It is easy to understand why Max Scherzer was mass dropped. Frustrated owners had to watch him post ugly numbers start-after-start until he was demoted by the Tigers. Seriously, he gave up 27 ER in his last four starts, twenty freakin seven! Adding to the paranoia, Scherzer's fastball was averaging 91.8 mph after averaging 93.6 mph in 2009 and 94.2 mph in 2008. Who wants to hold onto a guy who has a 7.29 ERA, 1.67 WHIP and 5.57 K/9 after making the switch from the NL to the AL?no comments
To stream or not to stream– that is notthe question: whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fantasy fortune, or to add/drop arms against a sea of Wins and Ks. And, by streaming, end them. To lose, to sleep no more – and by a sleep to say we end the heartache and the thousand fantasy shocks. Never thought you'd see some Bill Shakespeare type ish here, did ya? Alright, we all know the drill: streaming is for people who want to win H2H matchups and those Roto leaguers have lost ground when it comes to their Innings Pitched pace. With that, let's check out the best streaming options that are owned in less than 60% of Yahoo! leagues. no comments
Corey Patterson may not be related to Bob Patterson, but he could very well be the subject matter in his self-help books. The real life Patterson is owned in only 1% of Yahoo! leagues and is looking to be a best seller. Yes, I did cringe a little when I added him to my team, but he is far from the scariest Patterson out there. Like Sister Patterson, I practice what I preach; but do take note, the league in which I added Corey is a deep league (15 teams, 5 OF). Standard sized leagues can afford to dismiss the once heralded prospect, but deep leaguers may want to take a chance on his potential.no comments
In the first BABIP Leaders SP post, we looked at the best BABIP numbers across the league; this time, we look at the worst. I thought about naming this post, "the Good, the Bad and the Unlucky". As the alternate title implies, pitchers with unusually high BABIP numbers are said to be unlucky. Of course, there are variables that need to be scrutinized before bestowing the unlucky label on our fantasy hurlers.
Justin Masterson [.412 BABIP, career .308] Admittedly, I talked up Masterson before the season started, but I've changed my tune since. Masterson is still owned in 7% of Yahoo! leagues so there is a small group who understands the potential and bad luck involved here. The misfortunes don't end with the BABIP, his HR/FB% is 21.1%, basically double the league average. So batters are getting on base at an unusual clip and then launching more Home Runs than they should. Of course, these numbers are fueled by the repulsive 24.6% Line Drive Percentage so it's not all "bad luck". There are a few encouraging signs here, Masterson is still generating a lot of Ground Balls (58.8% GB%) and he has posted a 10.18 K/9. I do not believe the K/9 will stand the test of time, his O-Swing% is up and his O-Contact% is 10% below his norm, despite the fact that he is throwing less breaking pitches. What I find strange about his pitch usage is that he is throwing his fastball 82.2% of the time (up from 72.8% last year), a percentage generally reserved for relief pitchers. There are a few things to like here (GB%, K/9), but because Masterson struggles mightily vs Left Handed Batters (2.45 WHIP) and is still allowing over 4 walks per nine. I do not believe he will be roster worthy until he develops something to offers Lefties. Masterson should probably be coming out of the bullpen.
Bud Norris may not be the descendant of Chuck Norris, but he can still kung foo chop batters like no other. When people say, "Bud Norris often donates blood to the American Red Cross, just never his own", they didn't anticipate the blood being that of the managers who drafted him. Norris was a semi-popular sleeper pick in some circles, but his 1.69 WHIP and 6.03 ERA have him slumbering on many a waiver wire. The 4% owned strike out machine has been a victim of a .392 BABIP, and like Justin Masterson, his 26.1% Line Drive Percentage has been identified as the assailant. He's also been pretty wild (5.24 BB/9), but he and his pitching coach have identified a flaw in his mechanics and have made an adjustment to his arm slot. In his last appearance (@STL) he allowed no walks while striking out 8 batters in 8 Innings. I believe Norris is worth a roster spot in most leagues. If he has another game like the last, where he walks few, he is standard league must add material. It could very well end up being a roller coaster ride here, but it's hard to not get excited about a pitcher who is striking out 10.75 batters per nine and just threw a gem after making a mechanical adjustment.
