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Brad Hand to Indians - Fantasy Implications
Fri, 20 Jul 2018 (by contributed by RotoBaller.com)

News broke on July 19 that Padres closer Brad Hand will be moving to the shores of Lake Erie and donning the home blue of the Cleveland baseball club. In a move that many predicted, but that no one actually saw happening, the Cleveland bullpen adds not only the lefty but also another useful piece in Adam Cimber. In a weird, deja vu move the Cleveland front office has now once again traded a top prospect for a reliever, and a lefty reliever at that.

The news is significant in that a top 15 prospect is heading to San Diego, and a top player in coming back, but what is the real impact for fantasy teams? Even if this takes Cleveland to the playoffs, there still needs to be a fantasy pay-off for this to even matter. Mejia looks to have been blocked in Cleveland so at least owners might get to see him play this way.

This article will reflect on a few pieces of the deal, but also will look to compare this deal to the Andrew Miller deal from a few years back. What has changed in the landscape and how does this matter moving forward? How should owners view this trade? What does this all really mean?

. . .

[click here to read the rest of the article on RotoBaller.com]



Utilizing the VMI and ADI quickly
Sat, 14 Jul 2018 (by Clifton Neeley of baseballVMI.com)

In recent articles I identified different pitcher-types with which we can compare effectiveness rates against the ADI and the VMI. These four types can help you quickly decide whether the pitcher is in trouble, or the hitters are in trouble for today’s games.

Do a last minute check

If you want a last minute check against buying a pitcher or hitter for today’s contest, check our database to see if he is a “Tight,” “Reverse,” or “Loose” pitcher against a hitter who is in a good or bad VMI range to perform against his pitch-type. At this time we are working to provide you some ways in which to check this aspect more quickly. You should use the “Pitcher Stats by ADI” under the Members menu at baseballvmi.com by selecting the team and pitcher name and querying today’s game ADI. Then check the hitter’s data in the “Sortable Stats” under “MLB top 50” by querying the team, date range (I suggest using 201 instead of 2017, in order to get additional years’ data), select more than “10 at bats,” and check his hitting contribution against those pitches in today’s team VMI range.

The "Tight Pitcher" (remember, this pitcher throws the Four-Seamer primarily and the Slider and Curve) is better against a Low (+ or -) VMI team, or a Negative VMI team, but will get hit harder in thin air environments (below 60 ADI such as Atlanta, Texas, Kansas City, Arizona and of course Colorado) that typically generate high plus VMIs.

The "Loose Pitcher" (he throws several off-speed pitches, but not many Four-Seamers)--reviews of the data are mixed, because he is better against a High Plus VMI team in a High ADI, but he is usually worse against the High Negative VMI team and in Low ADI's. But, because the pitches are typically slower--even this is tough to call due to mental focus of the hitting team. An over aggressive team that is pressing will stay off-balance due to the slower speeds; but a team that is relaxed and having fun is likely to pound this pitcher.

The "Reverse Pitcher" (he is a Sinker Ball pitcher, or a higher than normal number of Two-Seamers) - better against the High Plus VMI team, but worse in the Higher Negative VMI team outings. This, of course, is due to the hitter’s “Visual Memory” causing him to set up to deal with the upward lifting Four-Seamer, plus being able to identify and change his body position (within a half second) to hit the lesser lifting Two-Seamer and downward breaking Sinker, Slider, Curve, etc.

The "Knuckleball Pitcher" . . .
[click to view the entire article]


Visual Memory by Clifton Neeley, creator of the Visual Memory Index© and author of the web-site www.baseballvmi.com. 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.

Free Swings with Scott - July 13
Fri, 13 Jul 2018 (by Scott Chu, @Chuseph_Esquire, Chuseph@gmail.com)

Best Bets

Tonight we are treated to the return of the Thunder God himself, Noah Syndergaard. While 2018 has seen the emergence of a new staff ace for the Mets (looking at you, DeGrom), Syndergaard has been very good when he has pitched this season and went 5 very strong innings in his rehab start (albeit in low A). I think he has a chance to throw enough innings to be among the best starters tonight, especially considering the somewhat weak overall slate. The Nationals are fairly average in most respect against right-handers (21.2 K%, .315 wOBA), so there's nothing to be afraid of here.

