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2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Busts & Overvalued Players 2020 Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy & Tips 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections & ADP Analysis 2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers MLB Analysis Radio RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

MLB Podcast on RotoBaller Radio: Fantasy Baseball Outfield Sleepers & Busts

Preseason Fantasy Baseball Analysis: Outfield Sleepers & Busts

RotoBaller is very excited about the launch of our very own radio station. You can now find our new shows on BlogTalkRadio live or on demand, and on iTunes under podcasts.

Every Wednesday night at 9:30 PM EST, RotoBaller co-founder Real Talk Raph and co-host Anthony Aniano of DraftSmashers Radio will be discussing the most relevant fantasy sports news and information.

Editor's Note: Don't forget to check out all of RotoBaller's 2015 fantasy baseball rankings and analysis to prepare for your fantasy drafts. Let's win some leagues!

 

This week's discussion revolved around the 2015 preseason rankings of the outfield (OF) positions, and which players have the potential to be busts or a great bargain based on the latest ADP data.

Detailed analysis about Starling Marte, Matt Kemp, Mike Trout, Chris Carter, Marcell Ozuna, Yoenis Cespedes, Giancarlo Stanton, Corey Dickerson, Nelson Cruz, Michael Brantley, Jose Bautista, Adam Jones, Andrew McCutchen, Carlos Gomez, Jacoby Ellsbury, Yasiel Puig, Justin Upton, Bryce Harper, Adam Eaton, Mookie Betts, Hanley Ramirez, Rusney Castillo, Joc Pederson, Carl Crawford and Oswaldo Arcia (among others).

Without further ado, we present to you this week's episode of RotoBaller Fantasy Sports Radio:

 

 

Be sure to follow also RotoBaller on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and SnapChat.

You can find Anthony Aniano on Twitter @DraftSmashRadio and on BlogTalkRadio.

If you want even more ranting, raving, and pictures of Bengal cats, then follow @RealTalkRaph on Twitter and Instagram.




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2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy & Tips 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections & ADP Analysis MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Video: Analyzing the Top 3 Catchers (C) That Will Outperform Their ADP

The 2015 fantasy baseball season is fast approaching RotoBallers. We are here to provide you with the most current and in-depth analysis every single day leading up to the busy draft season, and the start of the 2015 MLB season.

Several times per week, RotoBaller co-founder Real Talk Raph will review the key player news and developments, as well as prepare you for your drafts. He'll be bringing you information on the hottest sleepers, waiver wire pickups, closers, injuries, prospects and rankings for all formats including AL-Only and NL-Only leagues. Don't be surprised if he sprinkles in a little daily fantasy DFS advice as well for all of you who subscribe to our premium newsletter, or just want to dabble a bit and get acclimated to the way the game is played on sites like FanDuel and DraftKings.

 

Top 3 Catchers (C) That Will Outperform Their ADP

Today's video discusses Matt Wieters, Wilin Rosario, Travis d'Arnaud. These three catchers are worth targeting in your 2015 fantasy baseball drafts because there's a very good chance that they will outperform their average draft position (ADP).

 

 

Be sure you check out all of our 2015 fantasy baseball rankings, and let us know what you think by leaving us a comment.

Also feel free to send us an email at info@rotoballer.com with any fantasy baseball keeper, dynasty or draft questions that you want us to answer in our next YouTube video.

Don't forget to check back daily for another video update on YouTube, and subscribe to our Instagram feed for DFS and waiver wire update videos several times per week.

Follow @RotoBaller on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube & Facebook




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2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy & Tips 2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Draft Strategy: How to Use ADPs to Find Fantasy Baseball Sleepers

How to Use ADP Data to Find Draft Sleepers

ADPs, or Average Draft Positions, are perhaps the single biggest obsession and reference point for the great majority of fantasy baseball drafters. And it makes sense: you can see where a player is being drafted, judge whether you like him more or less than his ADP, and poof, you’ve spotted the guys to avoid or target in your draft. Do it successfully and you may just have found yourself a few draft-day bargains.

What’s not to like? Well, there is a huge, elephant-sized hitch: not everyone in your league uses the same ADPs to do their research. Some owners aren't using ADPs at all. If you’re deciding when to draft players based on their ADPs, while your fellow fantasy GMs aren't referencing those ADPs, your research winds up being meaningless because you have no way to tell when your fellow GMs will consider drafting the player you want! Whatever direction the ADP data steers you in, it will be the wrong one. You will be targeting players based on their ADPs, while your competition is taking some of those players way earlier or later because they’re not using that data at all!

This is the gift and the curse of ADPs. They can be valuable tools to get an idea which players are being overvalued and undervalued. If you rely on them too heavily, especially while your competitors are not, you will be making decisions in an information vacuum. And that, my fellow RotoBallers, is a recipe for draft-day disaster.

If you’ve been relying on ADP data to find your “sleepers” and you just read the above, your reaction might be - “oh shiz, what if no one else in my league is using ADP data?" Well worry not, RotoBaller has the key strategies you can use to maximize value from ADP data and make sure you find your sleepers and draft-day bargains. Also, be sure to check out RotoBaller's ADP Comparison Tool to help you find sleepers.

 

1. Make sure you are including ADP / Rankings data from your league provider

If you play on Yahoo!, use Yahoo!'s ADP data and their rankings. CBS? Use CBS’s ADPs and ranks. This is extremely important! When people are drafting and they’re having a tough time choosing a player, they will err on the side of taking a player on the top of the draft board, usually the top-ranked available players according to that site’s rankings.

It is human nature to go with the guy at the top of the list when in doubt! When hundreds of drafts happen, and GMs are selecting players at the top of the list a few times each draft, ADPs start to closely mirror the original player rankings put out by that site. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Rankings influence ADPs, and ADPs reinforce the rankings.

Bottom line, if you are using Yahoo! for your fantasy league, make sure to pay attention to Yahoo! rankings and ADPs, and less so Mock Draft Central or NFBC or CBS or ESPN.

 

2. Use projections to find good value, not just ADPs

No one really knows how players will perform at the end of the day - no expert, no projection formula, no one. So the best you can ever hope to do is to consider a variety of important factors, including the existing projections for a player and your own projections.

If you think Jay Bruce is going to take rebound and finish the year with a .270-30-100-90-10 line, then you should feel very confident drafting him in the fifth or sixth round - those are legit third-fourth round numbers but because of his down 2014 you can likely get him at a discount. If you feel Troy Tulowitzki is going to finish the year with .310-25-80-75-5 line because of injuries, then you should stay away from him in the first (which means you won’t wind up with him at all!). Sound projections, with a nice dose of your "gut", are the best way to figure out where to draft and reach for players.

 

3. Pay attention to ADP trends

ADP trends are a good way to get a pulse for the market. Chances are, if a guy is rocketing up the ADP charts because of a hot spring, then his buzz is being heard by all your league mates and you can't wait as long to draft him.  If you really like a guy who is trending upwards, make sure to jump a little early so another GM doesn’t get him first.

The key here: don’t reach too high! Most players who will have huge ADP jumps are unproven guys riding the strength of hot spring performances. Without much history on which to base a projection, you will really be shooting from the hip. I could say Player X who's having a great spring is good for 10 W, 150 K, a 3.5 ERA and 1.20 WHIP over 170 IP, and that sounds pretty tasty late in a draft, but really, honestly, truthfully, I have no clue if Player X is going to put up numbers like this.

The bottom line here is that trends are important, and they can be helpful in knowing when to pounce a little early on a player. However, you shouldn’t reach too high just on spring stats because it’s tough to project these types of players very accurately.

 




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2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy & Tips 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections & ADP Analysis MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Video: Analyzing the Top 3 Third Basemen (3B) That Will Outperform Their ADP

The 2015 fantasy baseball season is fast approaching RotoBallers. We are here to provide you with the most current and in-depth analysis every single day leading up to the busy draft season, and the start of the 2015 MLB season.

Several times per week, RotoBaller co-founder Real Talk Raph will review the key player news and developments, as well as prepare you for your drafts. He'll be bringing you information on the hottest sleepers, waiver wire pickups, closers, injuries, prospects and rankings for all formats including AL-Only and NL-Only leagues. Don't be surprised if he sprinkles in a little daily fantasy DFS advice as well for all of you who subscribe to our premium newsletter, or just want to dabble a bit and get acclimated to the way the game is played on sites like FanDuel and DraftKings.

 

Top 3 Third Basemen (3B) That Will Outperform Their ADP

Today's video discusses Nolan Arenado, Ryan Zimmerman and Lonnie Chisenhall. These three third basemen and corner infielders are worth targeting in your 2015 fantasy baseball drafts because there's a very good chance that they will outperform their average draft position (ADP).

 

 

Be sure you check out all of our 2015 fantasy baseball rankings, and let us know what you think by leaving us a comment.

Also feel free to send us an email at info@rotoballer.com with any fantasy baseball keeper, dynasty or draft questions that you want us to answer in our next YouTube video.

Don't forget to check back daily for another video update on YouTube, and subscribe to our Instagram feed for DFS and waiver wire update videos several times per week.

Follow @RotoBaller on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube & Facebook

 

 




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2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy & Tips MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Pitchers Advanced Statistics: Keys to Analyzing Fantasy Trends

Advanced Pitcher Stats for Fantasy Baseball

One of the most misunderstood books in the last decade or so was Moneyball, the Michael Lewis novel about the Oakland A's that really brought advanced statistical analysis into the mainstream. A lot of people thought it was just about valuing On-Base Percentage looking at college players, but those were just examples of the overall concept. What the book was really about is how small organizations could take advantage of market inefficiencies and exploit tiny cracks in the system (the movie, on the other hand, was about making Paul DePodesta look as doughy as possible). The most important aspect of this was using statistics and knowledge, which in the market or in fantasy baseball is its own form of currency.

But it is a relative currency - it's value goes down as more people acquire it. If you have information about Amalgamated Widgets buying its competitor, you have valuable knowledge. But if everyone knows that, you aren't going to make as much in the market. In fantasy baseball, the more information you have, the more knowledge you have. If it is something the other guys in the league aren't looking at, it is very valuable currency. Let's take a look at some of the advanced pitching stats and examine how they can help you win your league this year.

BABIP

By GabboT (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonyshek/9234006918/) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Batting Average on Balls in Play. This is also a stat that we use with hitters, only in the exact opposite way. BABIP takes into account what percentage of balls in play go for a hit. Everything from an at bat that ends in something other than a strikeout, a walk or a home run is included in this metric.

There is a strange little secret about baseball, which is that pitchers have relatively little control over what happens after the ball is hit. That depends on factors like quality of fielder, quality of hitter, and the pitcher's repertoire. Often, luck enters the equation too.  A great pitch can be nubbed over the third baseman's head, and a terrible pitch might be laced right at a defender.

There are some ways that a pitcher can control his BABIP - a power pitcher might induce weak contact. A ground ball pitcher can generate a lot of outs, all things being equal (we'll get to GB/FB in a minute). But for the most part, league-average BABIP indicates that everyone stays around a .300 in the long term.

This is important because for small sample sizes, a pitcher can have an incredibly high BABIP, which deflates their other numbers, or a low one, which can give a false impression of how well they are pitching. Either way, odds are they'll return to normal by regressing to the mean. Of course, this isn't a certainty, but it is reasonably likely. Take a guy like Max Scherzer. Awesome pitcher, but in 2013 his BABIP was an astonishing .259.  It's not impossible that he will do that again, but it is unlikely. Given other incidentals which aren't likely to repeat, you can look at BABIP and see that he might have been a little overvalued going into 2014. He ended up having a great year, but that's the general principle to apply for other pitchers.

FIP / xFIP

FIP stands for Fielding Independent Pitching.  It is sort of the opposite of BABIP-- it is what the pitchers can control: home runs, strikeouts, walks, and hit by pitches. Home runs are obviously the worst thing a pitcher can give up, but strikeouts don't have as much value as you'd think (because there are some better outcomes). The best thing a pitcher can do is avoid giving up walks. The formula is complicated, and understanding it is unnecessary. Just know it does an amazing job of predicting a pitcher's future performance.

A pitcher could have a high ERA, but a low FIP, because the ERA is based on things that the pitcher can't always control. So if someone has a bad year by traditional stats, and you don't want to pick him up, check out his FIP. If it's low, then odds are the ERA is going to go down this year. The reverse is true as well - a FIP higher than ERA likely indicates an ERA rise is coming.

xFIP is a little less intuitive, because it takes into account how many home runs the pitcher should have allowed, based on league averages and his flyball rate. Sometimes the wind is blowing strange and knocks out an easy fly ball or keeps a bomb in the park, or the pitcher is in a terrible park, or the ball bounces off Jose Canseco's head (admittedly, the last one isn't a common thing). This stat is good, as you can guess that a pitcher will move toward the average, but you should take a look at their career home run numbers. If they are consistently high or low, chances are they are going to remain consistent. But if there is a year where his xFIP looks fluky, expect it to regress to its norm.

HR / FB

Home run to fly ball rate. This is kind of a neat one.  There is a league average to the rate of fly balls that turn into home runs. It varies a bit per season, but it is usually around 9-10%. There are a lot of factors that can influence an individual pitchers HR/FB rate, like ballpark size, wind and just bad luck. There are pitchers who have more control, but for the most part, someone who has a high HR/FB ratio will eventually even out and the home runs he allows will diminish. Obviously, if he's pitching in a bandbox or a hitter's park like US Cellular Field, then you have to take that into account.

So these are a few of the more advanced ways to see if a pitcher is going to be good or bad. You know Kershaw will be a stud, but these can help you take a look at middling pitchers, or guys who had a freak year one way or the other, and project whether or not it is a trend or a fluke. These stats can give you the inner track on why players under- or over perform, and if you can expect them to do it again. It gives you a better look at their actual value, which can help you hoist the trophy at year's end.

 




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy & Tips 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections & ADP Analysis MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Video: Analyzing the Top 3 Shortstops (SS) That Will Outperform Their ADP

The 2015 fantasy baseball season is fast approaching RotoBallers. We are here to provide you with the most current and in-depth analysis every single day leading up to the busy draft season, and the start of the 2015 MLB season.

Several times per week, RotoBaller co-founder Real Talk Raph will review the key player news and developments, as well as prepare you for your drafts. He'll be bringing you information on the hottest sleepers, waiver wire pickups, closers, injuries, prospects and rankings for all formats including AL-Only and NL-Only leagues. Don't be surprised if he sprinkles in a little daily fantasy DFS advice as well for all of you who subscribe to our premium newsletter, or just want to dabble a bit and get acclimated to the way the game is played on sites like FanDuel and DraftKings.

 

Top 3 Shortstops (SS) That Will Outperform Their ADP

Today's video discusses Jean Segura, Alcides Escobar and Jhonny Peralta. These three shortstops are worth targeting in your 2015 fantasy baseball drafts because there's a very good chance that they will outperform their average draft position (ADP).

 

 

Be sure you check out all of our 2015 fantasy baseball rankings, and let us know what you think by leaving us a comment.

Also feel free to send us an email at info@rotoballer.com with any fantasy baseball keeper, dynasty or draft questions that you want us to answer in our next YouTube video.

Don't forget to check back daily for another video update on YouTube, and subscribe to our Instagram feed for DFS and waiver wire update videos several times per week.

Follow @RotoBaller on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube & Facebook

 




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2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy & Tips MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Using Ace Composite Rating (ACR) in Your 2015 MLB Fantasy Baseball Draft

ACR is a Useful Tool for Evaluating Pitchers in Fantasy Baseball

Last season I introduced a new statistic I had been working on called Ace Composite Rating (ACR). When I created ACR, what I really wanted was a statistic that could be used to evaluate starting pitchers that was both accessible to average baseball fans and useful to fantasy owners. To put it another way, I wanted a number that people could look at and extract meaning from without needing to be well versed in all things sabermetric. After lots of conversations with like-minded folks, ACR was born.

