Daily Intel – 3/30/2018

One day down, 185 to go. Here are the most important fantasy items from every team in the majors over the last 24 hours. As a reminder, if you want the top item for every team delivered to your inbox by 8 am Eastern every day, email fantasybbnow@gmail.com and put “Subscribe to FB Now in the subject line.

Arizona Diamondbacks

  • RP Archie Bradley went 1 2/3 innings with no baserunners allowed and two strikeouts, a fine debut for anyone who drafted him hoping for about 4 innings a week of dominant relief work. He also inherited two runners, neither of which moved up on the base paths.
  • OF Jarrod Dyson hit eighth in the lineup and stole a base in a 2-for-4 effort. As we mentioned yesterday in Spring Training Trends, the SB totals of Dyson and SS Ketel Marte are worthy of day-by-day tracking, due to the outsize importance the stat holds in the values of both players.

Atlanta Braves

  • RP Arodys Vizcaino looked fantastic, striking out the side in the ninth inning of a 5-5 game. RP AJ Minter has earned a lot of praise for being a potential “next big thing” at closer, but for a team like the Braves that could either contend for a wild card or fall off the map early, Vizcaino has a ton of value staying in the closer role, because he could bring back a great haul at the trade deadline when bullpen arms are most valuable. Don’t be afraid to get Vizcaino in a trade if you need a closer, he shouldn’t cost much with his mid-round draft value.
  • 1B Freddie Freeman looks primed for an incredible season. He faced 24 pitches yesterday and didn’t swing and miss once. He faced three called strikes, but two of them were blown calls outside the strike zone, per Baseball Savant and Statcast data. It’s always been about health with Freeman, and in some cases he’s been the victim of bad luck (i.e. a wrist injury caused by a hit by pitch).

Baltimore Orioles

  • SP Dylan Bundy was a popular sleeper in some circles, and starts like yesterday show why. 88 pitches in seven innings, 64 strikes, and more positive signs with the slider he added to make his repertoire four pitches last season. Twenty-four sliders led to 16 strikes, 12 of them swinging. If the Orioles are going to once again buck the projections, it’ll be with Bundy giving them 190-200 innings of this type of pitching.
  • 3B/SS Manny Machado stole a base early in the game. Many fantasy players lamented the stolen base drop from 20 in 2015 to none in 2016 to 9 last year, so if yesterday is a sign of his willingness to run like he did in 2015, Machado can threaten to be the top player in fantasy.

Continue reading “Daily Intel – 3/30/2018”

Spring Training Trends – Part 2

Earlier today, we posted the first part of this series examining a few Spring Training trends for every team that are worth keeping an eye on in the first few weeks of the season. We’re valuing these trends from  1 to 10, with 1 being “if this trend keeps up for the first week of the season, I’ll make a note of it” and a 10 being “I need to do something about this right now.”

Part 1 looked at the first 15 teams in the majors, in alphabetical order, starting with Arizona and ending with Miami. We continue now with the other 15, starting with Milwaukee and ending with Washington.

And, again, starting tomorrow, for the next 186 days (through October 1, the day after Game 162), check back here every morning by 11 am Eastern for the actionable fantasy items on all 30 teams’ previous day of work, whether they play or not. You can get a first draft of that daily check in, which will cover the one thing you need to know for all 30 teams, every morning by 8 am Eastern, just by emailing fantasybbnow@gmail.com and putting “Subscribe to FB Now in the subject line.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • 1B/OF Eric Thames was one of the least popular players we personally observed during drafts this spring. That’s anecdotal, but we understand why – Ryan Braun is set for increased duty at first base, Domingo Santana is too young and perceived to be too high upside to sit regularly, and Thames really sucked against lefties last year. But there’s no denying Thames’ power and for all his struggles against lefties, last time I checked most major league teams were fielding primarily right-handed heavy pitchers. Braun is older and injury prone. Santana could easily play himself in to a bench role after his luck-fueled 2017. Watch Thames’ playing time this week and pounce if he’s getting in there even four days a week. (Impact: 6) 
  • The double play combo of 2B Jonathan Villar and SS Orlando Arcia are slated to hit eighth and seventh in the batting order, respectively. For Arcia, this is nothing new – he only hit higher than seventh in the order five times last year despite playing 153 games. But how will it impact Villar, whose fantasy value is predicated primarily on speed? It’s worth tracking how manager Craig Counsell deploys these two on the basepaths, especially with an improved top of the order. (Impact: 6)

Continue reading “Spring Training Trends – Part 2”

Spring Training Trends – Part 1

Beginning tomorrow, this space will be filled each morning with actionable fantasy baseball insight on all 30 MLB teams and their goings-on from the prior day’s game.

While we’re not a big proponent of drawing major conclusions from Spring Training, there are always trends that merit tracking in to the opening weeks of the season to judge whether a player is worth acquiring.

As mentioned in our opening post, the format in which this information will be delivered each morning will be a work in progress based on your feedback and our comfort level with the value it has for the reader.

To start, we’ll be delivering a few Spring Training trends for every team, and valuing them from 1 to 10 based on how closely you should be tracking them as the games that count start today. Think of a 1 as “if this trend keeps up for the first week of the season, I’ll make a note of it” and a 10 as “I need to do something about this right now.”

This morning, we’ve got the first half of the league, going by alphabetical order – the Arizona Diamondbacks through the Miami Marlins. Later this afternoon, we’ll continue with the second half – the Milwaukee Brewers through the Washington Nationals.

Arizona Diamondbacks

  • OF Jarrod Dyson and SS Ketel Marte are both likely to be in the Opening Day lineup against Colorado, but not at the top of the order where their respective top skill, speed, will be maximized. OF David Peralta and OF A.J. Pollock will go 1-2, which means it’s worth tracking how this impacts Dyson and Marte’s stolen base totals. (Impact: 6)
  • SP Taylor Clarke may be the first option to move in to the rotation if one of their top five starters struggles or gets injured. His upside isn’t astronomical, per John Sickels of Minor League Ball, but he would be a definite add in most 12-team and larger leagues the second he’s given a rotation spot. (Impact: 2)
  • RP Brad Boxberger was anointed the closer to start the season yesterday, but RP Yoshihisa Hirano remains worth tracking. Boxberger has shaky reliability between injury history and recent struggles, and it’s very unlikely the D-Backs would shift Archie Bradley from his multi-inning relief ace role if Box struggles. Hirano is one of the best “next man up” stashes – if he isn’t in the role by mid-May, you can consider freeing up the reserve spot he’s holding. (Impact: 3)

Continue reading “Spring Training Trends – Part 1”

What To Expect Come Opening Day

If you’re reading this, welcome. Starting Friday, March 30, 2018, my goal is to deliver all fantasy baseball players the daily trends and news from the previous 24 hours in Major League Baseball. Every morning during the regular season, by 11 am Eastern, you can expect to see the 2 or 3 fantasy-relevant takeaways from the previous day, whether a team played or not.

My hope is that you can read these posts in 10 minutes or less and walk away with at least one item to take immediate action that improves your fantasy team. The format in which I deliver this information will be a work in progress, but I guarantee that if you stick with me, you’ll be an improved fantasy player when Game 162 rolls around.

Want the day’s most important headlines earlier in the day? Email me at fantasybbnow@gmail.com with “Subscribe to FB Now” in the Subject Line, and you’ll get the #1 action item for all 30 teams by 8 am Eastern.

Thanks for joining me.