Odrisamer Despaigne almost threw a no-hitter yesterday (7 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks) in his Padres camo fatigues, which had Fidel completely uncertain how to react. “I love to wear camo too, but now he’s doing it for the American Baseball Organization and representing their military? I am torn like Natalie Imbruglia.” Luckily, Fidel had someone who burped too loud to assassinate to take his mind off things. Odrisamer Despaigne, or Otis Spunkmeyer as I always want to call him, now has a 1.31 ERA on the year (34 1/3 IP) and a laughable K-rate (4.46). Speaking of communists, that’s even laughable for Correia. Maybe the Mets couldn’t see Spunkmeyer’s pitches because the Padres were also using their trademark camo-painted baseball? Oh, wait, this is the Mets we’re yakking up. How silly of me. Spunkmeyer is definitely worth riding when in home starts, and even favorable road matchups while throwing well, but I wouldn’t trust him long-term. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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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So it’s not really the 2nd half mark in the fantasy baseball season, but it’s the All-Star Break so what else are we going to talk about? Hell’s Kitchen? Is it even believable that these people would one day be in charge of a kitchen? There’s Real World castmates who seem like they have their shizz together better than these schmohawks. I like the one guy who burps a lot. He seems ready to run a kitchen! MasterChef, though, that show is the Sistine Chapel of reality shows. Okay, as with all of the other 2014 fantasy baseball rankings, take this list with a grain of salt. If you need a 2nd baseman, but an outfielder is above him that doesn’t mean you can’t trade the outfielder for the 2nd baseman. Also, things change in fantasy baseball. Daily. I could put Miggy number three on the top 100 list for the second half of 2014 and he could get in a fight with a bartender (not Tom Wilhelmsen) tomorrow, then he wouldn’t be number one. See how that works. This list is a road map for where I think guys are valued. It’s not the Holy Grail in the Church of Grey, that would be my mustache. This list is NOT (caps for emphasis, not aesthetics) where I see guys ending up if you were to take their first half and combine it with the 2nd half of their season. This is simply a list of the top hundred fantasy baseball players if you were to pick them up today. So while Carlos Santana did not have the greatest first half, he will appear on this list because I still believe. The projections are not their combined 1st half and 2nd half numbers; these are their projections for the 2nd half of 2014. I also liberally used our rest of the season Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. That’s right, we have a Player Rater that tells you what guys will do. Welcome to the future! Anyway, here’s the top 100 for fantasy baseball for the 2nd half of 2014:

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I’m staring out on a prairie in the middle of Palm Springs. Okay, it’s not a prairie. It’s more of a dirt field with a bingo card blowing through it. But let’s pretend it’s a prairie. Why am I standing in a prairie that’s not really a prairie? Because all great baseball moments happen this way. Just one man and rows of corn. Except those aren’t rows of corns, but walkers lined up against the window of a Starbucks. But let’s pretend they are cornfields! I’m pulling off my cap (not wearing a cap; don’t want to mess my hair), staring directly into the sky (wearing sunglasses) and screaming at the Fantasy Baseball Overlord, “Why do you have to make the rest of us suffer for the childhood you never had?!” Okay, I need to move on before the OPP (Old People Police) come after me. We should’ve known a rather pedestrian 7 IP, 4 ER from Masahiro Tanaka was a sign that he was hurt. We should’ve known! Or an even worse 6 2/3 IP, 5 ER start the next time out. We should’ve known! Alas, we didn’t know. So, Tanaka’s going for a variety of tests, and hopefully it’s nothing, but any time there’s something wrong with a pitcher’s elbow it’s something. Are we sure he didn’t inflame his elbow using Hideki’s porn collection? Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Tsuyoshi Wada hit the majors leagues yesterday, so let’s talk about the new Yu Darvish! Actually, that’s Masahiro Tanaka. Okay, let’s talk about the new Hiroki Kuroda! That’s Ryu. Uh, the new Cubs pitcher that I’m excited about? That’s Arrieta. The new pitcher that autocorrect tries to change his first name to tsuris? By the by, is my autocorrect anti-Semitic? Why does it suggest tsuris? Because I’m half-Heb? And why did autocorrect just change Jew to Heb. Siri, dial the Anti-Defamation League and apologize. “Dialing your mother now.” Siri, not cool! Any pitcher that does compare to Wada? Yes, the new Bruce Chen. So, Wada is a rookie in name only. He’s 33 years old, and the first rookie with salt and pepper hair to throw five shutout innings since Satchel Paige. He’s also a soft-tossing lefty. Yawn. He might catch some hitters off-balance, but he’s probably around a high-6 K/9 and a 4 ERA pitcher. Yesterday’s line of 5 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 3 Ks is okay, but not much to flap your gums about outside of NL-Only leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Let’s look at some potential homerun decliners based on the following “Power Score” or expected homerun (xHR) formula and compare it to their actual homerun totals. Here is the formula:

Plate Appearances(PA)*Contact Rate(Ct%)*Outfield flyball rate(OFFB%)*Homerun per Outfield Flyball ratio(HR/OFFB).

Make sense? Sure it does: How many homeruns does a player hit per outfield flyball? How much of their contact results in an outfield flyball? How much overall contact does a batter make when swinging the bat in a plate appearance? This should provide us with an expected HR total.

