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Using Sabermetrics For Fantasy Baseball Part 2 - HR/FB for Hitters
Sat, 20 Apr 2019 (by contributed by

(Originally published 1/8/19)

Using BABIP to predict a player's batting average is great. Average is a category in many league formats, and every hit is an opportunity to steal a base or score a run. But most owners find the long ball sexier.

Every HR comes with a guaranteed run scored and at least one RBI. Many owners build their teams around power for this reason. Yet fluky HR campaigns can happen just as easily as fluky batting average ones.

How do we tell the difference between a legitimate breakout and a fluke?

How to Interpret HR/FB

HR/FB measures the percentage of fly balls that leave the park. Last year, 12.7% of all fly balls ended up in the seats. Like BABIP, an experienced player's personal benchmark in the stat is a better indicator of his future performance than the league average. For example, Khris Davis is generally regarded as one of the top sluggers in the game today. His HR/FB was 24.1% in 2018, nearly double the league-average rate. If this number regressed to the league average, Davis wouldn't be very good. However, he has a career rate of 23.6%. Clearly, above-average power is something Davis just does. He should continue to crush bombs with regularity.

Large spikes or dropoffs in HR/FB are generally temporary, meaning that the stat is usually not predictive of a power breakout. Fantasy owners want to know the next power breakout, so this may be somewhat disappointing. Future power production may be predicted, however, by an increase in fly ball rate, or the percentage of a batter's flies as opposed to liners or grounders. There are limits here, as Billy Hamilton is never helping a fantasy team with his power no matter how many fly balls he hits. Still, FB% is generally the stat you want to look at for power potential.

Elite sluggers generally post a fly ball percentage of around 40%. Subjected to this test, Davis had a 48.8% fly ball rate in 2018 and a career mark of 42.2%. These rate stats, combined with a consistently above average HR/FB, make Davis the fantasy player he is.

Davis doesn't really illustrate the distinction between HR/FB and FB% because he excels at both. For a predictive illustration, consider . . .

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DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks (4/19/19): MLB DFS Lineups
Fri, 19 Apr 2019 (by contributed by

We have a monster 14-game slate tonight which features only two pitchers above $10K along with Coors Field in action. The hitters at Coors Field should always be the target since the upside they bring is massive.

In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for DraftKings on 4/19/19. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays.

DraftKings DFS Starting Pitchers

Jose Berrios - P, MIN @ BAL (DK - $10,800)
Berrios is one of the most expensive pitchers on tonight's slate and you should be looking to pay up for him in your cash games tonight. He is facing off against the Orioles whose current roster had an 82 wRC+ versus right-handed pitchers, which is dead last in the league. They also carried a 25% strikeout rate vs RHP, which was the fourth worst in the league last season, making this one of the best matchups on the entire slate. He has 28 strikeouts in 27 innings this season and is one of a few pitchers on this slate who have legit 10+ strikeout upside.

Jordan Lyles - P, PIT vs SF (DK - $7,900)
The price on Lyles tonight is very appealing since we have Coors Field on this slate and we want to load up on those hitters if we can. Lyles has 12 strikeouts in 11 innings pitched this season, but 10 of those strikeouts came in a single game. So we have a super strong recent performance but likely won't see it back up in double-digits tonight, since this Giants lineup only had a 20.3% strikeout rate versus right-handed pitchers last season.

DraftKings Infielders

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The Longest Innings
Thu, 18 Apr 2019 (by Clifton Neeley of

This is a reprint of the first article of a 2016 series about the impact of air density on baseball performance.

One of my early pitching experiences was in April at 7,000 feet elevation. It was a cold day--in fact one of my friends Randy Jacobsen quipped, “Spring has sprung, Fall has fell—it’s baseball time and cold as hell.” He was right.

At that time, there was no precise weather forecasting, so we didn’t know or care what the weather would be for game time. We simply had gear with us that always included a coat and a light jacket.

When we arrived at the ball field that day, the wind was really cold, and I suppose it was whipping at a clip of about 30 mph. I had a good curveball, but in order to get it to curve effectively in the 60 to 70 miles per hour range, I had to put a high rate of spin on it. I did this by having a quick wrist, and I hooked my index finger so that the fingertip rested on the threads. So it was a slow pitch at a 75 degree arm slot that produced a lot of movement. But, in the 30 mph wind, what was this going to do to my control?

