• Roto Riteup
    The most roto-relevant news of the previous day, recapped in a concise format for your morning coffee.
  • Bullpen Report
    Detailed daily updates and charts on every bullpen in the Major Leagues to help you manage your saves and holds.
  • Prospect Coverage
    Our prospect team mines the minors for top prospects and useful pieces alike.
  • MASH Report
    Award-winning in-depth injury report with analysis from Jeff Zimmerman.
  • The Sleeper and The Bust Podcast
    Paul Sporer, Justin Mason, and Jason Collette lead the RotoGraphs staff in a regular fantasy podcast.
  • Daily Fantasy Strategy
    The RotoGraphs team discusses daily fantasy strategy and then makes picks for the day.
  • Ottoneu Strategy
    Strategy for the year-round FanGraphs Fantasy game.
  • Top 50 Fantasy Prospects
    Marc Hulet adjusts (and updates) his prospect list for fantasy purposes.
  • Field of Streams
    A contest to see who can make the better picks: streaming pitcher and hitter choices for every day of the season in a podcast hosted by Dylan Higgins and Matthew Dewoskin.
C  -  1B  -  2B  -  SS  -  3B  -  OF  -  SP  -  RP

Mike Podhorzer’s 2019 Bold Predictions – A Review

Now that the regular season has ended, it’s time to review alllllll my pre-season calls. I’ll start with the granddaddy of posts, one that all RotoGraphs writers partake in — bold predictions. I won’t fully rehash my prediction explanations here, so refresh your memory from my original post. As usual, the hope is to get three of the 10 correct. Let’s see how I did.

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After Dark Fantasy Chat

8:01
Jeff Zimmerman: So, I will be moving my fantasy chat from Sunday night to a weeknight. The exact night has not been set yet.

8:01
Jeff Zimmerman: I have to move around to off days during the playoffs

8:01
Kris Bryant: Who are 3 teams who want to trade for me?

8:02
Jeff Zimmerman: No one comes to mind. Teams may not give up much for him.

8:02
Midwestern: I’m in a keeper league 13 teams, 12 keepers each. Would you rather have Acuna for 4 years at $23 per, or wander Franco for 6 years, first 2 at $3 and last 4 at $23 (once he hits the majors)? I’m leaning strongly towards Acuna but how close is a deal like this?

8:03
Jeff Zimmerman: Acuna and it’s not even close.

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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 743 – Positional Reviews: C and 1B

9/30/19

The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is live. Support the show by subscribing to Fangraphs! With a standard $20 membership, you help maintain and improve our database of stats and graphs as well as our staff of 8 full-time employees and over 50 contributors. The premium ad-free membership at $50 year supports site growth and also includes faster load speeds and better site performance. You can also support monthly for just $3.

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POSITIONAL POST MORTEMS

Razzball Player Rater (type C or 1B into the POS field after it loads)

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Juiced Baseball: What to Expect in 2020 … For Now

To begin my 2020 preseason, the elephant needs to be addressed, “What to do about projecting with MLB’s juiced baseball (i.e. Happy Fun Ball).

Is Freddy Galvis going to continue to jack 20+ home runs or will he maxing out at dozen or so? Every projection can’t be a Choose Your Own Adventure story. If the ball is still juiced, he’ll do X, if not juiced, he’ll do Y. In my analysis, I’ll pick a lane.

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Streaming Starters: September 28, 2019

Down the stretch, we’ll be covering the probable starters and highlighting our favorites to stream as you chase down your fantasy titles. The pitcher in question must be available in 50% or more of leagues according to FantasyPros.com, which combines ESPN and Yahoo! roster rates (sometimes exceptions just over 50% will be mentioned if they are really good and should have a much higher roster rate). I’ve listed the players in order of interest.

Note: * denotes that ESPN ownership rates were used, as rates on FantasyPros were unavailable.

