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Fantasy Baseball Word Problems: Question 3

USA Today Sports Images - 2013

For question number one, we tried helping Bob acquire a free agent pitcher who can strike out a lot of pitchers but not hurt his ERA. for question number two, Will Ing needed help finding a spot starter in his daily league. For the next question we switch it up to offense as we try to help a fantasy baseball owner try a unique approach in adding a potentially long-term selection for his team. So without further ado:

[All pitchers listed have an Ownership percentage no higher than 65 percent of fantasy baseball leagues at CBS Sports. All stats are based on the last 30 days of play. Outside factors, such as what team will the hitter face this week or whether their next start is a home or road game do not play a role in scenario. While the stats are real, the scenarios are based on possible events, therefore the names used, along with the attached information, have no correlative relationship].

Scenario Number Three:

Dustin from Mars Hill, CA is the owner of the fantasy baseball team Thrice Strikes & You’re Out! Dustin is in first place of his weekly, 12-team, 7X7, head-to-head league in large part due to shrewd trades and timely adds from the waiver wire throughout the season. Dustin wants to go for the kill and carry the positive momentum into the playoffs. He’s decided to cut one of his underperforming pitchers as he hasn’t inserted him into his starting rotation for a very long time now.

Dustin sees the usual suspects of hot hitters on the waiver wire. Even though he sees the potential to add another hot bat to his lineup, Dustin decides that he wants to experiment just a bit with his next waiver wire transaction. Instead of grabbing the hot bat, he’s going to take a calculated risk and add a player who is currently in a deep hitting slump. He hopes that in picking up the hitter at what seems to be his lowest point of the season, Dustin will reap the benefits when the hitter begins to heat up again. The question still remains, however: which of these hitters should Dustin pick up?

Is this a bold move for Dustin? Or is he just full of hubris? He does have a sizable lead in the league so why bother questioning the newfound tactic? The following list are players who were grabbing a lot of attention during the first half of the season. We even have a couple of 2012 top 100 prospects on this list as well. But which player should Dustin select?

BUYING LOW: Roto Payoff Last 30 Days

Player

Own%

R

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

OBP

SLG

Player A

49%

6

3

9

0

0.206

0.308

0.426

Player B

51%

8

0

2

2

0.196

0.286

0.250

Player C

45%

4

0

9

1

0.188

0.233

0.200

Player D

55%

9

3

6

0

0.169

0.225

0.313

Player E

64%

9

0

2

1

0.145

0.228

0.181

As one will notice, these are not very good overall numbers. A lot of these players were hot “adds” at one point of the season. Now they’re struggling to stay at an Ownership percentage of about 50 percent:

  • Player A and D have tried their best to stay relevant in fantasy circles by hitting home runs and Player D has even found a way to score nine runs to go along with his six RBI.
  • The highest slash line belongs to Player A.
  • Player B  has chipped in with two stolen bases to go along with the eight runs he has scored.
  • Player C is tied with the lead in the RBI department of this table.
  • Player E is tied with Player D for the most runs scored.

Besides the output that these players have produced in the last 30 days, this table tells us very little about the player’s performance. And as far as Dustin is concerned, he is trying his best to gauge future performance. So we now bring in some advanced data to see if it can shed some light into this mystery.

BUYING LOW: Advanced Stats Last 30 Days

Player

BB%

K%

wRAA

BABIP

LD%

GB%

FB%

HR/FB%

Player A

9.0%

23.1%

0.6

0.234

20.4%

28.6%

51.0%

12.0%

Player B

11.1%

19.0%

-3.2

0.250

16.7%

52.4%

31.0%

0.0%

Player C

2.3%

14.0%

-7.7

0.217

13.6%

57.6%

28.8%

0.0%

Player D

6.7%

18.9%

-5.3

0.175

15.4%

49.2%

35.4%

13.0%

Player E

8.5%

17.0%

-8.7

0.179

10.6%

62.1%

27.3%

0.0%

  • As mentioned before, Player A and D have tried to remain relevant in fantasy circles by hitting home runs. Their HR/FB% is above league average. 
  • Player B has had the most impressive plate discipline of the group so Dustin is encouraged by his approach.
  • Only Player A has a positive wRAA.
  • Player B, with his decent discipline has a BABIP of .250. Does that mean he is on the verge of breaking out of his slump?
  • Players B, C, E are contact hitters. While Players B and E have decent approach at the plate, Player C is the toughest to strike out from this group.
  • Player A is the only hitter with a Line-Drive% above 20%. That is still below league average.
  • Player A is the only hitter that can consistently drive the ball into the air, giving his home run totals some legitimacy.
  • Player D has not been able to consistently drive the ball into the air so perhaps his three home runs are more of a fluke than a sign of things to come.

WARNING: THE PITCHERS’ IDENTITIES ARE BELOW!

This a real tough scenario here. Why an owner would try to go after a bat that is in a major slump is beyond anyone’s guess. Is it a bold move or is he just full of hubris. It is all justified by the fact that Dustin can mess around and experiment with his team at this point of the season because of the large lead he holds in his league. If one of these hitters return to their first half forms, then Dustin has himself another weapon to help him in the stretch run. If they don’t pan out, he can always drop them and get somebody else on the cheap. However, Dustin is trying very hard to get somebody that will help him in the next two months.

My advice to Dustin is to narrow it down to Players A and B. While I like Player A’s somewhat power bat, I would be very intrigued by Player B’s plate discipline and see if his BABIP continues to rise, resulting in a higher chance of base-hits, higher batting average, and most importantly, a higher on-base percentage. So I would tell Dustin to roll the dice on Player B and hope for the best.

Who do you think Dustin should settle on for the remainder of the season?

Stats courtesy of fangraphs.com and are good through August 2, 2013.

Player A: Nate Schierholtz

Player B: Adam Eaton

Player C: Jose Iglesias

Player D: Anthony Rendon

Player E: Gerardo Parra

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