Cole Hamels is quickly becoming a poster child for bad luck. Last year his .325 BABIP was deemed unlucky by the fantasy community, but this year he's rocking a .372 BABIP. The peculiar thing is, his LD% is below his norm (17.5% LD%, career 20.1%). His HR/FB% is elevated at 15.9% so this really does look like a classic case of bad luck. He has changed up his arsenal a bit, adding a Cutter that he throws 15.4% of the time. The addition of the Cutter has him throwing his other 3 offerings less often (FB down 6%, CB down 3%, CH down 6%). I'm assuming he added the Cutter to generate more Ground Balls (up 7%), but it is his worst valued pitch (4.6 runs below avg) and it seems to be effecting his control (3.30 BB/9, career 2.34). At least his K/9 is up (10.10 K/9)... I'm not sure what to think of this... his Zone% is down, his F-Strike% is down.... bottom line is, he's been unlucky. Some people came into the season down on Hamels and I'm sure more have jumped the gun on him after the rough start, so he is a good Buy Low target. Ask around about his services.
Gavin Floyd was another sleeper pick of mine. It's not that people didn't know who he was, but he seemed to be under appreciated coming into drafts. What happens when people feel under appreciated? They lash out. Looking at my Team Log and what Gavin has done to me, I feel like one of those parents with an out of control teen on the Maury Povich show. I don't think Floyd needs to go to boot camp, he seems to be a victim of bad luck so far. His .371 BABIP looks completely out of place in context with his 18.3% LD%. Gavin has his GB% up to 47.6%, the K/9 is still solid, but his BB/9 is up a little bit. A 3.69 BB/9 doesn't have alarms sounding, but it'd definitely be nice to see him refine his control a little bit. I think Floyd is a nice Buy Low target, someone actually dropped in a league of mine and I was quick to snatch him up.
Ten Worst BABIPs
.415 Doug Davis
.412 Justin Masterson
.392 Bud Norris
.389 Charlie Morton
.378 Jonathon Niese
.372 Cole Hamels
.371 Gavin Floyd
.365 Josh Beckett
.363 James Shields
.363 Brandon Morrow
Other Notable Victims of BABIP: Rick Porcello (.361, career .296), Aaron Harang (.358, career .317), Wade LeBlanc (.356, career .288), Dan Haren (.356, career .302), Kyle Lohse (.355, career .309), Brian Matusz (.353), Kevin Slowey (.353, career .3220, Tom Gorzelanny (.353, career .307), Wandy Rodríguez (.351, career .312) no comments
yeah you know me! The Million Dollar Podcast is back in action as Andy Behrens joins us to talk fantasy football and baseball. I'll lean on Behrens for some inside info on Da Bears, maybe some more football. We'll also talk about some struggling players like Beckham, Figgins, Borbón, Sizemore, etc... maybe some Closer talk or prospects. Whatever we feel like and time allows...
of course, we all know Behrens as a fully credited Yahoo! fantasy expert, editor of Roto Arcade, hater of Carlos Beltran player notes and author of fine reading material, such as the Fast and the Furriest and Sex Drive, among more.
Show starts at 6:30 [Million Dollar Podcast]
Some pitchers have the ability to maintain a low BABIP, but most do not. Fly ball pitchers tend to have a slightly lower BABIP, because ground balls tend to find their way for hits more often. Line Drives are another variable to look at, a lower LD% will positively affect a pitcher's BABIP. Obviously keeping hitters off balance with changing speeds helps too... with that, let's get into five pitchers with a BABIP that is too low to maintain.
Liván Hernández [55% owned] It's pretty amazing an old pitcher with a career 1.44 WHIP and 4.38 ERA is owned in more than half of Yahoo! leagues. Hernández doesn't strike out many batters (in fact, his 2.91 K/9 is downright disgusting), has slightly better than average control and doesn't induce an extraordinary amount of ground balls. So how the hell does he have a 0.99 WHIP and 1.04 ERA???!? He leads the league in BABIP. Liván hasn't gained velocity, changed his repertoire or been allowed to use an emery board. A massive correction is coming and those fifty-five percenters... well can they be disappointed? It's Liván Hernández we're talking about. If you can sell, do it now.
