Ottoneu Hot Right Now: Most Active Current Auctions

Another check on the players who have the most live auctions right now across the Ottoneu universe. There is a decent chance that one or more of these players will be up for auction in your leagues today and if they aren’t, they might be soon.

Harrison Bader – Bader seems like the kind of guy who shouldn’t be attracting a ton of attention, particularly in Ottoneu. He’s always had a little 5×5 juice, since he has put up a couple of seasons with double-digit HR and SB, but he’s never put up four points per game in Ottoneu Points leagues. In fact, he has only cracked 3.5 P/G once, posting 3.69 in 2018.

But in the early going this year, he is at 5.84 points per game thanks to a career-best .353 wOBA. The first place to look with an unexpectedly strong offensive start from a defense-first CF with limited power and a bit of speed is BABIP, but Bader’s is only .262. He is showing a bit more power, but that jump really started last year. In 2020, he posted a .217 ISO, up from a then-career-high .169 in 2019. This year, it is at .245.

His big jump in HR/FB rate (from 13.1% for his career coming into 2021 to 21.1% this year) isn’t really backed up by a big gain in exit velocity, hard-hit rate, or barrel rate. Until you look at those numbers on a per PA basis instead of a per batted ball basis. Bader had a career 29.1% strikeout rate coming into the year; this year he is at 13.1%. At just 61 PA, the sample is small, but we are at the point for him where plate discipline numbers start to stabilize. His chase rate is down, his contact rate is up, and he is swinging at more pitches in the zone, resulting in fewer swinging strikes, fewer called strikes, and fewer Ks. His contact rate on pitches in the zone is down a bit, which might be cause for concern, especially given a big jump in O-contact rate.

His last 10 adds across Ottoneu have been for $3.80 on average and I am willing to take a shot on him if I need OF help at that price. Looking to replace an injured A.J. Pollock or just trying to find that backup OF to fill out your roster? Betting on plate discipline improvements isn’t a bad way to do it. I don’t think he keeps up that HR/FB rate, but if he keeps putting balls in play, he’ll put up solid numbers.

Michael Fulmer – He’s been a starter, a long man and now maybe a closer in the young season, and it’s in a relief role that he is attracting Ottoneu managers. He’s been fine as a starter – 18.5% strikeout rate, 7.0% walk rate, 4.12 FIP. But he has been very good in the pen – 30.4% strikeout rate, 4.3% walk rate, 3.07 FIP. He made his last start May 4 and since then has made six relief appearances, putting up more than 9 points per inning and 12 points per appearance, thanks to piling up three saves and two holds while throwing eight innings in those six appearances. After missing 2019 and losing his velocity in 2020, the velocity is back and this feels like a guy who has always had talent letting that talent play up in the pen. The Tigers figure to use a committee for saves, but right now Fulmer is clearly their best RP and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him continue to get those chances. The good thing in Ottoneu is that he doesn’t need to be the closer to be valuable if he keeps getting holds and striking out 30% of hitters. I am buying.

Brandon Crawford – 2020 was the first year since 2013 that Brandon Crawford failed to hit 10 or more HR, but he’s already gotten back to double digits in 2021. And 2020 was actually a good power year for Crawford – his 8 HR weren’t a ton, but over 54 games, that put him on pace for a career-high 24 HR. He’s threatening to do better this year with 10 HR in 36 games. After going four years without a barrel-rate over 5.1%, Crawford was at 9.4% last year and is up to 13.4% this year. We know exit velocities and therefore barrels are inflated this year, but even so Crawford is clearly hitting the ball well more often. The only time he had a barrel-rate even close to this in the Statcast era was 2015 (8.1%) – the year he hit 21 HR. It looks to me like Crawford broke out or re-broke out last year, at a time when Oracle Park played more hitter-friendly, and has continued it this year. I don’t know if he can keep this up, but we’re getting close to 100 games of this, so it’s worth taking a shot if you need MI help.

Tyler Chatwood – Chatwood is 23rd in all-time Ottoneu auctions and has a shot to move into the top 20 and there is a reason for that: he has shown flashes of effective pitching before. But nothing like this. Up until this recent run of success, the lowest 15-game rolling FIP he’d posted was 3.27 as of July 26, 2013. He went below that as of September 6, 2019 and has stayed below 3.30 ever since. He’s basically ditched his 4-seam fastball in favor of a sinker and a cutter and the results have been stellar. I’m inclined to believe the league will adjust – this new pitch mix has been in place since last year, but it is still only 33.2 IP. But there is plenty of room for the league to adjust and for Chatwood to still be a fantastic reliever. He’s a solid option for teams that need pen help.





A long-time fantasy baseball veteran and one of the creators of ottoneu, Chad Young's writes for RotoGraphs and PitcherList, and can be heard on the ottobot podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @chadyoung.

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So, Crawford has only played ~85% of the Giants games, with only 30ish PAs versus lefties. Is he in a platoon?