 

What is Ace Composite Rating (ACR)?

Perhaps a useful place to start would be to talk about what ACR is not. First of all, ACR is not an advanced metric. It is not a sabermetrician's dream.

ACR is also not a perfect statistic. People will always say "but what about this?" or "how do you account for that?" and my response is always the same: you're right -- there are many things ACR doesn't take into account, but there are also some pretty important things it does take into account.

In its most basic sense, ACR is a number that considers the statistical categories for starting pitchers that are most likely to make an impact from a fantasy baseball perspective: ERA, WHIP, K, BB, H, HR, and IP. Through a series of pretty simple calculations (mostly addition and subtraction) those numbers are combined to create a composite score. For those of you who care, the formula looks like this:

ACR = ((ERA) + (WHIP) + (H/9 IP) + (BB/9 IP) + (HR/9 IP) - (K/9 IP) - (IP/GS))*-1

The higher the ACR number, the better. Simple as that. For reference, any number on the positive side of zero indicates what the statistic would consider an "ace": only about the top 20% of MLB starting pitchers finished the season with a positive ACR. Once that number climbs above three, you're dealing with the most elite starting pitchers in the game.

As you may have noticed, every number that goes into the formula for ACR is a traditional baseball statistic. My goal here is to make this as simple as possible to understand for the average fantasy baseball owner. Advanced pitching metrics, like FIP for example, are pretty useful for evaluating starting pitchers in the real world. The problem is, I'm not sure how useful FIP and other advanced metrics are in the fantasy world. I can't score any extra points in my head-to-head league by having a starting pitcher with excellent FIP. Fantasy scoring is based on actual results; FIP is based on hypothetical results. This is not an attack on FIP or any other advanced metric, but as fantasy baseball owners we have to consider the limitations of all statistics -- ACR included.

 

Why ACR is Worth Your Time

At the end of the 2014 MLB season, I calculated the Ace Composite Rating of all starting pitchers with 13 or more starts. What I found was that the top pitchers in terms of ACR were very comparable to the top pitchers in Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball Leagues. That's a good start, but most of us can figure out in a given year who the top pitchers will be in an upcoming fantasy draft. Where ACR becomes particularly useful is in differentiating between pitchers you might select in the later rounds of your draft, once Clayton Kershaw, Chris Sale, Max Scherzer and the rest of the studs are long gone.

Starting at the league average of -3.9, we can sift through some potential later-round picks to make an informed decision. Let's take Justin Verlander as an example. Everyone knows Verlander had a down year in 2014, but some might still be inclined to draft him early in 2015 as a bounce-back candidate. But when you consider that his 2014 ACR (which was 2 full points below league average) puts him in the same group as Jarred Cosart and Hector Santiago, that idea becomes a lot less appealing. I can't imagine anyone making the case to draft Hector Santiago, but I know someone in your league will draft Justin Verlander. Do you want to be that guy?

On the flip side, a guy like Drew Hutchison could be a nice sleeper candidate (as discussed here) in terms of his -3.34 ACR. Here is a player a lot of people may not be familiar with, but who put up a better-than-average ACR in 2014 despite a less-than-stellar ERA. In fact, Hutchison falls in line right behind Jered Weaver and Matt Garza in terms of 2014 ACR data: decent company for a pitcher who isn't on everyone's radar.

 

Closing

When draft day rolls around, it never hurts to have more tools at your disposal. We all know that leagues have been won and lost based on the quality of picks in the mid-to-late rounds of our drafts. Some of us learned that lesson the hard way. This season, as you're researching to prepare for your draft, don't forget to consider ACR while evaluating starting pitchers. You can find the complete list of 2014 ACR numbers for qualifying pitchers here. It could be just what you need to draft your starting pitchers a little bit smarter in 2015. Good luck!

 




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2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy & Tips Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

My Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy & Draft Day Tips

By SD Dirk (Tony La Russa) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsIt seems like we spend so much time planning our draft-day strategy, but it's still tough to be fully prepared. You really never know what's going to actually happen in the draft, and when other managers are going to pick certain players, so it's important to adapt and make quick decisions. Flexibility is key during our drafts, which can come in a variety of ways, and below I'm listing some of my drafting tips that may help with shaping your draft-day strategies.

It would be a shame for one or two random picks by other managers to mess things up and send anyone into a spiral of bad decision making. We've probably all been there, in those dark draft minutes where we feel our "first place" roster may be taking a turn for the toilet. That's what we want to avoid, and that's why I'm here to give you the straight talk on draft day strategy. Hopefully this piece helps you to prepare for your fantasy baseball drafts in 2015. Also be sure to check out tons of other fantasy baseball draft strategy pieces by our awesome writers.

 

Fantasy Baseball Draft Day Strategy

1. The biggest key to draft day is don't panic

Once you start panicking and making junky off-the-cuff picks, things start heading to the toilet, and quickly. Don't lose focus because "the guy you wanted" just got drafted by someone else. There's a domino effect between a bad pick and how the rest of your team may shape up. Have players lined up in your draft queue, and have multiple options and backup plans for each round and draft pick. If you draft the catcher in the seventh round instead of taking a #3 SP or a third OF, you may find that when the draft comes back around to you, your options are limited.

 

2. Use tiered rankings

Be sure to check out every single one of RotoBaller's 2015 fantasy baseball rankings, and make sure to create your own general tiers for drafting.  We provide premium tiered rankings in our Preseason Premium Pass which make it easy for you to understand which guys are comparable to each other.  Tiers are very important for drafting because if you're targeting Zach Greinke and somebody picks him right before you, you know you have Cole Hamels or someone else in the same tier and you can feel good about making that pick instead.

 

3. Don't reach - wait for guys with good values

Part of having a successful draft is taking players with good values and not overpaying for production. Instead of loading up on pitchers or another type of player in the early rounds, there's almost always an opportunity to wait a few rounds and find a guy who is undervalued but will produce 90% to 95% of the value of the guy you were considering a few rounds earlier.  This is how you make a profit: get good value on the cheap, and then those solid numbers will increase that player's value immensely, both for your team and in the trade market.  The more you can do this, the more profit you will make. And the more fantasy baseball profit you make with player statistics, the better chance you will have to win your league. RotoBaller's ADP Draft Sleepers Tool helps with this too.

 

4. Target guys who fill the stat sheet

You'll want to try and load up on the guys who can fill the most categories early. If you have an opportunity in the third round to draft a well-rounded 5-category outfielder or a mashing 3-category first baseman, go for the more well-rounded player.  The more well-rounded production you can draft early on, the easier it will be to plug any holes on your team later on down the road.  Plus, late in the draft is when you're looking for power or speed fliers, not well-rounded players.  A team with a balanced approach can handle a flier on Chris Carter who might get you 30 HR and 90 RBI but only bat .230.

 

5. Don't get too seduced by the youth

The aging veteran is a good example of a guy who is undervalued in your typical fantasy baseball draft. These guys have been producing for many years, but for some reason people are always predicting their declines.  At the same time, managers and "experts" are always proclaiming the next big breakout from a 21- or 22-year-old.  People love the unknown-- it's sexy and mysterious.  Fortunately for you, the unknown doesn't do that well in fantasy baseball.  So while other managers are drafting the sexy young studs, you can sit tight and draft the guy who's been producing for a decade.  The perfect example of this is Bryce Harper going in the second or third round versus Matt Kemp or Hunter Pence in the fourth or fifth. A lot of these veteran types are sometimes slipping in drafts despite the fact that they can produce very good value at their draft price.

 

6. Don't ignore injury-risk players with upside

Injury-risk players are another great example of guys that are undervalued in fantasy baseball drafts. Many people are scared off by players coming off an injury. These guys tend to slip in drafts, and if your roster is solid in the early rounds you can start taking chances on these types of players in the middle rounds.  In 2011, in the middle-to-late rounds of my draft, I was able to secure the following players: Adrian Beltre, Roy Oswalt, and Francisco Liriano. All of those guys produced numbers at least ten rounds better than their draft slots, making it very difficult for my league to catch up. If an injury-risk guy slips too far in your draft and you feel good about your team, don't be afraid to pull the trigger and invest in an opportunity at making a huge draft-day profit.  Prince Fielder and Matt Harvey are these types of players in 2015.

 

7. Always draft the best player on the board

The last thing to remember about draft day is always grab the best available player on the board, especially if you're having a tough time deciding on your pick.  If you've drafted Paul Goldschmidt in the first round, and Jose Abreu is somehow available in the second, you gotta take him!  You have two elite first baseman, so what?  Say Freddie Freeman then makes it to the 3rd round of your draft, you then gotta draft him, as well!  If your team is stacked with elite production and talent at premium positions, you will find a way to win even if you can't play all your guys at the same time. You can always rotate players or trade them to other teams. When your team is full of really solid players, things always seem to find a way to work themselves out for you.

 

Alight RotoBallers, there you have it. Make sure to be prepared before draft day, have your cheat sheets ready, and feel confident about every pick that you are going to make. After all, the draft is by far the best place to establish yourself as a contender for the year. If you can make savvy draft picks and start picking up guys in the mid-to-late rounds for putting up numbers equivalent of the first few rounds, you will most likely win your league. Good luck RotoBallers!

 




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2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy & Tips 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections & ADP Analysis MLB Analysis Radio RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

MLB Podcast on RotoBaller Radio: Fantasy Baseball Second Base & Shortstop Rankings

Preseason Fantasy Baseball Analysis: Second Base & Shortstop

RotoBaller is very excited about the launch of our very own radio station. You can now find our new shows on BlogTalkRadio live or on demand, and on iTunes under podcasts.

Every Wednesday night at 9:30 PM EST, RotoBaller co-founder Real Talk Raph and co-host Anthony Aniano of DraftSmashers Radio will be discussing the most relevant fantasy sports news and information.

Editor's Note: Don't forget to check out all of RotoBaller's 2015 fantasy baseball rankings and analysis to prepare for your fantasy drafts. Let's win some leagues!

 

This week's discussion revolved around the 2015 preseason rankings of the middle infield (MI) positions, and which players are currently overvalued or a great bargain based on the latest ADP data.

Detailed analysis about Robinson Cano, Jose Altuve, Ian Kinsler, Neil Walker, Brian Dozier, Jason Kipnis, Jedd Gyorko, Kolten Wong, Howie Kendrick, Dee Gordon, Chase Utley, Rougned Odor, Ben Zobrist, Dustin Pedroia, Scooter Gennett, Javier Baez, Troy Tulowitzki, Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez, Ian Desmond, Starlin Castro, Alexei Ramirez, Alcides Escobar, Jean Segura, Jimmy Rollins, Jhonny Peralta, Elvis Andrus and Xander Bogaerts (among others).

Without further ado, we present to you this week's episode of RotoBaller Fantasy Sports Radio:

 

 

Be sure to follow also RotoBaller on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and SnapChat.

You can find Anthony Aniano on Twitter @DraftSmashRadio and on BlogTalkRadio.

If you want even more ranting, raving, and pictures of Bengal cats, then follow @RealTalkRaph on Twitter and Instagram.

 




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2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy & Tips 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections & ADP Analysis MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Video: Analyzing the Top 3 Second Basemen (2B) That Will Outperform Their ADP

The 2015 fantasy baseball season is fast approaching RotoBallers. We are here to provide you with the most current and in-depth analysis every single day leading up to the busy draft season, and the start of the 2015 MLB season.

Several times per week, RotoBaller co-founder Real Talk Raph will review the key player news and developments, as well as prepare you for your drafts. He'll be bringing you information on the hottest sleepers, waiver wire pickups, closers, injuries, prospects and rankings for all formats including AL-Only and NL-Only leagues. Don't be surprised if he sprinkles in a little daily fantasy DFS advice as well for all of you who subscribe to our premium newsletter, or just want to dabble a bit and get acclimated to the way the game is played on sites like FanDuel and DraftKings.

Follow Real Talk Raph on Twitter & Instagram: @RealTalkRaph

 

Top 3 Second Basemen (2B) That Will Outperform Their ADP

 

Be sure you check out all of our 2015 fantasy baseball rankings, and let us know what you think by leaving us a comment.

Also feel free to send us an email at info@rotoballer.com with any fantasy baseball keeper, dynasty or draft questions that you want us to answer in our next YouTube video.

Don't forget to check back daily for another video update on YouTube, and subscribe to our Instagram feed for DFS and waiver wire update videos several times per week.

Follow @RotoBaller on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube & Facebook




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2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy & Tips 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections & ADP Analysis MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Video: Analyzing the Top 3 Starting Pitchers (SP) That Will Outperform Their ADP

The 2015 fantasy baseball season is fast approaching RotoBallers. We are here to provide you with the most current and in-depth analysis every single day leading up to the busy draft season, and the start of the 2015 MLB season.

Several times per week, RotoBaller co-founder Real Talk Raph will review the key player news and developments, as well as prepare you for your drafts. He'll be bringing you information on the hottest sleepers, waiver wire pickups, closers, injuries, prospects and rankings for all formats including AL-Only and NL-Only leagues. Don't be surprised if he sprinkles in a little daily fantasy DFS advice as well for all of you who subscribe to our premium newsletter, or just want to dabble a bit and get acclimated to the way the game is played on sites like FanDuel and DraftKings.

Follow Real Talk Raph on Twitter & Instagram: @RealTalkRaph

 

Top 3 Starting Pitchers (SP) That Will Outperform Their ADP

 

Be sure you check out all of our 2015 fantasy baseball rankings, and let us know what you think by leaving us a comment.

Also feel free to send us an email at info@rotoballer.com with any fantasy baseball keeper, dynasty or draft questions that you want us to answer in our next YouTube video.

Don't forget to check back daily for another video update on YouTube, and subscribe to our Instagram feed for DFS and waiver wire update videos several times per week.

Follow @RotoBaller on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube & Facebook




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2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy & Tips 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections & ADP Analysis MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Video: Analyzing the Top 3 Outfielders (OF) That Will Outperform Their ADP

The 2015 fantasy baseball season is fast approaching RotoBallers. We are here to provide you with the most current and in-depth analysis every single day leading up to the busy draft season, and the start of the 2015 MLB season.

Several times per week, RotoBaller co-founder Real Talk Raph will review the key player news and developments, as well as prepare you for your drafts. He'll be bringing you information on the hottest sleepers, waiver wire pickups, closers, injuries, prospects and rankings for all formats including AL-Only and NL-Only leagues. Don't be surprised if he sprinkles in a little daily fantasy DFS advice as well for all of you who subscribe to our premium newsletter, or just want to dabble a bit and get acclimated to the way the game is played on sites like FanDuel and DraftKings.

Follow Real Talk Raph on Twitter & Instagram: @RealTalkRaph

 

Top 3 Outfielders (OF) That Will Outperform Their ADP

Today's video discusses Bryce Harper, Yoenis Cespedes and Marcell Ozuna. These three outfielders are worth targeting in your 2015 fantasy baseball drafts because there's a very good chance that they will outperform their average draft position (ADP).

 

Be sure you check out all of our 2015 fantasy baseball rankings, and let us know what you think by leaving us a comment.

Also feel free to send us an email at info@rotoballer.com with any fantasy baseball keeper, dynasty or draft questions that you want us to answer in our next YouTube video.

Don't forget to check back daily for another video update on YouTube, and subscribe to our Instagram feed for DFS and waiver wire update videos several times per week.

Follow @RotoBaller on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube & Facebook

 




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MLB Podcast on RotoBaller Radio: Fantasy Baseball First Base & Third Base Rankings

Preseason Fantasy Baseball Analysis: First Base & Third Base

RotoBaller is very excited about the launch of our very own radio station. You can now find our new shows on BlogTalkRadio live or on demand, and on iTunes under podcasts.

Every Wednesday night at 9:30 PM EST, RotoBaller co-founder Real Talk Raph and co-host Anthony Aniano of DraftSmashers Radio will be discussing the most relevant fantasy sports news and information.

