Tag Archives: Justin Masterson

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.
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07.06.11 Box Score Breakdown: Fantasy MLB News and Notes

Looks like slumps could be ending soon…

4th and Home Player of the Day: Nate Schierholtz – 3/6, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI…”Schier Holtz!” Remember his love triangle with Maebe and George Michael?

The Bats:
Evan Longoria
– 3/6, 2 R, HR, 4 RBI…Him and D.Wright should inject some roids so they live up to their draft position!

Hunter Pence – 3/5, 2 R, 2 RBI, SB…A lot of sites are calling for him to regress, which will probably happen, but that doesn’t mean he won’t put up stats like years previous. Love me some Pence.

Ryan Zimmerman – 3/4, R, HR, 2 RBI…RBIs no. 14 and 15. Look out!

Dan Uggla – 2/3, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI…B2B games with a homer and Uggly is now batting .183.

Jordan Schafer – 4/5, R, RBI, SB…Seems like he is tearing the cover off the ball lately – but he’s not.

Austin Jackson – 0/1, 2 R, 4 BB…Four walks?!?!?! Throw it over the plate, he won’t hit it!

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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.
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Fantasy MLB Spot Starting: 04.20.11

Well all good things must come to an end, and our 3 game streak of good picks did so last night with Travis Wood.  But at least I didn’t have any money on it, right Killboy?

For games on Wednesday April 20th 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 45%/44% (MIL) @ PHL

Wade Davis 16%/51% (TB) vs. ChW

R.A. Dickey 25%/12% (NYM) vs. HOU

Erik Bedard 11%/4% (SEA) vs. DET

Bud Norris 11%/3% (HOU) @ NYM

Jon Garland 8% / 5% (LAD) vs. ATL

Charlie Morton 4%/2.5% (PIT) @ FLA

Bartolo Colon 3% / 0.4% (NYY) @ TOR

My Pick: Wade Davis vs. White Sox

Alternate: R.A. Dickey vs. Astros

Deep League Special: Bartolo Colon at Blue Jays

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Killin’ the Odds & the Regular Season

Yesterday’s Results

Milwaukee Brewers: LOSS -100

The Brewers needed at least one game in this series especially with the Braves coming to town.

Chicago White Sox: LOSS -100

After scoring 23 runs in the first two games, they only get one run off Justin Masterson?

Detroit Tigers: WIN +152

Hitting a dog on a bad day helps minimize your losses.

Daily Total: -48

 

Brian “Killboy” Kilpatrick is currently up +681 imaginary dollars in 2011.

2011 Fantasy Baseball Busts: David Price

At the young age of 25, David Price has already started in an All-Star game, pitched in the World Series and finished runner-up  in the 2010 Cy Young voting. In 2010, he posted a 2.72 ERA with 19 wins and 188 strikeouts in 208.2 innings. Those numbers look outstanding but, the numbers under the surface paint a different picture.

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2011 American League Central Previews: Indians

Today’s Focus: Cleveland Indians

When I look at this team, I feel sad and I’m not even a Cleveland Indians fan.

It looks like Carlos Santana will be staring opening day and Shin-Soo Choo is returning healthy. Lonnie Chisenhall, Alex White and Jason Kipnis are their 3 best prospects and Kipnis may see time at 2B this year. Manager Manny Acta has mentioned Jared Goedert will get a good look at 3rd base this spring. In 481 ABs between AA and AAA, Goedert hit .283 with 27 home runs and 83 RBI.

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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.