I’ve gone over potential strategy for wins, ERA & WHIP, strikeouts, batting average, steals, runs & RBIs, and home runs. Today, it’s, betcha can guess from the title, Saves! How many saw that coming? Terrible secret keeping when writing titles that are so descriptive. Like steals, saves actually do change pretty dramatically in a 60-game season. Unlike steals, not sure if they’re going to be quite as easy to find on waivers, or if those on waivers will be as worthwhile. It would be a weird year for someone to just discover fantasy baseball. Imagine this was someone’s first season. “So, you don’t always punt starters completely? You don’t think Oscar Mercado could be as valuable as Mike Trout? Was it all lies?!” That’s a 1st time fantasy baseballer screaming into the pounding of rain in a torrential thunderstorm. That person seems slightly unhinged. Come in from the rain, man. So, with a 60-game season, what is a fantasy baseball strategy for saves?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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I believe an overlooked part of draft/auction strategy is finding pools of players that are consistently undervalued. This fits best with a “maximize value” draft strategy, the goal being to add the maximum value onto your team as possible. It can be combined with a “get your guys” strategy, but this analysis is player agnostic.

To do this, I’ve taken to preparing for drafts by analyzing how the market (ADP) prices various fantasy assets as compared to projections. The process:

  • Take the last 3 year’s worth of  data
    • ADP data from NFBC
    • Projected $ value from my home league
    • Translate ADP to $ value by assigning the top player my top $ value, descending (this removes bias from my valuation methodology)
  • Break the pool up into various buckets of players
    • SP bucket, RPs, Hitters
  • Graph the descending values against each other

These value curves provide us a look into how the market prices pools of players, and help us plan how to allocate resources.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Finally, a straightforward post about fantasy baseball strategy for a 60-game season. I gave you fantasy baseball strategy for batting average in 60 games and basically shrugged, gave you fantasy baseball strategy for wins in 60 games, which I wrote like a high schooler who had to write 1,000 words on what I did this summer, and wrote a couple hundred really’s. None of this is going to be easy, which I think is why it will be fun. But will this be like your usual fantasy baseball season? No, not at all. Starters will be like following fantasy football advice if guys you drafted were only to play once every fifth game, and 12 times all year. It’s a bit ludicrous, if I’m being honest. Fun when compared to real life? You’re crazy if you don’t think so right now, or have tunneled your ostrich head so far into the sand you can’t see daylight. So, with a 60-game season, what is a fantasy baseball strategy for strikeouts?

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

With all the changes to the 2020 season to the 2020 seasons swirling around, I wanted to narrow in on one specific item: the DH in the NL, and specifically, the impact to pitchers. I’m comparing Rudy’s Steamer/Razzball projections from March to those here in July; we’ll focus in on changes in projected ERA.

At first glance, it’s easy to minimize this change. After all, we’re talking about 2-3 plate appearances per start, and pitchers aren’t complete zeros at the plate. In a reduced season, this is likely only 25-35 plate appearances over 10-12 starts. How big of a deal is it?

To set a baseline, let’s first look at the impact on AL starters. Here’s the top 50, comparing their March to July ERAs:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Dudes and five lady dudes, pitching is going to be a mess in 2020. Pitching is usually where I excel at pinpointing guys to draft and avoid, and right now I’m looking at an array of hot takes: “Top starters are more valuable! “Top middle relievers are more valuable!” “Tops are bottoms, and I’m not talking about baseball anymore!” I can’t tell hot takes from shiitakes. Usually I’m able to say, “With 100% confidence, I would not draft a top starter.” This year, if you’re saying anything with 100% confidence, you’re lying. Seriously, don’t trust anyone who is confident in predicting anything in a 60-game season. We’ve never seen anything like this and may never again. Embrace it? Sure. But “Be Water” like Bruce Lee said, and adapt. With so few innings to prepare for the season in Summer Camp, will top starters even be ready to go? That alone should shut up the “You need top starters” people. With so few innings in the actual season, that should also shut up the “Don’t pay for starters this year” people. Instead, let’s just break down the categories, and see if we can’t just win those. Laura also just gave you a solid look at possible ERA strategy. So, with a 60-game season, what is a fantasy baseball strategy for ERA & WHIP?

