Script Profile: Matt Kemp

Kemp has flexed his muscle in the 2H and you should believe in it
Kemp has flexed his muscle in the 2nd half and you should believe

Evaluating a player’s performance as the season draws to a close is always interesting. I am not afraid to admit that I was very worried about Matt Kemp entering 2014 and owned zero shares of him this season. The risk/reward factor that was attached to taking him seemed a bit too steep, similar to Ryan Braun. After a sluggish first half, Kemp is gaining momentum not only for the Dodgers in the throes of a pennant race, but also for hardcore fantasy owners who are still paying attention.

Entering the 2014 season, Kemp was on average the 44th player selected in live drafts according to Fantasy Pros cumulative statistics and was taken at pick 55.6. On ESPN’s player rater today, Matt Kemp oddly enough ranks 44th overall with four games remaining in the regular season. Even though Kemp has been an MVP candidate, he seemed to be valued almost dead on by drafters this year. With an eye on the future, it is going to be interesting not only to see where he goes in early drafts for 2015, but how his projection for next year will be.

First, here is how his season looks so far:

Matt Kemp 2014: 148 G, 75 R, 24 HR, 86 RBI, 8 SB, 284/343/498

If I took his name off of here and put say, Yoenis Cespedes, the only surprise would be the batting average. This is a solid season but not one that would make owners reach in drafts for the next season. But this is Matt Kemp and his name still means something in fantasy. If you are still paying attention to baseball, you would realize that his first and second half splits tell an interesting story:

Matt Kemp 1H: 86 G, 38 R, 8 HR, 35 RBI, 5 SB, 269/330/430
Matt Kemp 2H: 62 G, 37 R, 16 HR, 51 RBI, 3 SB, 303/360/589

What really catches my eye is the difference in production between the first and second halves. Not only is there is a jump in Kemp’s slugging percentage, but more importantly in his OBP, home runs and RBI. Being realistic, it is hard to imagine Kemp ever stealing more than twenty bases in a season again. Since his career year in 2011 with 40 steals, he has not played over 140 games until this year and the stolen bases seem to be the one area he is declining. However, if his power numbers continue to surge with health, I think this is a tradeoff that fantasy owners will palate due to the dearth of power in baseball across the board. As important as the splits above are, can they be sustained?

Kemp’s 1H: ISO – .161, BABIP – .349, wRC+ – 117, wOBA – .336
Kemp’s 2H: ISO – .286, BABIP – .335, wRC+ – 164, wOBA – .404
Kemp’s Career: ISO – .203, BABIP – .351, wRC+ – 127, wOBA – .361

Here is where things get a bit more interesting. It appears that Kemp could even improve a bit in his average for 2015 with his BABIP being a bit under his career numbers; not that .284 is a number to be disappointed in. What I want to see is how his jump in ISO (isolated power) over the second half can be projected for next year. Less running should keep Kemp healthier and allow him to blossom as a power hitter moving forward. It will be hard to determine if the second half is an outlier or a sneak preview of things to come as Kemp evolves as a player. For perspective, Kemp’s HR/FB % in 2014 is 19.4, while his career number is 16.5%. He’s reached as high as 21.4% and 21.7% in 2010 and 2011 respectively, however. Knowing he was not healthy the past season and a half may make Kemp a player that can be bought at a reasonable price in 2015. That is the rub. Where will Kemp be valued for next year? If he is being taken in the third round then he will provide great value like Giancarlo Stanton this year, but if Kemp makes his way into the early second round, then some of that value is mitigated.

After some great Twitter debate last night, I am comfortable projecting Kemp for between 32-35 home runs next year with 10-12 stolen bases. You cannot always get great value but if Kemp can maintain the power gains that he has shown in a healthy second half for next year, there may be a different MVP debate in 2015 between Kemp and Stanton instead of a pitcher. That would be nice. As I said in a tweet, I am more confident investing in Kemp 2K15 than I was Braun 2K14.

Statistical credits: Fangraphs.com, Baseball-Reference.com
Photo cred: http://goo.gl/SiGjS5

Greg Jewett is The Sports Script’s senior fantasy baseball writer. Follow him on Twitter @gjewett9!

Be sure to check for our articles and more at FantasyRundown.com, your one stop shop for the best fantasy content from around the web!

