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01-19

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5

Tale of the Tape: Brandon Belt vs. C.J. Cron
by
Mark Barry

01-18

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2

Tale of the Tape: Tommy Joseph vs. Eric Thames
by
Bryan Joiner

01-17

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3

Tale of the Tape: Victor Martinez vs. Carlos Santana
by
Alex Chamberlain

01-11

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2

Tale of the Tape: Welington Castillo vs. Brian McCann
by
Alex Chamberlain

01-10

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2

Tale of the Tape: Russell Martin vs. Matt Wieters
by
Bryan Joiner

03-08

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0

Tale of the Tape: Cody Allen vs. Ken Giles
by
Matt Collins

02-25

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0

Tale of the Tape: Garrett Richards vs. Michael Wacha
by
Matt Collins

02-16

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0

Tale of the Tape: Carlos Gomez vs. Justin Upton
by
Matt Collins

02-09

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2

Tale of the Tape: Elvis Andrus vs. Brandon Crawford
by
Matt Collins

02-02

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0

Tale of the Tape: Nolan Arenado vs. Manny Machado
by
Matt Collins

01-26

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2

Tale of the Tape: Ian Kinsler vs. Jason Kipnis
by
Matt Collins

01-19

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4

Tale of the Tape: Jose Abreu vs. Edwin Encarnacion
by
Matt Collins

01-12

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0

Tale of the Tape: Travis d'Arnaud vs. Jonathan Lucroy
by
Matt Collins

03-03

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6

Tale of the Tape: Fernando Rodney vs. Huston Street
by
Matt Collins

02-20

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1

Tale of the Tape: Drew Hutchison vs. Brandon McCarthy
by
Nick Shlain

02-19

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2

Tale of the Tape: Jeff Samardzija vs. James Shields
by
Matt Collins

02-11

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5

Tale of the Tape: A.J. Pollock vs. Alex Rios
by
Matt Collins

02-10

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0

Tale of the Tape: Shin-Soo Choo vs. Yoenis Cespedes
by
Ben Carsley

02-03

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1

Tale of the Tape: Starlin Castro vs. Alexei Ramirez
by
Matt Collins

01-27

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4

Tale of the Tape: Evan Longoria vs. Carlos Santana
by
Matt Collins

01-20

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0

Tale of the Tape: Brian Dozier vs. Ian Kinsler
by
Matt Collins

01-13

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1

Tale of the Tape: Victor Martinez vs. Anthony Rizzo
by
Matt Collins

01-06

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5

Tale of the Tape: Russell Martin vs. Salvador Perez
by
Matt Collins

03-06

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6

Tale of the Tape: Joe Nathan vs. Sergio Romo
by
Wilson Karaman

02-27

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3

Tale of the Tape: Matt Cain vs. Zack Greinke
by
Alex Kantecki

02-20

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5

Tale of the Tape: Yoenis Cespedes vs. Wil Myers
by
Wilson Karaman

02-13

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0

Tale of the Tape: Evan Longoria vs. David Wright
by
Alex Kantecki

02-06

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3

Tale of the Tape: J.J. Hardy vs. Xander Bogaerts
by
Wilson Karaman

01-30

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2

Tale of the Tape: Jurickson Profar vs. Anthony Rendon
by
Alex Kantecki

01-23

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0

Tale of the Tape: Freddie Freeman vs. Eric Hosmer
by
Wilson Karaman

01-16

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4

Tale of the Tape: Jonathan Lucroy vs. Carlos Santana
by
Alex Kantecki

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January 19, 2017 6:00 am

Tale of the Tape: Brandon Belt vs. C.J. Cron

5

Mark Barry

Which of these two alliterative West Coasters is the better bet for your fantasy team in 2017?

This week we’re taking a look at two young-ish, alliterative first basemen repping the West Coast. At 28 years old, Brandon Belt is coming off of one of his most productive seasons as a pro, one year removed from signing a lucrative contract extension to keep him by the Bay. C.J. Cron got off to a hot start in 2016, but the embers were quickly extinguished by an errant Mike Wright fastball (bet you didn’t think you were going to read about Mike Wright today, huh?) in July, leading to surgery and missed time for the 27-year-old slugger. Who will be better long term? I’m glad you asked. Let’s dive in.

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January 18, 2017 6:00 am

Tale of the Tape: Tommy Joseph vs. Eric Thames

2

Bryan Joiner

Is the second-year Phillie or the new, KBO-destroying Brewer a better fantasy bet in 2017?

The Tale of the Tape series doesn’t get less orthodox than this. In one corner, you have Philly’s Tommy Joseph, a conventional young masher with loads of potential ready for his first full season. In the other, you have a guy who hasn’t played in the majors since 2012 and couldn’t do squat when he did... but Eric Thames went to South Korea in 2014 and played for three years like he was bitten by Babe Ruth reincarnated as a (fat) radioactive spider. Thames returns to America a changed man, but can it win him this totally arbitrary matchup? Let’s find out!

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January 17, 2017 6:00 am

Tale of the Tape: Victor Martinez vs. Carlos Santana

3

Alex Chamberlain

Which of these two ex-catchers is a better investment in redraft leagues this spring?

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January 11, 2017 12:51 pm

Tale of the Tape: Welington Castillo vs. Brian McCann

2

Alex Chamberlain

Should you choose the new Oriole or the new Astro to don the tools of ignorance for your fantasy squad this year?

