Fantasy Baseball Buy Low, Sell High And My Agenda
Sit back and strap in as we fly off to the Twitterverse. Along with our normal Fantasy Baseball talk this week, we're also talking MLB's DH rule, rookie values, Fantasy Football, the NFL Draft, Fantasy Football rookie rankings and apparently, my agenda!
— Jake Ciely (@allinkid) April 29, 2015
It's not impossible that Corey Kluber completely falls off after an amazing year; he wouldn't be the first to do it. However, Kluber's metrics all pointed to his being for real last year, and even if not, you can't sell now. In Fantasy sports, just as with most everything, you don't want to "sell low." The idiom is "buy low, sell high." Not the opposites.
Nevertheless, this is a perplexing situation owners find themselves in every year: "What do I do with this disappointment?" If you can get 90 cents on the dollar, I would consider selling. Sometimes, you want to get out of the way before the dam bursts. More often than not though, you're hard pressed to get that value. You also need to be tricky about fielding offers, as you don't want everyone knowing you're worried, as that will drive the price lower. If you know your leaguemates well enough, kick ideas around with him via email or a call. If you don't know anyone, look for a team that needs help at that position, as he will be the most likely to spend more in a trade.
This is anecdotal tweet but with a real caution not to overrate rookies/prospects. While meeting Escobar was cool for me, and listening to him butcher the English language with f-bombs was hilarious, he never returned major league value. You know I love Kris Bryant, but his draft cost jumping into the third round before the season was ludicrous. Rookies are great options to sell high with, as everyone always wants the "next big thing" and overpays for it.
@allinkid also said Mariota not going to Eagles. Why don't you mention that lapdog?
— bevhead29 (@MarkMarkcon105) April 30, 2015
This serves no purpose for your Fantasy team, but it's too funny not to post. I don't think I've laughed this much at tweets in a while. Team homers are going to homer. All I was doing was reporting something Adam Schefter said, and I got hate tweets for having "an agenda" and being a "lapdog." Hilarious. Thanks Philly fans for proving how nutso many of you are... and that I apparently have some sneaky agenda.
But there is a bit of Fantasy value here actually. Notice a bit of a "sell high" theme this week? Well, knowing your leaguemates' favorite teams can definitely help. It's near impossible for fans of teams to be 100 percent impartial about their players. If you own some, know that the trade value is automatically boosted. After all, Phillies fans probably still think Chase Utley is a Top 5 second base option.
Guess how Latos hurt himself? Batting/running to first... If only there was an easy solution... Hmmmmmm
— Jake Ciely (@allinkid) April 30, 2015
Enough with pitchers hitting. This spurred a long and surprisingly heated Twitter debate about adding the DH to the National League. The best arguments anti-DH people had were "it's how baseball started/is tradition" and "there is more strategy this way."
First, tradition is the worst argument for anything… ever. After all, do you want to still own slaves, not give women rights, etc.? Just because something has been a certain way doesn't mean it's correct. After all, it was tradition to believe the Earth was flat.
Second, I still don't understand how anti-DH people can argue that "it has more strategy." It doesn't. At all. If anything, your decision is made for you. Is there someone on base with less than two outs? You have the pitcher bunt 100 percent of the time. Decision already made. Any other situation, have the pitcher swing away and get an out. Is it late in the game with a reliever on the mound? Pinch hit when he turn comes up. Done. Decision made. And don't give me double switches as if that's a genius and calculated move. If the pitcher's spot is due up in the next inning or two, and you have to go to the bullpen, guess what… double switch. Decision made.
If anything, having no DH makes numerous decisions for you. And we didn't even mention the injury factor that started this entire thing. We don't need to see pitcher's seasons end, or even missing time on the DL, because of an injury while batting. Why should we be robbed of seeing one of the best pitchers in the game (Adam Wainwright) because we want to force him to hit at his age.
The game is ever-changing, and it's now trickled down to high school where we don't have pitchers focusing on hitting much, sometimes at all. Second baseman aren't asked to practice or know how to throw curveballs. Outfielders don't take time to work on being a catcher. Stop asking pitchers to waste our time and theirs by hitting.
If you aren't saddened by Ron Shandler moving on, then you need to do some research. Shandler is one of the faces that should be on the Mount Rushmore of Fantasy Baseball. He's added more than nearly anyone to the game, and his insight and knowledge is top-notch. I will be following him to see his next venture and enjoying myself over at ShandlerPark.com with his monthly game. I recommend doing the same.
