Amir Garrett steps forward, Matt Cain moves back on the radar, and welcome back, Dallas Keuchel! (And maybe King Felix, too.)
Every Friday I’ll be previewing the hurlers scheduled for two starts in the upcoming week. Hopefully that will give enough insight to make educated lineup moves and FAAB decisions over the weekend. As the old wrestling promoters would always say “Card Subject to Change," because lots can happen between the time this goes up and first pitch. Unfortunately, weather, injuries, and tinkering managers make this less than a science. I’ll do my best, though, and should new information present itself after this posts, we can go over it in the comments. We’ll crowdsource this as well, so if you hear anything, feel free to comment and we all can offer our takes, hot or not.
Here’s how this works. The pitchers will be split by league using these categories:
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King Felix and the Toddfather—unloaded! Jason Vargas—a $21 "zombie"? Taylor Motter—$15 for that gorgeous hair.
For those not already acquainted with The Dynasty Guru Experts League, it is a 20-team (40-man roster) 5x5 rotisserie dynasty league founded by BP managing editor Bret Sayre in 2014. It is intended to satisfy the deep-league needs of all, right down to just the right amount of Alexi Amarista. We roster 23 starters: C/1B/2B/3B/SS/MI/CI, along with two additional utility hitters, five outfielders and nine pitchers. We also roster seven bench slots and have 10 spots designated for minor leaguers, although a quick scan of the league finds that most teams utilize a majority of their bench spots for additional prospects. That means that there are an additional 100-120 prospects that are rostered above the 200 spots reserved for them.
These write-ups are intended to pair nicely with Mike Gianella’s Expert FAAB Review’s, as we will take a look at the TDGX free-agent acquisitions each week, as well as include thoughts on every major trade that occurs during the season. The yearly budget for free agent transactions is $100, with $0 bids allowed for major leaguers and prospects.
Bryce Harper owns Julio Teheran, Aaron Judge hits a bomb, Jason Vargas out-duels Madison Bumgarner, and the Tigers lose on a walk-off error.
The Wednesday Takeaway
In 2015, Bryce Harper set the baseball world on fire with one of the best non-Barry Bonds offensive seasons we’ve ever witnessed. Hitting .330/.460/.649 with 42 home runs and an absurd 197 wRC+, Harper’s age-22 season was so transcendent that it even made people question whether Mike Trout could stake claim as the no-doubt best player in baseball. Alas, Harper’s follow-up act was marred by ... “issues,” according to Scott Boras. If you ask anyone else, they’d tell you his performance was slowed by a nagging shoulder injury, which played a large role in his depressed .243 batting average and mere 24 home runs.
Starters are lasting fewer innings, but the reasons may surprise you.
I’m going to show you a lot of charts in this post. So if you don’t like charts, read one of the other articles on the site today. They’re good!
I’m going to start out by showing you a chart and ask you to guess what it is. The x axis is the years from 1920 to 2016. The y axis is a familiar baseball metric. It’s not something obscure like my article on Monday about multiple blown saves. Here it is:
You can learn a lot in line at Chipotle, but the Joey Gallo question is a little tougher.
Along an arterial road in the Dallas-Fort Worth sprawl, a hulking 6-foot-5 man in a black v-neck t-shirt simply seeks a burrito. At the local Chipotle, he finds a line of a half-dozen already formed, and silently takes his place behind a much more modestly built man of similar age.
Early on, look less at the data while watching more baseball.
April is a rough time for baseball analysts, fantasy or otherwise. We’re so excited to finally write about real baseball games that many of us inevitably jump the gun and start trying to parse through miniscule amounts of data. My best advice during the first 2-3 weeks of the season is to watch as much baseball as you can while looking at as little data as possible. Yes, this includes looking at how your teams are doing in their fantasy leagues. This is particularly true if your team is off to a poor start. Spend enough time looking at poor results for a two-week period and you might find yourself believing that your team really is this bad.
However, while performances seldom impact a fantasy team’s overall fortunes, events frequently do. Injuries are the most dramatic performance-altering event, but lineup changes or mid-season minor-league promotions can have an impact as well, particularly in deeper leagues. But the in-season change I want to talk about today involves closers.
Michael Chavis, 3B, Boston Red Sox (High-A, Salem): 3-4, 3 R, 3 HR, 5 RBI, BB
There were a lot of home runs hit today by notable prospects, but most of them lack the raw power that Chavis provides. It’s easy plus to better raw, with a plus arm at the hot corner. He has just struggled making contact and getting too pull happy. The tools are still there for an impact player at 3B, more days like this can only help.
The needs of others can outweigh the needs of yourself.
It’s early, but the post-draft, post-auction, post-opening day euphoria is waning already for most fantasy baseball participants. Some players are doing better than expected, and some are doing worse, even though, only 17 days into the season, we surely are looking at an incomplete picture. Regardless, this is the time when some owners will begin looking for trades.
Is now a good time even to be considering trades? Great question. I believe it is a good time to do so, if only because our competition often is looking to make a trade now. Put differently, the way to get the most back in trades usually is to make a deal with someone else who wants to make a trade, someone who either wants something specific, or who wants to trade a particular player. We know that trades can be difficult because of the endowment effect—our tendency to value something more, simply because we possess it; thus, we always are looking for opportunities to make trades with a team dealing with factors that are counteracting the endowment effect.