There are many strategies to employ during a fantasy baseball season and this year I’ve been trying a few new ones. The one strategy that has worked out tremendously well for me so far has been based on Jeff Zimmerman’s early-season analysis of xwOBA’s in-season predictive power. I detailed a practical way to apply his findings to waiver claims in shallow leagues. I’ve also decided, though the decision was sort of decided for me, to punt one category. Some of my own early-season research showed that punting one category can be fine as long as you have a few maxed-out category scores. However, one strategy that I’ve never employed is the usage of platoon splits. Two players, acting like one, and being placed in your lineup as if you were a real manager sounds pretty cool. But, I play in a shallow, 10-team, ESPN roto-league and I wanted to see if this strategy can work in such conditions. Here’s a little case study to see how this strategy would have played out for me in 2021 if I had started at the very beginning of the year and stuck with it until now.
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NEW FEATURE ALERT! We have added an upgraded version of RosterResource’s Closer Depth Chart to FanGraphs. Read more about it here.
We will always include a link to the full Closer Depth Chart at the bottom of the Bullpen Report each day. It’s also accessible from the RosterResource drop-down menu and from any RosterResource page. Please let us know what you think.
The 2021 version of Bullpen Report includes five different sections, as well as the closer chart, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
The “RosterResource” link will take you to the corresponding team’s RosterResource depth chart, which will give you a better picture of the full bullpen and results of the previous six days (pitch count, save, hold, win, loss, blown save.)
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I won’t claim to know as much about Bitcoin as some of my peers, but I know enough to determine that winning $100K of it would be great. For the more crypto-skeptical baseball fans out there, MLB and their new contest sponsor, FTX, are offering cold, hard cash as an alternative reward for their new promo contest. The challenge? Guess who will hit the longest home run of the rest of the season, the distance in feet of that home run, and the type of home run (solo, 2-run, etc.,). Let’s take a look at the details of the Moon Blast contest and see if our more enlightened way of thinking can help make a prediction.
Every year I start looking for ways to take advantage of trade rumors as a fantasy manager. But, is there actually any reason to? Maybe if a slugger goes from a pitcher-friendly home park to a hitter-friendly home park. Perhaps if a base stealer, who has had his restrictor plates put on while playing for a team that doesn’t steal bases, gets traded to a run happy team. These are the situations that seem easy to identify and are most likely smaller transactions that savvy managers can take advantage of. But what about the big dogs?
Streaming pitchers is an art form in the fantasy baseball community. Analysts making streamer picks are daring and brave when it comes to putting their picks out there for the world to see. It’s not an easy game. Streaming a pitcher who blows up my ratios is one of the most frustrating aspects of fantasy baseball in my humble opinion, but it happens (don’t act like it doesn’t). But, taking the time to deep dive on a pitcher before streaming can limit the likelihood of having your ratios inflated like a grocery store helium balloon. Here’s how you can take some time with our pitch-type linear weights.
A starting pitcher going three times through the order has been one of those analytically driven game tactics that have had an effect on the game-by-game innings accumulation of starting pitchers. Fantasy managers playing in standard 5×5 roto-leagues know that the only way to decrease a ratio statistic like WHIP ((BB + H) / IP), is to add more numbers into the denominator (IP) while keeping the numerator (BB + H) the same. A pitcher who goes three times through the order is also likely to accumulate a lot of innings. The more quality innings accumulated, the better off your ratios will be. If a starting pitcher faces the lineup a third time and it’s only the fourth inning, chances are they are not going back out for the fifth. So, if we find pitchers who consistently face the order in its entirety a third time, we can generally assume it’s because they are pitching well.