June 2009

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Andrew McCutchen Gets The Call

Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen made his big league debut today, as a direct result of the Nate McLouth trade.  McCutchen figures to get every chance to stick as a regular.  In his debut today, he went 2 for 4 with a walk, an RBI, three runs scored, and a stolen base.  A fantasy baseball bonanza.  Let's take a closer look.

McCutchen, 22, hit .303/.361/.493 in 201 Triple A at-bats this year with 4 HR and 10 SB.  He's a right-handed hitter, and this year he's raked against lefties while holding his own against righties.  The Major League Equivalent of McCutchen's work this year is .259/.306/.405.  McCutchen spent all of last year in Triple A, as well as a short stint in '07.  He didn't show a ton of power in 2007-08.  Even if McCutchen isn't amazing as a rookie hitter, he could post a decent run total atop the Pirates' lineup.

Sometimes with stud prospects you have to look past the stats to see the breakout potential.  Hanley Ramirez didn't impress in Double A, but he had a huge fantasy rookie season the following year.  McCutchen's been young for his levels.  But using the information we have available, he isn't a power hitter yet.  He's also not a high-percentage basestealer.  I'm keeping my mixed league expectations low for 2009.


Full Story |  Comments (0) | Categories: Rookies

Picks For Friday

Hitters:

  • Andruw Jones vs. Brad Penny: 15 for 45, 3 2B, 6 HR
  • A.J. Pierzynski vs. Carl Pavano: 5 for 7, 2B, 3B
  • Ryan Garko vs. John Danks: 7 for 19, 2B, 3 HR
  • Jason Giambi vs. Jeremy Guthrie: 4 for 9, 2 HR
  • Pedro Feliz vs. Eric Milton: 6 for 11, 2 2B, HR

Pitchers:

  • Doug Davis vs. Padres.
  • Chad Gaudin vs. Diamondbacks on the other end of the game.
  • Chris Volstad vs. Giants.
  • Barry Zito vs. Marlins, same game.  The Fish don't hit lefties.
  • Ricky Romero vs. Royals.  Facing Zack Greinke, however.
  • Jeff Karstens vs. Astros.
  • Mike Hampton vs. Pirates, same game.  Pirates don't hit lefties.  Oh and subtract Nate McLouth from the offense.


Full Story |  Comments (1) | Categories: Matchups

BABIP, Anyone?

We're due for another edition.  Minimum 40 IP.

Those being helped by low BABIPs:

NAME BABIP K/BB ISO ERA WHIP
Matt Palmer 0.221 1.59 0.123 4.06 1.15
Edinson Volquez 0.224 1.47 0.163 4.35 1.33
Brian Tallet 0.225 1.62 0.189 4.26 1.24
Josh Outman 0.227 1.90 0.144 3.06 1.19
Johnny Cueto 0.235 2.50 0.150 2.53 1.03
Scott Feldman 0.238 1.53 0.129 3.91 1.18
Matt Garza 0.238 2.36 0.142 3.67 1.13
Dan Haren 0.244 7.80 0.134 2.42 0.86
Jered Weaver 0.245 2.94 0.137 2.36 1.03
Chris Volstad 0.246 2.57 0.198 3.71 1.13
Ted Lilly 0.247 3.06 0.193 3.50 1.09
Yovani Gallardo 0.247 2.71 0.161 3.18 1.12
John Maine 0.248 1.28 0.105 3.75 1.34
Kevin Millwood 0.254 1.87 0.169 3.23 1.23
Edwin Jackson 0.256 3.17 0.117 2.30 1.04
Randy Wolf 0.257 2.64 0.160 3.21 1.14
Dave Bush 0.259 2.50 0.241 4.38 1.19

Be wary of those with weak K/BB ratios, like Palmer, Feldman, and Maine.

On to those who have been hurt by high BABIPs:

NAME BABIP K/BB ISO ERA WHIP
Ricky Nolasco 0.395 2.85 0.255 9.07 1.81
Jon Lester 0.375 3.08 0.176 5.65 1.55
Jason Hammel 0.375 2.25 0.170 4.83 1.73
Jordan Zimmermann 0.370 3.36 0.199 6.07 1.48
Scott Olsen 0.366 1.61 0.268 7.24 1.90
Felipe Paulino 0.364 1.94 0.186 6.21 1.71
Sidney Ponson 0.362 1.41 0.141 7.27 1.73
Cole Hamels 0.361 5.00 0.249 5.21 1.41
Tim Lincecum 0.359 4.33 0.084 3.01 1.23
Scott Kazmir 0.358 1.21 0.179 7.69 1.95
Manny Parra 0.356 1.42 0.168 6.75 1.83
Cliff Lee 0.353 3.38 0.091 3.16 1.41
Justin Masterson 0.353 2.29 0.112 4.25 1.42
Andy Sonnanstine 0.352 2.00 0.207 7.07 1.68

We've talked about many of these guys.  It might be time to stash Nolasco, if he was dropped when he was sent to the minors.  Hammel might be a decent spot start away from Coors, at times.  Buy low on Lee, if possible.


