• Roto Riteup
    The most roto-relevant news of the previous day, recapped in a concise format for your morning coffee.
  • Bullpen Report
    Detailed daily updates and charts on every bullpen in the Major Leagues to help you manage your saves and holds.
  • Prospect Coverage
    Our prospect team mines the minors for top prospects and useful pieces alike.
  • MASH Report
    Award-winning in-depth injury report with analysis from Jeff Zimmerman.
  • The Sleeper and The Bust Podcast
    Paul Sporer, Justin Mason, and Jason Collette lead the RotoGraphs staff in a regular fantasy podcast.
  • Daily Fantasy Strategy
    The RotoGraphs team discusses daily fantasy strategy and then makes picks for the day.
  • Ottoneu Strategy
    Strategy for the year-round FanGraphs Fantasy game.
  • Top 50 Fantasy Prospects
    Marc Hulet adjusts (and updates) his prospect list for fantasy purposes.
  • Field of Streams
    A contest to see who can make the better picks: streaming pitcher and hitter choices for every day of the season in a podcast hosted by Dylan Higgins and Matthew Dewoskin.
C  -  1B  -  2B  -  SS  -  3B  -  OF  -  SP  -  RP

Fantasy Relievers on Non-Contenders: Royals

The Royals’ closer situation is distinctly different from those of the teams already previewed in this series on bullpens for likely non-contenders. The Marlins and Diamondbacks will almost certainly be auditioning relievers for various roles — including closer — in spring training. Will Smith figures to be the Giants’ opening day closer if he sticks around, but it seem likely he will get dealt. The same goes for the Orioles and Mychal Givens, and if they don’t trade their incumbent closer this spring, it could easily happen at some point during the season.

Wily Peralta would appear to be the Royals’ equivalent of Givens. He took over as the team’s closer shortly after Kelvin Herrera was traded to the Nationals in last June, and he converted all 14 of his save chances. But whereas Givens’ most likely path to losing his job is getting traded to a team that uses him in a different role, Peralta could get ousted as closer without leaving Kansas City. While he throws hard and, at least in 2018, got a lot of weak ground ball contact, there is little else in Peralta’s skill set that suggests he can be a consistently effective closer.
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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 628 – Drafting UT-Only Players w/Ian Kahn


The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is brought to you by Out of the Park Baseball 19, the best baseball strategy game ever made – available NOW on PC, Mac, and Linux platforms! Check the new Perfect Team mode Go to ootpdevelopments.com to order now and save 10% with the code SLEEPER19!

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Notable Transactions/Rumors/Articles

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Brad Johnson Baseball Chat: 1/15/2019

Here’s the transcript to today’s fantasy chat.

Need More Bangers: hi brad!

Brad Johnson: Hi Bangers!

Brad Johnson: We’ll get started in a couple minutes.

Gabe Kapler: Who gets more saves- Robertson or Seranthony?

Brad Johnson: Robertson is a pretty safe bet

Brad Johnson: Not a lock by any means, but it’s the percentage play

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Top-250 Hitter Rankings & Comparison

It’s time to really get for the 2019 fantasy season and start and release out a set of hitter rankings to nitpick. In all fairness, some of the following projections need to be blown up. Normally, I just average several projections and use them for my fantasy values with great success. With a ‘wisdom of the crowd’ approach, I usually make sure one extreme value, high or low, doesn’t dominate my decision.

Some people get on me for just following these projections. Generally, I do follow them but just as a starting point. As I’ve shown this last week, I add in my own adjustments as I see fit into the baseline values. While Steamer has been out for a few months, other projections are now becoming available. Today, I just wanted to compare them to see who are some of the more divisive players.

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Justin Mason Baseball Chat- January, 15th 2019

Here is the transcript for today’s chat:



Justin Mason: Going to start shortly. Will be a shorter chat today, about 30-45 minutes. Please don’t repeat questions.


