Baseball Hot Streaks, Plus Values Of Rob Gronkowski And Ryan Tannehill
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Big names in the Twitterverse this week, or do Kris Bryant, Bryce Harper, Clayton Kershaw and Rob Gronkowski not do it for you? I thought so. I'll tell you what to do with players on hot streaks, how to pick up prospective closers and which hitters are headed for regression using PAVE. Keep the Fantasy tweets coming, as I'm always around to answer, and you might get "famous" seeing your tweet in next week's piece. I have all the Fantasy Football and Fantasy Baseball advice you need.
@allinkid my gut is he's a turn guy in 15-team mixed.
— Rob Silver (@RobSilver) May 12, 2015
Rob Silver and I are talking about Kris Bryant. Anyone who read or followed my preseason work knows how high I am/was on Bryant. This isn't a post to pat myself on the back for saying Bryant would be great. I'm posting this tweet to remind people not to panic in the first four weeks. Bryant's first four carried into May given his late start, but if you are paying attention, you notice that Shin-Soo Choo is now raking or that Clayton Kershaw finally looked dominant his last time out. It's true that this day and age means you may have to "sell low" (instead of selling high) on a player who might be headed for a season long disappointment (Chase Utley, Carlos Gonzalez) before his value completely bottoms out. However, you should actually sell low and not just straight drop them or give them away for nothing. How many Choo owners are kicking themselves for dropping him? What about Gonzalez owners that sold him off for a Carlos Peguero type return? Patience is a huge factor in Fantasy Baseball success, and you don't have to start players struggling (that's what your bench is for)… just don't cut them or sell for peanuts.
Totally concur. https://t.co/gHd6EFedSk
— KC Joyner (@KCJoynerTFS) May 14, 2015
You know if Pat Mayo and I agree on something that you better take notice. Okay, truthfully, it matters much more when K.C. Joyner is in agreement, and that's the case with Rob Gronkowski. As I mentioned in my Tom Brady suspension impact piece, Gronk is still a first round pick; don't kid yourself. Jimmy Garoppolo is a smart fellah. What does that have to do with it? He knows Gronkowski is his best weapon. Plus, Garoppolo is a decent enough quarterback to give Gronkowski plenty of opportunities each game. Don't discount Gronk because of Brady's suspension.
I'm including this tweet as a reference to my ongoing series over at DailyRoto.com. I'm studying the effectiveness of paying for high priced DFS pitchers versus taking guys a bit cheaper and building a better hitting lineup. So far, the high priced pitcher strategy is losing out and by quite a bit on DraftKings. FanDuel is a bit closer, while FantasyAces has the smallest gap. In fact, FantasyAces could be the one that proves high priced pitchers win out, but it's looking as if spending that money isn't the best way to win at DFS Fantasy Baseball.
@allinkid I own Harper and was curious of the market. Someone offered me Dee and J.Upton for him. I need SB's and a 2B. what to do???
— Cecil Meyers (@cecil_meyers) May 15, 2015
Back to the trade value talk, while you shouldn't panic too much, you should also take full advantage of hot streaks. I'm including both of these conversations because it proves how much people will overreact to hot/cold stretches. Mike Trout is still the better option than Bryce Harper, and that 2-for-1 deal is quite the overpayment for Harper. Sure, Harper is on fire, but he won't do this all year, and at best he's Trout. So why not get Trout or a big package for him while he's hot. The same goes for everyone. No one is untouchable (or should be) in Fantasy, and when a big name is mashing, that's when you start fielding offers. Nelson Cruz has cooled off, and sure he'll still be very good, but you could have hauled in a much better package during his home run streak than you could now. Play those odds people.
— Joe Porter (@Super12Joe) May 18, 2015
I told this person that I'd go Jake McGee. Since he owns Brad Boxberger, he is assured to have the Rays' closer or get all the saves if they share the job. However, I chose this tweet to give a piece of advice to all save-searching situations.
Which would you rather have? A pitcher in a timeshare getting half of the saves or a pitcher getting every opportunity? Obviously, the latter. Now, would you rather have that same first pitcher or the second with the added factor that the second pitcher could end up with zero save chances. That's a decision many owners face at least a few times a year.
Personally, I go for the potential full-time closer and risk getting skunked. Unless I am desperate for a few saves and just need to stay in contention, I want the non-frustrating option. If I miss and the team goes with the other option - in this case we can use Shawn Tolleson since he's in competition with Keone Kela - then so be it. Not everyone will be in the same situation as this owner who will be covered by owning both. Often, it's the case of risk versus timeshare. Do you really lose that much value if you grab the timeshare guy and gets 7-10 saves the rest of the way? In reality, it's not that significant.
Tweet: How long before I plug in Hunter Pence?
