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    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.
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    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.
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    The RotoGraphs team discusses daily fantasy strategy and then makes picks for the day.
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    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

NL Lineup Analysis (5/23/19)

You’ve been waiting for it…Gabe Kapler finally made a change to his lineup, and it’s not one of those one-and-done types of changes. That — and some changes impacting catchers — are among the more notable developments in National League lineups this week.


There are no major changes here. With Wilmer Flores (foot) going on the IL, there is an opportunity for Ildemaro Vargas to get some starts against left-handed starters. Perhaps Ketel Marte will play a little more often at second base, giving Jarrod Dyson a slight boost in playing time in center field. Maybe Dyson’s start against left-handed Matt Strahm on Tuesday was more than just a random occurrence.
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The 10: Biggest Fallers in 2nd Chance Leagues

The NFBC kicked off their Memorial Day 2nd Chance leagues last night with three drafts completed and we now have some average draft position (ADP) data to digest. I have my 2CL (is that a cool abbreviation for “2nd Chance League”?) this Friday evening and I’ll be streaming it live on Twitch if you have any interest in watching it. I want to dive in on the biggest fallers here today with some caveats. Or at least one major caveat: my cutoff is the first 15 rounds.

I want to see who is still be taken with some expectation of performance while sustaining a major fall in their cost. The actual biggest droppers without limits are the obvious injury guys. The single biggest fall from the spring Rotowire Online Championship leagues (12-team format to stay consistent with the 2CLs) is Travis Shaw who has the double whammy of injury and severe underperformance. He’s gone from the 95th player chosen on average to the 362nd last night, a colossal 267-pick drop. Miguel Andujar (347th), Jameson Taillon (312th), Luis Severino (280th), and Nathan Eovaldi (390th) are also unsurprisingly amongst the nine players with a 200+ pick dip.

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AL Lineup Analysis (5/23/19)


  • The lineup was getting into a routine until Andrelton Simmons busted up his ankle and headed to the IL. Some of the regulars moved around with Lis Rengifo taking over the second base duties and hitting at the bottom of the lineup.
  • Albert Pujols has started three of the last six games at first base with Jared Walsh the other three times. Pujols may already be wearing down.


  • A once steady lineup has seen some changes with George Springer dealing with a bad back and Jose Altuve out with a strained hamstring. Aledmys Diaz (.279/.313/.512) and Jake Marisnick (.284/.344/.545) have performed decently in their absence.
  • It seems that Tyler White (.643 OPS) was sitting more with Josh Reddick (.845 OPS) being the DH until Springer got hurt. When Springer returns, White will likely head back to the bench.


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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 694 – Talking SMART with Glenn Colton


The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is brought to you by Out of the Park Baseball 20, 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 SLEEPER20!

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Bullpen Report: May 23, 2019

Wade Davis went on the IL yesterday with an oblique strain. Thankfully the injury is not considered to be too severe but in his place for saves will be Scott Oberg. Oberg has been an effective set up man this year with a 1.77 ERA but under the hood tells a different story with a 4.70/4.91/5.31 FIP/xFIP/SIERA. Oberg has thrown 20.1 innings and only has 13 strikeouts with 11 walks. His SwStr% suggests a few more whiffs may be coming but the overall profile looks like someone who might get a few saves but hurt your ratios. Behind him is Carlos Estevez and Bryan Shaw. Shaw has the “experience” but he’s carrying a 5.70 ERA this year with Estevez looking like the most promising option of the three but Oberg will be getting the first crack at saves. Estevez has a 3.27 ERA and solid peripherals with a fantastic 15.6% SwStr% and 29 strikeouts against 8 walks in 22 innings. It’s tough to trust a reliever in Colorado that isn’t getting saves but Oberg might not have a long leash if he struggles so I would keep an eye out for Estevez as well.