My coach, who had waited until we arrived to tell me I was starting that day, told me to line up parallel to the mound and plate for warmups, so that I could adjust my control to the effect of the wind. Of course we always did that, so it was not a surprise, but it was a good plan on that particular day.

The wind blew directly into my face and would be pushing directly against every pitch, so I was happy about that. First, I knew that my curveball would be breaking a lot if I could get control of it. Second, even though I was not an extremely hard thrower, I knew my four-seamer would be lifting better in the wind. I knew it was a lifting pitch, even if it could not rise, because the threads would not only be held in a perpendicular direction to my grip, but those seams would be spinning backward, lifting the ball as much as possible under the circumstances.

At that time we didn’t have computers or smart phones to allow us to look up how others threw pitches, so my brother, who was a fast-pitch softball pitcher, taught me the concepts. He could make a rise-ball lift by 12-14 inches at about 75-80 mph. I knew that the backward spin would cause the baseball to lift because I had been catching his rise-ball for several years. It would lift, even if it didn’t rise like a softball; but would I be able to use my fastball to get outs at my rate of speed?

We hit first and got a lead. So, in my first inning I was pretty relaxed, but that wind was pretty hard right into my face. During warmups a grain of sand hit hard on my cold cheek. It made my right eye tear up a little. I remember the tear rolling off my face and into my ear, but it was time to pitch. I struck out the first hitter on 4-seamers. Sure enough, he was swinging under the ball, just like I had hoped. The second hitter held the bat high above his shoulders—I pretty well knew I could get him out, because I felt that in the process of bringing the bat down, he would probably drop too low on my upward lifting 4-seamer. My catcher called for a curveball. Ball one; then a fastball--strike one. He called for another curveball, but I had not settled into a groove on that pitch. I shook him off. He assumed I just wanted a unique pitch, but I wanted another 4-seamer. He called for the 2-seamer. I shook him off again, because I was concerned there would not be enough lift, and it could easily put his bat right on. The umpire had called for the pitch and was getting frustrated (probably due to the cold wind)—and the next thing I knew he called a ball due to delay--two and one.

That had never happened to me before and my coach was furious. Then my catcher called for a curveball and since I could see my coach getting frustrated, I threw it—three balls and one strike. The catcher was beginning to realize I was struggling to hit the strike zone with my normally good curveball, so he called a 4-seamer. The hitter swung and missed (under it!!)—three and two. Now I had him.

The catcher called for a 2-seamer. Now at this level of baseball, I suppose I should have just thrown the 4-seamer—the catcher wouldn’t have had a problem catching it and I would have been happy with the result, but I didn’t think of that. I shook him off. I shook him off again. The umpire enforced a ball and sent him to coach came out of the dugout screaming at the umpire, but walking straight at me. In no uncertain terms, he was bleeping ticked, let me know it and told me to never, ever shake his catcher off again.

The inning didn’t get any shorter. Now, I’m facing the third and best hitter in the line-up and I haven’t even gotten a feel for their talent yet. I can’t shake the catcher off anymore and my curveball, which he’s so stuck on making me get control of, is diving out of the zone. I’ve got a runner on, so I’ve got to hold him on first from the stretch, which will cause me to make another little adjustment. But, oh well, I’m a pitcher! It feels like I’ve been on the mound for 30 minutes and I’ve only thrown 7 pitches. The wind wasn’t letting up any. If anything it was getting stronger and colder. I walked another hitter, but now I’m getting settled in with each of my pitches. Two runners on, only one out– they haven’t even touched the ball yet!! But, I knew that I could harness the wind, because it was obvious if I could hit the zone, I had these hitters where I wanted them. My catcher began calling 4-seamers with fear and trembling. He came from the school that if the wind is blowing out toward the outfield, then the ball would fly out of the park easier. However, I came from the school that they first had to square up on my pitch with good movement from the wind’s effect.

