Author Archive

Lloyd McClendon’s History With Closers

After the Bullpen Report posted last night, Fernando Rodney blew a save against the Dodgers. Given that he allowed four runs and six base runners in his previous outing on Sunday, my baseball writer-heavy Twitter feed was awash with the names Danny Farquhar and Yoervis Medina with the pseudo-hipsters of the group bringing up Carson Smith’s name.

Some seem to think Rodney has already lost the closer’s job or will imminently, while others simply think he won’t last the year with the job. Given that he has 133 saves in the last three years and saved 48 games last year while blowing just two, I’m not as convinced that his job is in much danger. But to get a better idea, I want to take a look at Lloyd McClendon’s history dealing with struggling closers.  Read the rest of this entry »

Most Added/Dropped Shortstops

Early season roster moves aren’t something I’m a fan of, but bottom-of-the-roster turnover is a constant reality for fantasy owners. Let’s take a look at the shortstops who have seen their ownership percentages rise and fall the most after one week (according to ESPN) in the constant waiver wire shuffle. Read the rest of this entry »

Selling High on Bad Closers

Neftali Feliz and LaTroy Hawkins both picked up their first saves of the season last night. Per ESPN’s live draft results, Feliz was drafted as the 25th reliever off the board on average and just inside the top 200 overall. Hawkins was drafted 38th among relievers and went at pick 226 overall. These are a couple of the names you wound up with if you chose not to pay for saves.

Maybe I’m wrong about this, but I assume the plan if you own guys like Feliz and Hawkins is to ride them out as long as they hold on to the closer’s job and squeeze as many saves out of them as you can. I ascribe to the “don’t pay for saves” philosophy and scrounge around late in drafts and on the waiver wire to acquire my saves. Typically when I get a guy who has the ninth inning job, I ride it out until he loses the job. But it occurs to me, as it may have occurred to you, that maybe it’s better to cash in that asset after a string of un-blown saves. Read the rest of this entry »

Differences in Daily Scoring Systems

The 12:15 P.M. EST slot here on Mondays is supposed to have something to do with shortstops. Jhonny Peralta went 1-for-5 with two strikeouts last night, and Starlin Castro went 1-for-4 with a strikeout. Quota met?

I’ll get back to shortstops in short order, but without any 2015 results to parse or season long fantasy advice to give, I’m going to discuss some daily fantasy strategy. I typically play on DraftKings but have plenty of followers who play on FanDuel, and I’m taking part in an expert daily fantasy accuracy contest this season that will take place on FanDuel. For that reason, I wanted to take a quick look at how the scoring systems on each site differ. Read the rest of this entry »

Using ZiPS Hitter Splits for DFS

Utilizing splits in DFS research is obviously a big part of the decision-making process. The platoon split is all too real, and we’d be crazy not to factor it in to our process. I would imagine the most common way DFS players consider platoon splits is by looking at something like wOBA or wRC+ versus left and right handed pitching to discern which players have pronounced splits or even reverse splits on occasion (cough Adam Jones cough).

But looking at stats like wOBA or wRC+ doesn’t exactly translate to a specific daily site’s scoring system. If a player has a wOBA of .360 against left-handed pitching and a wOBA of .340 against right-handed pitching, how does that translate to the counting stats he might put up on a given day? Read the rest of this entry »

The Tigers Rotation: Not as Good, But You Knew That

The Detroit rotation trailed only the Washington staff in WAR last year, and the Nationals went out and signed Detroit’s best starter. Along with Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello and Drew Smyly will be pitching elsewhere this year, so the Tigers are without three of the six starters that made at least 10 starts for them last year. The pitchers filling those voids are….underwhelming. It’s an understatement to say the gap between the Washington and Detroit rotations is going to grow this year. Read the rest of this entry »

Shortstop Tiers: March

Shortstop is a perennially shallow position, but for quite some time Troy Tulowitzki, Hanley Ramirez and, to some extent, Jose Reyes have made it a top heavy position. Unfortunately, each one of those guys has an age that now starts with a three instead of a two, and they ain’t as good as they once was (yeah, that’s a Toby Keith link). More unfortunately, no one has supplanted them at the top of the positional ranks. There are a couple of young names that could significantly outpace every other shortstop at some point, but for now there is no one that seems likely to reach those heights. Assuming you don’t go with one of the aging, top options, you’ll be choosing between young guys with value potential but low floors, or more projectable, lower ceiling veterans. Read the rest of this entry »

Nothing But Negative Predictions

Last week we did bold predictions. As a commenter on my post pointed out, the majority of the staff’s predictions were of the positive nature. More “player x will reach or exceed y” than “player x will fail to reach y.” My predictions were ten guys who I think could give you starter-level production in 12-team mixed leagues despite not being ranked as a starter by a single expert whose rankings are compiled by

Today I’ll do the opposite and identify at least one hitter from each position who is ranked as a starter by every FantasyPros expert that I think might not end up with starter-level production. To be clear, these predictions do not come with the claim of being bold, although I think some of them are. And I’m also not of the opinion that most of these will come true. But even if these guys don’t turn out to be busts, they are candidates to underperform and are guys I’ll likely be avoiding.

If you’d like to see my personal ranks, both overall and positional, I’ve got them in a Google doc here. Read the rest of this entry »

Brett Talley’s 10 Bold Predictions

According to my mother, I’m the most stubborn person on the planet. I’ll live up to that reputation today by sticking with a theme I’ve used for my bold predictions post the last two seasons. I’ll go position-by-position through the hitters and address a player who is outside starter territory in 12-team mixed leagues that I think might be able to give you starter-level production.

Two years ago that theme didn’t sit well with commenters as looking at players with an ADP outside of starter territory apparently didn’t live up the the bold moniker. To avoid that criticism I’ll only be discussing hitters that have not been ranked as a starter at their position by any of the 43 experts contributing to’s Expert Consensus Rankings.

For starting pitchers I’ll just be naming several players that I have ranked higher than everyone else or higher than almost everyone else.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Mystifying Reds Rotation

The 2014 Reds rotation ranked third in ERA but just 23rd in WAR, which is a bit strange given that Cincinnati got more innings out of its starters than any other team. Alfredo Simon played a fairly large role in that discrepancy as he threw just shy of 200 innings with a 3.44 ERA but just 0.9 WAR. Simon’s low strikeout rate doesn’t exactly rack up WAR. If Mat Latos and/or Homer Bailey had been able to throw a full season’s worth of innings, the discrepancy surely would have been less pronounced.

The good news is that Simon will be staving off the regression monster elsewhere and Bailey will hopefully make at least 30 starts this year. The bad news is that Latos is gone and the Reds didn’t do much in the way of replacing Latos or Simon’s numbers. They’ll go with internal options, which isn’t assured to go wrong, but the back half of the rotation is iffy at best. Read the rest of this entry »