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Hello, again. Thanks for stopping by. I’m noticing talk ramping up around the fantasy baseball world on how to approach pitching with the short season coming up. It’s looking more and more like we’re going to get the shortest end of the stick the owners want us to get, if we get anything at all. I’m honestly not overly optimistic we get baseball in 2020, but I’m going to operate under the assumption we will get 48-ish games at least. So, if that’s the case, that sure ain’t a lotta starts per starting pitcher. I mean it’s like 10 tops, assuming the typical five-man rotation. So, what, 70-80 IP maximum? In a perfect world it’d be 90 with 10 complete games, so let’s shave a few off for safe measure.

It seems a bit counter-intuitive to suggest fading the top guys, at first glance. “But, like, JKJ, if there aren’t as many starts, don’t you want the best of the best to increase your chances of those being good starts?” you may ask. While I see the logic and merit in that mindset, I think you could get similar returns from non-top-tier guys in a drastically shortened season. It’s really their longevity and big innings that put them ahead of the pack.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

A couple of weeks ago, I took a look at hitters who are being priced cheaper in 2020 than their 2019 stats would dictate. This week, it’s time to assess Starters using the same approach.

Recency bias suggests that 2019 performance weighs most heavily in our minds when making 2020 decisions. That certainly plays out in many scenarios, but there are other players who’s 2020 price is discounted compared to what just happened. I’m guessing that’s mostly due to the prevalence of projection systems in player valuation. A good projection system should absolutely be the baseline for your 2020 valuations. But as we know, these systems are slow to pick up on skill changes. Three year weighted averages & regression to the mean helps the systems get the most players right; but it also means they systematically devalue 2019 stats. The goal of this post is to look at what just happened (2019 performance) and find places where the market (ADP) isn’t pricing in those stats.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

The long-awaited finale to my COVID-19 Draft Bargains series culminates with a dive into starting pitchers who were looking at some innings restrictions for 2020. Since we aren’t likely to get a full season at this point, that’s kind of become a moot point for the most part. Here is a list of potential studs who could give similar returns to the household names who are being drafted much, much higher.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

I’ve recapped all my 2020 fantasy baseball teams because I’m a baller, fantasy and otherwise. Come for me and you will get Mutombo’d, finger-wag and all. Just like The Corona Mutombo’d its finger-wag to Opening Day. You don’t have to go home, Opening Day, but you can’t come here right now because there’s a guy who hasn’t washed his hands. Scrub your dirty sausage fingers, you sicko! Is what I scream out my mail slot every time someone walks past my house. Shame about Opening Day, but it will happen. Jokes aside, MLB is showing all the signs of wanting to get this thing off the ground. They’re talking about paying players a full year of service time. Does that sound like a league that doesn’t want to play? I’m still going on the assumption they’ll get 100 games in, but knowing how much rich people want to stay rich and knowing they’re currently paying people to not play makes me think they will be playing. A lot of games. They might just ram 140 games in something insane, like, a 135-day schedule. Think of the Royals, you really think they’re paying players to not play? They don’t even pay players to play! On a side but related note, it’s funny to hear people now say they’re not playing baseball this year. That is prolly a below 5% chance, but it’s like when people see a player like Jason Kubel have a huge 1st game of the season and think he’s now Mike Trout. You’re overestimating the present situation vs. gauging actual reality. Any hoo! One small note for perspective, I drafted ten leagues (so far, still holding on our RCL league) with three NL-Only leagues and one AL-Only league, and, no, I didn’t also draft Pete Alonso in the AL-Only. Anyway, here’s my top 2020 fantasy baseball player shares:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Hello again. I’m back to remind you that baseball is still indefinitely delayed. While you’re likely still sequestered like myself (remember when I said I’d bet my next check? Bingo bango, no school for a week at least, plus Spring Break), why not take the time to read up on fantasy baseball stuff? Get some more names on your radar you may have neglected because of injury.

Last week, I talked about a bunch of Yankees and mostly some household ace names like Max Scherzer, Mike Clevinger, Justin Verlander, etc. Those guys were some big names whose stock slipped some in the ADP department thanks to their various ailments. I promised some more, so I won’t dilly dally any longer. This week’s crop isn’t necessarily superstars (though I guess that’s arguable), but they’re definitely some names you want to keep in mind.

Please, blog, may I have some more?