Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:


Already have an account? Log in here.


Forgot Password


Rolling xwOBA Risers/Fallers - Statcast Hitter Analysis (Week 20)

Statcast just keeps getting better. Rather than having to manually run searches with advanced filtering, a new feature has been added to display a rolling xwOBA leaderboard for both pitchers and hitters.

In this series, we'll naturally focus on the hitters to see who is rising and falling over their past 50 plate appearances. We last looked at xwOBA almost two months ago in our Week 12 edition, so it's long overdue that we revisit this important metric.

As a reminder, I will examine hitters that have shown either surprising results, questionable fantasy value, or are not outright obvious studs like Nelson Cruz.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off. Exclusive access to our Draft Kit, premium rankings, projections, player outlooks, top prospects, dynasty rankings, 15 in-season lineup tools, and over 200 days of expert DFS research. Sign Up Now!


xwOBA Risers

All stats current as of August 12, 2019 and show changes from the past 50 PA compared to the previous 50 PA.


Giovanny Urshela (3B, NYY)

+.269 50 PA rolling xwOBA

Anduwho? The season-ending injury to Miguel Andujar might have been a blessing in disguise because Gio Urshela is having arguably a better season than his predecessor. Urshela is batting .323 with 17 HR, 61 RBI and expected stats that are among the league leaders across the board. His .312 xBA is in the 97th percentile, his .534 xSLG is 93rd percentile, and .381 xwOBA is 91st percentile. Since August began, he's posted four multi-hit games and two multi-homer games. One of them wasn't even against the Orioles!

Urshela is a top-100 fantasy player on the season yet he's owned in only two-thirds of fantasy leagues. I know some owners have tuned out of the second half because they're out of the race in their league but don't be that guy if he's somehow available in yours.


Miguel Cabrera (1B, DET)

+.168 50 PA rolling xwOBA

Too little, too late? Miggy has just eight HR this season, his walk rate is down to league average at 8.4%, and his terrible surrounding cast has resulted in just 46 RBI despite a solid average. Cabrera is still hitting the ball hard but the counting stats just aren't there. He's batting .404 with runners in scoring position but that's only occurred 89 times all year. By comparison, Rafael Devers (see below) has 28 more at-bats in the same situation. It's the end of an era, as Cabrera just isn't fantasy relevant anymore.


Willy Adames (2B/SS, TB)

+.162 50 PA rolling xwOBA

Adames has been well below average in all Statcast measures this year other than Sprint Speed. In this case, not much has changed. His .312 xwOBA is still disappointing and it hasn't gotten much higher at .416 over the past 50 PA. The reason he is one of the biggest climbers is due to how putrid he was doing in his previous 50 PA (.254). Since the All-Star break, Adames is slashing .244/.313/.478. He has shown some pop with five HR in the last 90 AB and has improved his plate discipline but the second-year breakout some experts such as myself predicted just isn't happening. He's just 23 though, so don't give up on him altogether.


Brian Anderson (3B/OF, MIA)

+.153 50 PA rolling xwOBA

He's lightly owned, barely mentioned, and underwhelming in roto leagues but Anderson has been playable in points leagues based on his ability to crank out 28 doubles along with 20 long balls. He's kept his strikeout rate right around 20% and is picking things up in August in all areas, including a .325 average over the last 40 AB. He could be doing better, as his hard-hit rate ranks in the 87th percentile. With an all-fields approach, Anderson could see his average keep climbing down the stretch.


xwOBA Fallers

All stats current as of August 12, 2019 and show changes from the past 50 PA compared to the previous 50 PA.


Rafael Devers (3B, BOS)

-.181 50 PA rolling xwOBA

What goes up must come down. Devers was off to a rather slow start in the power department but then exploded from May through July with 21 HR and 76 RBI. His batting average was even better, as he was leading the majors in base hits at one point. August has been... unkind. In his last 47 at-bats, Devers is hitting .191 and has just one walk, resulting in a .208 OBP. His season-long xStats are through the roof but he could be hitting a wall or facing a long overdue slump. Normally a player of his talent in such a potent lineup would be an automatic start in fantasy leagues, no matter how bad the slump. As the third-worst xwOBA faller on the leaderboard, you may want to give him a little breather though.


Mitch Garver (C, MIN)

-.165 50 PA rolling xwOBA

Garver was just highlighted in my Mideseason xSLG Overachievers piece, so it would be pretentious of me to sweep aside this recent fall from grace. Garver has been great all year, especially for a catcher, but he was bound to slow down at some point. Although his 48.4% hard-hit rate rank in the 94th percentile, his .231 xBA is down in the 16th percentile. He's been in a miserable slump since August began, as it appears he's getting pull-happy trying to leave the yard. With Jason Castro there to share time behind the plate (also slumping in August), Garver is losing value in single-catcher leagues. Maybe try Jonathan Lucroy or Francisco Mejia instead.


Paul DeJong (2B/SS, STL)

-.125 50 PA rolling xwOBA

Just as Goldy heats up, DeJong slows down. DeJong had been hitting well but he's getting back to doing what he tends to do - swing and miss.

DeJong's exit velocity and hard-hit rate are both in the bottom quarter percentile so it's almost a wonder how he's been able to match last year's power numbers. By now, we can figure out what he is - a .250 hitter with 20 HR power that will hurt you wherever strikeouts matter. He can play as a MI in 12+ team leagues but when he has swoons like this with a .244 xwOBA over his last 50 appearances, he can be benched.


