SAGNOF refers to “saves/steals ain’t got no face”. In other words, they can come from unlikely sources throughout the season and us fantasy baseball folk shouldn’t sell the farm for them on draft day. Let me tell you, 2013 was no exception. When I received my series assignment from Grey earlier this year, I was excited to explore steals as a topic for my column, if only because I knew it would help a lot of people out there do better in the category. I also couldn’t recall many other fantasy sites hitting steals as a primary topic week-in and week out, so hats off to Razzball for being ahead of the game yet again.
It was fascinating to follow along as players rose and fell in value based on steals alone, and even more fascinating to watch match-ups against certain teams yield steals in bunches. This offseason, I’ll be posting every other week and sticking with the stolen base as my focus. We’ll start by taking a look back, but then we’ll shift our gaze forward to 2014 and see if we can get a leg up on the competition prior to our drafts next spring. Let’s get started with a look at the big picture when it comes to steals over the last five years… Please, blog, may I have some more?
First off, I just want to say a quick thank you to all of the readers who welcomed me this year. Your comments and questions were always appreciated and they are what make Razzball the best site around for fantasy baseball. As Grey mentioned in the BUY post last Friday, the best strategy at this point is to unload anybody who isn’t helping you win right now, so with that in mind we’ll look at three options who are possibly available to help your team gain some ground in steals over these last few games. Just as a general strategy for those in weekly leagues, since steals are a counting stat it would be a good idea to look at guys who have 7 games as opposed to 6 left on the schedule to try to squeeze every last statistical drop out of them. As far as daily leagues go, playing the matchups like we have all year is a good idea. Teams like the Red Sox, Tigers, Angels, Rays, Phillies, Padres, Cubs, White Sox, Astros, Nationals, and Giants have given up the most stolen bases this year and they are all teams to target when deciding who to start against for steals. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yesterday, Chris Davis hit his 51st home run, breaking the Orioles’ home run record of 50 set by Brady Anderson. In a ceremony following the game, Chris Davis sheared Brady Anderson’s sideburns, donating them to a teenager who wants to appear closer in age to his fake ID. Teenager Billy Lutkin said, “I already look like I’m at least 22, these will make me look like I’m like 30! I’m gettin’ drunk!” Davis’s season line is 100/51/132/.293/3, and rightfully sits near the top of our Player Rater. Old news, but I’m thinking about new news (almost stutterer!) and what can he do for 2014 fantasy baseball? In the 2nd half, he hit .255 with 13 homers as his BABIP and HR/FB% came soaring back to his career norms and rather than otherworldly as in the first half. He has a near 30% K-rate and doesn’t look anything close to the guy he was in the first half. Next year, he should still get 35 homers, but will probably hit closer to .265 and with those numbers his counting stats will come back to earth like Andrelton after holiday. Let’s just say someone will be drafting him before me next year. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jonathan Villar dished out a big old helping of steals this past week, and I wouldn’t expect anything different after not including him in my last few posts – D’oh! Fact is, prior to this week’s little splurge, Villar had gone from August 13th to September 5th with only 1 stolen base and 3 caught stealing. I couldn’t justify recommending him as a reliable source of stolen bases while he was in the midst of that kind of steals drought, especially at a critical point in the season like this. I’m changing my tune though after watching him steal 4 bases and chip in a homer to boot. He’s got the speed and last week is probably a good sign that the steals slump from August is officially over. He now has 17 steals in just 44 games and despite being caught 7 times already, he’s a player who should be worth a roll of the dice over the last two weeks of the season even with a tough match-up against the Reds to start the week. A lot of other owners have already jumped on board, as his ownership at the four letter word jumped 40%. If he’s already gone in your league, here are a few other options for steals that may be available on your wire: Please, blog, may I have some more?
*sings Kelis song in head for five minutes before starting post* Okay, now that that’s out of the way, I can teach you, but I have to charge. Stupid brain! Denard Span has been hotter than something that’s hot in a situation that’s even hotter. I’m thinking he’s hotter than a stolen wallet that fell into the crack of the world’s fattest man. You can fill in a better allusion if you’d like. I’m empowering you, my prematurely balding men readers. Let’s go back to the beginning of the season, March Grey drafted Denard Span in his last draft of the year, an NL-Only league. I, Grey Albright, Fantasy Master Lothario, was happy to get him, figured he could give me solid counting stats and 20-25 steals. Five months later, I was benching him for Eric Young, Garrett Jones, Reymond Fuentes, really anyone. Then Span decided to reach my projections in the final month. He’s hitting over .400 in September and has stolen more bases this month than all of August (yes, he only stole one base in August, so it’s not that spectacular of an achievement). If you’re struggling for runs, steals and average, I’d grab Span in every league. The only way he could get hotter is if the world’s fattest man farts. Allusion callback! Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
Oh fantasy baseball. You’re such a bitch. Jacoby Ellsbury and his league leading 52 stolen bases are going to take a seat for a while. While this is bad news for Red Sox fans, it’s even worse news for fantasy players who are in the midst of a title chase or head to head playoff match-ups. Grey covered this in the lede this morning but it’s worth mentioning here as well given that our focus is steals and Jacoby represents a huge loss in that category for his owners. Luckily, there are still some players who might be available in your league that can help in the steals department. Quick, before anybody else fractures their feet, let’s take a look at who’s out there for some SAGNOF this week: Please, blog, may I have some more?
