Trade Scripts: Lester for Cespedes

Lester will make his last 11 starts for Oakland as they push to go deeper in the playoffs
Lester will make his final 11 regular season starts for the A’s in 2014

In an eventful trade deadline morning, news first broke from Boston Red Sox beat writer Alex Speier that Oakland was acquiring Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes in return for Yoenis Cespedes. While the fantasy landscape is not drastically moved by this transaction, it illustrates how much Oakland values pitching in order to try and win a championship in 2014. Jon Lester has two rings already and his pitching down the stretch last year for Boston helped them immensely. Moving to a much more spacious ballpark should only enhance Lester’s value going forward and his matchups will be looked at in more detail below. Gomes also represents value for Oakland who use matchup splits. Gomes will slot in left field to platoon with Stephen Vogt. Being a veteran used to the role, he will be comfortable doing this for the A’s down the stretch and into the playoffs.

The biggest winner here may be the Yoenis Cespedes owners. Not only does his hitting environment improve, but he should be motivated to improve with his contract expiring after the 2015 season. Being in the clubhouse with David Ortiz and following his approach can only help Cespedes grow as one of the game’s premier power sources. Fly ball outs in Oakland will be sailing over the monster at Fenway as Cespedes should be adding some dents to the Green Monster very soon.

Oakland A’s Fantasy Implications:

Jon Lester 2014: 10 W, 143 IP, 149/32 K/BB, 2.52 ERA, 1.12 WHIP

This is a rental, plain and simple. It is doubtful that Lester will sign with Oakland so they are going in with eyes wide open. To line up Lester to start the Playoffs, Oakland has announced he will pitch Saturday night which also assures him of two starts against the Angels, here are his last 11 starts:

Lester’s matchups with Oakland: vs. Kansas City, vs. Minnesota, @ Kansas City, @ Atlanta, vs. Los Angeles Angels, @ Los Angeles Angels, vs. Seattle, @ Chicago White Sox, @ Seattle, vs. Philadelphia, @ Texas

This really makes him intriguing as he will now get to face the Mariners twice (with a left hand heavy lineup) and assures he gets to face the Phillies at home and a final start in Texas prior to the playoffs. Here are his lines in 2014 against his future opponents:

Against Atlanta: 1 W, 6 IP, 7 K’s, 4.5 ERA
Against Kansas City: 1 W, 8 IP, 8 K’s, 0 earned runs
Against Minnesota: 1 W, 6.1 IP, 6 K’s, 1.42 ERA
Against Chicago White Sox: 1 W, 15 IP, 15 K’s, 1.20 ERA
Against Texas: 1 W, 7 IP, 8 K’s, 3.86 ERA

Jon Lester has not faced the Mariners over the last three years but they do not pose much of a threat to him, especially in starts in Oakland. Most importantly for the A’s, here are Jon Lester’s last three starts against the Angels: 2 W, 21 IP, 21 K’s, 2.57 ERA

With this announcement it is clear the A’s were not only targeting Lester for a stacked playoff pitching staff, but they want to win the division with him matching up with divisional rivals in five of his last eleven starts. This is definitely a schedule that Lester can not only be successful with, but finish strong in his push for free agency and another World Series ring.

Jonny Gomes 2014: 78 G, 22 R, 6 HR, 32 RBI, 234/329/354

Gomes has been a bit of a disappointment with Boston but will slot in nicely for Oakland as they prefer veterans off the bench that are comfortable in platoon roles. It seems that Gomes has had some bad luck with his numbers this year. His line drive percentage is presently at 22.9%, up from his career of 19.6%. The most drastic stat is that his home run to fly ball (HR:FB) percentage has dropped to 8.2%, down from 11.3% in 2013 and 13.8% for his career. Maybe a move to Oakland will help his counting stats moving forward as they chase a pennant, but if you are hoping for a recovery to his career numbers, there will be disappointment. Gomes remains an AL-only or 16 or more team mixed league option.

