Jul 31, 2008

Next? Manny, Dunn, Bay, Maddux, Fuentes and more!

Today is the big day! The MLB non-waiver trade deadline is at 4pm ET. Lots of major buzz heading into the final 10 hours:

  • Manny Ramirez to the Marlins?
  • Adam Dunn to the Rays?
  • Jason Bay to the Red Sox? Or to the Rays?
  • Brian Fuentes - going or staying?
  • Greg Maddux heading back to the Dodgers?
All these rumors and more - to stay on top of it all the best place to monitor today is the ESPN MLB Trade Deadline Blog - it's being manned by the whole ESPN team: Gammons, Olney, Stark, Law and the gang. It's the one place to be to stay on top of what's happening before it actually happens!

Jul 30, 2008

Looking Back: 1B Predictions

Now, on to the pre-season Buy-Sell recommendations for first basemen - here's how they've played out to this point using the current rankings across all MLB by both the RotoTimes and ESPN Player Raters:

This one is pretty easy as there was only one sell candidate - Carlos Delgado - and two buy candidates - Conor Jackson and Nick Johnson.

In the original post, of Conor Jackson we said, "He will easily outproduce Carlos Delgado in 2008 and beyond." Right on the money there!

Delgado ranks #12 on RotoTimes / #14 on ESPN
Jackson ranks #5 on RotoTimes / #8 on ESPN
Johnson isn't in the top 50 on either - clearly a miss there! Even before his latest injury he wasn't producing much.

So, if you were able to deal Delgado and get Jackson back, you came out in pretty good shape.

Looking Back: Catcher Predictions

As August approaches, now is a good time for a sanity check on many of the pre-season prognostications made here at Roto Advantage. We'll start with the pre-season Buy-Sell recommendations for catchers - here's how they've played out to this point using the current rankings across all MLB by both the RotoTimes and ESPN Player Raters:

  • Ivan Rodriguez - #7 catcher on RotoTimes / #9 on ESPN

    Looks like we missed on this one. The reason for the sell recommendation was based largely on age and injury risk, but this guy is just a machine.

  • Jason Varitek - #55 on RotoTimes / #33 on ESPN

    Looks like a pretty good prediction.

  • Jarrod Saltalamacchia - #32 on RotoTimes / #32 on ESPN

    Again, right on the money. Especially good considering how many were predicting Salty would be a Top 12 catcher.


  • Dioner Navarro - #12 on RotoTimes / #12 on ESPN
  • Chris Snyder - #18 on RotoTimes / #19 on ESPN
  • Ryan Doumit - #3 on RotoTimes / #4 on ESPN

FINAL ANALYSIS: Unless you dealt Pudge straight up for Snyder, you probably ended up quite happy with any moves you made following our pre-season catcher buy-sell recommendations.

Jul 24, 2008

MLB Trade Deadline: Who's buying? Who's selling?

At the start of the day, 17 of the 30 MLB teams were no worse than 6 games from the top spot in their division. With this level of open competition, it's still tough to tell just who is going to be buying vs. who is going to be selling over the next week.

Here are the teams with the biggest 'fish or cut bait' decisions facing them:
  • Atlanta Braves (6 GB - NL East) - But they are in fourth place! Given the fact that they need to leapfrog three other teams, they'll likely end up sellers with Mark Teixeira as their main bargaining chip.
  • Colorado Rockies (6 GB - NL West) - It appears as though the Rockies will ride out the season with what they've got, with the likely exception of Brian Fuentes.
  • New York Yankees (3.5 GB -AL East) - You know they won't sell, when do they ever sell?
  • Detroit Tigers (5.5 GB - AL Central) - they have overcome their horrible April and are right in the race, look for them to either buy or stand pat.
  • Texas Rangers (10.5 GB - AL West) - Too far out, they need to sell.
  • Toronto Blue Jays (9.5 GB - AL East) - See Texas Rangers.

For more thoughts and analysis on who the trade deadline buyers and sellers will be, check out today's Rumblings and Grumblings post by Jayson Stark on ESPN.

Buy or sell? Highlighting four teams still on the fence [ESPN]

Jul 23, 2008

Latest on MLB Trade Rumors

The MLB non-waiver trade deadline is only eight days away. So what's the latest buzz?

Here are some of the names more recently rumored to be available, some from buyers and some from sellers:
  • Casey Blake, 3B, CLE
  • Damaso Marte, RP, PIT
  • Randy Winn, OF, SF
  • Raul Ibanez, OF, SEA
  • Andy LaRoche, 3B, LAD
  • Matt Kemp, OF, LAD

For the full scoop on the above names and many more, check out Will Carroll's latest post on BP Unfiltered.