Phil Hughes [85% owned] Looking to be the post-hype sleeper of the year, Phil Hughes has been "the man" this year. Of course, he is benefiting from the league's second best BABIP (.213), so we'd be foolish to think he'll finish the season with his current 0.94 WHIP and 1.69 ERA. We can beat him up some more by pointing out his slightly above average 3.66 BB/9, 0.83 GB/FB and 2.9% HR/FB%, but I got this guy in a dynasty league so I don't want to dis him too much. Hughes has the pedigree, good strike out rate (8.72 K/9) and increased the usage of his improved Cutter (8.2 runs above average), so there are plenty of things to like about him. Plus he does have a career .288 BABIP and 7.3% HR/FB%, so he has shown the ability to limit base hits and home runs. If you can Sell High in redraft leagues, I'd explore your options, but I wouldn't sell on him just to get rid of a lucky BABIP. When 2010 is over, I'm guessing we'll see a 1.28 WHIP and 3.97 ERA.
Jeff Niemann [75% owned] No!!!! I don't want to talk bad on Jeff Niemann. He was one of my sleeper plays at SP. No. I won't do it, but Virgil has some things to say: obviously Niemann cannot keep up the 1.01 WHIP and 2.27 ERA. The .221 BABIP is just too low to maintain. Plus he's working with an incredible 87% Left on Base Percentage and below average K Rate (5.77 K/9). However, Niemann has improve his control (2.68 BB/9) and increased the velocity and value of his Slider and Curveball. MDS was on point, drafting and trading for Niemann, but a correction in BABIP, WHIP and ERA are coming. Think 1.29 WHIP, 3.92 ERA. He will be useful and he isn't a big name player so Selling High will likely be tough. The best value you may get from Niemann is letting him pitch for you.
David Price [89% owned] Uh oh Phil Hughes, you have a major contender for post-hype sleeper of the year. David Price was the cause of many snapped tendons, as owners were reaching left and right for him in drafts last year. A 1.35 WHIP and 4.42 ERA helped remind people that rookie pitchers usually do not live up to the hype they generate. This year, the price was right; his ADP doesn't even register in Yahoo's Draft Analysis section that covers SP up to Round 16. Price is looking great with his 0.99 WHIP, 1.91 ERA and 26 Y! Rank. Can we really put a ton of fault on Price with his .231 BABIP? He does own a .267 career BABIP. David has improved his control (2.98 BB/9, down from 3.79 BB/9 last year) and his Slider has improved vastly (-8.1 in 2009, +2.7 this year). His Zone% is down a little bit this year so his 2.98 BB/9 may come up a little bit, but I wouldn't lose patches of hair worrying about that. Unless someone knocks your socks off, you shouldn't be Selling on Price. Think 1.19 WHIP, 3.59 ERA.
Barry Zito [88% owned] You know something is wrong when Barry Zito is ranked 28 on Yahoo!. His .242 BABIP is 32 points below his career .274 mark. OK, that's isn't a drastic difference, but I need some kind of ammo to dis Zito. Who can possibly like this guy? I swear I seen two girls kissing in his truck, let the jealousy rage on! Zito is nothing special in terms of his K/9 (5.70) or BB/9 (3.61), so he is going to need to maintain that low BABIP. The real problem with Zito's strong start is the fact that he hasn't allowed a HR in 47.1 Innings. With a career 8.4% HR/FB%, his 0% mark is a huge red flag. His Slider isn't looking like it did last year, but his Curveball is back to form from his Athletic days. If you want to hold onto Zito, good luck. He allowed 7 walks last night, he is more than capable of blowing up his pretty numbers in only a couple starts. Someone tried selling Barry to me for Wandy Rodríguez and actually cancelled the offer before I could reject it, saying Zito was too good. People are crazy. Expect a 1.33 WHIP and 4.10 ERA by seasons end.