This year was a big year for Christian Yelich. He got his driver’s permit, went to the Junior Prom with a senior (!), his parents got a divorce, went on an adventure with his friends where they discovered a dead body in the forest and stumbled on the killers, solved that murder and got his braces off. Even with all of that, there was one thing that stood out as the most important part of his summer — his call-up to the majors. He’s the Doogie Howser of major league baseball. At the age of sixteen, he shouldn’t be playing this well. He should need some time to adjust. His head should be preoccupied with new responsibilities. Like memorizing emergency phone numbers, writing his last name in all of his tighty-whiteys or getting Jimmy Lunkin to secure him a fake ID so he can sneak into R-rated films. Still, with all of this, he’s managed to hit for a solid average with three homers and six steals in forty games. On top of that, he’s got the hottest bat in the majors right now, hitting near .500 in the last week with three of those steals and one of those dingers. I’d grab him in every league. Hurry before homework from the new school year bogs him down. Anyway, here’s some players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
I have a love/hate relationship with Labor Day. On one hand, I have to say goodbye to all of my white pants and seersucker sportcoats. I’m also not a big football guy, so it pains me to see my baseball mates quietly drift off into the world of fantasy football. There’s also a lot to love, though. It’s a day off from work if you’re lucky. It’s also the start of some really exciting pennant chase baseball. And last but not least, we have the expansion of MLB rosters. September gives us a chance to see some fresh faces and possibly some future stars. While none of them are likely to make a huge fantasy impact, there are a few players who have come up that could help in the steals category. Billy Hamilton is the most obvious name. He’s the guy you want if you’re going to gamble on a September call-up. There are some other names, however, that are worth a look in very deep leagues or NL/AL-only leagues. Guys like Jose Ramirez in Cleveland, Dee Gordon in LA, and Jim Adduci in Texas all have speed to offer. Like Hamilton, they’re not going to see regular playing time, so while they are fun to mix and match, they aren’t players that I would rush to add to my roster. Hamilton is the exception to the rule. His speed warrants a look even if he’s relegated to pinch-running most nights. Here are some of the best bets for stolen bases this week in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
Nick Castellanos a ti, Nick Castellanos a ti, Nick Castellanos a ti… Oh, sorry, I didn’t here you walk in. I was just singing Happy Birthday in Spanish with a Greek player’s name to anyone that was born on September 2nd. I’m glad you’re here. Sit down. You just sat down on the birthday cake. Okay, forget that now. This weekend rosters expanded, and with it the promise of a greater tomorrow. Yay, Billy Hamilton is going to steal 78 bases in September. Nick Castellanos will hit 12 homers and fix this gaping hole in my lineup I call, “Josh Hamilton Sucks.” All of the guys called up will be great (no, they won’t, but some may). It doesn’t mean they will be great immediately or even have the playing time to succeed this year. In keepers, obviously you pursue these players hard and fast like you’re Gosh Johnson, Josh’s porn star brother. In redraft leagues where you are desperate for SAGNOF, I’d grab Billy Hamilton now. If you have an open spot in your lineup and Hamilton isn’t playing, I’d still insert him and watch him get a steal in a pinch running appearance. Nick Castellanos is another ball of fruit — a melon ball, if you will. If he doesn’t have playing time, he adds nothing for redraft leagues. I will reiterate what Prospect Scott said yesterday, “I like his former teammate, Avisail Garcia, better and Grey is an idiot.” Okay, I will only reiterate the first part of that. In redraft leagues, you don’t want someone who will be great next year, you want someone who is swinging a hot bat right now. Now, go clean the cake off your ass. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?
I remember reading the Cliff Notes for Gustave Flaubert’s masterpiece and thinking, “From the moment Cliff Notes was invented, no one has actually read a classic novel. Therefore, ergo, henceforth, vis-a-vis, if I wrote a Cliff Notes book about a book that doesn’t exist, I could invent a classic novel. I will call it ‘Uncle Fritter’ and have it take place during the 1908 World’s Fair.” These are the thoughts of someone who will one day run a fantasy baseball blog. Matt Dominguez is owned in 26% of ESPN leagues, which is absurd. Absurd, I tell ya! He has 19 homers and a .240 average. Look at Pablo Sandoval’s stats, okay, now look at Dominguez’s — now look at Sandoval — now Dominguez — Sandoval — Dominguez — dizzy yet? Look at Gyorko’s ownership (86%) and his stats vs. Dominguez. Since we’re all about the here and now at the end of the season, it doesn’t really matter what Dominguez has done previously. It’s about what he has done most recently — he has 4 homers in the last ten games and is hitting over .300 in the last week. If you’re struggling for power, I’d absolutely grab him. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball: Please, blog, may I have some more?