Madison Bumgarner has found his strikeout ability after 3 worrisome starts to begin his 2018 adventure, averaging 6.75 strikeouts over his last 4 outings after averaging just 3 strikeouts per game in his first three turns when he came back from the DL. The A's, his opponent for tonight, have gone down on strikes in 23.4% of their trips to the plate this season, the 8th highest mark in the league against lefties. This should be a good match-up for MadBum and I recommend him in all formats.

Good Gambles

Jake Arrieta is the winner of the Marlins sweepstakes tonight, and while they're a little bit better than we thought they'd be this season, they still have a wimpy .379 SLG and the 6th worst wOBA against RHP. Arrieta's strikeout rate is WAY down this season -- just 17.3%, which is a 5.8% drop from last season. Opposing hitters are also swinging at more pitches and making more contact than they did in previous seasons, which is generally not a great sign. That said, he should still be able to pull out a win and throw plenty of innings against a weak offense, and that's enough to make the grade tonight.

. . .

Want to see the rest? Head on over to Friends with Fantasy Benefits for the rest of this article (featuring many more DFS considerations for tonight) and many other fine Fantasy Sports articles.



RotoBaller DraftKings MLB DFS Lineup Picks (7/12/18)
Thu, 12 Jul 2018 (by contributed by RotoBaller.com)

We've got 10 games being played today, which isn't bad at all for a Thursday. There's five different slates for us on DraftKings, with the all day slate starting at 2pm eastern and the featured slate starting at 7pm.

In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for DraftKings on 7/12/18. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays.

DraftKings Starting Pitchers

Max Scherzer - P, at NYM ($13,300)
I'm not always one to roll with a top starting pitcher, but Scherzer is definitely worth his price on Thursday. If you're willing to cut some payroll elsewhere to fit him in your lineups, Scherzer should pay off nicely. He's got an absurd 35.4% K-rate with a 2.60 FIP and should have a dominant outing against a scuffling Mets lineup.

Ross Stripling - P, at SD ($9,100)
With the best matchup a right-hander could ask for, it's surprising to see Stripling at such a low price. Even after being named to the NL All-Star team, Stripling comes at a great discount - he's probably the best value play available tonight. The Padres have the lowest wOBA in baseball against righties at .286, as well as the second-highest K-rate at 25.9%. Stripling has a sparkling 2.22 ERA and should not disappoint.

DraftKings Infielders

. . .

[click here to read the rest of the article on RotoBaller.com]



RotoBaller FanDuel MLB DFS Lineup Picks (7/11/18)
Wed, 11 Jul 2018 (by contributed by RotoBaller.com)

Being a guy that loves pitching a ton, I can't complain that we have a bunch of top arms going today - but damn it's tough to split hairs between some of these stable, high upside arms. Split-slate Wednesday is giving us a lot to work with in the Main slate (12 games) and no so much in the matinee. As such, this post will concentrate on the big competitions going tonight at 7:05 Eastern.

The experts in Vegas have some early lines for us as of Tuesday night. I'll do my best to update this section with any pertinent line movement before lineup lock tomorrow. As of now, the Red Sox are -325 moneyline favorites, followed by the Astros (-230), Indians (-195) and the Brewers at -160. For implied run totals, the Rockies are up top at 6.2, followed by the Red Sox (5.7), Diamondbacks (5.5), Indians (5.2), Yankees (5.2) and the Braves at 5.1 runs.

In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for FanDuel on 7/5/18. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays.