The Fantasy Forecaster: Baseball 9/10/14

The dynamic duo is back! In this, the final 2014 installment of TFF: Baseball, Ricky, Tim and Jeff give a look ahead to 2015.

You can stream on-demand here.

You can also subscribe/download on iTunes here. Leave a rating, don’t be shy!

Make sure to follow Timothy (@TKing978), Ricky (@rickygangster) and Jeff (@InfirmaryReport) on Twitter!

New to daily fantasy baseball? Head over to FanDuel.com and use Promo Code SCRIPT and get 100% match on your first deposit!

Top DFS Plays for 09/11/14

*Top hitters and pitchers highlight exceptional matchups that may include stars, lesser-known players and those on your waiver wires.

When I put together my top hitters and pitchers I factor in several things. First, prior matchup history, whether the hitter is hot and the pitcher’s history against that type of batter. Also, these matchups are normally released in the morning so make sure that you double-check the weather leading up to games in case they were postponed or the player got the day off.

New to Daily Fantasy? Head over to FanDuel.com and use Promo Code SCRIPT and get 100% match on your first deposit!

Top DFS hitters for today:

Trevor Plouffe vs. Corey Kluber - hitting .412 (7/17) with a 2B, 2 HRs & 6 RBIs

Jon Jay vs. Johnny Cueto - hitting .522 (12/23) with a 2B, 3 HRs, 7 RBIs & a BB

Jonathan Lucroy vs. Nathan Eovaldi - hitting .800 (4/5) with 2 2Bs, a HR & 2 RBIs

Devin Mesoraco vs. Lance Lynn - hitting .333 (2/6) with 2 2Bs
Mesoraco is hot at the plate hitting .400 with 3 bombs in the last week, love him today against Lynn

Jay Bruce vs. Lance Lynn - hitting .500 (11/22) with a 2B, 2 3Bs, 2 HRs, 8 RBIs & 2 BBs
This is just a numbers matchup for me.

Ricky’s HR Guarantee: Jay Bruce  

Top DFS Pitcher for today:

Francisco Liriano vs. Philadelphia Phillies - Liriano in his last 3 starts 19 innings, 12 hits, 2 ERs & 22 Ks. Love his matchup with the Phillies today.

Movie of the Day – Pacific Rim - This movie should’ve gotten more love than it did, it was a fantastic movie. Good acting, good story and really fun action scenes.

Follow me on Twitter @Rickygangster!

Top DFS Plays for 09/07/14

*Top hitters and pitchers highlight exceptional matchups that may include stars, lesser-known players and those on your waiver wires.

When I put together my top hitters and pitchers I factor in several things. First, prior matchup history, whether the hitter is hot and the pitcher’s history against that type of batter. Also, these matchups are normally released in the morning so make sure that you double-check the weather leading up to games in case they were postponed or the player got the day off.

New to Daily Fantasy? Head over to FanDuel.com and use Promo Code SCRIPT and get 100% match on your first deposit!

Top DFS hitters for today:

Ben Revere vs. Gio Gonzalez - hitting .421 (8/19) with a 3B, 2 RBIs & a BB

James Loney vs. Bud Norris - hitting .521 (11/21) with 3 2Bs, 3 RBIs & 3 BBs

Adam Jones vs. Jeremy Hellickson - hitting .364 (16/44) with a 2B, 4 HRs, 5 RBIs & 2 BBs

Josh Hamilton vs. Tommy Milone - hitting .435 (10/23) with 2 2Bs, a 3B, 2 HRs & 6 RBIs
Hamilton has struggled again as of late but is hitting .324 against LHP this season.

Adrian Gonzalez vs. Trevor Cahill - hitting .440 (11/25) with 3 2Bs, 2 HRs, 7 RBIs & 4 BBs

Ricky’s HR Guarantee:

Top DFS Pitcher for today:

Odrisamer Despaigne vs. Colorado Rockies – Despaigne on the road at Coors? I know I am crazy but I love his guy and he is currently on fire. Make it happen today folks.

James Paxton vs. Texas Rangers - Paxton in his last outing vs. the Rangers went 6 2/3 giving up 4 hits, 0 runs and striking out 4.

Movie of the Day: Ready To Rumble - Do I really need to say much more??????

Follow me on Twitter @Rickygangster!