Fantasy Football! Linkage of goodness time!
Plus, the joy of hearing Pat Mayo and me talk about the important rookies for this year (link in tweet). Of course, those five star reviews from you guys would be wunderbar.
— Jake Ciely (@allinkid) April 29, 2015
This is just more fun in case you missed it. I thought it was pretty funny and worth sharing. Little did I know, it would go viral and blow up. It had nearly 2,500 retweets and is over 3.3 million loops on Vine (possibly more, who knows now). Even Sportsnation retweeted it! I love that Caleb Joseph was trying to have some fun and provide some smiles, and apparently, so did a lot more people.
PAVE Your Way to Success
Here the section where we'll be following PAVE (Predictive AVErage) all year. Click here for the full explanation/breakdown and why it can be the key to winning. (Hint: it predicts players' averages similar to how SOBB predicts the success of pitchers). Each week will focus on significant players and outliers.
Brett Gardner (.320/.332) - Gardner has started the season relatively hot, and his PAVE is actually higher than his .320 AVG. Digging deeper though, as good as Gardner is hitting the ball, there is some concern. Gardner's LD% is good, but it's the lowest it's been since 2011 (19.4). His HR/FB rate looks terrific at 16.7 percent, but that's Carlos Santana, Lucas Duda, Mark Teixeira range and not Gardner's true ability. 2014 marked Gardner's highest rate while hitting 17 home runs, but even that was just 11.0. Lastly, Gardner's GB% is extremely high at 61.3 and his FB% is exceptionally low at 19.4. As soon as his home run rate drops, Gardner is going to struggle without getting back to his line drive hitting ways.
Jake Marisnick (.382/.384) - Marisnick is another player off to a hot start (and about the only thing going right with my LABR team). Strangely, Marisnick has the same HR/FB mark as Gardner (16.7), but his is less concerning, as Marisnick had power to develop. Now, Marisnick is not going to turn into Duda, but unlike Gardner, Marisnick's LD% hasn't dropped. It's actually improved to 24.1 (career 23.4 and 22.1 last year). The biggest category change for Marisnick is a big drop in Infield Fly Balls (IFFB), which further shows the quality of Marisnick's at-bats/hits. No, he won't hit .380, but Marisnick is on his way to a breakout season.
Josh Reddick (.391/.400) - Reddick's ability has never been a question, only his ability to stay healthy. Reddick is currently carrying a career-best LD% and HR/FB rate (29.7 and 20.0). Both are unsustainable. For reference, Reddick's career averages are 20.5 and 10.4. There isn't much more to Reddick than the fact that he's on a hot streak. If Reddick hit like this all year, sure, he'd near a .400 AVG, but he's far from this good.
Denard Span (.298/.367) - Span has a very small sample due to missed time, and it's skewing his results, which is also a bit off thanks to his 15.4 HR/FB mark. I listed Span not for the PAVE comparison but for his injury. Span is going to play through an abdomen tweak, and that could hurt his output quite a bit. I'd look to sell high on Span (of at all possible) before he slumps or heads back to the DL.
Albert Pujols (.212/.263) - Pujols is hitting better than his average tells us, but not worlds better. After all, Pujols hit .258 and .272 the last two years, so .263 is about right for a projection. He's no longer a .300 hitter, and it's thanks to a lower LD% and HR/FB mark. In his prime, Pujols was averaging around a 20.0 LD% and 20-plus HR/FB rate. Now, he sits under 19.0 in LD% and under 14.0 with HR/FB. Expect Pujols to post similar numbers to last year, which a good, not great.
Adam LaRoche (.211/.210) - What the heck is wrong with LaRoche? Moving to Chicago (and that lineup) was supposed to help him, yet we're seeing terrible results. Is this the early-career LaRoche that used to only be good in the second half? It is if his batted ball trends don't change (and hopefully do for the second half). LaRoche has career lows with his 17.4 LD% and 32.6 FB% and a career high 50.0 GB%. LaRoche's averages are 20.9/37.9/41.2. LaRoche is better than this, and he should improve some, but if he doesn't make adjustments to the quality of his hits, LaRoche will sit in the .210 AVG range all year.
Main image photo credit: eric
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