FanDuel DFS Pitchers

Chris Sale - SP, vs TEX ($12,600)
This may sound odd seeing as he's featured with a five-figure price tag, but I think Sale is underpriced relative to his fantasy points floor and ceiling. the big lefty has been oustanding all year and extra electric in the past month. His average fastball velocity is up, he's pitching deep into games and dominating opponents - parctiularly via the strikeout (36.8% K rate, 13.3 K/9 - both tops for this slate) and by inducing a fair number of ground balls (47% in 2018). Tonight, he faces a lineup that isn't punch-less, but does strike out a bit and is quite undisciplined at the plate. Against southpaws, they've struck out at a 24% rate and their projected lineup tonight has a wOBA split just barely at .300. Sale and the Sox are -325 favorites in Vegas (with the Rangers implied run total at 2.9) and he can be used in cash and tournament play this evening.

Freddy Peralta - SP, at MIA ($8,700)
He may need to develop a pitch or two more to sustain this "dominance" later in his career, but the kid can really pitch. Peralta has been sharp this season, beating his price implied total in three of four starts for a +/- total of 61 FanDuel points this season. The price has crept up a bit, but not to the point where he can't provide plus value for us. This is a pretty good matchup, as he gets a park upgrade and faces a pretty weak lineup. And, most importantly for tournaments, the strikeup upside is high. He comes into his fifth major league start with a 12.47 K/9 and faces a team whose projected lineup owns a collective 25% K rate against right-handed pitching this season. What adds to his allure is that he's been good at keeping people off the basepaths (.904 WHIP) and at keeping the ball in the yard (0.27 HR/9). Tonight, he and the Brewers are currently -160 moneyline favorites and the Marlins implied run total sits at just 3.6 runs.

FanDuel DFS Infielders

. . .

[click here to read the rest of the article on RotoBaller.com]



RotoBaller DraftKings MLB DFS Lineup Picks (7/10/18)
Tue, 10 Jul 2018 (by contributed by RotoBaller.com)

We have a monster 15-game slate to break down today, and there are some great options across the board. There are a few high-priced pitchers on the slate you should be looking to pay up for, along with plenty of bats you want to jam into your lineups.

In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for DraftKings on 7/10/18. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays.

DraftKings Starting Pitchers

Trevor Bauer – P, CLE vs CIN (DK - $13,600)
Bauer is the most expensive pitcher on the slate today, but he is certainly worth the price. He comes in with eight or more strikeouts in nine of his last 10 starts, while allowing two or fewer walks in nine starts. Bauer has a 33% strikeout rate vs left-handed hitters this season and a 30% strikeout rate vs righties. Elite level numbers from the first time all-star, who should be in a spot to continue this success vs a very average Reds team.

Jhoulys Chacin – P, MIL @ MIA (DK - $8,500)
Chacin certainly isn’t the best pitcher on this slate, but he isn’t too expensive and has a great matchup in front of him today. First off, this is a great positive park shift in his favor being in Miami and away from Miller Park. He has posted 15 or more DraftKings points in seven of his last 10 starts while allowing two or fewer earned runs seven times. He is up against the Marlins who have a .303 team wOBA vs righties this season, along with a very uninspiring .131 ISO vs RHP.

DraftKings Infielders

. . .

[click here to read the rest of the article on RotoBaller.com]



Safe After the Shipwreck - Players Worth Keeping On Sell-Off Teams
Mon, 09 Jul 2018 (by contributed by RotoBaller.com)

July is one of the most exciting times of the year for baseball: division races are starting to take shape, fans get to see all of their favorite All-Stars on the same stage, and the trade rumor mill is in full swing. Big names will find new homes and some teams will drastically change the layout of their rosters.

These changes can have a large impact on fantasy owners’ rosters as well. Fantasy owners may be afraid that some of their players will lose significant fantasy value if they are left behind in the aftermath of teams clearing house. This is a valid concern; no one wants to own the only good bat in a weak lineup or a pitcher on a losing team.

However, there are some players who are worth holding onto despite their teams being sellers. Identifying and keeping these players could be key for fantasy owners trying to make a push before the playoffs, whether they hold them and reap the benefits or buy low on them from scared owners. Here are a few valuable players to hone in on who are currently on teams looking to sell this trade deadline.

