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April 12, 2013

Fantasy Mailbag

Be Patient with Struggling Blue Jays

by BP Fantasy Staff

Question: Standard Y!, 12-team, H2H 5x5 league. Should I drop Jedd Gyorko for Evan Gattis? I have Pedro Alvarez at 3B, Everth Cabrera at 2B, Sal Perez is C. Is the power coming for Gyorko or is he overmatched?  Been starting him over Alvarez but not considering dropping Alvarez.  I like Perez but Gattis is showing great pop and I believe it's for real.

Answer: We definitely think you can make that move, but you shouldn't bench Perez. Depending on your league rules, Gattis may also be eligible in the outfield, as that is where a majority of his minor-league playing time was in 2012. —Jason Collette and Paul Sporer

Question: I'm in a pretty deep, 14-team mixed, redraft, 5x5 H2H league.  Up until two days ago, the best hitters on the free-agent market were guys owned in less than 5% of leagues. For some unknown and ridiculous reason, Victor Martinez was dropped in favor of Chris Iannetta. I would normally be pissed off, but I had the number-one waiver claim, so I just got him this morning.  The entire draft, Jonathan Lucroy was my target at catcher.  I landed him and was thrilled because I think he'll have a solid season, especially for where I got him (15th round, 206th overall).  But now I have two catchers I really like and must absolutely trade one of them.  My problem is Lucroy's value is terribly low right now after his slow start, and V-Mart's isn't great considering his early struggles as well.

So the question is ,who should I try to pawn off? If Paul is answering this, I know as a Tigers fan you'd probably want to keep Martinez, but I just don't think I can get a decent enough return on Lucroy.  Or should I just wait it out until one of them gets hot?  My problem there is I had to drop my middle infielder to pick him up (since all of my pitchers were much better).  So I'll be fielding an incomplete team until I can make a trade or one of my pitchers falls off the table.

Answer: You need find someone with a catcher issue and see who they prefer, because neither will jump off the page for folks who only look at the 2013 numbers, and your league knows you paid nothing for V-Mart. You don't want to field an incomplete team, though. —Paul Sporer

Question:  I used my third pick on Encarnacion and am getting killed. He is coming off career highs and looks lost. Ten days into season and I’m already doubting him. Would you agree trying to get Billy Butler for him?

Answer: I would not press the panic button yet. Encarnacion will still be the better player when it is said and done. —Jason Collette

Question: I want to send some trade offers on R.A. Dickey.  Is offering Jon Lester or Jake Peavy a good move?  Or are they starting to look like better options than Dickey?

Answer: I'd offer Peavy all day long. I actually like Lester for 2013. —Jason Collette

Question: In both the weighted means spreadsheet and the player forecast manager, the batting average column is not equivalent to what you get when you divide hits by at-bats. The difference is more than can be accounted for by rounding. For example, Hank Conger has AB=205, H=51, and AVG=.242, but if you divide his hits by at-bats (51/205) you get .249 for his average. Is this an error or am I missing something?  Which value is the correct projected batting average?

Answer: To explain why we don't just use the values in the sheet to come up with AVG instead of the unrounded values, it can lead to some really funky things for low-PA players (particularly when you're talking about RoS PECOTA). —Colin Wyers

What you are experiencing is compounded rounding, actually. So, the most accurate rate stats are the ones published, not the ones you get by recomputing. It's (1B+2B+3B+HR)/AB, and all five numbers can be rounded. The minimum value for Conger is thus .238, whereas we have .242 in the projection, and 51/205 is .249. Colin Wyers offers another example, including actual internal data:

Take the first guy, Zunino at 20th percentile. Here's his unrounded batting average:

36.888213629322614/180.16827480545277 = 0.20474311400913851060655429999999

But we round down each type of hit individually:

Singles: 23.41308056162531

Doubles: 6.498392480577419

Triples: 0.4819544741510184

Home Runs: 6.494786112968868

And since we're shaving off about .4 from each of those, we end up with a shortfall of two hits when you sum up what's on the cards, hence the batting average disparity. —Rob McQuown

Question: I have been offered a trade: Ben Zobrist for Edwin Encarnacion. We are a 12 team AVG, HR, SB, XBH, RBI league. I have Brandon Belt, Chris Davis, and Nick Swisher eligible at first base.

Answer: I think Encarnacion is more valuable than Zobrist in this format; however, I can see your problem in terms of the depth you have at first. A lot depends on who you're replacing with Zobrist. If you have a really weak option at the middle, I would go ahead and make that trade. If you're talking about a minor upgrade over someone like Asdrubal Cabrera (for example), I would hold off. —Mike Gianella 

Question: I play in deep leagues. Here's what I'd like to hear about:

1. Jason Castro, C, HOU. Anything, really; all I have are pathetic blurbs that tell me nothing.

2. Who will play 2B in Oakland? Now that Jemile Weeks was sent down, is it Scott Sizemore?

3. Same question, 2B in Houston. With Tyler Greene DFA'd, will it be Ronny Cedeno?

Answer: Castro was a prospect of some import a while back, given that he was a 10th-overall pick, but his stock has fallen and the depth of catcher across the league makes him little more than a C2. Weeks has been sent down as of this email, and Eric Sogard has gotten the first two starts at the keystone—a complete non-factor in fantasy. Second base in HOU is Jose Altuve; shortstop appears to be Cedeno, who is not much better than Sogard. —Paul Sporer

Question: I've always thought about what (if any) consequences arise from having a fantasy roster that contains players that play for the same big-league team. Ultimately, the numbers each individual player produces throughout the course of a season should more or less be independent of what other players on their team produce (obviously this is not completely true if you use stats like RBI and runs scored).

I've considered that having two-plus players on the same major-league team may hurt a fantasy roster because those players may be susceptible to being shut out by a great pitching performance, thus hurting offensive categories. However, isn't every player (generally speaking, again) just as susceptible to being shut out by great pitching? So the risk should be about the same, regardless of what players you have and what teams they play for.

The only concrete downside I can think of is that if you have multiple players who play for the same big league team, your team may be hurt by days off. With limited roster spots (as there are in my current league), that can make a difference because you cannot easily replace players with bench spots.

This year in particular, I have three Rangers (Kinsler, Beltre, Berkman), two Orioles (Jones, Hardy) and two Indians (Santana, Bourn). Out of the players I just listed, the only player I do not necessarily care for is Hardy, but overall, each player provides value.

I know this has been a long-winded lead in, but do you think that there is any reason for concern because I have the majority of my offensive starters playing for three different teams?

Answer: I can't see any reason for concern. Talent is talent. The only way the off-day thing would hurt is in H2H and it'd probably come out in the wash because there'd probably be a week where you get Tex, Bal, and Cle playing on a Monday when your opponent has several of his guys off. —Paul Sporer

BP Fantasy Staff is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
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