Looking back on the unofficial first half of the fantasy baseball season can be a lot of fun, unless of course you are in dead last, in which case it’s about as much fun as watching your auntie’s cat play with its new Cat’s Meow toy while you eat stale Circus Peanuts. In any event, the gods of SAGNOF have not been as kind to us thus far in 2013, and it shows in the numbers. The total number of steals in the league, 1524, is the lowest it’s been since 2006. In addition, there are only 21 players with 15 or more steals at this point in the season. That’s also the lowest it’s been since 2006. It feels even lower given that just last year there were 28 players with 15+ steals at the break and 30 the year before that. This all means that players who steal 30 bags or more are a little harder to come by, and it’s no sure thing that each fantasy team will have one or two guys that can carry them in steals like in years past. It also means that having a guy like Ben Revere break his foot and lose his season is a much bigger blow to our fantasy squads (mine included) than it used to be. So what do we do if we lost a guy like Revere or missed out on a Jacoby Ellsbury or Everth Cabrera type? If you read my column regularly, you know I’m a big fan of playing the match-ups when it comes to steals, and seizing the opportunity to eke them out whenever possible against teams that are weak against the run. After all, just because steals are down in general, it doesn’t change the fact that they still make up 20% of our offensive points in most leagues.
Here is some of the data from the first half of the 2013 season. Teams and pitchers highlighted in green have shown a weakness in allowing stolen bases, while teams and pitchers highlighted in red are tough against the run. I also included the league averages for comparison. While it’s no sure thing that playing guys against these teams will give you steals, it’s just one more piece of information for your toolbox when making roster decisions on a daily or weekly basis.
|Team Stolen Base Statistics|
|League Average – 51 Steals Allowed, 28% CS%|
Notes: Washington is sitting just outside the top ten for steals allowed with 60 on the season and a league worst 12% CS%. When you combine those two statistics they are actually one of the easiest teams to run against. It’s one of the reasons I like Eric Young of the Mets, who’ll face Philly or Washington over 20 times in the second half of the season.
As far as pitchers go, it’s sometimes helpful to know who is easy to run against for those of us in daily leagues that can play even smaller match-ups. Here are the pitchers who have allowed the most stolen bases in 2013 (minimum 60 IP):
John Lackey, Edinson Volquez, Scott Feldman, A.J. Burnett, Tim Lincecum, Roberto Hernandez, Barry Zito, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, Jonathan Pettibone, Yovani Gallardo, Matt Cain, Chris Sale, Edwin Jackson
Notes: On the other side of the coin, Adam Wainwright has yet to allow a steal in over 140 innings pitched this year.
I hope this information is helpful. Next week we’ll get back to focusing on individual players who may be available to help in the steals category. Enjoy the All-Star Game and thanks for reading!
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