Hold the Line

Eddie Rosario, Minnesota Twins:
Safe in all points and roto leagues (10+ teams)

The Twins narrative has changed drastically in the past year, from making the playoffs in 2017 to now planning on selling their upcoming free agents, including big bats Brian Dozier and Eduardo Escobar. The Twins will need some young talent to build around in upcoming years, and they happen to have that in outfielder Eddie Rosario. The 26-year-old has become a solid fantasy option over the past two seasons, boasting a combination of average and power. Rosario has made impressive strides this season from last; his batting average (.307 vs .288), home runs (18 vs 10), and hard hit rate (38.2% vs 28.2%) are all up from where they were this time last season. His value will go down in the runs and RBI departments after the Twins lose some of their top bats, but at the pace he is on now (57 runs and 53 RBI), he is likely to post career-highs in both categories even without the offensive support. He is an All-Star in the making (although he didn't get a much-deserved nod) and fantasy owners should take comfort in their rising fantasy asset rather than fear his value will diminish during a Twins’ rebuild.

Dylan Bundy, Baltimore Orioles:
Safe in all points and roto leagues (12+ teams)

It is no secret that the Baltimore Orioles will likely be one of this season’s biggest sellers at the trade deadline. . . .

[click here to read the rest of the article on RotoBaller.com]



Knuckleball
Sat, 07 Jul 2018 (by Clifton Neeley of baseballVMI.com)

Knuckleball - (1% of the total pitches thrown in MLB)

Hit/Strike Rate for 2016 = 9.12%

The "Knuckleballer" is a category of its own

Oh, the knuckleball. It dives and darts every which way. Up, down, side to side and all angles in between. It confounds everyone, mathematical geniuses, physicists, engineers, and all who try to describe or especially to quantify it. Of course, I have never seen a mathematical formula put to an inflated balloon having been released with the valve open, either.

So, How Does a Knuckleball Dive and Dart?

I'll attempt to describe the knuckleball from a layman's perspective. The best knuckleballs I've seen personally and attempted to catch regularly have been on a fastpitch softball in the 60 mph ranges, but I've also been victim to line drives in the outfield that knuckleballed off the bat at a much higher speed. And I've seen soccer balls and volleyballs knuckle in flight, as well. I'm quite sure you have experienced many of these too.

Unfortunately, aerospace engineers and physics professors are in a certain amount of disagreement regarding projectiles flying through the air. So, until someone puts this together better than the real world observations and experiential understandings of those of us who have thrown, hit, caught, observed, missed, been hit in the nose by, been made a fool of, explained a black eye, and studied them in flight, then the following is my understanding of how this phenomenon most likely works in the real world.

Dr. Adair in his book, The Physics of Baseball, describes baseball this way; "Some people have asked, 'Well, baseball isn't rocket science, is it?' to which Dr. Adair replies, "No, it's a lot harder!" The reason, as he explained in his book, is that a cone at the nose of the rocket is pointed and smooth, whereas the baseball has sort of a yin-yang pattern of stitching surrounded by a smooth leather skin stretched around the ball. It makes it difficult if not impossible to put a mathematical formula to its flight.

I like to say it this way--along the path even a fastball takes, pressure builds up on the front of the ball caused by molecule displacement. As the air attempts to equalize, pressure builds and pushes the ball off course. This phenomenon is akin to the reason that airplane wings slant backward to afford a "wiping" effect of air molecules off the leading edges, and the reason rockets are built with cone-shaped noses. A knuckleball, however, moves two or more different directions (sometimes upward) in a "hopping" fashion from the same cause, i.e. air pressure buildup.

Now, did that explanation convince you? Well, let me try again … [click to view the entire article]


Visual Memory by Clifton Neeley, creator of the Visual Memory Index© and author of the web-site www.baseballvmi.com. 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.

Free Swings For Friday - July 6
Fri, 06 Jul 2018 (by Scott Chu, @Chuseph_Esquire, Chuseph@gmail.com)

Best Bets

By virtually every metric, the Royals are one of the worst offenses in baseball against southpaws (bottom three in wOBA, wRC+, OBP, SLG, BB%, and probably others). I would be writing up ANY lefty in this matchup. To make things easy on us, the lefty facing the Royals is none other than Chris Sale. Sale will likely cost 10-20% more than the next priciest pitcher tonight, but he’s averaging almost 11 punchouts per game over your last 5 starts, so you should dig deep and get him in there.

