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THT's Fantasy Archives
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Welcome to THT Fantasy's Roster Doctor. If you'd like your team to be analyzed by one of our fantasy baseball experts, please send your full roster to this address. Also be sure to include your league's player pool (mixed, AL-only, NL-only), number of teams, scoring format (roto, head-to-head, points, etc.), categories, whether or not it's a keeper league, and any other pertinent information. If your roster is selected it will be analyzed in a future Roster Doctor column.
Standard 5X5 non-keeper
Regular positons with 5 OF, and a MI and CI along with the utlity slot.
I've dropped 50 points in the last month due to all my batters went cold and probably paniced too early and dealt Trevor Hoffman for Elijah Dukes, but figured Dukes could help me in a few offensive categories while I'm not sure what Hoffman will bring me for the rest of the year. Here is the team:
C: Mike Napoli
1B: Casey Kotchman
2B: Mike Aviles
SS: Rafael Furcal
3B: Pedro Feliz
MI: Skip Schumaker
CI: Chris Coghlan
OF: Grady Sizemore
OF: Matt Kemp
OF: Alfonso Soriano
OF: Fred Lewis
OF: Ryan Sweeney
Utility: Elijah Dukes
P: James Shields
P: Jair Jurrjens
P: Derek Lowe
P: Brett Myers
P: Wandy Rodriguez
P: Shairon Martis
P: David Bush
P: Kevin Slowey
P: Joakim Soria
Peter, it is pretty clear that your offensive problems are coming mostly from your corner infield spots. Hopefully Coghlan will come through for you and replace the letdown that was/is Conor Jackson. Kotchman has been producing lately, but I'm not optimistic that it will continue. I guess you're holding Kouzmanoff as insurance against something happening to Feliz or Coghlan, but, if you dropped him you, you'd probably be able to find him or someone similar on the waiver wire again if necessary. Instead, I would use that spot for someone with some upside at CI, like a Micah Hoffpauir (who can help at OF as well). If you can get Mat Gamel, I'd try that too.
In the outfield, you may not want to start Lewis until his manager has faith in him again. He's been hitting, just not doing anything else. I'm inclined to believe that the other stuff will come, so keep him rostered. Fowler hasn't been hitting, but I'd keep him as well. If he finds his stroke again (a terrible expression, I know), he'll help in many ways. Cody Ross is a time bomb that hopefully has been exploding on your bench the whole season and not in your lineup. In the mean time, if Marlon Byrd is available, I would take him and start him for sure.
The rest of your offensive is pretty solid. You have a nice middle infield and catching. Your starting pitching is strong as well. Clearly, you're going to miss Hoffman, particularly if Soria's injury news gets worse. I would think about using one or two of your bench spots to speculate on future closers like Rafael Soriano, Joel Zumaya, or Joel Hanrahan.
Posted by Jonathan Halket at 12:37pm (1) Comments
I’m going to try something a little different this week, and discuss my daily contest strategy for Wednesday’s games in detail. I think that should give those who haven’t tried the games yet a better feel for what’s involved in them, and prove useful for those who are trying to plan their Wednesday contest lineups. If feedback is positive, this is something I could do on a regular basis.
At each position, I’ll list the top five healthy players according to my ratings, along with their prices in Draftbug. Snapdraft’s scoring is VERY similar, so the same ratings should apply, although the pricing varies enough that you could end up with a very different lineup using the same ratings. In any case, the thought process for making selections would be the same regardless of what daily contest format you're playing.
For each position, I’ll list my ratings for the top five players, as well as any others that I seriously considered putting in my lineup for the day. Depending on the size of the contest and the buy-in, the salary cap varies between contests at Draftbug (unlike Snapdraft, which always uses the same salary cap), so I’m going to use a cap of 1500 points, which is more or less in the middle of the range. Keep in mind that the ratings listed are specifically for Wednesday’s games, based on factors such as park, opponents, platoon advantage, and home field advantage.
1 Lee 13.8 279 2 Nolasco 13.1 209 3 Pettitte 12.3 100 4 Lilly 12.2 189 5 Outman 10.8 10
For pitchers, the points projection listed is for the game as a whole. In general, starting pitchers have the widest spread in projected points, so I often spend the salary on my top-rated pitcher. I can find other places to save salary that won’t have as much impact. This is an unusually weak day for starting pitchers, and Cliff Lee (at home) against Buehrle and the White Sox is my top-rated pitcher. He may actually be even better than my rating suggests, because good control pitchers aren’t currently given the favorable innings pitched projections they deserve in my statistical model. Despite the high price, and the unlucky start he had to his season, he’s a pretty easy choice for me.