Must-Start

John Means (11-11, 3.54) at BOS |42%

Means has been a master at inducing soft contact this season, both on flies and liners (90.7 mph EV) and grounders (82.5 mph EV). Now he gets to face a Red Sox offense that ranks in the bottom third in ISO and wOBA for September. They may also still be adjusting from playing in high-80s temperatures in Texas to cool, damp weather in Boston. Means is a must-add and must-start.
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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 742 – Fireside Chat: Late Season Surgers for 2020

9/27/19

The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is live. Support the show by subscribing to Fangraphs! With a standard $20 membership, you help maintain and improve our database of stats and graphs as well as our staff of 8 full-time employees and over 50 contributors. The premium ad-free membership at $50 year supports site growth and also includes faster load speeds and better site performance. You can also support monthly for just $3.

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STUDS SINCE AUGUST 1ST:

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The Daily Grind: Finals Week Pt. 5: The Final Final

Finally, the final final.

AGENDA

  1. TDG Invitational
  2. Weather Reports
  3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse
  4. SaberSim Says…
  5. Spazzy

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Roto Riteup: September 27, 2019

The Roto Riteup hopes you had a great fantasy baseball season!

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Streaming Starters: September 27, 2019

Down the stretch, we’ll be covering the probable starters and highlighting our favorites to stream as you chase down your fantasy titles. The pitcher in question must be available in 50% or more of leagues according to FantasyPros.com which combines ESPN and Yahoo! roster rates (sometimes exceptions just over 50% will be mentioned if they are really good and should have a much higher roster rate). I’ve listed the players in order of interest.

STREAM AWAY

Anthony DeSclafani (9-9, 3.84) at PIT |38%

Since allowing six runs in four innings of work against the Nationals on August 12th, DeSclafani has posted a 2.05 ERA (4.17 xFIP) in seven starts. He looks to be doing it by generating more groundballs (52.2%), and fewer strikeouts than he had previously. The Pirates have been one of the worst offenses in the second half of the season (87 wRC+). He’s also gone deep into games – pitching at least six innings in six of his last seven starts. He looks like a strong play against Pittsburgh on Friday.

Jose Urquidy (1-1, 4.63) at LAA |3%

Urquidy’s FIP (3.79) is almost a run lower than his ERA. Friday night he’s facing an Angels team without its two best hitters in Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, a team that has produced a wOBA of .293 in September. His ability to pitch deep into games hasn’t been established so there’s a bit of risk here, but you like the pitcher and you like the matchup.

 

GIVE THEM A LOOK

Zach Plesac (8-6, 3.82) at WAS |36%

Save for a complete game shutout against the Angels on September 10th, Plesac has struggled since the beginning of August, posting an ERA of 4.43 in eight starts. With both Washington and Cleveland fighting for their playoff lives this weekend, expect a quick hook.

Austin Voth (1-1, 3.35) v. CLE |17%

Cleveland’s offense is a little less dangerous against right-handers (.319 wOBA) and Voth could be a solid source of strikeouts. Dave Martinez hasn’t let Voth make it deep into games very often so consider there’s less opportunity for the win or quality start.

Nate Eovaldi (2-0, 6.03) v. BAL |40%

Eovaldi will make his last start of a disappointing 2019 season on Friday in Baltimore. The matchup with the Orioles is a good one, but he’s been maddeningly inconsistent and ineffective this season thanks to a 4.45 BB/9 walk rate. It’s possible he helps you get a win, but there’s WHIP and ERA risk here.

Eric Lauer (8-10, 4.53) at ARI |12%

Lauer was solid against Arizona last weekend despite the fact that the D-Backs own the fourth highest wOBA and wRC+ against left-handed pitching this season. With Lauer’s strikeout potential, a homer-supressing environment, and Ketel Marte sidelined for the remainder of the season, there is some potential here.

Ivan Nova (11-12, 4.80) v. DET |17%

Nova isn’t going to help in strikeouts and his second half xFIP (5.22) is significantly higher than his ERA (3.67). Because he’s pitching against the Tigers, there’s some win potential here, but not a ton else to be excited about.

