The only way to compare things is to look in the past and see how we match up to the year previous.  For pace reasons, for setting your mind at ease, and to basically not bore you to death, I am only going back one year because I have gone over the decline of the ever loved “stolen base” as a cumulative stat.  So in 2017 through the first 81 games of the season,  (roughly… because every team plays different amounts of games) there were a combine 1,405 steals by all MLB teams. In 2018, we currently sit at 1,310.  Now remember games for AL teams are off a bit, but still, we are sitting at 95 stolen bases fewer than the year previous.  That is an eye catching number, even when you break it into a smaller number like percentages it still sucks for the SAGNOF love.  Just to delve into it further, there were three players with 30-plus steals and three above 20 steals at the All Star break last year.  (With the leader, Billy Hamilton garnering 38.)  This year, there are only six players above 20, and none above current theft leader Michael Taylor with 23.  The downward trend, the going away from using the steal as an asset in fantasy is a dying trend that we are lucky to be apart of from a draft usability standpoint.  I am more of a “see what I know baseball guy” rather than a number cruncher, but nobody uses the steal effectively to set the pace of a game anymore.  Now for fantasy it sucks that we are mimicking real life, as a grab the best players to accumulate stats to fill our rosters mentality is the M.O., but I would be interested to see how your league standings are reflecting this downward trend in steals and how much the league leader in the category has, and if you think it is worth chasing as a catch up stat for the second half of the year.  So give me some feedback, and here’s some charts of catchers to steal on and pitchers to exploit.  Cheers!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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Turnarounds midseason are the waiver wire wet dreams that we all hope for.  Now add in that they are included in one of the most prolific hitting offenses. Now, throw some salt on it and say that he is going to play everyday because of spectacular defense (which I have preached before).  That player is Jackie Bradley Jr..  Yeah, I get that his season long stats are pretty much garbage and as a whole have been not rosterable in most 12-team or lesser formats… but (and there is a always a but),  he has started to come out of his shell and is profiling more of the .270 hitter based on deeper stats, including the last 10 games of actual functioning stats that he has produced.  His hard hit rate over the last 14 games played is higher than Just Dong, Mookie and any other Red Sox batter you wanna throw in my direction.  That 51.6% during that span is in the same conversation league wide as some legitimate fantasy heavyweights and in the top-20 overall during that time frame.  Now I get that this is the SAGNOF post, but we are getting to that… he has 2 steals in 11 games, but with more there to come with increased OBP over the last month, higher BB % and since he has hit over .400 for nearly 11 games played, that’ll only help his SB totals. So if JBJ is sitting on waivers, filter out the stats and look at a shorter time frame before you throw some shade on the Red Sox defensive dynamo.  More SAGNOF love and goodies for all things saves and steals after the jump.  Happy Independence day, cheers!

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From this day forward, or rather more bluntly on days when I have had too much of Grandpa’s wowwie sauce, it gets a little obscure.  And this week by obscure I am talking about John Cusack movies.  The cult 80’s classic movie Better Off Dead to be exact.  Where we all wanna know where my two dollars is.  Much like that movie, the Myer that we are all hoping and rooting for to defeat the preppy d-bags is Kevin Kiermaier.  Recently returned from a DL stint that lasted too long in my humble K.K. loving opinion.  The thing I tend to love about Kevin is that he is going to play every single day.  Why you ask?  Because he is an elite defender in centerfield.  That my friends wins hearts and minds and cures all ills in real baseball.  Unfortunately for fantasy baseball, we need results to warrant consideration for lineup-hood. While he doesn’t boast Hamilton type speed, he does have three consecutive 10/15 seasons under his belt.  Like I said, it’s not elite by any stretch of the imagination, but to be honest, this whole Lane Myer/Kevin Kiermaier lede title thing was a stretch.  But still, 10/15 seasons don’t come stumbling in the bar every night with the take me home pumps and no drink necessary dress on.  The waiver wire is a place for throwbacks and what-ifs.  So that is where I am telling you to look.  If K.K. is there, grab him up, make him wifey material for the rest of this year and watch the 80 plus games he plays out the rest of the year develop into a 10/10 season.  Not great, once again.  I know I sound like a drunken broken record but everyday at bats are the sex panther for good SAGNOF returns.  Here comes some more tidbits of SAGNOF-dom and maybe some cool little pop-up pictures for the slower reading crowd.  Cheers!