Speaking of cost, there’s likely one other pitcher who will be priced head and shoulders above the rest, and that’s last week’s late scratch - Jacob DeGrom. His matchup isn’t quite as sweet as Sale’s, but it’s still choice. The Rays get to strike 3 a little more than average (20.7 K% v RHP), but their biggest weaknesses are patience (29th in BB%) and power (28th in ISO). Those things combined contribute to their last place wOBA v RHP and their 2nd last place wRC+. That’s a long-winded way to say they are really bad right now and that DeGrom is also worth ponying up for.

As a final note, I want to point out that while it may be challenging to construct a good roster with such a high commitment to SP, it can be a very worthwhile strategy, particularly in 50/50s. These two will set such a high floor for your squad that you only need one or two lottery tickets to hit for you to land in the money.

. . .

Want to see the rest? Head on over to Friends with Fantasy Benefits for the rest of this article (featuring many more DFS considerations for tonight) and many other fine Fantasy Sports articles.



RotoBaller FanDuel MLB DFS Lineup Picks (7/5/18)
Thu, 05 Jul 2018 (by contributed by RotoBaller.com)

We have an eight-game slate where there is a clear top pitching option, then there is everyone else. Could be the time to take a bit of risk on your pitchers, so you can load up on some bats who are in favorable spots.

In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for FanDuel on 7/5/18. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays.

FanDuel DFS Pitchers

Justin Verlander - P, HOU vs CWS (FD - $12,200)
Verlander is far and away the best pitcher on this slate and he should be your go-to target for cash games today. He is facing off against the White Sox who have a 24.9% strikeout rate this season vs right-handed pitchers, which is fifth worst in the league. Verlander has been in a rough patch as of late, as he has given up nine earned runs in his last two games, but the White Sox have a team wOBA sitting at .308 vs RHP, so this is a nice spot for him to get back on track.

Johnny Cueto - P, SFG vs STL (FD - $8,300)
Right of the jump, this is a risky play tonight. Cueto is making his first start off the DL and according to reports, he threw roughly 70 pitches last week in a minor league start. We don't know if he as pitch limit tonight, so look for updates throughout the day. He is at home in a great pitcher's park up against the Cardinals, who have a team wOBA sitting at .301 vs right-handed pitchers, which is in the bottom 10 in the league.

FanDuel DFS Infielders

. . .

[click here to read the rest of the article on RotoBaller.com]



Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball Part 14 - Statcast For Pitchers
Wed, 04 Jul 2018 (by contributed by RotoBaller.com)

Previously, we looked at Barrels, a stat combining exit velocity and launch angle to measure how often a batter makes quality hard contact. As much as batters want to hit a Barrel every time, pitchers want to avoid them at all costs. Yet there is some evidence that pitchers do not have the same influence over Barrels as a batter does.

While Aaron Judge led all of baseball last year with 86 Barrels, Rick Porcello led all pitchers by coughing up 52. Neither performance was an outlier, so it seems to take fewer Barrels to lead pitchers in Barrels given up than it does to lead hitters in Barrels hit. This fits well with DIPS theory, which states that batters can do more to influence batted balls than pitchers can.

It's also not fantasy-relevant, as Porcello's 2016 was a fluke by any predictive metric. Ian Kennedy allowed the second most Barrels with 51, but fantasy owners don't care about him. Matt Moore came in third with 48, but he hasn't been fantasy-relevant in years. Fourth place Ricky Nolasco (46) is bad, and four arms tied for fifth with 45 Barrels allowed. Kevin Gausman, Jason Hammel, and Ariel Miranda are blah, but Gerrit Cole is interesting. Let's start with him.