Max Kepler (OF, MIN)

-.120 50 PA rolling xwOBA

Another Twin who had been experiencing a breakout season and is also slowing down. Kepler's .318 xwOBA over the past 50 PA is a definite drop but it may not be a major concern just yet. His 100 PA rolling xwOBA is still positive at +.113 and his plate discipline isn't much different. He's picked up a hit in five of the last six contests and hasn't gone more than three games without a homer since mid-July. Kepler may be on a downswing temporarily but still has the potential to break out with a monster game at any time, so bench him at your own risk.


More Sabermetrics & Statcast for Fantasy Baseball

More Recent Articles


Bases Loaded Podcast - Relief Pitchers Preview

Mike Kurland (@Mike_Kurland) is joined by Jorge Montanez, Zach Braff and Mike Simione as they jump into their relief pitcher preview! Subscribe to the Bases Loaded podcast, part of RotoBaller Radio's Podcast Network. Like and Subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well!... Read More

2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers - Jose Urquidy

It's been a tumultuous winter for the Houston Astros. Not only were they embroiled in a sign-stealing scandal (which has, naturally, progressed apace to unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about ever more sophisticated methods of cheating), but they watched staff ace Gerrit Cole sign a mammoth free-agent deal with the Yankees. Plenty of virtual ink has been... Read More

2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers - Mark Canha

Mark Canha had a solid 2019 campaign and is one player that probably deserves more attention heading into 2020 than he is currently receiving. He finished the season hitting .273/.396/.517 with 26 HR, 58 RBI, 80 R, and 67 BB in 410 at-bats. It was a very productive line for a guy that played in... Read More

Four Prospect Sleepers for 2020 Redraft Leagues

Recently, Rotoballer launched a list of the Top 50 MLB prospects for the coming year. The top of the list was populated by names such as Gavin Lux, Luis Robert, and Brendan McKay. These players, among others, feature a promising combination of talent and favorable playing time projections to suggest they’ll be the cream-of-the-crop among... Read More

ADP Cost Analysis – Robbie Ray vs Trevor Bauer

With fantasy baseball draft season in full swing, those of us who partake in this joyous game are now looking through as much draft data as possible in a bid to find players we love who have lower average draft positions (ADP) than we believe they should. All this to eke out as much draft... Read More

2020 Keeper Value Rankings - Second Base

Keeper Value Rankings are intended for Keeper Leagues in which a fantasy owner must forfeit a designated draft pick in order to keep a player into the upcoming season. These rankings are based on Keeper "Values". In the marketing world, Value can be defined as "the extent to which a good or service (player) is... Read More

2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers – C.J. Cron

As another fantasy baseball season approaches, we once again have the chance to discuss C.J. Cron as a fantasy sleeper. Cron will be playing for his third team in three seasons. It is tough to wrap one's head around the idea that a player of Cron's talent continues to be undervalued by professional and fantasy... Read More

2020 Starting Pitcher Rankings - H2H Points Leagues

Points leagues may seem like a slight variation from traditional 5x5 category scoring leagues but you must approach draft day with a very different strategy if you wish to truly compete. All preseason long, RotoBaller has you covered with the latest rankings for all fantasy baseball league types. Here we present our points league rankings... Read More

Second-Half Improvements: Buy Into These Starting Pitchers

The second half of the season is always put under a microscope for starting pitchers. Fantasy players have a love for the second half of the season, as the belief is that pitchers who take a step forward could carry over that success the next season and perhaps even build upon it. But, as we... Read More

How to Attack RP in SV+HLD Leagues

No position has seen as much evolution in recent seasons as the relief pitcher. Gone are the days where starters were expected to go seven innings as most teams have embraced the idea of "super-bullpening" and try to fit as many pitchers that can throw 95+ MPH into their bullpen as they can. Many fantasy... Read More

Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: Pitch Info

One of the most fundamental questions in fantasy sports is if a player's current performance is sustainable. More than any other sport, baseball has a slew of statistical measures that can be dissected in numerous ways to analyze player performance. Pitch Info is a publicly-available pitch tracking system that provides a lot of different data to... Read More

2020 Fantasy Baseball Staff Rankings

Below you will find RotoBaller's 2020 fantasy baseball rankings, tiers and auction dollar values for the 2020 MLB season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Mixed, Head-to-Head, Points, AL/NL Only, Two-Catcher Top 2020 prospects, Dynasty leagues, Keeper values Export the rankings easily... Read More

Mock Draft Review: Best Late-Round Targets

Last week, some members of the RotoBaller staff completed a 12-team mock draft for standard 5x5 format. After the draft, we each broke down our strategy and some of our favorite picks, which can be found here. However, I want to take a closer look at one portion of the draft in particular. Since we know that... Read More

Faster and Furious: Pitchers with Rising Velocity/Performance

Welcome fantasy baseball players! I’m sure that you, like me, are anxiously counting down the days until your drafts and Opening Day. While the fantasy season may not start for several weeks, there are plenty of things we can do to start preparing for a successful season. One of those things is to take a good... Read More

James Karinchak Is A Relief Pitcher To Know in 2020

One of the lesser-known players that intrigues me for the 2020 MLB season is Indians relief pitcher James Karinchak. The former Bryant Bulldog was drafted by Cleveland in the ninth round in the 2017 draft and went on to have one of the most outrageous statistical seasons in minor league baseball history. As someone who... Read More