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It’s a song as old as time…  When a team is just not good, see what the younger players have to offer.  The Royals are no different in this approach right now as they sit on a whole 22 wins and a crisp 23 games behind the division leading Astros.  They are going to be making a slew of changes, and that has already started with the promotion of Adalberto Mondesi and Rosell Herrera.  Small intricate parts, but that is what SAGNOF is capitalizing on opportunities for at-bats.  With the injury to Jorge Soler, the trade of John Jay and the maybe a few days off for Whit Merrifield, the one-to-two day commitment for guys that will get semi-regular at bats like Mondesi, who had 10 steals in the minors or Herrera who has had three 20 plus stolen base seasons in the minors. The Royals are just the first team to be looking toward the future, as they should be.  Because this season looks like a wash for real baseball, but for fake baseball there will still be pickings to choose from, especially from the SAGNOF perspective.  In the upcoming weeks, we will know who is a pretender and more teams will follow suit, (cough, cough ORIOLES).  But until then, look for guys replacing players on rebuilds, or even youngsters that are up to make a name for themselves in the stead of an injured player.  More SAGNOF goodies to follow my friends, stick around.  Cheers!

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The value of Michael Taylor is that he can play centerfield better than anyone else on the Nationals roster.  I get that defensive metrics are not a fantasy stat, but it keeps players like him in the lineup from day-to-day.  With the emergence of Juan Soto and the impending return of Adam Eaton, it causes a luxury that most teams don’t offer.  Four decent to great outfielders that all offer a different set of skills but all rosterable in most fantasy formats.  I think the biggest question we have to ask is: Is Juan Soto going to stay up when Adam Eaton returns from the 60-day DL on the 8th?  Given what we have seen from him based on on-field merit, absolutely.  Making Eaton or Taylor the fourth man on any given day is the right choice, but I am leaning that Eaton or Soto form a nice rotation based on what the skipper has said about Taylor: “He wins games with his play on the field” is the truncated version of what he said.  He isn’t wrong, and basically Taylor is the Nationals version of Keirmaier. Similar skill set, maybe a bit more speed for Taylor, but their main asset is their propensity for great glove work.  Listen, I get and hear all the prospect thumpers saying there is no way that Soto comes out of the lineup, but to think that he doesn’t sit occasionally upon Eaton’s return is just plain naive. Eaton won’t play everyday, because he is about as durable as a street watch bought in Chinatown. So if you are a Taylor owner, be semi-nervous he should be owned for SAGNOF appeal, but not a pillar that is in your lineup for any other counting stats.  Even if the are getting better over the past 14 games to what they have been over the course of the year so far. So to summarize on the SAGNOF love, Eaton coming back, Soto, Taylor and Eaton will all lose 4-6 at bats a week, all is well and all are ownable.  SAGNOF Monday starts off your week with class and style.  Cheers!

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Last week we touched on the Mariners and the propensity for steals in a post-suspension world.  Since then, the navigators of the sea have acquired Denard and Colome, making more SAGNOF situations.  The scorching hot filterless hitter I wanna concentrate your gaze on this week is from the same team with ample speed to be used.  That hitter is Ben Gamel.  The addition of Span to the outfield mix is a bit of a head scratcher fantasy-wise, because someone has to sit and three outfielders have to play.  Gamel over the last 7 games is going streaking across the quad and down the street to On Base Percentage-ville.  His batting average alone is a nice coup for a short term pick-up.  Hitting .381 and an OBP of .458 is a nice end of the OF problem to have.  He is getting his fair share of AB’s and is putting his on base skills to good work too, stealing 3 bases in the past week.  That may seem like small potatoes, but in the world of steals that is a lot by its own standards.  So if you are surfing the waiver wire looking for outfielders with small potatoes to offer, take a long hard look at the Marines outfielder.  On to better and pressing news in SAGNOF-dom, we got charts and snippets of joy for this Memorial Day.  Cheers!

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Tap on the shoulder, now tap on the other shoulder.  Swords and knights yadda, yadda.  Pun joke and title inclusion over.  I could probably draw it out to upmost degree, but I’ll just end it and rip the bandaid off and jump into the welcome back Kotter bullpen of Philadelphia.  If the collective bullpen in Philly isn’t called the Sweathogs, they are doing something wrong.  The Vinnie Babarino that is emerging as the future leader is most definitely Seranthony Dominguez.  Dude set a record with hitless streaks to start the year for a rookie and is now the go to, end all be all holds guy for the Phillies.  His arsenal screams future closer, but Kapler’s fear of commitment and Neris owning pictures of some relative of his.  Dominguez is the guy, for now and for later.  With 5 holds and 1 save in his last 6 appearances, he is involved in almost every winning game the Phillies are.  He checks all the proverbial boxes that we have previously discussed when looking for a reliever to roster.  Plus he has the save appeal, which is similar to curb appeal, minus the fact that you don’t need shrubs or a Chinese maple tree to accent how dominant he has been. Holds for now, saves for later for the Sir of the Cheesesteak. Roster with confidence as his results are great, but be patient as Kapler is a mad scientist with his bullpen decision making skills.  Holds week brings the best out of all of us, because you play in a league with holds.  That’s why we are fake internet friends.

