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!
Catchers to Stream Against:
Pitchers to Exploit:
Rougned Odor – Four steals in his last 12 games is useful. If he can keep up the unusual 10% BB rate, then the steals and usability in mixed leagues could be there. Though I think we have all been burned by the Odor… even Bautista was.
Keon Broxton – He’s getting extra work now that Braun is on the DL and has SAGNOF speed to burn and with only 35 plate appearances in the last two weeks, but he has only got ya 3 steals. Was a stud down the stretch last year, just needs plate time.
Miguel Rojas – If Odor is getting looked at for an add, then so does Rojas. Two more steals this past week and slashing .371/.417/.444. Sustainability? Probably not, but losing teams are looking for players, he fits the bill.
David Robertson – Aroldis has some knee tendinitis, which sounds great with some HP sauce. K-Rob got first post A.C. save. Expect a mix and match with Betances, but Robertson may be unowned.
Will Smith – Who knew that Scientologists believed in saving anything? Looks like a closer to me in the city by the bay. Someone queue Steve Perry.