Today Dr. Easy and I are taking a deep dive into the Razzball Season-to-Date Player Rater, the good ol’ STD PR. We’re focusing on the dollar-per-game ($/G) category, looking for surprisingly good (or bad!) hitters who might (or not!) offer you value in the short term on days when they’re in the starting lineup. Many of these players are likely to be available off the waiver wire in your roto leagues, or you could look to play them in DFS line-ups. It probably doesn’t need to be said, but Imma say it anyway: obviously, don’t just take these rankings at face value for batty calls and DFS starts; check out match-ups and recent performance.
First, a word on how this works. The $ category is absolutely key as an overall ranking of players, but it tends to overlook players who haven’t played all that much. This could be due to injury or platoon or call-up situations. For example, on the STD PR, Mr. Mike Trout is 43rd out of all hitters when sorted by $, because he has only 275 plate appearances; but when sorted by $/G, he is 1st. He offers the most value per game, overall. Similar deal with Freddie Freeman: 73rd of hitters when ranked by $ (because of his 269 plate appearances this season), but 8th when ranked by $/G. We set the STD PR to show us hitters who have a minimum of 50 plate appearances, then sorted by $/G. Trout and Freeman’s rankings probably won’t raise any eyebrows, so let’s see if we can find some who will titillate your “I didn’t know that!” muscle along with your facial hair (includes beards, peach fuzz and Grey mustache wannabes).
Next, before we proceed, just a quick note: despite the name, “$/G” is not dollars divided by number of games. See the FAQs on the Player Rater page for a full explanation. And lastly, all stats lobbed at you are up to date as of Wednesday. So check for changes early and often.
Hector Sanchez: The backup catcher in San Diego has a $ value of -12.2; his $/G value, on the other hand, is 18.9. Which puts him first overall for catchers when sorted by $/G. In 84 plate appearances, he’s garnered a .250 average, but his value has come from his 7 home runs and 18 RBIs. Here’s a weirdly specific fact about Sanchez: 4 of his home runs have come against San Francisco, 2 at home against San Francisco, 2 away in San Francisco. Way to stick it to your former employer, Hector! (…Salamanca. Ding ding ding.) However, he’s had 6 or 7 years in the majors and has mostly been crap: is he going to suddenly turn it around in San Diego? Unlikely. He looks better than he is: only stream him against San Francisco.
Adam Lind: Adam Lind has a .318 average, 9 HRs, 37 RBIs and a .368 OBP. These are terrific numbers in only 174 plate appearances. So while he’s 45th out of first basemen when sorted by $ value, he shoots up to 4th when sorted by $/G. His number of plate appearances is so small because he’s a strict platoon guy—never play him against lefties. He’s 1% owned in Razzball Commenter Leagues (RCLs), so he’s pretty much guaranteed to be out there on your waiver wire for a batty call; in DFS, play him as long as he’s not overpriced.
Howie Kendrick: Here’s another Washington player to start when he’s in the lineup. He’s only 32% owned in RCLs (Dr. Easy and I just had a foot race to go pick him up in the RCL we’re in together). With a $ value of $ -9.5, he’s ranked 41st out of second basemen, but ranking by his $/G of 17.6 puts him at 11th out of 2Bs. He offers value in steals (8 on the season so far) but his .353 average and .404 OBP are not too shabby, either (albeit fueled by a .400 BABIP)—all this in only 171 plate appearances. The move to Washington may hurt his average compared to hitter-happy Philly, but the runs and RBIs will benefit.
Paul DeJong: Also eligible for 2B and SS. DeJong One (did that show ever make it to US shores? Man, it was wacky) has made the most of his 208 plate appearances so far, with a .281 average, 14 homers and 32 RBIs. In $ terms ($ -6.8), he’s 42nd out of all 3Bs, but jumps up to 16th in $/G terms (13). He is 97% owned in RCLs so, you know, hurry.
Ketel Marte: He somehow sneaked up and into the higher rankings for shortstop: he’s ranked 15th out of shortstops with a $/G 8 value in a mere 70 plate appearances (his $ -24.3 value puts him at 56th out of shortstops). Dr. Easy and I assumed his value was coming from steals, but it just goes to show that “assume” makes an ass of u and me because he doesn’t have a single steal on the season. His value is actually coming from his 4 home runs, 7 walks, and average of .242. He’s 0% owned in RCLs. Note that he’s currently on the bereavement list, but once he’s back, he’ll be filling in for Chris Owings for the foreseeable future. This is a guy to cyclops (always keep an eye on the Ketel!), to see if his performance is sustainable–he may benefit from the hitter-friendly confines of Arizona.
Honorable mention: Pat Valaika. If he ever makes it into the starting lineup (he’s mostly pinch-hitting these days) at home in Colorado (his home-away splits are .349 and .158), start him. His $ value of -12.8 earns him a ranking of 34th out of shortstops, but his $/G 21.1 bumps him up to 3rd. In 131 plate appearances, he’s racked up 9 home runs, 28 RBIs and a .256 average. He’s 1% owned in RCLs.
Clint Frazier: The Yankees outfielder has earned himself solid playing time since his call-up nearly a month ago. His $ value is -21.5 (giving him a ranking of 151st out of all OF), but his $/G value is 5.9 (giving him a ranking of 84th out of all OF). In his 99 plate appearances (24 games), he has a .255 average, with 4 home runs and 17 RBIs; his OBP is .283. We shouldn’t really extrapolate with such small numbers, but we’re going to anyway: he’s on pace for 28 home runs over a full season. He’s only 50% owned in RCLs. He should be owned if only for the lineup he hits in. Just for kicks, I ranked all three Fraziers (Todd, Adam and Clint) by $/G. Guess who wins? … Clint.