Mill Grinding [Baseball Prospectus]

Jul 21, 2008

MLB's Top 150 Prospects - July Edition

Here are the Top 10, according to Matthew Pouliot from RotoWorld:
  1. David Price, LHP, Rays
  2. Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Dodgers
  3. Colby Rasmus, OF, Cardinals
  4. Matt Wieters, C, Orioles
  5. Matt LaPorta, OF, Indians
  6. Max Scherzer, RHP, Diamondbacks
  7. Elvis Andrus, SS, Rangers
  8. Cameron, Maybin, OF, Marlins
  9. Jason Heyward, OF, Braves
  10. Rick Porcello, RHP, Tigers

To see the rest of the list, including the ETA for each player, year-to-date minor league stats, and more detailed insights - check out Matthew Pouliot's Strike Zone blog on RotoWorld.

Midseason Top 150 Prospects [RotoWorld]

It's 'Free Week' at Baseball Prospectus!

From July 21st-27th, the amazing team at Baseball Prospectus is opening up all their high-value content for FREE. If you've ever been tempted to register as a paying subscriber, now is the time to see what all the fuss is about!

Free Week at BP [Baseball Prospectus]

Trading Good Luck for Bad

Why on earth would you want to trade good luck for bad luck?! If you believe that luck all evens out in the end - that's why. It's always worth taking a look at which players are the beneficiaries of above average luck, and consider moving them for players in the opposite position. If you do, and the luck does even out, you've just come out way ahead.

Here are some hitters and pitchers to consider moving now while their run of luck is still going good:

  • Howie Kendrick
  • Fred Lewis
  • Xavier Nady
  • Adam Jones
  • Joakim Soria
  • Justin Duchscherer
  • Scott Olsen
  • Ryan Dempster

And a few players on a bad streak who's luck may be about to turn:


  • Kenji Johjima
  • Paul Konerko
  • Austin Kearns
  • Mark Ellis
  • Bronson Arroyo
  • Nate Robertson
  • Randy Johnson
  • Carlos Silva

For the complete lists, check out Al Melchoir's most recent By The Numbers post on CBS Sportsline.

By the Numbers: Unusual suspects in Detroit [CBS Sportsline]

Jul 20, 2008

Mid-Season Fantasy Baseball MVPs

Just over halfway through the season and at this point we've seen major surprises, huge busts, and season-ending injuries - but one thing is for certain: if you have a roster comprised of at least a handful of the following candidates for Fantasy Baseball MVP, you're undoubtedly looking down at most of the other teams in your league's standings!

C: Russell Martin, Brian McCann, Geovany Soto
1B: Lance Berkman, Ryan Howard
2B: Ian Kinsler, Chase Utley
SS: Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes
3B: Chipper Jones, Alex Rodriguez, David Wright
OF: Josh Hamilton, Grady Sizemore, Ichiro Suzuki
SP: Justin Duchscherer, Roy Hallady, Dan Haren, Cliff Lee, Tim Lincecum, Edinson Volquez
RP: Mariano Rivera, Francisco Rodriguez

So from among the above list of candidates, who are the mid-season MVPs? Check out Knox Bardeen's picks at CrookedPitch.com.

Jul 18, 2008

Who's going to move before the trade deadline?

More big deals have been made already this season than any season in recent memory. With Sabathia, Harden and Blanton off the board - who's next?

Joe Sheehan from Baseball Prospectus dives deep into who's available, what it might take to get them, and what impact they might have for the acquiring team.

Sheehan's list includes:
  1. Jason Bay (potential buyers include the Mets, Braves and Diamondbacks)
  2. Erik Bedard (to the Yankees?)
  3. Adrian Beltre (to the Twins?)
  4. Milton Bradley (to the Tigers?)
  5. Justin Duchscherer (Really? Wow!)
  6. Adam Dunn (to the Diamondbacks?)

Check out the complete list along with the excellent detailed analysis at today's Prospectus Today post.

Prospectus Today: Bubble Boys [Baseball Prospectus]

2nd Half Schedule Strength and Player Trends

Which teams face the toughest schedule over the rest of the season? How about:
  • Yankees (could have guessed that one with all the games left against the Red Sox and Rays)
  • Orioles (ditto)
  • Blue Jays (double ditto)
  • Mariners
  • Royals

And who has the weakest remaining schedule? It's the Minnesota Twins.

It's a bit of an oversimplification, but if you wanted to use strength of schedule as a trade planning tool you'd probably want to target deals with the following players involved:

Buy Targets

  • Justin Morneau
  • Joe Mauer
  • Carlos Gomez
  • Delmon Young
  • Scott Baker
  • Nick Blackburn
  • Kevin Slowey

Sell Targets

  • Nick Markakis
  • Aubrey Huff
  • Alex Rios
  • Derek Jeter
  • Adam Jones
  • Mike Mussina
  • Andy Pettitte
  • Jeremy Guthrie

And, do you know which players drop off / pick up most after the All-Star break?

Here are a few nuggets:

Largest batting average increase: Adam LaRoche
Largest batting average decrease: Eric Byrnes (but that doesn't really help now does it?) - next is Johnny Estrada (nope, no help there either) - next is Hank Blalock (there, that might be useful!)

Largest ERA decrease: Salomon Torres
Largest ERA increase: Chris Young (next is Nate Robertson)

Get the full analysis from the 'Elias Says...' blog available on ESPN.com.

