The version 1 of our 2015 Steamer MLB hitter and pitcher projections are now available. As with last year, we project our own playing time (Games and Plate Appearances/At Bats for hitters, Games/Games Started/Innings Pitched for pitchers) as well as Saves, Holds, and Quality Starts. These projections will be updated regularly throughout the preseason in concert with playing time shifts driven by MLB depth chart changes or trades/signings. The links are below – you can access via ‘Stats’ in the top menu.

Grey’s projections will be available soon.

Fantasy baseball auction values are also available (accessible via Player Rater/2015 Pre-Season Player Rater in the top menu). We have two notable enhancements:

  1. We have added a $ per Game metric that estimates the dollar value of a hitter/pitcher based on their projected average game. Thus, if you have a different assessment than me on a player’s expected playing time, you can more easily adjust the player’s value. Projected PA and IP have been added to the Auction Value tables for handy reference.
  2. The Team field is now hyperlinked to a Team page specially designed for fantasy baseball usage. Each team page includes useful links (e.g, depth charts), an MLB news feed, projections, and previous year stats. Click here to see the Chicago Cubs page.

All auction values are based on a $ split of 67% hitting, 33% pitching. Please feel free to adjust based on your desired hit/pitch mix. We project for the ESPN/CBSSports standard roster (C/1B/2B/SS/3B/5 OF/CI/MI/UTIL/9 P, 20 game position eligibility) and the Yahoo! standard roster (C/1B/2B/SS/3B/3 OF/2 UTIL/2 SP/2 RP/4 P, 5 game position eligibility).

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It had been a couple years since I bought Ron Shandler’s Baseball Forecaster as my preseasons have been preoccupied with building our tools, running analyses, and optimizing our Steamer-based projections. But after enjoying Larry Schechter’s Winning Fantasy Baseball last January, it felt like a good time to solicit second opinions.

Baseball Forecaster has been a yearly production by BaseballHQ since 1986. While Ron Shandler is still involved, the book is produced by a team that is now led by Co-Editors Ray Murphy and Brent Hershey. I have played in a couple of expert leagues with BaseballHQ contributors and – to date – it has not gone so well for ol’ Rudy (if they played RCL, I’d like my chances).

So after last year’s frustrating expert league performance, I decided to leverage Baseball Forecaster as a sanity check against players that my system loved more/less than consensus…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There is so much great Hall of Fame analysis currently online – e.g., Jay Jaffe’s SI series, Bonah (Ben Lindbergh and Jonah Keri) on Grantland, Tom Tango, several ESPN writers – that I feel I have little to add. I find myself agreeing with much of this analysis and the general sabermetric consensus that the ballot is ridiculously packed with HOF-worthy talent.

So rather than provide derivative HOF analysis, this post provides a fantasy baseball spin on all the players I feel deserve HOF-entrance. I threw in a few non-fantasy points/links where I thought it interesting.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

These types of posts can devolve quickly into bragging about good teams (or, in my case, good team) or whining about the bad luck on poor teams.  I will do my best to stave off that devolution and hope to write another post in the offseason that digs in deeper to find some insights that may help for 2015 draft strategy.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

After hitting the ‘Publish’ button on my recent post titled ‘Razzball Streamonator TKO’s ESPN Fantasy Forecaster‘, I pictured reading and answering the comments to be like a victory lap*.  Look at me, I’m Cal Ripken!  While I got a healthy share of pats on the back from Razzball Nation (thanks as always!), some commenters were also kind enough to note that Streamonator and Hittertron could learn something from the ESPN Fantasy Forecaster – notably the handy dandy 7-day grid with all the probable starters.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The ESPN Fantasy Forecaster is a comprehensive weekly post chocked full of information to help fantasy baseballers in weekly leagues.  It is penned (typed?) by FSWA Hall of Famer Tristan Cockcroft who, incidentally, is our favorite ESPN fantasy baseball writer and someone very well-liked and respected among experts.

Each week, the ESPN Fantasy Forecaster estimates the value of every start with a ‘Game Score‘ – a metric devised by Bill James. It is unclear whether Tristan calculates the estimated Game Scores or this comes from someone else at ESPN.

This post is a head-to-head test of our Streamonator vs the ESPN Fantasy Forecaster to see which is better at predicting pitcher starts/stream values.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I remember the first book I ever bought on fantasy baseball. It was titled ‘Rotisserie League Baseball’ by Glen Waggoner and Robert Sklar. I purchased it at one of those bookstores that only appeared in malls (B. Dalton? Walden Books?). It must have been around the 1988 or 1989 season as I can recall that Gerald Young had a high $ because of his SB prowess (one that peaked with 65 SBs in 1988 and cratered in 1989 with a preposterous 34 SB / 25 CS.).

Somewhere within the pages of this paperback gem was the origin story of fantasy baseball. As origin stories go, it was remarkably believable (versus, say, Abner Doubleday inventing baseball). Daniel Okrent came up with the idea and pitched it to a number of writer/editor friends in 1979 at a New York restaurant called La Rôtisserie Française. To think, if he brought it up one week earlier, we might all be playing Beefsteak Charlie Baseball instead of Rotisserie Baseball. I recall the authors of this book – who were part of this group – teasing Okrent because his team (the Okrent Fenokees) had yet to win a season (he never did win one).

This is all a preface as to why when asked if we would help promote the e-book release of one of Daniel Okrent’s books, I signed us up. This is the man that invented WHIP! Without him, how else would have I occupied all those thousands of hours? Spend time with friends and family? Contribute to society? Invest myself in an actual MLB team?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It has been almost 2 years since we launched our first daily fantasy baseball tool (Streamonator in 2012).  Since then, we have launched several other tools such as Rest of Season Player Rater + Hittertron in 2013 and DFSBot in 2014.

Razzball Nation has been a huge part of these tools from the start – both in encouraging us to create them and providing ongoing feedback to make them better (e.g., we now report ‘next week’ data on Fridays to assist those in weekly roster leagues, added game time, etc).

But one valid ‘ask’ that we have not been able to deliver until now is:  “How accurate are Razzball daily projections?”

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Our fantasy baseball pitcher (Streamonator) and hitter (Hittertron) tools are designed to help make their daily and weekly decisions. Should I stream a starting pitcher? Which hitter should I pick up? Whom do I sit/start? Et cetera.

Some of you who play Daily Fantasy Sports leagues like (our DFS sponsor) DraftKings probably use Streamonator and Hittertron to help choose your daily lineup.  I hope the tools have been helpful though I realize they were never ideal – notably, because 5×5 value does not necessarily equal a daily fantasy baseball site’s point structure.

Well, good news. We now have a tool specifically designed for those of you who play daily fantasy baseball games.

Introducing the DFSBot (GIF/JPGs submissions welcomed).

Please, blog, may I have some more?