The NFL playoffs have started, which means you have no reason not to start preparing for the 2017 fantasy baseball season. The Baseball Prospectus fantasy staff will analyze each position on a weekly basis, kicking it off with catchers starting yesterday. Every Tuesday I'll bring the Tale of the Tape: a category-by-category breakdown of two similarly ranked players resulting in a verdict toward one or the other. Behind the dish, Brian McCann and Welington Castillo fared comparably in 2016 and project to do so again in 2017 -- as low-end options in standard mixed leagues.

Batting Average

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January 10, 2017 6:00 am

Tale of the Tape: Russell Martin vs. Matt Wieters

2

Bryan Joiner

Which of these veteran catchers should you have higher on your draft board this spring?

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Is the Indians or the Astros ninth-inning man a better bet to anchor your fantasy relief corps?

One of the most difficult decisions in any draft or auction is to decide how hard to push for a closer. Do you try to push for one of the top-tier guys, or wait and hope you can find value with a late-round or low-dollar player. Personally, I try to find my top closer towards the bottom of the top 10, splitting the difference between the two strategies. That is where both of today’s subjects find themselves. We’ll be looking at two former top prospects—or, as much of a top prospect as a reliever can be—who have lived up to their promise for the early parts of their careers. It’s Cody Allen vs. Ken Giles.

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Which of these two right-handers is the better bet to help your fantasy rotation this year?

As pitchers begin to become more and more of a dominant force in the real world, the fantasy world is starting to change their valuations of the position. While many used to wait on the position, building their stable of hitters in the first few rounds before targeting pitchers, drafts and auctions are now seeing more valuable resources going towards a legitimate SP1. That means there is less of an advantage of having one of the top-tier arms, making a strong SP2 and SP3 even more important. That brings us to today’s matchup, with a couple of right-handers in their 20’s who are being taken as secondary arms. It’s Garrett Richards vs. Michael Wacha.

ERA
Richards 2015: 3.65
Wacha 2015: 3.38



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February 16, 2016 6:00 am

Tale of the Tape: Carlos Gomez vs. Justin Upton

0

Matt Collins

Both players have changed uniforms since the trade deadline, but which is the better fantasy bet in 2016?

It’s outfield time for the fantasy team, and this year’s field is an interesting group. There is a lot of talent at the position this year, as with almost every year, but a clear drop off comes after the top twenty or so. In today’s edition of the Tale of the Tape, we’ll be looking at a couple of in-their-prime outfielders who will be in their first spring training with their respective clubs. Neither are the cream of the crop at their position, but they’re very solid and are being drafted as high-end OF2s. It’s Justin Upton vs. Carlos Gomez.

Batting Average

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February 9, 2016 6:00 am

Tale of the Tape: Elvis Andrus vs. Brandon Crawford

2

Matt Collins

Is the Ranger or the Giant a better fantasy bet for 2016?

Welcome to shortstop week. Usually, this is sort of a depressing week, as the position in typically filled with glove-first players who are unexciting in the fantasy world. With the recent infusion of elite young talent, however, shortstops are as exciting as ever. Unfortunately, many of us won’t end up with one of the top-five guys, and will have to look for some flawed players later in drafts. This week, we’ll be looking at a couple of veterans that are still in their 20s with very different skill sets who are going within a round or two of each other in early drafts. It’s Elvis Andrus vs. Brandon Crawford.

Batting Average
Last year was neck and neck in this category, with Andrus’ .258 mark just barely beating out Crawford’s .256. While they were very close in the end, the final numbers were polar opposites with respect to their career trajectories. Despite posting the higher overall mark, it was a career-low AVG for Andrus and a career-high for Crawford. Andrus has been trending down in this department in each of the last three seasons, and last season’s decline was mostly due to the first sub-.300 BABIP of his career. The good news is he cut his strikeout rate back down to 11 percent, and keeping that heading into 2016 will make it much more likely he can get back up to the .270 AVG he’s posted in the past. Crawford, meanwhile, posts solid-but-unspectacular BABIPs with roughly league-average strikeout rates. Andrus righted his ship in the second half, and if he can build off that he’ll win this easily. Even if he doesn’t quite reach that level, his advantage on balls in play as well as strikeout rate gives him the overall edge.
Advantage: Andrus



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Which one of these high-end third sackers is the better fantasy bet?

We’ve reached third-base week, which means we’re talking about the most top-heavy position on the fantasy slate for 2016. Looking at the NFBC ADP data, four third baseman are going in the top nine, and it is the most well-represented position in the first round of 12-team leagues. There is one particular pairing in this elite group that fascinates me more than any positional matchup in fantasy baseball this year, and they make up this week’s Tale of the Tape. It’s Manny Machado vs. Nolan Arenado.

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In this neck-and-neck fantasy showdown, context determines the winner.

The BP fantasy team is on to second-base week, and with that comes another Tale of the Tape. In the last two weeks, we’ve seen Jonathan Lucroy edge out Travis D’Arnaud behind the plate, and Jose Abreu overtaking Edwin Encarnacion in a close battle at first base. In this edition, we have a couple of AL Central foes taking each other on at the keystone position. They both find themselves in the four-star tier on the positional rankings, and have been mainstays at the position over the last couple of years. It’s Jason Kipnis vs. Ian Kinsler.

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Power is the name of the game at first base, and these two supply it in spades.

After starting off the Tale of the Tape series last week with Jonathan Lucroy edging out Travis d’Arnaud, we move on to a couple of star first basemen. We’re going a little more high-profile than the competition behind the plate, with a couple of top-25 players who are currently going back-to-back according to early ADP data. It’s Edwin Encarnacion vs. Jose Abreu.

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