How to Interpret Batted Ball Statistics

Cole allowed hard contact in 2017, but nothing in his history suggested that he would before the season started. In 2016, he allowed only 11 Barrels all season. In 2015, he allowed 26. Cole's high number of Barrels allowed may partially explain why he disappointed his fantasy owners last year, but his Barrels allowed look like they came out of a random number generator. There's nothing predictive here.

The rate stat, Brls/BBE, might seem like a better option. Jered Weaver tied for the league lead in rate of Barrels allowed with 11.8%, and he's obviously terrible. The person he tied with was Craig Kimbrel, one of the best relievers in baseball.

The Barrels hardly hurt Kimbrel's final stat line, as he posted an elite 1.43 ERA (1.50 xFIP) with 35 saves last season. Kimbrel had previously been great by Brls/BBE, posting a 5.8% mark in 2016 and 4.7% in 2015, so nothing in his track record should have raised a red flag. Indeed, there's no need for a red flag even in retrospect.

Maybe we need to simplify this and ...

[click here to read the rest of the article on RotoBaller.com]



RotoBaller DraftKings MLB DFS Lineup Picks (7/2/18)
Tue, 03 Jul 2018 (by contributed by RotoBaller.com)

We have a monster 12-game slate to break down today, and there are some great options across the board. There are a few high-priced pitchers on the slate you should be looking to pay up for, along with plenty of bats you want to jam into your lineups.

In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for DraftKings on 7/3/18. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays.

DraftKings Starting Pitchers

Anthony DeSclafani - P, CIN vs CWS (DK - $7,600)
DeSclafani comes in on the cheaper side and has a very favorable matchup in front of him tonight. He is up against the White Sox, who have a 25.1% strikeout rate vs right-handed pitchers this season, which is fourth worst on the slate. Over his last four starts, he has posted 14.7 DraftKings points or more in all of them, making him a very solid point per dollar play over that span. The White Sox have a team wOBA sitting at .306 vs right-handed pitchers this season, which is seventh worst in the league. Some slight risk with the park factor here, but a solid matchup.

Zack Greinke - P, ARI vs STL (DK - $10,900)
Grienke has six or more strikeouts in three of his last four games and is now up against the Cardinals who have a 23% strikeout rate vs right-handed pitchers. Grienke has allowed only three runs in his last three games, but they all came in one start, so he has two starts with no earned runs. He has a 12% swinging strike rate this season and a 5% walk rate, with only two walks in his last three starts.

DraftKings Infielders

. . .

[click here to read the rest of the article on RotoBaller.com]



RotoBaller DraftKings MLB DFS Lineup Picks (7/2/18)
Mon, 02 Jul 2018 (by contributed by RotoBaller.com)

We have a rare fourth of July on a Wednesday, so there’s no true “holiday weekend.” That effects the DFS community because we would typically have a full, 15-game slate to work with on the extended weekend. Instead, there is only 10 games on Monday, and one of those matchups is starting at 1:07pm EST (DET/TOR). Unfortunately, the Tigers and Blue Jays will not be in our player pool.

However, we still have plenty of offense to utilize. There are three games with an over/under of at least nine total runs (still waiting on PIT/LAD line). Naturally, the game at Coors Field has the highest implied total (SF/COL currently sits at 10 total runs). Two teams are what I would consider “heavy favorites” (-200 odds, or greater): the Yankees and Indians. One of those arms will make our write-up.

In this article, I will be providing you with my daily fantasy baseball lineup picks for DraftKings on 7/2/18. The lineup picks will range from some of the elite players to mid-priced options and value plays.

DraftKings Starting Pitchers

Jonathan Loaisiga, NYY (vs. ATL) - $8,300
I already mentioned that the Yankees are one of the largest favorites of the slate (-200). Now, let’s break down their pitcher on the hill. Loaisiga has shutout two of his three opponents this season and has tallied at least six strikeouts in those dominant performances. The Braves are 21st in team ISO (.157) against right-handed pitchers this season.

