Tag Archives: Chris Narveson

Killin’ the Odds & the Regular Season

Welcome back to Killin’ the Odds & the Regular Season! In the “Today’s Games” section, you will see my picks to win for the day. I will post either the “Money Line” or the “Run Line”. The money line is always a “straight up” bet which means your team will never need to win or lose by a specific amount of runs. The money line odds represent what amount has to be wagered or what can be won. For example, if there is a minus sign (-) next to an amount, you have to wager that amount to win 100. If there is a plus sign (+) next to an amount, you will receive that amount for every 100 wagered. When you see a “Run Line”, that means a spread is involved. In Baseball, the spread is always 1.5 runs but you can find alternate run lines on some websites. When I post a run line of -1.5, that means our team must win by two runs. When you see a run line of +1.5, that means our team can lose by one run and still win the wager. Listen to our show from April 5th, 2011 for more explanation and tips.

Fantasy MLB Spot Starting: 05.15.11

Welcome to the last Spot Starting for the week, as always we’re trying to find that one last good start to win your head to head match up or pad your stats for the week.  The aces are out for Sunday across the league but as always we’re hunting for those guys flying under the radar but as you’ll see the picks are very tough.  Also read my Casual Sabermetrician article on SPs to buy low or sell high on based on the first quarter of the season.

For games on Sunday May 15th these selected pitchers might be had in your league (less than 50% owned in Yahoo! or ESPN) with percent owned Yahoo/ESPN, (team), and opponent:

Kevin Correia 37% / 37% (PIT) @ MIL

Javier Vazquez 27% / 3% (FLA) @ WAS

Travis Wood 19% / 40% (CIN) vs. StL

Brian Duensing 18% / 7% (MIN) vs. TOR

Mark Buehrle 14% / 10% (CWS) @ OAK

Freddy Garcia 12% / 10% (NYY) vs. BOS

Jake Arrieta 11% / 14% (BAL) @ TB

Jason Marquis 10% / 7% (WAS) vs. FLA

Read more of this post

The Casual Sabermetrician – First Quarter 2011 analysis

Welcome back to the Casual Sabermetrician.  It’s hard to believe, but after this weekend we’ll be at the Quarter poll of the season with all teams playing around 40 games and most (healthy) starting pitchers having made 8 starts out of their 32-33 for the year.  This affords us a great excuse to look back on our pre-season exercise of looking at tERA vs. ERA to find out which pitchers are pitching above their heads and which have been unlucky so far.  For fantasy purposes this translates to who we can sell high on and conversely who we might be able to buy low on.

Again, our method involves extracting tERA and ERA stats from Fangraphs into a spreadsheet and creating a formula to view tERA-ERA.  They already have this for ERA-FIP, I would imagine them adding ERA-xFIP and ERA-tERA in the near future as I believe these are a much more telling stat when evaluating who is do for regression.
Read more of this post

Fantasy MLB Spot Starting: 05.14.11

Welcome to the Friday the 13th edition of Spot Starting.  Tons of depth to be had for Saturday’s games.

For games on Saturday May 14th these selected pitchers might be had in your league (less than 50% owned in Yahoo! or ESPN) with percent owned Yahoo/ESPN, (team), and opponent:

Kyle McClellan 44% / 38% (StL) @ CIN

Anibal Sanchez 42% / 65% (FLA) @ WAS

Wade Davis 26% / 63% (TB) vs. BAL

Derek Holland 23% / 6% (TEX) vs. LAA

Chris Narveson 16% / 10% (MIL) vs. PIT

R.A. Dickey 14% / 4% (NYM) @ HOU

Erik Bedard 12% / 8% (SEA) @ CLE

Tyson Ross 3% / 2% (OAK) vs. CWS

Read more of this post

Killin’ the Odds & the Regular Season

Welcome back to Killin’ the Odds & the Regular Season! In the “Today’s Games” section, you will see my picks to win for the day. I will post either the “Money Line” or the “Run Line”. The money line is always a “straight up” bet which means your team will never need to win or lose by a specific amount of runs. The money line odds represent what amount has to be wagered or what can be won. For example, if there is a minus sign (-) next to an amount, you have to wager that amount to win 100. If there is a plus sign (+) next to an amount, you will receive that amount for every 100 wagered. When you see a “Run Line”, that means a spread is involved. In Baseball, the spread is always 1.5 runs but you can find alternate run lines on some websites. When I post a run line of -1.5, that means our team must win by two runs. When you see a run line of +1.5, that means our team can lose by one run and still win the wager. Listen to our show from April 5th, 2011 for more explanation and tips.