Full Story |  Comments (3) | Categories: BABIP, Anyone?

Picks For Thursday

Hitters:

  • Jason Kubel vs. Fausto Carmona: 8 for 18, 2 2B
  • Travis Hafner probably will not play Thursday, but if he does he's 10 for 21 with 3 2B and 4 HR vs. Scott Baker.
  • Jason Giambi vs. Mark Buehrle: 9 for 22, 3 2B, 2 HR
  • Bill Hall vs. Josh Johnson: 4 for 6, 2B, 2 HR

Pitchers:

  • I don't see any great pitching matchups for Thursday.  You could consider Ross Detwiler against Matt Cain and the Giants.


Full Story |  Comments (4) | Categories: Matchups

Josh Outman Examined

Let's talk about Josh Outman, who ranks 7th in the AL with a 3.06 ERA (using 40 IP to qualify).  Outman's 1.19 WHIP ranks 14th.   Is he for real, or at least worth picking up?  More stats...

47 IP
8 GS
5.63 IP/start
3.06 ERA
4.72 xFIP
1.19 WHIP
1.44 Expected WHIP
7.66 K/9
4.02 BB/9
1.90 K/BB
6.70 H/9
.227 BABIP vs. .316 team BABIP
1.15 HR/9
11.8% HR/flyball rate
35.3% Groundball rate
2 wins
2.6 Expected Wins

Basically we are looking at a guy who's pitched more like a 4.72 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP.  It'd be pretty risky to expect otherwise.  Outman still needs to take a big step forward in control, and as a flyball pitcher he'll continue to allow HRs.  His super-low BABIP is unsustainable.

Scouting-wise, Outman is a 24 year-old southpaw who came to Oakland in last year's Joe Blanton trade.  He has only two Triple A starts under his belt.  Some like him as a reliever, as his fastball plays up to the mid-90s.  Baseball America notes decent secondary pitches and a deceptive delivery.  Who knows, maybe the delivery explains some of the BABIP.

I would not add Outman in a 12-team mixed league.  It seems that he is getting by mainly on not allowing hits and that is not a reliable formula for success.


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May Pitching Leaders

Time to take a look at the pitching leaders for the period of May 1-31.  Here's a link to the April leaders if you need a reminder.  My original posting of this yesterday had some errors, by the way.

ERA

1. Rick Porcello - 1.50
2. Justin Verlander - 1.52
3. Vicente Padilla - 1.57
3. Zack Greinke - 1.57
5. Jason Vargas - 1.65
6. Roy Halladay - 1.76
7. Randy Wells - 1.80
8. Jake Peavy - 2.13
9. Ramon Troncoso - 2.21
10. Jered Weaver - 2.30

Only Greinke makes a repeat appearance.  How about the surprise appearances from Porcello, Wells, Padilla, and Vargas?  Vargas has been aided greatly by a .218 BABIP on the season.  Porcello is a BABIP guy too but at least he has a 54% groundball rate and killer stuff.  Padilla just snuck in past our 20 IP cutoff.

WHIP

1. Jake Peavy - 0.87
2. Justin Verlander - 0.90
3. Zack Greinke - 0.91
4. Jered Weaver - 0.95
4. Johnny Cueto - 0.95
6. Vicente Padilla - 0.96
7. C.C. Sabathia - 0.96
8. Scott Feldman - 1.01
9. Josh Outman - 1.04
10. Edwin Jackson - 1.04

Greinke and Jackson make repeat appearances.  In case you needed proof either is for real.

K

1. Justin Verlander - 56
2. Jake Peavy - 44
3. Javier Vazquez - 44
3. Zack Greinke - 44
5. Johan Santana - 42
5. Chad Billingsley - 42
7. Jon Lester - 41
7. Tim Lincecum - 41
9. Aaron Harang - 40
10. Jordan Zimmermann - 39

Tip of the cap to anyone who bought low on Verlander after his 6.75 ERA in April.  He's on the leaderboard for both months and has an MLB-best 90 Ks.  As for Lester, the window is almost closed.

W

1. Carl Pavano - 5
1. Justin Verlander - 5
1. Rick Porcello - 5
14 tied with 4

An excellent month of May for Pavano, believe it or not.