 

LONG SHOTS

Justus Sheffield (0-1, 5.81) v. OAK |11%

Sheffield should have fared better than his ERA suggests (4.29 xFIP). He’s also a solid source of strikeouts. But the A’s mash at home, and their team walk rate of 9.8 percent doesn’t bode well for a pitcher walking 9.7 percent of the batters he’s faced. There’s an outside chance he does something but there are safer plays on Friday.

Zach Davies (10-7, 3.61) at COL |35%

Aside from the fact that Davies is pitching at Coors, Craig Counsell is routinely removing his starting pitchers in the fourth and fifth innings – preventing them from pitching deep enough into games to qualify for wins and quality starts. In the last week, only Chase Anderson has pitched six innings. He’s a decent pitcher, but he’s got a lot working against him.

Tyler Alexander (1-4, 4.99) at CWS |2%

Alexander appears to have taken a step forward this season in his bat-missing abilities – his triple-A K/9 of 9.88 was the best of his career. The White Sox hit lefties well (106 wRC+) and his role as a swing man means he hasn’t pitched deep into games. Continue to proceed with caution.

Vince Velasquez (7-8, 4.76) v. MIA |14%

In addition to the inconsistencies that have plagued Velasquez, he’s been unable to pitch deep into games, having pitched more than five innings only four times in 22 starts this season.

Steven Brault (4-6, 5.07) v. CIN |4%

The Reds struggle against left-handed pitching, which is about the only positive you can take from Brault’s matchup against Cincy. He’s nothing more than a flyer here.

 

NO BUENO

T.J. Zeuch (1-1, 4.58) v. TB |1%

Zeuch isn’t the absolute worst option – but with Tampa fighting for their playoff lives and the risks that come with starting someone who has made just two major league starts, you should stay away unless absolutely necessary this weekend.

Asher Wojciechowski (3-8, 5.31) at BOS |5%

Boston’s offense has gone cold in September but that’s not enough reason to trust Wojciechowski here.

Johnny Cueto (1-1, 2.57) v. LAD |36%

Cueto’s making his fourth start since returning from Tommy John surgery and has yet to pitch into the sixth inning. His velocity is up from his 2018 numbers but you want to avoid him against the Dodgers.

Manny Banuelos (3-4, 6.93) v. DET | 0%

His first start since June 11 means he won’t be stretched out.

Chi Chi Gonzalez (2-6, 5.68) v. MIL |2%

The Brewers are a fairly average offense (96 wRC+) against righties but you still can’t trust Gonzalez at Coors.

Taylor Clarke (5-5, 5.40) v. SD |1%

Clarke has been pitching in the bullpen recently and will likely be acting as an opener here.

Eric Skoglund (0-2, 7.50) v. MIN |0%

You don’t wanna touch any stream-quality pitchers taking on the Twins.

Patrick Sandoval (0-3, 5.25) v. HOU |1%

The Yankees get all the offensive press but the Astros actually lead baseball in team wOBA (.354) and wRC+ (125) this season.

Joe Palumbo (0-2, 9.22) v. NYY |0%

This one is pretty self-explanatory.


A Closer Look at September Standouts

A September surge doesn’t guarantee success the following year. For every Luke Voit (208 wRC+ in September 2018; 128 in 2019), Ketel Marte (148; 151), Yuli Gurriel (160; 134), there’s a Ryan O’Hearn (157; 68), Kevin Kiermaier (162; 77), or Willson Contreras who actually had the worst September wRC+ (min. 70 PA) at 27 but rebounded for an excellent 2019 and career-best 129 wRC+. It doesn’t need a 100% success rate to be a worthy exercise, though.

Let’s look at a handful of September standouts (focusing primarily on guys who weren’t great through August) and see if they are worth buying into for 2020.

Eloy Jiménez, CWS | 188 wRC+ in September

Jimenez came into the season with major expectations only to labor through the first two months hitting just .220/.273/.390 with 6 HR and a high ankle sprain that shelved him for nearly a month. He soared from June 1st through the first week after the All-Star break (.921 OPS, 11 HR) and it looked like he was cool for the summer. But a bruised ulnar nerve shut him down for a minimum stay and curbed some of the momentum.

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