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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.
  • 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.
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    The RotoGraphs team discusses daily fantasy strategy and then makes picks for the day.
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    Strategy for the year-round FanGraphs Fantasy game.
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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

The Truth About Pitch Values

It seems as though each year, fantasy baseball analysts, “professional” and amateur alike, hone in on a new — or, if not new, then relatively untouched — metric or data set for their endlessly eager consumption. In 2015, FanGraphs introduced batted ball data to its leaderboards. In 2016, Statcast data was unveiled, although it arguably didn’t become popular until 2017, and before the 2017 season FanGraphs changed the game with its splits leaderboard. Baseball Prospectus has introduced myriad new metrics, too — DRA in 2015, DRC+ last year, etc. — and we began to lean into pitch-specific performance analysis last year. (The latter-most topic is relevant to what follows here.)

I recently joined Christopher Welsh and Scott Bogman of In This League on their podcast. I thought one of the evening’s questions was particularly topical and prescient (and I paraphrase): What will 2019’s it metric be? The question was asked with pitch values, something I’ve seen garner increasing attention on Twitter, in mind.

You can acquaint yourself with pitch values directly from the man who created them:

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The Increasing Popularity of Deep Dynasty Leagues

Deep dynasty leagues are becoming increasingly popular. Today, I’d like to talk about my experiences with the format, things to look for when joining a league, and what this means for the fantasy baseball industry.

Let’s start by defining a “deep” dynasty league. This is a flexible concept. In a recent poll, I said the following: “Let’s define “deep” as any mixed league that rosters 700 or more players leaguewide or any AL/NL Only with 350 or more players. At least half of players are kept.”

Again, the exact definition can vary. What matters is that the league operates on a completely different level than the most common fantasy formats. Those are 12-team redraft with roto or head-to-head scoring. There are also dynasty leagues with similar dynamics to these more common formats. Participants in these leagues can use existing resources for redraft leagues with a little mental tinkering. The norms of the industry still apply in a general sense even if there are some specific quirks.

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A Minor Review of 2018: Texas Rangers

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 Texas Rangers

If you were perusing the series back in late 2013, you would have read this:

The Sleeper: Odubel Herrera, 2B: An offensive-minded infielder, Herrera impressed me with his offensive potential in 2012. Unfortunately, he found Double-A to be more of a challenge and the 21-year-old finished the year back in High-A ball after being passed on the depth chart by fellow middle infield prospects Odor and Luis Sardinas. The 2014 season will be a key one for Herrera, who needs to avoid getting completely lost in the shuffle.

Now on to the new stuff:

First Taste of The Show: Ronald Guzman, 1B: The Rangers invested quite heavily in both Nomar Mazara and Guzman during the 2011 international free agency and both made good on their potential… with Guzman taking a little longer to develop. He has a huge frame that generates significant raw power but struggles to reach that pop in game situations. He’s still polishing his eye at plate and produced a modest 33-121 BB-K rate in his big league debut.

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2018 Fly Ball Pull Percentage Surgers

Alas, we have reached the final 2018 pair of recaps of the primary components of my xHR/FB rate equation, fly ball pull percentage (FBP%). Simply, it’s easier to hit a homer to the pull side. Why? Because the fences are closer down the lines than to center field. Plus, hitters are typically able to generate more power when pulling the ball, so they hit their pulled flies harder, plus those pulled flies don’t have to travel as far to jump over the fence for a dinger. So let’s find out which hitters with at least 30 fly balls enjoyed a FBP% surge of at least 10%.

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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

1/15/19

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.

3:59
Need More Bangers: hi brad!

3:59
Brad Johnson: Hi Bangers!

3:59
Brad Johnson: We’ll get started in a couple minutes.

4:01
Gabe Kapler: Who gets more saves- Robertson or Seranthony?

4:01
Brad Johnson: Robertson is a pretty safe bet

4:01
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:

 

9:00

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

9:01

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

9:02

Justin Mason: @justinmasonfwfb

9:03

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

9:03

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

9:03

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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