I’ll be honest, picking a creeper early in the year is not an easy task. We have small sample sizes to work with, players under performing and pitchers very hard to predict. I ask myself every week as I prepare these: what angle can I find to make a call? What is a constant that doesn’t change? Where are my pants? Well, the third question is nearly impossible to answer because it’s like trying to figure out where Jimmy Hoffa is buried. The other two are things we always look for, regardless of what point of the season we are at, are park factors, lefty/righty match-ups, Schmotatoness, and batter vs. pitcher history. For example, this week, Brad Miller plays six games and for five of them, he faces right-handers. On the year, he bats .348 against RHP (good thing), but among the five he faces this week, he bats .191 against (not so good), and Hitter-Tron (-$2.5) says he won’t be any good. I’ll pass too. That’s a little snapshot into my process. This week, I’m going for Schomtatoness and park factors to make my call. Would you like to hear more? Oh c’mon, I’ll give you some Arby’s coupons? Dairy Queen? Fine, then skip to the top 100 and we can fight about that in the comments instead.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I thought about a Danny Duffy. Maybe Daisuke Matsuzaka. Mostly because that would be an inning-long Pitcher Profile and I could play more Call of Duty. He shoulda laid off the Steak “n Shake! Over/under on amount of times you see that joke today…
But back to Worley. I think it’s easily forgotten just how good a run he had for the 2011 Phillies. 3.01 ERA? 119 Ks in 131.2 IP? 11 Wins? Really surprising looking back on those… Then he was terrible in his follow-up with the Phils, followed by getting absolutely crushed in 10 starts for the Twins last year. Starting 2014 in AAA, Worley was meh in 7 starts with a 4.30 ERA, but an encouraging 43 Ks in 46 innings. Which nobody would ever care about, except he had as good a debut anyone could’ve expected yesterday at Miami. And actually – and I didn’t even think to look until the broadcast showed his Minors numbers – 43:4 K:BB in AAA. Wowzer! So I decided to take a look at the spectacled SP and if there’s anything there for you to care about in your fantasy leagues:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I know, I know. I promised everyone Dallas Keuchel, but he’s pitching tonight! His last start was so long ago that Jose Abreu still seemed like a good guy to trade for if someone wasn’t selling too high (ack!). So long ago that Jay Z seemed to still love his little sister-in-law!
But do not fret, I promise unless there’s a Noah-type monsoon that floods out four games, that Keuchel will be next week on his weekend start.
So in my despair when I saw Keuchel was tonight and not yesterday, I went to Twitter for some ideas and got a great one for Ryan Vogelsong. I gotta admit – I love Vogelsong. Helped carry me to titles in both 2011 and 2012 where he stayed undervalued for an entire 2-year stretch. Pretty hard to do. But 2013 was a disaster with hitters bashing him at a .299 clip, suffered a 5.73 ERA, and I guess the more appropriate adjective use of “suffer” would be for his broken hand on a comebacker. It was in a 5-inning scoreless game too! Talk about the worst timing, right whence he was turning it around.
In 2012, everyone ignored Vogelsong because he started the year on the DL and I think he missed all of one start. Noobs! To ignore him (like I obviously did) based on a terrible 2013 for a 36-year-old pitcher I think is more logical. But he’s got his velocity back up to 2012 levels, dropped the line drive rate, and has four gems in his last five starts. Indeed, it felt only logical to break down his start yesterday against the Marlins, and if he can indeed make another under-the-radar lasting impact on fantasy teams in 2014:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Maybe it’s the rush of the holiday season with two kids or the fact that some major cash is flowing in free agency, but I feel like this year’s offseason is just whizzing by. This will be the last sort of “stat review” for SAGNOF before I head into the territory of value plays for steals in 2014. This post will lay out some of the best and worst catchers in terms of their caught stealing percentages (CS%). Keep in mind that pitchers have a lot to do with holding baserunners as well, and you can find my previous post on the best and worst pitchers against the stolen base here at Razzball. A quick note on the catcher tables – I sorted them by qualified and non-qualified catchers. “Qualified” catchers played more than 1/2 of their team’s games, while “non-qualified” catchers played less than that. Catchers who split times between two teams, like Kurt Suzuki, also end up on the “non-qualified” list. The league average caught stealing percentage in 2013 was 28%, and that hasn’t really changed much over the last 3 years (27% in 2012, 28% in 2011). Last but not least, consider that playing time situations can fluctuate with free agent signings and trades, creating new opportunities for previously non-qualified catchers as the offseason transactions continue. Green columns indicate guys that are easy to run against, and red columns designate the toughest to run against:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The McC went 1-for-2 last night with a run. Not really numbers deserving of the lede, but since I only get to do this once a week, I do what I want. And plus, I had already done my photoshop before the game ended. So there’s that. Truth be told, I really have nothing else to say about Andrew McCutchen. It is a very fine season. You know that. I know that. Sky… may not know that. He’s busy helping out all you folks that don’t have a Fantasy Baseball team in the running over at RazzFoot. That’s what I’m calling our Fantasy Football site. Because 20 years ago, I loved the Ninja Turtles. You know, the Foot Clan? RazzFoot? NINJA VANISH! Eh. Whatever. The McCutch is having a great year. He’s having a great Fantasy Baseball year. To hate him is to hate kittens. To love him is to not spell it McCutcheon. Start spreading the word. Here’s what else I noticed yesterday:Please, blog, may I have some more?