Cespedes brings his power and belt to Beantown
Cespedes brings his power and belt to Beantown

Boston Red Sox Fantasy Implications:

Yoenis Cespedes 2014: 101 G, 62 R, 17 HR, 67 RBI, 3 SB, 256/303/464

While Yoenis Cespedes will be disappointed by leaving a pennant race to join the Red Sox, it should energize his power potential. Not only is the ballpark going to benefit Cespedes, but he should immediately work with David Ortiz and whose tutelage can only enhance Cespedes’ talents going forward. Although some fantasy owners are disappointed with him to this point, he has been improving. Cespedes has lowered his swinging strike (SwStr) percentage from 13.1% in 2013 to 9.3% this year. For the third consecutive year his FB% has improved and moving to Fenway can only mean more home runs. Take a look at his spray chart this year courtesy of BrooksBaseball.net:

cespedes spray chart 2014

Also, for fun here is his home run tracker according to ESPN.com:

cespedes fenway overlay

While he may lose a home run or two to right center, the differential should be more than made up by the home runs he will over the “Monstah.” As to projecting out his final two months with Boston, here is his ZiPS projection from Fangraphs: 49 G, 30 R, 9 HR, 31 RBI, 3 SB, 260/315/457

I can see that but I think he is capable of 11 to 12 more home runs in Boston for the remainder of the season. This can only enhance his value not only in fantasy baseball yearly leagues, but in daily as well.

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

Statistical credits: ESPN.com, BrooksBaseball.net, Fangraphs.com
Photo cred: http://goo.gl/1X0N52 (Lester), http://goo.gl/pDEuSN (Cespedes)

Script Splits: Using Advanced Stats to Rank SS

Pirates are surging and Mercer hits LHP to the tune of 319/359/458 and would like your attention
The Pirates are surging and Mercer hits LHP to the tune of .319/.359/.458

Shortstop is one of the toughest positions to fill not only in fantasy baseball, but in daily as well. With the top rated fantasy player at the position who cannot stay on the field, it makes the selection process much tougher. When Troy Tulowitzki is on the field, he is the top fantasy shortstop, period. However. that makes him the highest priced player at his position in daily and hard to roster. When he is on the disabled list, like now, it makes shortstop one of the hardest places to find production in fantasy. This exercise will help gamers navigate the rough waters as the last two months of the season are upon us. First, here are the categories in which I will explore:

wOBA: Weighted On Base Average represents all the ways a player gets on base (HBP counts in this metric). It is used to measure a player’s overall offensive value.

ISO: Isolated Power  is simply a player’s slugging percentage minus his batting average.

OPS: On base plus Slugging is exactly what it’s surname suggests, adding together both statistics (OBP and SLG%). In the daily game being getting on base via the extra base hit is preferred.

AB/HR: A simple stat. How many homers does a player hit between each at bat? The fewer the better.

wRC+: Weighted Runs Created Plus A measure of how many runs a player creates. The “+” accounts for differing ballpark factors. So a player who’s home park is Coors is weighted to equal one in Citi Field, for example.

There will be some interesting mid-range and cheaper players who will emerge to target. Using the splits view, here are the shortstops that excel against southpaws.

SS versus Left-Handed Pitching (minimum 70 plate appearances):

wOBA:
1. Troy Tulowitzki .555
2. Hanley Ramirez .402
3. Brandon Crawford .387
4. Jhonny Peralta .372
5. Elvis Andrus .364
6. Jordy Mercer .355
7. Ian Desmond .353
8. Yunel Escobar .351
9. Starlin Castro .345
10. Alcides Escobar .340
11. Xander Bogaerts .329
12. Ruben Tejada .325
13. Jose Reyes .325

ISO:
1. Troy Tulowitzki .436
2. Hanley Ramirez .265
3. Jhonny Peralta .235
4. Ian Desmond .198
5. Brandon Crawford .194
6. Eduardo Escobar .161
7. Asdrubal Cabrera .153
8. Alcides Escobar .144
9. Jordy Mercer .139
10. Xander Bogaerts .132
11. Jose Reyes .130
12. Jed Lowrie .120

OPS:
1. Troy Tulowitzki 1.348
2. Hanley Ramirez .924
3. Brandon Crawford .897
4. Jhonny Peralta .861
5. Elvis Andrus .821
6. Jordy Mercer .817
7. Ian Desmond .806
8. Yunel Escobar .796
9. Starlin Castro .794
10. Alcides Escobar .774
11. Xander Bogaerts .738
12. Eduardo Escobar .737

AB/HR:
1. Troy Tulowitzki 8.7
2. Hanley Ramirez 17
3. Ian Desmond 25.3
4. Jhonny Peralta 27
5. Brandon Crawford 34.3
6. Jordy Mercer 36
7. Xander Bogaerts 38
8. Brad Miller 40.5
9. Eduardo Escobar 43.5
10. Alexei Ramirez 50
11. Jimmy Rollins 51.5
12. Derek Jeter 58

wRC+:
1. Troy Tulowitzki 250
2. Hanley Ramirez 164
3. Brandon Crawford 156
4. Jhonny Peralta 141
5. Jordy Mercer 129
6. Yunel Escobar 129
7. Ian Desmond 126
8. Elvis Andrus 126
9. Starlin Castro 117
10. Alcides Escobar 115
11. Ruben Tejada 110
12. Xander Bogaerts 105

