Player Page Matches
Mat Latos

We’re almost there. Opening Day is just 11 days away (10 if you’re counting down to the Cubs/Cards game on Sunday night), which means that fantasy draft season is in full swing. For those of you who are veterans of the FBB world, you know that draft day can be quite unpredictable. Average draft positions can mean next to nothing at times, particularly in competitive leagues. What should you do if Kershaw falls into your lap unexpectedly at the turn? How about if pitching is flying off the board and productive hitters start dropping an extra round or two below ADP (or more importantly, your own personal rankings)?

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What was I thinking when I thought this would be a fun post? I came into this wanting to be Grey’s opposite for S’s and G’s, but that ship sailed south really fast. If you are disappointed that I bailed on that idea, then go to his comments any day and you can view my contrarian ways as I try to keep him honest and keep myself being…well, me being good ole me. When Rudy told me he would make me a table doing a side-by-side with dollar values, I was a little worried about how that would be accepted by the Grey-heads. Then I thought to myself, who doesn’t like money? Well maybe Monty Brewster, who hated money for 30 days, but I would too with what he had to do in that classic 80’s baseball flick. On a hunch, I went into the archives to find that Rudy wrote this post last year and realized I got duped into doing it for 2015. Well played señor Rudolfo…well played indeed.

Want to take me on in a Razzball Commenter League? Join my league here!

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kershawshank

Well, I thought I was extremely clever when I came up with the title for this one, but then a quick Google search proved that there were others that were clever before I thought I was being clever. Darn you Google for knowing so much! And darn you Al Gore for inventing the internet! Thanks to the internet, a guy can’t get away with anything these days. Google, Facebook and Twitter have made it next to impossible for a guy to get a reach around in the back of the bowling alley from the girl that rents the shoes without everyone knowing, and every one of those people finding out about it. But I digress…

As draft dates draw nearer, I decided it was time to put together and share my head-to-head points league rankings. But before I do, I wanted to let you in on my process. Points leagues are all about one thing. Points. It’s the only category that counts for jack squat. I wonder how many dudes out there actually have the name Jack Squat? I guess it’s better than Richard Nose. I don’t care if my player gets 100 points because he had 100 RBIs or because he stole 100 bases. Whatever he needs to do to bring home the bacon is A-O-K with me. In Japanese that would be “Aoki”. I don’t even care if it’s turkey bacon! Points are points. So ranking players within the same position comes down to who will score more points. I’ll touch on comparing players across positions in my next post.

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Per the usual, I have to drop a caveat when it comes to Deep League Thoughts about pitchers: there’s no such thing as a deep league pitcher. Unless you’re talking 20 team leagues and then you’re calling some relievers deep league pitchers. I ain’t going there so let’s realize upfront before you feel affronted. Now that we have that settled, when does a young pitcher settle? Two years? Four years? Do they ever? It’s all hard to predict. As we’ve seen through our years as fantasy baseballers, growth isn’t a promise from a young kid, it’s a possibility. How many rookies came and went on your rosters in 2014 alone? I’m not asking you, Grey. You’d add and drop the same player five times in one day so you don’t count, you chronic rosterbator. That said, I’m sure Trevor Bauer hit your roster more than once. He had some good with some bad in 2014. Maybe you got the bad from him and won’t go near him again. Maybe you had more of the good like I did and you’re willing to look into him a bit further. If so, trudge on with me. We’re about to go deep inside the enigma that is Bauer and what he can do for you for the 2015 Fantasy Baseball season…

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Everyone has their own method of determining their draft board and I imagine mine is rather unique. My early focus is on playing time/injuries so I can run Steamer rates against them and run the results through my Player Rater $ calculation. I then compare this against NFBC ADP and any expert drafts to get a sense for the outliers. As the preseason crawls on, I find myself digging into more and more players and determining whether they are players I want on my team based on their market value.

My tweak this year has been to analyze the outliers (guys my Player Rater is high/low on) earlier in the preseason. Projections are far from perfect and I have no problem drafting a guy above or below my $ value if I feel passionately about his value. These analyses are not terribly thorough – just scanning their FanGraphs pages for peripheral stats and reading Baseball Forecaster and Baseball Prospectus player summaries (the former of which being more helpful than the latter). I also check against Grey’s rankings so I can identify on which players we will inevitably debate.

Below are three pitchers – Julio Teheran, Mat Latos, Tyson Ross – where my Player Rater is way more pessimistic than the other sources I have reviewed. While my reasons vs Steamer’s reasons may differ, it still ends up with the same conclusion: I think these guys are being overvalued and I cannot see how any of three will end up on any of my teams.

