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Fake Teams Hits the Fantasy Links

Today is May 30th.  On this day in 1921, the famous Eddie Grant memorial was dedicated at the Polo Grounds.  One year later, the Cardinals traded Cliff Heathcote to the Cubs for Max Flack.  This is significant because the trade happened after the first game of a doubleheader that the teams were playing against each other.  The two players switched uniforms and each recorded a hit for their new team in the second game.  Today is also the 29th anniversary of the beginning of Cal Ripken's streak.  Happy birthday to the late Mel Blanc (1908).  Happy Memorial Day, and stay safe. 

I need a ruling from you, the community.  Every Monday (including today) I link to several articles giving advice on two-start pitchers.  Does anybody actually read those links?  I know a lot of you guys actually are in weekly leagues, but do you need somebody to tell you to start Halladay over Harrison?  I'd rather not clutter up these posts if the links are useless for you.  Let me know in the comments.

Here are your fantasy baseball links for today:

The Trade Counsel: Taking Advantage of Injuries | Rotoprofessor

If you are another owner, then you suddenly have another guy with a gap in his roster, and a gap in a roster represents an opportunity. If your mindset is anything like mine, then you’ll be on the lookout for anything that makes other owners more willing to trade, and there’s nothing more likely to get another owner trading than a season-ending injury (except if you drafted Manny)!

Fantasy Beat: Carty in Context | Baseball Prospectus
Great stuff about not using stats in a vacuum.

Looking At Non-Closer Strikeout Rates | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

Let’s take a look through the reliever strikeout leaderboard and pick out the non-closers who have struck out more than a batter per inning this year (min. 20 IP) …

On the Beat: The Clouds Part in Seattle | Baseball Prospectus
Scouting reports on Descalso, Joyce, Morse, Rollins, and Whiteside

Brett Lawrie On Toronto Is One Delicious BLT | Razzball
Buy Low/Sell High

2011 Fantasy Baseball Week 9: Sit Em, Start Em & Two-Start Pitchers | The Fantasy Fix

2011 Fantasy Baseball Two-Start Pitchers: Week 10 | Rotoprofessor

Double Dipper: The Best Laid Plans | Fantasy Baseball Cafe
Two-start pitchers

Fantasy Baseball Two Start Starters, Week 9 | Razzball

Two-Start Pitchers: Week 9 | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

2011 Fantasy Baseball Two-Start Pitchers: Week 10 |

Fantasy baseball rankings: 2-start pitchers - AL |

Fantasy baseball rankings: 2-start pitchers - NL |

Follow the jump for more of the latest fantasy baseball news and analysis from around the web.

Waiver wire

Working The Wire: Solving Your Team’s Power Outage | Rotoprofessor

Jon Jay, Nick Blackburn, Waiver Wire, Starting Pitchers | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

The Wire Troll: Mike Morse Turning on the Power | RotoRob
Morse, Young, Jr., Raburn, Nicasio, Miranda, R. De La Rosa, Keppinger, Reddick, Belt, Outman, B. Crawford, Maya, Blake, Lyles, Craig, Schafer, Swarzak, Nelson

Trolling the Wire: Week 9 Monday-Friday | Baseball By Paul

Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Eric Young Jr., more |
Eric Young Jr. brings his speed back to Denver. Josh Reddick needs some dominoes to fall, but can't be ignored.

Buy Low: Alex Rios |

With a league average typically around .300, and with Rios' career mark at .311, it's obvious that Rios has been on the short end of more than a handful of well-struck balls. Further supporting this assertion is that Rios has improved his groundball rate (always helpful) and is stroking line drives nearly three percent of the time (supremely useful) more than he has as a member of the White Sox.

Mike Napoli: Buy Low Candidate | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

While it’s safe to bet on an improved performance from Napoli going forward, it’s nearly impossible to predict whether he will play more often. Even if Napoli starts producing at a higher level, he won’t provide much value if he’s sitting on the bench every other day. We’ll have to hope that as Napoli’s performance improves, Ron Washington will be less hesitant to pencil him into lineups against lefties.

Why Brett Lawrie Excites Me | Roto Hardball
Why is Lawrie worth stashing, and why am I so excited about his major league debut? Gee, I'm glad you asked.