I can't find the original tweet, so maybe the person deleted it because they were embarrassed? I'm not sure. I didn't mock the guy, but oh well, I'm still here to provide the answer for Hunter Pence and any hitter in this situation.
You always plug the hitter back in immediately… but not the pitcher.
When you have a player with the pedigree of Pence, you always get him back in your lineup. The potential return value far outweighs the possible loss. What's the worst that can happen for a hitter? An 0-for-5 day? That has such a minimal impact on your yearly standings. Even in weekly Head-to-Head leagues, unless there is talk that he might not play every day upon his return, you still plug him in. Even if the hitter goes 3-for-20, it's not that big of a deal. That's not even 10 percent of your team at-bats. The difference between three hits and seven or eight isn't a huge difference on your team's average. However, if we're talking pitchers, that's a completely different story.
Unless the pitcher is a Top 20-ish pitcher, I'm never rolling him out in his first start back, especially in weekly H2H leagues. Heck, I might not even start anyone outside the elites in a weekly H2H league. The worst that could happen for a pitcher is vastly worse than a hitter. If the pitcher goes out and lasts just three innings with seven runs and 11 hits, ouch! You'll be working weeks to build that back in a yearly league and be borderline screwed in those weekly H2H leagues.
So, always start the hitter, rarely start the pitcher.
BONUS! No tweet involved, but there are questions about my 2015 Fantasy Football rankings (coming soon!) and where I'd put Ryan Tannehill. So, with the firestorm of Twitter arguments after Tannehill's extension announcement yesterday, why not tell you why I have him ranked QB9 for 2015.
Let's start with the fact that Tannehill finished as QB8 last year. Yep, most people don't realize how good of a season Tannehill had, and even if you look at a per game basis, Tannehill only slips two spots to QB10 (Cam Newton and Tony Romo jump him). A big part of Tannehill's consistency was his added rushing. It's not terrific or Russell Wilson-like, but it is similar to Aaron Rodgers, as Tannehill had 317 yards and a score.
Another positive is that Tannehill continues to develop. As a reminder, this is a guy who was a receiver in college and transitioned to quarterback for his final two years at Texas A&M. He wasn't your typical 3-4 year college starter. At the NFL level, Tannehill has improved his completion percentage, yards, touchdowns and QB rating every year.
Lastly, look at the receiving core the Dolphins gave Tannehill. Sure, he is far from the best downfield thrower, especially in accuracy, and you could see that in missed opportunities with Mike Wallace. However, Wallace was his No. 1 the past two years and Brian Hartline actually led the team in yards from 2012-13. Jarvis Landry impressed as a rookie and will continue to grow. The Dolphins traded for Kenny Stills, signed Greg Jennings (he'll be the No. 4 option) and drafted DeVante Parker. Get the idea? The passing game is already primed for a step forward in 2015, even if Tannehill doesn't improve at all. But he will, and Tannehill will repeat his Top 10 QB finish.
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.
Bryce Harper (.338/.308) - Why not touch on Harper after the tweets above? Harper has been stupidly good the last 11 games with a .564 AVG, 18 Runs, 9 HRs, 22 RBIs and a 1.385 SLG%. I told you to sell high, and it's shown in Harper's PAVE that he won't be in contention for the batting title. Harper could hit around .300 this year, but his BABIP is high at .383 and many of his numbers are boosted by this hot streak.
Carlos Gonzalez (.197/.274) - CarGo could be like Utley and never produce this year. At least for now, the numbers still give some optimism. Gonzalez has an unlucky .226 BABIP so far and still has a very respectable 22.7 LD%. He could still finish the year with a 20/10 line and decent Runs/RBIs totals, so try to buy low before he wakes up, but don't spend too much thinking he's the CarGo of old.
George Springer (.190/.279) - This is just your friendly reminder to buy before it's too late. I mentioned Springer last week, and nothing has changed given his unlucky .222 BABIP and good 23.1 LD%.
Kyle Blanks (.327/.253) - Sell. Sell. Sell! We've seen Blanks before and we know what he is: little power with a middling average. Blanks isn't going to be a star all of a sudden, and his situation only makes his outlook worse. That outfield is crowded given Delino DeShields Jr.'s play and speed, and we still have the return of Josh Hamilton coming. On top of that, Blanks BABIP is .417 and his LD% is only 15.4. Sell the man!
Anthony Gose (.340/.281) - Speaking of sell-high candidates, Gose is right up there with Blanks. Now, Gose does have a secure job and will continue to produce value all year, but his BABIP… good grief… are you ready for this one? Gose's BABIP is .493! Last year's leader, Starling Marte, had a BABIP of .373 and Gose's mark was .317 in 2014. He can likely post a mark in the .330s, but as you can see, that's a huge drop-off coming.
Main image photo credit: dmbosstone
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