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Pitcher Profiles are almost back baby!  Let’s get this shizz goin!

We’ve got another big year of GIFfing, Gamescore+ , breaking down every pitch to a tedium… it’s going to get my motor running about as hard as every Corey Kluber start!

I hope everyone has had a nice winter, and enjoyed an awesome year with us so far over on Hoops.  Good thing it’s an indoor sport!  Northeast getting more snow than Tony Montana’s desk.  But with the allure of the weather warming (it hasn’t yet), we can all get together and talk some starting pitching (it’s deep, convo over).  With depth comes two interesting schools of thought – should you go with aces early because there’s so little distinguishing the mid-tier and breakout guys?  Or wait entirely and build your whole staff late?  Of course there’s 50 Shades of Grey, which is still my usual approach.  Hopefully Grey’s next book will be 51 Shades of Grey Albright.  Shade 1 – mustache play.

If you missed the wrap up at the end of last year, you can check out how my 2014 pre-ranks fared against Grey and ESPN.

Enough foreplay, below are my top 100 SP ranks!  With the great pitching depth, comes great responsibility a lot of guys out of the 100 that are probably in other ranks here and there.  Pitchers 70-130 are so hard to differentiate…  But as always, please shoot your comments below on what ya think, and happy pitching 2015!

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How do you know if you’ve drafted a great pitcher? If his name is Clayton Kershaw or Felix Hernandez, you are on the right track. But what about everyone else that is not them? Well, in head-to-head points leagues, I like to look at points per start (PPS). This gives me an idea of approximately how many puntos (that’s spanish for points) I am going to get, and is often a factor in helping me decide which pitchers to both draft and start.

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In past years, I’ve said the following analogy. There’s years of looking up to your father, whether you agree all the time or not. Then, one day, he takes a poop on your couch. You take him to the hospital; he’s in need of some sort of psychology examination. If the tests come back conclusive that he pooped the couch simply out of laziness, then that’s ESPN. If tests come back that he’s gone crazy, then that’s Yahoo. That’s inaccurate this year. It still holds true for ESPN, but Yahoo seems like it’s taking steps to correct past mistakes. They’ve lost The Noise from the composite rankings, and he’s always said baseball wasn’t his thing. (What is his thing…well…) Funston, Behrens, Del Don and Pianowski do a conscientious job with their rankings. No, I don’t agree with all of them, I’ll get to that. But they do take the time to actually rank, which I’m 99.9% sure can’t be said of ESPN. Yahoo could easily phone-in their rankings like ESPN, but they don’t. That is, indeed, a point for them. Yahoo still seems to be in love the stolen base and guys that can be labeled as ‘hot, unproven bats.’ They don’t rank nearly deep enough and they have some of the funkiest position eligibility decisions, but these all seem to be coming from places of conscious decisions and not, “Tristan, could you rank for everyone today? I just saw Stephen A. Smith in the elevator and he asked me to Au Bon Pain for lunch. Thanks.” That’s a voicemail message that Cockcroft gets every day. Anyway, here’s where my 2015 fantasy baseball rankings differ from the 2015 Yahoo fantasy baseball rankings:

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Greetings all, and welcome to the first installment of The Numbers Game. “Boy, that title sounds about as exciting as it would be to draft Omar Infante in 2015.” Hey, quiet in the peanut gallery! Fantasy baseball is, as the title of this series makes blatantly obvious, all about the numbers. The idea behind these posts is to identify players who fit a specific set of search criteria using statistics accumulated over the past three seasons. The various criteria that I’ll be using will be established based on player comps and/or the MLB averages in key statistical categories. Some results will include data from 2014 only, while others will include some combination of the previous two seasons as well. The ultimate goal of these exercises is to provide a different perspective that will help to confirm your evaluations of certain players and perhaps reconsider your opinions of others. While I’ll be providing my two cents from time to time, it’ll be up to you to decide how valid the results truly are.

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Watch out, because I’m about to eviscerate someone, which Google tells me means to disembowel and I consider softening eviscerate, but decide to stick with it. That’s how mad I am! I’m ready to disembowel after deliberations! Hey, ESPN, you best get your colostomy bag ready cause you’re gonna need it. (By the by, I Googled colostomy bags for the holidays, and I couldn’t find any. I may just invent some and go on Shark Tank and wow Robert Herjavec with my pitch. “Wait, there’s more! A Passover colostomy bag because we know it doesn’t stay unleavened forever.” Don’t steal my invention ideas.) Today, I take a knife and seppuku (I’m running out of thesaurus entries for disemboweling) ESPN’s 2015 fantasy baseball rankings. To the tune of Jackin’ For Beats by Ice Cube. Commence knife to belly:

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