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04-19

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BP Bronx
by
Nick Shlain

04-19

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1

Rubbing Mud: So You Want to Trade Your Draft Pick
by
Matthew Trueblood

04-18

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BP Boston
by
Matthew Kory

04-17

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5

Fantasy Rounders: Rookie Distractions
by
Doug Thorburn

04-17

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3

The Prospectus Hit List: Friday, April 17
by
Matthew Kory

04-17

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1

What You Need to Know: April 17, 2015
by
Chris Mosch

04-17

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9

Going Yard: How Bryant Can Crush
by
Ryan Parker

04-17

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1

Raising Aces: Walker on the Wild Side
by
Doug Thorburn

04-17

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12

Deep League Report: Week Two
by
Keith Cromer

04-17

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1

TTO Scoresheet Podcast: Episode 51
by
Ian Lefkowitz, Ben Murphy and Jared Weiss

04-17

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The Quinton: Early-Season Trades: Pros and Cons
by
Jeff Quinton

04-17

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1

Painting the Black: Pedro Alvarez's Trip From Worst to First
by
R.J. Anderson

04-17

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2

Going Yard: Quick Hits: Forrest Wall
by
Ryan Parker

04-17

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29

The Call-Up: Kris Bryant
by
Christopher Crawford and Bret Sayre

04-17

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1

BP Wrigleyville
by
Sahadev Sharma

04-17

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8

Minor League Update: Games of Thursday, April 16, 2015
by
Jeff Moore

04-17

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5

Fantasy Starting Pitcher Planner: Week Three
by
Mike Gianella

04-16

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7

Fantasy Rounders: The Price of Context
by
Doug Thorburn

04-16

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5

Fantasy Freestyle: New Managers and Stolen Bases
by
J.P. Breen

04-16

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21

The Stash List: Second Edition, 2015
by
Bret Sayre

04-16

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6

Transaction Analysis: Say Yas
by
R.J. Anderson, Christopher Crawford and Jeff Quinton

04-16

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2

Some Projection Left: Scouting the Changeup
by
Christopher Crawford

04-16

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7

Eyewitness Accounts: April 16, 2015
by
CJ Wittmann and Tucker Blair

04-16

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7

Minor League Update: Games of Wednesday, April 15, 2015
by
Jeff Moore

04-16

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5

What You Need to Know: Canoooooooooooo!
by
Daniel Rathman

04-15

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The Prospectus Hit List: Wednesday, April 15
by
Matt Sussman

04-15

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Fantasy Rounders: Left In
by
Doug Thorburn

04-15

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10

An Agent's Take: A New Season In Agentland
by
Joshua Kusnick

04-15

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13

The Lineup Card: Nine of Our Favorite #weirdbaseball Games
by
Baseball Prospectus

04-15

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9

The Quinton: Three Auction Takeaways
by
Jeff Quinton

04-15

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4

Dynasty Dynamics: 2015 U25 Rankings: National League East
by
Ben Carsley and Craig Goldstein

04-15

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Streaming Two-Start Pitchers
by
J.P. Breen

04-15

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11

Rubbing Mud: The Early-Season Odds Changers
by
Matthew Trueblood

04-15

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1

Transaction Analysis: Second-Week Subs
by
R.J. Anderson

04-15

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7

Minor League Update: Games of Tuesday, April 14, 2015
by
Jeff Moore

04-15

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What You Need to Know: Matt Harvey's 'Weird' Return
by
Daniel Rathman

04-14

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2

BP Wrigleyville
by
Matthew Trueblood

04-14

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0

Fantasy Rounders: Another One Bites the Dust
by
Doug Thorburn

04-14

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35

Prospectus Feature: How To Design A Modern Box Score
by
Jesse Krailler

04-14

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1

Expert FAAB Review: Week Two
by
Mike Gianella

04-14

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: Early Returns
by
Nick Shlain

04-14

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6

Closer Report: Third Edition, 2015
by
Matt Collins

04-14

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38

Baseball Therapy: Hit the Pitcher Eighth?
by
Russell A. Carleton

04-14

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6

Minor League Update: Games of Monday, April 13, 2015
by
Jeff Moore

04-14

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7

What You Need to Know: April 14, 2015
by
Chris Mosch

04-13

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9

Prospectus Feature: HACKING MASS 2015!
by
Rob McQuown

04-13

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3

Fantasy Rounders: Home is Where the Heart is
by
Doug Thorburn

04-13

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2

The Prospectus Hit List: Monday, April 13
by
Matthew Kory

04-13

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2

Transaction Analysis: Sounds the Knuckleballer Alert
by
R.J. Anderson

04-13

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2

Rubbing Mud: Un-Giving Up on the Diamondbacks Front Office
by
Matthew Trueblood

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April 14, 2015 3:03 pm

BP Wrigleyville

2

Matthew Trueblood

A deep bench and resting regulars is becoming a trend all across sports, and it's starting to catch on in baseball as well.