Top DFS Plays for 09/06/14

*Top hitters and pitchers highlight exceptional matchups that may include stars, lesser-known players and those on your waiver wires.

When I put together my top hitters and pitchers I factor in several things. First, prior matchup history, whether the hitter is hot and the pitcher’s history against that type of batter. Also, these matchups are normally released in the morning so make sure that you double-check the weather leading up to games in case they were postponed or the player got the day off.

New to Daily Fantasy? Head over to FanDuel.com and use Promo Code SCRIPT and get 100% match on your first deposit!

Top DFS hitters for today:

Derek Norris vs. Scott Feldman - hitting .500 (5/10) with a HR, 2 RBIs & 2 BBs

Jose Altuve vs. Scott Kazmir - hitting .500 (8/16) with 2 2Bs

Adam LaRoche vs. A.J. Burnett - hitting .343 (12/35) with 5 2Bs, 2 HRs, 6 RBIs & 6 BBs
I know LaRoche is in a slump but a bomb today whips that all away.

Michael Brantley vs. Jose Quintana - hitting .471 (8/17) with 3 2Bs, a HR, 5 RBIs & 2 BBs

Gerardo Para vs. Lance Lynn - hitting .500 (6/12) with a 2B, 2 3Bs, a HR & a RBI

Yadier Molina vs. Kyle Lohse – hitting .579 (11/19) with 3 2Bs, 3 HRs & 8 RBIs

Ricky’s HR Guarantee: Adam LaRoche

Top DFS Pitcher for today:

Madison Bumgarner vs. Detroit Tigers - Bum has thrown 15 innings, given up 1 run and struck out 20 in his last 2 starts. He has been on fire and look for that to continue today.

Francisco Liriano vs. Chicago Cubs - Liriano pitched a complete game with 14 Ks in his last matchup against the Cubbies. Love him.

Movie of the Day: From Paris With Love - John Travolta plays the ultimate bad ass in this movie. Not sure why it gets crapped on because I love it.

Follow me on Twitter @Rickygangster!

Top DFS Plays for 09/05/14

*Top hitters and pitchers highlight exceptional matchups that may include stars, lesser-known players and those on your waiver wires.

When I put together my top hitters and pitchers I factor in several things. First, prior matchup history, whether the hitter is hot and the pitcher’s history against that type of batter. Also, these matchups are normally released in the morning so make sure that you double-check the weather leading up to games in case they were postponed or the player got the day off.

New to Daily Fantasy? Head over to FanDuel.com and use Promo Code SCRIPT and get 100% match on your first deposit!

Top DFS hitters for today:

Adam Lind vs. Clay Buchholz - hitting .347 (17/49) with 3 2Bs, a 3B, 2 HRs, 5 RBIs & 2 BBs

Adrian Beltre vs. Hisashi Iwakuma - hitting .357 (10/28) with a 2B, 3 HRs, 5 RBIs & a BB

Albert Pujols vs. Ricky Nolasco - hitting .545 (12/22) with 5 2Bs, 3 HRs & 10 RBIs

Josh Donaldson vs. Brett Overholtzer - hitting .462 (6/13) with 4 2Bs, a HR, 3 RBIs & 2 BBs

Chris Carter vs. Jeff Samardzija - hitting .417 (5/12) with 2 2Bs, 2 HRs, 4 RBIs & a BB

Chris Owings vs. Dan Haren - hitting .818 (9/11) 2 2Bs & a RBI

Austin Jackson vs. Scott Baker - hitting .353 (6/17) with 2 2Bs, a 3B, a HR, 2 RBIs & a BB

Ricky’s HR Guarantee: Adam Lind

Top DFS Pitcher for today:

Chris Sale vs. Cleveland Indians - Sale went 8 innings gave up 3 runs and struck out 9 in his last outing against the Indians. Sale is one of those pitchers I will always pay for.

Movie of the day: Fruitvale Station - Such a fantastic film which Michael B. Jordan just kills it. Folks the story is insane and is just a great overall film.

Follow me on Twitter @Rickygangster!

The Fantasy Forecaster: Baseball 9/3/14

Ricky and Tim are back with another episode of The Fantasy Forecaster: Baseball! In this episode, they discuss H2H playoff tips and tricks, James Paxton, Carlos Carrasco, Buster Posey, Mookie Betts and much more! Of course, the show includes a visit from Jeff of the Infirmary Report as he outlines all of the injury news around the league.