When Jose Fernandez walks into the 18-and-over strip club, where only the drinks are virgins, that’s called “Rookie Nookie,” he flips his rookie cards like they’re dollar bills, yelling, “Jose make it rain! Jose make it rain! Get it? Hoe say, ‘Make it rain.'” He explains his puns, but he doesn’t need to explain his stuff. It’s filthy with a side of Dirt Nasty. Last night, his line was 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners (2 hits) and 10 Ks. Sure, it was against the Padres, but Nolasco just got his asco handed to him by the same team. Fernandez is in the upper echelon of K-rates (9+) for all pitchers with a more than manageable walk rate (hair above 3). Oh, and he’s 20 years old. He can’t buy alcohol! He can’t legally marry an illegal alien in the state of Mississippi without parental consent! He’s so young Jose Tabata’s wife could’ve gave birth to him! He skipped right from High-A to the majors, so this is basically his Double-A season. I just got goose pimples on my butt thinking about how good he can be next year. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
This post comes to you by the power of Greyskull! I have the power! The power of Greyskull dropped Justin Masterson earlier in the year after one bad start. I have a power outage! Then the power of Greyskull watched as the power of Rudyskull picked him up and has been reaping the rewards ever since, but the power of Rudyskull benched Masterson yesterday, so the power of Greyskull let out a small, fleeting smile. Yesterday, Masterson threw a complete game shutout. He’s been great all year with a 9+ K-rate. Yadda, yadda eff me. Just above him on the K-rate chart is a who’s who of the pitchers you want: F-Her, Sale, Samardzija, Miller, Harvey, Yu, Scherzer, etc. etc. etc. He also has one of the worst walk rates in that group (not bad overall, just in that group), which will hold Masterson out of the top tier of pitchers this year, but will make him ownable in all leagues and why the power of Greyskull failed me. I wonder if Skeletor is hiring. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
You wanted to sell R.A. Dickey, but no one was buying. Seeing last year as a fluke. Said he couldn’t do it again. Said you had too much fruit in your tapioca for even drafting him. They told you go fly a kite with Dickey, but not around children or it would be weird. Then Dickey throws a two-hit shutout yesterday with 6 Ks and you showed them that the only good thing that ever came out of being a naysayer is horse whispering. Or did you? Do you know anything more about Dickey than you did two days ago? He says he’s been dealing with cold weather and a sore back and he’s blaming the WBC. Excuses are like Alcides Escobar, everyone has one and they all smell. Did Dickey’s back suddenly clear up? Because he gave up six earned in his last start. Was the weather in his last start cold and Dickey shrunk up? This shutout was against the Rays, who are now 10 for their last 99 against him. They see Dickey and immediately go limp. Finally, your Dickey looks to be pointing in the right direction, but I wouldn’t start writing his name on your underpants just yet. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Like Tobias from Arrested Development, the Miami Marlins will forever be known for their offseason fire sale. OH, THE BURNING! Giancarlo Stanton seems to be the last man standing in South Beach. However, rebuilding can often mean opportunities for young talent to shine. This will be the case for catcher Rob Brantly. Brantly, 23, will have the chance to be the every-day catcher (sorry, Jeff Mathis) for Miami in 2013.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Maybe we shut down pitchers after they throw a perfect game, instead of debating a Stephen Strasburg skin tag and whether we should have it checked out. This isn’t entirely fantasy related, but there was like seven games yesterday, so bear with me. Please, blog, may I have some more?Please, blog, may I have some more?