My catcher quit calling the 2-seamer and even the curveball. The wind made it obvious that I had more friction from the air on my 4-seamer, but what no one on the field knew was that the cold was also making the air heavier even if it hadn’t been moving at 30 mph. I struck out the next two hitters on the 4-seamer alone and got out of that inning with a sigh of relief. My catcher and I got on the same page from the dugout and we made short work of the remaining innings. To be continued….

Visual Memory by Clifton Neeley, creator of the Visual Memory Index© and author of the web-site Clifton pitched and played baseball and fast-pitch softball in the mountainous southwest Colorado area from 4,000 feet in Grand Junction to 6,000 feet in Durango to 9,000 feet in Telluride prior to his college experience in baseball.

DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks (4/17/19): MLB DFS Lineups
Wed, 17 Apr 2019 (by contributed by

This is a bit of an odd slate, as there are two slates with four and seven games, but the "all day" slate features 14 games. DraftKings loves leaving off 6 PM EST games, and that's the case again tonight. Regardless, this article will discuss the all day slate, making sure we can cover as much on this slate as possible.

The Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers are the only teams in a game with a projected run total in the double-digits. Surprisingly, on this large of a slate, there isn't a single game with a projected run total under eight runs. That means we should see plenty of scoring, as there are only a couple higher end pitchers throwing tonight.

In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for DraftKings on 4/17/19. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays.

DraftKings DFS Starting Pitchers

Cole Hamels - P, at MIA ($9,400)
Hamels struggled in his first start this season, but has looked significantly better in his last two. Overall, he owns a 2-0 record with a 3.79 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. He has allowed only three earned runs, while recording 11 strikeouts over his last 14 innings. Hamels gets a great matchup against the Miami Marlins, who rank fourth on the slate in strikeouts per at-bat and second last in team wOBA. The Chicago Cubs are -152 favorites in a game set at 8 runs, giving the Marlins an implied run total of only 3.6 runs tonight.

Jake Odorizzi - P, vs TOR ($7,700)
Odorizzi is the exact opposite of Hamels. He scored 31.7 fantasy points in his first start before totaling 0 fantasy points over his next two starts. Odorizzi's only success has been at home, where he'll be throwing tonight. He gets a plus matchup against the Toronto Blue Jays, who lead the slate in strikeouts per at-bat, while also ranking well below average in team wOBA. Odorizzi is a -145 favorite in a game set at 9 runs, giving Toronto an implied run total of 4.1 runs.

DraftKings Infielders

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DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks (4/16/19): MLB DFS Lineups
Tue, 16 Apr 2019 (by contributed by

For Tuesday's slate of Major League Baseball games, I'll focus on the contests (first pitch of 7:05 PM EST and later). Be sure to double-check the weather and the lineups before finalizing your roster.

The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees renew their heated rivalry, and winds will be gusting from home plate to the right-center field power alley at 10-13 mph, adding a little spice. In the Metroplex, the batters for the Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers will see stiff wind blowing into their face from right field at 16-19 mph, holding down the offense. Those are the only trouble spots as far as wind is concerned. There are no worries about precipitation, so that's the good news.

In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for DraftKings on 4/16/19. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays.

DraftKings DFS Starting Pitchers

Max Fried - P, ATL vs. ARI ($8,000)
The Braves are moderate favorites for the series opener against the Diamondbacks, who enter the day just 6-14 in their past 20 games on the road. Fried has allowed just one unearned run and six hits with a walk and nine strikeouts in his two quality starts since coming in from the bullpen to start. Arizona's offense ranks fifth in the National League with 141 strikeouts, too.

Nick Margevicius - P SD vs. COL ($7,900)
Margevicius has really surprised, as the 22-year-old southpaw has allowed just one earned run in each of his first three outings, posting a 1-1 record, 1.69 ERA and 0.63 WHIP with 12 strikeouts and just one free pass allowed over 16 innings. The Rockies showed some signs of life on offense in the series opener Monday, but they still rank 27th in runs scored with just 51.

DraftKings Infielders

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DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks (4/15/19): MLB DFS Lineups
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 (by contributed by

For Monday's slate of Major League Baseball games, I'll focus on the evening contests (first pitch of 7:05 PM EST and later). Be sure to double-check the weather and the lineups before finalizing your roster.

