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Nathan Dokken

Nathan Dokken

AL Player Analysis - May 3rd, 2016

Nate Karns (SP, Sea): Karns turned in baseline quality start against the A's on Monday night, giving up three runs on six hits in six innings of work, walking one and striking out five. Perhaps the most promising note here is only the one walk on the night. Karns has never had problems striking batters out (career 8.98 K/9) but the walks, especially early this season, have been an issue. He trimmed his season walk rate down to 4.13/9, but he'll have to continue to improve to maintain his mixed league viability. He's also been prone to the long ball (1.16 HR/9 last year, 1.21/9 this year) and that can really destroy an ERA in a hurry when you're issuing...

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David Donahue

David Donahue

NL Player Commentary - May 2, 2016

Ryan Braun (OF - MIL) - After tallying another multi-hit game last night, Braun is officially en fuego. As we mentioned in the last few weeks, Braun has been quite fortunate this season, and continues to be so as his BABIP was .381 coming into last night, despite a lower hard hit rate than last year. If you can find an owner willing to think Braun is returning to his MVP days, I would certainly accept an offer for him at that value. Braun will return solid #2/nearly #1 OF value this even, even when his BA falls by 30-50 points. Jason Hammel (SP - CHC) - Hammel was effective through 5 innings last night, allowing 2 ER with 3...

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Phil Double

Phil Double

NL Player Analysis-May 1, 2016

Vincent Velasquez-Phillies-SP Vincent Velasquez went 6 IP and gave up 0 ER on 2 H, 4 BB, and 6 K's. Velasquez has posted a 1.44 ERA (2.73 xFIP), 33% K, and 6% BB. Velasquez has shown the ability to miss bats with his strikeout rates, but they are also backed up by his 14% SwStr. Velasquez is going to remain a good source of strikeouts but you have to consider that he is going to be on an innings limit this year. He will likely not be there for the playoffs of most leagues, which hurts his overall value. If you can trade him and get a good package in return, I think you need to consider it, given Velasquez's...

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Schuyler Dombroske

Schuyler Dombroske

AL Daily Notes - May 2nd, 2016

Ian Desmond - OF (+SS?), TEX - 2016 is looking like 2015 a bit, as Ian Desmond is trying to crawl out of a statistical chasm created by an abysmal first few weeks of the year. Desmond is 14-34 with 3 2B and 3 HR over his last 10 games, and he's scored 12 runs and swiped 4 bases over that span as well. The 30 year old is really starting to look a bit more comfortable finally, as his chase rate is way down compared to prior years, which of course has him walking more than ever before. The few homers he's hit have been bombs as well, showing that the excellent power is still intact when he can...

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Walter Kuberski

Walter Kuberski

NL Player News- May 1, 2016

Michael Conforto (OF-NYM): Conforto went 3 for 4 with 2 runs and 3 RBI, hitting his 4th homer of the year to lead the Mets over the Giants. While there will be some regression from his current .365/.442/.676 line, don't expect a dramatic falloff as Conforto's underlying numbers suggest that he is turning himself into an elite fantasy option. He has upped his hard hit rate from 40% last year to a ridiculous 50% so far in 2016 while increasing his walk rate and decreasing his strike out rate. Most importantly, Terry Collins is hitting him in the 3-hole and keeping him in there to face lefties, against whom he has held his own. In fact, at $4000 on FanDuel,...

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James Turvey

James Turvey

AL Player Analysis - May 1, 2016

Nick Castellanos Castellanos has made the impressive transition from underrated to overrated with his hot start to 2016. Castellanos is slashing .363/.376/.563 with three homers, 24 RuBIns and a steal. However, there are some potential warning signs for Castellanos owners. He has a .464 BABIP, and although it has seemed that Castellanos has been due for some positive regression in that area in seasons past, thanks to a high line drive rate, obviously a .464 clip is unsustainable. Castellanos' line drive rate is an impressive 28.1 percent, but he had a 28.5 LD% in 2014, and only had a .326 BABIP that season. Castellanos also has an incredibly poor strikeout to walk ratio, with 23 strikeouts to just three...

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Kyle Elfrink

Kyle Elfrink

Week 5 Waiver Targets by Kyle Elfrink

Options, options, options. That's what I see every single week when considering available pitching on the waiver wire. In 2016 free agent pitching depth is immense. Streaming very average arms against mostly weak hitting? Check. Hunting down free agents who are scheduled for two starts in the upcoming week? Numerous possibilities. Call-up's from the minors? Seemingly, there's a guy every day. I'm not here to re-hash the arguments for and against drafting aces early. Those guys (despite less-than-great April results from so many of those that were considered 'safe' or 'certain') need to be at the top of any fantasy league-winning rotation. But, the back-end is proving to be an easy fill. If you don't like the early returns on...

