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J.P. Breen 

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10-28

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Looking Back: Madison Bumgarner for Cy Young
by
J.P. Breen

10-15

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Lorenzo Cain
by
J.P. Breen

10-06

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Sergio Romo
by
J.P. Breen

10-06

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6

Playoff Prospectus: A Royal Shocker
by
J.P. Breen

10-03

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7

Playoff Prospectus: Baseball Nirvana Game Previews
by
Sahadev Sharma, Jeff Quinton, Mike Gianella, Doug Thorburn and J.P. Breen

10-02

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Are Elite Pitchers Becoming More Numerous?
by
J.P. Breen

09-22

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Circling Back to The Holy Trinity
by
J.P. Breen

09-17

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Streaming Strikeouts
by
J.P. Breen

09-10

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2

The Buyer's Guide: Lance Lynn
by
J.P. Breen

08-27

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0

The Call-Up: Jorge Soler
by
J.P. Breen and Mauricio Rubio

08-25

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2

The Buyer's Guide: Carlos Carrasco
by
J.P. Breen

08-21

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0

Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Ep. 31: J.P.! You Made It
by
Bret Sayre, Mike Gianella, J.P. Breen and Mauricio Rubio

08-20

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Being Wrong About Yovani Gallardo
by
J.P. Breen

08-18

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2

The Buyer's Guide: Jonathan Lucroy
by
J.P. Breen

08-13

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: Setting Expectations on Superstars
by
J.P. Breen

08-11

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1

The Buyer's Guide: Josh Harrison
by
J.P. Breen

08-11

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7

The Call-Up: Michael Taylor
by
Tucker Blair and J.P. Breen

08-04

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2

The Buyer's Guide: Lucas Duda
by
J.P. Breen

08-01

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14

Transaction Analysis: The Great Big David Price Trade
by
R.J. Anderson, J.P. Breen, Sam Miller, Jordan Gorosh, Paul Sporer, Craig Goldstein and Jeff Quinton

08-01

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4

Transaction Analysis: Astros, Marlins, Swap Sell-Low Guys
by
Zachary Levine, Jeff Moore, J.P. Breen and Jason Parks

07-31

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0

Transaction Analysis: Andrew Miller Goes to Baltimore
by
R.J. Anderson, Tucker Blair and J.P. Breen

07-31

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2

Transaction Analysis: Brewers Get Parra's Glove
by
R.J. Anderson and J.P. Breen

07-28

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0

The Buyer's Guide: Francisco Liriano
by
J.P. Breen

07-23

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: Useful Non-Closer Relievers
by
J.P. Breen

07-21

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9

The Buyer's Guide: Jason Kipnis
by
J.P. Breen

07-14

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2

The Buyer's Guide: Howie Kendrick
by
J.P. Breen

07-09

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6

Fantasy Freestyle: Don't Forget About Me
by
J.P. Breen

07-07

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1

The Buyer's Guide: Michael Brantley
by
J.P. Breen

07-01

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7

The Buyer's Guide: Jake Arrieta
by
J.P. Breen

06-25

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Checking in on Cinderella: Pitchers
by
J.P. Breen

06-24

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6

The Call-Up: Marco Gonzales
by
Jeff Moore and J.P. Breen

06-23

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5

The Buyer's Guide: Billy Butler
by
J.P. Breen

06-18

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7

Fantasy Freestyle: Checking in on Cinderella: Hitters
by
J.P. Breen

06-16

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5

The Buyer's Guide: Michael Wacha
by
J.P. Breen

06-09

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5

The Buyer's Guide: Pablo Sandoval
by
J.P. Breen

06-02

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13

The Buyer's Guide: Homer Bailey
by
J.P. Breen

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The Giants' ace has stolen the show this postseason, and J.P. saw his outstanding 2014 coming.

Prior to the season, in a previous life, I made numerous fantasy baseball predictions. Some were (spectacularly) wrong, and conversely, some went quite well. Perhaps the more interesting discussion, however, centers on the predictions that were somehow both right and wrong. Because, at least in my mind, those are the predictions that best encapsulate the experience of fantasy baseball. You can have stellar process, nail your projections, and still come up short.

That’s what happened here:

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October 15, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Lorenzo Cain

2

J.P. Breen

The Royals center fielder has put his stamp on the postseason, but can he do the same for your fantasy team in 2015?

Player Background
Though he’s 28 years old, Lorenzo Cain hasn’t played baseball as long as many of the guys in Double-A and Triple-A. As a child, his love was on the basketball court, but as a freshman in high school, he failed to make the team. That heartbreak pushed him onto the diamond, where he flourished… after many growing pains.

Anyway, read this magnificent article by Andy McCullough on Cain’s unlikely and uneven journey in baseball. He chronicles the story much better than I could hope to in this space. It was one of my favorite baseball reads of the year.


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October 6, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Sergio Romo

1

J.P. Breen

The slider-happy righty has pitched well since losing his ninth-inning duties, but his long-term outlook hinges on a return to the closer role.

Player Background
Romo has served as the Giants closer in some capacity in each of the past three seasons. He owns a combined 2.38 ERA over 283 2/3 innings since the beginning of 2010, so fantasy owners have grown to expect dominance. The nasty frisbee-like slider, low arm slot, and above-average control combine to bring sterling results. The right-hander is a prime example of a low-velocity reliever who cruises because he does something special, and while a triple-digit fastball affords a reliever plenty of wiggle room on the mound, success at the major-league level is about consistency and having something special in the arsenal. And Romo hasn’t posted a whiff rate under 20 percent on his slider since before the 2010 season. It’s money. It’s why he has the 12th-best ERA among relievers who have thrown at least 200 innings since 2010.

What Went Wrong in 2014?
The first half of the season.