This piece originally appeared on BP Wrigleyville, Baseball Prospectus' local site for all your Cubs needs. And be sure to visit BP Boston and BP Bronx for Red Sox and Yankees analysis as well.

In baseball, as in all things, this is an age of specialization. Starting pitchers pitch less than ever, making fewer starts:

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Aces are chewed up and spit out, so we try to step between the raindrops that melt DFS point totals

Early-season grenades have blown up the stat lines of some of the game's top arms, including Clayton Kershaw, Jordan Zimmermann, and Madison Bumgarner. Add Jon Lester to the list after yesterday's six-run shellacking, an outing that stung DFS gamers who saw the left-hander as a safe choice due to: A) his being one of the top pitchers taking the hill that day, B) his having the massive platoon advantage against Cincy sluggers Joey Votto and Jay Bruce, and C) his facing a depleted lineup that was without Devin Mesoraco and Billy Hamilton.

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How do you fit an entire baseball game in a small rectangle?

Jesse Krailler runs Modern Box Score, which is experimenting with a new way of visualizing everything that happened in a baseball game. We're big fans of it, so we asked him to take us through the designs he discarded and the decisions he made.

Data visualization is hot right now. Very hot. DataVis, as the cool kids call it, is so hot that there seems to be a conference on the subject in a major city once I week. I am in an airport, returning from one such conference. That fact is only relevant to this story, because this week’s conference was the second I’ve had the pleasure of attending in person, and the first is where this whole thing got started.

In the fall of 2013, I attended a large Data Visualization conference that had a small afternoon session on sports visualizations. Most of the presenters were discussing work they had done with sports primarily popular in Europe – namely soccer and rugby. The only U.S.-based presenters had done their work in either basketball or football. With baseball having, by far, the most publicly available historic data, I was surprised that it didn’t even make an appearance in this session.

One of the presentations I watched that day was an attempt to illustrate the individual performance of soccer players over the course of a game. The developers were using a series of glyphs representing players to show things like time of possession, shots and fouls. There's little variety to events that happen in a soccer match, so the amount of information to glean from the visualization wasn’t huge.

I got back to my room that night with these presentations stuck in my head. Baseball, I thought, is desperately lacking for interesting visualizations. I’m willing to bet that 95 percent of baseball analytics articles contain, at most, heat maps and/or scatter plots. Most of them are just text and tables. While these articles contain great analysis and insights, many don’t keep my attention. I like pictures. Pretty ones, at that.

Between major-league games (almost all in my city of residence, Cincinnati) and minor league games within driving distance, I usually get to watch 5-15 games live each season. Contrary to my anti-hoarding approach to life, I have a file drawer full of scorecards from games that I’ve attended. What I like about these scorecards, and the reason I save them, is that they give me enough information to recreate the game in my head. When I become senile, my only earthly possessions will be these scorecards, and I will play these games over and over in my mind’s eye. I’ll pretend that I remember being there, but I can’t possibly, and it won’t matter because I have all the information I need to keep that illusion alive.

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A look at how the wise guys spent their money in expert leagues this week.

Depending on how long you have been a Baseball Prospectus subscriber, welcome or welcome back to the Expert FAAB Review. Every week, I’m going to take a look at the players and the process behind the bidding in LABR mixed, Tout Wars NL, and either LABR AL or Tout Wars AL (I will alternate every week). Bret Sayre and I participate in LABR mixed while I have a team in Tout Wars NL, so I can provide some insights behind the reasoning on the bids. Budgets in all three leagues start at $100 at the beginning of the season.

Random Quote of the Week
“Remember that old Schoolhouse Rock cartoon about the bill who sings a song about how he becomes a law? Hey, and what about the Snorks? Remember them?” – America (the book)


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April 14, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Early Returns

3

Nick Shlain

Examining the results to date from three players for whom Nick had high expectations entering the season.