Top Ten BABIP Leaders
.188 Liván Hernández
.213 Phil Hughes
.221 Jeff Niemann
.224 Chris Volstad
.230 Doug Fister
.231 David Price
.232 CC Sabathia
.234 Tim Hudson
.234 Mitch Talbot
.240 Jason Vargas
other notable BABIP beneficiaries: Ubaldo Jimenez (.243, career .287), Brett Cecil (.245, career .321), Dallas Braden (.245, career .308), Adam Wainwright (.247, career .299), Ian Kennedy (.252, career .289), Jamie Garcia (.252), Fausto Carmona (.252, career .301), Wade Davis (.253, career .286), Jonathan Sanchez (.254, career .313), Ted Lilly (.258, career .286), C.J. Wilson (.259, career .305) no comments
Michael Saunders continues to hit well while filling in for the disgruntled Milton Bradley. He went 2 for 4 with a double and a RBI tonight. He was also caught stealing by Matt Wieters. That makes back-to-back multi-hit games for Saunders, who was named the Mariners #1 prospect at Fangraphs. Saunders was actually stinking up the joint in AAA PCL before he was called up (.254 BABIP doesn't help matters), but he has shown the ability to steal bases and hit for power before. There may be some strike out issues (he has shown improvement here tho) and he's a rookie hitting at Safeco, but how can you ignore a hot hitting top prospect? Think 15/15 potential... not too shabby for a player who is currently 0% owned in Yahoo! leagues.
Mike Aviles continues to swing a hot bat on his comeback tour. He went 2 for 4 today, raising his AVG to .429 (28 At Bats). Coach says he is going to be playing most days due to his solid defense and hot bat. You may remember Aviles as every one's favorite sleeper at shortstop after his .325/10/8 season in 2008 (102 games). He crashed and burned in 2009 and seems to be long forgotten (13% owned). Don't let the 2009 Tommy John surgery and .223 BABIP scare you away from Aviles. He doesn't walk much, but he doesn't strike out much either. He has a little speed and power; I'm sure plenty of people can find room for a .300/15/10 SS or MI.
Call in the Reinforcements Brandon League got the last 5 Outs with a 4 Run lead for his first Save. Tyler Clippard made his 17th appearance and took a lumping, giving up 4 H and 3 ER, recording only 1 Out. Neftali Feliz gave up 3 H and an ER in 2/3 of an Inning for his 2nd Blown Save. Frank Francisco pitched the 10th inning, allowing 2 Hits, but no Runs. Andrew Bailey allowed a Walk, a Hit and an ER for his first Blown Save of the season. Bobby Jenks got the Save opp. a day after Ozzie Guillen said he would play the matchups, Jenks bounced a pitch 5 ft in front of home plate against the intimidating Nick Punto and gave up a double to Jim Thome (which prompted a mound visit), but he came out unscathed and got his 6th Save in 7 chances. Joakim Soria needed some work and entered the game in a non-Save situation, he gave up a solo shot to Russell the Muscle Branyan.
Body Count Erik Bedard was supposed to pitch in a simulated game, but it was rained out. Carlos Beltrán (knee) has started limited baseball activities (swinging a bat, light jogging). Freddy Sanchez went 2 for 4 w/ 2 Doubles and 4 RBI in his first rehab game (single A). Mark DeRosa underwent an MRI and nerve tests for his troublesome wrist. Troy Tulowitzki tested out his sore thigh and could possibly play in Wednesday's doubleheader. Jorge de la Rosa says he's ready to throw and will have an MRI on his finger in the next few days. Justin Duchscherer may come off the DL and start on Saturday. Chipper Jones rested his sore groin today. Jeff Francis threw 7 scoreless Innings in a AA rehab outing, his Fastball averaged 86 mph. Brad Lidge wasn't happy with his bullpen session, Charlie Manuel may have been lying to us! Franklin Morales (shoulder weakness) was put on the 15 day DL. Tim Stauffer could be out 6 weeks after having an emergency appendectomy. J.J. Hardy (wrist) was put on the 15 day DL. Marc Rzepczynski (finger) threw 4.2 scoreless Innings in an extended Spring Training game, striking out 4. He is hoping for a late May return.