Fantasy MLB Spot Starting: 05.01.11

Not a great showing for Spot Starting last night, but as I’ve said before, sometimes the stats and research let you down and that’s why the game is played on the field and not on paper.  Can’t promise we can salvage the week or win your head to head match up with one of these picks though as the pickings are quite slim.  Some of our recent picks like Carl Pavano and Chris Narveson are not recommended this go ’round.  Chris Young is coming off the DL with a dead arm and has a very poor match up today against Halladay and the Phillies who’s bats have awoken.  But as you’ll read all is not lost as there are two good plays to be had.

See you again on Monday when Spot Starting returns with picks for Tuesday.

For games on Sunday May 1st these selected pitchers might be had in your league (less than 50% owned in Yahoo! or ESPN) with percent owned Yahoo/ESPN, (team), and opponent:

Carl Pavano 42% / 16% (MIN) @ KC

Chris Narveson 28% / 20% (MIL) @ HOU

Chris Young 23% / 11% (NYM) vs. PHL

Bud Norris 20% / 5% (HOU) vs. MIL

Jon Garland 10% / 7% (LAD) vs. SD

After this, it gets down right ugly, trust me folks.  Doesn’t mean someone can’t pull a good start out of their you know what, but we don’t have a crystal ball, just good hard stats.

My Pick: Bud Norris vs. Brewers

Alternate: Jon Garland vs. Padres

Deep League Special: Garland
Read more of this post

Fantasy MLB Spot Starting: 04.25.11

Well it was a good first full week for us here at Spot Starting, couple bumps in the road but overall a good week.  Hopefully the picks were able to help you in your head to head matches.   Starting off Monday we have an abbreviated schedule which is common for Mondays throughout the season, but let’s see if we can sneak in a good pick with these very very slim pickings.

For games on Monday April 25th these selected pitchers might be had in your league (less than 50% owned in Yahoo! or ESPN) with percent owned Yahoo/ESPN, (team), and opponent:

Chris Narveson 49% / 40% (MIL) vs. CIN

Jon Garland 9% / 3% (LAD) @ FLA

No other available starters even rate a mention

My Pick: Jon Garland @ Marlins

Alternate: Chris Narveson vs. Reds

Deep League Special: none

Garland is heading into his 3rd start of the season after starting on the DL, in his last outing he threw a CG gem against the Braves.  Garland is 3-0 lifetime at Sun Life Stadium with a 2.13 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and .227 BAA.  Those numbers were even better last year as he went 2-0 with 14K in 12.2IP, 1.42 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, .171 BAA.  The Marlins were cooled off Saturday and I think they are ready to come back down to earth after a fast start.

Narveson is our only other legitimate choice today as the picking are extremely slim.  And being the first day of the week even Narveson should only be picked up if you think you’ll have a hard time meeting your league minimum IP for the week as he hasn’t been as sharp his last two outings.

Deep League Special will return tomorrow.

Read more of this post

2011 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Gems – National League

Everyone knows you need to make a few moves throughout the season and it’s not all about the draft. This post is designed to help you rule the waivers! So when your league-mates are in an 11 team race to see who will acquire the next Willie Bloomquist, you can take your pick and laugh all the way to a fantasy championship!

Logan Morrison, OF Florida Marlins (38% owned in Yahoo, 37% in ESPN)

Current Stat Line – .333 AVG/ 5 R/ 2 HR/ 5 RBI

Morrison was penciled in at the 3-spot in the order with Hanley Ramirez out. He is the team’s best hitter right now as 5 of his 10 hits have gone for extra bases and he’s rockin’ a snappy 8:6 BB:K ratio. We could easily see a line of .280 AVG / 70 R / 20 HR / 80 RBI by season’s end.

