Author Archive

Early 2019 Pitching Trends

On Thursday, I shared and discussed some of the early 2019 hitting trends. Today, let’s flip over to the pitching side. In an effort not to double up on the metrics already discussed last week, I’ll focus mostly on pitch mix and velocities.

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Early 2019 Hitting Trends

It’s been fascinating to watch baseball evolve and how various metrics have trended over the years. While it’s still a tiny sample size for players, it’s definitely not for the entire league as a whole. So let’s observe and discuss the major hitting trends several weeks into the season and how it impacts fantasy valuations and your teams.

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Renato Nunez & Austin Dean: Deep League Wire

Welcome to the full-timers still owned in less than 10% of CBS leagues edition of the deep league waiver wire. With some exceptions, I expect every regular hitter to be owned in more than 10% of leagues. Here are two that should be.

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Game of Groans: Slow Starting Pitchers

Yesterday, I discussed a bunch of preseason top 100 hitters who are off to slow starts. Today, let’s go over the starting pitchers with ERAs in the stratosphere. The analysis is primarily going to to focus on velocity and pitch mix, and perhaps SwStk% and maybe strike percentage, though the latter two are heavily affected by the tiny sample size and opponent. I’m going to stick with starters generally projected for sub-4.00 ERAs.

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Game of Groans: Slow Starting Hitters

About two and a half weeks in, we know it’s way too early to panic about slow-starters, yet many of you are itching to click that drop button. While I won’t be advising you to drop any of the players I discuss here, let’s evaluate their skills during their slow starts to see if there’s anything worrying to monitor over the next couple of weeks. I’ll stick with hitters that CBS ranked within its top 100 in the preseason.

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2019 Early Pitcher Z-Contact% Improvers

I covered the hitter Z-Contact% surgers and decliners earlier in the week. Today, I’ll switch it up to pitchers, but only discuss the improvers. These are the guys who have seen their Z-Contact% decline the most. Preventing contact on pitches thrown inside the strike zone is the ultimate validation of a pitcher’s stuff in my mind. So let’s find out who has improved most in the metric over this still small sample size.

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Wilmer Difo & Brandon Brennan: Deep League Wire

Welcome to this week’s edition of the deep league waiver wire. One recommendation is getting a shot thanks to an injury ahead of him, while the other is a true deep league speculation in a muddled bullpen.

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2019 Early Z-Contact% Decliners

Yesterday, I identified and discussed seven hitters who have enjoyed Z-Contact% spikes compared to last year. Do such gains portend a breakout? Only time will tell. Today, I’ll dive into the players on the opposite end of the spectrum — those who have suffered the largest declines in Z-Contact% versus last season. Is this an early warning sign of a disappointing campaign?

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2019 Early Z-Contact% Surgers

I don’t need to convince you that improving your in-zone contact rate (Z-Contact%) is a very, very good thing. It could result in more balls in play, which leads to potentially more positive outcomes, whereas strikeouts rarely do. So let’s identify and discuss the fantasy relevant hitters who have enjoyed the biggest spikes in Z-Contact% marks so far over this tiny sample size.

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The Tiny Sample Size Starting Pitcher SwStk% Monsters

After just a start or two, all we really care about for starting pitchers is thus:

1) Velocity
2) Pitch mix
3) Underlying skills like GB% and SwStk%

I’m going to tackle the latter, the starting pitchers who have posted monster SwStk% marks in their first start. I’m going to mainly include surprises near the top of the leaderboard. Sorry Jacob deGrom, you and your ridiculous, second ranked 18.3% SwStk% will not be discussed here.

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