Editor's Note: Don't forget to check out all of RotoBaller's 2015 fantasy baseball rankings and analysis to prepare for your fantasy drafts. Let's win some leagues!
 
 
This week's discussion revolved around the 2015 preseason rankings of the corner infield (CI) positions, and which players are currently overvalued or a great bargain based on the latest ADP data.

Detailed analysis about Adrian Beltre, Anthony Rendon, Nolan Arenado, Manny Machado, Kyle Seager, Evan Longoria, Todd Frazier, David Wright, Matt Carpenter, Josh Harrison, Ryan Zimmerman, Chase Headley, Kris Bryant, Brett Lawrie, Nick Castellanos, Pablo Sandoval, Jose Abreu, Edwin Encarnacion, Miguel Cabrera, Paul Goldschmidt, Freddie Freeman, Anthony Rizzo, Victor Martinez, David Ortiz, Joey Votto, Adrian Gonzalez, Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, Justin Morneau, Lucas Duda, Brandon Belt and Chris Davis (among others).

Without further ado, we present to you this week's episode of RotoBaller Fantasy Sports Radio:

 

 

Be sure to follow also RotoBaller on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and SnapChat.

You can find Anthony Aniano on Twitter @DraftSmashRadio and on BlogTalkRadio.

If you want even more ranting, raving, and pictures of Bengal cats, then follow @RealTalkRaph on Twitter and Instagram.

 




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Conspiracy Theories and the "D" in R.O.I.D.S.

 

Conspire With ROIDS

As we begin cycling off our first official ROIDS program, I want to direct your attention away from fantasy baseball for a moment. A popular Katy Perry song goes: “So you wanna play with magic? Boy, you should know what you’re falling for. Baby, do you dare to do this? 'Cause I’m coming at you like a dark horse.”

The pop goddess has conspiracy theorists convinced she wrote this song as a tribute to Satan and the Illuminati. Crazy, right? My theory actually takes it another step. Perhaps, the Illuminati play fantasy baseball? In typical Illuminati fashion, they use pop culture to spread their message-- in this case, fantasy baseball sleeper advice.

Why else would KP have embedded so much secret elite draft advice into her hit song? The good news is, you don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to understand what it all means. So in honor of Katy and her devotion to the Illuminati’s interest in fantasy baseball, I have named the D in ROIDS, after her hit song, Dark Horse.
 

“So you wanna play with magic?”

Well yes Katy, I do. But first you have to know how to find draft magic. Draft magic comes from the eye test. It comes from clues hidden in the comment sections in local sports news. It also comes from advanced statistical analysis. It’s most importantly the magic you feel deep in your plumbs, like a gut feeling. It’s the only reason I was able to predict Michael Brantley’s outbreak in 2014 (I have no proof of this).

At the start of the 2014 season Razzball projected Brantley, then 26, to hit 13 HR and 73 RBI with an OPS of .768. He ultimately nearly doubled his home run projection, had 97 RBI and a .890 OPS.  My point is, projections aren't guarantees.

So who knew about Brantley?

Besides me? The small amount of people in Cleveland that religiously watch the Indians play. You find them in the comment sections of local sports stories. Whenever Brantley was under-ranked or underestimated,  Indians loyalists would come out of the woodwork. They all knew he was legit and weren't wondering if he would break out, but when. I tend to pay attention to stuff like that.
 

Magic in Action

So, who has the Katy Perry Dark Horse Magic in 2015? Look no further than Avisail Garcia, outfielder for the Chicago White Sox. Ever watch him play? He passes the eye test. Ask anyone in the South Side of Chicago, and they know what I mean.

His potential 20/20 bat, plus Steamer’s enticing prediction of .282/.336/.479 and 17 HR, 67 RBI is eerily similar to Brantley in 2014. Garcia is currently ranked around the 48th-best outfielder in standard drafts. At only 23 years old, he hasn’t reached his potential.

Garcia’s weaknesses are evident. He has a high swing rate and a tendency to flail at the plate. He’s posted minimal walk rates at every level of play. If he doesn’t improve at the plate, he is B.J. Upton. If he learns discipline, his speed and plus power makes him Shin-Soo Choo.

“Boy you should know what you're falling for. Baby do you dare to do this?” Katy Perry must have been looking into a crystal ball when she wrote those lyrics, because she's serenading me about drafting Baltimore’s Steve Pearce.

Over the 2014 season, Pearce managed a .263 ISO in 363 at-bats. That would would rank him seventh, just ahead of David Ortiz. His 17.5% HR/FB puts him in front of Todd Frazier and not far behind MVP Mike Trout. Additionally, in 383 at bats, Pearce’s 161 wRC+ (Weighted Runs Created plus) would have ranked him 16th in MLB.

Steamer predicts very little regression in 2015, with 23 HR, 73 RBI and .270/.349/.467. He reminds me of a 2010 Jose Bautista, when Bautista was the dark horse. I’m not suggesting that you draft Pearce with the expectations of a Jose Bautista, that's crazy. But I think there is substantial draft value where he currently sits.

What I like best about the Joey Bats and Pearce comparison is that each swings a bat like an axe murderer. That's exactly what I want to do to my speakers when the Katy Perry song is playing.

Tune in next week to get your final butt injection of ROIDS, and as a bonus, my Dad will be making a special appearance. If you have any ideas, physical challenges or questions for him, please post them in the comment section.

Missed a letter? Find previous editions of ROIDS here: R O I.

 

 




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Putting the "I" in R.O.I.D.S. to Find Late Round Draft Sleepers

 

An International Flair

Welcome to the third installment of my fantasy draft sleeper series, hilariously known as R.O.I.D.S. In the last two installments we looked at deep sleepers with unique opportunities and rankings anomalies. Today, we are  focusing on the letter "I" for International prospects.

Over the last several years, Cuban defectors Jose Abreu, Yasiel Puig, Yoenis Cespedes and Jose Fernandez have risen from obscurity to become MLB All Stars. Their success has created what could essentially be called a Cuban gold rush.

MLB clubs are now racing to sign the next Cuban phenom, but can we expect this track record of success to continue?
 

The Cuban Flood Continues

Prospects Jorge Soler, Yasmany Tomas, and Rusney Castillo have two things in common. They are Cuban and with expectations high, they are unlikely live up to the hype.

The Boston Red Sox just paid a record breaking $72.5 million for 27-year-old Castillo.  He is a line drive hitter with plus raw power and plus speed with very little professional experience.

Fresh off a Winter League stint, he batted .405 in 10 games. Remember in 2014, Castillo briefly showcased his potential in 40 plate appearances batting .333/.400/.528 with two home runs, six runs, and three steals. Castillo will be the everyday CF and will see plenty of opportunity in one of baseball’s best lineups. Fangraphs projects him to hit .280/.340/.460 with 20 HR.

Castillo has experience batting leadoff in Cuba and there is potential that he could take over as Boston’s leadoff hitter if Mookie Betts struggles. Scouts say they are impressed with his plate discipline and with a new “training regimen,” he reportedly put on 20 pounds of muscle. Check him here:
 

 
 
Like Boston, the Arizona Diamondbacks made a splash this offseason with their acquisition of Cuban born, Tomas. Scouting reports tout his 70 grade power with power to all fields. Scouts do not project him to have the immediate impact of a Abreu, but at only 24, he has plenty of keeper league potential.

Please don't get too excited. He doesn’t have the chiseled physique of a Puig or Castillo and he is only an average defender. Scouts are concerned about his swing and miss tendencies, plate discipline and his pitch recognition. But, aside from the weight component, the same was said regarding Abreu.

Castillo and Tomas both have tremendous upside but also come with heaping pile of risk. I would welcome either on my roster, but I am unlikely to reach for them. If I get the choice of any Cuban prospect, I'm taking the 210-pound, 19 year old, switch-hitting infielder, Yoan Moncada.

During the 2013-14 season, Moncada hit .273/.365/.406 for the Cienfuegos Elephantes Cuban National Team. He is a five tool player who has dominated every level of Cuba.

According to Ben Badler of Baseball America, the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers and Braves would be the likely real teams to sign him.

Scouts compare him to Puig with the ability to play most defensive positions. Moncada has the speed and power to change the fortunes of a franchise but still has to clear plenty of hurdles to become a free agent . There is no timetable for his arrival so he might not be draftable.
 

In Summary

Buyer beware, there is no guarantee that these Cuban prospects ever become All Stars. Cubans have had remarkable success over the past several seasons, but remember, for every Cespedes, there is always a Bill Ortega. 

Next week, we delve into Part 4 of my fantasy sleeper series, the “D” in R.O.I.D.S.  I will present some elite fantasy baseball draft strategies and exploring yet another incredibly stupid sleeper fantasy pick.

 As a bonus, to the first person who can correctly guess my favorite baseball player from the 1990 Kansas City Royals, I will begrudgingly send my favorite, not new Bo Jackson t-shirt autographed by me and my Dad.

 




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2015 Fantasy Baseball Strategy: Sell High on Madison Bumgarner

 

Stop the Madness: Now is the Time to Deal Madison Bumgarner

Buy low and sell high. It’s a simple motto to understand, but nearly impossible to live by. The challenge is recognizing what’s the peak and what’s the valley. Back in 2011, I tried to use this strategy on the stock market. (Uh-oh.)

I just started to manage some of my own money because I wanted to be in control of my own destiny. My first order of business was simple – buy Apple. I loved the company and was infatuated with the products. I remember a 3-6 month period where I noticed that literally every human being that had their phone out was holding an iPhone. So I invested.

Luckily, I got in at the right time and Apple’s stock soared – nearly doubling from where I bought it in less than 14 months. I was sitting pretty. This is the greatest company in the world! Every media outlet agreed with me. Not only did they agree with me, but they thought the stock could nearly double AGAIN! Best investment ever. Unfortunately, the only place the company could really go from there was down. A few pieces of bad press came out (expectations were unrealistic), and the stock fell about 40%. What the ####. I’m an idiot.

The lesson learned is that it’s important not to get caught up in the hype. Sometimes when you think you’re at the peak, it really is the peak, and it’s important to impartially recognize that. Insert the Madison Bumgarner madness.

Bumgarner is coming off arguably the greatest postseason performance ever – 52.2 innings with a 1.03 ERA and a WHIP that’s too small to type. I’ve seen Bumgarner listed as high as the third best starting pitcher heading into 2015 (ESPN). He’s an incredible pitcher, but the third best in the game? I’m not paying that price on draft day. If you’re in a keeper league, this is your impartial moment to deal him.

Bumgarner’s 52.2 IP in the postseason are the most ever; 4 more than Curt Schilling in 2001, and 8 more than Deacon Phillippe in… 1903. This concerns me – it’s one thing to see an innings increase year-over-year, but it’s another thing to have a guy pitch so many high leverage innings in the season’s final month, especially when the Clayton Kershaw, Chris Sale, and Johnny Cuetos of the world are at home getting ready for 2015. Although impossible to predict, I wouldn’t be surprised if Bumgarner ends up with some arm fatigue at some point next year, or if the Giants limit how aggressively they use him. He pitched 270 total innings in 2014, up from just 201.1 in 2013.

I mentioned his 1.03 ERA, but how did his peripherals look in the postseason? Not nearly as good. His FIP remained solid at 2.62, but his 3.40 xFIP is human. His K rate was also significantly lower at 7.7 per 9 innings vs. 9.1 per 9 during the regular season. It’s normal to see performance deteriorate in the playoffs against the league’s best teams, but Bumgarner threw 36.2 innings against Kansas City and St. Louis, the 14th and 24th best offenses in terms of runs scored – hardly what I would call upper tier offenses.

In Summary

When you combine his potential overuse, fortunate statistics, and unconditional media affection, it’s a confluence of items that tell me now is the time to move on from Bumgarner in keeper leagues. If you can get top 5 SP value (or even more), pull the trigger. Now’s the time to do it while an owner is too focused on fantasy basketball and riding the Bumgarner bandwagon like everyone else. If you're in a redraft league, let someone else draft him in the 3rd round and opt for David Price or Chris Sale instead.




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Putting the "O" in R.O.I.D.S to Find Late Round Sleepers

 

My Apologies

Let me start by offering my most sincere apology. I should not have offered nudes of my Dad, as I learned they are almost impossible to get. He has a beard and is quite wily.

Nevertheless, in an attempt to reconcile, I offer a scintillating and sensual description of two of the downright nastiest, skankiest late round sleepers in all of fantasy baseball: Ike Davis and Adam Lind.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “What a terrible idea for a story,” and honestly, I couldn't agree more. Ike Davis and Adam Lind are some boring ass sleepers. But, for some not very compelling reasons, I believe each has a tantalizing opportunity. And that brings me to the letter "O," of my favorite semi-offensive, fantasy baseball related acronym, R.O.I.D.S. To find the athletes that will outperform their ADP, consider how Ike Davis and Adam Lind have a favorable “O,” for Opportunity, heading into 2015.

 

Putting The "O" in R.O.I.D.S.

Doesn't it just seem like Lind belongs in Milwaukee, with all the cheap beer and sausage races?

This year, Lind is the starting first baseman, and the Brewers are hoping for 140 games out of him. In 2013, while splitting time at first, the Adam Bomb hit .288/.357/.497 with 23 HR. Six years ago, Lind hit 35 HR and 114 RBI.

He seems old, but he'll only turn 32 in July. Translation: he is younger than Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano and Jacoby Ellsbury.

Lind isn’t being ranked by anyone in the top 250, not even Tristan Cockcroft. Reason is, last year he turned into a contact guy with decent average. If he can improve his fly ball rate and stop being terrible against lefties, he will serendipitously hit 30 home runs. I feel it in my plums.

Steamer projects Lind’s 2015 weighted on base average (wOBA) to be .346, slightly above what they project for David Wright. In 2013 Lind’s wOBA was an impressive .368 in 521 AB’s. That mark ranks him 26th in all MLB ahead of Stanton and Mike Napoli. Streamer also projects a triple slash of .272/.339/.451 with power numbers comparable to Buster Posey. I see Lind finishing the year somewhere between Posey and a Kendrys Morales basement.

Elsewhere, in pre-spring training fantasy baseball, "Vanilla Ike" Davis is preparing for his comeback tour (hopefully with lots of Primobolan and Adderall).

After Ike was traded to the A’s for international draft slots, you would think he has considerable motivation to improve. In 2010, Davis was the fourth prospect in the Met's system. He knocked in 19 HR his rookie year and followed that up with 32 HR and 90 RBI in 2012. Since then, Davis has been laughable and getting traded for slots makes it even funnier. I honestly didn't know that was a thing.

In 2013, Davis was atrocious at the plate batting .205/.326/.334 with 9 HR in 377 AB’s. After a season like that, it's hard to hope he will ever figure it out. Billy Beane obviously brought him in for his potential gold glove caliber defense, but they must also have a confident plan for his bat. Why else would the A’s have inexplicably traded Brandon Moss to Cleveland for prospect Joe Wendle?

And just like that, Vanilla Ike becomes Oakland’s primary first baseman. It will be interesting to see if the A’s can fix him. I don't have a stat that could even attempt to prove this, but after getting the most out of Kazmir, Crisp, Moss, Donaldson and Jed Lowrie, I believe they will fix Davis.

 

Who Else?

There are plenty of options when you consider players with a new opportunity. Jason Heyward and Mat Latos are entering contract years on new teams. They would also be good choices when considering the “O” in R.O.I.D.S., but they just lack the late round sleeper sex appeal of a Lind or Davis.

Tune in next week as we explore the “I” in R.O.I.D.S. I will unleash yet another mind blowing fantasy baseball sleeper, and as an added bonus, if anyone comments on the story (you have to login!), I promise to include a vine of me trying to do this:

 

 




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Use Fantasy Baseball R.O.I.D.S to Identify 2015 Draft Sleepers

 

Do you remember the 197th pick of your last fantasy baseball draft?

