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Steve Shumansky

Steve Shumansky

NL Player Analysis 8-29-2014

Stephen Strasburg (SP-Wash) This has been a very confounding season for Stephen Strasburg. When I looked athim earlier in the year it looked like everything was pointing to a very strongseason. The results have been anything but. Since July 1st he has been a 4-4 pitcher with a 3.44 ERA and a very elevated 19.8% HR/FB rate. He has never had a HR/FB rate over 11% in his career so this is unusual for him. Overall he has a 3.59 ERA but his xFIP is 2.62. Everything else in his underlying peripherals would suggest that he should be doing much better. I guess it just demonstratesthat even a great pitcher like Strasburg has a smaller margin for error than wethink....

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Phil Double

Phil Double

NL Player Analysis-August 28th, 2014

Billy Hamilton-Reds-OF Billy Hamilton was 2-2 with 2 runs scored, 2 walks, and 2 RBI in the win over the Cubs. Hamilton is slashing .267/6/46 with 69 runs scored and 51 stolen bases. Hamilton has really slowed down post all-star break. He is hitting .219 with only 12 SB in the second half, compared to .285 with 38 SB in the first half. Hamilton will need to pick up his game or many fantasy owners are going to be upset that he disappeared at the most critical time. Yusmeiro Petit-Giants-SP Yusmeiro Petit went 6 innings and gave up 1 ER on 4 hits, and 9 strikeouts in the win against the Rockies. Petit set a major league record by retiring...

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Paul Sauberer

Paul Sauberer

AL Player Notes- August 29, 2014

Dustin Ackley- SEA- Stats- Ackley credits his second half surge to a change in mechanics. It may not be quite correct. He had exactly the same Batting EYE in each half (.40.) His FB% was also precisely the same (34.1%. ) His averages and home run frequencies, though, are very different. He hit .225 in the first half and .313 so far in the second half. Ackley slugged 4 homers in 298 PAs in the first half and has 5 in 158 second half PAs. The average is likely a result of change in luck. His BABIP was .265 in the first half and is .336 in the second. Ackley's HR/FB ratio has surged from 5.3% to 11.6%. These have...

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Walter Kuberski

Walter Kuberski

NL Daily Notes - August 28, 2014

Zack Wheeler (SP-NYM): While Julio Teheran grabbed most of the headlines with his quality start and win, Zack Wheeler tossed yet another quality start of his own, allowing 2 earned runs on 4 hits and 3 walks and adding 7 strikeouts in 7 innings. The phenom hasn't allowed more than 3 earned runs in a start since late June. Needless to say, I am very bullish on him for the rest of 2014 and beyond. He'll have to continue to improve his control and develop more confidence in his weapons against lefties, but the 23% K-rate and 54% GB-rate are aesthetically pleasing to say the least. The Mets say he will not face an innings limit in 2014, and the...

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Steve Shumansky

Steve Shumansky

AL Player Analysis- August 27th, 2014

Albert Pujols (1B-LAA) After an injury plagued 2013 season that saw him only play in 99 games, many thought this year would be a major rebound for Pujols. It has been anything but. He is batting only .277 and he is well behind his mediocre 2012 season (for him) in every category. While he has shown very good plate discipline in striking out only 9.4% of the time his walks are down too to an all time low of 7.3%. For a player who averaged an 8.5 WAR over 7 seasons he will be lucky if he touches a 3.0 WAR this season. He is making less contact on pitches outside the zone which accounts for some of the diminished...

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Walter Kuberski

Walter Kuberski

NL Daily Notes - August 27, 2014

Ken Giles (RP-PHI): Ken Giles struck out the side in the 8th and picked up his 3rd win of the season. The man who many have dubbed as the closer of the future for the Phillies has now posted a 47:9 K:BB ratio in 32 and 2/3 innings with a 1.38 ERA/2.00 xFIP. Major League hitters haven't quite figured out how to square the ball up against Giles, as they have mustered 1 homer and a 17% linedrive rate against him. His underlying stats suggest we do have a legitimate ace closer in the making, especially the 16% swinging-strike rate, the 40% chase rate, and the equal nastiness against righties and lefties. And while he throws a 97+ average fastball,...

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Schuyler Dombroske

Schuyler Dombroske

NL Daily Notes - August 26th, 2014

Tanner Roark - I like Tanner Roark. I think he can be a solid back-end starter due primarily to his excellent control and one other thing......his schedule. Roark's peripherals have actually gotten worse across the board in the second half, yet his ERA is nearly three-quarters of a run lower. The schedule has certainly helped, as in his last 10 starts he's seen 6 bottom-10 offenses, one mid-tier offense (MIA), the Pirates without McCutchen, the orioles without a DH, and the Brewers, a solid offense that becomes much better against LHP. You might think that I'm expecting less out of Roark down the stretch, but the schedule doesn't exactly get any more difficult with 3 more bottom-10 offenses scheduled for...

