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Marco!  Polo!  No, no, no, let’s start this over.  Marco!  New Zealand?  C’mon, readership, you’re better than that.  It’s in the title!  Deep League Thoughts?  Now you’re just eff’ing with me.  I’m gonna remember this.  I don’t even know why I let you italicize in my opening paragraph.  If you were on twitter, I’d unfollow you at this point.  We’re here to talk about Marco ESTRADA!!!!  I hate you all…yes, we’re here to talk about Marco Estrada.  You may say to yourself, ‘didn’t we already do this last year with unsuccessful results?’ It’s true, Grey brought us a Marco Estrada Sleeper post last season.  If you wanna know where most of this post is going, that’s probably a great place to start.  Not much has changed about Marco going into this season except for perception as he wasn’t only a Razzball darling in 2013.  Don’t believe me?  Here’s the google proof!  All this to say, he came into 2013 with a full head of steam as someone who was going to outperform his draft day price.  Which of course, changed his draft day price to what it really should’ve been on draft day.  Funny how that works.  All of this to say, Estrada went from sleeper pitcher to an urban dictionary curse word for failed sleepers.  I think Grey wrote that one even…but nevertheless, stop living in the past!  We’re here to look into the almost immediate future.  So let me grab my crystal balls and tell you why Estrada is a great get for deep leagues for the 2014 Fantasy Baseball season…

To talk about what Marco can do for you, we must first talk about what he can’t do for you without extreme luck.  He is going to have a hard time living up to his xFIP which for his career floats around 3.50 because of his FB tendencies.  Of the 128 pitchers in 2013 who cleared 120 IP, Marco finished 115th in GB/FB rate at 0.85.  Now this stat in and of itself is not damning by any means.  Max Scherzer finished 119th.  Like I said, not damning stats but here’s what is: 93.3 vs 89.2.  That’s the average fastball of Scherzer vs Estrada in 2013.  One of these things is not like the other, clearly, and when you factor in home ballpark – Miller Park tends to rank in top 10, most times top 7 in HRs allowed – you’re seeing why that FB tendency can sometimes get Marco in a little trouble.  He can’t just blow it by guys and he never will.  If I were looking for a comparative to some old school back end fantasy baseball staffers we’ve had, it would probably have to be Ted Lilly only a bit better due to fastball speeds.  Both attack the zone, both have great walk rates and both came on late in their careers with high FB tendencies.  If Marco were playing for the Dodgers at Dodgers stadium for half his games, I’d probably soil myself with delight but he’s not so I’ll just soil myself the regular way and be ok with it because he’s going so late.  What’s that smell?  It’s the smell of success and used nachos with beer!  Now pardon me while I go change my drawers.

Sky Sperling is a contributor for Razzball Football and Razzball Baseball. He’s also a lover of fine beer, fine women and fine-toothed combs. You can follow him on twitter @Sky_Razzball and in your most sweetest of dreams.

35 Responses

  1. Count de Monetball says:
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    Thanks but no thanks, I would rather draft his brother Erik Estrada. If you would rather Marco, I can’t argue with you, but we will just let the CHiPS fall where they may…

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Count de Monetball: So…much…pun…can’t…ESPLODE

      It’s alright, I’ll be taking him late when and where I can. Without looking, what do you think his ERA was end of last year?

      • Count de Monetball says:
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        @Sky: lol, i would guess that his ERA was in the upper threes, low fours at the end of the year. If you want a very specific guess I will say 4.13298. Can I check the back of the book for the answer now teacher? I’ll wait and let you tell me actually.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Hahahah. Cram was close to right. I assumed many would think he finished the year near 4.5 because that’s about where he started when so many dropped him. Such a timing issue sometimes with pitchers. Anyways, you know I love him and none of you will deter me. You hear that? NONE!

          • Count de Monetball says:
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            @Sky: FWIW, your humor and write-ups crack me up (oops, almost wrote crap me up), anyway, I truely was not cracking on Estrada or your article, It was just my long winded approach to doing this years’ first CHiPS reference. I might do an RCL this year, but my only other FBB league is 10 team mixed (yahoo) and isn’t really that deep. However, Estrada does have value and I streamed him a number of times last year.

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              @Count de Monetball: Ha, you’re good! These are deep league calls. A lot of people read them without that in mind…heck a lot of them don’t even read them. They just see the title and say ‘ESTRADA SUCKS!’ But I digress, thanks for reading and the appreciation.

  2. TheNewGuy says:
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    But you haven’t said whats appealing about him, have you?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @TheNewGuy: ‘If you wanna know where most of this post is going, that’s probably a great place to start. Not much has changed about Marco going into this season except for perception as he wasn’t only a Razzball darling in 2013.’

      I also gave a comparable in Ted Lilly and said he had a better K rate. Not sure how much more I need to say…

      • Cram It says:
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        @Sky: Told ya…See what happens when you don’t give a projected line? ;)

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          HA! Fine! I project 437 CHiPS references by Grey by the end of the season as he gushes over Marco.

          • Cram It says:
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            @Sky: Haha. Now that’s a fun projection system. 4 Estrada shades!

