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One challenge to streaming hitters vs. streaming pitchers – or playing daily fantasy games – is that teams do not publish ‘Probable Hitters’ a few days in advance.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.

I have tried to address both of the above challenges via the %Start column in Hitter-Tron Daily and in the adjusted projections for Hitter-Tron Weekly.  The %Start ranges from 5-95 and predicts the likelihood that a player will start in a specific game.  When streaming hitters, you can either ignore or filter out any players who are unlikely to get the start.

For the Daily Hitter-tron, I still project their full stats as if there was a 100% chance they would start.  That way, even if the estimate is wildly wrong (holy c**p,  Jonathan Herrera is starting over Troy Tulowitzki !), you still have the correct $ value for your start/sit decision.

For the Weekly Hitter-tron, I have adjusted these totals based on the player’s likelihood to start each game.  So the projected AB for Jonny Gomes will be highly dependent on the number of LHPs that the Red Sox face that week.  And the back-up catcher will likely only have 1-2 Games’ worth of projections.

Below are some general strengths vs. weaknesses of the %Start estimation model.  Please note that the impact of any weaknesses will be felt more on the Weekly projections since all the stats are being reduced based on the playing time estimates.

Strengths

  • For players secure in their starting position, it will look at last 30 day data but will not underproject players coming back from injury (e.g.,  Mark Teixeira has a floor of 85% if healthy)
  • For platoon/part-time hitters, it takes into account how often a player starts vs. RHP/LHP so, for this coming week,  Brandon Moss is at 90% likelihood to start vs. RHPs and 18% vs. LHPs.  Gomes is at 6% for RHP and 90% for LHP.
  • All DL’d players are ignored by Hitter-tron.

Weaknesses

  • The model does not know if a guy is ‘banged up’ or when a catcher is going to get his inevitable rest day.  So a Catcher who plays 120 games a year with no real bias on LHP/RHP will just have a 75% in every game where it’s likely more like 85% and 25% on the day game after a night game.
  • For players who lose their full-time role  and are still on the major league team (e.g.,  Lyle Overbay with Teixeira back), their %Start will slowly decrease over the coming weeks vs. a one-time adjustment as his playing time is driven by ‘last 30 day’ data.
  • For players who lose their full-time role and are sent down (e.g.,  Josh Rutledge), it takes a week to remove them from the Hitter-Tron universe (which is based on 1+ AB in the last 7 days)
  • For players who have recently gained the full-time role but are not assured of keeping it full-time (e.g.,  Nick Franklin), his %Start will slowly increase over the next couple of weeks as he secures the starting role.
  • Players coming off the DL or just called up that day will not be projected until the day after their first game back.

One last item regarding Hitter-Tron and Stream-o-nator.  The current default sorting is based on $ value in descending order.  So the top hitter/pitcher may be for a game several days in advance.  I am considering changing the sort so that it is by Date and then $ so that the best hitter/pitcher of that day is at the top of the list.  Please vote in the below poll if you have an opinion.

  1. Byron from Austin says:
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    diggin the tools, good work and thanks, Rudy!

    you goin to indian jewelry at hotel vegas tonight? you should. let’s blaze and talk baseball between sets.

    okay so jenmar and wandy hurt, but the pirates don’t neeeeed to call up cole. i went ahead and picked him up to see what happens later/next week. but gausman is also sitting on FA. wanted to grab him, but holy shit every single one of his upcoming starts look like ones i want to avoid (@tb, vs bos, @det, vs cle, vs nyy)

    who do you think is a more worthwhile stash? if you like gaus more, who would you start him against? thanks, and have a good one!

    • @Byron from Austin: Nope – no music tonight. maybe another time. i really want to catch this band Choctaw Wildfire when they play next.

      i don’t like rookie pitchers in general – especially ones in AL East. I’d probably go w/ Cole.