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Paul Sauberer

Paul Sauberer

AL Player Notes- August 26, 2014

Shin-Soo Choo- TEX- Inj Update- The curse that has hovered over the Rangers this season wasn't finished. Choo has been declared done for the season with a bone spur in his elbow. Although he had hit 4 homers in 90 PAs this month he was only hitting .238. Choo finishes the season with only a .242 average but still managed to post an OBP of .340. His 3 steals is well below his standards. Choo will be a comeback candidate next season if he can maintain his health, which was not impacted just by the elbow but also a sprained ankle. Yu Darvish- TEX- Inj Update- This will come as an absolute shock, I'm sure, but Rangers' GM Jon Daniels...

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Derek Carty

Derek Carty

AL Player Analysis - August 25th, 2014

Sean Doolittle -- Doolittle underwent an MRI on Sunday and was subsequently placed on the 15-day DL with a strained right intercostal muscle. That's a tough blow for fantasy owners as the race for saves at the end of the year is often a close one. Losing a guy for 40% of the remainder of the season is bad news, especially since Doolittle was also one of the most talented pitchers in baseball to begin with, saves aside. He had posted a 13.0 K/9, 0.8 BB/9, 2.28 ERA, and 2.05 xFIP this season. Luke Gregerson -- With the Oakland A's putting Sean Doolittle on the Disabled List on Sunday, the closer's role is now up for grabs. Luke Gregerson seems...

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Michael Waldo

Michael Waldo

NL Player Analysis - August 25th, 2014

Bryce Harper (OF - WAS) - Bryce Harper continued his hot August by going 2-for-5 with a homerun and a double to knock in 2 RBI. His ISO on the season now sits at a meager .133 and his 77/29 strikeout-to-walk ratio is ugly but the 21 year old is starting to come around this month. Since August 1, Harper has hit .274 with 4 HRs and 12 RBI. Hitting 6th in the Nationals batting order is a big hindrance to his fantasy value but eventually his elite talent will force Matt Williams to move him up. It's hard to believe he's only 21 and it's easy to sometimes forget that detail when we write about his struggles. Baseball is...

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Frank Tomkins

Frank Tomkins

AL Player Notes - August 23, 2014

Joe Kelly (SP-BOS). Kelly had his first decent outing as a member of the Red Sox, tossing 5 shutout innings while giving up only 1 hit and 3 walks while striking out 5. However, he did not pick up the win, as the usually reliable Koji Uehara coughed up 5 runs to the Mariners in the 9th inning. Despite the solid outing, Kelly is not a recommended add, even for AL-only owners who are desperate for pitching. Kelly had some success in a season and a half with the Cardinals, but it was primarily based on good luck (2.69 ERA, 4.01 FIP in 2013) and his skill set is not one that is going to translate well to the AL...

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Steve Shumansky

Steve Shumansky

NL Player Analysis-August 22, 2014

Adam Wainwright (SP-STL) Adam Wainwright was the loser this evening giving up 5 runs (4 ER) in 6 innings while walking 3 and striking out 2. He has been an absolute stud pitcher since 2009 but the fact is that despite his 15-8 record there have been a few troubling signs. His K% has dropped to just over 7 K's/9 innings which is the first time that he has not been over 8 since 2008. Since July, his K% is under 6K/9 innings and his walks/9 innings have raised to about 3. Wainwright's velocity is down to 90.5 from last season's 91.5 and his more effective cutter this season is not enough to make up for the slip in the...

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Phil Double

Phil Double

AL Player Analysis-August 21st, 2014

Phil Hughes-Twins-SP Phil Hughes went 7 innings and gave up 1 ER on 5 hits and 8 strikeouts in the win against the Indians. Hughes has a 3.65 ERA over 165 innings with 148 strikeouts. Hughes has a 3.23 x FIP, which means that he has pitched better than traditional stats indicate. Hughes has used his cutter a career high 22% of the time. While the use of a good cutter does lead to more success, it also increases the likely hood of an injury. Pitching at Target Field will help keep Hughes relevant the rest of the way. David Price-Tigers-SP David Price went 8 shutout innings on 1 hit and 9 strikeouts in the loss to the Rays. Price...