Reverse Cain | Baseball Analytics Blog

Since the start of the 2009 season, Matt Cain of the Giants recorded better results against left-handed batters than right-handed batters despite Matt throwing from the right side. Left-handers hit .224/.282/.360 against Matt, while righties managed a .231/.295/.380 slash line. How does Matt manage to keep lefties so off balance?

Buying Low on Brandon Morrow | Roto Hardball

High K rates are no new trick for Morrow, as his career rate is 10.17, but he's never shown the kind of control to take that strikeout stuff and entrench himself among the elite starters in the league. That's held true this year as well, as his pedestrian 4.22 BB/9 is the primary culprit in not only the elevated WHIP I mentioned earlier, but also high pitch counts that have likely contributed to his low innings total (average ~5 IP per start).

Pineda's Perfect Pitch | Baseball Analytics Blog

[Pineda] hits the strike zone 55.8% of the time with the pitch, which is tied for the best in the league. He doesn't hang the pitch either, as batter have yet to hit a home run off it, and slug just .211 against it. For him, the slider is the perfect pitch.

Buyer Beware: Zach Britton | Fantasy Baseball Cafe

However, the current version of Britton simply isn’t that exciting, and is likely to pitch closer to his 3.76 xFIP than his lights out 2.35 ERA going forward. Keeping in mind he threw just 153.1 innings last year in the minors, it is just about certain the Orioles will shut him down early, further deflating his value in re-draft formats.

John Danks and Sticking to the Instructions | Roto Hardball

He's still very much the same pitcher that he has been over the past several seasons and I'd expect the results to start looking very much the same. I'd say that he's a good buy-low candidate, but given that he's owned in just 58% of Yahoo leagues and 82% of CBS leagues, perhaps he's simply a good waiver pickup at this point.

Digging For Saves: Looking At The Struggles Of Joakim Soria | Rotoprofessor

Poor control wouldn’t be as bad if [Soria] was maintaining his electric strikeout rate. He has a career K/9 of 9.64. The past two seasons he’s posted marks of 11.72 and 9.73. This season, he’s at just 6.05. Part of the problem could be the velocity on his fastball:

2009 – 91.7 mph

2010 – 91.9 mph

2011 – 90.4 mph


Collateral Damage: A Wing and a Prayer | Baseball Prospectus
Injury report

Prospect of the Day: Carlos Peguero, OF, Seattle Mariners | Minor League Ball

Contact is always going to be an issue for [Peguero], and he'll never likely hit for much of a batting average without big improvements in his approach. However, he has the potential to be a 25-30 homer hitter if he can make the necessary adjustments.

Minor Acomplishments, Week 9 | Razzball
Oliver, Alonso, Lawrie, Belt, Rizzo, Moustakas, Jennings, Ackley, Montero, Gibson, Gordon, Trout, Kipnis, Mesoraco, Lyles

Minor League Notes, May 29th, 2011 | Minor League Ball
Brayan Villarreal, Brad Meyers, Kyle Seager, Zack Von Rosenberg

Juan Nicasio and Andrew Oliver: Mining the Minors | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

Transaction Analysis: May Swapmeet, Sizemore for Purcey | Baseball Prospectus

There is really no logic in the deal for the Tigers, as between Daniel Schlereth, Adam Wilk, and Charlie Furbush, they have plenty of capable left-handers in their bullpen, and merely being capable is the best they could hope for from Purcey. This is a case of a team getting too frustrated too soon with a prospect struggling in the big leagues, and Oakland swooped in on Friday afternoon to take advantage of the situation.

Q&A Adrian Gonzalez | FanGraphs Baseball
Some great insight into hitting here.

The BP Broadside: What the Heck is an RBI Whore? | Baseball Prospectus

Carlos Beltran can’t be an RBI slut, he can only be Carlos Beltran. Were he to expand his strike zone, he would only diminish his value to the team, and in any case, he needs more than 126 baserunners to really throw his morals out the window. Or, to put this another way, Terry Collins is just not a good manager.

Introducing the Traditional Manager Index | Beyond the Box Score

Well, I don't have a stat to help you assess managers, but I have come up with a junk stat that I think will at least tell us something about managers' personalities. I call it the Traditional Managing Index, or TMI*, and it's very simple.

Home Plate Collisions And The Slippery Slope | Baseball Nation

And if you’re for changing the rules to eliminate a runner specifically trying to jar a ball loose at the only place where it isn’t already outlawed, you’re for women’s clothing in baseball.

Sports | xkcd