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Mike Gianella 

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11-20

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Retrospective Player Valuation: National League Pitchers
by
Mike Gianella

11-18

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Retrospective Player Valuation: National League Hitters
by
Mike Gianella

11-13

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7

Retrospective Player Valuation: American League Pitchers
by
Mike Gianella

11-11

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Retrospective Player Valuation: American League Hitters
by
Mike Gianella

11-05

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Transaction Analysis: Lind Blows Out of Toronto
by
R.J. Anderson and Mike Gianella

10-29

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3

Fantasy Team Preview: Minnesota Twins
by
Mike Gianella

10-28

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Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Ep. 35: We Were Into It
by
Bret Sayre, Mike Gianella and Mauricio Rubio

10-20

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Fantasy Freestyle: My Personal Scorecard: Part 2 - National League
by
Mike Gianella

10-17

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22

Playoff Prospectus: A Three-Act Tragedy, A Three-Act Triumph: NLCS Game 5
by
Mike Gianella

10-16

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Playoff Prospectus: PECOTA Odds and Game Five Preview
by
Mike Gianella

10-13

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Fantasy Freestyle: My Personal Scorecard: Part 1 - American League
by
Mike Gianella

10-13

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5

Playoff Prospectus: Managing in a 'Must-Not-Lose': NLCS Game 2
by
Mike Gianella

10-12

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Playoff Prospectus: PECOTA Odds and Game Two Previews
by
Mike Gianella

10-08

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7

Playoff Prospectus: Vogelsong Stymies, Williams Perplexes: NLDS Game Four
by
Mike Gianella

10-06

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Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Ep. 34 Therapuetic Fantasy Baseball
by
Bret Sayre, Mike Gianella and Mauricio Rubio

10-06

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5

Playoff Prospectus: PECOTA Odds and Monday Previews
by
Mike Gianella and Zachary Levine

10-05

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Playoff Prospectus: Zimmermann and Post-Zimmermann: The Two Games Within NLDS Game Two
by
Mike Gianella

10-03

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Playoff Prospectus: NLDS Preview: Nationals vs. Giants
by
Mike Gianella and Doug Thorburn

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

10-01

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9

Playoff Prospectus: NL Wild Card Game Preview
by
Mike Gianella

09-29

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Fantasy Freestyle: 2014 Expert-League Recaps
by
Mike Gianella

09-22

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Fantasy Freestyle: DFS and the State of Fantasy Baseball
by
Mike Gianella

09-18

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Free Agent Watch: Week 25
by
Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

09-17

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Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Ep. 33: Halfway House
by
Bret Sayre, Mike Gianella and Mauricio Rubio

09-15

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Fantasy Freestyle: The Other Guys, Part Two: National League
by
Mike Gianella

09-11

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11

Free Agent Watch: Week 24
by
Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

09-08

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10

Fantasy Freestyle: The Other Guys, Part One: American League
by
Mike Gianella

09-04

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5

Free Agent Watch: Week 23
by
Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

09-04

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Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Ep. 32: Just Turn My Mic Off
by
Bret Sayre, Mike Gianella and Mauricio Rubio

08-28

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Free Agent Watch: Week 21
by
Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

08-25

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Fantasy Freestyle: Weak Links
by
Mike Gianella

08-21

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

08-21

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Fantasy Freestyle: Week 21
by
Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

08-14

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Free Agent Watch: Week 20
by
Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

08-13

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Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Ep. 30: Responsible Adults
by
Bret Sayre and Mike Gianella

08-11

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9

Fantasy Freestyle: Other Competitive Balance Mechanisms
by
Mike Gianella

08-08

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Free Agent Watch: Week 19
by
Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

08-07

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Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Ep. 29: It's Not Realistic And You Shouldn't Expect It
by
Bret Sayre, Mike Gianella and Mauricio Rubio

08-04

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: Leagues With In-Season Salary Caps
by
Mike Gianella

07-31

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Transaction Analysis: Chris Denorfia is in the News!
by
Mike Gianella and Jeff Quinton

07-31

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Transaction Analysis: Cardinals Trade from the Depths
by
Jeff Quinton, Mike Gianella and Jason Parks

07-31

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Free Agent Watch: Week 18
by
Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

07-29

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Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Ep. 28: Trade Deadline Preview
by
Bret Sayre, Mike Gianella and Mauricio Rubio

07-28

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21

The HOF Rule Change
by
Mike Gianella

07-28

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Fantasy Freestyle: FAAB in Review: Asking the Non-Experts
by
Mike Gianella

07-28

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Transaction Analysis: Bochy and Peavy, Back Together
by
R.J. Anderson, Jason Parks and Mike Gianella

07-25

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Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Ep. 27: Closers On The 60 Day DL
by
Bret Sayre, Mike Gianella and Mauricio Rubio

07-24

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Free Agent Watch: Week 17
by
Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

07-23

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Transaction Analysis: Headley Chased
by
Sam Miller, Mike Gianella and Jeff Moore

07-21

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Fantasy Freestyle: The MLB Trade Landscape, Buyers
by
Mike Gianella

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September 15, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: The Other Guys, Part Two: National League

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Mike Gianella

These players might not be the center of your fantasy attention, but some could have sneaky keeper value in NL-only leagues.