Nathan Eovaldi, TB (@ MIA) - $8,700
Even in a smaller slate, I’m avoiding the top tier arms. Corey Kluber hasn’t been his Klubot-self lately and Max Scherzer will face the highest-scoring offense in baseball on Monday. Instead, I’ll save some money by adding pitchers with high strikeout upside and safer matchups. Eovaldi has struck out at least five batters in three straight starts and is facing a Miami team that is 28th in runs scored (311 runs in 85 games) and tied for seventh in team strikeouts (750) this season.

DraftKings Infielders

. . .

[click here to read the rest of the article on RotoBaller.com]



A "Loose Pitcher" is one who throws Several Additional Pitches
Sat, 30 Jun 2018 (by Clifton Neeley of baseballVMI.com)

Splitter - Used (1%) League Wide

Average Hit/Strike Rate For 2016 = 9.69%

The Splitter is essentially a change-up. It is thrown with the fingers split wide apart to give the appearance of a fastball, either two-seam or four-seam. However, the wide fingers allow arm, elbow, wrist and finger snap to appear strong, but the velocity is inhibited. There may be other variations of the splitter that I am not aware how the pitcher performs it, but this description probably covers most of the philosophy and mechanics. Since some of the velocity is taken off this pitch, then the effect of the air density is lessened as in the case of the change-up. It is used more as a surprise than as a movement challenge to the hitter. The Splitter is not used frequently and probably for good reason. It is one of those pitches that a Loose Pitcher can use effectively one day (especially against a High Plus VMI Team) and then get taken advantage of on the next (especially against a High Minus VMI Team).

The Splitter is most effective as a counter pitch to the two-seam or four-seam, but can also be an additional pitch in a slew of off-speed pitches. As I mentioned in another recent article, a "Loose Pitcher" presents many ways in which to get a hitter out. However, a Loose Pitcher also presents many ways by which to lose a game, especially to a team who sports a High Minus VMI. When using the VMI, look for a team who is High Minus against a pitcher who would probably be considered Loose. That is a combination that favors the hitters.

When you are utilizing our database at baseballvmi – keep in mind that you can narrow the pitch data down to a single game by using the team name and the specific date, but that is only where the date is one of the options listed.

Knuckleball - (1% of the total pitches thrown in MLB)

Hit/Strike Rate for 2016 = 9.12%

The "Knuckleballer" is a category of its own

Oh, the knuckleball. It … [click to view the entire article]


Visual Memory by Clifton Neeley, creator of the Visual Memory Index© and author of the web-site www.baseballvmi.com. 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.

Free Swings For Friday - June 29
Fri, 29 Jun 2018 (by Scott Chu, @Chuseph_Esquire, Chuseph@gmail.com)

Best Bets

Jacob DeGrom, owner of MLB’s best ERA and the 7th best K% among starters with at least 40 IP, faces the Marlins, who rank in the bottom 10 in wOBA, SLG, K%, BB/K, and wRC+ against RHP. Sometimes, this stuff writes itself. I got burned when I said it last time, but I don’t care – just pay for him and lock him in.

The Ks keep coming for Gerrit Cole, but so do the runs. That’s not to say he’s been bad – he’s still 4-0 in June over his 5 starts with 37 K in 31 IP while allowing just 19 hits. 6 of those hits, though, have been of the home run variety, and he’s walked more batters and allowed more HR in June than any other month this season despite fewer IP. Fortunately, the Rays are not a power team – they rank 27th in ISO and HR/FB% v RHP so far this season and have a very average walk rate. Cole can take advantage of this and put up the numbers we’ve come to expect.

Trevor Bauer is on some kind of roll right now. He has logged at least 10 Ks in 6 of his last 8 starts, and has lasted at least 5.2 IP in each start. Granted, 6 of those starts came against DET, CWS, and MIN, but a road matchup in spacious O.Co Coliseum should help Bauer keep it rolling. Don’t underestimate the As – they have the 7th highest wOBA v RHP so far this season and are top 10 in most major offensive categories – but their home park has the lowest run factor in baseball so far this season.

. . .

Want to see the rest? Head on over to Friends with Fantasy Benefits for the rest of this article (featuring many more DFS considerations for tonight) and many other fine Fantasy Sports articles.




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