The good news is that precipitation will not be an issue at any of the MLB park on Monday night. However, wind will be a big factor in a couple of the venues. The winds will be blowing from left to right across the diamond at a 19-23 mph clip for the New York Mets-Philadelphia Phillies battle, and that could favor left-handed hitters. At Target Field in Minneapolis, the winds will be blowing 10-13 mph into the face of the batters from right field, slowing down the Blue Jays and Twins and aiding the pitchers. The same holds true for the Angels and Rangers in Texas, as winds howl from 16-19 mph from right field to home plate.

In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for DraftKings on 4/15/19. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays.

DraftKings DFS Starting Pitchers

Trevor Cahill - P, LAA at TEX ($7,100)
Cahill has lasted at least six innings in each of his first three starts so far, including a pair of quality starts in the past two outings. He has really stepped up and filled a void for the Angels with the pitching staff banged up early on. He struck out either batters last time out, and he should have similar success. The Rangers are middle of the road in terms of scoring, and they are hitting just .241 as a team. Plus, Cahill has a super favorable matchup against the extremely shaky RHP Shelby Miller.

Joey Lucchesi - P SD vs. COL ($9,000)
The southpaw Lucchesi will be making his fifth career start against the Rockies, and he is 1-0 with a 2.05 ERA and 23 strikeouts across 22 innings with a .208 opponent batting average. And those solid numbers came against a much better Colorado offense. The Rockies are hitting a dismal .201 through 16 games with just 46 runs scored, last in the National League.

DraftKings Infielders

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Monterrey baseball
Sat, 13 Apr 2019 (by RotoGuru)

The two-game series this weekend between St. Louis and Cincinnati is being played in Monterrey, Mexico. The weather dashboard has been properly configured for this venue.

FanDuel MLB DFS Lineup Picks (4/12/19): Daily Fantasy Baseball Advice
Fri, 12 Apr 2019 (by contributed by

We've got an exciting day full of 13 games this Friday, with two slates to choose from on FanDuel.

In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for FanDuel on 4/12/2019. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays.

FanDuel DFS Pitchers

Eduardo Rodriguez – P, BOS vs TOR ($8,300)
Rodriguez has had a disastrous start to the season and has already been dismissed in the mind of many fantasy owners. This makes him a great contrarian play if he is able to bounce back against the Blue Jays. Toronto has an abysmal .259 wOBA this year, ranking them third-worst in all of baseball, so this is a perfect matchup for Rodriguez to regain his footing. They've also got the second highest K-rate at 28.0%, which gives Rodriguez plenty of upside. He had a 26.4% strikeout rate in 2018 and will be a nice play if he can perform at that same level.

Drew Pomeranz – P, SF vs COL ($6,500)
The Rockies are another lineup that's worth targeting tonight, as they have been unable to hit left-handed pitching this year with a .270 wOBA against southpaws. Pomeranz isn't a great pitcher, but he has the advantage of pitching in Oracle Park, which is one of the most pitcher-friendly environments in the league. He is among the cheapest starting pitcher options, so Pomeranz allows you to load up your lineup with elite hitters. All he needs is a decent start to provide value at this price.

FanDuel DFS Infielders

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VMI data now displayed on Weather dashboard
Wed, 10 Apr 2019 (by RotoGuru) has graciously consented to have its proprietary VMI index published on the weather dashboard.

For the past several seasons, DBD has published BaseballVMI's daily ADI index for each ballpark. Now, you can also view the related VMI values for each team. It is posted just to the right of each ADI value.

Be aware that ADI and VMI values are provided free to all on a trial basis. At some time in May, this data (ADI and VMI) will be restricted to those who have an active paid membership at

VMI data will also be added (soon) to the premium 2019 master file. Historical values for the entire 2019 season will be provided for each game. Again, once the free trial period has ended, current day values will be restricted to those with a paid BaseballVMI membership.

For a more complete description of the ADI and VMI indexes, please visit .

DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks (4/9/19): MLB DFS Lineups
Tue, 09 Apr 2019 (by contributed by

or Tuesday's slate of Major League Baseball games, I'll focus on the evening contests (first pitch of 7:05 PM EST and later). Be sure to double-check the weather and the lineups before finalizing your roster.