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Nathan Dokken

Nathan Dokken

NL Player Analysis - April 30th, 2016

Adam Conley (SP, Mia): Conley threw seven and two-thirds no-hit innings Friday night against the Brewers. He was pulled with only four outs left to achieve the no-no as Don Mattingly questionably decided 116 pitches was the end of Conley's leash. He allowed four walks and struck out seven in his first win of the season, lowering his season ERA to 3.67. He's been useful this year, posting 28 K's in 27 innings. His bugaboo is still his control however, as he does have 12 walks in that span. He won't be a dominant starter until he can minimize the walks, but he'll continue to provide value in mixed leagues as long as he piles up innings and delivers a...

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Michael Waldo

Michael Waldo

AL Player Analysis - April 30, 2016

Sean Manaea (OAK) - Rookie and my personal favorite from Spring Training, Sean Manaea, was given the opportunity to make his major league debut last night against the Houston Astros. From a matchup perspective, it would be tough to find a worse lineup for the lefty pitcher to face than the very right-handed Houston Astros. Manaea's college and professional career has been marred by injuries up until this point, and while he flashes tremendous velocity on his fastback at times, he can rarely maintain it for the entire game. Being a lefty, he thrives by deception and is especially tough against left-handed batters. That said sweeping slider is effective against batters from both sides of the plate. On Friday, Manaea...

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Walter Kuberski

Walter Kuberski

NL Player News- April 29, 2016

Dee Gordon (2B-MIA): Flash broke the internet with news of his testing positive for PED's and will immediately begin serving an 80-game suspension. Derek Dietrich figures to see the lion's share of duty at 2B, with Miguel Rojas also receiving a value boost. Dietrich has hit 25 homers in 211 games and could provide Gordon owners with a bit of pop, but the challenge is how to replace the 30+ steals you're going to lose. Outside of a trade, owners may want to look at stashing Trea Turner, whose speed will play once the Nationals make the call, and Orlando Arcia, who should see time with the Brewers in the second half. Odubel Herrera (OF-PHI): Herrera went 1 for 3,...

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Paul Sauberer

Paul Sauberer

AL Player Report- April 29, 2016

Melky Cabrera- OF- CHA- Idea- Cabrera hit 10 of his 12 homers in 2015 against RH pitching while accumulating a slash line of .286/.331/.417 against them. The Orioles' Mike Wright doesn't have a large sample size of major league results against LH hitting, with just 7 IP against them this year and 21.1 IP last year. He has been consistently poor in those appearances, though. Last year his slash line was .319/.386/.533 and so far this season it's .345/.441/.690. Expect Cabrera to have an opportunity to take advantage. Value play- Draft Kings salary $3800 Anibal Sanchez- P- DET- Stats- Sanchez was one out away from a quality start, allowing 2 runs in 5.2 IP. It wasn't a great performance, however,...

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Schuyler Dombroske

Schuyler Dombroske

AL Daily Notes - April 28th, 2016

Chris Tillman, SP, BAL - Tillman didn't throw a ton of strikes on Wednesday, but he was effective enough to scatter a mere two singles and two walks over 6 2/3 shutout innings against the Rays, striking out 9. Beating the Rays twice convincingly should have you discounting the hot start a bit (the Rays have only been better than the Angels, Braves, and Padres against RHP thus far), but there are definitely signs that Tillman should be upgraded in your thought process. First, his velocity is up for the second straight year, and there's been a sizable concurrent jump in swinging strike% (without even adding in another 16 in 101 pitches Wed.). Secondly, his soft contact and hard contact...

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David Donahue

David Donahue

NL Player Commentary - 4/27/16

Andrew Cashner (SD - SP) - Coming into yesterday, Cashner looked like a great buy low candidate with FIP a half run less than his actual ERA. Then he got crushed by the Giants, allowing 6 runs in just 2.2 innings (3 ER). The wind was blowing out in a high scoring day in San Francisco, but that doesn't excuse Cashner's four walks. And unfortunately for Cashner, he's just not missing bats; he had a pedestrian 5.9% SwStr% coming into yesterday, though somehow still had a solid K/9 of 8+. Red flag. Yesterday was only but one game, so I'm not ready to give up on Cashner's season, but it certainly wasn't what I expected to see so far. Matt...

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Josh Sperry

Josh Sperry

April 27th, 2016 - AL Player Analysis

David Price, Boston Red Sox - Feeling down on your season? You can count on the Braves to turn that all around in one start. Price tossed eight innings allowing two runs while striking out 14 Braves batters in route to his third win of the season. The outing lowered his ERA to 5.76 on the season but Price as been a far better pitcher than that this season. He's allowing just .91 HR/9 while striking out over 13 batters per nine showing why his FIP is a microscopic 2.40 compared to his ERA. Based on his pitch type chart on Fangraphs Price has double the rate at which he throws his two seam fastball which with the additional movement...