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              Seriously, though, it’s funny how guys like Estrada go from crazy high drafts one year to throw away the next. I asked Count but without looking, what do you think Marco’s ERA was last year?

              • Cram It says:
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                @Sky: I’ve got nothing for or against Estrada. I didn’t know he was hyped last year and he was never on my radar until I started streaming him towards the end of the year. I’ll guess 3.80

                • Count de Monetball says:
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                  @Sky: @Cram It: I made my guess of his ERA before seeing your guess Cram.

                • Sky

                  Sky says:
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                  I hear ya. Your ERA is pretty much spot on since it was 3.87. I think he’s got a chance for 3.70, could luck into a 3.5 but would be surprised by it.

                  • Cram It says:
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                    @Sky: Hell, a high 3 ERA, with a low whip and a K/9 is very useful. If he was 21 years old, he’d probably be getting a lot more attention. But he’s 30, hasn’t thrown 150 innings in a season, and is barely averaging 6 IP a start. I can see both sides.

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      I hear ya. The lack of going deep into games does hurt for multiple reasons, wins being only one of them. So many pitchers don’t ‘get it’ until late anyway, though. I’ve never understood that ‘the pitcher has to be young for me to believe’ stuff. We all love it when the Lincecums break out but ignore the fact that some guys just don’t get it until they’re older. Not making comparables but The Adverb didn’t break out until age 30 and didn’t even have a K/9 over 8 until 2010 (during his good years; he had one in 2004).

          • Count de Monetball says:
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            @Sky: Agree with Cram, that is the best projection system I have read. hahahah

  3. willy says:
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    I like pitchers that don’t walk guys. Marco is one of them. I’m one of the guys that had him on my DL spot and then when he was healthy, there were a couple sonovabenches and then I rolled him out. He had some tough match ups to close out the season, but impressive results in a lot of them… If you look at his ERA while he was injured and then see where it ended up, it’s pretty good man… then you see what teams he had to pitch against and you put it all together and that would make him a sleeper in my books!

    With regards to his bad number pre-injury, you can chalk that up to him pitching hurt.

    If he can k 7-8 batters in a game and get away with 1 BB or 1 at worse, I’d say that’s worth owning. My league has KK/BB as the 6th pitching stat so I guess based on that I would value Estrada more than the average person. Anyway, I’m in on Estrada in the later rounds. I agree with Sky.

    • willy says:
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      @willy: 1 BB or 2 at worse

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Yeah, I’m just looking at the stats he had given a very up and down season and it’s not as bad as I believe many think it was. People rarely forget April/May with uproven guys. Rough start that rounded itself out. I’m with you that I like guys who walk very few as long as their K rate is well enough above 7 per 9. Estrada can be an SP3 in my book. Don’t think he ever reaches his ERA potential but the K rate is real and the WHIP is extremely useful. And his K:BB ratio is elite: 4.07 last year. Would’ve been 12th best in MLB if he met the minimums.

  4. L'ville Jim says:
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    Maybe I could package him and Rutledge for a bag of balls.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Or you could NOT do that…yeah, I think I’m saying not to do that.

  5. The Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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    In ESPN late, I would grab ESTRADA!!!! this year. The NL over AL advantage makes him a better choice over many hurlers from the AL. He finished the year strong too.

    He’s just a deeper sleeper this year

    He may turn out to be this year’s Anne Belle

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      I googled that and found some French lady. I’m officially lost.

      • Count de Monetball says:
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        @Sky: I think ghost meant Anibal, maybe Siri, misspelled it…

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          @Count de Monetball: Ah Anibal the animal (between the sheets). I hadn’t thought of that. Seriously, Anne Belle: French Actress and social worker. Important lady of history that no one knows!

          • The Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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            @Sky:

            Anne Belle oppsoed to AnneBelle is the transgender anglicized spelling of Anibal..

            Hope this helped

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              Thanks, I needed a GOTD glossary. That would surprise me. But he’s definitely draft-worthy over a lot of guys who’ll go above him

  6. NatsFan says:
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    One of a small handful of “non-elite” SP’s to record over 65% strikes thrown and over 16% swing and miss rate.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @NatsFan: Yeah, he’s never going to strike out 10 per but the K-rate for what you have to spend is great. Looking forward to grabbing him late in many leagues this year.

  7. Clint says:
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    As a Brewer fan, I’m struggling to find a way to include Estrada and C.H.I.P.S. into my fantasy team name for 2014 but I am determined to figure it out because Magnum PI’s gonna be too damned hard.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Haha, Yahoo? I seriously hate the team name character limit. Was supposed to be Oregon Wrecking Balls…had to leave off the ‘S’. I am disappoint.

  8. scottsteelers says:
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    Where we keep 5 my 3 for sures are
    j Fernandez 11th
    Puig 10th
    mccutch 7th
    have to decide between
    Cespedes 9th
    machado 9th
    segura 9th
    carpenter 9th
    wacha 9th
    bailey 9th
    latos 14th.
    if 2 from 9th then one moves into 8th. 60 players off the board to start with all teams keepers. I counted 12 players that should be available out of the top 50 so its slim pickens

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @scottsteelers: Keepers its typically about who you’re NOT getting back in the draft or about price. That would be Segura for 1. Second one for me would be Latos due to price.

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