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Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: Pitcher Statcast

Finding Combo-Player Values Using Z-Scores and ATC Projections

Towards the end of last season, I asked the question – “Draft Speed or Pound the Power?” Loaded in this seemingly simple query are two contradictory approaches – one for power and one for speed. Power Approach 1: Home run totals are dramatically up in baseball these days. Therefore, there are many power bats available... Read More

3 days ago

Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: Spin Rate

Spin rate has become one of the most recognizable Statcast metrics, with supporters of a given pitcher highlighting his spin rates to make their case. Unfortunately, the baseball world has done a lousy job conveying what spin rate really means. The result has been a ton of owners who know that spin rate exists, but... Read More

5 days ago

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

1 week ago

Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: Pitcher BABIP

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

1 week ago

Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: FIP and xFIP

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, pitchers control only Ks, BBs, and home runs allowed. Therefore, Ks, walks, and dingers are... Read More

2 weeks ago


Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: Lineup Spot

You may be wondering why there aren't any advanced stats aimed at predicting a player's counting stats like runs and RBI. The answer is simple: modern sabermetrics 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 in ascertaining... Read More

3 weeks ago

Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: Pull%

We have previously determined 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 ball in the air. One way to illustrate... Read More

3 weeks ago

Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: Plate Discipline

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 Chris Davis are potential drains on a fantasy team's batting average. Furthermore, players that whiff a lot tend to continue... Read More

4 weeks ago

Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: Batted Ball Distribution (Hitters)

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 this is not always the case. Why would this be? The answer, of course, comes down to batted ball distribution and the manner in which batters make contact.... Read More

4 weeks ago

Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: Barrels

Last time, we looked at how exit velocity (or EV) is only one piece of the fantasy analysis puzzle. Baseball broadcasts will commonly cite Launch Angle (LA) to complement their EV figures, but it is given in terms of degrees. Am I evaluating a baseball player or trying to find the hypotenuse of an isosceles... Read More

1 month ago


Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: 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... Read More

1 month ago

Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: Exit Velocity

If you've watched a baseball broadcast in the so-called Statcast Era, you have undoubtedly noticed the broadcasters commenting on a batted ball's exit velocity, or EV. Many have taken to using stats like Hard% and Soft% to forecast how a player should be performing, expecting larger Hard% rates to produce larger BABIP and HR/FB figures.... Read More

1 month ago

Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: HR/FB

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

1 month ago

Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: An Introduction

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. Over the next two months, this series will attempt to define and explain all of the metrics fantasy owners may find useful, citing examples of how to use... Read More

1 month ago

Using Sabermetrics For Fantasy Baseball Part 16 - Interpreting Minor League Stats

Once you've grown accustomed to having advanced tools to help make fantasy decisions, it can feel disorientating to be without them. Prospects are increasingly becoming a focal point in both real and fantasy baseball, but the minors simply do not have all of the data available for MLB players. For example, advanced plate discipline stats,... Read More

11 months ago


Using Sabermetrics For Fantasy Baseball Part 15 - Ballpark Factors

If you have ever selected a streamable pitcher based on home park or benched an otherwise must-start arm at Coors Field, you already know how much a stadium can impact a player's bottom line. Ballpark Factors quantify the influence each stadium has, allowing you to make the most of your fantasy team's real-life schedule. Today,... Read More

11 months ago

Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball Part 14 - Statcast Expected Stats

Statcast is a valuable tool for fantasy analysis, and it can be easy to look at a stat called "Expected Batting Average" and blindly use it as your projection moving forward. Of course, proper use of these metrics is a little bit more nuanced than that. Our series on how to make sabermetrics more accessible... Read More

11 months ago

Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball Part 13 - Statcast for Pitchers

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... Read More

11 months ago

Five Hitters Whose Barrels Rate Makes Them Undervalued

Baseball is back! The nostalgic diamond traditions of cracker jacks, oat sodas and intricately-designed grass patterns have finally returned. Most importantly, the boys of summer are once again fine-tuning their five tools for the upcoming season. In 2016, Major League Baseball expanded its research on exit velocity and launch angle by introducing Barrels. Barrels not... Read More

12 months ago

Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball Part 12 - Spin Rate

Spin rate has become one of the most recognizable Statcast metrics, with supporters of a given pitcher highlighting his spin rates to make their case. Unfortunately, the baseball world has done a lousy job conveying what spin rate really means. The result has been a ton of owners who know that spin rate exists, but... Read More

12 months ago


Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball Part 11 - 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... Read More

12 months ago

Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball Part 10 - Pitcher Batted Ball Distribution

The league average batted ball distribution in 2018 was 21.5% liners, 43.2% grounders and 35.4% flies. We have previously seen 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 (.117 BABIP in 2018) consistently have lower BABIPs than worm... Read More

12 months ago

Using Sabermetrics For Fantasy Baseball Part 9 - Pitcher BABIP

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

12 months ago

Using Sabermetrics For Fantasy Baseball Part 8 - FIP and xFIP

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

1 year ago

Using Sabermetrics For Fantasy Baseball Part 7 - Lineup Spot

To this point, this series has focused exclusively on trying to predict and validate home runs 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 in... Read More

1 year ago


Using Sabermetrics For Fantasy Baseball Part 6 - Pull Percentage

Earlier in this series, 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 ball in the air. One way... Read More

1 year ago

Using Sabermetrics For Fantasy Baseball Part 5 - Plate Discipline

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 Chris Davis are potential drains on a fantasy team's batting average. Furthermore, players that whiff a lot tend to continue... Read More

1 year ago

Using Sabermetrics For Fantasy Baseball Part 4 - Batted Ball Distribution (Hitters)

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 this is not the case. Why would this be? The answer, of course, comes down to batted ball distribution and the manner in which batters make contact. In... Read More

1 year ago

Using Sabermetrics For Fantasy Baseball Part 3 - Statcast for Hitters

If you've watched a baseball broadcast in the so-called Statcast Era, you have undoubtedly noticed the broadcasters commenting on a batted ball's exit velocity, or EV. Many have taken to using stats like Hard% and Soft% to forecast how a player should be performing, expecting larger Hard% rates to produce larger BABIP and HR/FB figures.... Read More

1 year ago

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Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: Pitcher Statcast

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