1 Rivera 3.9 186 2 Wood 3.6 126 3 Papelbon 3.5 210 4 Broxton 3.5 138 5 Hanrahan 3.3 78
I’m going to go with Wood for my relief pitcher. An argument could also be made for Rivera (who has the highest rating) or Hanrahan (who is substantially cheaper). One thing to note here is that Broxton’s price will probably need revising (upwards) the next time prices are adjusted, which happens every few weeks. At his current price, he’s a pretty big bargain, since he’s often my top-rated reliever. He’s one of the few players who tends to get picked by a high percentage of players at his current price level.
1 Mauer .78 174 2 Soto .71 162 3 McCann .68 186 4 Iannetta .67 120 5 Martin .67 174
For hitters, my ratings are listed per at-bat. Ideally, my model would incorporate average batting order position, and the team's on-base percentage. For now, I'm simply assuming about five plate appearances per game for all players, and keeping in mind that players who bat higher in the order are likely to outperform those who don't. The two reasonable choices at catcher today look like Mauer and Iannetta. I’ll go with Mauer, but if I was in a contest with a cap lower than 1500, I’d probably save some of my salary room by using Iannetta. At catcher, there’s always a risk that your players will take a day off, so the real key is figuring out who isn’t going to skip the game and score no points at all.
1 Pujols .93 324 2 Morneau .81 240 3 Hoffpauir .78 28 4 Helton .72 78 5 Pena .72 174
Today is a fairly typical day for first basemen, with Pujols rated the highest by a lot. However, his high price makes him an impractical choice on many days. Hoffpauir is treated very favorably by the ZIPS projections that I’m basing my daily calculations on. However, he’s the type of player (young and without much major league experience) where the various ratings systems tend to disagree, and where ZIPS may not be as good as some of the others. More importantly, he’s not usually in the starting lineup, so he’s not a good option unless you can check the lineup before your picks "lock" for the day. Helton, on the other hand, is often a great cheap value, as his strengths are a good fit for the points scoring system, and he benefits from playing in Colorado half of the time.
1 Kinsler .81 246 2 Pedroia .78 234 3 Utley .77 252 4 Roberts .72 210 5 Matsui .71 96
Many days, one of the top three second basemen has such an edge that it’s not worth looking for cheaper alternatives. That’s because they’re not only good, but each plays in an extremely favorable home park. However, today Kaz Matsui is a good, cheap alternative. He benefits from playing at Coors field against a bad pitcher (Jason Marquis). Marquis is a particularly good opponent for players with some speed, because he’s very easy to steal bases against.
1 Wright .81 306 2 Jones .80 210 3 Figgins .79 156 4 Atkins .76 168 5 Rodriguez .75 300
With a number of relatively evenly matched choices at third base today, Figgins looks like the best value. One caveat here is that I’m still using the park factors for Shea Stadium and the old Yankee Stadium. I know that the early results seem to indicate that Yankee Stadium is now a much better hitters’ park, but I’m going to wait until there’s a little larger sample size before I make the changes in my model. So I may be cheating Wright, and especially Rodriguez.
1 Reyes .82 318 2 Ramirez .74 324 3 Theriot .73 126 4 Rollins .72 288 5 Tejada .71 144 M. Izturis .71 16
Theriot is a great value at shortstop today. He’s at home in a hitters park, which helps his rating. But the real kicker is that he’s up against Chris Young, who has been one of the very worst pitchers at preventing steals for years. This is one of the cases where using analysis of component statistics really helps. Instead of rating Young as a "good pitcher" across the board, the ratings reflect the fact that he’s a "good pitcher" against many hitters, but an "awful" one against good base stealers. I listed Izturis as an interesting bargain, but like Hoffpauir at first base, you should only use him if you'll be able to confirm that he’s in the lineup for the day.
1 Soriano .88 234 2 Lee .84 228 3 Crawford .80 222 4 Cruz .80 155 5 Beltran .79 234 Bradley .76 126 Hunter .75 150 Abreu .73 150 Spilborghs .71 36
With three outfield slots in the standard roster configuration, I find choosing outfielders to be more of an art than a science. Spilborghs is probably due for a price increase, as his low price reflects the lack of playing time he received last year. Cruz was one of the players adjusted upward in the last round of price changes, but he remains a good bargain when he’s home against weak pitchers. Bradley is also worth considering, as long as he’s not nursing a new injury or facing a suspension for anything.
I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts either via email or in the comments section, both about the specific picks for today's games, and about whether this type of article is useful or interesting.