The Daily Grind: Detwiler, Ray, Stubbs by Robert J. Baumann May 4, 2015 Agenda Stolen Bases, or a Lack Thereof Daily DFS – Detwiler, Wood, Trout, EY Jr. GB / FB Splits Tomorrow’s Targets – Greene, Ray, Stubbs, Aramista Factor Grid 1. Stolen Bases, or a Lack Thereof I was chatting with a friend the other day, and he said that stolen bases seemed to be down in the first month of the season, making them particularly difficult to come by in fantasy leagues. I wanted to see if there was any truth to that, so I looked into it a bit. Using the data available through Baseball Savant, I looked for all pitches thrown in April this year when there was a runner on first base. This served as my proxy for Stolen Base Opportunities, which is very imperfect because I could not filter for situations in which there was a runner on first base only, or at least ones in which second base was open. (I’m hoping that there’s a roughly equal amount of N/A situations from every year used.) There were 27,615 such pitches thrown in April 2015, so I then used the first 27,615 runner-on-first pitches from every year 2010-2014 to see how many Stolen Base Attempts and Successes there were in sample set. I also wanted to look at the top 25 performers in the first month of the season for the same years, given that the top 25 guys or so are likely to be the most relied upon for fantasy purposes. Here is a table with the totals: YEAR SB Opp SB Att SB Att/Opp SB/Opp SB/Att T25 SB* T25 SBA* T25 SB%* 2010 27615 490 367 0.01774 0.01329 74.9% 173 208 83.2% 2011 27615 521 380 0.01887 0.01376 72.9% 178 214 83.2% 2012 27615 497 348 0.01800 0.01260 70.0% 145 178 81.5% 2013 27615 408 296 0.01477 0.01072 72.5% 146 175 83.4% 2014 27615 461 347 0.01669 0.01257 75.3% 182 218 83.5% 2015 27615 451 331 0.01633 0.01199 73.4% 156 189 82.5% Total 165690 2828 2069 0.01707 0.01249 73.2% 980 1182 82.9% It seems is that there is not much difference in the early going. Attempts per Opportunity in 2015 are the second lowest in the six year span, but it’s not an alarmingly low rate, and there’s a high chance of error in the Opportunity numbers as I mentioned above. Compared to last year at this point, Attempts and overall SB are down a little, especially among the top 25 group, but it’s probably negligible. So, if you were feeling like Stolen Bases were more difficult to come by in 2015, I guess it’s just that—a feeling. *Numbers in these columns are the March/April totals found using the FanGraphs leaderboards. 2015 includes games through May 2 to account for a later start to the regular season than in the rest of the years listed. 2. Daily DFS – Detwiler, Wood, Trout, EY Jr. Here go Saturday’s Grind, if you want to relive that mishap. Early: No early contests on Monday. Late: All the day’s games are in this batch—eleven in all. Of particular interest is the fact that Ross Detwiler is starting for the Rangers as they take on the Astros in Houston. The ‘Stros have been hella hot; Detwiler has not. While Detwiler probably isn’t a 8.66 ERA true talent, the peripherals don’t offer much hope, making this an obvious stack. Luis Valbuena, who has been a contributor to Houston’s success this year despite a low batting average, typically doesn’t hit lefties well, but there are plenty of other right-handed Astros to target in this matchup, including Evan Gattis (who’s been on a dinger binge in the last several games), George Springer, Chris Carter, Jake Marisnick, and Jose Altuve. Other Stack Targets: Tyler Matzek (vs. ARZ), Kyle Lohse (vs. LAD), Travis Wood (@ STL) Wood has been solid for the Cubs this year, but he’s probably due for some correction given a low BABIP and SwStr% and poor batted ball profile. There are several Cardinals regulars who have hit Wood very well over the few several years. Hitter Notes: If you’re of the mind to avoid Mike Trout today given his matchup with Felix Hernandez, you might reconsider. Trout has owned King Felix in 57 career plate appearances, slashing .365/.386/.673 with 3 home runs, 3 doubles, and 2 triples. Eric Young, Jr. has done a good job of getting on base against Aaron Harang (.550 OBP in 20 PAs), and is always a stolen base threat when he can get on. If you’re looking for a speed play, check in to see if EY Jr. is getting the nod. 3. GB / FB Splits The following hitters are recommended based on the works of Shane Tourtellotte and Dan Fansworth. They show ground ball hitters perform better against fly ball pitchers and vice versa. Using three-year values for hitter OPS and pitcher GB%, here are today’s top recommendations. Use this link for Jeff’s full list. Jeff has fifteen hitters for us today. Here are a few highlights: Freddie Freeman vs. Aaron Harang Chris Carter vs. Ross Detwiler Prince Fielder vs. Dallas Keuchel 4. Tomorrow’s Targets – Greene, Ray, Stubbs, Aramista Pitchers to Start: Shane Greene is coming off two horrible starts, but he’s pitching against the worst offense in the league tomorrow. White Sox hitters have struck out at the sixth highest rate in MLB while ranking 26th in walk rate. One thing Greene has done well this year is limit home runs, which is perhaps the first thing one might worry about with games at US Cellular Field. All in all, it’s a decent, pitcher-favoring context for the three true outcomes, at least. Also consider: Jesse Chavez (@ MIN), Scott Feldman (vs. TEX) Pitchers to Exploit: If one were to smack one’s lips at the thought of Robbie Ray starting against the Rockies in Colorado, one would have some reason to do so. The young south paw might neutralize fellow lefties Justin Morneau, Corey Dickerson, and Charlie Blackmon, but he still will have to contend with Tulo, Nolan Arenado, and lefty masher Drew Stubbs (who, granted, has just one hit this year—a home run). Major league right-handed hitters trounced Ray to the tune of a .448 wOBA last year. Also consider: Wandy Rodriguez (@ HOU), Ryan Vogelsong (vs. SD), Matt Garza (vs. LAD), Jordan Lyles (vs. ARZ), Marco Estrada (vs. NYY) Hitters (power): Do keep an eye on Drew Stubbs. If he draws the start at home against a lefty (Robbie Ray), he’s a bargain upside play. Also consider: Ryan Raburn, David Peralta, Chase Headley, David Freese Hitters (speed): Alexi Amarista isn’t exactly a speedster, but he stole 12 bases in 13 attempts in 2014 and has a good matchup against Ryan Vogelsong. You’ll have to make sure he’s getting the start, but he’d be a super cheap speed upsider if he does. Also consider: Nori Aoki 5. The Factor Grid The table below indicates which stadiums have the best conditions for hitters today. The color coding is a classic stoplight where green equals go for hitters. The weather conditions are from SI Weather’s home run app. A 10/10 means great atmospheric conditions for home runs. A 1/10 means lousy atmospheric conditions. The Link. This post is not brought to you by any DFS platform. Daily Grind guru Brad Johnson is quite pleased to present a DFS ad free environment.