It was around 10pm, and there you were, sipping a good beer in a slight panic.

After 15 rounds of fierce draft scrutiny, your ability to process cognitive thought melted away. You were frantically trying to decide between Michael Brantley and Grady Sizemore and the stress of selecting your third outfielder was almost unbearable.

ESPN said Brantley is “reliable, durable and steady but unspectacular.” What a boring pick. Meanwhile, Peter Gammons is on the T.V. pontificating about Grady’s chances to steal the starting job in Boston from rookie Jackie Bradley Jr.

 

The fate of your fantasy season hinges on this pick.

Fast forward, Sizemore gets DFA’d and Brantley puts up an MVP caliber season. Who did you pick?

Were you harvesting the crops all year with Brantley? Or were you forced to oversell the hell out of Sizemore while he whiffed all over the first 40 games of the season? Hopefully, you found a sucker to take him off your hands. Perhaps you snagged a prospect, or a holds guy, or maybe you just dropped him.

Everybody wants to draft a Brantley type sleeper, but why is that so hard? How do players like Anthony Rendon and Dee Gordon slip through the draft cracks? Both players were chosen in the late rounds of fantasy drafts, and now both players are considered potential top 50 picks.

Luckily for fantasy dorks young and old alike, I have devised a helpful system to identify sleepers and avoid ever buying a Sizemore again. This system has five steps, better known as R.O.I.D.S. Once you get all “roided up,” you will be ready to identify the types of players that will consistently overproduce their draft position.

 

This week, we start with the first letter in R.O.I.D.S, or Ranking Anomalies.

It’s simple. You have to find mistakes in the ranking systems. Ranking Anomalies are usually players that are coming off an injury, a subpar season, have additional motivation, or were just overlooked for one reason or another. Find value.

In 2014, Johnny Cueto was listed by Yahoo as the 67th best available arm, behind ‘Big Ern’  Frieri. If you are drafting in Yahoo, you write that down. This year, I see one of my favorite young arms, Danny Salazar ranked around the 60th best starting pitcher. When you find a player as breathtaking as Salazar getting dumped on by Tristan Cockcroft, you write that down too.

If you don't remember, Salazar was nasty after his call up in 2013. He throws liquid fire with plenty of movement. He deals consistently in the high 90’s, with diversity and a plus plus change. He just strikes out everyone.

 

Unfortunately, in 2014, he gave up a bunch of dingers and was demoted after 10 starts.

After spending the next 10 games in the minors, he worked on his control. Justin Masterson went down with a chicken thigh and Salazar got the call up. He was at times masterful, but he was also very inconsistent.

Salazar ended up a disappointing 6-8 with a 4.28 ERA in 2014. However, over the second half, he improved. He posted a 2.83 FIP (fielding-independent pitching), which puts him on par with names like Adam Wainwright and Cole Hamels. Additionally, his 37 strikeouts in 31 IP in September was among the top 10 in baseball.

There’s no doubting he’s got issues. He has consistency problems and there are concerns with his mechanics, but so did Max Scherzer when he was 24. Tim Lincecum has control issues too. I see those two being Salazar’s high and low in terms of potential.

If Salazar can keep a consistent release point and rely on his change, his numbers will end up closer to Scherzer than Lincecum. He can dominate again, he’s done it before, and he has the inside track on a rotation spot in 2015.

When you are looking to land the Brantley type of sleeper, you have to draft a player with the potential to be great. So this year, when its the 14th round and you have the decide between Salazar or John Lackey, who are you taking?

Next week, we are discussing the “O” in R.O.I.D.S.  We will release another fantastic sleeper pick, and as a bonus, I will include some naked pictures of my Dad.

 




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Getting A Grip On Holds: Relief Pitcher Waiver Wire Pickups

By mjl816 on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsWhile the holds statistic is even harder to predict than saves for closers, the players we highlight today feature some sleeper setup men and some looking to reclaim glory they once had. The more likely an MLB team is to win, the more likely these following relief pitchers will be eligible to earn the holds that could be the difference between winning or losing in your fantasy league.

This week is the final days of the season. A few of the players featured here are on teams making the final push between more baseball or packing up and going home until next season. Others will look to just continue refining their game and make the good final impression on their respective coaches. Good luck with your finals days of the fantasy baseball home stretch RotoBallers. Let's win some leagues!

 

Ryan Cook, Oakland Athletics

7 holds, 3.42 ERA, 50.0 innings, 50 strikeouts, 1.08 WHIP

Primarily seen in the seventh inning, Ryan Cook is a good part of the Oakland Athletics bullpen. Once the closer briefly in 2012, Ryan Cook is now a middle reliever that usually shows up in the seventh inning. He generates a ground ball around 45% of the time. Cook throws a fastball in the mid 90s and a slider in the mid 80s. Ryan Cook is holding opponents to a .184 batting average with right-handed batters hitting just .138. He’s averaging a strikeout for every inning pitched and the Oakland Athletics are looking to keep the first Wild Card spot. All hands on deck for the final three games of the season.

 

Adam Warren, New York Yankees

22 holds, 3.07 ERA, 76.1 innings, 72 strikeouts, 1.13 WHIP

The New York Yankees are not in contention for postseason baseball but Adam Warren has had a solid season in the bullpen. Warren generates 45% ground balls and averages just under a strikeout per inning pitched. He turns to a fastball in the mid 90s and a slider in the mid 80s primarily. He keeps opponents to a .221 batting average. With three games left in the season, there is a good chance Adam Warren will see some work to finish off the season.

 

Dominic Leone, Seattle Mariners

7 holds, 2.20 ERA, 65.1 innings, 69 strikeouts, 1.16 WHIP

The Seattle Mariners are right on the edge of playing in postseason baseball. In the first season in the majors for Dominic Leone, the right-hander is having an impressive season. He’s averaging over a strikeout per inning with his fastball in the mid 90s, a cutter approaching 90 and a slider. Generally coming in for the seventh inning, Leone has gotten just seven holds with the season coming to an end but he keeps opponents to a .216 batting average. He keeps right-handed batters to a .163 batting average but left-handed batters are approaching .300 with a .295 batting average. The Mariners have a very strong bullpen and Leone is one of the dependable arms.

 

Sam Freeman, St. Louis Cardinals

11 holds, 2.43 ERA, 37.0 innings, 35 strikeouts, 1.35 WHIP

The St. Louis Cardinals are still intent on keeping the Pittsburgh Pirates from winning the Central and the relievers are as important to the team and their likeliness of winning the division as most of the players on the roster. Reliever Sam Freeman is likely the second left-handed reliever behind veteran Randy Choate but they likely will not be used in the same way. While Choate has the traditional splits of a lefty specialist .385 vs. RH batters, .085 vs. LH batters), Freeman is a reverse split pitcher. Opponents are hitting just .226 against Freeman but it’s the right-handed batters that are doing worse (.190) compared to the left-handed batters (.283). Freeman generates a ground ball 54.5% of the time and uses a fastball-changeup combination. He likely should not be used as a traditional left-handed reliever but he will be useful to the Cardinals in the final run of the season.

 

Marc Rzepczynski, Cleveland Indians

13 holds, 2.76 ERA, 45.2 innings (72 games), 46 strikeouts, 1.31 WHIP

The man with the complicated name, Marc Rzepczynski, is the primary left-handed reliever out of the Cleveland Indians’ bullpen. Rzepczynski is unlike Freeman in that he is a true lefty specialist. Pitching in 72 games but just 45.2 innings indicates he is just that. Against left-handed batters, Rzepczynski held left-handed batters to a .172 batting average in 107 plate appearances while right-handed batters had 87 plate appearances and they are hitting a solid .343 batting average. He throws a fastball in the low 90s and a slider in the mid 80s. He has primarily shown up in the sixth to eighth inning with 26 of his 72 games coming in the seventh inning.

 

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Week 26 Start/Sit: MLB Starting Pitcher (SP) Matchups

By Keith Allison on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsWhat’s up RotoBallers. If you are reading the column, then your teams are most likely still in the championship chase as we head into the final week of the fantasy baseball season. It's been a fun and exciting year of MLB action, and we've had a blast here at RotoBaller providing our fantasy baseball analysis.

Hopefully we've helped you along the way, and you are in a position to bring home those championships. Many RotoBaller writers have been burning off their fingertips all season long, typing and sharing their thoughts, and providing their MLB analysis with the goal of getting to this exact point in the season. We hope you've enjoyed it all, and remember you can always let us know in the comments if you have. It means a lot to writers to get feedback, and know when their work is being appreciated by readers. Most importantly, thank you all for checking in here regularly, reading this column and others, and continuing to create a great "get advice/give advice" environment in RotoBaller's live chat rooms.

With that being said, let's get back to business. Below are all of the starting pitching matchups for Week 26. The final week. The home stretch. Where dreams are made, or shattered. Where we try to bring home the bacon. As always, for every week of the fantasy baseball season we look to analyze all of the projected starting pitcher matchups and put together our optimal lineups. This week there are a lot of rock solid two-start pitchers going (Felix Hernandez, Johnny Cueto, Zack Greinke, Tanner Roark, Alex Wood, David Price, Yordano Ventura, Cole Hamels, Madison Bumgarner, Alex Cobb, Adam Wainwright, Michael Pineda, Carlos Carrasco, Jeff Samardzija). In fact, one might call this the week of the tw0-start aces. It should be a fun one. And as always, there are some viable starting pitcher sleepers and streamers to consider off the waiver wire (Derek Holland, Edinson Volquez, Taijuan Walker, Shane Greene, Kevin Gausman, Kyle HendricksJames Paxton, Danny DuffyJose Quintana), depending on your league size and format including AL-Only and NL-Only leagues.

Here at RotoBaller, we believe that it’s key to analyze every SP matchup, each and every week, to help determine which SPs to start/sit and to hopefully find some hidden gems to bolster your teams. This weekly piece considers all of the pitching performances thus far this season, the pitcher’s opponents, their career stats against the opponent, some ballpark factors and historical splits. With all of this information, we then provide our start/sit recommendations for each starting pitcher matchup for the approaching week of fantasy baseball.

Good luck this week RotoBallers. Let’s win some leagues!

 

SP Matchups & Start/Sit Recommendations

Editor’s Note: For you fantasy football fans, be sure to also check out RotoBaller's 2014 fantasy football waiver wire pickups list and dominate your football leagues. You can also download the waiver wire iPhone app for free, and stay easily updated on the run.

Projected starters and matchups last updated Monday 9/22:

Probable Pitchers - Monday (9/22/14)

Game Visiting Starter Start / Sit Home Starter Start / Sit
ARI@MIN Collmenter, Josh RP | ARI Start Nolasco, Ricky SP | MIN Sit
BAL@NYY Chen, Wei-Yin SP | BAL Start Pineda, Michael SP | NYY Start
CHW@DET Bassitt, Chris SP | CHW Sit Lobstein, Kyle SP | DET Sit
COL@SD Matzek, Tyler SP | COL Start Stults, Eric SP | SD Sit
HOU@TEX Tropeano, Nick SP | HOU Sit Holland, Derek SP | TEX Start
KC@CLE Duffy, Danny SP | KC Start Carrasco, Carlos SP | CLE Start
LAA@OAK Wilson, C.J. SP | LAA Start Samardzija, Jeff SP | OAK Start
PIT@ATL Liriano, Francisco SP | PIT Start Harang, Aaron SP | ATL Start
SEA@TOR Paxton, James SP | SEA Start Happ, J.A. SP | TOR Sit
SF@LAD Peavy, Jake SP | SF Start Haren, Dan SP | LAD Start
STL@CHC Wainwright, Adam SP | STL Start Wood, Travis SP | CHC Sit

Probable Pitchers - Tuesday (9/23/14)

Game Visiting Starter Start / Sit Home Starter Start / Sit
ARI@MIN Chafin, Andrew SP | ARI Sit Gibson, Kyle SP | MIN Sit
BAL@NYY Jimenez, Ubaldo SP | BAL Sit McCarthy, Brandon SP | NYY Start
CHW@DET Carroll, Scott SP | CHW Sit Price, David SP | DET Start
COL@SD De La Rosa, Jorge SP | COL Sit Erlin, Robbie SP | SD Sit
HOU@TEX Oberholtzer, Brett SP | HOU Sit Martinez, Nick P | TEX Sit
KC@CLE Ventura, Yordano SP | KC Start Salazar, Danny SP | CLE Start
LAA@OAK LeBlanc, Wade RP | LAA Sit Gray, Sonny SP | OAK Start
MIL@CIN Fiers, Mike RP | MIL Start Cueto, Johnny SP | CIN Start
NYM@WAS Colon, Bartolo SP | NYM Sit Roark, Tanner SP | WAS Start
PHI@MIA Hamels, Cole SP | PHI Start Alvarez, Henderson SP | MIA Start
PIT@ATL Cole, Gerrit SP | PIT Start Wood, Alex RP | ATL Start
SEA@TOR Hernandez, Felix SP | SEA Start Dickey, R.A. SP | TOR Sit
SF@LAD Bumgarner, Madison SP | SF Start Greinke, Zack SP | LAD Start
STL@CHC Miller, Shelby SP | STL Start Hendricks, Kyle SP | CHC Start
TB@BOS Cobb, Alex SP | TB Start Buchholz, Clay SP | BOS Sit

Probable Pitchers - Wednesday (9/24/14)

Game Visiting Starter Start / Sit Home Starter Start / Sit
ARI@MIN Nuno, Vidal SP | ARI Sit Hughes, Phil SP | MIN Start
BAL@NYY Norris, Bud SP | BAL Start Greene, Shane SP | NYY Start
CHW@DET Sale, Chris SP | CHW Start Verlander, Justin SP | DET Sit
COL@SD Flande, Yohan SP | COL Sit TBD TBD
HOU@TEX Feldman, Scott SP | HOU Sit Bonilla, Lisalverto RP | TEX Sit
KC@CLE Vargas, Jason SP | KC Sit Bauer, Trevor SP | CLE Sit
LAA@OAK Santiago, Hector SP | LAA Sit Lester, Jon SP | OAK Start
MIL@CIN Lohse, Kyle SP | MIL Start Corcino, Daniel SP | CIN Sit
NYM@WAS Gee, Dillon SP | NYM Start Gonzalez, Gio SP | WAS Start
PHI@MIA Kendrick, Kyle SP | PHI Sit Hand, Brad RP | MIA Sit
PIT@ATL Locke, Jeff SP | PIT Start Teheran, Julio SP | ATL Start
SEA@TOR Walker, Taijuan SP | SEA Start Buehrle, Mark SP | TOR Sit
SF@LAD Hudson, Tim SP | SF Sit Kershaw, Clayton SP | LAD Start
STL@CHC Lackey, John SP | STL Start Arrieta, Jake SP | CHC Start
TB@BOS Odorizzi, Jake SP | TB Start Ranaudo, Anthony SP | BOS Sit

Probable Pitchers - Thursday (9/25/14)

Game Visiting Starter Start / Sit Home Starter Start / Sit
BAL@NYY Gausman, Kevin RP | BAL Start Kuroda, Hiroki SP | NYY Start
KC@CHW Shields, James SP | KC Start Quintana, Jose SP | CHW Start
MIL@CIN Gallardo, Yovani SP | MIL Start Holmberg, David SP | CIN Sit
MIN@DET May, Trevor SP | MIN Sit Scherzer, Max SP | DET Start
NYM@WAS Niese, Jonathon SP | NYM Start Fister, Doug SP | WAS Start
OAK@TEX Hammel, Jason SP | OAK Start Lewis, Colby SP | TEX Sit
PHI@MIA Buchanan, David SP | PHI Sit Koehler, Tom SP | MIA Start
PIT@ATL Volquez, Edinson SP | PIT Start Minor, Mike SP | ATL Sit
SD@SF Cashner, Andrew SP | SD Start Petit, Yusmeiro SP | SF Start
SEA@TOR Young, Chris SP | SEA Sit Redmond, Todd SP | TOR Sit
TB@BOS Hellickson, Jeremy SP | TB Sit Webster, Allen SP | BOS Sit

