Actionable Items From Opening Day

1. Injuries

Keep track of these banged-up guys over the next couple of days to see if replacements will need to be rostered.

2. Eighth hitters in the National League.

These guys see their fantasy stats, specially stolen bases, suffer because they are hitting in front of the pitcher. I examined the effect a few years back.

The hitter’s SBs increase quite a bit, especially if they are moved to the lead off spot. They go from averaging just 6 SB to 22 SB over 600 PA. Also, SB jump by 9 by moving to the 7th position.

While these aren’t great hitters, a few are being counted on to provide some stolen bases.

NL #8 Batters
Name Team Steamer600 SB Projection
Anthony Alford Pirates 24
Garrett Hampson Rockies 22
Miguel Rojas Marlins 10
Cristian Pache Braves 10
David Bote Cubs 7
Austin Barnes Dodgers 7
Luis Urias Brewers 7
Adam Haseley Phillies 7
Justin Williams Cardinals 6
Stephen Vogt Diamondbacks 4
Tucker Barnhart Reds 3
Victor Caratini Padres 2

3. Velocity and spin rate changes

With velocity changes, it’s important to know who is up or down right now, but be careful about overreacting. Some of these pitchers are throwing in cold weather and may not be on their A-game. I combed through the Savant’s Gamefeed, here are some pitchers who stood out to me.

Pitchers with Changing Fastballs
Name 2021 Avg FB Velo Change RPM Notes
Josh Hader 98.0 3.5 209
Freddy Peralta 95.8 2.8 4
Taylor Rogers 97.1 2.7 -26
Kolby Allard 93.9 2.4 -44
Sean Doolittle 93.0 2.3 73 37F at game start
Jose Alvarado 99.1 2.2 81
Corey Knebel 96.4 2.1 -8
Madison Bumgarner 90.3 1.9 165
Josh Lindblom 린드블럼 91.8 1.7 59
Emilio Pagan 96.2 1.7 151
Dylan Bundy 91.7 1.7 108
Kyle Gibson 93.8 1.6 99
Hansel Robles 96.8 1.4 -23
Daniel Bard 98.5 1.4 116
Brad Keller 93.7 1.4 -6 76% fastballs. Not ideal
Kenta Maeda 91.9 1.1 8
Brandon Woodruff 97.4 1.1 -146
Mark Melancon 93.0 1.1 112
Tyler Glasnow 97.9 1.0 8
Lucas Giolito 95.0 1.0 130
Taylor Clarke 94.7 0.4 -290
Chad Kuhl 93.7 -0.2 370
Alex Reyes 97.2 -0.6 -256 37F at game start
Aaron Nola 92.0 -0.8 6 All non-fastball down over 1 mph
Stefan Crichton 91.4 -0.9 -96
Matthew Boyd 90.6 -1.1 -4 Snowing
Alec Mills 88.7 -1.1 -15
Archie Bradley 92.9 -1.3 -1
Jack Flaherty 92.5 -1.5 1 37F at game start
Kevin Gausman 93.6 -1.5 -36
Kyle Hendricks 85.8 -1.6 62
J.B. Wendelken 92.9 -1.7 -41
Shane Bieber 92.2 -1.9 -125 Snowing
Alex Young 88.5 -1.9 -115
Hector Neris 91.7 -2.1 -6
Scott Alexander 90.8 -2.3 -159
Luis Castillo 94.9 -2.6 -20 37F at game start

4. Max exit velocity gainers.

A new high in Max Exit Velocity over 108 mph (explanation here) can point to a power uptick. Two hitters improved off their 2020 highs.

Hitters with New Max EV
Name 2020 Max EV 2021 Max EV Gain
Austin Riley 111.1 112.1 1.0
Michael Brantley 105.3 109.2 3.9

Brantley’s bump is pretty dramatic. He had not hit a ball that had since 2017.





Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

newest oldest most voted
Joe Joe
Member
Member
Joe Joe

Brantley had 2 EVs last night exceeding his 2020. Not sure if that means much.

Joe Joe
Member
Member
Joe Joe

And 2 more tonight…

carter
Member
Member
carter

Brantley is a good hitter. He is a student of the game, it would not surprise me if he worked out in the offseason in such a way that he would be able to increase his max EV.