Overall Rankings Based on Aggregate Averages Above (2014 Stats vs LHP):
1. Troy Tulowitzki – 78 AB, 20 R, 9 HR, 17 RBI, 1 SB, 397/515/833
2. Hanley Ramirez – 68 AB, 12 R, 4 HR, 7 RBI, 1 SB, 279/380/544
3. Jhonny Peralta – 81 AB, 12 R, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 247/380/481
4. Brandon Crawford – 103 AB, 12 R, 3 HR, 15 RBI, 1 SB, 311/392/505
5. Ian Desmond – 101 AB, 13 R, 4 HR, 15 RBI, 1 SB, 277/330/475
6. Jordy Mercer – 72 AB, 9 R, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 1 SB, 319/359/458
7. Elvis Andrus – 102 AB, 13 R, 0 HR, 6 RBI, 3 SB, 333/389/431
8. Yunel Escobar – 67 AB, 4 R, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 313/378/418
9. Alcides Escobar – 90 AB, 8 R, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 2 SB, 300/330/444
10. Xander Bogaerts – 114 AB, 19 R, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 1 SB, 263/344/395
11. Starlin Castro – 88 AB, 11 R, 0 HR, 10 RBI, 307/374/420
12. Eduardo Escobar – 87 AB, 13 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 276/300/437

As I stated earlier, it is a distinct tier at the top with Tulowitzki one and Hanley Ramirez two. After that there is a smattering of players. Of note, Brandon Crawford has been excellent against lefties, like Brian McCann for the catchers. Jhonny Peralta and Ian Desmond provide pop but they are boom or bust. Lately, a hot option has been Jordy Mercer and he has been hitting second against lefties and makes a cheap target. I also like Xander Bogaerts against left-handed pitching and used him tonight against Mark Buehrle. His swing is dialing back in and when he is listed cheaply, is a great play in this split. Now a look at the shortstops who match up well with right-handed arms:

SS versus Right Handed Pitching (minimum 100 plate appearances):

wOBA:
1. Troy Tulowitzki .404
2. Didi Gregorius .362
3. Hanley Ramirez .358
4. Danny Santana .344
5. Josh Rutledge .336
6. Jimmy Rollins .333
7. Erick Aybar .329
8. Jhonny Peralta .328
9. Jose Reyes .326
10. Marwin Gonzalez .322
11. Starlin Castro .321
12. Alexei Ramirez .319

ISO:
1. Didi Gregorius .213
2. Troy Tulowitzki .207
3. Stephen Drew .192
4. Jhonny Peralta .176
5. Ian Desmond .176
6. Jimmy Rollins .174
7. Chris Owings .162
8. Starlin Castro .161
9. Hanley Ramirez .161
10. Brandon Crawford .150
11. Marwin Gonzalez .146
12. Josh Rutledge .146

OPS:
1. Troy Tulowitzki .930
2. Didi Gregorius .842
3. Hanley Ramirez .807
4. Danny Santana .788
5. Josh Rutledge .761
6. Jimmy Rollins .751
7. Erick Aybar .749
8. Jhonny Peralta .744
9. Jose Reyes .736
10. Starlin Castro .731
11. Marwin Gonzalez .726
12. Alexei Ramirez .722

AB/HR:
1. Troy Tulowitzki 19.8
2. Ian Desmond 22.8
3. Stephen Drew 24.8
4. Jimmy Rollins 24.9
5. Jhonny Peralta 25.3
6. Marwin Gonzalez 28.8
7. Didi Gregorius 29.7
8. Starlin Castro 29.9
9. Brad Miller 35
10. Hanley Ramirez 35.6
11. Asdrubal Cabrera 35.7
12. Alexei Ramirez 39

wRC+:
1. Troy Tulowitzki 145
2. Hanley Ramirez 133
3. Didi Gregorius 128
4. Danny Santana 119
5. Erick Aybar 114
6. Jimmy Rollins 112
7. Jhonny Peralta 110
8. Marwin Gonzalez 104
9. Jose Reyes 103
10. Starlin Castro 101
11. Asdrubal Cabrera 99
12. Josh Rutledge 98