Mercenaries: soldiers for hire (less than 60% owned)
58% Alexei Ramírez 1/4, R, 2 RBI, 2B
55% Andruw Jones 1/4, RBI, Y! Rank 44
51% David Freese 1/3, RBI, BB, .321 AVG
51% Alberto Callaspo 2/4, .300 AVG
51% Juan Uribe 1/3, RBI, 3B, BB
51% Casey Blake 1/4, 2 R, RBI, 2B, BB
46% Nate McLouth 1/4, R, RBI, BB
46% Kosuke Fukudome 2/3, R, BB
45% J.D. Drew 2/4, R, RBI, SB, BB, .286 AVG, hit 3rd
45% Erick Aybar 2/5, SB(4)
44% Jeff Francoeur 1/3, 2 RBI, SB
42% Rod Barajas 2/4, R, 2 RBI, 2B
40% Daisuke Matsuzaka 7 IP, ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 9 K, Win
36% Julio Borbón 2/6, RBI, CS(1)
36% Johnny Cueto 9 IP, 0 ER, H, 0 BB, 8 K, Win, 102 pitches
35% Juan Pierre 3/5, R, 2B
30% Scott Rolen 2/3, RBI, 2B, BB
30% Mark Teahen 1/3, R, 2B, BB
29% Cody Ross 1/3, HR(2), R, 2 RBI
28% Corey Hart 1/3, RBI, SB(3)
26% A.J. Pierzynski 1/5, R, 2 RBI, 2B
26% Jhonny Peralta 1/4, 2 RBI, 2B, BB
24% Cristian Guzmán 2/3, 2 R, 2B, 2 BB
22% John Buck 2/3, R, 2B, .270 AVG
16% Aubrey Huff 2/4, R, RBI, 2B
16% Alcides Escobar 2/4, RBI, 2B
14% Delmon Young 1/4, RBI, 2B
13% Starlin Castro 2/4
11% Kyle Blanks 0/2, R, SB, 3 BB
8% Austin Kearns 2/4, 3 R, RBI, BB
8% Yuniesky Betancourt 1/3, R, .283 AVG
8% Jason Varitek 2/3, HR(6), 2 R, RBI, split the uprights
6% Daric Barton 2/7, HR(2), R, 2 RBI, .296 AVG
6% Russell Branyan 3/5, 2 HR(2), 3 R, 3 RBI
6% Troy Glaus 2/5, HR(4), R, 3 RBI, 2B
5% Fred Lewis 2/4, RBI, 2B, .309 AVG
5% Gaby Sánchez 1/4, HR(3), R, RBI
5% David Murphy 2/6, HR(2), 2 R, RBI
5% Brett Myers 6 IP, 2 ER, 8 H, 2 BB, 3 K, Win
4% Ronnie Belliard 2/4, 3 RBI, 2B, BB
4% Jerry Hairston Jr. 1/3, R, 2B, 2 BB
3% Adam Rosales 2/5, BB, .280 AVG
3% Ángel Pagán 2/5, R, RBI
3% Brandon Wood 1/4, R
3% Jim Edmonds 2/5, 2B
2% Sean Rodriguez 2/4, R, 2B
2% Ramón Hernández 2/5, RBI, 2B
2% Garrett Atkins 1/3, RBI
2% David Eckstein 2/2 , 2 RBI, SB, 3 BB, .279 AVG
2% Jake Westbrook 6 IP, ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 2 K, Win
2% Gregg Zaun 2/4
1% Trevor Cahill 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, K, 13/5 GB/FB
1% Nick Punto 2/4, .276 AVG
1% John Ely 6 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 6 K, Win
1% Geoff Blum 1/3, R, .328 AVG
1% Eric Chávez 2/4, HR(1), 2 R, 2 RBI
1% Jamey Carroll 2/5, R, 2 RBI, .274 AVG
1% Darnell McDonald 1/4, RBI, 2B
1% Eric Hinske 2/2, 3 RBI, 2 2B, 2 BB
1% Dioner Navarro 2/4
1% Freddy García 7 IP, 2 ER, 9 H, 2 BB, 3 K, Win
1% Rob Johnson 2/4, R, RBI
0% Mark Grudzielanek 1/2, RBI, BB, .288 AVG
0% Chris Heisey 3/4, HR(1), 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, 1st Major League hit
0% Tommy Manzella 1/3, RBI, CS
0% Humberto Quintero 1/2, RBI
Universal Soldier Awards
Jean Claude Van Damme Ricky Nolasco 7 IP, ER, 5 H, BB, 3 K, Win
Dolph Lundgren Evan Longoria 2/5, HR(8), R, 4 RBI
Michael Jai White Russell Martin 2/5, HR(4), 2 R, 3 RBI
Andre Arvloski Cliff Lee 7.1, ER, 8 H, 0 BB, 2 K, Win
Bill Goldberg Brad Penny 7 IP, 0 ER, 7 H, 0 BB, 3 K
Quote of the Day “No matter what kind of ballpark they built, it was going to be better than that one,” Ozzie Guillen said before Tweeting, “Target fields best stadium in the american league”. no comments