SV

1. Trevor Hoffman - 11
2. Francisco Rodriguez - 10
3. Brian Fuentes - 8
3. Brad Lidge - 8
3. Chad Qualls - 8
6. Kevin Gregg - 7
6. Bobby Jenks - 7
6. Heath Bell - 7
6. Jonathan Papelbon - 7
6. Brian Wilson - 7

They didn't come easy for Fuentes or Lidge.  How about Hoffman's flawless May?  Who saw that coming? 

Best roto pitchers year-to-date: Greinke, Santana, Halladay, and Dan Haren.


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Picks For Wednesday

Hitters:

  • Marlon Byrd vs. Andy Pettitte: 5 for 7, 3B, HR.

Pitchers:

  • J.A. Happ vs. Padres.  The Padres have a 14th-ranked .676 OPS vs. lefties.
  • Jordan Zimmermann vs. Giants.  I am going to keep recommending Zimmermann, eventually the results will start to match the peripherals.  I think.


Full Story |  Comments (3) | Categories: Matchups

May Offensive Leaders

Another month is in the books; consider the season roughly one-third over.  Still plenty of time to climb up the standings.  Here's a reminder of the April offensive leaders.  And here's a look at the leaders for the period of May 1-31...

AVG

1. Joe Mauer - .414
2. Ryan Roberts - .396
3. Brian McCann - .394
4. Adam Kennedy - .390
5. Hunter Pence - .388
6. Jason Bartlett - .388
7. Miguel Tejada - .380
8. Joey Votto - .378
9. David Wright - .378
10. Ichiro Suzuki - .377

Completely different from the April batting average leaders.

HR

1. Mark Teixeira - 13
2. Joe Mauer - 11
2. Adrian Gonzalez - 11
4. Raul Ibanez - 10
4. Adam Dunn - 10
4. Jason Bay - 10
4. Ryan Howard - 10
8. Justin Morneau - 9
8. Prince Fielder - 9
8. Jay Bruce - 9

Gonzalez and Ibanez were among the leaders for both months, so obviously they are having huge years.  Tex announced his presence in a big way.

RBI

1. Mark Teixeira - 34
2. Joe Mauer - 32
3. Prince Fielder - 31
3. Evan Longoria - 31
5. Jason Bay - 30
6. Raul Ibanez - 29
6. Brandon Phillips - 29
6. Justin Morneau - 29
9. Adam Dunn - 27
10. Torii Hunter - 26

Only Longoria appears both months.

R

1. Carl Crawford - 28
2. Joe Mauer - 27
3. Justin Upton - 25
4. Jerry Hairston Jr. - 24
4. Brian Roberts - 24
4. Mark Teixeira - 24
4. Justin Morneau - 24
4. Ryan Zimmerman - 24
9. Johnny Damon - 23
9. Michael Cuddyer - 23

Brian Roberts appears both times; he's tied with Marco Scutaro for the MLB lead with 43 runs.

SB

1. Carl Crawford - 21
2. Chone Figgins - 11
2. Jacoby Ellsbury - 11
4. B.J. Upton - 10
4. Michael Bourn - 10
6. Torii Hunter - 9
6. Juan Pierre - 9
6. Coco Crisp - 9
6. David Wright - 9
6. Jason Bartlett - 9

Ellsbury, Crawford, Figgins, and Bourn were all on the April leaders list as well.

Combining April and May, your overall offensive leaders so far are Crawford, Albert Pujols, Ibanez, Bartlett, Hunter, Longoria, Morneau, and Bay.


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Picks For Tuesday

Hitters:

  • Kevin Millar vs. Joe Saunders - 6 for 12, 2B, 2 HR
  • Rick Ankiel vs. Bronson Arroyo - 5 for 13, 2B, 3 HR

Pitchers:

  • Antonio Bastardo vs. Padres.  Start the kid in his big league debut against Jake Peavy?  He's barely pitched above Double A, but I love the command.  Maybe he can give you five solid innings.
  • Ubaldo Jimenez vs. Astros.  He was strong in five of six May starts, the bad one being the last one against the Dodgers.  Jimenez displayed excellent control in May, and the Astros don't draw many walks anyway.


Full Story |  Comments (1) | Categories: Matchups

Daily Baseball Data

These guys just saved me a bunch of time going through ESPN's Batter vs. Pitcher data one by one.  It's a new site called Daily Baseball Data.  It puts the batter vs. pitcher data all in one place in a much easier-to-browse format.  I am digging this, and it should allow me to do daily or near-daily picks here at RotoAuthority.


Full Story |  Comments (1) | Categories:


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