Precipitation won't be a huge issue across Major League Baseball on Tuesday, but the winds will be kicking up in several places. For the battle between the A's and Orioles, the wind will be blowing in briskly from left field at a 13-16 mph clip, knocking down fly balls in the process. The same holds true for the battle up Interstate 95 in Philadelphia, as the Nationals and Phillies deal with a 12-15 mph breeze blowing in from left field. It will be the exact opposite in San Francisco, with a Jetstream blowing out to the right-center field power alley at 16-19 mph. LHPs Joey Lucchesi and Derek Holland will be toeing the slab, but we might see some right-handed batters go oppo with that kind of sustained wind. In SoCal the wind will be blowing across the diamond from left to right at a 15-18 mph clip, favoring left-handed hitters as well. That might be bad news for RHPs Freddy Peralta and Matt Harvey.

In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for DraftKings on 4/9/19. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays.

DraftKings DFS Starting Pitchers

Brett Anderson - P, at BAL ($8,000)
It was not a good night to use an Oakland starter on Monday, as Marco Estrada was tuned up by the O's. Well, everyone except for Chris Davis, of course. I was worried about the quick turnaround and cross-country flight after just playing Sunday on the west coast and then flying out for a game the next day in Baltimore. I should have listened to manager Bob Melvin, who bellyached about the schedule. He knew. Well, for Game 2, I have to do it again and roll with an A's hurler. Anderson is 2-0 with a 2.38 ERA across his two outings, and he'll benefit from that stiff wind blowing in.

Marco Gonzales - P, at KC ($7,600)
If you can find a way to free up enough salary, using Mets RHP Jacob deGrom ($11,600) is a good play in an interleague start against the Minnesota Twins. However, he is easily the most expensive player on Tuesday's board and you won't be able to afford much else. Gonzales has the surprisingly powerful Seattle offense backing him against a team with a minus-15 run differential, third-worst in the majors. The Royals have managed just 4.4 runs per game while batting .234 through nine games. Meanwhile, Gonzo is humming along at 3-0 with a 3.20 ERA and 1.17 WHIP through three starts.

DraftKings Infielders

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DraftKings Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks (4/8/19): MLB DFS Lineups
Mon, 08 Apr 2019 (by contributed by

For Monday's slate of Major League Baseball games, I'll focus on the evening contests (first pitch of 7:05 PM EST and later). Be sure to double-check the weather and the lineups before finalizing your roster.

The only weather trouble spot on Monday's slate will be the battle between the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants. The rain is expected to move in and out sometime during the game. It wouldn't be surprising to see the tarpaulin come out, so be careful with using either starting pitcher in the game. If there is a rain delay, and it's long enough, both LHP Eric Lauer and LHP Madison Bumgarner could each see abbreviated starts and point production.

In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for DraftKings on 4/8/19. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays.

DraftKings DFS Starting Pitchers

Marco Estrada - P, at BAL ($7,300)
The Orioles won two of three in the Bronx to open the season, but the real O's have stood up in recent days. Homers are flying out of their yard on a regular basis again, and Estrada faces a very favorable matchup against counterpart RHP Andrew Cashner. The O's are 4-10 in his past 14 home starts since last season, and 0-6 in his past six against AL West foes.

Vince Velasquez - P, vs WAS ($8,400)
You'll have to take a bit of a leap of faith, and ignore the trends in this series. First off, the Nationals are 5-1 in their past six visits to 'The Vault'. However, take solace in the fact the Phillies are 5-0 in Velasquez's past five home starts dating back to last season, and the Phils are 8-2 in their past 10 against a right-handed starter. The offense should provide ample support against RHP Anibal Sanchez.

DraftKings Infielders

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Using Sabermetrics For Fantasy Baseball Part 1 - BABIP for Hitters
Sat, 06 Apr 2019 (by contributed by

(Originally published 1/3/19)

Hello fellow RotoBallers! Sabermetrics have become an integral tool for fantasy baseball draft prep, but a concise resource for understanding the basics can be difficult to find.

This series attempts to define and explain all of the metrics fantasy owners may find useful, citing examples of how to use them in the process. Twenty degrees in applied mathematics are not required to use advanced metrics effectively, and this will be a no-math zone. We also won't bring in many of the metrics that are synonymous with advanced stats, most notably the fantasy-useless WAR, or Wins Above Replacement.

