This year we don’t have SAGNOF we have SSSAGNOF. That’s Shortened Season SAGNOF, baby! I just started breakdancing after screaming baby. What, is this a lost episode of Ally McBeal? ‘Member that show? I don’t, because I didn’t ever watch crap TV shows. Get your taste out yo’ ass! Also, that popsicle stick. That vacuum cord. That microwaved burrito. How many things do you have in your butt? As mentioned the other day in my Jarrod Dyson 60-game sleeper, steals might be the most predictable stat we have this year. Have Sprint Speed, will travel from 1st to 2nd. With runs and RBIs, it’s going to come down to lineup placement. With home runs, it’s going to come down to–Well, just go read the article. With steals, it’s gonna be as easy to measure as clicking that little button on the top of your stopwatch. By the by, what if the person pressing the clock button is slow, doesn’t that change the clocked time by a lot? Has anyone ever said runners’ times pre-digital age are all hogwash because it depended on the old man in black & white with the monocle pressing a stopwatch button? Did I just uncover some truth that everyone already knew but me? Yes? Cool. Our 2020 fantasy baseball rankings have been updated to a 60-game season. So, with a 60-game season, what is a fantasy baseball strategy for steals?

1. Sprint Speed: There’s been some chatter made of which is better:  Sprint Speed or Time-to-First. A case was made that Time-to-First helps managers decide whether or not to allow someone to steal, so it’s better for us too. Without the manager’s approval, there are no steals. Of course, it also matters what the pitcher-catcher combo is, pop times, and pitcher-to-plate time. It all matters to a certain extent, but for our purposes — or porpoises if dolphins have taken over by the time you’re reading this — we don’t need to tread into those weeds for a 60-game season. Okay, wanna go in the weeds a little? I’m not sure how much I buy Time-to-First is better. A guy on 1st, getting a ten-foot lead and reading pitchers is a totally different skill than hitting and running to first. If managers use Time-to-First to decide who should run, then, okay, sure, whatever. But it’s not like there’s huge disparities. Is Altuve faster for Time-to-First than Sprint Speed? Yes, by a lot actually. Does that mean he will steal more? I don’t see how it has anything to do with it. Okay, back to first point, Sprint Speed is The List — l’chaim — for Steals. You can’t fake fast.

2. 1st Half Leaders in Steals: For the other posts about 60-game strategy, I focused mostly on August and September. For steals, I think fresh legs are a thing, and why I’m looking at 1st half steals from last year. (Another reason why I wrote that post about Jarrod Dyson the other day.) Also, unlike other category strategy posts, I removed at-bat qualifiers. I want guys who can steal 15+ bags in the fewest number of at-bats. Even platoons don’t bother me if a guy is going to steal when he’s playing. Steals will come in bunches and if you get a guy stealing, say, a dozen steals in the month of August, you’re gonna walk away with that category. Mallex sounds like Maalox for good reason, but if he steals 25 bags in 60 games, let’s turn this mutha out. Compilers are going to be wretched to roster this year, and I will likely do another post just about that, but think about 60-game year from Andrelton Simmons. 5 HRs, 7 SBs? That’s gonna be a no from me, dawg.

3. OBP is Poop: I mean, OBP matters if you’re in an OBP league, but for steals? The top steals guys from last year’s 1st half is a complete hodgepodge of gross OBPs. There’s only one guy (Yelich) above .350 OBP. You don’t love looking at only the 1st half and want the full season picture? Only three guys from the top 10 have .350+ OBP. As you move further down the list, OBP is as inexact. Maybe that’s why we don’t have great steals years anymore in MLB, because the fast guys also happen to be guys who don’t take a walk. As the license plates in Aruba say, “There is no Kokomo.” What does that have to do with anything? Nothing, just like OBP for steals.

In summation: To misquote the girl in The Fresh Prince parents’ Porsche, “Run fast, speed turns me on.” By the way, the mom from Parents Just Don’t Understand video doesn’t look like she’d own a Porsche. She looks like a soccer mom van all the way. Steals are simple:  guys who can steal, due to their speed, are going to be category movers in a 60-game season. It’s really that simple.

