X Marks The Spot

By May 30, 2014MLB

Happy Friday! I’m pretty sure Edwin Encarnacion leads the league in the times his photo has been used in my articles, but the dude just keeps on mashing. Lots of stuff to get to today, including some Spelling Bee, Phoenix, Adriana Lima, and a whole lot more…

(Just a quick note…I won’t be doing these updates over the weekend, so I’ll see you on Monday…or on Twitter)

Let’s get to it!

5 Studs Five stars from yesterday:

  1. Edwin Encarnacion: 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI
  2. Josh Collmenter: 9.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 5 K, W
  3. Jose Altuve: 3-4, R, 2 steals
  4. Erick Aybar: 3-5, R, HR, 3 RBI, 1 steal
  5. Zack Wheeler: 6.1 IP, 4 H, ER, 9 K, W

5 Duds Five anti-stars from yesterday:

  1. Joe Nathan: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, BB, K
  2. R.A. Dickey: 5.0 IP, 10 H, 5 ER, BB, 7 K
  3. James Shields: 7.0 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 6 K
  4. Jose Reyes: 0-5
  5. Howie Kendrick: 0-5    
Extra-Extra! Some fantasy baseball news for today:
  • Ryan Zimmerman will begin a rehab assignment today and could be back with the Nationals by next week.
  • Gio Gonzalez threw a bullpen session yesterday and could be cleared for a rehab assignment if his simulated start on Sunday goes well.
  • David Ortiz is dealing with a calf injury that may linger all year, but is expected to be in the lineup tonight.
  • Ben Zobrist is due to be activated from the DL today.
  • Josh Hamilton is going to resume his rehab assignment today and I’m guessing we could see him back in 7-10 days.
  • The Orioles are still hopeful that Matt Wieters will avoid surgery as his elbow is feeling better, but we won’t know anything final until July 1.
  • Buster Posey missed yesterday’s game due to lower back issues and could be out a couple more days.
  • Matt Cain is due to start on Saturday, but the Giants aren’t sure he’ll be able to.
  • Mark Teixeira is still day-to-day with his wrist issue.
  • In what could be a related piece of news, the Yankees are reportedly interested in Kendrys Morales.
  • Carlos Beltran played soft toss yesterday and is going to do the same today in the hopes of avoiding surgery.

What The Hell Are Sabermetrics?!? John Hoey posted an excellent article for our premium subscribers today (his third in a sabermetric-focused series) that explains xFIP and Pitch Speed Differential and how it can help you figure out what to do with Justin Verlander.

If you’re not a premium member yet, you can still take a sneak peek at the first part of John’s article.

Marko Jaric, Justin Bieber,… I don’t know who else Adriana Lima has dated/married/hooked up with, but I think it’s safe to say that she has the worst taste in men ever.

Snake Oil Salesman I was in trade discussions in one of my league yesterday and a guy who was trying to give me Ian Kennedy and Chase Headley for Adam Wainwright told me “there isn’t a huge drop off between Wainwright and Kennedy.” Just thought I’d share that for some Friday chuckles.

Go Premium And Get Paid For those of you who are new to the site (or just haven’t seen this yet), we launched our premium section about 10 days ago and are offering a couple special deals!

For $25 per month, you’ll get

  • a DFS cheatsheet each and every day
  • access to a members-only weekly chat
  • DFS strategy articles
  • sabermetric-driven premium content
  • access to a weekly article that will be provided by a guest writer from within the fantasy industry

What are the special deals?

  • the first 20 premium will be entered to win a free Apple TV and we’re just about at 20, so make sure you lock in your 1 in 20 chance at winning a free Apple TV
  • sign up now as a June member and you’ll get the next two days of May for FREE!
  • If you sign up as a premium member, we’ll pay for your first $10 deposit on the daily fantasy sports site of your choice

Nerd Alert! The spelling bee always has some painfully hilarious moments and it didn’t disappoint this year.

Chasing Saves For those of you who (like me) are always on the lookout for cheap saves.

  • Jason Grilli picked up the save for the Pirates on Thursday and looks to be the closer going forward since Mark Melancon pitched the eighth. I wouldn’t go nuts dropping Melancon just yet, but I think he’s probably hit the end of his usefulness in the saves category.
  • Chad Qualls picked up the save for the Astros again and hasn’t given up a run in 13 straight appearances now. Oh, and he’s only 26% owned in ESPN leagues.
  • Ernesto Frieri picked up the save again for the Angels and I think it’s safe to say who the closer is. Joe Smith is still worth holding onto in deep leagues, but I wouldn’t expect a ton of saves out of him unless Frieri blows up again (which is always possible).
  • John Axford has been pitching better lately and I still think Francona will go back to him at some point, so he’s worth a grab if someone gave up on him.
  • You may have noticed that Joe Nathan has been at the top of the 5 Duds list two days in a row now. I don’t think he’ll lose his job any time soon, but if you’re trying to stay ahead of the curve just in case he does…I’d be giving Joba Chamberlain a look.

Phoenix This album is about six or seven years old, but Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix is such an underrated album (and I say that as a complete album). All the songs are really good on their own, but it’s not that often these days that you can just press play on an entire album and not have to skip shitty songs.

Better Than Average Your batting average leaders so far (average in parentheses):

  1. Troy Tulowitzki (.369)
  2. Yasiel Puig (.348)
  3. Victor Martinez (.344)
  4. Chase Utley (.328)
  5. Alexei Ramirez (.327)
  6. Robinson Cano (.327)
  7. Jonathan Lucroy (.326)
  8. Alex Rios (.325)
  9. Jose Altuve (.325)
  10. Matt Adams (.325)

Lots of top picks in there, huh?

Brain Explosion If you like space and other Carl Sagan-type things, this article is AWESOME. Talk to you in two weeks when you pick all the pieces of your brain up off the floor.