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October 6, 2014 2:19 am

Playoff Prospectus: A Royal Shocker

6

J.P. Breen

The Royals are the latest team to remind us to expect the unexpected in the playoffs.

The Kansas City Royals entered the 2014 postseason as the feel-good team of the year. The franchise hadn’t enjoyed home cooking in October since the glorious 1985 season. Of course, they weren’t considered a dominant club in the regular season this year by any stretch, but thanks to a combined 34-21 record in August and September, the Royals ended that woeful 29-year postseason drought. The baseball world rejoiced. It was a tremendous story.

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Four postseason games, with the first pitch scheduled before breakfast on the West Coast. Previews of all four of them.

All losses count the same no matter the score, so after a dismaying loss Thursday the Tigers get a chance to even the series.

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October 2, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Are Elite Pitchers Becoming More Numerous?

2

J.P. Breen

We might be in the "Era of the Pitcher," but does that mean that the league is teeming with top-shelf arms?

Early last week, I reintroduced the concept of the Holy Trinity and outlined the 19 starting pitchers who qualified for the elite status. Furthermore, I argued that Holy Trinity pitchers, on average, significantly outperform the league-average pitcher. While that’s not a groundbreaking discovery, the estimated margin of 1.00 ERA for any HT pitcher over the league-average starter is remarkable enough to perhaps persuade fantasy owners to specifically alter their draft board in order to target them.

However, the HT list from 2014 is merely a piece of the puzzle. It begs the question: Are HT pitchers increasing in frequency as pitching continues to dominate across Major League Baseball?

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September 22, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Circling Back to The Holy Trinity

2

J.P. Breen

A look at the pitchers who excelled in the three statistical areas fantasy owners cherish most.

The Holy Trinity is nothing new ‘round these parts. Bret Sayre discussed the concept and gave it its moniker last season, and I brought it up once again in my first piece at Baseball Prospectus. For those who are unfamiliar with The Holy Trinity, though, it’s pretty simple. As fantasy owners, we like pitchers who can either strike guys out, limit walks, or generate copious amounts of ground balls. But we love pitchers who can do all three. Thus, The Holy Trinity occurs when a pitcher posts better-than-average strikeout, walk, and ground-ball rates.

In short, they’re generally the guys to covet in fantasy leagues. They tend to be the anchors for your starting rotation, as they can provide above-average production in all categories. We’re not talking about someone like Francisco Liriano, who will rack up the strikeouts but drag down the WHIP category. These are guys like King Felix who provide value in strikeouts, wins, ERA, and WHIP.

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September 17, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Streaming Strikeouts

1

J.P. Breen

If your fantasy squad needs some late-season Ks, J.P. has you covered.

As we move to the closing weeks of the season, fantasy owners in the championship hunt are forced to chase specific categories. Realistically, only a category or two leave room for fluctuation with so few games remaining, so any late-season waiver pickups tend to relate to those specific needs.

In this article, I want to focus on little-owned starting pitchers who could help rack up the strikeouts down the stretch. Most leagues have moved beyond the trade deadline; thus, any potential additions must come from the waiver wire. All ownership statistics are from ESPN leagues, but one can reasonable assume that Yahoo! and CBS ownership rates would be roughly equivalent.

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September 10, 2014 6:00 am

The Buyer's Guide: Lance Lynn

2

J.P. Breen

Has the Cardinals righty truly become a fronline starter, or should owners look to dump him on someone who believes in his breakout?

With less than a month remaining in the 2014 season, we begin to shift our gaze toward the 2015 fantasy campaign. That’s not only because many leagues have moved beyond their trade deadlines, but also because it’s too difficult to project performance over a two- or three-week period of time. Too much fluctuation exists. Thus, the buy, hold, or sell discussion at the end of the piece will be geared toward the 2015 campaign while still providing some analysis in regards to the remaining three weeks.

September and October is when fantasy owners begin to reflect on the entire year and dish out accolades. While we’ll be talking about Fantasy MVPs and Fantasy Busts soon enough, the Most Underappreciated Player is regularly one of the more interesting distinctions discussed each autumn. In that vein, it seems right-hander Lance Lynn is deservedly getting some love as of late. He’s been overshadowed by Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha this year—and even Shelby Miller more recently, to some extent—but he owns a sterling 2.80 ERA and has easily been a top-30 fantasy starter.

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August 27, 2014 12:02 am

The Call-Up: Jorge Soler

0

J.P. Breen and Mauricio Rubio

The Cubs call up another of the most exciting prospects in the minors, as Jorge Soler takes his place in front of Wrigley's ivy.

The situation: The rebuilding Cubs find themselves in need of an outfielder as Justin Ruggiano is likely headed to the disabled list. Top prospect Jorge Soler has been mashing at Double- and Triple-A and has earned a callup that will likely last the rest of the year.

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August 25, 2014 6:00 am

The Buyer's Guide: Carlos Carrasco

2

J.P. Breen

The Indians righty caught J.P.'s attention last week, and now might be the time to pounce.

Spring training in Arizona is close to perfection for me. I adore the various unique ballparks that only fill to half of their capacity, the infectious optimism that surrounds every team, the pristine weather, and the opportunity to submerge myself in nothing but baseball. Most of all, I enjoy the action on the backfields. There’s something great about watching dozens of young players playing a wonderful game, wearing jerseys without their names on the backs, and honing their craft in relative obscurity.

The real thrill, though, comes when some no-name guy jacks one 450 feet to straightaway center. Or when a random pitcher catches your eye because he’s popping triple digits with ease. It’s that moment in which you mutter, “Wow. Who the f--- is this guy?” and quickly start scribbling notes.

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Bret and Mike take some deeper dives into important fantasy topics of the week.

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