Instead, the focus will be on sabermetric statistics and ideas that are useful for predicting the standard stats the vast majority of leagues care about, such as batting average.

BABIP for Hitters

The most accessible of the fantasy-relevant advanced stats is BABIP, or Batting Average on Balls In Play. It simply measures a player's batting average on balls in play, with outcomes such as strikeouts and home runs removed from consideration. In general, the league average hovers around .300, a nice round number to remember. Many know BABIP as an approximation of luck, with either a very high or very low number indicative of a major batting average regression in the future. That is partially correct--the stat can be used to predict batting average fluctuations. However, a player's skills may allow him to run a better than average BABIP, or doom him to a consistently below-average figure. One example of this is Mookie Betts.

Betts has been a fantasy force for a while now, but he took it to a new level with his MVP slash line of .346/.438/640 in 2018. A .368 BABIP helped him compile those numbers, and Betts loses a lot of value if we regress that all the way to .300. Should we really do that?

Betts is an elite speedster--he managed to steal 30 bases last season, after all. It makes sense that someone with Betts's wheels could beat out more base hits than other players, while most catchers would lag in this regard. Therefore, an established player's baseline BABIP should not be the league average .300, but whatever that specific player's career BABIP is. Betts's career BABIP is .315, clearly indicating a sustainable ability to beat the league average .300. Of course, .315 is still a lot lower than his .368 figure from last season. If we assume Betts can beat the average BABIP, how do we know if he was, in fact, fortunate?

The answer is . . .

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Where Did VMI Come From?
Wed, 03 Apr 2019 (by Clifton Neeley of was founded in 2011 by Clifton Neeley. Can it help fantasy players and gamers? Of course, as it is essentially reality from the perspective of the pitcher and catcher vs. the hitter. BaseballVMI uses what we call ADI to determine how well the pitcher's ball will move in today's game. So, what is ADI?

ADI is an Air Density Index (see But wait a minute. Don't we all know that both teams must play within the same ball park and therefore in the same climate? If so, then is it not an equal contest except that the home team is more familiar with the Park? Yes, we all have been thinking that way for decades in sports, but the Colorado Rockies Baseball Club has presented both a quandary and a classroom.

The quandary is: how can a baseball team be so extremely dominant at home for so many years, while scoring an average of 6 to 8 runs per game and at the same time, be so poor on the road as to be normally the worst road team in baseball over the course of a quarter century? And, having no Hall of Fame players voted in due to their poor road hitting. Yes, good enough to get to the Majors, good enough with defensive ability, good enough to beat most any team at Coors Field, but not considered good enough overall because of those road numbers. Yes, every player who has been signed to play for Colorado from the draft to free agency to trades if any, all have fallen in the same category. It's enough to drive someone to drink.....

So, what happens to top quality players when they are introduced to Coors Field? How long does it take to become "conformed" to a venue?

The classroom is: we all know a baseball, golf ball, football and probably all other balls flying through the air, will fly further in Colorado. But, making Coors Field larger didn't tame it and make it play like the rest of the league. And, neither did the "Humidor." So after studying the Rockies for 8 years without saying anything to anyone, Clifton Neeley began wondering why no one was talking about the things he learned while playing baseball from Grand Junction at 4,000 feet to Telluride at 9,000 feet to Durango at 6,000 feet in the mountainous southwest towns of Colorado back in the 1960's and 70's. He had transferred what he learned from elementary school to high school in baseball, adult men's fast-pitch softball, basketball and football to a college experience in baseball.

Clifton knew that pitches hop, dive and dart more so at sea level than Colorado, but he didn't know there had been a book written by a physics professor about the subject. Yes, Dr. Robert Adair, Professor Emeritus, Yale University wrote a book called the Physics of Baseball. Now Physics sounds like a really complicated mathematical genius' subject, but it really is just attempting to put into mathematical expressions, the things we all began learning at the age of about two. Things like falling off a couch to understand gravity. Coasting on a bicycle slightly downhill, but slowing due to air resistance, or playing in a large container of colored plastic balls stacked to about 2-1/2 feet in height.