You can stream on-demand here.

You can also subscribe/download on iTunes here. Leave a rating, don’t be shy!

Make sure to follow Timothy (@TKing978), Ricky (@rickygangster) and Jeff (@InfirmaryReport) on Twitter!

The guys will be back next week (September 10) with their final show of the season, with a look-ahead to 2015 and beyond. Get your keeper questions in on Twitter using the #TSS tag.

New to daily fantasy baseball? Head over to FanDuel.com and use Promo Code SCRIPT and get 100% match on your first deposit!

Top DFS Plays for 09/04/14

*Top hitters and pitchers highlight exceptional matchups that may include stars, lesser-known players and those on your waiver wires.

When I put together my top hitters and pitchers I factor in several things. First, prior matchup history, whether the hitter is hot and the pitcher’s history against that type of batter. Also, these matchups are normally released in the morning so make sure that you double-check the weather leading up to games in case they were postponed or the player got the day off.

New to Daily Fantasy? Head over to FanDuel.com and use Promo Code SCRIPT and get 100% match on your first deposit!

Top DFS hitters for today:

Michael Brantley vs. Max Scherzer - hitting .341 (14/41) with 7 2Bs, a 3B, a HR, 9 RBIs & 3 BBs

Alex Avila vs. Trevor Bauer – hitting .571 (4/7) with a HR, a RBI & a BB

Mike Trout vs. Kyle Gibson - hitting .500 (2/4) with a HR, 2 RBIs & a BB

Matt Holliday vs. Wily Peralta - hitting .375 (6/16) with 2 HRs, 5 RBIs & a BB
Holliday is hot at the plate with 4 bombs over the last week

Desmond Jennings if he plays.

Ricky’s HR Guarantee: Mike Trout

Top DFS Pitcher for today:

Mike Leake vs. Baltimore O’s – Small Slate of games today and I think this matchup sticks out the most for me. Leake in his last two games has thrown 13 2/3 innings giving up 0 runs with 7 Ks.

TV Show of the day – Sons Of Anarchy - The final season is here. Which is sad but folks this is a fantastic show and if you haven’t watched it you are really missing out.

Follow me on Twitter @Rickygangster!

Top DFS Plays for 09/03/14

*Top hitters and pitchers highlight exceptional matchups that may include stars, lesser-known players and those on your waiver wires.

When I put together my top hitters and pitchers I factor in several things. First, prior matchup history, whether the hitter is hot and the pitcher’s history against that type of batter. Also, these matchups are normally released in the morning so make sure that you double-check the weather leading up to games in case they were postponed or the player got the day off.

New to Daily Fantasy? Head over to FanDuel.com and use Promo Code SCRIPT and get 100% match on your first deposit!

Top DFS hitters for today:

Hanley Ramirez vs. Jordan Zimmerman - hitting .455 (10/22) with 2 2Bs, a HR, 6 RBIs & 2 BBs

David Ortiz vs. Hiroki Kuroda - hitting .550 (11/20) with 4 2Bs, a HR, 3 RBIs & 3 BBs

Joe Mauer vs. John Danks - hitting .393 (22/56) with 3 2Bs, 8 RBIs & 5 BBs

Jose Abreu vs. Trevor May – no previous matchup. May is letting RHH hit over .370 against him this season. Abreu is hitting over .500 in the last week. BOMB ALERT!!!!!

Ian Kinsler vs. Danny Salazar - hitting .333 (1/3) with 1 HR & 3 RBIs
Also like Miggy if you don’t use Abreu.

Ricky’s HR Guarantee: Jose Abreu 

Top DFS Pitcher for today:

Justin Verlander vs. Cleveland Indians - I know I am crazy but JV looked good in his last outing and I look for him to follow up with another solid output today. JV always has a 3.50 ERA against the Indians in 3 starts this season.

Chris Archer vs. Toronto Blue Jays – Don’t trust JV today? Go ahead and play it safe with Chris Archer. He went 7 innings giving up only 2 run while striking out 6 in his last outing against the Jays.

Movie of the Day – Draft Day - Just coming out on Blu Ray and honestly it wasn’t that bad folks. Some parts were a bit over the top but I loved the behind the scenes of the whole draft process.

Follow me on Twitter @Rickygangster!