Probable Pitchers - Friday (9/26/14)

Game Visiting Starter Start / Sit Home Starter Start / Sit
ATL@PHI Santana, Ervin SP | ATL Sit Williams, Jerome SP | PHI Sit
BAL@TOR Tillman, Chris SP | BAL Start Stroman, Marcus SP | TOR Start
CHC@MIL Jackson, Edwin SP | CHC Sit Garza, Matt SP | MIL Start
COL@LAD Lyles, Jordan SP | COL Sit Hernandez, Roberto SP | LAD Sit
HOU@NYM Peacock, Brad SP | HOU Start Wheeler, Zack SP | NYM Start
KC@CHW Guthrie, Jeremy SP | KC Sit Noesi, Hector RP | CHW Sit
LAA@SEA Weaver, Jered SP | LAA Start Iwakuma, Hisashi SP | SEA Start
MIA@WAS Cosart, Jarred SP | MIA Start Zimmermann, Jordan SP | WAS Start
MIN@DET Swarzak, Anthony RP | MIN Sit Porcello, Rick SP | DET Start
NYY@BOS Capuano, Chris SP | NYY Sit TBD TBD
OAK@TEX Kazmir, Scott SP | OAK Start Tepesch, Nick SP | TEX Sit
PIT@CIN TBD TBD Leake, Mike SP | CIN Sit
SD@SF Kennedy, Ian SP | SD Start Vogelsong, Ryan SP | SF Sit
STL@ARI Wacha, Michael SP | STL Start Cahill, Trevor SP | ARI Sit
TB@CLE Archer, Chris SP | TB Start House, T.J. SP | CLE Start

Probable Pitchers - Saturday (9/27/14)

Game Visiting Starter Start / Sit Home Starter Start / Sit
ATL@PHI Harang, Aaron SP | ATL Start Burnett, A.J. SP | PHI Sit
BAL@TOR Gonzalez, Miguel SP | BAL Start Happ, J.A. SP | TOR Sit
CHC@MIL Doubront, Felix SP | CHC Sit Peralta, Wily SP | MIL Start
COL@LAD Butler, Eddie SP | COL Sit Wright, Jamey RP | LAD Sit
HOU@NYM TBD TBD TBD TBD
KC@CHW Duffy, Danny SP | KC Start Danks, John SP | CHW Start
LAA@SEA Rasmus, Cory RP | LAA Sit Paxton, James SP | SEA Start
MIA@WAS TBD TBD TBD TBD
MIN@DET Nolasco, Ricky SP | MIN Sit Lobstein, Kyle SP | DET Sit
NYY@BOS Tanaka, Masahiro SP | NYY Start Kelly, Joe RP | BOS Sit
OAK@TEX Samardzija, Jeff SP | OAK Start Holland, Derek SP | TEX Start
PIT@CIN Liriano, Francisco SP | PIT Start Simon, Alfredo RP | CIN Start
SD@SF Stults, Eric SP | SD Sit Peavy, Jake SP | SF Start
STL@ARI Lynn, Lance SP | STL Start Miley, Wade SP | ARI Start
TB@CLE Karns, Nathan SP | TB Sit Kluber, Corey SP | CLE Start

Probable Pitchers - Sunday (9/28/14)

Game Visiting Starter Start / Sit Home Starter Start / Sit
ATL@PHI Wood, Alex RP | ATL Start Hamels, Cole SP | PHI Start
BAL@TOR Chen, Wei-Yin SP | BAL Start Dickey, R.A. SP | TOR Sit
CHC@MIL Turner, Jacob SP | CHC Sit Fiers, Mike RP | MIL Start
COL@LAD Bergman, Christian SP | COL Sit Haren, Dan SP | LAD Start
HOU@NYM McHugh, Collin SP | HOU Start Colon, Bartolo SP | NYM Sit
KC@CHW Ventura, Yordano SP | KC Start Bassitt, Chris SP | CHW Sit
LAA@SEA Wilson, C.J. SP | LAA Start Hernandez, Felix SP | SEA Start
MIA@WAS Alvarez, Henderson SP | MIA Start Roark, Tanner SP | WAS Start
MIN@DET Gibson, Kyle SP | MIN Sit Price, David SP | DET Start
NYY@BOS Pineda, Michael SP | NYY Start Buchholz, Clay SP | BOS Sit
OAK@TEX Gray, Sonny SP | OAK Start Martinez, Nick P | TEX Sit
PIT@CIN Cole, Gerrit SP | PIT Start Cueto, Johnny SP | CIN Start
SD@SF Erlin, Robbie SP | SD Sit Bumgarner, Madison SP | SF Start
STL@ARI Wainwright, Adam SP | STL Start Collmenter, Josh RP | ARI Start
TB@CLE Cobb, Alex SP | TB Start Carrasco, Carlos SP | CLE Start




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5 Sleeper Bats That Can Help You Win Your Fantasy Baseball League

Its Now or Never!

This is it! This is your last chance to make a push to win your fantasy baseball league. As we watch Derek Jeter fade off into the sunset, we still have work to do. We’ve got to plug those holes in your fantasy baseball lineup. So we’re going to sneak up on all those fantasy owners who are preoccupied with their football lineups and snatch the hottest hitters off of waiver wires all across the country! I’ve found five players owned in fewer than 50% of Yahoo fantasy leagues who can infuse some much-needed energy in your fantasy lineup for the next few weeks and help you finish what you started back in March!

 

David Freese, Los Angeles Angels, 3B

Owned in 29% of Yahoo leagues

His overall season numbers, .261 batting average, nine home runs and 52 RBI, are average at best, but David Freese has been tearing the cover off of the ball (and that is not easy to do) as of late. In the last two weeks, he has hit three home runs, driven in 10 and batted .348. If it were July I probably wouldn’t recommend picking him up, but this late in the season you need to go with the hot hand, and Freese’s hand is sizzling.

With the Angels having clinched their division there is a good vibe in that clubhouse as they look to close out their season on a high note and prepare for their pursuit of a World Series championship, and you want those good vibes in your fantasy lineup. Freese’s recent tear is no accident. He has a history of finishing strong, with a lifetime .302 batting average in September and October, so pick him up and let him help your team finish strong as well.

 

Adam Lind, Toronto Jays, 1B, DH

Owned in 32% of Yahoo leagues

By Keith Allison on Flickr (Originally posted to Flickr as "Adam Lind") [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsNot many fantasy players remember that Adam Lind hit 35 home runs, drove in 114 runs and batted .304 in 2009. He struggled and was a fantasy disappointment for the next three seasons after that career year, but inexplicably found his rhythm again last season.

Lind has missed a good chunk of time due to injuries this season, but based on his recent offensive output, he can add a spark to your fantasy baseball lineup and he is probably available on your league's waiver wire.

Over the course of his last 63 at-bats, Lind is batting .349 with two home runs and nine RBI. Over the course of a full season, that would project out to over 20 dingers and close to 90 RBI.

 

Wilmer Flores, New York Mets, 2B, SS, 3B

Owned in 12 % of Yahoo leagues

Wilmer Flores is the perfect kind of fantasy player that you want on your team as the season winds down. He is eligible at several weak positions, and he is fighting to show his team that he deserves a starting job next season. His overall season numbers are disappointing. (.245, 6 HR, 48 RBI in 70 games), but the fact that he has something to play for is reflected in his recent stats.

Over the last three weeks, Flores is batting .298 with four home runs and 13 RBI. Project those numbers over 550 at-bats, and you’ve got 30+ home runs and 100+ RBI. Flores is nowhere near that kind of player and probably never will be, but if you are of need of some infield help (he’s eligible at three positions), you might as well try to ride his hot streak.

 

Brandon Crawford, San Francisco Giants, SS

Owned in 12% of Yahoo leagues

If you are looking for RBI and the usual suspects are all playing for your opposing fantasy league teams, consider picking up Brandon Crawford. I know you might not associate Crawford with RBI production, but the numbers don’t lie.

You might not be impressed with his overall season stats (although 65 RBI isn’t bad for a shortstop), but if you take a look at what Crawford has done for the past month, you may be pleasantly surprised. He has scored six runs and driven in 16 while batting .347, as he helps the Giants make their late-season playoff push. He is focused and bearing down right now, and he might just help your fantasy team end the season on a high note.

 

Luis Valbuena, Chicago Cubs, 2B, 3B

Owned in 22% of Yahoo leagues

Are you still looking to add some power to your fantasy lineup but need a little help in the runs department as well? Luis Valbuena could be the answer. Although at 28 years old he has been a career minor leaguer and might not be chosen in your 2015 fantasy draft, he could help you for the next week and a half. Like many other players that I have brought to your attention today, his overall season numbers aren’t great (.250, 16 HR, 50 RBI), but Valbuena has been coming on of late.

For the past month he is batting .270, with 4 HR, 8 RBI and 18 runs scored. That runs total is good for tenth overall in the majors! Timing is everything when it comes to fantasy sports, and since Valbuena has chosen the end of the season to put up some of his best numbers, it’s up to you to take advantage and act now.

 

This will be the last article in this series. I hope the information provided has helped your fantasy baseball season. I’ll still be writing about fantasy baseball but I also write a weekly fantasy football Buy/Sell column. Check it out, and if you want to reach out to me, my twitter handle is @joegallina. Good luck the rest of the way RotoBallers!

 




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Getting A Grip: Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups for Holds

 

By Keith Allison on Flickr (Originally posted to Flickr as "Al Alburquerque") [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsWhile the holds statistic is even harder to predict than saves for closers, the players we highlight today feature some sleeper setup men and some looking to reclaim glory they once had. The more likely an MLB team is to win, the more likely these following relief pitchers will be eligible to earn the holds that could be the difference between winning or losing in your fantasy league.

This week, a couple of these relievers no longer play on teams in contention, so their playing time may be limited in order to preserve them for future seasons. Other relievers are on teams deep in the postseason hunt. They will likely see a lot of usage as each win could mean the difference between playing October baseball or packing up and going home for the winter.

 

Jeremy Jeffress, Milwaukee Brewers

6 holds, 1.42 ERA, 25.1 innings (25 games), 21 strikeouts, 1.03 WHIP

The Milwaukee Brewers are borderline contenders after leading their division for much of the season. Reliever Jeremy Jeffress will look to help bring the Brewers back into contention by carrying over wins from starter to closer. He has only appeared in 25 games this season but he has held opponents to a .269 batting average.

Part of the reason he succeeds is because he generates 62.0% ground balls when the opponent puts it in play. He mostly depends on a fastball that he throws 78% of the time, averaging around 96 MPH. Eleven of his 25 appearances have been in the seventh inning, so the Brewers are expecting him to be a good part of the bridge to a potential win.

 

Roman Mendez, Texas Rangers

8 holds, 2.45 ERA, 29.1 innings (26 games), 18 strikeouts, 1.13 WHIP

The Texas Rangers are eliminated from postseason contention, but that does not mean a reliever like Roman Mendez will not succeed in situations that he is put in. Depending on a fastball that averages around 94 MPH a majority of the time, Mendez has managed to make opponents hit just .168 against him.

Mendez is split closely between ground ball (47.1%) and fly ball (44.7%) rate. He does not strike out a lot of batters with just 6.5 K/9, but he is called upon in the later third of the game, with 17 appearances in the seventh or eighth inning.

 

Charlie Furbush, Seattle Mariners

18 holds, 3.57 ERA, 40.1 innings (63 games), 47 strikeouts, 1.19 WHIP

The Seattle Mariners have made a strong push into the hunt for a postseason spot, and the bullpen is one of their strengths. Charlie Furbush is one of the arms in the bullpen that starters can count on to help preserve a win along in the latter part of the game.

Despite Furbush being a lefty specialist, with just 40.1 innings despite appearing in 63 games, he is a balanced pitcher on the platoon splits. Opponents are batting .252 against Furbush, and he keeps left-handed batters to a .240 average while right-handed batters have a .263 batting average against.

He has made 27 appearances in the eighth inning and 15 appearances in the seventh inning. He has 18 holds to this point in the season, and he is likely going to be busy as the Mariners make the final push for postseason baseball.

 

Al Alburquerque, Detroit Tigers

17 holds, 2.70 ERA, 53.1 innings (69 games), 60 strikeouts, 1.24 WHIP

A frequent contributor to the Detroit Tigers, Al Alburquerque is having another good season in the Tigers bullpen. Primarily a slider pitcher, Alburquerque is holding opponents to a .228 batting average. He has spacious Comerica Park to call home, but he still manages to keep ground balls coming often with a 45.3% rate.

He pitches multiple innings and often finds himself in the last third of the game, with 25 appearances in the seventh inning and 17 appearances in the eighth inning. The Tigers are still in a tight race so expect Alburquerque to continue trying to be a reliable presence in the often struggling Tigers bullpen.

 

Evan Marshall, Arizona Dbacks

18 holds, 2.80 ERA, 45.0 innings (53 games), 51 strikeouts, 1.40 WHIP

The Arizona Diamondbacks are out of the postseason race, but reliever Evan Marshall is having a good first season in the majors. He has kept opponents to a .277 batting average. A great part of Marshall’s success has been the 60.2% ground ball rate. He generally depends on a fastball and mixes in a changeup and an occasional curveball.

He hit some bumps in the road towards the middle of the season but has improved in August (0.96 ERA) and September (1.42 ERA) so far. Despite being a rookie, Marshall has had 25 appearances in the seventh inning and 11 of them have come with just a one-run lead.

The Diamondbacks are counting on Marshall to deliver in high leverage situations. His 18 holds indicate he has succeeded in many situations so he would be valuable despite playing on a last place team.

 




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FanDuel MLB Lineup Picks, Advice & Sleepers for 9/17

There is such a thing as an east coast bias.  There’s also such a thing as a Beltway Bias and that term does deserve to be capitalized.  The Orioles and the Nationals both clinched their respective divisions last night the way every organization should clinch a division.  My beltway bias oozed out of my pores around 10:20pm last night.

The Nats and O’s were in close races in late July.  By early September the races were mere formalities.  The similarities between the 25 man roster in Baltimore and 25 man roster in Washington are eerily similar.  Surely more followers will admit that the Nationals have a better - perhaps the best - rotation heading into Octoberball, but watch out for the Orioles starting five post ASB.  Miguel Gonzalez and Chris Tillman- with a slight nod to Kevin Gausman- have been strangely efficient since early August.  They’re a huge reason the O’s have ran away with the division.

What’s most disturbing to every team outside a 50 mile radius of the White House is not the starting rotations but the actual lineup.  Between the Orioles and the Nationals, the starting lineup for each team just may be too overwhelming for any team.  As of right now there is no team capable of comparing to Baltimore and/or Washington without a designated hitter position.  Unless that team is fully composed of velociraptors from Jurassic Park and cloned Rocky’s.

Whether it be Steve Pearce, Delmon Young, Adam LaRoche or Nate Schierholtz the hitters have effectively stepped up to the plate.  Top to bottom, Baltimore or Washington, the lineup is silly.  I would hate to be the pitcher who faces 10 Rocky's, it's just not fair for the pitcher.  Just pick your poison.

Below are my FanDuel picks for today.  As always, remember to check your players to make sure they are in their MLB starting lineups before lineups lock, and make sure you are doing your own research too with our very own BvP Tool for optimal performance! The most successful daily leaguers are grinders who are constantly tweaking their lineups as the day goes on and fantasy news gets released. Good luck today, RotoBallers!

 

Weather the Storm

From earliest start to latest start, the following home teams may see delays for their respective games: Arizona, Tampa and Houston.  Better take an umbrella to those games because it’s not like those three stadiums have either a dome or a retractable roof.

The main storm to worry about for daily fantasy purposes is the storm that may be clouding the judgments and performances of the recent divisional champions out of the East divisions.  There’s no telling what the hangover storm may deliver shortly before first pitch.

