Archive for April, 2017

Bullpen Report: April 30, 2017

It was another exciting weekend for bullpen activity across the major leagues. There were several late blown leads, and there could be multiple role changes this week. On Saturday, we witnessed one of the most improbable 9th-inning comebacks in recent memory. Since there was so much activity on both days this weekend, this report is broken into two sections, one for each day:


  • Bud Norris continued to shine as the fill-in for the injured Cam Bedrosian. With the Angels leading 4-2, Norris entered in the 8th inning with two on and two out. He struck out Rougned Odor to end the inning, then came back out for the 9th with the Angels up by three. After walking Elvis Andrus to start the inning, Norris struck out the next three batters he faced ­— Joey Gallo, Shin-Soo Choo, and Mike Napoli — to notch his fifth save of the season (and of his career). In 14 innings this season, Norris has 19 strikeouts against six walks and zero home runs allowed, good for a 2.57 ERA/1.78 FIP/2.97 xFIP. The formerly mediocre starting pitcher has been lights out for the Halos, and may be worth owning in deeper leagues even after Bedrosian returns. Bedrosian hasn’t started throwing yet in his attempt to return from a groin injury that has kept him out of action since April 21.

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The Daily Grind: A Sumptuous Sunday

Welcome to the struggle and grind. It’s weekend TDG!


  1. Weather Reports
  2. Pitchers to Use and Abuse
  3. Players to Avoid
  4. SaberSim Says…

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Roto Riteup April 30, 2017

Cody Bellinger hit his first major-league home run Saturday night against the Phillies. He then followed that with his second major-league home run.

The thing that I like the most about Bellinger is the fact that he’s so athletic for a first baseman. He has a lot of power and when he was pitching in high school that power paralleled to his arm. He also evens himself out defensively and obviously shows he can play anywhere. Read the rest of this entry »

The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 451 – We’re Getting a Divorce!


The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is brought to you by Out of the Park Baseball 18, the best baseball strategy game ever made – available NOW on PC, Mac, and Linux platforms! Go to to order now and save 10% with the code SLEEPER18!

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Notable Transactions/Rumors/Articles/Game Play

Strategy Section: 2-Start Pitchers


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Roto Riteup April 29, 2017

Sometimes we aren’t lucky and we jinx people. I wrote in the Riteup Friday, I was obsessed with Adam Eaton. I still am, but Friday night, he left the game with a leg injury in the ninth inning. It looked pretty scary. He collapsed once he reached first and was carried off the field. It looked like it was his left ankle that was in distress and he will undergo an MRI Saturday so we will keep you updated with that.

Still, it doesn’t look good, so anticipate your team being M.I.A without him for a while. Read the rest of this entry »

#2xSP (5.1-5.7)

We’re back at it after an up-and-down start to Week 3, but I think we have a fairly good trio — including oddly enough, a holdover — heading into Week 4. Let’s dive right in.

Here’s how we’re doing so far this season (through half of Week 3):

5-4 record
3.18 ERA
8.7 K/9
2.1 K/BB
1.35 WHIP
7 quality starts

Here are this week’s recs (with team wRC+ for this season in parentheses):

LHP Hector Santiago – 23.9% ESPN – v. OAK (106), v. BOS (99)

Santiago’s one of those guys who won’t wow you on the mound, but you look up in the fifth and you’re down 4-2 and aren’t sure how he’s kept you at bay. He works high in the zone with a low-90s fastball and doesn’t have especially good control, but just battles with every pitch and executes when he needs to. He’s been a consistent FIP beater for his entire career, which makes it sort of crazy that he was traded for Ricky Nolasco — among others — considering the latter does the exact opposite. What stands out for Santiago this year — in addition to improved walk rates — is that he’s changed his changeup grip and it appears to be working wonders. It has a little less fade than his screwball — which he still throws — and that allows him simply another look with which to attack batters. So far, that changeup has a 14 percent whiff rate this season — well above the 9.6 percent mark he’s had on it over his career.

RHP Robert Gsellman – 14.1% ESPN – @ATL (88), v. MIA (93)

I know the Braves pummeled him last time out — Kurt Suzuki? C’mon man! — but I’ll always gamble on the talent, and I love Gsellman in that respect. He’s still striking out a batter per inning and putting the ball on the ground (57.1 percent), and even despite the fact that he’s facing the Braves for a second time in a row, I think he can beat up on both of these teams. If you like someone else better that’s fine, but I’ll always, always gamble on the talent in these things.

LHP Daniel Norris – 11.9% ESPN – v. CLE (112), @OAK (106)

I really liked Norris last year — 9.2 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, 3.38 ERA — and think he’s bound to round into form here eventually. This is another “gamble on the talent” kind of guy, with a higher groundball rate and lower home run rate than last year. To me, those things are tougher to correct than walk and strikeout rates, where he’s faltering compared to last season. His velo is up and he’s throwing more sliders….I think the strikeouts are just around the corner.

Paul Sporer Baseball Chat – April 28th, 2017

Chat starts around 2:15 CT!

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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 450 – Fast Starting Hitters


The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is brought to you by Out of the Park Baseball 18, the best baseball strategy game ever made – available NOW on PC, Mac, and Linux platforms! Go to to order now and save 10% with the code SLEEPER18!

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Leading Off: Question of the Day

Notable Transactions/Rumors/Articles/Game Play

Strategy Section: Fast Starts


As usual, don’t hesitate to tweet us or comment with fantasy questions.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or via the feed. Please rate & review the show in iTunes letting us know what you think!

Approximately 97 minutes of joyous analysis.

The Chacon Zone: Early Season Relief

Tumult and turnover has plagued bullpens far earlier than they did last season. Already, just shy of the four-week mark, we’ve seen closers relieved of duties in Washington and Philadelphia due to poor performance, lost to injury in Los Angeles (AL) and Baltimore, and in Texas, we’ve seen volatility due to some combination of the two. Oakland continues to confound us with a bullpen-by-committee and up and down the closer grid, last year’s elite and upper tier closers struggle.

Here in the Chacon Zone, we search for those widely available middle relievers toiling away in waiver wire obscurity, who may prove more productive than less talented pitchers benefiting from ninth inning opportunity. Luckily for save punters and deep leaguers, there are plenty to discuss.

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Ottoneu 101: Is it too early to sell?

If you’ve ever played Ottoneu, you likely realized that it’s a different fantasy format. The 40-man rosters are deep, and the player universe is much larger than the standard fantasy offering. There are auctions for nearly all acquisitions, and during the season there is no FAAB (just the money you decide to budget for free agents.) However, perhaps the biggest difference between Ottoneu and other formats is the playoff structure. Ottoneu doesn’t have one.

Ottoneu is a season long race, starting the first day of the regular season and ending with the season’s final game. The objective is pretty simple. Score more points over your allotted game and innings caps than your opponents. If you aren’t playing in a money league, or your league has not designed some added incentives of their own, then there likely aren’t incentives to finish in second place relative to twelfth. Read the rest of this entry »