Here’s a few names that stood out to me as going late (after 100 overall) and could surprise with 15+ steals in a 60-game season:

Mallex Smith
Jarrod Dyson
Kevin Kiermaier
Billy Hamilton
Kolten Wong
Byron Buxton
Manuel Margot
Delino DeShields (DeShizz!)
Garrett Hampson
Monte Harrison
Jon Berti
Scott Kingery

 
  1. Big Magoo

    Big Magoo says:
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    Delino is life. Delino is love. Visit the dentist with a plaster of paris covering your breath holes.

    Kind of bummed that the NFBC canceled the 12 team online leagues. Was really happy with some of my teams in that format. Multiple Lindor, Freeman, Springer, Stanton, Kershaw, Rizzo, Robert, Suarez, Montas, Lynn, Odorizzi, Adell, etc. shares lost to the wind.

    At least my Rudy DC league is still active. Can’t wait for Dannys Antana and my one closer to go nuts there.

    What’s up with you?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      The Dentist is back with an all-new root canal!

      I think NFBC was covering its ass from a lot of people who wouldn’t be happy, or at least half the people

      I’m kinda excited I only have one closer in some leagues — saves are gonna be a mess

      Baseball is back!

  2. Ante Galic says:
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    Grey!!!

    Excellent report, loved it to kibbles and bits!

    a. I have Mallex so, hopefully he’ll be okay for the short season.

    b. Google notified me that someone in Sulawesi, Indonesia tried to hack into my gmail account! If I were a celebrity or something or be worth more than 25K….Ah, what a goof. Gmail stopped him!

    c. MLB quote of the day for June 26, 1988

    ‘Drew is a player that comes along once every 20 years. Not even Barry Bonds can be compared to J.D. Drew.’

    Scott Boras. Bonds was really great until the steroid scandal hit and then he was the guy everyone hated. If he’d just NOT taken steroids he would have easily been a first ballot HOF with good statistics, just not Ruthian. He just had to spoil it. Best quote I saw about Barry Lamar Bonds was this one.

    ‘Bonds was not well liked by his Sun Devil teammates, in part because in the words of longtime coach Jim Brock, he was “rude, inconsiderate and self-centered.” For instance, when he was suspended for breaking curfew, the other players initially voted against his return even though he was easily the best player on the team.’

    The best statistics of all-time with a big asterisk over it!

    d. Have a nice weekend.

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • lennydykstraisjustkmisunderstood says:
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      Bonds may have been a D ck but probably one of the greatest all time……….Boras is right he could have done it without the roids………

      worst thing i hated about bonds was wearing body armor on his elbow then covering the inner corner of the plate almost every at bat to get outside pitces then complain about getting hit. Chase utley would do the same in clutch situation just to get on base but he took the hit on his bare arm and was happy to be on base.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        But how much did you hate JD Drew?

        • lennydykstraisjustkmisunderstood says:
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          He was worse than bonds because he was hype before he even accomplished anything. LIke bonds or not he delivered.

          Drew seemed like he was good at everything but elite at nothing.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Ha, yup

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks!

      A. He could win you the steals category

      B. Maybe you’re a celebrity and you don’t know in Indonesia? You put out any albums in last ten years you think failed to connect with an audience that made their way to Indonesia?

      C. HAHAHA, that is awesome

      D. You too

  3. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Because it’s 2020, this is definitely going to be the year Deshizz realizes his post post post post post hype, right?!

    Also, what’s you’re strategy for weekly lineup leagues? Are you looking exclusively for full time AB or would you take a guy like Berti over a more floor guy like Schoop?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yes!

      Imagine, and then people try to put an asterisk on his MVP year!

