Archive for March 31, 2012

Pitching Strategies: How Applying Astrophysics Can You Help You Find Value Starting Pitchers

by Thomas Callahan

Pitchers cannot throw curve balls on Mars!

The threads on a spinning ball throw air to the side and make the ball curve by what is known as the Magnus effect. This effect is non existent in low density atmospheres. As there exist low density atmospheres in major league baseball, this is a handy little fact to tuck into your tool belt.

Today I’m going to run you through some of the basics of air density and astrophysics, so that you can identify target zones for streaming starting pitchers. Target zones are regional areas where there is a statistical atmospheric advantage for starting pitchers.

Streaming two starting pitcher roster spots in the second half of the season is good strategy. It will allow you to trade your starting pitchers who’ve been hot in the first half of the season for any needed offensive help (if you follow my draft strategy, that will be batting average) after the All Star break. Read more

2012 Rankings (NL-Only): Top 25 Outfielders

The outfield does not feel as deep as it used to be, but at least in the NL you have some of the elite options in the game to choose from.  However, once you get past the first 15 or so, suddenly you have a lot of risks and question marks clouding the field.  Let’s take a look at how things currently look:

  1. Matt Kemp – Los Angeles Dodgers
  2. Ryan Braun – Milwaukee Brewers
  3. Justin Upton – Arizona Diamondbacks
  4. Carlos Gonzalez – Colorado Rockies
  5. Andrew McCutchen – Pittsburgh Pirates
  6. Matt Holliday – St. Louis Cardinals
  7. Giancorlo Stanton – Miami Marlins
  8. Hunter Pence – Philadelphia Phillies
  9. Jay Bruce – Cincinnati Reds
  10. Michael Bourn – Atlanta Braves
  11. Shane Victorino – Philadelphia Phillies
  12. Mike Morse – Washington Nationals Read more

Spring Training Summary: March 30: Michael Pineda Injured?, Cody Ross Impresses & More

We are less than a week away from Opening Day, yet that doesn’t mean things have gotten any clearer for some teams.  Who may have put their jobs in jeopardy?  Who is looking like a strong play?  Let’s take a look:

  1. Cody Ross – Boston Red Sox – Outfielder – Ross is an outfielder that I have been promoting as one of the better sleepers, and yesterday’s performance helped to display why.  He went 2-3 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R, bringing his spring totals to .366 with 6 HR, 15 RBI and 11 R.  He has homered in three straight games (4 HR) and has RBI in four straight (10 RBI).  With Carl Crawford set to open the year on the DL Ross is going to get regular playing time and could easily entrench himself for the rest of the year.  If you have an opportunity to stash him, I wouldn’t hesitate.
  2. Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers – Third Baseman – He returned to the lineup going 2-3 with 2 RBI and 1 R (both hits were doubles).  Fantasy owners, who got a very big scare earlier in the preseason, can now exhale.  It appears like there won’t be an issue for him to be ready for Opening Day. Read more

Purchase The Rotoprofessor 2012 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide Now For Just $6!

The fifth update of the 2012 Rotoprofessor Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide (03/20/12) has officially been released, including Top 5 prospect lists for 2012 for all teams and updates projections for Ryan Braun, Ichiro Suzuki and many more! If you have already ordered the guide and not received it, please let me know via e-mail (eric.stashin@gmail.com). As always, you will then receive updates about every two-to-three weeks from the release date until the start of the season.

I have added a column labeled “Projected Round” to the Top 300, which is based on the current ADP from around the internet (and will be updated throughout the draft season). This should help you identify the players who I feel are great bargains (i.e. someone who I have ranked at #40 but is being drafted around rounds 6-9) or those who are being overdrafted (i.e. someone who I have ranked at #77 but is being drafted around rounds 3-5). Keep in mind that the rounds listed are a rough estimate and can vary wildly from draft-to-draft. Also included:

  • Over 525 player projections (more to come)
  • The Rotoprofessor’s quick take on every player projected
  • Expanded Rankings (i.e. Top 30 Catchers, Top 100 Starting Pitchers)
  • Top 300 Overall
  • Projected lineups and rotations
  • Top 50 Prospects for 2012 list (on the website, I will only be releasing a Top 20 list)
  • Top 5 Prospects for 2012 by team (New for 2012)
  • Auction Values (including NL/AL-Only)
  • Multiple Position Eligibility Chart
  • And more

This season I wanted to do something a little bit different for those who support Rotoprofessor and who are purchasing the 2012 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide. So, as a reward, anyone who purchases the guide prior to March 15 will be entered into a very special contest where one randomly selected purchaser will win an autographed Michael Pineda baseball (authenticated by MLB). There is nothing that you need to do but buy the guide and cross your fingers that you win! The winner will be picked on March 15th and will be notified via e-mail. If I don’t hear back within 24 hours, a new winner will be picked. Shipment MAY be delayed a few days if my wife has our baby boy earlier than expected.

You can order the guide now for just $6. Please allow up to 24 hours for delivery via e-mail.

The Trade Counsel: Don’t Disregard Your Draft Prep

by Simon Jones

The opening day of the season has come and gone (at least for Seattle and Oakland), drafts and auctions are now complete, and fantasy owners everywhere are trying to make sense of their rosters. People in shallower leagues may be feeling pretty content with their rosters, but in deeper leagues or AL/NL only, you are probably looking at a bunch of holes in your hitting line-up and your pitching rotation.

Pretty much every halfway committed fantasy manager will have done some draft preparation and produced a few cheat sheets analysing the players they liked and where those players might be taken in drafts and auctions. However, how much of that information and preparation gets discarded as soon as draft day is over? My thoughts are that those who discard all that information too readily are missing a trick.

When I discussed my tactics for drafting a few weeks back, one of the points that I made was that after I compile my list of players, I cross-reference it to the ADP of the site that hosts my league. This can help provide a list of players who might be undervalued come draft day. It’s a tactic I’ve employed for a number of years quite successfully, but no matter how well it pays off, for every one guy you get who you feel is undervalued there are another 2 or 3 who slip past. You simply don’t have enough picks to take them all. Read more

Regression Risk: Looking At The Top 5 HR/FB Risers From 2010 to 2011

Obviously, players mature. grow and get better.  In other words, just because we see significant increase in a metric (like HR/FB), that we should simply use it as a negative against the player.  How often do we say that the increase is unsustainable?  Well, sometimes it actually is, though sometimes things just appear too good to be true.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the players with the biggest HR/FB increase from 2010 to 2011 (minimum 300 plate appearances each year) and determine whose power surge was for real and whose was just a mirage:

Asdrubal Cabrera – Cleveland Indians
2010 – 3.0%     2011 – 13.3%     Increase – 10.3%
I don’t think that anyone would be surprised to hear that Cabrera enjoyed the biggest power surge in 2011.  He had entered the season with 18 HR over 1,415 AB in the Majors, as well as 27 HR over 1,655 minor league AB.  He had shown doubles power (most specifically in 2009, when he had 42 doubles over 523 AB in the Major Leagues), but I think we all would agree that this increase seems a little bit excessive. Read more