Last week, I took a look at some of baseball’s “other guys.” These are players who can fit a lot of descriptions, but often are afterthoughts at this time of year. In keeper leagues with reserve lists, many of these players have to be activated or cut before the season is over, so it is definitely worth taking a look at this less scrutinized pool of players to see if they are worth hanging onto in 2015 and at what price point.

These recommendations are primarily geared toward AL-only and NL-only fantasy players. Last week I looked at the American League. Today, I tackle the National League.

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September 11, 2014 6:00 am

Free Agent Watch: Week 24

11

Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

If these players are on the waiver wire, they might be worth a look, depending on the format of your league.

12-TEAM MIXED

Juan Lagares, OF, New York Mets
September fantasy baseball is all about positioning. And it seems only fitting that a player who is so great at it in the field has made himself awfully useful to those looking to make a push in stolen bases over the last two-and-a-half weeks of the season. Lagares has been better than anticipated all season at the plate and as good as advertised in the field—leading to a ridiculous season per some stats (he’s been worth 3.6 WARP and 5.6 rWAR). He’s been making it count down the stretch, though, as he’s hit safely in 15 of his last 17 games, hitting .338/.370/.456 with only eight strikeouts in 73 plate appearances in that time frame. However, the most interesting aspect of his performance has been how many liberties he’s been taking on the base paths. After only stealing four bases over the first four-and-a-half months, Lagares has heisted eight since the start of his hitting streak. With the Mets going nowhere, despite what math may say, Lagares may find himself with the green light as often as he wants it throughout September. That would turn him into a mixed-league play nearly across the board. —Bret Sayre


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September 8, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: The Other Guys, Part One: American League

10

Mike Gianella

These players might not be the center of your fantasy attention, but some could have sneaky keeper value in AL-only leagues.

Last year, I introduced a piece I called “The Other Guys.” It received such a positive response that I decided to bring it back again this year.

In fantasy baseball, and particularly in keeper leagues, analysts typically take a look at the hot prospects down on the farm who are getting called up for the first time in September. This is useful from a knowledge perspective, but from a decision making standpoint often isn’t very helpful. Mookie Betts is a keep at $10 next year if he makes the Red Sox out of camp; even if he’s on the bench, it’s likely he’ll be kept for the anticipated rewards down the road.

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September 4, 2014 6:00 am

Free Agent Watch: Week 23

5

Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

If these players are on your waiver wire, they might be worth a look, depending on the format of your league.

12-TEAM MIXED

Mookie Betts, OF/SS/2B, Boston Red Sox
It’s been a roller-coaster season for the diminutive Red Sox rookie, as Betts tore through the upper minors during the first half of the year, and then was briefly shunned after struggling out of the gate at the major league level. The shock of a top prospect not being super awesome right away must have just paralyzed the organization and fan base. Lo and behold, after some experience and soul searching, Betts is doing pretty much was Betts was expected to do by those with unrealistic expectations. After being recalled on August 1st, Betts is just hitting .311/.400/.525 with three homers and three steals in 61 at-bats. In fact, he’s been hitting so well that his 132 OPS+ ranks second on the team, among players with 50 plate appearances or more. With the shallowness of middle infield (and the fact that he carries outfield eligibility to boot), there’s no reason he should be owned in only 26 percent of Yahoo leagues and 18 percent of ESPN leagues. —Bret Sayre


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

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August 28, 2014 6:00 am

Free Agent Watch: Week 21

0

Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

If these players are on your waiver wire, they might be worth a look, depending on the format of your league.