      I’d lose all compilers in weekly leagues…Berti all the way

  4. Totally Not Nick Madrigal says:
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    Nick Madrigal will lead the league in steals!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ooh, he’s a good call too

  5. Tyler says:
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    In a shortened season ( and my teams entire bench is pitching ) I feel like I need to dump possibly a couple of pitchers for fill in bench bats ( my 2X utility is also Andujar and Urshela, so worried about playing time).

    Drop 2 of Wood, Civale, Keller or J James for
    R Nunez, D Carlson, Cespedes, Santander or Teoscar.

    Position doesn’t matter.
    Thank u! Love the pod and thank you for the EARTHGANG recommendation. Best album I have heard in years.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Earthgang is so damn good! You’re welcome, glad I got some people into them, they’re amazing

      Lose Civale, Wood for Teoscar, Santander

      • Tyler says:
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        They REALLY are. Been recommending them to everyone who will listen regardless if they are asking. Good Outkast/ATL vibes. Awesome. Thanks man. Like your suggestion of Low End Theory for fav hip hop album as well. I think my “Mt Rushmore” is Del Tron 3030/ Aquemini/ MAAD City/ Mirrorland/ Black on Both Sides

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          That’s not a bad Rushmore at all…I love me some Stankonia too

  6. Rebar says:
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    Raimel Tapia is a dart throw of mine. I mean, Colorado can’t keep running Ian Desmond out there instead? Bud Black surely will figure that out, right?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I think they can run Desmond out there…Never underestimate Bud Black

      • The Great Knoche says:
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        Wait until they get Puig

  7. Rebar says:
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    Wondering how real life managers are going to respond to the shortened season? If you take a golden sombrero are you get sit for a week? I imagine they will be quick to try something new if you start out slow, even if you have a track record. Playing (and finding) the hot hand will be key. I expect plenty of turnover in lineups, especially with increased rosters. Letting players battle through slumps will be a failed strategy this year.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      They’ll play their main guys every day the players want to play…You don’t sit, say, Jose Abreu bc he’s slumping… NL DHs will be some weird platoons for a lot of teams

      • Rebar says:
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        Yes, it would be hard to sit Abreau when he is slumping. But I think if you have the guts (especially as fantasy managers) to plug in the next guy looking for the hot streak, it could pay off in such a small sample size of a season. Finding that sweet spot is hard enough in a full season. This year, time is not on our side, and drastic measures should be taken. At least that is my approach going in.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Completely…Everyone except top 50 or so are immediately expendable

  8. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    Manfraud really gonna put a runner on 2B in xtras?!?! Douchecanoe doesn’t even watch baseball, what does he care how long games take. Manfraud needs to go, he hates baseball!

    • Player X says:
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      So in extra innings, if that auto 2B runner scores, does that count towards the pitcher’s ERA?

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        It does not

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          it’s unearned

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, he snuck that rule in for no reason other than as commissioner of baseball he wants less baseball

      • Malicious Phenoms says:
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        As diehard baseball fans we should all get a petition together to vote Manfraud out!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Start the petition, I’ll sign

          • Malicious Phenoms says:
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            Working on it, keep you posted!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Nice!

  9. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    Also, ain’t nobody droppin star players in dynasty, just cause of a slump.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Nah, dynasty is different game

  10. Play Ball says:
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    In a S+H league. My RP’s are Nick Anderson, Neris and Rogers.

    Would you swap Neris for either Will Smith (RP) or Diego Castillo (SP/RP)?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yes, Smith

  11. Curious George says:
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    Wander Franco to be on 60 man roster. We aren’t gonna see him this year (barring injury)… right?

    • swaggerjackers says:
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      You just beat me to the punch. Asked the same thing right below this.

      My guess is he’s isn’t worth rostering this season because he won’t be given enough (any?) MLB ABs

      • Curious George says:
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        Interesting. Thanks for the link. Keep 2 league (3 if I win the championship) – keep people 2 rounds earlier than drafted the previous year. Might try to snag him late in hopes of a very nice keeper in 2021

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Nice, makes sense

  12. swaggerjackers says:
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    @Grey: Any chance Wander Franco makes an impact early enough in this 60 game season to justify holding him in a 12 team league? Trying to decide if I should cut him loose for guys that will actually play.