 

DFS Pitchers to Avoid 9/10

  • Carlos Frias and Jorge De La Rosa remind me of an unfunny version of Tenacious D.  Once you take away the funny from D, what do you have?
  • Somehow Clay Buchholz has pitched effectively on the road but has been hit by left handed bats.  There’s a few left handed bats for a streaking Pirates squad that will light him up.  And there’s a few right handed bats will also probably light him up.
  • There are conflicting reports as to who will start for the Nationals against the Braves in Atlanta.  Judging by the hangover storm I’m willing to bet it will be Blake Treinen who starts for Washington.  He’s good, but not good enough to avoid the hangover storm.
  • Bud Norris has been an excellent addition for the O’s over the last year plus.  Most of the O’s celebrated hard last night after their division win.  I have no idea why Buck Showalter would start Norris but it seems he will.  Law of averages favors Toronto.
  • Anyone who thinks David Price is a pitcher to avoid just may be insane.  Avoid Price today, the Astros have been that good against LHPs since June.  Like a league-third-best run creation good.  Where’s my “SANE” stamp?

 

The Main Course – DFS Lineup Picks for 9/17

Starting Pitcher DFS Lineup Picks

Madison Bumgarner, SFG ($10,300):  Dude is on some kind of tear right now.  He’s been dealing since the All Star Break with an unbelievable 24.7% K-BB% rate while holding hitters to a .196 BAA.  Stud.

Cole Hamels, PHI ($9,600):  San Diego is either last or in the bottom three of every offensive category.  No chance a guy with a 1.91 ERA and 23.5% K rate post-ASB will be Rocky-ed by the Padres.  Hamels is the best budget pick of the day.

 

Catcher DFS Lineup Picks

Russell Martin, PIT ($3,800):  It seems the gamers are finally paying for Martin’s production as his current budget is the highest it’s been all season.  He’s rather expensive but his numbers against righties this season- league best .384 wOBA and 149 wRC+- added with his experience against Buchholz- 4 HR in 12 AB- make him irresistible.

Dioner Navarro, TOR ($3,100):  I have a rule in life wherein I trust a team to lose that is coming off a big celebration unless there’s a legit reason to favor the worse team.  Navarro is definitely a guy that will lead the charge to support my mathematical theory.

 

First Base DFS Lineup Picks

Freddie Freeman, ATL ($3,300):  Freeman is that low?  The Braves’ first baseman has lit up the Nationals rotation over the last two seasons and I’m willing to bet that Treinen will not buck the trend.

Kendrys Morales, SEA ($2,200):  I doubt Morales gets the start but if he does look out.  In a big margin, Morales has lit C.J. Wilson up.  Again, pay attention to the lineups.

 

 

Second Base DFS Lineup Picks

Justin Turner, LAD ($3,700):  Look out for the beard.  Especially in a pro-hitter’s atmosphere.

Javier Beaz, CHC ($3,100):  The touted prospect now in the majors has been an efficient hitter against left handed pitchers so far.  One big question about him is his apparent regression…..then again, most hitters see regression after 100 at bats or so.  Beaz may just have one more punch left in him.

 

Third Base DFS Lineup Picks

David Freese, LAA ($2,800):  Not only does Freese look and act like a dilophosaurus, but he plays defense like one and he’s been spitting baseball game from the plate over the last two weeks.  Jurassic Park’s own Wayne Knight would agree.

Lonnie Chisenhall, CLE ($2,300):  Been awhile since Chisenhall made a difference in a daily game so that means he is due.  Check to make sure he is in the lineup and if he is, take advantage knowing that Chisenhall has the ability to hit Brett Oberholtzer's best pitch.

 

Shortstop DFS Lineup Picks

Xander Bogaerts, BOS ($3,000):  His best splits are on the road against left handed pitchers.  PNC Park is no picnic, but Boegarts could be the difference in a one day fantasy game with his splits today.

Gregorio Petit, HOU ($2,200):  Why not?  Keep the hot streak going for the rookie.

 

Outfield DFS Lineup Picks

Matt Kemp, LAD ($4,100):  Kemp is so money he doesn’t even know it.  Except that he does know it.

Andrew McCutchen, PIT ($4,000):  It seems like every year there is a team in September that takes advantage of their positioning and somehow gets the baseball gods to give them favor.  Pittsburgh is looking like that team and Cutch is about to break out.

Starling Marte, PIT ($3,800):  He is the current-two-week Apollo Creed of baseball.  Seriously don’t question Marte right now.

Marcell Ozuna, MIA ($3,200):  The only reason he doesn’t get a higher nod is because he has yet to drill one against Dillon Gee.  Bet on Ozuna.

Scott Van Slyke, LAD ($2,500):  Start him.  He has an amazing 238 wRC+ on the road against LHP and he’ll be in Colorado today against a leftie.  Andy’s son will get the start today unless Don Mattingly really doesn’t know what he’s doing.  Fingers crossed that Donnie Baseball does know.

 




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Week 25 Start/Sit: MLB Starting Pitcher (SP) Matchups

By Skoch3 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia CommonsWhat’s up RotoBallers, hopefully your team is still in the chase as we continue heading down the fantasy baseball home stretch. Below are all of the starting pitching matchups for Week 25. For every week of the fantasy baseball season, we look to analyze all of the projected starting pitcher matchups and put together our optimal lineups.

This week there are plenty of rock solid two-start pitchers going (Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Marcus Stroman, Hisashi Iwakuma, Jacob deGrom, Matt Shoemaker, Corey Kluber, Johnny Cueto). And as always, there are some viable starting pitcher sleepers and streamers to consider off the waiver wire (Edinson VolquezKyle HendricksJames PaxtonCarlos Carrasco, Jose Quintana), depending on your league size and format including AL-Only and NL-Only leagues.

Here at RotoBaller, we believe that it’s key to analyze every SP matchup, each and every week, to help determine which SPs to start/sit and to hopefully find some hidden gems to bolster your teams. This weekly piece considers all of the pitching performances thus far this season, the pitcher’s opponents, their career stats against the opponent, some ballpark factors and historical splits. With all of this information, we then provide our start/sit recommendations for each starting pitcher matchup for the approaching week of fantasy baseball.

Good luck this week RotoBallers. Let’s win some leagues!

 

SP Matchups & Start/Sit Recommendations

Editor’s Note: RotoBaller’s fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups list is updated every single day. Our awesome writers bring you analysis on hot or emerging starting pitchers, and also all other fantasy positions. You can also download our waiver wire iPhone app for free, and easily stay updated.

Projected starters and matchups last updated Monday 9/15:

Probable Pitchers - Monday (9/15/14)

Game Visiting Starter Start / Sit Home Starter Start / Sit
CHW@KC Danks, John SP | CHW Sit Shields, James SP | KC Start
CIN@CHC Simon, Alfredo RP | CIN Sit Wood, Travis SP | CHC Sit
CLE@HOU McAllister, Zach SP | CLE Sit McHugh, Collin SP | HOU Start
DET@MIN Scherzer, Max SP | DET Start Swarzak, Anthony RP | MIN Sit
LAD@COL Hernandez, Roberto SP | LAD Sit Bergman, Christian SP | COL Sit
MIA@NYM Cosart, Jarred SP | MIA Start deGrom, Jacob SP | NYM Start
NYY@TB Capuano, Chris SP | NYY Sit Colome, Alex SP | TB Sit
PHI@SD Williams, Jerome SP | PHI Sit Cashner, Andrew SP | SD Start
SEA@LAA Iwakuma, Hisashi SP | SEA Start Shoemaker, Matt SP | LAA Start
SF@ARI Vogelsong, Ryan SP | SF Start Miley, Wade SP | ARI Start
TOR@BAL Stroman, Marcus SP | TOR Start Chen, Wei-Yin SP | BAL Start
WAS@ATL Strasburg, Stephen SP | WAS Start Santana, Ervin SP | ATL Sit

Probable Pitchers - Tuesday (9/16/14)

Game Visiting Starter Start / Sit Home Starter Start / Sit
BOS@PIT Ranaudo, Anthony SP | BOS Sit Morton, Charlie SP | PIT Sit
CHW@KC Bassitt, Chris SP | CHW Sit Hendriks, Liam SP | KC Sit
CIN@CHC Cueto, Johnny SP | CIN Start Arrieta, Jake SP | CHC Start
CLE@HOU Kluber, Corey SP | CLE Start Tropeano, Nick SP | HOU Sit
DET@MIN Porcello, Rick SP | DET Start Nolasco, Ricky SP | MIN Sit
LAD@COL Haren, Dan SP | LAD Start Matzek, Tyler SP | COL Start
MIA@NYM Eovaldi, Nathan SP | MIA Sit Colon, Bartolo SP | NYM Sit
MIL@STL Peralta, Wily SP | MIL Start Lynn, Lance SP | STL Start
NYY@TB Pineda, Michael SP | NYY Start Odorizzi, Jake SP | TB Start
PHI@SD Burnett, A.J. SP | PHI Sit Kennedy, Ian SP | SD Sit
SEA@LAA Elias, Roenis SP | SEA Start Rasmus, Cory RP | LAA Sit
SF@ARI Peavy, Jake SP | SF Start Collmenter, Josh RP | ARI Start
TEX@OAK Tepesch, Nick SP | TEX Sit Kazmir, Scott SP | OAK Start
TOR@BAL Hutchison, Drew SP | TOR Start Jimenez, Ubaldo SP | BAL Sit
WAS@ATL Roark, Tanner SP | WAS Start Harang, Aaron SP | ATL Start

Probable Pitchers - Wednesday (9/17/14)

Game Visiting Starter Start / Sit Home Starter Start / Sit
BOS@PIT Buchholz, Clay SP | BOS Start Liriano, Francisco SP | PIT Start
CHW@KC Sale, Chris SP | CHW Start Ventura, Yordano SP | KC Start
CIN@CHC Corcino, Daniel SP | CIN Sit Hendricks, Kyle SP | CHC Start
CLE@HOU Carrasco, Carlos SP | CLE Start Oberholtzer, Brett SP | HOU Sit
DET@MIN Price, David SP | DET Start Gibson, Kyle SP | MIN Sit
LAD@COL TBD TBD De La Rosa, Jorge SP | COL Sit
MIA@NYM Alvarez, Henderson SP | MIA Start Gee, Dillon SP | NYM Start
MIL@STL Fiers, Mike RP | MIL Start Wainwright, Adam SP | STL Start
NYY@TB McCarthy, Brandon SP | NYY Start Cobb, Alex SP | TB Start
PHI@SD Hamels, Cole SP | PHI Start Stults, Eric SP | SD Sit
SEA@LAA Paxton, James SP | SEA Start Wilson, C.J. SP | LAA Start
SF@ARI Bumgarner, Madison SP | SF Start Delgado, Randall SP | ARI Sit
TEX@OAK Holland, Derek SP | TEX Sit Samardzija, Jeff SP | OAK Start
TOR@BAL Happ, J.A. SP | TOR Sit Norris, Bud SP | BAL Start
WAS@ATL Gonzalez, Gio SP | WAS Start Wood, Alex RP | ATL Start

Probable Pitchers - Thursday (9/18/14)

Game Visiting Starter Start / Sit Home Starter Start / Sit
ARI@COL Nuno, Vidal SP | ARI Sit Morales, Franklin RP | COL Sit
BOS@PIT Workman, Brandon RP | BOS Sit Cole, Gerrit SP | PIT Start
CLE@HOU Salazar, Danny SP | CLE Start Feldman, Scott SP | HOU Sit
LAD@CHC Greinke, Zack SP | LAD Start Wada, Tsuyoshi SP | CHC Sit
MIL@STL Lohse, Kyle SP | MIL Sit Miller, Shelby SP | STL Start
PHI@SD Kendrick, Kyle SP | PHI Sit Ross, Tyson RP | SD Start
SEA@LAA Hernandez, Felix SP | SEA Start Weaver, Jered SP | LAA Start
TEX@OAK Martinez, Nick P | TEX Sit Gray, Sonny SP | OAK Start
TOR@NYY Dickey, R.A. SP | TOR Sit Greene, Shane SP | NYY Start
WAS@MIA Fister, Doug SP | WAS Start Hand, Brad RP | MIA Sit

Probable Pitchers - Friday (9/19/14)

Game Visiting Starter Start / Sit Home Starter Start / Sit
ARI@COL Anderson, Chase SP | ARI Start Lyles, Jordan SP | COL Sit
BOS@BAL Webster, Allen SP | BOS Sit Gausman, Kevin RP | BAL Start
CHW@TB Quintana, Jose SP | CHW Start Karns, Nathan SP | TB Sit
CIN@STL Holmberg, David SP | CIN Sit TBD TBD
CLE@MIN Bauer, Trevor SP | CLE Start Hughes, Phil SP | MIN Start
DET@KC Lobstein, Kyle SP | DET Sit Guthrie, Jeremy SP | KC Sit
LAD@CHC Kershaw, Clayton SP | LAD Start Doubront, Felix SP | CHC Start
MIL@PIT Gallardo, Yovani SP | MIL Start Locke, Jeff SP | PIT Sit
NYM@ATL Wheeler, Zack SP | NYM Start Teheran, Julio SP | ATL Start
PHI@OAK Buchanan, David SP | PHI Sit Hammel, Jason SP | OAK Start
SEA@HOU Young, Chris SP | SEA Start Peacock, Brad SP | HOU Start
SF@SD Hudson, Tim SP | SF Sit Despaigne, Odrisamer SP | SD Sit
TEX@LAA Baker, Scott SP | TEX Sit Santiago, Hector SP | LAA Start
TOR@NYY Buehrle, Mark SP | TOR Sit Kuroda, Hiroki SP | NYY Start
WAS@MIA Zimmermann, Jordan SP | WAS Start Koehler, Tom SP | MIA Start

Probable Pitchers - Saturday (9/20/14)

Game Visiting Starter Start / Sit Home Starter Start / Sit
ARI@COL Cahill, Trevor SP | ARI Sit Bergman, Christian SP | COL Sit
BOS@BAL De La Rosa, Rubby RP | BOS Sit Gonzalez, Miguel SP | BAL Sit
CHW@TB Carroll, Scott SP | CHW Sit Hellickson, Jeremy SP | TB Start
CIN@STL Leake, Mike SP | CIN Start TBD TBD
CLE@MIN House, T.J. SP | CLE Start Darnell, Logan SP | MIN Sit
DET@KC Verlander, Justin SP | DET Sit Vargas, Jason SP | KC Sit
LAD@CHC Hernandez, Roberto SP | LAD Sit Turner, Jacob SP | CHC Sit
MIL@PIT Garza, Matt SP | MIL Start Volquez, Edinson SP | PIT Start
NYM@ATL Niese, Jonathon SP | NYM Start Minor, Mike SP | ATL Sit
PHI@OAK Williams, Jerome SP | PHI Sit Lester, Jon SP | OAK Start
SEA@HOU Iwakuma, Hisashi SP | SEA Start Keuchel, Dallas SP | HOU Start
SF@SD Petit, Yusmeiro SP | SF Start Cashner, Andrew SP | SD Start
TEX@LAA Lewis, Colby SP | TEX Sit Shoemaker, Matt SP | LAA Start
TOR@NYY Stroman, Marcus SP | TOR Start Capuano, Chris SP | NYY Sit
WAS@MIA Strasburg, Stephen SP | WAS Start Cosart, Jarred SP | MIA Start

Probable Pitchers - Sunday (9/21/14)

Game Visiting Starter Start / Sit Home Starter Start / Sit
ARI@COL Miley, Wade SP | ARI Start Matzek, Tyler SP | COL Start
BOS@BAL Kelly, Joe RP | BOS Sit Tillman, Chris SP | BAL Start
CHW@TB Noesi, Hector RP | CHW Sit Archer, Chris SP | TB Start
CIN@STL Simon, Alfredo RP | CIN Sit Lynn, Lance SP | STL Start
CLE@MIN Kluber, Corey SP | CLE Start May, Trevor SP | MIN Sit
DET@KC Scherzer, Max SP | DET Start Shields, James SP | KC Start
LAD@CHC Haren, Dan SP | LAD Start Wood, Travis SP | CHC Sit
MIL@PIT Peralta, Wily SP | MIL Start Morton, Charlie SP | PIT Sit
NYM@ATL deGrom, Jacob SP | NYM Start Santana, Ervin SP | ATL Sit
PHI@OAK Burnett, A.J. SP | PHI Sit Kazmir, Scott SP | OAK Start
SEA@HOU Elias, Roenis SP | SEA Start McHugh, Collin SP | HOU Start
SF@SD Vogelsong, Ryan SP | SF Start Kennedy, Ian SP | SD Sit
TEX@LAA Tepesch, Nick SP | TEX Sit Rasmus, Cory RP | LAA Sit
TOR@NYY Hutchison, Drew SP | TOR Start Pineda, Michael SP | NYY Start
WAS@MIA Roark, Tanner SP | WAS Start Eovaldi, Nathan SP | MIA Sit

 

 




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Getting A Grip: Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups for Holds

By LiAnna Davis (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsWhile the holds statistic is even harder to predict than saves for closers, the players we highlight today feature some sleeper setup men and some looking to reclaim glory they once had. The more likely an MLB team is to win, the more likely these following relief pitchers will be eligible to earn the holds that could be the difference between winning or losing in your fantasy league.