12-TEAM MIXED

Oscar Taveras, OF, St Louis Cardinals
The statistics haven’t quite backed up the pedigree thus far in St Louis, but Taveras has been quietly improving ever since he was plugged into the lineup nearly every day following Allen Craig’s exportation to the Red Sox at the deadline. In those 24 games, the 22-year-old outfielder is hitting .262/.311/.345 with a homer and nine RBI. So why exactly is he showing up here? Because I’ll always take a chance on a high-end prospect with a strong contact rate upon hitting the major leagues if I need a shot of upside in September. The power certainly hasn’t shown up yet, and he’s showing his mettle as a free swinger, but Taveras has been making some tweaks to his swing, including shortening it up, and the results appear positive thus far. This recommendation isn’t for the owner who needs a reliable source of fantasy production at the back of the outfield, but if you’re trying to make up some ground, Taveras could be just the sparkplug you need. —Bret Sayre


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August 25, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Weak Links

3

Mike Gianella

Signs of and advice on handling players who aren't up to par with the competition in your league.

If you are a veteran fantasy player like I am, chances are good that you participate in leagues with strong competition. I have played in “easy” leagues in the past, and while on some level it is fun to watch a powerhouse team roll over the competition, it isn’t very challenging and after a while becomes staid and boring. I’d rather beat strong players as opposed to simply rolling over a group of chumps that is already looking ahead to fantasy football in early August.

While playing against excellent competition is the fantasy baseball ideal, sometimes a “bad” player or two does slip through the cracks and make it into a competitive league. One bad apple won’t necessarily destroy a league, but can have anywhere from a mild to moderate impact on the quality of the league depending on the nature of why the player is weak.

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

Read the full article...

This is a BP Fantasy article. To read it, sign up today!

August 21, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Week 21

3

Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

If these players are on the waiver wire, they might be worth a look, depending on the format of your league.

12-TEAM MIXED

Norichika Aoki, OF, Kansas City Royals
The Royals have been on quite a tear in August, and having their leadoff hitter doing what he’s supposed to be doing has certainly helped them in this stretch. Aoki, who had been quite a fantasy disappointment over the first four months of the season, is doing the two things the Royals and fantasy owners want him to do recently: get on base and steal bases. Since August started, Aoki is hitting .295/.386/.410 with 14 runs scored and six steals in just 18 games. Compare that to the 40 runs scored and nine steals Aoki had over the first 82 games of the season, and you start to wonder what your team could have looked like if he had been doing this since the start of the year. And while it’s true that non-elite speed gets devalued a bit in shallower mixed leagues, Aoki’s strength in batting average (or OBP, depending on what you fancy) and runs helps make him a player who should be owned across the board right now in rotisserie leagues. —Bret Sayre


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August 14, 2014 9:28 am

Free Agent Watch: Week 20

0

Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

If these players are on your waiver wire, they might be worth a look, depending on the format of your league.

12-Team Mixed

Oswaldo Arcia, OF, Minnesota Twins
With Arcia having played the 162nd game of his young career, his overall fantasy line— .241 average, 24 homers, 72 RBI and 61 runs scored—doesn’t exactly scream mixed league stalwart. Sure, the power is nice, but he’s also racked up 196 strikeouts over that timeframe—good for a 30.7 percent rate. That’s not going to help him improve on that batting average. However, Arcia’s track record in the minor leagues suggests that he’s not this type of player, and he seems to be heating up of late. While he’s been particularly hot in August, his turnaround has been happening for longer than that. On June 22nd, he was sitting on a 29 at-bat hitless streak and a .638 OPS for the season, but after getting a few days off, Arcia got out from underneath that boulder and has proceeded to hit .260/.350/.463 with six homers in 36 games since. That would be good enough to be relevant in most mixed leagues that start five outfielders, but Arcia’s upside exceeds what he’s done at the major league level thus far. After all, he was a career .314 hitter in the minor leagues (over 434 games). —Bret Sayre


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

Read the full article...

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August 11, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Other Competitive Balance Mechanisms

9

Mike Gianella

Looking at the pros and cons of various methods to curb or prevent "dump" trades.

Last week, I talked about salary caps in auction-style leagues and how they can still allow non-contending teams to rebuild without destroying the integrity of your league. As many of my readers have pointed out, there are several other methods you can use to either curb dump trades or prevent them entirely if you so desire. Over the years, I have used some of these methods in my carryover leagues. Others I have not used but have heard about through either reader feedback or from other fantasy baseball analysts who also play in keeper leagues. The list below is not intended to be comprehensive but offers a guide to different ways you can navigate this issue in your league or leagues.

Salary Floor
A salary cap addresses how much salary a contender may put on his or her roster, but does little if anything to discourage a team at the bottom of the pack from simply vacating its roster and shipping everyone away to another squad. An alternative suggested by many of my readers is a salary floor. Putting a minimum required salary on a team still allows teams to play for next year but prevents teams from simply jettisoning everyone off of their rosters and potentially disrupting the competitive balance of the league.


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