  13. DonnieB says:
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    In a 12 team roto auction keeper with only two bench spots, which two of these pitchers would you want to roster: Mitch Keller, MacKenzie Gore, Freddy Peralta, Dustin May and Nate Pearson?

    Obviously, it would be great to win this year but also want to consider I can keep a player for 3 years but only 8 keepers per year. Thanks and thanks for keeping baseball on our minds these last 3 months.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Hmm…Tough call, Keller, Pearson for right now

      • DonnieB says:
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        Who is number 3?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Gore

  14. Tortured Met Fan says:
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    Amed Rosario over/under on 15 steals in 60 games?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Under, but close

  15. Around The Horn says:
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    Woodruff or Lynn in a QS league for counting stats and ratios?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Lynn

      • Around The Horn says:
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        Do you trust Verlander this season (injuries) and would take him over Corbin or Castillo?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I don’t, and would not

  16. 60 Better Than 0 says:
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    Javier Baez and Matt Olson for Yelich – too much for Yelich or fair?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      It’s fair

    • The Harrow says:
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      either this is at least 3 different people, but it sure looks like this guy from at least 3 different names has asked this same one that many times in less than 2 weeks.

  17. Dan says:
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    14 team H2H points league.

    I have Carson Kelly as my catcher.
    Francisco Mejia is on waivers.

    Worth swapping for Mejia? Thinking he might get more bats with the DH.

    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Meh, sure, you can try it, think it’s a push tho

  18. Cohen says:
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    Grey, 12 team roto. What is your strategy for starting pitching as far as taking a pitcher around pick 55-60? Is everything different now because of only 60 games?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I will go over next week, but I think you need 3 SPs vs. 6 and all in the top 3 of their team…There might not be 4th and 5th starters

  19. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Hey Grey – in a weekly 12 teamer are you still holding a guy like Mateo in reserve, or not likely to be a someone that’s going to contribute enough in that sort of league format, given that he seems to be 3rd on the depth chart there…

    Also, totally thought that DH would be a boon for Hilliard in COL, but after listening to the pod I’m with you that it sounds like Col will find a way to screw over anyone but Desmond and Murphy!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Nah, forget Mateo

      Totally on Colorado, Bud Black will find a way

      • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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        Thanks Grey! One other random one for ya…

        I’m sure you’ll talk more next week about RPs etc, but does a guy like Stripling jump up for you as a sneaky W bet knowing that many SPs will probably have short outings for the first month?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I think Stripling moves up a bit, still barely rosterable in shallower leagues

  20. Stat Man says:
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    Edwin Diaz or Liam?

    Luzardo or Montas?

  21. Longbeachyo says:
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    That has to be the first time a person has ever misquoted a 12 year-old runaway! Good job Grey!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      HAHA, you’re welcome

  22. Curious George says:
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    Random question: thoughts on taking Jordan Hicks for free vs drafting Gallegos in a Save and hold league? Or both?

    • Curious George says:
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      I suppose the question really should read: do you see Hicks providing any value this year in a sv + h league haha

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Not especially on Hicks

  23. Scott Kimmel says:
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    Hey Grey. Long time.

    Have 2 free agency pick ups to ask about.

    1) Luis Severino was placed on IL? Would you pick up Wacha, or Wainright?
    2) I’m thinking about dropping Jurickson Profar. Would you drop him for one of these guys: Rpbinson Cano or Hanser Alberto.

    please help

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Hey, Scott, good to see you

      1. Wacha

      2. Nope

      • Scott Kimmel says:
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        had a questiuon about the projections on players. what do each slash mean going left to right. is it GP/hr/rbi/avg/sb?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Runs/HR/etc

  24. Pine Tar Incident says:
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    Grey hyping Delino… baseball is truly back!!!

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