This week, the relievers profiled are not always strikeout artists that will dial it up towards triple digits causing their opponent to swing and miss. These relievers generate the ground outs that keep the defense on their toes and the ball in the ballpark. Here are five relievers that do their part to ensure that the closer gets his opportunity to record a save.

 

Bryan Morris, Miami Marlins

17 holds, 1.82 ERA, 64.1 innings (60 games), 50 strikeouts, 1.28 WHIP

The Miami Marlins are likely out of the race but Bryan Morris has been having a great season since leaving the Pirates. He has great numbers overall this season but his numbers with the Marlins feature an ERA under 1.00. He has also notched 13 holds over 39 games. He keeps the opponent from hitting it in the air with a ground ball rate of nearly 60%. The hard throwing reliever features a fastball that averages around 95 and a cutter that averages around 90. In nearly half of his appearances, Morris finds himself called upon to pitch the eighth inning so the Marlins clearly entrust him with late inning duties.

 

Tom Wilhelmsen, Seattle Mariners

8 holds, 2.06 ERA, 74.1 innings (51 games), 68 strikeouts, 1.00 WHIP

Once the closer, Tom Wilhelmsen finds himself working the seventh inning often as he is a part of a very strong Seattle Mariners bullpen. Wilhelmsen uses a fastball and curveball to get the job done. Opponents are hitting just .168 against him. Strengths of Tom Wilhelmsen’s game include his low fly ball (27.4%) and line drive rates (19.5%). He keeps the ball on the ground with a 53.2% rate. He’s having his best year in terms of hits and walks allowed.

 

Jared Hughes, Pittsburgh Pirates

10 holds, 2.10 ERA, 60.0 innings (58 games), 34 strikeouts, 1.13 WHIP

Jared Hughes is having another good season for the Pittsburgh Pirates. While Hughes does not present an outstanding strikeout per nine innings rate, (5.1), his strength is how he gets opponents to put the ball in play. Hughes gets batters to hit ground balls a very impressive 63.5% of the time the ball is put in play. He accomplishes this by using a heavy sinker that he throws over 77% of the time. He has allowed four home runs in 60 innings of work (0.6 HR/9). While he has not gotten a large number of holds, he does find himself pitching in the seventh inning frequently. His numbers will not be flashy but an ERA around 2.00 is evidence that he does his job and he does it in a good, effective way.

 

Jeff Beliveau, Tampa Rays

4 holds, 1.77 ERA, 20.1 innings (22 games), 22 strikeouts, 1.08 WHIP

The Rays are likely out of the race but this gives players like left-handed reliever Jeff Beliveau a chance to work towards earning a job in the following season. In a small sample size this season, Beliveau has held opponents to a .213 batting average against. As a left-handed reliever, teams look to see how he does against the left-handed batters and in 37 plate appearances against Beliveau, they are hitting just .156 so he can be relied upon as a specialist as the situation presents itself. He relies on his fastball and curveball and to this point, he has been used in full innings. The Rays are always looking to find another good arm to add to their history of success in their bullpen and with Beliveau they may just have found a pitcher that can help their team for years to come.

 

Bryan Shaw, Cleveland Indians

21 holds, 2.20 ERA, 69.2 innings (72 games), 58 strikeouts, 0.99 WHIP

Bryan Shaw is one of the better relievers who is not known around the league. The reliever for the Cleveland Indians throws a pair of pitches with a lot of movement. With an effective cutter and slider, opponents are batting .208 against him. He gets batters to hit ground balls 47.2% of the time and although he only has an average strikeout per nine inning rate of 7.5, his 21 holds are indicative that he’s getting the job done and getting it done often. Bryan Shaw has pitched in the seventh or eighth inning in 56 out of his 72 appearances this season. The Indians count on him for late inning work and he usually succeeds.

 




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Top 5 Hitter Streamers: Waiver Wire Targets For Week 25

I'm sad to say it, but this week will be this year's final installment of my weekly streamers article. I hope that you all have enjoyed these pieces and that I've been able to help at least a few of you make up ground in your leagues and weekly matchups.

For now though we still have one more week to play, so I'll get down to business. As always I'll be highlighting five sleepers who I think are in the right situation to make an impact for fantasy owners next week. All of these sleeper hitters are owned in less than 50% of leagues and I've selected them from a variety of positions so as to make sure that every fantasy owner finds something helpful. Take a look:

 

1) Steve Pearce, Baltimore Orioles 1B, OF

2014 Stats: .284 BA, 45 Runs, 16 HR, 39 RBI, 5 SB

Ownership: 44.8% (ESPN)

Schedule: Jays, Red Sox

Games Scheduled: 6

By Keith Allison on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsPearce is finally getting consistent at-bats again, a trend that I don't see changing now that Chris Davis has been suspended for 25 games due to amphetamine use. He's been impressive with them, having already hit a home run and logging three RBI and runs scored over the last seven games.

Personally, I've really enjoyed what I've seen from Pearce this year. He's shown the ability to hit for power, for average, and to even get on-base at a high clip to boost his runs scored numbers. Against a Boston and Toronto opposition who rank in the bottom 10 in team ERA since the All Star break, I think he's in for a big week.

 

2) Jedd Gyorko, San Diego Padres, 2B

2014 Stats: .206 BA, 27 Runs, 10 HR, 50 RBI, 2 SB

Ownership: 21.2% (ESPN)

Schedule: Phillies, Giants

Games Scheduled: 7

Since rosters have expanded Jedd Gyorko is about the only Padre still getting consistent at-bats, and he's certainly made the most of them. He's hit .308 with a home run since the beginning of September, and .375 over the last seven days. There's of course risk associated with Gyorko, as one glance at his season batting line will tell you, but given a seven game home stretch against two rotations I think the upside far outweighs the risk while he's on a hot streak like this.

 

3) David Freese, Los Angeles Angels, 3B

2014 Stats: .259 BA, 49 Runs, 8 HR, 49 RBI, 1 SB

Ownership: 11.8% (ESPN)

Schedule: Mariners, Rangers

Games Scheduled: 7

David Freese is another hot hitter who I like a lot this next week. Like Gyorko, he'll enjoy a seven game home stretch, three games of which will come against the Rangers and their terrible 4.69 team ERA, the second worst in baseball this year.

Toss that in with the fact that Freese has hit an excellent .371 with 2 home runs since the start of September, and .360 over the last seven days, and you may see why I relish the thought of him taking on that Rangers' pitching staff.He's almost certainly available in your league, and in my opinion he's definitely worth the add right now.

 

4) Dexter Fowler, Houston Astros, OF

2014 Stats: .270 BA, 53 Runs, 8 HR, 32 RBI, 9 SB

Ownership: 16.2% (ESPN)

Schedule: Indians, Mariners

Games Scheduled: 7

Dexter Fowler is your steady-Eddie this week, for a team not looking to rock the boat as they cruise through their last week of the season. As I've discussed before in numerous articles, he's no game-changer on his own, but Fowler provides just enough in each category to make him a steady contributor in any given week, with his best offering coming from runs scored thanks to an excellent .374 OBP. Fowler won't help you make up ground in a final push, but he won't cause you to lose any either.

 

5) Wil Myers, Tampa Rays, OF

2014 Stats: .227 BA, 34 Runs, 6 HR, 30 RBI, 4 SB

Ownership: 42.1% (ESPN)

Schedule: Yankees, Sox

Games Scheduled: 6

Will Myers is my upside pick of the week. Using his power potential at home against the unimpressive Yankee and White Sox rotations, (the 14th and 4th worst rotations in baseball this season by team ERA) he could put up very big numbers if he gets in a groove. Accept the risk that comes with him of course, but if you need to make a final push in homeruns this week, he's the guy I'd turn to.

 




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3 Waiver Wire Adds To Make For The Fantasy Baseball Playoffs

We are now in the last month of the regular season, and looking for that the fantasy baseball championship. At this point, most of you reading this are among the select few who are in the playoffs, or close enough that you still have a shot. Every team can use an extra boost, whether to make the postseason, earn a better seed or win your last week.

Assuming you have read my previous article (Bold Drops You Need To Make Heading Into The Playoffs), and let go of the dead weight, you hopefully have some available roster spots. Here are the bold adds you need to make heading into the playoffs to fill those spots and improve your chances for the rest of the season.

 

Jason Hammel - SP, Oakland Athletics

HappyHarvick2962 at the English language Wikipedia [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia CommonsWhen Jason Hammel’s production started to drop in Oakland, you may have dropped him. Or someone else in your league may have done so.

It was a smart move at the time-- he'd lost four straight starts since the move to Oakland, and capped it off by giving up eight runs in four innings… against Houston. That left him with a 9.53 ERA in 17 innings with Oakland, a far cry from his 2.98 ERA that he'd had when he left Chicago.

Since that start in Houston, Hammel has seemingly got his grove back. In his last four starts, he has a 2.96 ERA, a 0.86 WHIP and a solid 3.60 K/BB rate. He only has one win, but that is due to Oakland’s well documented offensive troubles. I would be re-adding Hammel in all leagues in which he's available.

 

Jarred Cosart - SP, Miami Marlins

Another trade deadline mover, Cosart has been killing it since the switch from Houston to Miami. In six starts, he has a 4-1 record with a 1.99 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 23/8 K/BB rate. The 23 strikeouts aren't anything spectacular, as they average out to a little fewer than four per start. In all fairness though, who cares?

Cosart has three straight wins and five straight quality starts. With his wins coming against teams such as the Cardinals, Angels and twice against the Braves, Cosart has shown he has what it takes to win, not only as the Marlins are making an improbable run towards the postseason, but as you make your run in the playoffs.

 

Mookie Betts - OF/2B/SS, Boston Red Sox

Dustin Pedroia has been hurt, Brock Holt has been slumping and Jackie Bradley Jr. had been demoted to the minors. Cue Mookie Betts and his opportunity to shine.  In the past 30 days, Betts has gone 20-for-66 for a .303 batting average with a .895 OPS to go along with 13 R, three HR, nine RBI and three SB. He has been clicking on all cylinders since taking Bradley Jr’s spot on the starting roster.

Betts, who is primarily a 2B in the minors, has taken playing time where he can get it in the OF. There was a concern that he would lose playing time once September 1st rolled around and JBJ was promoted back to Boston. Yet since he took over the starting CF job, Betts has literally played every day. Considering he is eligible both as a second baseman and outfielder, Betts would add nice depth to any fantasy team, including yours.

There you have it. If you have Hammel, Cosart or Betts on your waiver wire, add them. Streaming spots are always nice, especially with pitchers. However, you shouldn't need to stream players when you can find a productive, stable option on waivers. The players on this list seem to fit that profile. Stay tuned for what’s next in what is always the craziest, but most important month of the year in fantasy baseball.

 




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Deeper League Catchers: Waiver Wire Options for Week 22

 

Three Catchers For Deeper Leagues

As we near the end of the MLB season and the fantasy baseball playoffs are upon us, here are some waiver wire catcher options that might help you in deeper leagues and 2-catcher formats, if they're still available.
 
Hopefully your fantasy baseball teams are still in the thick of it, and you are in contention for your league championships. Good luck RotoBallers!

 

Dioner Navarro - C, Toronto Blue Jays

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues

ANALYSIS: Dioner Navarro has been nothing short of the epitome of a middle of the road backstop for Toronto this year. While that usually has a negative connotation, it may be exactly what fantasy managers in deeper leagues are looking for as we head into or begin the fantasy playoffs.

Player BB% K% ISO AVG OBP SLG wRC+
Average Catcher 7.7% 21% 0.136 0.247 0.312 0.383 94
Dioner Navarro 6.0% 13% 0.128 0.282 0.324 0.410 103

 

Navarro has been on a tear since August 23rd, collecting a hit in eleven of his past thirteen contests, with three multi-hit games, two home runs, six runs and ten RBI in that time. He has been consistent enough through the past month, and the whole season to a lesser degree, to make him a viable option for fantasy managers in 10+ team leagues.

 

Travis d'Arnaud - C, New York Mets

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues

By slgckgc on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsANALYSIS: In a situation similar to Dioner Navarro, Travis d'Arnaud has been a steady, but nothing special, catcher for the Mets this season.

He also started getting hot around the same time, since the 22nd of August, gathering a hit in thirteen out his last fifteen games, with two homeruns, six multi-hit games, ten runs, and six RBI.

d'Arnaud is currently only owned in 21% of Yahoo leagues, but he's been the second best catcher for fantasy purposes in the past month, only behind the white-hot Buster Posey. Fantasy managers in 10+ team leagues in need of a back-stop should look no further if d'Arnaud or Navarro are still available.

 

Carlos Ruiz - C, Philadelphia Phillies

BALLER MOVE: Add in Deeper Leagues

ANALYSIS: Another guy quietly having a pretty good year is 35-year old Carlos Ruiz of the Phillies. His current slash line is only .263/.359/.393 but he looks to be gaining momentum at the right time as he hit two home runs this week and has been the most consistent player for Philadelphia all season behind the plate.

Chooch recently caught the third no-hitter of his career, something Phillies fans and fantasy owners alike can hope will help Ruiz get locked in at and behind the plate for the remainder of the season. Carlos is currently only owned in 9% of Yahoo leagues, making him a decent option for fantasy managers in dire straits at the position in most 12+ team leagues.

 




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Week 24 Start/Sit: MLB Starting Pitcher (SP) Matchups

By Keith Allison from Owings Mills, USA (Clayton Kershaw Uploaded by Muboshgu) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsWhat’s up RotoBallers, hopefully your team is still in the chase as we continue heading down the fantasy baseball home stretch. Below are all of the starting pitching matchups for Week 24. For every week of the fantasy baseball season, we look to analyze all of the projected starting pitcher matchups and put together our optimal lineups.

This week there are plenty of rock solid two-start pitchers going (Clayton Kershaw, Felix Hernandez, Jon Lester, Max Scherzer, Jake Arrieta, Sonny Gray, Danny Salazar). And as always, there are some viable starting pitcher sleepers and streamers to consider off the waiver wire (Roesnis Elias, Edinson Volquez, Matt Shoemaker, Kyle Hendricks, Tsuyoshi Wada, James Paxton, Jimmy Nelson, Vance Worley, Carlos Carrasco), depending on your league size and format including AL-Only and NL-Only leagues.

