The hardest division in the league, which includes last year’s world champs, looks to be just as intense again.  For that matter, it probably will be that way for the foreseeable future.  My favorite team is also being covered here.  I’ll do my best not to be biased about the Yankees, and I think I’m pretty good at keeping my emotions away from the reality of the team.  That being said, I think the Yankees are going to win 120 games this season. (You can check out the NL West Spring Training Preview here, the AL West Spring Training Preview here, the AL Central Spring Training Preview here and the NL East Spring Training Preview here.)

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:

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The other day Don Mattingly said something like this, “When your closer can’t close, but you need games closed and you have a closer in name and a non-closer closer, who’s your closer? The guy who’s closing games? I don’t know. I’m seriously asking. I would think it’s the guy you call closer, but we call Brandon League the closer and he can’t close, so the closer must the guy we don’t call closer but can close games named, Kenley Jansen. Warmer… Warmer… No, now you’re getting colder. Go back the other way.” Kenley Jansen got the save. YAY!…But…BOO!…It was on the tail end of an 8 2/3 IP, 11 Ks, 6 baserunners stunning performance by Clayton Kershaw, so it wasn’t a stereotypical save. I would’ve preferred to see a standard “closer enters to start the 9th inning” save before telling people to drop League. I’d hold both for now, but a new era (not the hats) may be upon us. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Each week I’ll be looking at some favorable match-ups to help you grab a few extra steals for your fantasy team. Whether you are in a weekly or daily league, looking at weak defensive catchers and strong/aggressive base running teams may help you make decisions as to which players you should start or sit in your hunt for an edge in the stolen base category. Since the 2013 season is only a week old, I’ll use some data from 2012 to get started and give you an idea of what we will be looking for. Just realize that these are only two dimensions that can affect stolen base totals.

Please, blog, may I have some more?