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Michael Waldo

Michael Waldo

AL Player Analysis - August 21th 2014

Garrett Richards (LAA) - Garrett Richards took on the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night but left the game in the second inning on a stretcher. He was covering first base when his left knee gave out and was unable to make it off the field on his own power. He looked to be in a lot of pain and the team was vague on the details afterwards, simply saying it was a left patellar injury. It's too soon to say the severity but based on initial observation, I would be surprised if he played again this year. On the season, Richards had continued to build on his impressive first half and had an ERA of 2.61 along with 13...

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Josh Sperry

Josh Sperry

August 20th NL Coverage

Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs - And exhale... Cubs' fans can rest easy that Kris Bryant's to injury is nothing minor and the slugger returned to the lineup Tuesday and went 1-for-3 with his 14th double of the year. It's still unclear whether Bryant will get his first taste of the majors this season, but I have a hard time believing that when the rosters expand that he won't hear his name called. The arguably top prospect in baseball is triple slashing an insane .333/.441/.678 with 40 homers and 103 RBI in just 126 games. He's likely to be the opening day starter for the Cubs at third base next season, so I'm sure the team would like him to get...

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Nicholas Rossoletti

Nicholas Rossoletti

AL Player Blog- August 20, 2014

Austin Jackson- Austin Jackson is finally starting to run. After a disappointing season marked by his worst power output since he got called to the major leagues (3.3% HR/FB rate in both 2010 and 2014), Jackson has begun to show signs of life to fantasy owners with his legs. Jackson has always been a "speedy" outfielder, but he hasn't really helped fantasy owners with steals since 2011. It seems the change of scenery to Seattle may be changing that trend. His 5 attempts in the month of August are the most for any month this season, which is saying something considering we still have almost two full weeks left in the month. Jackson is 4 out of 5 on those...

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Paul Sauberer

Paul Sauberer

NL Player Notes- August 19, 2014

Will Harris- ARI- FYI- Harris was called up after posting an ERA of 0.83 since being sent back down to AAA in June. He got into the game last night and lost, running his major league record to 0-3. Harris allowed a walk off home run in 0.2 IP, increasing his ERA with Arizona this year to 9.45. He hasn't been able to duplicate the success he had in 2013 in 52.2 IP with the Diamondbacks, when he posted an ERA of 2.91 and FIP of 2.74. Harris's performance at AAA this year wasn't as good as it might have looked, as his 0.99 ERA for the season is paired with a 4.24 FIP. His K/9 in his 13.1 IP...

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Schuyler Dombroske

Schuyler Dombroske

AL Daily Notes - August 19th, 2014

Bud Norris - Norris pitched very well on Monday, holding the White Sox to 2 runs on 3 hits over 7 innings of work, striking out 5 without walking a batter. Norris has improved his control, GB rate, and velocity significantly this year, but it seems like the drop in K rate has helped his stats be viewed with a negative bias. You always have to be careful about cherry-picking data when trying to make a case for a player, but Norris has improved his offspeed pitches from major negatives to minor positives this season (mostly with the change, which has improved from his worst or second worst pitch to his best this season), which has likely allowed him to...

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Derek Carty

Derek Carty

AL Player Analysis - August 18th 2014

Kennys Vargas -- Vargas went 3-for-4 with a double, a homer, 3 RBI, and 2 runs on Sunday against the Royals. The big day brings Vargas' batting average up to .317, and the long-ball was his third of the season. Vargas wasn't considered an elite prospect, but he definitely was on the radar, especially when it came to his raw power, which is considered to be plus or plus-plus. His hitting tool was in question a bit, however, given that his swing can get long and he's more of a mistake hitter. He's striking out at a nearly 30% clip in his brief stint at the major league level, so while some more homers are likely, the batting average will...

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Frank Tomkins

Frank Tomkins

NL Player Notes August 18, 2014

Josh Collmenter (SP-ARZ). Collmenter owners had to be a bit disappointed, as he lasted only 4 innings against the Marlins in Miami on Sunday afternoon, giving up 5 runs on 7 hits while striking out 4. This should be about the end of Collmenter's regression to the mean, as his ERA now sits at 4.28 and he entered the game with an xFIP of 4.27. Although Collmenter has been a godsend to the decimated Diamondbacks rotation, he should not be a part of your fantasy rotation, even in the deepest of leagues, as he provides little help in any fantasy category with his below league average ERA and less than mediocre strikeout rate (5.96 K/9). Collmenter cannot even be reliably...

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Key Articles - view all

Key Articles
Fantistics Analysts Twitter Updates

May Pitcher Rankings 2014

In our continuing series on player recommendations, today we take a look at the pitchers who are deviating from their projected production. The past has shown us that pitchers have a more difficult time reverting to their historical mean. Especially...

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