      • Byron from Austin says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: thanks rudy. i haven’t heard of that band, i’m gonna look it up

  2. Frank White says:
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    Sup Rudy… Hey I have a question about streaming pitchers. I have 1 more chance to add a player this week and my opponent has Felix Hernandez going on Sunday.. he’s winning right now but not by that much. The question is, should I challenge him, F Hernandez, by picking up Phelps on Sunday cause Phelps stream o nator is off the hook too, not to far from Felix???

  3. One I'd Willy says:
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    Nice addition. Truly appreciate all the hard work you guys do.

    ROS Player rates has Pujols at $31 and Stanton at $9.3. You agree with this? I think the issue is 246 projected for Stanton. Will this go up with Stanton expected back Next week?

    Thanks again!

    • @One I’d Willy: I think you helped uncover a glitch in how I was factoring playing time for DL guys. My computer is acting up but should have it fixed for tomorrow. I’d expect Stanton will get about 80 more PAs or so.

      • One I'd Willy says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: Thanks! That’s more in line with where I’d rank him. Good work!

  4. Matt says:
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    If I try to use box scores to develop a profile for each starting catcher, as an aide to help determine whether he’s a “day game after a night game” rest guy, or a random rest guy. OR, do you think it would be worthwhile to assume higher likelihood when it’s a day game after a night game in general? If you want me to do the research, PM me.

    • @Matt: I don’t think it’s worth too much analysis. Not sure how much of a pattern there is for giving catchers time to rest but, if there’s a convoluted logic, I’d rather not have to code that in.

  5. Zzore says:
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    Im in a 16 team league. OBP and TB are cats. I was offered Yadier Molina and a 9th round draft pick for Jose Reyes and JP Arencibia and 12th round pick. Didi Gregorious is my current SS. I just don’t know what to do. If you could throw some advice my way that would be money. Thank you!

  6. The Red Cyclones says:
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    Thanks for setting this up, I think the hittertron should be sorted by daily because of daily lineup batty calls and bench moves, and the stream o nator should be $ value, because I’d rather know if I can stash a start for Sunday that will put me over the top than see today’s starts (which I probably can’t add/drop day-of in my leagues). I dunno, I just feel like you need the immediacy more with hitting in fantasy lineups.

  7. Mariner Mike says:
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    I was offered bautista and machado for cuddyer and ryu do you like this trade? I am stacked at pitching so it’s kind of two for one. Thank you for your help!! By the way I kind of like the trade just need opinion!

    • Chicken Dinner says:
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      @Mariner Mike: Uh……..What the H E double hockey sticks are you waiting for? Stick ‘em up, it’s a highway robbery. Doubtful it avoids league veto.

  8. JK says:
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    Any thoughts on this trade…

    Jed Lowrie for Shelby Miller?

    Seems obvious I should take Shelby, but this its a 14 team league with deep rosters.

    My middle infielders: Kelly Johnson, Jed Lowrie, Jurickson Profar, Dereck Dietrich

    My pitchers: C.Lee, J.Lester, M.Harvey, H.Bailey, R.Dempster, T.Milone, M.Leake, M.Wacha, and stashing Z.Wheeler and G.Cole

    • @JK: Well, you don’t NEED Shelby but I’d rather roll the dice with those MRs and add Miller.

  9. Charles says:
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    Is a Trade Machine the next tool in the toolkit? I love this stuff.

    • @Charles: @Charles: Not in the near time. I think the Buy/Sell and ROS player rater kind of answers most of the questions. I think the other aspects of trade evaluation are too tricky to build a tool around (e.g., where are you in the standings per category? what are your team strengths going forward? who’s available in free agency, etc.?)

  10. Brandon Hall says:
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    Rudy,

    Which side of this trade do you like in a 5×5 standard league:

    Jay Bruce and Kris Medlen for Shin Soo Choo

    • @Brandon Hall: I think Medlen is a non-factor. Bruce/Choo depends on whether your team needs HR/RBI vs. AVG/R/SB.

  11. joe bob says:
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    Rudy,

    Love the new tools.