The below lists are ranked by the largest actual HR-expected HR differentials. Their HR related performance (PA, Ct, OFFB, HR/OFFB) is listed along with their average homerun and flyball average distance and rank.

Two contingencies worth noting at this time: 1) Our samples size still isn’t huge and 2) We’re not taking into account platoon hitters, i.e. Scott Van Slyke as a right-hand hitter only raking against left-hand pitchers. So when I extrapolate the data, keep this in mind. In other words, if Scott Van Slyke consumed more playing time against right-hand pitchers, there’s a good chance his performance/power would drop off.

Here are the top potential HR decliners (I think you will see the value of this xHR comp immediately):

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Jackie Bradley Jr. walked three times in one game. Have you people forgotten he walked three times…IN ONE GAME! Yeah, that’s old news for the Sons of Sam Horn. They have a new fish to park in Harvard Yard. There’s going to be a new man in Bo’ town soon. The master of no disaster, the king of that’s a purdy swing, the man who once impregnated a lady by looking at her while he was in the batter’s box, Mookie Betts. Oh, you better, you better, you Betts! I usually don’t get caught up in the thrill of the rookie chase (Ha! Of course I do, I’m a damn fool!), but this one looks like he might be mollywhopping like, well, a middle infielder and stealing bases like, well, a middle infielder. Now, now, no deflating. He does look like he can be special and should have middle infield eligibility, which ups the how’s your father just a bit. He stole 22 bases in 54 games in Double-A, but he was completely overmatching people there. Okay, in Triple-A, he’s doing the same. He’s putting up Atari numbers everywhere he goes in the minor leagues. Hard to imagine it continues in the majors, but, if it did, he’d be a 15-homer, 35-steal guy. Sounds like another Red Sox middle infielder from once upon a time ago (no, not dyslexic Ramon). The one that they shipped off to Florida (Hanley Ramirez). If Mookie is available in your league and you have room, I’d stash him. It sounds like he could be up in the landmark case of sooner vs. later. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I swear that box score turning blue to alert people there’s something historic going on is the mother of all jinxes. Not to mention, all the people talking about the perfect game. Member when that was a jinx? Since we’re currently living in the Age of Opinion (which is not the Scorsese movie, though if it gets the green-light, Gary Oldman could play the lead), everyone talks about the perfect game while it’s going on. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitbook, PinkedIn. In my day, we never mentioned a perfect game on Friendster! And on my General Gist band page on Myspace? Nary a whisper! Well, Jake Arrieta still pitched outstanding yesterday — 7 IP, 2 ER, 3 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 2.05 — even if the bid for a perfect game came up short. Like Altuve short. Like Kershaw looks at Arrieta’s perfect game bid and giggles. Still, this is about where Arrieta’s been and where he can go. What I said the other day still remains true — his swings and misses are going up, his control is getting better and he’s using his cutter more — a pitch he can dominant with. I’d still look at him in every league. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Pitching my life with his words. One time, one time. What, you don’t get down with The Fugees remix? By the by, Wyclef, musical talent, instrumental to success, pun noted. Lauryn Hill bonkers talented, pun noted. Pras? Um… Well… An actual refugee? True story, Wyclef once walked into my mom’s chiropractor office and asked her to massage his butt. My mom declined…Or so she tells me! Marcus Stroman did a little dazzle number last night — 8 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks — that hinted at his true talent level. Why has he looked like Pras’s career post-Fugees? Because he’s a rookie and prone to roofies. The pretty remarkbuehrle thing about his numbers thus far is he averages a 94 MPH fastball (that’s terrific) and an under 2 BB/9 (also terrific). A guy that can throw bullets and aim them will translate into an ace very quickly. To see what kind of thing the Royal We is talking about — his Triple-A numbers were 11+ K/9 and a 2.3 K/9. If that happens in the majors, he’ll be a top 10 starter. For serious. Unfortch, for now he’s a streamer in most mixed leagues with a chance for upside. Yesterday, the Stream-o-Nator liked him and next time out it loves him, so I’d give him a little how’s your father, good, thanks for asking, but he’s still risky. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hold onto your Taco Bell-made Doritos hat because yesterday Eric Hosmer hit a homer. Sung like J.J. Fad, “The S is for super, the Homer is for about freakin’ time!” More of an 80′s rock kid? Hosmer’s been Poison so far this year, but look what the cat dragged in! Prefer the punk scene? After Billy Butler goes to the bathroom, they say the john’s rotten. Okay, that had nothing to do with Hosmer, but I’m a man of the people and the people in my head demanded a punk reference. The Royals power has been so bad this year, Lorde released a remix titled, “Blue Jays.” At the forefront of the Royals abomination has been Hosmer. Entering today he had two homers. Who do you think you are, Robinson Cano? His homers per fly ball is abysmal, but his ground ball to fly ball ratio is about the same as previous years, his line drive percentage is fine, his at-bats per homer was around 30 for every year, except this year where it’s at 129. The only true red flag in his numbers is he’s hitting a ton of infield flies. I think that might’ve been him pressing due to the homer drought and now that cloud of doom can lift. I don’t think he’s suddenly going to jack 30 homers and start walking around in a crown like Jerry “The King” Lawler, but I also don’t think Hosmer will stay this terrible forever. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?