Come Play! Our friends at DraftStreet launched their Baseball Championship recently and have qualifier tournaments running weekly. Some of the qualifier tournaments have higher fees, so we’ll be offering $1 satellite tournaments that will get you free entry into a qualifier if you win them. If you then win you’re qualifier tournament, you’ll be one of 80 people who will be fighting for a $1M prize in early September. Ready to risk $1 in the hopes of turning into $1M? Let’s do it!

Not to be outdone, our buddies at FanDuel are going to be running a full week of contests in August with over $5M over guaranteed prizes. The contests are both live in Las Vegas and online and they have a bunch of different contests in terms of buy-ins and prizes. Come find out more here and sign up!

The Air Up There Home Run/Fly Ball percentage is always an interesting stat to look at when you’re trying to figure out if a player is going to keep up a power surge. What HR/FB basically boils down to is basically how many fly balls that a player hits turn into home runs. Like BABIP, you can’t really just look at a current year’s number in a vacuum…you have to compare it to a player’s historical stats to see if there is something is awry. If a player has been hitting a ton of home runs and has a much higher-than-normal HR/FB ratio as compared to their career numbers, there is probably a power outage on the horizon.

Here are the current HR/FB% leaders (with their current HR/FB% on the left in parentheses and their career HR/FB% on the right in parentheses):

  1. Jose Abreu (37.5%/NA)
    verdict: who knows, but I’d have to think he won’t keep up this pace when he’s healthy
  2. Nelson Cruz (28.8%/17.4%)
    verdict: That’s a big difference. I think his HR pace will slow down a tad
  3. Troy Tulowitzki (27.5%/15.6%)
    verdict: He’s capable of keeping this up, but that’s a big difference
  4. Michael Morse (26.2%/18.5%)
    verdict: He’s had similar percentages before, so I think he’ll be OK
  5. Giancarlo Stanton (25.4%/24.9%)
    verdict: Nothing to see here. He’ll keep raking
  6. Mark Reynolds (25.0%/20.4%)
    verdict: If you can deal with a shitty BA, the HRs will keep coming
  7. Justin Upton (23.6%/14.9%)
    verdict: The numbers point to regression, but I’m not that worried
  8. Yasiel Puig (20.8%/21.4%)
    verdict: see Stanton, Giancarlo
  9. Chris Davis (20.6%/22.3%)
    verdict: We could be in for some fireworks
  10. Carlos Gomez (20.4%/10.8%)
    verdict: his HR/FB ratio has been trending upwards, but I still think some regression is on the horizon here

Asshole of the Day Setting the women’s rights movement back at least 100 years. Congrats, douche.

Full Stream Ahead Three streaming options I like for today:

  1. Ian Kennedy: I’m not sure Kennedy can be considered a spot starter (he’s almost just as good as Adam Wainwright, after all), but I like him against a depleted White Sox lineup that has been scuffling over the last week.
  2. J.A. Happ: I’ll never trust Happ, but he’s coming off seven scoreless innings and the Royals have a .647 team OPS against lefties (good for fourth-worst in the league). They’ve also only hit six home runs against lefties all season.
  3. Brandon Workman: Workman was pretty good as a starter at the end of last season and even though he’s coming off a five inning/three earned run performance against the Rays last week, they only hit .227 as a team on the road and only hit .247 as a team against righties.

Follow of the Day He’s one of the newer people that I’ve been following, but I’ve been enjoying what @Stevietpfl has been putting down. He’s an on-air host over and RotoGrinders and was a finalist in StarStreet’s PBC (basically, he knows shit when it comes to daily fantasy).

Batter vs Pitcher Really small sample sizes can dangerous, but sometimes they mean something too. Here are a few BvP “trends” to look out for today:

The Good

  • Justin Morneau is 5-for-12 with one home run against Corey Kluber in his career.
  • Brian McCann is 20-for-58 with eight home runs against Ricky Nolasco in his career.
  • Melky Cabrera is 5-for-14 with one home run against Jason Vargas in his career.
  • Evan Longoria is 4-for-7 with one home run against Brandon Workman in his career.
  • Jason Castro is 4-for-8 with one home run against Miguel Gonzalez in his career.
  • Adam Dunn is 3-for-5 with two home runs against Ian Kennedy in his career.
  • Mark Reynolds is 4-for-10 with one home run against Travis Wood in his career.
  • Starlin Castro is 10-for-24 against Marco Estrada in his career.
  • Jed Lowrie is 3-for-8 with one home run against Garrett Richards in his career.
  • Justin Smoak is 4-for-10 with two home runs against Justin Verlander in his career.
  • Ian Kinsler is 8-for-20 with three home runs against Hisashi Iwakuma in his career.

The Bad

  • David Wright is 3-for-21 against A.J. Burnett in his career.
  • Jose Bautista is 2-for-13 against Jason Vargas in his career.
  • Alcides Escobar is 1-for-12 against J.A. Happ in his career.
  • A.J. Pierzynski is 3-for-17 against David Price in his career.
  • Jason Heyward is hitless in seven career at-bats against Tom Koehler.
  • Jonathan Lucroy is 2-for-16 against Travis Wood is his career.
  • Carlos Gomez is 3-for-16 against Wood in his career.
  • Anthony Rizzo is 1-for-21 against Marco Estrada in his career.
  • Paul Goldschmidt is 1-for-9 against Mike Leake in his career.

Make sure you’re following the rest of the ProjectRoto team: Ryan HodgeMichael CliffordTerrance BridgettBroc MillerBrian ForresterJosh CollacchiAdam Pfeifer, and Craig Pliskin.

That’s it for today…see you on Monday! Have a great weekend, everyone.

Nick Raducanu

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