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Fake Teams Hits the Fantasy Links

Today is June 15.  On this day in 1938, Johnny Vander Meer threw his second consecutive no-hitter with Babe Ruth in attendance, this one against the Brooklyn Dodgers.  He had previously thrown one against the Boston Bees.  In his next start, he threw a complete game three-hitter while Cy Young looked on.  Also on this day in 1902, Nig Clarke of the Corsicana Oil Citys [sic] hit 8 home runs against the Texarkana Casketmakers (no, really).  The Oil Citys hosted the game in a different, smaller park in nearby Ennis, TX because of blue laws.  The final score was Corsicana 51, Texarkana 3, which was reported by some newspapers as 5-3 because telegraph operators assumed it was a misprint.  Clarke hit 6 home runs in the majors and died exactly 47 years later.  Happy birthday, Ken Jeong (1969).  Here are your fantasy baseball links for today:

FIPing You Off | Razzball
ERA - xFIP leaders

Top 100 Fantasy Baseballers | Sons of Roto
Updated ranks

American League Outfielders: Updated Rankings | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

Middle Infield & Catcher Report: Daniel Murphy, Alexi Casilla, Miguel Olivo | Roto Hardball

Casilla has been on fire, scoring 16 runs and 6 SB to go along with a .402 OBP over the last month. He's raised his average considerably and is even slugging a respectable .421 over that same period. He doesn't offer power, but can be a great bench fill in if you have a struggling 2B or SS.

Shortstops, Tulowitzki, Hanley Ramirez, Derek Jeter | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

Twenty three shortstops began the season ranked in the top 300. That number currently sits at ninteen. What we expected to be a weak class of shortstops has only gotten weaker.

Wide World of Waivers: Hardy Har Har | Fantasy Baseball Cafe

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

Number Crusher: How Jose Bautista Went From Baseball Vagabond To The Game's Best Slugger | ThePostGame
Fantastic article about Jose Bautista's rise.

Ryan Howard's 2011: Platoon Splits Just Part of the Story | Beyond the Box Score

So Bill Baer is right that part of Howard's problem lies in an increasing ineffectiveness against lefties, but there seems to be more to the story. Howard's is suffering a power outage against southpaws, but he's still managing to be somewhat productive on balls away. Inside and down the middle is another story. Combine that with his ineffectiveness on balls up in the zone, and Howard's .020 drop in wOBA isn't that surprising.

Carl Crawford Returns to the Trop | Baseball Analytics

Crawford has simply not been as dangerous on pitches in the strike zone this season. Oddly enough, he's hit the same number of HRs (6) and triples (4) that he did at this point last season. However, he's striking out at a slightly greater rate (14.2% to 16.9% K-Rate), and walking much less (7.1% to 3.4% BB%). As a result, his wOBA is down over 50 points from where it was at this point last season.

Comparing the 2008 Version of Jose Reyes to the 2011 Version | Amazin' Avenue

Despite hitting only three home runs so far this season, Reyes has a wOBA of over .400 and a wOBA per swing of .223. Compare that to his .366 wOBA and .193 wOBA per swing in 2008. Looking at his production on a per swing basis allows us to filter out the value Reyes gets from stolen bases. Certainly, his 20 steals this year have helped mitigate his lack of home runs, but wOBA per swing isolates only value accrued by swinging the bat. From that perspective, Reyes has been better so far this year even without the long ball.

Bullish on Nick Markakis | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

ZiPS projects 10 home runs the rest of the way, and with league power down, that number is not so bad. If you prorate that projection into the full season at-bat forecast, you are left with about 17 home runs, which is respectable.

Bearish on Nick Markakis | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

To be sure, Nick Markakis is not a .242/.299/.320 true talent hitter. His batting average on balls in play is just .253, while his expected BABIP (based on homers, K’s, SBs, line drives, fly balls and pop ups) is .310. And, given that changes in ISO take about 550 plate appearances to become reliable, Markakis probably won’t continue slugging like Zombie Miggy.

Spinning Yarn: Vogelsong Poetry | Baseball Prospectus

[Vogelsong] has two fastballs with average speed and good command, and a curveball that qualifies as a plus weapon. His changeup and cutter seem to be weaker pitches, but with the strength of his fastball-sinker-curveball combination, he has not had to rely on either the change or the cutter as an out pitch. The pitcher who produced that 5.86 ERA five years ago appears to be gone, replaced by one who knows how to use his stuff to good effect.

Under The Fantasy Microscope: Max Scherzer | Roto Hardball

However, Scherzer's main issue this season doesn't appear ready to go away. Specifically, Scherzer has struggled mightily with the home run ball, allowing 1.3 per nine innings, nearly a full 0.3 points above his career average. Typically, spikes like this can be explained away by an unlucky or unsustainable HR/FB rate. This is not the case for Scherzer, whose 10.3% HR/FB rate is almost exactly his career average (although it is a touch above league average). Instead, the issue is a shockingly low 33.1% ground ball rate, a full seven percentage points below his previous career low.

2011 Fantasy Baseball Rookie Report Week 11: O's Set Innings Limit On Zach Britton | The Fantasy Fix

The Orioles said the dreaded "two words" last week which all Britton owners need to be aware of. Those words of course were "innings limit". Baltimore will now space Zach's starts out as they want him to be able to pitch into September. This pretty much means that he is still a solid SP option, but in mixed head-to-head leagues it will be very tough to predict any two-start weekly status for him.

Who The Hell Is Dillon Gee? | Baseball Nation
Just a guy who grew up in Cleburne, Texas. That's all.

Injury Report: June 15: Cole Hamels, Josh Johnson, Derek Jeter & More | Rotoprofessor

Clinical Notes - Derek Jeter's Strained Right Calf |

Prospect of the Day: Anthony Bass, RHP, San Diego Padres | Minor League Ball

Bass's fastball can hit 95-96 MPH at his best but he works more commonly at 90-93. He mixes in a cut fastball and a slider. In the minors he has shown a decent changeup, although he didn't use it much in his first major league outing according to both pitch f/x and people who saw the game. He'll need to use the changeup more if he remains a starter. Indeed, many scouts feel that Bass fits best as a relief pitcher, given that his secondary stuff can be inconsistent. However, he's shown a valuable ability to throw strikes and eat innings in the minors, and the Padres still believe he can be a fourth starter if he can bring that command to the majors.

The Next Wave: 21 (and a half) AAA Hitting Prospects | Baseball By Paul
Finally, one of these articles that goes beyond Ackley, Lawrie, and Montero.

Prospect Tracker: Lonnie Chisenhall & Jason Kipnis | Rotoprofessor

Awesome Jose Altuve | Roto Hardball

In scouting Altuve, he combined a non-existent strike zone with compact hitting mechanics. With his present bat whip, I had few worries about his having the bat knocked out of his hand against plus velocity. An aggressive hitter, free passes are not really a focus of Altuve's game. However, he's young for the level of competition and I'm confident an improved batting eye will come in time as it's apparent Altuve spends considerable time working on the finer points of his all-around game.

Night owls see 45 point batting average boost under the lights | Ars Technica
I don't think this has a ton of relevance for fantasy, but I guess you've got to look for every edge you can find...

Where Will Closer Heath Bell Land? |
My money is on the Yankees.

Adrian's Approach | Baseball Analytics
Pretty cool heat maps showing how Adrian Gonzalez changes his approach with runners on base.