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Last Minute Draft Prep and Strategy: Sweat the Small Stuff

The league average batted ball distribution in 2016 was 20.7% liners, 44.7% grounders and 34.6% flies. Last time, we took a brief look at how pitchers may specialize in either grounders or fly balls. Fly ball pitchers have a BABIP advantage over their ground ball-inducing counterparts, since fly balls (.127 BABIP in 2016) consistently have... Read More

The deeper your league, the more important it is to gain a slight edge over your opponents whenever possible. Nobody “dominates” a competitive draft. Presumably you have compiled a list. Most RotoBaller readers know who’s injured. Everyone has sleepers, some of us a hunch or two. Yet even with dedicated preparation, a successful live draft... Read More

While FIP is a useful tool to predict a pitcher's future ERA performance, fantasy owners should remember that ERA, not FIP, is what really matters in most formats. This means that we are interested in the "luck" that separates the two statistics. While some of this luck is unpredictable, we can and should predict some... Read More

The first advanced pitching stat most fantasy owners encounter is FIP. FIP stands for Fielding Independent Pitching, and attempts to measure a pitcher's actual skill instead of the effects of luck or his supporting cast. According to the DIPS theory that the metric is based upon, pitchers control only Ks, BBs (and HBP) and home... Read More

With your fantasy drafts rapidly approaching, we organized an expert mock draft last week. The 12-team "league" was selected on RTSports.com featuring writers from five different sites along with a few twitter fans. Among the RotoBallers represented were Kyle Bishop, Pierre Camus, Andrew Sullivan, JB Branson, and me. Also in the room were Nick Doran of... Read More

To this point, this series has focused exclusively on trying to predict and validate HRs and batting average. There is a reason for this--modern sabermetrics tend to reject the idea of a "clutch RBI guy" and therefore do not bother inventing predictive metrics for it. Runs and RBI are team dependent stats, and are unhelpful... Read More

For many, a draft is all about finding sleepers, predicting who the busts and breakouts are, and deciding who to pick with the first pick or who to allocate the most money to in an auction draft. While finding the right players is certainly a necessary element of a successful fantasy draft, it is not... Read More

For many, a draft is all about finding sleepers, predicting who the busts and breakouts are, and deciding who to pick with the first pick or who to allocate the most money to in an auction draft. While finding the right players is certainly a necessary element of a successful fantasy draft, it is not... Read More

Earlier in my series on using sabermetrics for fantasy baseball, we saw that fantasy owners generally prefer batters to hit the ball into the air in order to have a chance at a home run. Yet all fly balls are not equal for this purpose. A player can maximize his power production by pulling the... Read More

No matter how high a particular player's BABIP may be, his average will be mediocre at best if he strikes out too much. This is why fantasy owners have known for years that players like Adam Dunn, Chris Carter, and Chris Davis are potential drains on a fantasy team's batting average. Furthermore, players that whiff... Read More

Fly balls can turn into home runs. Ground balls never do. It would seem as though fantasy owners want their batters to hit nothing but flies, yet I closed the last piece by stating that this is not the case. Why would this be? Let's take a look, as my series on using sabermetrics for... Read More

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... Read More

The majority of fantasy baseball advice and analysis is tailored to standard head-to-head and rotisserie leagues. The rationale for this is twofold. First, those scoring formats are significantly more popular than points leagues, and writers naturally want to capture the broadest possible audience. To wit: I make a point of familiarizing myself with ADP data... Read More

I was fortunate enough to be invited to mock with some of the industry’s brightest on Thursday night, where I was able to test out how picking No. 6 in a 12-team roto league would go. Organized by fightingchancefantasy.com, I locked horns with folks such as Steve Gardner, Tim Heaney, John Halpin and Joel Henard... Read More

Last year we heard rumblings of players and fans alike thinking the ball was juiced, as homers skyrocketed. We have also begun to hear teams mention over the years that outs on the basepaths might not be worth the risk of a stolen base. Then again, maybe it’s just my bias as an Orioles’ fan... Read More

Welcome back to the fantasy baseball classroom where we’re learning about winning strategies and advanced statistics that help us dominate. Previous lessons have been focused on hitters, as we’ve explored BABIP as well as hard-hit rates. Now we turn our attention to pitchers and their SIERA.   Why should I care about SIERA? You’re probably familiar with ERA... Read More

Estimating value and worth can be a pain. You know what’s worse than just figuring it out for yourself? Doing that for your whole league, on the fly, as the draft is happening. You’ll kill yourself if you’re actively trying to figure out everyone’s valuations moving forward, so don’t sweat that. What you can do... Read More

 

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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 advanced... Read More

The human brain is one of the most powerful and fascinating things, and one of the greatest things it has given us is fantasy baseball. Utilized properly, it is your greatest weapon on draft day and beyond. Blindly followed, it can stab you in the back. Our brains did not evolve for the sake of... Read More

This isn’t the hottest of takes here, as the SAGNOF (Saves Ain’t Got NO Face) school of thought has had a steady stream of followers for quite a few years now. It’s a little more complicated than that of course, as this isn’t simply about the straight up value of taking a closer early on.... Read More

Late January means we’re treading ever closer to pitchers and catchers reporting, but more importantly, it means we’re wading ever deeper into the mock-draft waters for the fantasy baseball season. RotoBaller recently held its first mock draft of the season, and now we’ll give all participants a chance to share their notable picks. If you... Read More

Due to being professional fiends, we here at RotoBaller held our first mock draft of the 2017 fantasy baseball season this week. Mocks are great but constantly ruined by trolling fools who can't commit past two rounds. Luckily, my job grants me access to folks who want to be there. We still troll each other, but the... Read More

Pitching is a beautiful monster. It's such an elegant art that presents us with a nearly endless stream of data points to pick apart. On the one hand, this gives us a lot to explore and discuss, on the other hand it means there’s plenty of digging to do. We’re here today to talk about... Read More

This article first appeared in the Metro news publication. With Memorial Day in the rearview mirror, many fantasy owners are staring up at their rivals in the standings and feeling the pressure of falling behind. If you’re among them, here are some tips to help you close the gap. Review the Numbers When looking at... Read More

Welcome back to the fantasy baseball classroom where we’re learning about advanced statistics that give us a leg up on the competition, and help us win our fantasy baseball leagues. Our first articles were about a hitter’s BABIP as well as hard-hit rates. We then looked at pitchers and their SIERAs. If you didn't get... Read More

Welcome to this little crash course on hard hit rates. Use this helpful tool in the battle for fantasy baseball supremacy. Hard hit rate relates to several things: the velocity at which a baseball leaves the bat after contact is made, the hang time, the angle at which it is hit, amongst others involved in an algorithm... Read More

The first RotoBaller Pros vs. Joes league drafted Thursday night with a mix of self-proclaimed "expert" writers and some lucky readers who were ready to put their advice to good use. The league was set to standard 5x5 rotisserie rules, with the following roster positions:  2 C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CI, MI, 5 OF, Util, 8 P,... Read More

This article first appeared on the Metro news publication. With Opening Day mercifully arriving yesterday, all leagues have held their drafts. The only thing left to do, of course, is play the games. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the waters in the early going.   Early Fantasy Baseball Strategy and Tips DO:... Read More

The RotoBaller writers’ league conducted its draft on Thursday night. It was my final draft of 2016, and I realized in the lead-up to the event that it was the my only auction that didn’t involve keeper considerations. This meant two things – 1) the draft didn’t conclude until after 1:00 a.m., leaving me bleary-eyed... Read More

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2017 Fantasy Baseball Rankings