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Thursday, August 08, 2013
Through Wednesday’s games, we are almost exactly 70 percent through the baseball season. By now, you probably have a clear picture of what ground you need to make up to win your league. The difficult part is determining whether the trades and waiver claims you’ve made will add enough production to close the gaps, especially in the rate categories.
With nearly three quarters of your season banked, your rate stats have roots. At this point, it can take a lot to move them a little. However, that is not necessarily justification to abandon those categories, or to leave them untouched when some improvements could lead you to a fantasy title. The important thing is to recognize the numbers you need to hit for the rest of the season in order to reach your targets.
To make things easy for you, I’ve made some approximations of those targets for batting average, ERA, and WHIP for the rest of the season. The reference tables below have your current rates on the left and the rates needed for each roto point tier across the top. If you’re new to this column, the values I’ve selected to represent what you need for 10, nine, eight, etc. roto points are not random. I’ve based it on actual league statistics from ESPN standard leagues.
First, here are the targets for batting average:
If you’re starting with a .250 team average and are hoping for the full 10 roto points, then you’re probably out of luck. You would need to hit .369 the rest of the season, a mark you’d likely fail to reach if your team was made up only of copies of the batting champion. To even reach two points, you’d have to hit north of .300 the rest of the season, a difficult target for a team hitting .250 to date. For you, punting the category—if you haven’t been already—is likely the way to go.
A team in the .270 range is in the sweet spot to make up ground. Adding 60 points of average may be enough to jump you four roto points. To do so, you would need your team to hit .291 the rest of the way, a plausible number with average-focused additions.
For teams exceeding targets, this is the time to sell off your excess. If you are hitting .300 at this point, you can drop your average to .252 the rest of the way and still likely capture 10 roto points. Trade your advantage for help in categories where you aren’t so successful.
Next, here are the targets for ERA:
Teams holding out hope for a win in ERA will likely need a current ERA below 3.50 to have a chance. Any ERA north of 3.30 will require a sub-3.00 ERA the rest of the season to get there. Meanwhile, a team with a 3.70 ERA needs a 3.19 ERA the rest of the way to jump to seven roto points.
Finally, here are the targets for WHIP:
For WHIP, the threshold for contention is probably around 1.25, as anything higher will require a sub-1.00 WHIP for the rest of the season to win the full 10 roto points.
If you are in a league with differences in scoring or teams and can’t find a relevant example in the tables, you can calculate them with the formula:
In the formula, 0.7 and 0.3 represent the percent of season banked and remaining. If you have inning caps and are not on an evenly-distributed pace, replace them with the percent of cap used and remaining.
Posted by Scott Spratt at 4:25am
The Daily Grind provides daily match-up advice for tinkerers and daily fantasy players. I welcome advice to help make this column more effective, including notice of impending weather events, new injuries, and changes to platoon situations. Ownership rates are from Yahoo!
The daily picks are a mixture of Daily League specific advice and information for the more typical fantasy owner.
Today’s weather watch
Pittsburgh could see late afternoon thunderstorms, which would affect the Pirates' game with Miami.
Aside from a couple good hitting match-ups, there is very little of interest happening today.
The Twins and White Sox have a doubleheader tomorrow, so plan accordingly.
Pitcher (to start): I was hardly a first mover on Ivan Nova's breakout, but it seems other owners have begun to take notice. He's up to 41 percent owned thanks to a strong profile of whiffs, ground balls, and few walks. He should be owned outright and used for any match-up—including the Tigers tomorrow.
Scott Kazmir has posted elite numbers over his last nine outings, although the Angels could be a tough assignment.
Dan Haren is another formerly elite veteran who has looked great recently. He has a good match-up against the Phillies. I expect that Haren remains prone to the long ball, so use him only if you need to make up an innings deficit.
Brandon Beachy is at 38 percent owned despite poor results in his first two starts back from the disabled list. His stuff has appeared to be good, but he's not throwing his slider. He's opposed by the lowly Marlins, who have actually been deceptively decent since their terrible start.
I usually don't like pitcher home/road splits because they're such noisy samples, but in the case of Joe Saunders, I feel confident using him at Safeco against terrible lineups like the Brewers.
Pitcher (bum): Kyle Gibson has yet to piece things together at the big league level despite good stuff. The White Sox may be his best match-up yet, but until he shows sustained success he should be exploited.
Tomorrow marks Ryan Vogelsong's return from the disabled list. He's opposed by the Orioles.
Hitter (power): Justin Smoak remains an under-the-radar power option. His ownership has shot up recently to 15 percent.
The Rangers face lefty Erik Bedard, meaning Joey Butler gets recommended for the first time. It's possible that Jeff Baker will start in his place despite being the less interesting player.
The White Sox will use two lefties, making it a great day to use Trevor Plouffe and Brian Dozier.
Across the diamond, the Twins' use of two mediocre righties makes Conor Gillaspie a stretch option. Gordon Beckham and Josh Phegley are also worth looks if you need a middle infielder or catcher.
Seth Smith and Brandon Moss haven't received a recommendation in awhile. They face Esmil Rogers.
Hitter (speed): Also try Craig Gentry against Bedard.
Go ahead with Juan Pierre against Beachy.
Will Venable faces Bronson Arroyo.
Pitchers to come
Saturday: Alex Wood heads a deep list of options. A couple weeks ago, one of my league mates spent his entire FAAB budget on Danny Salazar. I had made a losing bid of $34. I responded by picking up Wood for free and have been happy with the move.
Sunday: Only 64 percent of leagues have an owner with the courage to use John Lackey. His ownership should be in the 90s. For those needing somebody more available, Jose Quintana faces the Twins.
Monday: 40 percent owned Ricky Nolasco draws the Mets and is currently the top option for Monday.
Carlos Gonzalez has landed on the disabled list, which will undoubtedly affect this column.
Posted by Brad Johnson at 3:42am
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