We are halfway through the fantasy season and it’s another week, another closepocalypse. Didn’t Smokey predict this back in March?! Andrew Bailey’s job was outsourced, Jose Valverde was sent packing, Heath Bell is absolutely stuffed and the Mariners closer by committee is as uncertain as a child’s bottom. That’s a straight up Ulysses quote my literate homies. SAGNOF! While in the real baseball world it has become quite obvious that saves are overrated, in our fake baseball world closers are one of those necessary evils. Kind of like root canals and prostate exams. Fortunately, I get both taken care of at the same place. One-stop shopping. Thanks ObamaCare! While closers can be a pain in the fanny perpendicular, I’m not one to punt a category. Even one as frustrating as the save. Who invented this dastardly stat? Apparently the dean of baseball beat writer’s, Jerome Holtzman is to blame. He invented the save in 1959. There wasn’t much to do in the late 50’s except “like Ike” and cower in the bomb shelter with a tin of beans and a deck of nudie cards. According to Razzball historian Paulie Allnuts, the very next year the term “Sagnoff” was first uttered by one Winston Greystone Albright II after drafting Moe Drabowsky with his first pick in the inaugural drunken fantasy draft at The White Horse Tavern in New York’s West Village. An ‘ol fashioned donnybrook soon ensued, but not a mustache was harmed according to reports. Thanks Paulie. This week let’s run down some candidates for saves that just could mean the difference between fantasy glory and fantasy defeat. Time to jam it or cram it. Dr. Pfister, I’m ready for my… Do you really need to wear the dive watch?Please, blog, may I have some more?
I recently came across the book (remember those) Sixty Feet, Six Inches by Bob Gibson and Reggie Jackson at a yard sale and found my 75 cents well spent. I also picked up Judas Priest’s British Steel on vinyl for a buck. Breakin’ the law, breakin the law. It was a great day all around, but I don’t know what I’m going to do with this. Anywho, back to the book. In the rectangular thing that has words written on paper, the two Hall of Famers discuss a number of topics including gaining an edge. Here’s Reggie and Gibby discussing it on what may or may not have been an appearance on Between Two Ferns. Baseball players are all about getting an edge. Some ways are subtle: peeking back at the catcher, stealing signs, watching for tipped pitches. Some, not so subtle: an arm slathered in Coppertone, a bat full of superballs, some ground up deer antler injected directly into the brain stem. A way to gain an edge in our world of fake baseball (time to toot the Razzball horn) is using the Hitter-Tron, the Stream-o-Nator, and paying attention to lefty/righty splits with Platoony Tunes. Now someone buy Rudy a drink! I spend more time with these tools than I do with my own. Sorry ball-peen hammer. Sorry Dremel. Sorry oscillating bandsaw, but last time I used you it didn’t go so well.
This week let’s look at some jammer crammer platoony types. Streaming the overlooked bat that crushes lefties or righties is a cheap source of power. Personally, I like to have an open roster spot or two and rotate hot hitters depending on matchups. If you’re in a “set it and forget it” weekly league or have a short bench, you probably don’t have the room to carry a guy just to face lefties once or twice a week. However, if your roster’s big enough and managed wisely, going a bit Platoony Tunes is an easy way to pad the stats and gain an edge. Time to jam it or cram it.Please, blog, may I have some more?
One challenge to streaming hitters vs. streaming pitchers – or playing daily fantasy games – is that teams do not publish ‘Probable Hitters’ a few days in advance. The closest thing is Jim Leyland who publishes the positions a couple days in advance and then fills in the name the day of the game (Miguel Cabrera is getting an off day, Don Kelly you’re hitting 3rd).
So you might find the perfect hitter to stream only to find out on game day that he isn’t in the lineup (aka the dreaded ‘!’ in ESPN or ‘x’ in Yahoo. )
BTW, isn’t it odd that the site with the exclamation point in its name uses an ‘x’ and the site that promotes the X-Games uses an exclamation point? And what’s the deal with…..nope, I got nothing else here.
There is a related challenge with weekly leagues – particularly deeper leagues – when you have to choose between hitters on your team and need to account for their projected playing time in the coming week.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Fantasy baseball rest of season rankings are the herbal tea to the double espressos that are Hittertron and Stream-o-Nator. Most of the post-draft fantasy baseball decisions we make – particularly in non-FAAB leagues – are of the short-term variety. Looking for the hot schmotato to fill in while your 3rd baseman is injured.Please, blog, may I have some more?
We like baseball. We might even love baseball. But we love fantasy baseball more.
If you read this site at all, this should not be news to you. We do not pretend to be a general baseball site. We do not pretend to write like general baseball writers or general baseball fans. Our focus and point of view has been irrevocably bastardized through the tainted prism of fantasy baseball fanaticism (and the fact that we are smart asses).
Much like you, the vast majority of our baseball-related surfing is focused on day-to-day management of our fantasy baseball teams. Over the years, I shutter to think how much time that Grey and I pored through player news, game logs, player stats, etc. trying to find information that could help our teams.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Remember when I told you about how to tell when streaks aren’t streaks anymore? You don’t? Well, here’s the refresher course. In that piece, you’ll find a nice story about Chris Shelton, a random aside on Mike Trout and, of course, some funky math. Well folks, the time has arrived, and our first major stat threshold has been met. And that threshold is Contact%, and it stabilizes at 100 PA’s. Contact Percentage is pretty much how it sounds. It is the total percentage of contact made when swinging at all pitches. With the majority of starting batters now eclipsing the 100 PA mark, I’ll be taking a look at some movers and shakers in fantasy that have new contact skill-sets, for better or worse.Please, blog, may I have some more?
We are almost through April and most fantasy baseball owners fall in two categories. There are those owners that have gotten off to a good start and feel pretty comfortable about their teams. Maybe almost too comfortable. Then there are the “OH-MY-GOD-WHAT-HAVE-I-DONE!!!!” owners. You know who you are. I feel ya. I do. Hell, I’ve been there. Something has gone astray. You didn’t draft well or you had a minor Jerry Maguire freak-out moment and then proceeded to make a bad trade. This stuff happens to everyone, so how do you start to right the ship? There are some moves that you can make that to either stop the bleeding or to continue a fast start.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Note: If you don’t want the story, just scroll down to the bottom to see the statistical markers on how to tell the difference between Hot/Cold streaks or a real improvement or eroding of skills. But Santa is watching. And so am I. All the time.
Welcome friends and family! Actually, you’re right. Hi Mom. Thanks for being my only reader. I’m not sure if you remember who Chris Shelton is, but I certainly do. A week or so ago, I was actually thinking back to the best hot streaks to open the season, and if any of them were produced by players that I had owned. After all, the season is only a week old. Hope springs eternal and what not. So, of course I’m expecting Mike Morse to hit 489 homeruns. And yes, Yu Darvish will finish the season with 56,284 strike-outs. Stop looking at me like that. Thinking back and reminiscing all those seasons I’ve been playing fantasy baseball, which is 16 years if you needed to know. And since I deemed it necessary that you know that, I also, while somewhat ego driven, deem it necessary that you know I am not an old fogey. I’m actually only 30. Which to me feels old, but in fact, really is not that old. If you need proof, ask anyone over the age of 30 how they feel. I assume they will say they feel older than me. And then roll their eyes in disgust. And also, while we’re on this tangent, I’m not fat either. My OkCupid profile says I’m ‘average’, so therefore, it is the truth. And no, you’re not getting a link. Unless you are a hot female that resides in the greater metro area.Please, blog, may I have some more?