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For all intents and purposes, Jean Segura was a flopapotamus last year, failing to get to any of the previous year’s stats across the board.  That includes the all loving steals category.  He has gone from 33 in 2016, to 22 last year, to already having 11 in just over 200 plate appearances, which is a phenomenal pace for anyone that bought into him a his ADP in draft season.  Eleven steals already leads to a projection of right around 40, and 40 steals is fantastic, as it has only been eclipsed 10 times in the last few years.  Which brings back my old standby statement: that steals are a dying breed except for the select few.  I fully expect that the Mariners, who currently sit top-6 in MLB in steals, to keep the running game as a a major cog now that Robbie Cano isn’t around showing his elite speed.  With Dee Gordon and Segura, the Mariners have a duo of speed that really is unrivaled by other MLB teams.  The past week for Jean has seen his total jump from 5 to 11 steals overall. (Coincidence that Cano isn’t in the lineup that he is taking the base rather than trying to get hit over?  I think not.)  Nothing about that screams coincidence, it would be more of a coincidence for me to casually run into my ex-girlfriend outside the church on her wedding day.  So with a slash line of .414/.419/.655 since the removal of Cano, he looks primed to be an even more of a steal threat moving forward.  That is also a nod for Dee because the re-invention of lineup changes is the way a team plays.  I read that in a fortune cookie just now.  So welcome to SAGNOF day, kinda like Rusev day, but with less Bulgarian influence.

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SAGNOF info is the best way to get a leg up on the SAGNOF trade.  (I challenged myself to use that anagram twice in the same sentence.) Challenge accomplished, and in the first line too! Wish I had longer arms than those baby T-Rex arms because the pats on the back wouldn’t stop.  As I continue the back lauding, the week upcoming is a bear market in steals.  The year is mimicking the previous year’s steals downward trend, as it is down almost 8% of the pace from last years total to date.  So if you have a valuable piece of steals bait that isn’t doing so great, let’s say his name is “Billy Hamilton” and you are having trouble getting ample trade value for him…  read this post so it can be explained that despite his sub-200 average and lower than expected 5 steals to date, he still has stolen base value.  Yes, you are going to have to trade for 75 cents on the dollar, but explain this to someone looking for steals and are down on Billy that he is still top-20 in steals and with that 5 steals total, he would be at 20% of most teams total steals on the year in fantasy.  That number obviously changes by league type and such, and I took an average of all the leagues I myself compete in (median is 31).  So while I sit here and let you either figure out how to sell high or buy low on Billy Hamilton, continue the read and learn about the steals that will come, have happened, and the week’s thievery to be.  Cheers!

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The fantasy world is buzzing with a guy with a tilde in his name, a name that not need speaking.  Because all the prospects analysts have been walking around like freak cases of Cialis gone wrong.  I hear that if you point your juggs gun at it for 30 seconds, it will subside.  Sticking with the Bravos though, I am intrigued by the possibilities around the ever in the lineup presence of Ender Inciarte.  (Him of the 8 steals in his last 14 games.)  When thinking about that total in the past fortnight, it’s more than six whole teams have all season.  I wish that was made up, but there are some slow of foot teams who like the one bag at a time approach.  Batting a crisp .339, getting on-base with an even crispier .369, and has only not hit in the leadoff spot one entire time all year.  Coincidentally, it was yesterday. Uncoincidentally, he still produced.  He is a fixture (at the peak of that blossoming before our eyes) in the lineup, and the best thing about it is that his defense will keep him on the manager’s card to play every single day.  Defensive ability may be the sleepy fantasy stat that has no measuring stick.  Although his counting stats maybe a tad slight on the runs/RBI’s, you want him for his SAGNOF appeal, that and he plays next whats his face.  Stay cozy, my friends as we round the first month out of fantasy in style, and by style I mean with no pants and a tub of ice cream.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   
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