In this week's Value Picks, Michael shows you how to love the players that other owners hate, including Carlos Pena, James Loney, Mat Gamel, Brent Morel, and Chase Headley.
Over the last twoweeks, I’ve looked at several players that are easy to love based on their history and PECOTA’s projection for a resurgent season. As a result, for many of those players—such as Albert Pujols, Joey Votto, and David Wright—their ADPs tended to closely match their PECOTA rankings. What about the players you (or opposing owners) love to hate? These guys have an ADP below their PECOTA rankings because they’ve disappointed in the past or are just misunderstood by most fantasy owners.
So this week, we get into the real Value Picks—those players outside the Usual Suspects which you can squeeze some value out of. Just like bad medicine, you may find some of this hard to swallow come Draft Day, but it’ll be good for your fantasy team if taken in the right doses. Let’s face it: sometimes it’s good to be hated.
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Judging from my Inbox, I'm supposed to be upset because Fox dictated to MLB that the two LCS games last night would be played simultaneously, with one shown on the cable channel FX. I might have ranted about it a couple of years ago, but to be honest, this is a minor, understandable move. Afternoon baseball games during the week don't draw very good ratings and are difficult for fans in broad swaths of the nation to see. Even motivated fans on the west coast who might be able to shake free from work to catch a 5 p.m. start are pretty much screwed by a game at 1 p.m.
A lot of the frustration over various scheduling decisions is justifiable, because the decisions are driven primarily by television and often run counter to logic. However, neither Fox nor MLB can do anything about the fact that the continental United States spans four time zones. None of the solutions will placate everyone, so the one that allows the widest possible audience to watch the games is acceptable. Rest assured that if a similar conflict occurs next Wednesday, Game Six of the Red Sox/Yankees series will be played at 4 p.m. Eastern, clearing the night for the Cubs/Marlins Game Seven.
As it turns out, the Cubs solved yesterday's problem by about 6:15 Pacific time, pushing ahead of the Marlins 5-0 after two innings. Brad Penny didn't have much command and Sammy Sosa punished him for it with a three-run bomb to an el station somewhere in the Loop. Everything after that, including two Alex Gonzalez home runs (see? I told you he'd be a great player some day!), was gravy.
There are 30 teams in MLB, 25 players per team, for 750 roster spots total. We put out a book with about 1,600 players in it. You'd think we'd be able to cover those 750 roster spots, but no, every year MLB teams manage to find players we didn't cover and give them uniforms on Opening Day. Right rude of them, we think. So here's what we've been able to dredge up on the 37 guys we've identified as being on an Opening Day roster but not in Baseball Prospectus 2003.
Click on the player links at the beginning of each comment to peruse each player's PECOTA card, free for all 37 of these not-in-book players. To get access to PECOTA cards for all other major leaguers, plus hundreds of minor leaguers, click here to sign up for BP Premium.
I love prediction season. Right now, every sports media outlet in the country is running endless NCAA brackets, bracket-picking advice, and studies of past bracket upset patterns--and while I'll take it, I'm still scouring baseball pages to see what writer was foolish enough to put his name to the fortunes of only 30 teams, predicting the outcome of the 2003 baseball season. We do it every year here at Prospectus, and getting my predictions is like trying to get me out of the bar before I've finished my beer.
I've done pretty well at this the last couple years, despite my yearly gut feeling that this is going to be the time I really, truly embarrass myself. I tend to be boring, and do a boring little estimation for each team where I guess best case (everyone's healthy, except for bad veterans, who have painless season-ending injuries, allowing cool rookies to have blockbuster seasons), normal case, and worst case (no one is healthy except for bad veterans), and then put 'em through the Riskotron 2000 to get a final number and compare that to their division. I try not to wish-cast, though that's still not necessarily a guarantee for success.
As you've probably seen, the Player Cards are back. We'll be working with this feature as time permits during book-writing season to make it more useful and user-friendly, and we'll gladly consider any thoughts you have on the matter. Please see Clay's article for more details and contact information.
We still have a few copies of BP2003 earmarked for the winners, so let's try this instead: send us what you remember your roster being, any corroborating information, and why you think you should win to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll pick the best, funniest (without pushing the limits of publishability) entries and run them next month, and our three favorites will win copies of the book. Please be sure to include your mailing address (as of February 2003).
We've got a roster change here at the Prospectus, as Derek Zumsteg hands off The Week In Quotes to Ryan Wilkins. You'll see the same great quotes every week, but if you've got something to submit, you'll want to send email to Ryan instead of Derek.
The baseball season's over, the weather is getting colder, and the days are getting shorter, which sends a signal to our staff that it's time to go into hibernation. Unfortunately, most of us have financial obligations that preclude months-long naps, so we're instead working on Baseball Prospectus 2003. During the first couple of months of the offseason, site updates will be less frequent as the book moves towards completion and the printer. Please bear with us during this time; we've got some good stuff on tap for the end of the year, and we think you'll enjoy it.