Ben Francisco, OF Philadelphia Phillies (42% owned in Yahoo, 54% in ESPN)

Current Stat Line – .333 AVG/ 7 R / 2 HR / 7 RBI / 1 SB 

Everyone seems to forget his time in Cleveland but he put up some useful numbers. He hit 15 HR in 447 AB in 2008. In the time split between CLE and PHI in 2009, he hit 15 HR and stole 14 bases in only 405 AB. I would like to see Ben Francisco batting 5th behind Ryan Howard. If he obtains at least 500 AB this season, we could see a line of .269 AVG / 70 R / 20 HR / 83 RBI / 10 SB. 

Danny Espinosa, 2B Washington Nationals (10% owned in Yahoo, 6% in ESPN)

Current Stat Line – .304 AVG / 5 R / 1 HR / 5 RBI

Last year with the Nationals, Espinosa hit six home runs in 103 at bats. He has also shown an interesting combination of power and speed in the minors. In his last 955 minor league at bats he hit 40 home runs and stole 54 bases. That’s pretty fancy even though I don’t expect the .304 AVG to stick. My projection: .260 AVG / 69 R / 19 HR / 72 RBI / 12 SB

 Chase Headley, 3B San Diego Padres (27% owned in Yahoo)

Current Stat Line – .280 AVG / 3 R / 1 HR / 7 RBI

Currently Headley’s BB:K ratio is 5:5 and he is hitting in an RBI friendly spot in the order. He has shown a bit more power in the minors so I suspect his low home run totals may be a product of Petco or maybe he is still adjusting to the majors. I still expect his home run total to increase and he also stole 17 bases in 2010. He could finish with a .270 AVG / 65 R /16 HR / 70 RBI / 14 SB.

Chris Narveson, SP Milwaukee Brewers (11% owned in Yahoo)

Current Stat Line – 1 W / 0 L / 0.0 ERA / 14 K / 1.00 WHIP

I’m not condoning you drop guys like Cole Hamels or Ryan Dempster for Chris Narveson but he could fit in nicely as an injury replacement. If he puts together a few more solid starts, he is someone you could also sell high on. Aside from the Reds, the NL Central has had some issues scoring runs as of late. With the Astros, Nationals and Pirates on the schedule for April, he should be a good option for a spot start or two. My Projection: 11 W / 11 L / 3.85 ERA / 165 K / 1.30 WHIP

 

04.09.11 Box Score Breakdown: Fantasy MLB News and Notes

A full slate of great games on the second Saturday of the season including a Doubleheader in Baltimore and a suspended game in San Diego. Kudos to the schedule makers for all the great divisional rivalries right off the bat – none better than Yankees-Red Sox which always has a playoff atmosphere and tons of fantasy implications. The Red Sox were desperate to build on Friday’s first win, but it was not to be as the Yanks prevailed 9-4. Not to be outdone, the Phillies hot bats picked right back up after Friday’s loss to crush their chief rival Braves 10-2. The Rangers were blanked in the opener by the O’s but then turned around and spanked them in the night cap 13-1. And then we had A’s at Twins – wow, what a slug fest as the A’s prevail 1-0 behind Gio. Neither of these teams can hit their way out of a wet paper bag. The Rays nightmare April continues as they dropped to 1-7 reminiscent of their pre-2008 dominance. The Giants Miguel Tejada walked off on the Cardinals to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 win.
Read more of this post

The Casual Sabermetrician – a look at SPs

Welcome to the Casual Sabermetrician.  If you are anything like me, you’re interested in advanced baseball statistics but all the formulas and your lack of an advanced degree in mathematics leave your head spinning.  The good news is, these Saber stats are always being tweaked and new ones are always being invented, so it’s not too late to get in on the ground floor on some and to use this knowledge to your advantage on Draft Day.  Let’s dig in.

Our first example will be to look at starting pitching.  In most, if not all leagues, hitters are valued over pitchers.  One major reason is that pitchers are much less consistent and harder to predict than hitters.  Why is this?   It’s simple, once bat meets ball a lot of what happens next is out of the pitcher’s control.  The statistics we have to address this are grouped under the heading DIPS (Defense Independent Pitching Statistics), these have been around since 1999 and were invented by Voros McCracken.  If this sounds familiar, it’s because you read about it in Moneyball.  Stats that have been used the past decade include Defense-Independent Component ERA (DICE) and the more widely used Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) invented by Tango TigerThe Hardball Times has their own version of FIP, but it is Tango Tiger’s that is used on most sites, most notably Fangraphs.

But the stat I want to look at more closely in this post is tERA – True Runs Allowed (also known as TRA).  This is a much newer stat invented by Graham MacAree of Stat Corner.  It seeks to improve upon FIP and xFIP (Expected FIP) by taking into account the performance of balls in play.

From Stat Corner:

The hope for tRA then was to construct a metric which takes into account every action a pitcher is responsible for and turns those numbers into runs and outs based around a highly logical and transparent mathematical framework.

For fantasy purposes – how can we use tERA to help us in our upcoming draft?  By looking at the delta between ERA and tERA and looking for outliers.  This is a simple exercise and you can do it at home.  On FanGraphs – go to Leaderboards for Pitchers and select Advanced.  Export this chart to Excel.  Open the file and add a column and call it ERA-tERA.  Create a formula to subtract the tERA column from ERA and then sort.  Let’s see what stands out…

The Unlucky:

Justin Masterson (0.89); Kyle Davies (0.88); Chris Narveson (0.78); James Shields (0.78); Jeremy Bonderman (0.72)

The Lucky:

Clay Bucholz (-1.59); Trevor Cahill (-1.04); Tim Hudson (-1.03); Rodrigo Lopez (-1.01); Jaime Garcia (-0.93)

Let’s analyze the above.  Masterson looks to regress to the mean more than most but is useful only in the deepest or AL only leagues with his extreme BB/9 rate.  Davies is in the same boat as Masterson.  Narveson is interesting and could be a good sleeper pick in deep leagues on an improved Brewers team that is all in this year, he is going undrafted in most mockdrafts.  Shields is where this list gets interesting.  Big Game James has struggled since his and the Rays breakout season in ’08.  Shields has suffered from a lot of bad luck the past 2 seasons including an unsightly .341 BABIP in ’10, but his peripherals are all good – his K/BB ranked 10th in the majors in 2010.  The Rays don’t look to be contenders, but look for Shields to improve in 2011.  His current ADP is 160 (43rd SP) so he could also come as a big time bargain in later rounds.  Bonderman – eh, he’s undraftable.  Another pitcher of note is Zach Greinke – his delta is (0.66) and moving to the aforementioned Brewers and the  NL, it’s easy to imagine Zach rekindling his ’09 mastery.   His ADP is 47 (8th SP) so you might want to reach to ensure you get him, but if he slips to the 4th or 5th round in your draft you better pounce.

Buchholz’s delta jumps way off the page at a whopping -1.59 runs.  His 2010 peripherals were below league average so he is due for a major dose of reality in 2011.  He is being drafted 91st (25th SP) ahead of guys like Roy Oswalt and Shawn Marcum – I want no part of Buchholz’s return to reality and neither do you – let the uninformed over pay for him.  Trevor Cahill is another good young SP who is due for a major regression – his incredible league lowest .236 BABIP is just not sustainable.  He’s being drafted right after Buchholz – pass.  Hudson’s low K/9 rate and .249 BABIP also signal a regression in ’11.  At ADP 140 (38th) he’s not quite as risky but look at picking up Shields instead.  Lopez is undraftable, Garcia’s high walk rate is cause for concern and his impressive rookie campaign will yield to the inevitable sophomore slump, he’s only worth a late round flyer in deep or NL leagues.

I hope this first installment of the Causal Sabermetrician was helpful, I’ll see you in the next episode where we’ll turn to the offense.