Molecules of air are stacked up on the earth just like those colored plastic balls, except that they repel each other. They stay evenly spaced, slightly apart and will vigorously push back against anything that tries to push them too closely together or stretch them apart. They won't be stretched apart, because of all the molecules of air stacked up on top of them, pushing downward and side-ways with the weight that gravity causes. So at sea level there are more molecules stacked than at Denver, Colorado by about 5,200 feet of air.

The truth is, that if one were to take a sealed container of sea level air to Denver, Colorado--large enough to have a man-sized door installed--the air molecules inside would be so much closer packed than outside the container in Denver that it would put about 7,000 pounds of pressure on that door. So, at Tucson, AZ it would be about 3,500 pounds, at Kansas City it would be about 900 pounds and in the Anaheim park where the Angels play it would be almost 200 pounds of pressure on that door. So throwing a 6 oz. baseball through air in each stadium is different, because of air pressure alone. Add to that, the temperature differences (which decrease and increase the space between molecules) that change dramatically each day, and anyone can see that a baseball thrown in the 90 mph range would fly very differently--each day of the baseball season. At BaseballVMI, we have indexed all of this on a 100 scale that is easy to understand. We have also made it automatic so that we present the ADI two days ahead of the game from weather forecasts.

But, isn't all of this just part of baseball? Of course, but we all know that the most dominant teams in baseball have all been from very near sea level. Every other team must take their turn getting to the World Series and staying there, year in and year out, has been a challenge supreme. Regardless of the nature of baseball, it is still very gauge-able. In fact, every team who has ever played a series in Coors Field, has struggled on the ensuing series with a win percentage similar to the Colorado Rockies. Most teams increase their scoring dramatically in Colorado's thin air and then decrease their scoring upon leaving, taking as much as two series to return to their normal scoring average.

So, BaseballVMI created another index. It is called the Visual Memory Index, because the hitter must have an idea where the fastball is going to end up at the strike zone, as related to what he remembers from the most recent experience which is the one he will first recall. He also must set his body and stance to prepare for the fastest pitch, and the expected movement near the very end of the pitch travel. So, the Visual Memory Index (VMI) keeps track of each ADI the team has recently played within and can therefore determine how much movement the starting players have become used to seeing. VMI has provided the answer to the question about--how long it takes to conform to the venue! Interestingly, much of the conformity to the climate happens within one three-game series and a team leaves a ballpark being substantially like the home team. VMI--gives us an idea how long it may take to adjust to each new pitcher, as well, because each pitcher must perform his magic within the allowable air resistance.

We now have 5 years of data on each type of pitch to each hitter and 3 years from each pitcher in MLB. The data aligned with the air resistance available (ADI) and the performance aligned with the comfort level of the hitter (VMI) is quite telling. Anyone can see the historical data on our website at, but a membership is required to see today's ADI's and the opponent's VMI's prior to game time for fantasy players wishing to determine how their player may perform, in advance.

When looking at date related historical game match-ups, you can match up a particular game by using the date of the game and the teams involved, or you can compile the data by using the year (2018), or dropping the last digit of the year (as in 201) to see an accumulation of the data on pitch-type through various air densities (ADI's) and/or various levels of comfort for the hitter (VMI's).

All good?
Sun, 31 Mar 2019 (by RotoGuru)

I've been tinkering with a few of the reports to get them back in shape. I think everything is now working as it should. However, I can't personally check everything, so if you notice something that looks off, please let me know by email (

Weather dashboard and Master file
Wed, 27 Mar 2019 (by RotoGuru)

The Weather Dashboard has been reactivated. This year, I am pulling weather forecast data from Dark Sky. In past years, I used Weather Underground, but they no longer support this type of application. Dark Sky provides hourly weather forecast data for 48 hours - so that is the time limit of the dashboard for now. I may develop a generic forecast page for the subsequent 3-4 days, but that's a low priority for the moment. I want to be sure that the current setup is working properly.

The 2019 master file is also available. Some data may not be completely populated yet, but I think it's mostly there - including data from the two games in Japan. File details are provided in While this file will eventually be subject to a paid subscription, it is offered for free for at least the first month of the season.

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Sunday's Starting Lineups

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