Author Archive

Mining the News (11/15/19)

I’ve been slow at combing trough and reporting on any actionable fantasy news. I had to draw a line today since I had dozens of additional articles to go through. Here is some useful information with more to come Monday.

• The Reds are mudding up their playing time situation by trading for Travis Jankowski and picking up Freddy Galvis’s 2020 option.

Aaron Hicks eventually had Tommy John surgery and will miss a few months to start next season.

New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks underwent successful Tommy John surgery Wednesday, the team announced.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told reporters there is an eight-to-10-month timeframe for Hicks’ recovery.

This makes him pretty much unknowable except in leagues with unlimited DL slots.
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When to Breakout the Wallet with FAAB Bids?

While it might be better to focus on FAAB usage right before the season starts, I wanted to have an idea on how to focus my draft resources. Also, FAAB management was one of my major faults after I picked over my 2019 teams. It was an issue and I need to address it. Now is the time. I took the 50 players with the highest average FAAB bids in the 2019 NFBC Main Event ($1000 in FAAB) and found which players were the best and worse deals and did the best deals have similar actionable traits.

Note: One unintended side effect was that the minimum average value was $51, so all players with a bid of over $50.

To rank the player’s usefulness, I pair them up against each other and let my Twitter followers which of the two players were a better deal last year. While not ideal or the only method I could have used (I could create from value to EOS), it was the quickest and the rankings pass the idiot check (me, myself, and I).

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Does Mike Matheny Hate Stolen Bases?

I’m already tired of hearing everyone’s hot take on how Matheny is going to halt the Royals from stealing bases. I’m not sure they are wrong but the analysis, if there is any, is suspect. Most talking heads point to his Cardinals being second to last in stolen bases during his tenure (2012 to all of 2018). The Cardinals weren’t exactly full of speedsters during that time. Here are their top-10 hitters ranked by plate appearances.

Most Plate Appearance by a Cardinal (2012 to 2018)
Name PA SB CS
Matt Carpenter 4807 25 17
Yadier Molina 4676 45 21
Matt Holliday 3176 18 8
Kolten Wong 2836 83 23
Jon Jay 2346 41 24
Allen Craig 1694 10 2
Jhonny Peralta 1639 4 6
Matt Adams 1599 4 4
Paul DeJong 1597 11 6
David Freese 1451 5 5

Talk about “Wheelz”. Of these 10, Yadier Molina was second in steals. A catcher is second. This group would have problems stealing candy for a blind lady.
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Fantasy Baseball Process E-Book Available

This year’s edition of the Fantasy Baseball Process by Tanner Bell and myself is finally completed and the e-book is now available for sale (the paper version will be available at Amazon in a few weeks). We added over 50 pages of new material (link to list), cut out some info we felt was not needed, and included the historic standings and Standing Gains Points formulas to help with planning the 2020 season.

Before I move along to some of the highlights, I’d like to thank Dylan Higgins for the editing, Jared Cross for the Steamer projections, Clay Link for the introduction, Rob Silver for giving it a read over, and especially Tanner for hours and hours spent grinding through all the new changes.
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Does Postseason Play Hamper Future Production?

There is no need to beat around the bush with an intro full of cliches and examples. Simply does playing in the postseason wear down a player enough to effect their next season’s production?

Simple answer: Not really.

Less simple answer: Some with hitters, not at all with pitchers.

Complex answer: Danger math.

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Intersection of Real Estate Investing & Fantasy Baseball

For a while, I’ve been trying to have other people do my research for me with no luck. I figured with all the smart minds in the stock market and other securities, some method would line up. It really didn’t for the fact that everyone could basically buy or sell as much of every available option to everyone. Some hedge funds or Warren Buffett could buy up an entire asset, but basically it was tough for stocks to run out.

I needed to find a limited asset class where one unique asset (house) and several buyers determine its value. That is why I eventually got to looking into real estate. Most of the public literature involves how to get loans and fix up the house. There is surprisingly little on actually determining a property’s value. So far I’ve only gone to the library and the local book stores to find information since most books are completely useless with nothing beyond, buy low, sell high. I’m not wasting my time and effort on ordering a bunch of books.

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Effect on Hitter Production From an Early Season Injury

When I wrote my article on disappointing 2019 hitters, the data diverged from expectations in one subset of hitters. Injured players dominated the list but they also saw a huge drop in their production to the tune of about 100 points of OPS. While the season-to-season OPS values are never exactly one-for-one, a 100 point dropped is huge especially since the league’s overall OPS jumped 30 points last season. I needed to dig in.

It’s going to get a little nerdy as I have to explain how I examined the data. To try to minimize the pre and post-injury production from the investigation, I only looked at players who were placed on the IL in March or April. Little if any of their production should have been before the injury. A second reason was to help project hitters who are dealing with offseason surgeries (e.g. Adalberto Mondesi). So, over the past 10 seasons, 627 hitters met these criteria.
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Why We Missed: Disappointing Hitters

It’s time for the final installment of “Why We Missed”. The breakout pitchers and hitters are done along with the disappointing pitchers so it’s time to dive into hitting busts.

To determine who disappointed, I collected the information on any hitters who saw more than a $10 decline in value from their draft-day price. I didn’t want to just use the difference in ranks because the gap from #1 to #15 could be over $10 but the difference between #250 to #300 might just be $1. I only analyzed the hitters who had a positive draft day value.
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Why We Missed: Disappointing Pitchers

After looking at the pitchers and hitters who exceeded expectations, it was time to examine the players who didn’t live up to their ADP. I had a good idea this list would be loaded with pitchers who missed a ton of time and I was correct. Of the 48 pitchers featured, 39 spent time on the IL at some point last season.

To determine who disappointed, I collected the information on any pitcher who saw more than a $10 decline in value from their draft-day price. I didn’t want to just use the difference in ranks because the gap from #1 to #15 could be over $10 but the difference between #250 to #300 might just be $1. I just analyzed the pitchers who had a positive draft day value.

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Why We Missed: Breakout Pitchers

A couple of weeks back, I examined why the industry might have missed on some breakout hitters. It was tough to find anything actionable with the hitting breakouts. It’s now time to see any useful information that can be extracted from the pitching side.

I collected the information on any pitcher who finished the season with positive production in a 15-team league and saw more than a $10 jump in value from their draft-day price. I didn’t want to just use the difference in ranks because the gap from #1 to #15 could be over $10 but the difference between #250 to #300 might just be $1. In all, 46 pitchers made the cut

There were several more categories than hitters butseveral are actionable. One item I ran into was an issue with where to draw a line with the change. Bradley Newman pointed out the mechanical changes Giolito went through to see his production drastically improve.

The changes were the root cause but if his plate discipline stayed the same, the adjustments wouldn’t have mattered. Also, it’s tough for the average fan to find out about these adjustments in real-time. The linked article was taken from late-May after Giolito was already universally owned. It was useless for any fantasy owner.
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