Second base is a solid position in OBP leagues and you can find standouts across the board and throughout the top-20. I have a few guys I am targeting heavily in drafts for the keystone, as well as MI positions, as I tend to end up with a second baseman there too. The top-5 in OBP looks a lot like most rankings: Robinson Cano .382, Jose Altuve .377, Ben Zobrist .354, (Anthony Rendon if eligible .351), Howie Kendrick .347, and Brian Dozier .345. There are also a couple of names left off of this list that are pretty consistently in the top 5 ranks: Ian Kinsler .307, and Dee Gordon .326 (but more on him later.) Here are a few guys I am targeting and one player, who was a surprising breakout last year, that I’m avoiding…

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This is a community service for all of Razzball nation (/entire post in a Sam Elliot’s voice). A yearly reminder of just how much of a hitter’s park Coors Field really is, and when in doubt, to choose a COORpSe (AKA, in times of draft or waiver wire indecision, grab a Rockies player). If you play daily leagues, you need to know whose hitting at Coors on the home and visiting team. I’ll leave out the obvious COORpSe selections with limbs falling off like Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzales, and focus on the less obvious ones. It goes without saying fantasy baseballers (Grey’s mom’s word) here know the park factor and the advantage of hitting in the thin air and massive outfield in Colorado, but it may still be surprising to see the home/away splits next to each other.

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

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From being a consumer of Razzball for a few years, I’m sure many of you already know about OBP or On-Base Percentage league(s). Chances are, if you’re playing in an OBP league, you’re playing with some seasoned teams. The metric has eased into MLB broadcasts and has become an important measurement as to a players overall worth, more so than batting average. However, the player gets on first, whether he leaves the bat on his shoulder or gets plunked, the idea is, it’s just the same as a base knock. If you play in competitive leagues, I advocate changing from AVG to OBP. For me, it increased my understanding of different players who didn’t always get the recognition but are valuable to their teams.

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Looking over Shortstop in OBP leagues is not pretty. Even the top-5 gets ugly quick; Troy Tulowitzki (.432), Hanley Ramirez (.369), Ben Zobrist (.354), Danny Santana (.353), and Starlin Castro (.339) round out the top-5. The top guys tend to have good OBP numbers and will be a plus at the position while there are a few guys throughout the rankings that will kill your OBP…

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Playing in an OBP league not only takes into account more of the players overall performance, it can also help you get a couple of steals on draft day. I took a look at third base and singled out a few players to target and one to pass over that others in your league may be sleeping on…

Looking at the top-5 in OBP last year, we end up with Adrian Beltre (.388), Matt Carpenter (.375), Carlos Santana (.365), Casey McGehee (.355), and Anthony Rendon (.351). No surprise that at number one, is the top ranked third baseman going into 2015, and Rendon is going in the top-20 overall in most leagues, however the others are a bit more surprising. No one is taking Casey McGehee in the top-20 at third base in any league, and no one should, but it’s interesting to see him so high on the list.  Looking past him, we have a couple of guys that are pretty well known to be more valuable in OBP leagues: Carpenter and Santana. Each brings a different skill set to the table, but have significantly more value in an OBP league vs. standard, and if your league is a new to OBP, you should be able to get both at a bargain. Here are a few stand outs that I am targeting in any OBP league.

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I don’t know about you, and let me preface this by saying most if not all of my league mates at least know I contribute fantasy baseball (OPS) content, but I keep getting the old “But, he’s a Catcher/Shortstop so he’s worth more” and from a position scarcity perspective, that’s obviously true. However, I am A) going for the win-now so all I want is to take the lead in certain (all) categories and B) position scarcity-schmarcity: give me the best available.

So it’s time for your 5×5 (HR,SB,R,RBI,OPS) rankings for both position scarcity and position schmarcity.

FYI, I use the FVAR (fantasy value above replacement) approach to fantasy valuation vs. SGP (standard gains points) approach since I don’t have all of your leagues’ current and historical information. Feel free to look this up or ask below.