Justin Mason: If I don’t get to your question, you can always hit me up on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008744507752 or on twitter @justin


Justin Mason: @justinmasonfwfb


Justin Mason: Lots of cool stuff going on for me right now as well. New Sleeper and the bust should go up today, a bunch of pods at Friends with fantasy benefits and the new TGFBI pod dropped today in which you can hear how to win your way into the 2020 TGFBI


Faber: Why wouldn’t the Indians just trade Kluber for Senzel straight up?


Justin Mason: Because elite starting pitching is more expensive than that.

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Yasmani Grandal Heads to Milwaukee

Yesterday, catcher Yasmani Grandal signed a one-year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers, as he now joins his third team since 2012. Since he played for the Padres for three seasons and the Dodgers for four, if the pattern continues, the Brewers are going to sign him to a four-year deal next offseason to keep him in Milwaukee for five seasons! The now 30-year-old is coming off the best wOBA of his career. Let’s check in on the park factors to find out how much of an impact the change in parks might have on his 2019 performance.

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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 629 – Fireside Chat: SPs Outside the Top 50


The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is brought to you by Out of the Park Baseball 19, the best baseball strategy game ever made – available NOW on PC, Mac, and Linux platforms! Go to ootpdevelopments.com to order now and save 10% with the code SLEEPER19!

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SPs We Like Outside the Top 50:

  • NFBC ADP (set to 12/25/18 for the start date to follow along)

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Projection Adjustment: Tucker, Goodrum, Stewart, Ahmed, & Hays

My last few articles have been deep dives on hitters who I felt may need their projection adjusted. Today, I’m going through the last few. Remember, this analysis is focused on the player’s talent projection changing and not on playing time.

Kyle Tucker (220nd in NFBC ADP)

I knew Tucker would make this list before the list ever existed. The 22-year-old flew through the minors and just destroyed AAA with a .332/.400/.590 triple slash line last season. Once he got the majors, the results stunk with him hitting .141/.236 /.203 in just 72 plate appearances.

And now the xStats come to his rescue since he was extremely unlucky with his batted balls. Here are his various actual and expected values.

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A Minor Review of 2018: Los Angeles Angels

Welcome back to my annual off-season series that has a quick-and-dirty review of all 30 minor league systems around baseball. This feature began way back in 2008.

The Los Angeles Angels

First Taste of The Show: Jaime Barria, RHP: Barria was a godsend for the Angels’ rotation in 2018. He provided them with almost 130 innings of solid performance — owed almost exclusively to his slider… and a little luck. While he struggled with fastball command at times, Barria flashed above-average control at times, poise and that dangerous breaking ball. Going forward into 2019, he’ll want to try and keep more balls on the ground while spotting his fastball better and continuing to polish his changeup. He’s probably a stretch at anything more than a No. 4 starter but it’s possible he could settle into a mid-rotation innings-eater if he can make good on the above items.

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Pitch Type Performance: 2018 Summary

Shortly after the onset of last season, I dug into pitch-level statistics to see how much swinging strike rate (SwStr%), ground ball rate (GB%), and isolated power (ISO) varied by pitch type. I felt inspired after analyzing Madison Bumgarner before the 2018 season and noticed his fastball, once elite, was utterly broken after his dirt bike accident. (See his 2018 player caption and this July post in which I followed up MadBum’s lack of progress.) I felt encouraged by the praise the post received from readers and fellow analysts alike for the clarity it provided. I’d like to think it helped move the needle, even if only slightly, in terms of how we evaluate pitchers.

I wanted to refresh the guts of that post for the 2018 season with additional metrics. There’s not much else to discuss; this’ll be short and sweet. (I’ll toss in some gratuitous high-level analysis following these tables.)


  • All data is courtesy of PITCHf/x via Baseball Prospectus
  • All tables present average rates for starting pitchers only
  • Due to pitch tracking/stringing not being perfectly precise, the numbers below are highly accurate but not completely so and may not align exactly with FanGraphs’ batted ball data (for example, Baseball Info Solution strings far fewer line drives than does PITCHf/x)
  • Click headers to sort!

Batted ball outcomes by pitch:

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