But in large-field tournaments where we need more leverage over the field of entrants, Giolito has to be in the mix. If we’re maximum multi-entering or even playing 20-plus lineups, we should consider lineups without any of the three, as the pool of SP2s is about as deep as it gets.

All stats cited are since 2019, unless otherwise noted.


Throwing Heat Week 2

Baseball is happening! I decided for the entire season to run a weekly article on pitchers who have been “heating up.” I will dive into what it could mean for the pitcher and what you should do with them. This should be a captivating concept because it will be pitchers of all levels, anywhere from aces to pitchers you would have never drafted. That’s what it’s all about, catching players as they improve and acting on it before anyone else can realize. Welcome to “Throwing Heat!”

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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 915 – Glasnow’s Surge

4/13/21

The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is live. Support the show by subscribing to our Patreon!!

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NOTABLE TRANSACTIONS/INJURIES/RUMORS

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Who is Being Dropped & Why (Week 2)

It’s the second FAAB period for the NFBC Main event and the week was a little calmer, but not much. It seems like managers might be a little too impatient on some guys. We are not even two weeks into a 26-week season.

For this weekly feature, I use the NFBC Main Event because of the number of identical leagues. Additionally, the managers stay engaged longer on the whole since each spent $1700 per team. I tried to find that sweet spot between the obvious and bizarre drops and will focus on players dropped in eight to eleven leagues. Previously the number was six to nine, but I adjusted with the Main Event adding four leagues since I did the report. The right answer might be seven to ten.
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Ottoneu Hot Right Now: Most Active Current Auctions

There have been a number of unexpected, impressive performances so far this year. This is what happens when you take a few hundred MLB-quality players, look at a one-week sample of data, and mix in a dash of “last year was a mess with no minor league season and a strange big league season.” Ottoneu managers have taken notice and in the last week, we have seen players like Yermin Mercedes, Akil Baddoo, and Julian Merryweather go from practically unknown to rostered in almost all leagues. While those players are likely already rostered in your leagues, let’s take a look at the next set of players to leap to the upper tiers of Ottoneu roster percentage. As of Monday night, these five players had the most active auctions across all of Ottoneu.

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