Shawn Kelley has been off of the IL for two days and he’s closed two doors in that time, getting another save last night against the Mariners, striking out a pair for his 4th save this year. Jose Leclerc’s return to saves is likely imminent but until then Kelley should see the save chances. Regarding Leclerc, he’s been so up and down but in his last four appearances he has 5.1 innings pitched with 11 strikeouts and no walks and a 19.7% SwStr%. Leclerc’s velocity has been fine all year but he was struggling with missing bats and his control, if the last few outings show anything he might be back to where he was. He will likely never be a control artist but if he’s getting whiffs again he should provide solid value here on out, assuming he takes over the closer’s chair soon.

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The Daily Grind: DFS At Noon

Today’s main slate runs at 12:10pm ET on most sites. So, uh, get to it.

Also, there will be no Daily Grind tomorrow or next Monday. I will be out on vacation.


  1. TDG Invitational
  2. Weather Reports
  3. Pitchers to Use and Abuse
  4. SaberSim Says…
  5. A Thorne In The Orioles Side

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He’s Hit How Many Homers?!

Home runs are up across the land and since 2002, the league average HR/FB rate has hit a new high, rising above 14% for the first time and above the previous high set just two years ago. Related, the league AB/HR has fallen to a new low, also beating out 2017. Batters are now homering once every 25.9 at-bats. It hasn’t all been the same top guys just hitting more. There have also been a slew of new home run kings so far this season. Let’s identify them and discuss.

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Roto Riteup: May 23, 2019

“If you fall I will catch you I’ll be waiting”

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Assessing Some SP Stragglers

As we wind down the second month of the season, stat lines are beginning to take shape and we certainly feel like we know more about how the season will unfold. There are definitely some things happening early on that you can put some weight into, but we still have four months left in the season, too, meaning a lot will still change.

Through May last year, Zack Wheeler had a 5.40 ERA, Luis Castillo was at 5.49, Jameson Taillon was at 4.53, and Masahiro Tanaka was at 4.62. German Marquez was at 4.21, but that would balloon to 5.53 five starts later and of course we know that from there, he absolutely went off. Afterthoughts like Mike Minor, Danny Duffy, Mike Fiers, Derek Holland, Lance Lynn and even Alex Cobb all had ERAs north of 5.00 and were left for dead through May before finding extended periods of fantasy relevance throughout the summer. Minor was downright all-formats viable from June on.

Let’s look at some of the biggest strugglers through two months and discuss what the future might have in store for them.

(in descending order by ERA)

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Fixing xFIP, Pt. 2: SP/RP Splits

Last week, I recommended an improvement for expected fielding independent pitching (xFIP) without dismantling the original FIP framework upon which it was built. FIP describes the relationship between ERA and strikeouts, walks, and home runs allowed; xFIP does the same but attempts to remove the luck component from home runs by multiplying the number of fly balls a pitcher allows by the league-average rate of home runs to fly balls (HR/FB) — the rationale being HR/FB is notoriously fickle to project year to year.

The recommendation: change HR/FB to include line drives (LDs) and exclude infield fly balls (IFFBs, aka pop-ups). It’s worth noting our dark overlord David Appelman once explained how removing pop-ups from aggregate fly balls insignificantly affects xFIP. Additionally, less than 1% of line drives result in home runs. The recommendation, then, seems like the merging of two separate but equally fruitless endeavors, given the facts.

Yet changing the HR/FB component in xFIP to be “HR/(oFB + LD)” substantially improved the metric’s correlation with same-year ERA. Adjusted r2, which measure the strength of relationship from 0 to 1, increased from 0.42 to 0.55 using Statcast data (0.44 to 0.53 using FanGraphs data). I hypothesize that, when added to fly balls, line drives (despite resulting in very few home runs) give a more holistic indication of the average contact quality and launch angle a pitcher allows.

Today’s recommendation: account for start/relief splits.

Although I thought of this independently, the idea itself is far from an original one. Read the rest of this entry »