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Paul Sauberer

Paul Sauberer

NL Player Report- April 27, 2016

Joe Panik- 2B- SF- Idea- Although he hasn't taken off against RH pitching this year (.224 average) that is due primarily to bad luck (.190 BABIP against them.) In 2015 Panik posted a slash line of .318/.379/.473 and hit 7 of his 8 homers against them. Combine that, regression to the mean just waiting to happen and Andrew Cashner's .287/.379/.517 slash line against LH hitting last year and Panik is primed for a big game. Value play- Draft Kings salary $3900 Matt Wisler- P- ATL- Cold- Wisler had ended 2015 strong, with 5 quality starts in his last 6. He had thrown 2 quality starts in 3 so far this year plus he picked up a save in a relief...

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Menachem Greenfeld

Menachem Greenfeld

AL Player Analysis - April, 26 2016

Rajai Davis, OF, CLE Davis has been playing well for the Indians of late and is hitting .286 with 2 HR's and 6 SB's on the season. Yet his fantasy value has taken a hit with the activation of Michael Brantley. Davis will still probably play more often than not, but there's a good chance Jason Kipnis and Francisco Lindor will now regularly occupy the top two batting spots in the lineup, moving Davis down in the order. Nathan Eovaldi, SP, NYY Eovaldi carried a no-hitter into the 7th inning against the Rangers on Monday, and finished with 7 scoreless innings. Eovaldi's career-high strikeout rate coming into this season was 7.06 K/9 (last year) but this year he's sitting at...

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James Turvey

James Turvey

NL Player Analysis - April 25, 2016

Neil Walker Walker hit his 8th (eighth!) home run of the 2016 season on Monday night, continuing his red hot start to his Mets career. The ex-Pirate is tied for second in all of baseball, trailing only Bryce Harper in round trippers this season, a crazy start for Walker. The home run came as part of a 2-for-4 day which raised his average over .300 and brought his slugging percentage to .630. There are a few signs of a potential crash for Walker, though. For one, it's Neil Walker and he has eight home runs in 18 games, if you don't see some serious regression coming you might need to be checked for glasses. Outside of the obvious, eighth-year-second-baseman-hitting-a-home-run-every-other-game-capital-R-regression...

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Phil Double

Phil Double

AL Players News-April 24, 2016

Drew Smyly-Rays-SP Drew Smyly went 7 IP and gave up 1 ER on 6 H, 1 BB, and 6 K's. Smyly has been excellent when on the mound over the past two seasons. He has been a great source of strikeouts (28%) and he pitches in a great pitcher's park in Tampa Bay. Smyly also has shown good command over that same time period with a 7% BB rate. All of his peripherals (2.88 xFIP) and batted ball data backs up the success that he is having. The only reason to sell high or be a little bit worried is the health piece, but that is something that cannot be controlled. Michael Pineda-Yankees-SP Michael Pineda went 5 IP and gave...

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Nathan Dokken

Nathan Dokken

NL Player Analysis - April 25th, 2016

Aaron Blair (SP, Atl): Aaron Blair made his first major league start Sunday against the Mets but fell short of a quality start, pitching five and one-third innings and allowing three runs on six hits with two walks and only one strikeout. He tossed only 80 pitches in the outing, 45 being strikes. Blair is a 6'4" 23 year old right-hander the Braves acquired from the Diamondbacks in the offseason trade that sent Shelby Miller to Arizona. He's got a low-to-mid 90's fastball with a good changeup and curveball. He's not a big strikeout pitcher (under 7 K/9 in 2015 in AA/AAA), but with his large frame he should be able to throw a lot of innings when not restrained...

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Michael Waldo

Michael Waldo

NL Player Analysis - April 24, 2016

Steven Matz (NYM - SP) - Matz has been a mixed bag to start the year, but he drew a very favorable matchup against the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night. Entering Saturday's game, the Braves ranked dead last in the MLB in wRC+ against left handed pitching, a park and league adjusted statistic which measures an offense's overall production. Matz cruised through the Braves lineup with ease on Saturday night, pitching into the 7th inning while striking out 8, walking none and allowing just 2 earned runs. He did give up 9 hits, but all but one were singles. To be successful moving forward, Matz needs to continue working on his secondary offerings and maybe take a lesson from Noah...

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Key Articles
Fantistics Analysts Twitter Updates

Pitchers: Hard Hit Rate and the relationship to BABIP against

It's widely accepted and understood that hitters do have control on their BABIP range. BABIP or Batting Average on Balls in Play is not a one size fits all indicator. Examples of this include quick runners who have a higher...

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