Fantasy Baseball Mailbag: Monday 5/23/16
We're starting a new little diddy here on numberFire to try to help you navigate the ever-changing landscape that is fantasy baseball. It's not easy to keep up with all of the day-to-day fluctuations, so it can help to have someone to bounce ideas off of. That's what our daily mailbag will look to do.
Feel free to shoot us any questions you may have throughout the day on Twitter, and then we'll try to answer as many as we can in the form of a post. If you prefer, you can also send an email to Jim.Sannes@FanDuel.com. These questions can be anything fantasy baseball related. That means daily fantasy baseball, season-long, dynasty, and everything else are all in play.
Obviously, we won't be able to get to all questions because there's a lot to cover. For additional questions, be sure to check out our new MLB DFS tools along with our daily and season-long projections, which should help out more times than not.
Now, enough of that. Let's dig into today's mailbag and see what's popping in the world of fantasy baseball.
@numberFire is it time to drop Dozier or puig in a 10 teamer? Both have been pretty awful all year.
— Adam Faucheux (@Afaucheux70) May 23, 2016
"Pretty awful" is about as accurate as you can get with the production you've likely been getting from these guys thus far. Let's start things off with Yasiel Puig, as there may be a bit more reason for optimism there.
Two of the most important stats to check when a guy is mired in a cold streak are his strikeout rate and his hard-hit rate. Strikeout rates and batted-ball stats are two of the more quickly-stabilizing stats available, so we can operate with smaller sample sizes in order to draw preliminary conclusions. Both of these view Puig a bit more favorably than his slash would.
In the month of May, Puig has cut his strikeout rate to 19.2% from a mark of 21.9% in April. Similarly, he has picked his hard-hit rate up to 34.4% from 29.9%. Both of these would lead you to believe that things like his slugging percentage would be going up, but instead it has declined to .368 from .398. That's not likely to last, inspiring enough confidence to at least keep Puig on the roster. I'd hang onto him for sure. The decision isn't quite as easy with Brian Dozier.
Dozier has been able to cut his strikeout rate a significant amount from last year, all the way down to 16.5% from 21.0%. That's the good. The bad is that his batted-ball stats have gone completely down the toilet, and they don't seem to be improving.
Overall, Dozier's hard-hit rate has fallen to 26.6% from 29.2% last year, and it has brought with it a 23.4% soft-hit rate. Not great, Bob. Unfortunately, his hard-hit rate is even worse in the month of May at 25.0%. Dozier's trending the wrong way fast, and it's hard to keep that type of production on your team, especially in a 10-teamer.
All of that said, I'd still be inclined to hang onto Dozier a bit longer. He's back hitting leadoff again, there are some quality hitters behind him, and he plays in a hitter-friendly park. Everything about Dozier's situation is positive, so if he's able to turn around his batted-ball stats, you'd be sitting pretty. I'd continue to monitor what his hard-hit rate looks like early into June, but if you still aren't seeing improvements then, we might need to revisit this conversation.
@numberFire Verlander or Teheran ROS? 10 tm roto h2h
— Duke Silver (@_Ron_Swanson) May 23, 2016
This is a less depressing topic for sure as both Julio Teheran and Justin Verlander are viable options. I'd give the nod to Verlander because of his strikeout upside, but there's definitely an argument to be made for Teheran.
The advantage that Teheran holds is his home park. Turner Field is 23rd in three-year average park factor and 20th in home-run park factor, both of which are better than what Verlander has at Comerica Park. Additionally, Teheran has brought his SIERA down to 3.74 with a 22.6% strikeout rate over his last five starts. There's a lot to like there. It's still just a step below Verlander to me, though.
Verlander's 4.58 ERA wouldn't show it, but he's really having a quality season. He has a 3.73 SIERA, his best since 2013, and his 25.4% strikeout rate is his best since 2011. The one issue he has had is an increased walk rate, which is something we need to consider as Teheran does best Verlander here. Strikeouts are immensely valuable for fantasy, though, and Verlander is still posting great numbers in that department.
Finally, if you're playing in a league where wins are a factor, Verlander's edge widens a bit. Clearly, the Detroit Tigers are going to be able to provide more run support than the Atlanta Braves, making it more likely that Verlander will notch that all-important victory. Things align well for Verlander to have a good season, though Teheran is certainly an option, as well.
@JimSannes Have you ever seen a pitcher with a price tag higher than Kershaw's today?
— Austan Kas (@sports_KASter) May 23, 2016
Whew, you're not kidding. Clayton Kershaw is $13,200 today on FanDuel and $14,000 on DraftKings. Based on RotoGrinders' game logs, it looks like this is the most expensive Kershaw has been on FanDuel since September of last year, at which point he hit $13,700.
He could still totally be worth it, though.
Back on May 1st, Kershaw was pretty close to this price on FanDuel at $12,900. The over/under was 6.5, and the Dodgers' moneyline was -290. Kershaw went out and dropped silly sauce on the San Diego Padres with 14 strikeouts over nine innings, and he was the pitcher in our perfect FanDuel lineups for the night. Even if you had the ability to pick which low-priced pitcher went off the night, Kershaw still would have been the correct choice. Dude is just that good.
Tonight, the over/under is 6.5 again, and the moneyline is even more heavily in the Dodgers' favor at an unfathomable -370. The Cincinnati Reds' implied team total is a crying Jordan face. His price tag is disgusting and the highest of the year, but lil homie is more than good enough to be worth it yet again.
Want your question answered in tomorrow's mailbag? Be sure to submit any questions by sending a tweet to @numberFire or emailing Jim.Sannes@FanDuel.com.