A look at how the TDGX experts spent their FAAB dollars this week.
Welcome to the pilot edition of TDGX Transactions, a new series at Baseball Prospectus aimed to satisfy the voracious appetite of deep dynasty league owners. As legendary anchorman Ron Burgundy would say, before we do this, let’s go over some ground rules.
In advance of his foray into Tout Wars, Mike explains how he'd adjust his values for OBP leagues and unveils this week's update.
In eight days, I’ll be participating in my fifth Tout Wars expert league auction (on the National League side of the fence). However, this will be the first year we will be using on-base percentage—instead of batting average—as a category.
The attached spreadsheet offers my adjusted bid values for on base percentage leagues. More than the changes, what will probably jump out to readers is how few players’ values changed in both leagues. Forty-five NL hitters saw a change in value, while 38 AL hitters were moved up or down. Given that 125 AL hitters and 118 NL hitters saw a value change of $1 or more in 2013, shouldn’t there be more fluctuation in my bid limits for OBP?
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Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez stand out, but Coors Field can breathe fantasy life into just about anyone's bat.
The Colorado Rockies finished with a 74-88 record in 2013, good for last place in the National League West and tied for the fourth-worst record in the National League, and they didn’t add much talent this offseason. Despite the renowned 1-2 punch of Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, it’s not unreasonable to take a cursory look at this organization, shake your head, and move on.
That said, Coors Field plays havoc with value in the fantasy world. Average pitchers become players to avoid. Average hitters become players to target. And anyone with even modest power becomes an automatic add on watch lists in just about every league.
He has the least-famous name, but Felix Doubront has been Boston's most dependable starter.
The Weekend Takeaway Ryan Dempster has struggled since an excellent April. Clay Buchholz has been sidelined since early June. John Lackey has a 5.49 ERA since the All-Star break. And Jon Lester has taken his team for a season-long rollercoaster ride.
Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington saw a club in need of rotation reinforcements last month, and he took action a day before the trade deadline, snagging Jake Peavy from the White Sox in a three-team deal that shipped Jose Iglesias to the Tigers. Peavy, whom Cherington lauded as a pitcher who “gives us a chance to win every time out,” tossed seven innings of two-run ball to help the Red Sox past the Diamondbacks in game two of three at Fenway Park.
The Tigers, Indians, and Royals have separated themselves from the Twins and White Sox, but which will emerge victorious?
The Thursday Takeaway
Were it not for the wholeheartedly rebuilding Astros, whose record is 36-70 but whose future gets a few watts brighter with every trade, no division would have a greater gap between first and last place than the American League Central, where the Tigers are at the top and the White Sox are at the bottom. That gap has grown wider in recent days, as the Tigers, Indians, and Royals have surged, leaving the Twins and White Sox in their dust.
The top three teams in the Central have won a combined 22 consecutive games—the Tigers five, the Indians eight, and the Royals nine. The bottom two have dropped 11 straight—the Twins four and the White Sox seven. Thus the Tigers are now two up on the Indians, who are 4 ½ up on the Royals, who are nine up on the Twins, who are 5 ½ half up on the White Sox. The gap from first to last is 21 games, exceeded only by the 26 ½-game chasm between the Athletics and Astros, but the margin between the contenders (generously counting the Royals, whose odds of reaching the playoffs are south of five percent) is as large as it is in any division, with the possible exception of the National League East, where the Nationals’ freefall has given the Braves a clear path to October.
Paul breaks down several starters whose numbers away from home make them useful stream options in fantasy.
Last week in this space, we looked at some starters who have shown a penchant for doing their best work while in front of their hometown crowd. They aren’t widely rostered in 10- and 12-team leagues, giving you an opportunity to take advantage of those home starts while avoiding the road starts, assuming your league rules allow such frequent transactions. Unsurprisingly, they all play in comfortable environs, but they don’t consistently perform on the road, keeping them from being thoroughly sought-after assets.
Today’s group is the same, but opposite. They play in tougher home ballparks which cause inconsistent work while at home, but their skills shine through on the road, though the composite numbers hide that fact in many instances, creating a buying opportunity. Let’s start in the most obvious of these venues.
While his ERA looks good, Jhoulys Chacin has struggled immensely since the beginning of June.
Last month, I talked about pitchers that were in the “Holy Trinity” of what I considered to be the best mix of skills when targeting pitchers: a strikeout rate of at least 7.0, a groundball rate of at least 50 percent, and a strikeout to walk ratio of at least 2.2. There were just 15 pitchers on that list, but that group has been very successful this season outside of Josh Johnson, who went down with an injury right around the time that article ran, so I take full blame for that bad karma.
The last week of "Value Picks" is here before we look towards the future and reflect back on the season that was.
Added to the list
Carlos Carrasco: In his 2010 debut, Carrasco pitched well into the eighth inning against the Chicago White Sox. He had only allowed one run through seven, but a combination of fatigue and poor relief from Justin Germano caused another two runs to be tacked on to his line. Carrasco is no fantasy savior like Mike Minor, but should be a reliable option in AL-only leagues. He will not be a strikeout machine in the Majors -- at least not yet -- but he avoids walks and induces an above-average amount of ground balls.