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June 16, 2014

The Buyer's Guide

Michael Wacha

by J.P. Breen


It’s only the third installment of The Buyer’s Guide on Baseball Prospectus—you can find the previous two right here and here—so I still feel obligated to introduce the column and to elaborate on what we’re doing in this space each Monday.

The overall goal is always to better understand an individual player’s trends and to make our best educated guess for future performance. With that said, I also strive to center the discussion around fantasy value. We’ll place a buy, sell, or hold label on the individual player each week, but readers should more importantly leave with a few concrete trends or performance changes upon which to focus and to ultimately make the buy-or-sell decision on their own. I’m simply offering my best recommendation.

This week, y’all didn’t step your recommendation game up in the comments or on Twitter, so I got to choose who I wanted to write about. That’s starter Michael Wacha of the St. Louis Cardinals.

As always, let’s do this.

*****

Small sample sizes routinely get misused in fantasy baseball. Too often, players are added and dropped in fantasy leagues after a brief hot or cold streak, and owners fail to recognize those abnormal stretches are not representative of future performance, good or bad. Conversely, small sample sizes are too often discarded as unimportant, as some owners favor the larger body of work as more likely to be indicative of future performance.

However, some small sample sizes can be supremely useful for fantasy owners. They can point our attention to encouraging or concerning trends, giving fantasy owners something to monitor when it comes to future performance. In essence, small sample sizes often mislead people when they’re acted upon; rather, those small sample sizes should be monitored to determine if they become representative of a growing trend. When an owner becomes convinced that trend has become indicative of future performance, that’s when moves should take place.

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Related Content:  Fantasy,  Michael Wacha

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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Interleague Report: We... (06/16)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article The Buyer's Guide: Pab... (06/09)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article The Buyer's Guide: Bil... (06/23)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Closer to Me: Week 12 (06/16)

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