While it’s hard to take a lot of meaning from the super early season results, today I’ll look at a couple of players and a pitcher that I was higher on than most people were entering the season and gauge their season outlook. We begin with two players who were integral to my strategy in the My Model Portfolio series: J.D. Martinez and Mookie Betts.

J.D. Martinez – Detroit Tigers

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April 14, 2015 6:00 am

Closer Report: Third Edition, 2015

6

Matt Collins

Surveying the ninth-inning situations around the league.

Jenrry Mejia Suspended 80 Games
Continuing the trend of MLB players getting suspended for the throwback steroid Stanozolol, Mejia tested positive last week. He was already on the 15-day disabled list, which I wrote about last week, but this obviously pushes him back even further. It adds a little protection to Jeurys Familia’s job, but not much. As I said last week, Bobby Parnell is gearing up to start his rehab assignment, and should be back on the roster in a couple of weeks. Familia has almost certainly been picked up in your leagues by now, but if Parnell is still available and you can afford to stash him, he could pay off relatively soon.

Toronto Shakes Up Their Bullpen
Well, I’ve had my first way-off prediction of the year. When the Blue Jays named Brett Cecil their closer, I confidently stated he would hold on to the job for the majority of the year. So much for that. This past week, John Gibbons took Cecil out of the role and handed the job to 20-year-old Miguel Castro. He hadn’t pitched above High-A coming into this season, but he’s looked good in the early going this year. Gibbons did indicate that part of the reason for the move was to get Cecil back on track with his mechanics. That, combined with Castro’s inexperience, could mean another move could be made relatively quickly, so don’t go dropping Cecil just yet in deep leagues.



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April 14, 2015 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Hit the Pitcher Eighth?

38

Russell A. Carleton

The fallout from Joe Maddon's lineup choice.

Every season has its Sabermetric bellwether issue. Trout vs. Cabrera. The infield shift. Catcher framing. Joey Votto in the two-hole. But before all that, there was Tony La Russa hitting the pitcher in the eighth spot in the lineup. La Russa, when he managed the Cardinals, was known to be willing to experiment a bit to gain an edge. Then again, during his A’s days, La Russa was credited with “inventing” the modern bullpen and Dennis Eckersley. In 1993, he even tried a pitching strategy which had three groups of three pitchers each that worked a three-day rotation. The experiment lasted a week, but he gave it a shot. But now, the La Russa gambit of hitting the pitcher eighth is back.

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April 14, 2015 6:00 am

Minor League Update: Games of Monday, April 13, 2015

6

Jeff Moore

Notes on Byron Buxton, Corey Seager, Nomar Mazara, and more.

Byron Buxton, OF, Twins (Chattanooga, AA): 4-6, R, 2B, 3B, CS. It feels like it’s been forever since we’ve been able to rave about Buxton. Sure, he’s still the top prospect in all of baseball, but it doesn’t feel like it right? It’s difficult to be overlooked when you’re at the top, but given the plethora of Cubs prospects dominating the prospect landscape, the strength of the Twins system surrounding Buxton, and the general lack of attention span of all of us, it’s easy to see why we’ve forgotten about Buxton to a certain extent. After an injury-riddled 2014 campaign, we’re still in virtually the same place we were a year ago with Buxton. With a Double-A challenge lying ahead of him, a healthy season of Buxton will tell us a lot about his development. Clearly, the tools are still well intact.

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April 14, 2015 6:00 am

What You Need to Know: April 14, 2015

7

Chris Mosch

Lester throws a pickoff, Zimmermann's ERA burns, Mookie Betts is a stud, and more from Monday.

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Huckabay's Annual Call to Keep Immobility Next to Godliness: Maximus Aggregatus Stiffisimus Sensire (HACKING MASS) is now live for 2015, with the deadline to enter impending.

Stop the presses! Last minute upgrade! We have a new prize to announce for the winner! Deadline is Tuesday, April 13, 2015, at noon Pacific.

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Sometimes home/road splits matter outside of Denver...

Opening Week has come and gone, and the craziness of week one was equal parts small-sample expectancy and player-adjustment reality. It served as yet another reminder that these players are not robots, and there is no evidence like the field of play. It also served as a reminder of the volatility inherent in the season's first week, and that a single start of in-game evaluation can sometimes carry more weight than an entire off-season full of post hoc analysis.

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April 13, 2015 10:36 am

The Prospectus Hit List: Monday, April 13

2

Matthew Kory

Offense might be down, but we aim to offend you at least once today.

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