Here at RotoBaller, we believe that it’s key to analyze every SP matchup, each and every week, to help determine which SPs to start/sit and to hopefully find some hidden gems to bolster your teams. This weekly piece considers all of the pitching performances thus far this season, the pitcher’s opponents, their career stats against the opponent, some ballpark factors and historical splits. With all of this information, we then provide our start/sit recommendations for each starting pitcher matchup for the approaching week of fantasy baseball.

Good luck this week RotoBallers. Let’s win some leagues!

 

SP Matchups & Start/Sit Recommendations

Editor’s Note: RotoBaller’s fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups list is updated every single day. Our awesome writers bring you analysis on hot or emerging starting pitchers, and also all other fantasy positions. You can also download our waiver wire iPhone app for free, and easily stay updated.

Projected starters and matchups last updated Tuesday 9/9:

Probable Pitchers - Monday (9/8/14)

Game Visiting Starter Start / Sit Home Starter Start / Sit
ATL@WAS Minor, Mike SP | ATL Start Fister, Doug SP | WAS Start
BAL@BOS Gonzalez, Miguel SP | BAL Sit Kelly, Joe RP | BOS Start
CHC@TOR Turner, Jacob SP | CHC Sit Stroman, Marcus SP | TOR Start
COL@NYM Lyles, Jordan SP | COL Sit Niese, Jonathon SP | NYM Sit
HOU@SEA Peacock, Brad SP | HOU Sit Hernandez, Felix SP | SEA Start
KC@DET Guthrie, Jeremy SP | KC Sit Verlander, Justin SP | DET Sit
LAA@CLE Weaver, Jered SP | LAA Start Salazar, Danny SP | CLE Start
MIA@MIL Penny, Brad SP | MIA Sit Gallardo, Yovani SP | MIL Start
OAK@CHW Gray, Sonny SP | OAK Start Noesi, Hector RP | CHW Sit
PIT@PHI Locke, Jeff SP | PIT Sit Kendrick, Kyle SP | PHI Sit
SD@LAD Despaigne, Odrisamer SP | SD Sit Kershaw, Clayton SP | LAD Start
STL@CIN Miller, Shelby SP | STL Start Axelrod, Dylan SP | CIN Sit

Probable Pitchers - Tuesday (9/9/14)

Game Visiting Starter Start / Sit Home Starter Start / Sit
ARI@SF Miley, Wade SP | ARI Sit Petit, Yusmeiro SP | SF Sit
ATL@WAS Santana, Ervin SP | ATL Sit Zimmermann, Jordan SP | WAS Start
BAL@BOS Tillman, Chris SP | BAL Start Ranaudo, Anthony SP | BOS Sit
CHC@TOR Arrieta, Jake SP | CHC Start Buehrle, Mark SP | TOR Sit
COL@NYM Bergman, Christian SP | COL Sit deGrom, Jacob SP | NYM Start
HOU@SEA McHugh, Collin SP | HOU Start Elias, Roenis SP | SEA Start
KC@DET Vargas, Jason SP | KC Sit Scherzer, Max SP | DET Start
LAA@TEX Santiago, Hector SP | LAA Start Lewis, Colby SP | TEX Sit
MIA@MIL Koehler, Tom SP | MIA Sit Garza, Matt SP | MIL Start
MIN@CLE May, Trevor SP | MIN Sit Bauer, Trevor SP | CLE Start
OAK@CHW Lester, Jon SP | OAK Start Danks, John SP | CHW Sit
PIT@PHI Volquez, Edinson SP | PIT Start Buchanan, David SP | PHI Sit
SD@LAD Cashner, Andrew SP | SD Start Hernandez, Roberto SP | LAD Sit
STL@CIN Wacha, Michael SP | STL Start Leake, Mike SP | CIN Start
TB@NYY Archer, Chris SP | TB Start Kuroda, Hiroki SP | NYY Sit

Probable Pitchers - Wednesday (9/10/14)

Game Visiting Starter Start / Sit Home Starter Start / Sit
ARI@SF Collmenter, Josh RP | ARI Start Vogelsong, Ryan SP | SF Start
ATL@WAS Harang, Aaron SP | ATL Sit Strasburg, Stephen SP | WAS Start
BAL@BOS Chen, Wei-Yin SP | BAL Start Workman, Brandon RP | BOS Sit
CHC@TOR Hendricks, Kyle SP | CHC Start Hutchison, Drew SP | TOR Start
COL@NYM Matzek, Tyler SP | COL Sit Montero, Rafael SP | NYM Sit
HOU@SEA Tropeano, Nick SP | HOU Sit Iwakuma, Hisashi SP | SEA Start
KC@DET Shields, James SP | KC Start Porcello, Rick SP | DET Sit
LAA@TEX Shoemaker, Matt SP | LAA Start Tepesch, Nick SP | TEX Sit
MIA@MIL Cosart, Jarred SP | MIA Sit Peralta, Wily SP | MIL Start
MIN@CLE Gibson, Kyle SP | MIN Sit House, T.J. SP | CLE Sit
OAK@CHW Samardzija, Jeff SP | OAK Start Bassitt, Chris SP | CHW Sit
PIT@PHI Worley, Vance SP | PIT Start Williams, Jerome SP | PHI Sit
SD@LAD Kennedy, Ian SP | SD Start Haren, Dan SP | LAD Sit
STL@CIN Lackey, John SP | STL Start Simon, Alfredo RP | CIN Sit
TB@NYY Odorizzi, Jake SP | TB Start Capuano, Chris SP | NYY Sit

Probable Pitchers - Thursday (9/11/14)

Game Visiting Starter Start / Sit Home Starter Start / Sit
ARI@SF Delgado, Randall SP | ARI Sit Peavy, Jake SP | SF Start
BOS@KC Webster, Allen SP | BOS Sit Ventura, Yordano SP | KC Start
LAA@TEX Rasmus, Cory RP | LAA Sit Ross, Robbie RP | TEX Sit
MIA@MIL Eovaldi, Nathan SP | MIA Start Fiers, Mike RP | MIL Start
MIN@CLE Nolasco, Ricky SP | MIN Sit Kluber, Corey SP | CLE Start
OAK@CHW Kazmir, Scott SP | OAK Start Sale, Chris SP | CHW Start
PIT@PHI Liriano, Francisco SP | PIT Start Burnett, A.J. SP | PHI Sit
STL@CIN Lynn, Lance SP | STL Start Cueto, Johnny SP | CIN Start
TB@NYY Cobb, Alex SP | TB Start Pineda, Michael SP | NYY Start
WAS@NYM Roark, Tanner SP | WAS Start Colon, Bartolo SP | NYM Start

Probable Pitchers - Friday (9/12/14)

Game Visiting Starter Start / Sit Home Starter Start / Sit
ATL@TEX Wood, Alex RP | ATL Start Baker, Scott SP | TEX Sit
BOS@KC Buchholz, Clay SP | BOS Sit Guthrie, Jeremy SP | KC Sit
CHC@PIT Wada, Tsuyoshi SP | CHC Start Cole, Gerrit SP | PIT Sit
CIN@MIL Latos, Mat SP | CIN Start Lohse, Kyle SP | MIL Sit
CLE@DET Carrasco, Carlos SP | CLE Start Price, David SP | DET Start
COL@STL De La Rosa, Jorge SP | COL Sit Wainwright, Adam SP | STL Start
HOU@LAA Oberholtzer, Brett SP | HOU Sit Wilson, C.J. SP | LAA Start
LAD@SF Ryu, Hyun-Jin SP | LAD Start Bumgarner, Madison SP | SF Start
MIA@PHI Alvarez, Henderson SP | MIA Start Hamels, Cole SP | PHI Start
MIN@CHW Hughes, Phil SP | MIN Start Quintana, Jose SP | CHW Start
NYY@BAL McCarthy, Brandon SP | NYY Start Gausman, Kevin RP | BAL Start
OAK@SEA Hammel, Jason SP | OAK Start Young, Chris SP | SEA Sit
SD@ARI Stults, Eric SP | SD Sit Nuno, Vidal SP | ARI Sit
TB@TOR Smyly, Drew RP | TB Start Happ, J.A. SP | TOR Sit
WAS@NYM Gonzalez, Gio SP | WAS Start Gee, Dillon SP | NYM Sit

Probable Pitchers - Saturday (9/13/14)

Game Visiting Starter Start / Sit Home Starter Start / Sit
ATL@TEX Teheran, Julio SP | ATL Start Martinez, Nick P | TEX Sit
BOS@KC De La Rosa, Rubby RP | BOS Sit Vargas, Jason SP | KC Sit
CHC@PIT Doubront, Felix SP | CHC Sit Locke, Jeff SP | PIT Sit
CIN@MIL Axelrod, Dylan SP | CIN Sit Nelson, Jimmy RP | MIL Start
CLE@DET Salazar, Danny SP | CLE Start Verlander, Justin SP | DET Sit
COL@STL Morales, Franklin RP | COL Sit Miller, Shelby SP | STL Start
HOU@LAA Feldman, Scott SP | HOU Sit Weaver, Jered SP | LAA Start
LAD@SF Greinke, Zack SP | LAD Start Hudson, Tim SP | SF Start
MIA@PHI Penny, Brad SP | MIA Sit Kendrick, Kyle SP | PHI Sit
MIN@CHW Milone, Tommy SP | MIN Sit Carroll, Scott SP | CHW Sit
NYY@BAL Greene, Shane SP | NYY Sit Gonzalez, Miguel SP | BAL Sit
OAK@SEA Gray, Sonny SP | OAK Start Paxton, James SP | SEA Start
SD@ARI Wieland, Joe SP | SD Sit Anderson, Chase SP | ARI Start
TB@TOR Hellickson, Jeremy SP | TB Sit Dickey, R.A. SP | TOR Sit
WAS@NYM Fister, Doug SP | WAS Start Wheeler, Zack SP | NYM Start

Probable Pitchers - Sunday (9/14/14)

Game Visiting Starter Start / Sit Home Starter Start / Sit
ATL@TEX Minor, Mike SP | ATL Start Holland, Derek SP | TEX Sit
BOS@KC Kelly, Joe RP | BOS Start TBD TBD
CHC@PIT Wood, Travis SP | CHC Sit Volquez, Edinson SP | PIT Start
CIN@MIL Leake, Mike SP | CIN Sit Gallardo, Yovani SP | MIL Start
CLE@DET Bauer, Trevor SP | CLE Sit Scherzer, Max SP | DET Start
COL@STL Lyles, Jordan SP | COL Sit Wacha, Michael SP | STL Start
HOU@LAA Keuchel, Dallas SP | HOU Start Santiago, Hector SP | LAA Start
LAD@SF Kershaw, Clayton SP | LAD Start Petit, Yusmeiro SP | SF Sit
MIA@PHI Koehler, Tom SP | MIA Sit Buchanan, David SP | PHI Sit
MIN@CHW May, Trevor SP | MIN Sit Noesi, Hector RP | CHW Sit
NYY@BAL Kuroda, Hiroki SP | NYY Sit Tillman, Chris SP | BAL Start
OAK@SEA Lester, Jon SP | OAK Start Hernandez, Felix SP | SEA Start
SD@ARI Ross, Tyson RP | SD Start Cahill, Trevor SP | ARI Sit
TB@TOR Archer, Chris SP | TB Start Stroman, Marcus SP | TOR Start
WAS@NYM Zimmermann, Jordan SP | WAS Start Niese, Jonathon SP | NYM Start

 

 

 

 




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy & Tips 2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

5 Sleeper Hitters That Will Help You Win Your League

 

IT’S FOOTBALL SEASON!!....but there’s a pesky little fantasy baseball league or two or three that you still need to keep an eye on. Don’t lose focus on the task at hand. Your fantasy football draft is done and you might be patting yourself on the back or maybe you’re down in the dumps because you missed out on your super sleeper but SNAP OUT OF IT and let’s work on making the playoffs or even winning your fantasy baseball league. Take a look at your fantasy baseball roster. Is it offense that you need help with? No problem!! I’ve found five hitter sleepers owned in less than 50% of Yahoo fantasy leagues who can infuse some much needed energy in your fantasy lineup for the next few weeks and help get you to the promised land!

 

Russell Martin, Pittsburgh Pirates, C

Owned in 42% of Yahoo leagues

By Sports Crazy on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsDo you remember Russell Martin? Apparently not enough people do because he’s probably waiting for you to pick him up off of the waiver wire and add him to your fantasy baseball roster. At a time of year when too many catchers are struggling to make it to the end of the season Martin is putting up the kind of numbers that we were used to seeing from him when he was 25 years old in 2008.

He is a steady producer whose batting average hasn’t dipped below .278 since 7/31. Everything seems to be falling into place for Martin this season. He is walking more, striking out less and hitting more balls for line drives and that has helped his overall stat line. His.288 batting average, 8 HR, 52 RBI and 40 runs scored in just 92 games has helped put the Pirates in the thick of the chase for NL wild card. Add him to your team and who knows, maybe he can help you in your quest for fantasy baseball glory.

 

Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox, 2B/SS/OF

Owned in 31% of Yahoo leagues

The Boston Red Sox may be going from worst to first and back to worst again as they languish in last place this season but with a nucleus of talented future fantasy studs on their roster there is hope for the future in Beantown. With eligibility at second base, shortstop and the outfield Mookie Betts is someone you need to add to your roster right away. His overall numbers are solid: .271 batting average, 4 homeruns and 4 stolen bases in just 30 games.

Project those stats to a full season of 500 plus at bats and he’s a 20/20 guy folks! Betts has been especially hot as of late batting .344 with 2 homeruns in the past week. Once he learns better plate discipline and learns to walk more and push his OBP closer to his minor league levels he has the potential to be an even bigger base stealing threat. He could prove especially valuable in keeper leagues.

 

Jon Jay, St. Louis Cardinals, OF

Owned in 18 % of Yahoo leagues

Is anyone really shocked that the Cardinals got hot late in the season and overtook the Brewers and are sitting in first place in the NL central? The Cardinals continued their annual late season tradition of surging past the competition with the help of fantasy superstars like Adam Wainright, Matt Holliday and JON JAY. Jon Jay? Yes, Jon Jay. With a career high of 10 home runs in a season, Jon Jay is never going to wow you with his home run and RBI totals but did you know that over the course of his five year career he has compiled a .296 batting average?

If you are in a rotisserie league and need help in the batting average category Jon Jay is your man. Talk about hot, in his last 30 games Jay is batting .415 and has driven in 14 runs while scoring 17. His OPS over that period is 1.046, way over the league average of .730. He is in the lineup everyday and should be in yours as well. Pick him up off of the waiver wire and maybe some of that old Cardinal magic will find its way onto your fantasy baseball team.

 

Lorenzo Cain, Kansas City Royals, OF

Owned in 18% of Yahoo leagues

rotoballer-fantasy-baseball-advice-lorenzo-cainIf your team has a need for speed hurry, hurry, hurry and pick up Lorenzo Cain off of your league’s waiver wire. Unfortunately he is a two trick pony but with eight stolen bases in the past month and an overall batting average of .298 he could prove to be the final piece to the puzzle that will complete your fantasy baseball team’s lineup. ( In case you didn’t pick up on my sly sense of humor his two tricks are his talent for base stealing and his ability to hit for average).

 

Trevor Plouffe, Minnesota Twins, 3B

Owned in 30% of Yahoo leagues

Fantasy baseball owners are waiting for Trevor Plouffe to have a true break out season. In 2012 he hit 24 homeruns but batted only .234. In 2013 he raised his batting average by almost 20 points but only hit 14 homeruns. Let’s face it he may never get it together but for now if you are looking to add a bat to your fantasy lineup that can help you with some homeruns and RBI Plouffe can help.

In his last 25 games he has driven in an impressive 21 runs, hit five homeruns and he has batted .268. That would translate into a monster year of 30 homeruns and 120 plus RBI! There is no doubt that Plouffe is streaky but if you need the offensive help pick him up and let him lend you a helping bat.