    Trade question–which side do you take, in a vacuum?

    1. Stanton/jose Fernandez for Gio/Homer B?

    2. Stanton/detwiler/Cingrani for Gio/Homer B?

    Thanks

    • @joe bob: I like the Stanton side in both with #1 better than #2. Don’t think Detwiler or Cingrani have much value. The ROS Player Rater prefers the Gio/Homer side and it is solid value. I’d do the trade if my team was strong on HR and needed SP help.

      • joe bob says:
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        Thanks. I agree with you, but I’m the one who has Stanton, need SO’s and am pretty good on homers. May have to go with player rater and pull the trigger on no 2. . Cheers!

  12. ulysses says:
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    if you had to choose between stashing myers or wheeler in a redraft, who would you take? 12 team h2h categories. my only batter i could drop is aoki who is a bench guy for me… my pitching staff is as follows:

    Latos, Scherzer, Miller, Garza, Moore, Niese, Cashner, Straily, Wheeler
    Perkins, Jansen, Chapman, Henderson(DL)

    so if i were to pick up myers, who is the drop? aoki? and when henderson comes off the DL, who is the drop, cashner?

    • @ulysses: I’d just hold onto Aoki. Who knows if/when Myers is called up this year and Wheeler is a rookie pitcher and they usually don’t excel out of the game.

  13. TheNewGuy says:
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    D Brown or Kemp? Single season league.

    I know what youre gonna say at it probably aint even close.

    Would you consider selling Dom high? Or just enjoy the ride…

    • @TheNewGuy: Dom Brown since he’s playing out of his mind and who knows with Kemp’s injuries. At the very least, hard to bank on Kemp being more than a pro-rated 15 SB guy and his speed was one of his big draws. I’d enjoy the ride w/ Dom.

  14. Dave the Barber says:
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    Did Goldschmidt get hurt? My MLB.tv isn’t working?

    • TheNewGuy says:
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      @Dave the Barber: noones is.

      I thought it was something up with my ipad/connection.

      • Dave the Barber says:
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        @TheNewGuy: I’m in Louisville, are you in my service area?

        • Dave the Barber says:
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          @Dave the Barber: Also, don’t trade Dom. Enjoy the Ride. “Everybody HIts!! Woohoo!!” (I’m originally from Philly)

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Diamondbacks forfeited, resting Goldy

      • Sorryano Northsiders says:
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        @Grey: WHEW, I was concerned, thanks Grey!

      • Dave the Barber says:
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        @Grey: Is your MLB.tv working?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          No, it’s not

  15. jjj says:
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    which side do you like in this trade:

    Wainright, swisher, vicorino, chapman for
    Hellickson, Braun, marte, valverde??

    • @jjj: Hmm, I’m taking the Braun side. I’d lean towards #1 if you took out Victorino and Marte.

  16. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    groovy stuff here,thamks

  17. Choi says:
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    In a Keeper League –

    Do you take Matt Kemp or Shelby Miller?

    • @Choi: Kemp. I don’t like keeping SPs unless they have an amazing track record (e.g., Kershaw).

  18. Nick says:
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    Offered Fowler/Bell for my Grilli. Thoughts?
    Don’t really care about Bell, but could use Fowler, especially in an OPS 10-teamer roto with 5 OF spots.

    • @Nick: It’s an okay deal if you’re short an OF. I don’t love Fowler b/c i don’t trust his HR or SB. But he’s a very useful player for home starts.

  19. ferris says:
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    kendrys morales (ryan howard would slot into CI and i would go to the poorly stocked wire for a UT)
    for
    brian mccann (would replace miguel montero)
    johnny peralta (would replace aviles until asdrubal returns)

  20. Terse

    Terse says:
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    ESPN wants you to associate ‘!’ with evil and misfortune.

  21. The Guru

    The Guru says:
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    Hey Rudy, am I kwazy or did I see Bartolo Colon rated as the #3 fantasy player for the last week?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
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      Found it. Never mind me.

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