A look at the Boston/Los Angeles trade from a fantasy baseball perspective.
The trade that was made between Boston and Los Angeles over the weekend is one we rarely, if ever, see at this point in the season. Sure, there have been trades involving big names players this late in the season, but this trade had both the names and the volume of players. More importantly, it was a crossover trade, meaning there is a new influx of talent involved in both leagues (though the redistribution of talent is rather uneven).
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With strikeout rates at an all time high, Jason examines some of the common explanations for the feat.
Last week, after the Rays were no-hit for the fourth time in four seasons, Jonah Keri and I traded gChat messages back and forth as he penned this piece relaying 27 perfect things about the game. One of the facts in there was related to the increasing strikeout rates in baseball and how 2012 has seen the highest strikeouts per nine as well as the highest strikeout percentages for pitchers in baseball history.
A look at how Chris Carter has revitalized his career with some important mechanical adjustments.
There is an old adage about the Red Sox needing 25 cabs for 25 players since the team could not get along. That phrase may need to be updated to reflect the 2012 Oakland Athletics, who may need 25 stories for 25 players; there are just so many fascinating stories in Oakland these days. Spiderman Reddick, the surprise young pitching staff, Yoenis Cespedes showing how his core strength translates at the major league level, Coco Crisp becoming Mr. Walk-Off, and Chris Carter hitting everything out of the ballpark since his umpteenth recall from Sacramento. Carter’s 2012 campaign is just one of many fascinating story lines in the successful season the Oakland Athletics have had thus far in 2012.
A look at Jon Lester's frustrating 2012 season to date.
On May 14, Jon Lester threw a complete came against the Seattle Mariners, scattering eight hits and allowing just one run on 119 pitches in a 6-1 victory for Boston. The win put Lester’s record at just 2-3 and lowered his ERA to 3.71 as Boston limped through the early part of the season. Since then, Lester’s story has been uglier than the Boston collapse of 2011; his numbers look nothing like the extremely consistent pitcher that fantasy owners came to know and love from 2008 to 2011.
A look at Max Scherzer's struggles this season and how it compares historically.
My favorite time waster, by a significant margin, is the Play Index at Baseball-Reference. I love playing with what-if scenarios in the system and trying to find the last guy to reach a specific benchmark or the longest streak of futility or success. When first playing with the Play Index tool, I resembled a little leaguer facing a curveball for the first time, but with each new need for the engine, finding reports to quench my trivial thirst is rather easy.
A look at how the changing defense behind James Shields may be affecting the way he's approaching hitters and the success he's achieving.
James Shields picked up in 2012 where he left off in 2011, winning five of his first six decisions while posting an ERA of 3.05. The first month of the season even saw Shields do something better than he had ever done in the past: generate groundballs.
A look at the surprising season of a player who was considered organizational filler coming into the year.
The running joke these days is that the Mayans may have been right when they predicted the world would end on December 21, 2012. It is not so funny when you consider Bryan LaHair is an all-star this season and Albert Pujols is not. Trevor Plouffe has 18 home runs this season, which is as many as Adrian Gonzalez, Ryan Zimmerman, and Dustin Pedroia combined. A quick look at the shortstop leaderboard for TAv shows Jose Reyes and Troy Tulowitzki in the first two spots. Wait, that is the 2011 board. Certainly those two high-dollar players are near the top of this year’s leaderboard too, though. Let me reset the filter… there we go: Asdrubal Cabrera, Jed Lowrie, and Elliot Johnson are the top three? Is this damn thing broken? Ankrom? Pease??!! This cannot possibly be right, can it? Hot damn, it is.
He went for $2 in the Tout Wars Mixed. He went for $5 in Tout Wars NL draft while going for $4 in LABR NL (purchased by Derek Carty in both instances). Yet, there is no hotter fantasy baseball asset in leagues right now than R.A. Dickey, who currently stands 11-1 with a 2.00 ERA, 103 strikeouts, and just 21 walks in 99 innings of work. Those are the kind of numbers people pay $24 to roster Cole Hamels for, yet Dickey owners are getting it for a 75 percent discount amidst arguably the best story going in baseball today. Dickey’s last six starts encompass 48 2/3 innings of work in which he has allowed just 21 hits, one earned run, five walks, and 63 strikeouts. Those are not even Hamels-like numbers; those are more like Koufax numbers.
A look into Carlos Zambrano's rebound 2012 season thus far.
It is already bad enough for Cubs fans that they have the second-worst record in all of baseball and are tied with the Padres for the lowest win total in the league. To add salt to the wound, Carlos Zambrano appears to once again be a relevant pitcher.
An 11-32 record with a 5.11 ERA in 89 career games that includes 57 games started. Traded to the Rockies for Clint Barmes in 2010 and then outright sold to the Royals for cash in 2011. That is what Felipe Paulino had to show for his career heading into his start last night against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. On March 19, I wrote this piece about pitchers with BABIP and LOB fortune and misfortune. That story included this graphic that divided pitchers into four quadrants: