Strand By Your Man

Nathan Eovaldi Fantasy Baseball
Photo By: CURTIS COMPTON / MCT

Yes, it’s early; we’re just 2+ weeks in to a very long season.  While we don’t have a lot to go on, statistically, I wanted to dissect a piece of what we’ve seen so far. Steven Martano just gave us a lesson on Stabilization Rates, so remember, a lot can change.  With that said, I want to take a look at strand rates, or Left On Base (LOB%) and see if we can learn anything about early performances so far in 2014.

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Can Ye Be Fairly Judged This Early?

We are two full weeks+ into the 2014 season, and people are already panicking about closer changes (SHOCK), draft pick ‘busts’ (take a deep breath, it’s early) and injuries (ok, sometimes, it’s worth panicking about injuries).  In this post, I’d like to discuss how to use periphery stats and stabilization concepts to make the most informed decision about a player you possibly can make at such an early stage in the season.  Hopefully, Faithful Reader, you have checked out our ‘Caught Looking’ podcast (link is right there, on the side of the page…go ahead, try it on, you can multi-task) and have gained some familiarity with the concepts to be discussed today.

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Is Cain Able?

Guess who?

Player A: ERA 5.06, 1.18 WHIP

Player B: ERA 2.36, 1.12 WHIP

Now this is easy, right?  Both because the player’s name is in the article title, and anytime a writer uses this device, the answer is usually that both are the same player.  In this case that guy is Matt Cain pre-allstar break and post allstar break.  Cain-er “the gamer” finished the year with a 4.00 ERA, but seemed to pitch much worse than that the whole year.  This begs the question, what do we do with Matt Cain moving forward for fantasy purposes, and what is a reasonable expectation?  Should we draft him according to his track record as it streches back nearly six years of pure horsepower material, or was last year a warning that Cain is no longer able to perform?

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Taking A Look at 10 Young Guns

Well, we’ve set sail on another amazing journey towards October week one is behind us, and the second full weekend of games upon us.    What have we learned so far: probably a whole lot of nothing based on small sample size (SSS).  Maybe we re-learned what we already knew (CC Sabbathia and Jared Weaver’s velo is gone and likely NOT coming back, the Tigers have *extremely* good pitching, and Mike Trout is from another planet.
This is Part I of my Prospects and Young Guns Profile Perspective where I will be taking a look at the ceiling and floors of rookies and second-year players who have yet to play an entire season (the threshold is 100 innings pitched prior to the start of the 2014 season).  We’ll start with active MLB pitchers in this edition, and will expand to include active MLB positional players and eventually what I describe as “Next Gen” players who may be called up this June, or some point in the foreseeable future.

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Go Big or Go Home-Ryan Noonan’s Bold Predictions for 2014

TuloCargo Fantasy baseballAs we get closer to the start of the 2014 MLB season, you’ll see a lot of prognosticators making predictions for the upcoming season.You can add this one to this list! Never wanting to miss out on the fun, I thought I’d take a swing at some bold predictions for the upcoming fantasy season. Don’t forget to check out our new podcast, ‘Caught Looking Fantasy Baseball Podcast’, find it on ITunes and subscribe! Also you can find me on Twitter, @RyNoonan.

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Ryan Noonan-2014 Fantasy Baseball Top 25

Ah, baseball season. My favorite time of the year. Well, actually this is my favorite time of the year, fantasy baseball PREP season! I love getting ready for drafts. With that in mind, here’s a quick preview of my top 25 players heading into the 2014 season. You’ll see that I put a higher premium on elite bats and I tend to not worry about position scarcity in the first couple rounds, leaning heavily on offense when constructing my roster. I’ve made note of each players current ADP here as well.  Questions or comments are welcome below, and you can find me on Twitter, @RyNoonan .

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Go Out On A Limb…That’s Where the Fruit Is

Granted, we here at The Fantasy Report pride ourselves with not ending sentences with intransitive verbs, but Will Rogers’ quote applies in this case, thus the author has chosen to make an exception for his title.
Not to be outdone by my colleague @RyNoonan, I too have some interesting, and dare we say BOLD predictions for this upcoming season.  We have touched upon several topics in our podcast ‘Caught Looking‘, including overvalued players going too high in ADP and potential breakout candidates.  There are some diamonds in the rough who can be drafted late in a draft, and there are guys who are going early, who I think will have magnificent years.  As always, commentary and disagreement welcome, you can find me at @SMartano.  I hope you all enjoyed Opening Weekend (sort of…)!

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Starting Pitchers – Change of Scenery

We are seeing a trend where young stars get locked up to large contracts before entering the FA market, but as always, this offseason, there were mid-tier and lower-tier starting pitchers who changed teams.  Fantasy leagues are won on the margins via gems drafted at the back-end of a draft, waiver wire pickups, platooning and properly streamed starters (particularly in head-to-head leagues).  Below we attempt to analyze whether or not the changes in home parks for the starting pitchers provide additional value, or create a ‘stay away’ situation.  By using three characteristics outside of the control of the pitcher, we can make assumptions and projections based on last year’s numbers to develop 2014 projections.  I have taken a look at all ten pitchers whose average draft position is in the top 100 for SPs.

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