Author Archive

National League Schedule Analysis

I usually don’t worry about schedule specific details during a regular season since so much can change in a month or two. This season is only going to last a couple of months, so it has some importance. I dug through all of the National League teams trying to find some stretches to stream players. I didn’t find a bunch of one to two-week stretches but I did come to some overarching themes.

I tried to digest as much of the information as possible and I’m sure I’ve missed something obvious. I started the analysis hoping to find a list of week-by-week targets to stream and came away with a new perspective.
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Jeff Zimmerman Fantasy Baseball Chat

3:00
JP: Who’s one player you were off on in a full season but are now targeting in the abbreviated season?

3:01
Jeff Zimmerman: It’s more to do with the DH, but Braun

3:01
Jeff Zimmerman: I thought I might like RP more but the market jumped on them.

3:02
Chris: Are you grabbing treinen or someone else as a speculative add?

3:03
Jeff Zimmerman: No speculation but more of handcuff for my closer. If I get Diaz, I might also add Lugo.

3:03
Jeff Zimmerman: Over the past 6 seasons, on average 5 closers have lost their jobs in the first two months

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Mining the News (7/6/20)

General

• I’m back to collecting fastball velocities. I’ve created a tab for Spring Training and one for Summer Training.

• Jon Becker has created a spreadsheet with all the COVID Cases and players who have opted out. Just remember that he’s one person donating his time, so always check the news for the latest updates. And thank him.

• The Cubs are trying to have several options in place for the season’s starter.

“We’re trying to front-load all our starters,” Hottovy explained. “In a normal Spring Training, you’d be lining guys up. This guy would be your Opening Day starter. Ideally, here’s Day 2. Right now, in my mind we have seven Opening Day starters, because [we want to] get everybody healthy through a Spring Training like this. You can’t space them out too much, in my opinion, just because we can’t take that chance.”

I could see teams have two to three potential starters for each game in case a pitcher can’t go for some reason.
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Middle Relief Targets

With most teams planning to limit the innings their starters throw, there are going to be a few middle relievers who bridge the gap to the seventh to ninth-inning guys. Because most starters will not go five innings, these bridge relievers will have the chance to accumulate a few Wins while hopefully providing decent ratios. Here are some targets.

Every season, some middle relievers go off accumulating half dozen Wins and Saves, great ratios, and over 100 strikeouts. They are more valuable than most starters and closers. The deal is that no one has a clue which middle reliever it will be, but whoever rosters them will be loving it. I decided to query a target list.
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Mining the News (7/2/20)

American League

Angels

• Sounds like there is a slim chance Jo Adell makes the Opening Day roster.

It seemed in March that Adell’s chances of making the opening day roster were slim. Returning to triple-A to iron out his approach might have been the more prudent move.

After months of speculation, the minor league season officially was canceled Tuesday, so Adell won’t have the luxury of closing gaps in his development in a normal game setting. But the Angels hope the competitions they organize within their player pool provide Adell the opportunity to make strides.

“That’s what we’re hopeful for … There’s some upside to the intrasquad format,” Eppler said. “We’ll just have to keep getting him at-bats. There’s going to be talented pitchers over there for him to face and we’ll go from there.”

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Jeff Zimmerman Fantasy Baseball Chat

3:00
JV: Would you add a couple bench spots in a 12 team league with all of the moving and shaking that’s likely to happen? We currently have 8 bench spots and do not use IL spots

3:01
Jeff Zimmerman: I don’t know. Maybe just a couple IL slots. Maybe. Eight slots in a 12 team league is quite a few.

3:02
Up north: Been hearing teams will be bringing starters along slowly, such as the dodgers. Should I plan to lean more heavily on middle relievers for the first couple weeks and leave my worst couple starters in the bench, until it’s clear they are built up to full workload?

3:03
Jeff Zimmerman: This is a team by team philosophy. I know the Reds and Rangers expect their pitchers throwing 4 to 5 innings when they report.

3:04
Jeff Zimmerman: I try to catch them all in Mining the News: https://fantasy.fangraphs.com/mining-the-news-6-29-20/

3:04
Jeff Zimmerman: There is no over arching patterns.

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Mining the News (6/29/20)

While this article is a little shorter than normal, I combed through all the recent articles and got caught up. I’m out the first part of the week but will see how much information is available for a mid-week article.

General

• Hitters could struggle without the needed reps against pitching.

Shelton said the Pirates are more concerned with transitioning their position players back into game-type activity, as it could be a shock to their systems to face live pitching for the first time in three months.

American League

Indians

• The starters will be ahead of a normal Spring Training schedule with one pitcher up to five innings back in May.

Indians pitchers pledged months ago to arrive at Spring Training Part 2 — Summer Training? 2 Spring 2 Training? — more prepared than they would be for a traditional spring ramp-up period. By the end of May, one Indians starter had already built up to a five-inning workload. But with an abbreviated schedule and expanded rosters, will teams even deploy pitchers in a customary fashion? The Indians could get creative, given their depth. Before injuries intervened, they had three starting pitchers — Plesac, Plutko and Aaron Civale — jockeying for the final two rotation spots.

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Mining the News (6/26/20)

Some random ideas to think about.

• Normally, I don’t care about the opening day starters, they could give owners an edge with the league having an opening weekend. The top-three starters will be the only pitchers getting starts to give some owners a head start.

• Managers with playoff bullpen experience could be at an advantage.

”Managers who have managed in playoff situations probably have a little bit more advantage with how to use their bullpens and things like that,” Shelton said.

American League

Angels

Shohei Ohtani will throw just once a week and never be a two-start pitcher.

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Short Season Pitcher Variation

My initial goal was to determine the amount of variation in pitching stats in a short season. What I found was a stipulation filled mess. It should have been simple. Just take the first two months and compare how the pitchers performed to a full season. The short answer is that they did great because they pitched in cooler weather and were 100% healthy. Instead, should the results from August and Septemeber be used, by that point in the season, many had broken down and the breakouts (e.g. Lucas Giolito) emerged. There is no perfect way to answer my original idea, so I’ll try to provide several possible answers.

To limit the focus, I’m going to implement the following guidelines. It’s a lot and when I was setting them, I was questioning any possible findings. By changing any one of them, the process to find the results and the actual final results differ.

  • Assumed a 12-team league and used SGP (Standing Gain Points) equation from The Process.
  • I used historic Steamer projections to set the preseason valuation.
  • I only examined WHIP and ERA. Most of the hot takes I’ve heard involve not wanting to deal with the possible variation in these rate stats.
  • Ignored closers. They are their own beast.
  • Focused on the 7 starters for 12 teams.
  • Used April to May data and then August to September. Both aren’t ideal but the differences can then be analyzed.
  • Anyone who didn’t pitch during the two-month time frame got zeros across the board.
  • I just did 2019 and kept the mess to one season.

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Jeff Zimmerman Fantasy Baseball Chat

2:59
Larry: If you ran a H2H league how would you handle a 60 game season

3:01
Jeff Zimmerman: I’d move the league to overall points or roto. If you must go H2H, just the top 2 make the playoffs.

3:01
thelaundry: Jay Jaffe ran down some NL DH candidates today. Are there any NL bats fringe-y enough to be available in deeper mixed leagues (14+) worth stashing?

3:02
Jeff Zimmerman: The fringy guys are still fringy. They weren’t playing for a reason.

3:02
Jeff Zimmerman: I’m more interested in clearer playing time pictures like Edman in StL.

3:03
Jeff Zimmerman: The player most likely to shoot up is Puig once he can sign.

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