For reference, here are the positional replacement 5×5 values and associated players (the 5 z-scores for each category are summed up; the sum is adjusted in each position by this positional replacement value i.e. each Catcher gets .73 added to their z-sum while each First Baseman only gets .01 added to their z-sum i.e. all catchers values are inflated more because of the lower replacement-value):

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Which Jose Ramirez am I discussing, you ask? No, not the other eight professional Jose Ramirez’s… but the Cleveland Indians stopgap between Asdrubal Cabrera and Francisco Lindor.

FranLind has been extremely impressive– he’s already got 2 successful Double-A go-rounds under his belt at 19 and 20 totaling 400+ at-bats (.280+ AVG and 30 SB). While the historical HR/Isolated-Slugging isn’t ideal, currently (and briefly) at Triple-A, he’s mashing to the point where it’s not even worth presenting his stats. And still he’s only 20.

So the Francisco Lindor contingency is out of the way. Next up: Asdrubal Cabrera. Supposedly the Blue Jays are showing interest in acquiring Asdrubal and he  makes sense for their 2b-slot. While we’ve seen the best of him, his 80+% contact rate and 15/10 HR/SB at middle infield is an asset to many teams.

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I don’t know about you, but even I get hung up on the individual site rankings for my leagues’ player pages, even though they have little to do with the categories that we use. For example, in my CBS dynasty league, we use Runs Produced (RBI+R-HR), net Stolen Bases (SB-CS), Slugging, On-base Percentage, and Plate Appearances [Jay’s Note: We use OBP, TB, W+QS, 2*Sv+H in a couple of my dynasty’s], yet I am still at times impulsive to pick-up whomever sits at top of the sites’ rankings, which is based off standard 5×5 formats. Well, you’re welcome– This post is to help you distinguish the value differential for OBP and OPS leagues relative to the ESPN player rater rankings. It should give you targets to trade for or trade away.

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As I mentioned in my first/intro OPS post, we’re looking at OPS differential by using expected (x)Homerun and expected (x)BABIP differentials. If you like Captain Planet or laser beams, or want to understand my general approach, then I recommend a gander. If you provide your email below, I can furnish the full list that you can sort. Wordpress doesn’t allow me to copy and paste it all pretty for you.

Let’s start with my xHR formula (PA*Ct%*OFFB%*HR/OFFB%). Here are the top 10 guys likely to drop off from a HR perspective: Albert Pujols, Adam Jones, Justin Morneau, Alexei Ramirez, Mark Reynolds, Charlie Blackmon, Ian Desmond, Brett Lawrie, Hunter Pence and Salvador Perez.

Here are the top 35 guys likely to drop off from a BABIP perspective that you actually might own (meaning I’m excluding the Martin Maldonados of the world): Josh Rutledge, Justin Ruggiano, A.J. Pollock, Josh Hamilton, Stephen Vogt, J.D. Martinez, J.J. Hardy, Eugenio Suarez, Hunter Pence and Matt Adams.

Looking at both xHR and xBABIP differentials, here are guys you might own that I would consider selling in OPS leagues based on their expected vs. actual OPS (the differential is in parenthesis just like this statement. See what I did here?):

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Jay(Wrong) sent presentation rights over to me with the departure/hiatus of Tom Jacks. Tom passed the torch to me by way of a Captain Planet quote: “The Power is Yourz.”


You all seemed to appreciate his content, and I hope to fill your passion-buckets with the same sense of quality. I will offer some value in my next post through OPS differential and possible pick-ups, but I wanted to take this time to summarize a few thoughts from Mr. Jacks’ last post, while sharing my general approach. Hopefully Jay(Wrong) strategically publishes this in a slot where you all aren’t salivating for immediate pick-ups! That’s right. In my very first OPS post, I wrote Jay, slot and salivate in one sentence. [Jay’s Note: Go easy on the ladies my friend.]

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