2nd Half Sell High Candidates

A flip side view of the buy low / sell high coin has also been posted by Aaron Gleeman at RotoWorld.com. The highlights of his second half sell high list include:

  • Justin Duchscherer
  • Brian Fuentes
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka
  • Xavier Nady
  • Scott Olsen
  • Joe Saunders
  • and more...
Check out Aaron's full analysis in his Baseball Daily Dose article.

Jul 17, 2008

2nd Half Buy Low Candidates

An integral ingredient in building a winning team involves making at least one good move to acquire a player who is about to really take off to provide your team a boost. One of my all-time favorite personal buy-low deals was back in early May 2002 when I dealt Matt Herges (then the de facto Expos closer) and Scott Williamson (apparently on the cusp of reclaiming the closer job for the Reds) in exchange for Jason Schmidt who had just left a start after two-thirds of an inning with a stiff shoulder. Herges ended up with six saves on the season, Williamson with eight saves, and Schmidt went on to win 13 games with 196 strikeouts, 3.45 ERA and 1.192 WHIP in what became his breakout season. I love that story. But enough about me! This is about you!

Aaron Gleeman at RotoWorld.com has done the work for you! The highlights of his second half buy low list include:
  • Jonathan Broxton (too late now perhaps?)
  • Robinson Cano
  • Manny Corpas
  • Brad Hawpe
  • Alexis Rios
  • Nick Swisher
  • and several more

Check out Aaron's full analysis in his Baseball Daily Dose article.

Buy Low for the Second Half [Rotoworld]

Recent Rehab Assignment Updates

At present, there are a number of potentially high impact major leaguers on, or just wrapping up rehab assignments. That list includes:
  • Bobby Jenks
  • Troy Tulowitzki
  • Hank Blalock
  • Mike Hampton (wha-huh?)

Get the latest scoop on these guys and more from John Halpin's Fantasy Sports Blog on FoxSports.com.

Morning Baseball Update: Maggs Back, Jenks Solid in Rehab Outing [Fox Sports]

Jul 16, 2008

Top 100 Player Rankings for Second Half

Unless you're playing in a second half league, there's not a tremendous amount of value in straight ranking lists at this point. However, it is possible to gain some insights into the opinions of experts based on their ranking of certain players in relation to the overall 'norm'.

The latest list comes from the experts at razzball.com - here are the highlights:

A little on the high side?

#13 - Miguel Cabrera
#14 - Mark Teixeira
#27 - Vladimir Guerrero
#34 - B.J. Upton
#70 - Kevin Kouzmanoff
#92 - Jeff Francoeur

A little on the low side?

#17 - Josh Hamilton
#26 - CC Sabathia
#61 - Pat Burrell
#83 - Chad Billingsley

Check out the whole list which includes some commentary on the rankings.

Fantasy Baseball Top 100 for Second Half of 2008 [Razzball]

All-Star Break Trade Rumors

From the All-Star Break through the end of July, MLB trade rumors really start to pick up steam. Will Carroll from Baseball Prospectus provides some interesting insights regarding some recent rumors:
  • With Hideki Matsui's injury status, do the Yankees become buyers or sellers?
  • Is Erik Bedard staying in Seattle?
  • What impact is A.J. Burnett's contract having on the Blue Jays efforts to deal him?
  • Who are the Twins looking at as a 3B upgrade?
  • Will C.C. Sabathia finish the season as a Brewer?
Check out Will's latest BP Unfiltered post.

Some Milling Around [Baseball Prospectus]

Second Half Expectations: Center Field

As usual, Marc Normandin provides a detailed, meaningful analysis of player performance to date, how it stacks up to pre-season projections, and what story the numbers inside the numbers tell with regard to future performance expectations.

Marc dives deep to provide insights on:
  • Pursuing Nate McLouth as a trade target - good idea or not? (Answer: good idea)
  • What's going on with B.J. Upton's power outage
  • Chris B. Young - ride out his low production or deal for what you can get?
  • Lastings Milledge - victim of bad luck? Second half saviour?

All this can be found in Marc's most recent (and free) BP Fantasy Beat article.

Mid-Season Retooling: Center Field [Baseball Prospectus]

I'm back baby!

After a seven-week hiatus, I'm back. One of the biggest problems with blogging is trying to figure out what your focus should be - and obviously it needs to match up well with your interests. Within the roto-realm, I have a particularly keen interest in tracking the development of and forecasting the impact of prospects. This is evidenced by my previous focus in this area. The problem there is that getting out four posts a month just isn't going to get it done in terms of trying to establish a truly useful blog - and the level of detail going into each of those four monthly posts was not providing the best 'bang for the buck' in terms of my effort.

So after a lot of thinking - I'm effectively 'relaunching' today with a model similar to some of the most successful blogs across some other domains.

I hope you like the new model and would appreciate any feedback.

Also - if you like what you see, please help support the blog by visiting some of the sponsor ads.

Thank you!