Overall Rankings Based on Aggregate Averages Above (with 2014 vs RHP):
1. Troy Tulowitzki – 237 AB, 51 R, 12 HR, 35 RBI, 321/402/521
2. Didi Gregorius – 89 AB, 15 R, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 2 SB, 270/359/483
3. Hanley Ramirez – 249 AB, 36 R, 7 HR, 45 RBI, 11 SB, 277/369/438
4. Jimmy Rollins – 299 AB, 37 R, 12 HR, 37 RBI, 16 SB, 247/329/421
5. Jhonny Peralta – 278 AB, 25 R, 11 HR, 32 RBI, 2 SB, 255/313/432
6. Danny Santana – 126 AB, 17 R, 2 HR, 15 RBI, 3 SB, 317/336/452
7. Erick Aybar – 276 AB, 35 R, 5 HR, 41 RBI, 10 SB, 290/329/420
8. Stephen Drew – 99 AB, 7 R, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 202/275/394
9. Josh Rutledge – 103 AB, 15 R, 1 HR, 11 RBI, 282/333/427
10. Jose Reyes – 276 AB, 47 R, 7 HR, 21 RBI, 13 SB, 279/323/413
11. Ian Desmond – 296 AB, 28 R, 13 HR, 47 RBI, 8 SB, 240/292/416
12. Marwin Gonzalez – 144 AB, 16 R, 5 HR, 14 RBI, 1 SB, 264/316/410

Gregorius has been glorious against right handed pitching slashing 270/359/483 in the desert
Gregorius has been Greg-lorious against right handed pitching slashing .270/.359/.483 in the desert

Doing these articles has really helped me to identify some players who were not on my daily fantasy radar. Case in point is Didi Gregorius, who is quietly emerging in the dumpster fire that is the Diamondbacks. While Chris Owings got the fantasy love early in the year Gregorius is coming into his own and makes a great cheap option going forward against right-handed pitchers. I never would have thought that Erick Aybar had more RBI versus righties than Tulowitzki but it is right above. Two other sneaky plays are Danny Santana who was red hot before his injury but seems to be making adjustments and Josh Rutledge who will never replace Tulowitzki, but for daily and yearly leagues is filling in admirably. It isn’t always about having the most talent at a position, but the right matchup. That is why the splits are so important to monitor during the season.

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

Statistical credits: Fangraphs.com, ESPN.com
Photo cred: http://goo.gl/7eJjbO (Mercer), http://goo.gl/kPOSgL (Gregorius)

The Fantasy Forecaster 07/30/14

The guys are back with another episode of The Fantasy Forecaster. In this episode, Ricky, Tim and Greg discuss all of the deadline deals that have been made, those that have not and the fantasy impact of each. They also cover some bullpens that could be shaken up, Carlos Santana’s hot streak, whether Marcus Stroman is a fantasy ace and much more.

You can listen on-demand here.

Make sure to follow Ricky (@rickygangster), Timothy (@TKing978) and Greg (@gjewett9) on Twitter!

We will be back next Wednesday (August 6) to recap all of the MLB trade deadline action. Be sure to listen!

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

Top DFS Plays for 07/31/14

*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:

Josh Hamilton vs. Bud Norris – hitting .400 (6/15) with a 2B, a HR and 2 RBI
All 6 of Hamilton’s homers have come on the road this season.

Kyle Seager vs. Zach McAllister – hitting .429 (6/14) with 3 2B and an RBI

Jayson Werth vs. Cliff Lee – hitting .367 (11/30) with a 2B, a 3B, 2 HR, 4 RBI and a walk

Danny Espinosa vs. Cliff Lee – hitting .364 (8/22) with a 2B

Omar Infante vs. Kevin Correia – hitting .375 (9/24) with a 2B, a 3B and 3 RBI

Ricky’s HR Guarantee: Kyle Seager

Top DFS Pitcher for today:

Gio Gonzalez vs. Philadelphia Phillies – Gio is 5-2 with a 2.66 ERA and 56 K in 8 starts against the Phillies over the last 3 seasons

Trailer of the Day: Guardians of the Galaxy – The trailer has me really hyped up to see this, this weekend. I think this could be on par with the rest of Marvel’s films.

Follow Ricky on Twitter @Rickygangster!

2014 TE Rankings (PPR)

 

Tight End Team Bye ADP
1. Jimmy Graham NO 6 1
2. Rob Gronkowski NE 10 2
3. Julius Thomas DEN 4 3
4. Jason Witten DAL 11 6
5. Greg Olsen CAR 12 8
6. Dennis Pitta BAL 11 9
7. Kyle Rudolph MIN 10 10
8. Jordan Cameron CLE 4 4
9. Vernon Davis SF 8 5
10. Jordan Reed WSH 10 7
11. Charles Clay MIA 5 15
12. Zach Ertz PHI 7 11
13. Martellus Bennett CHI 9 13
14. Heath Miller PIT 12 16
15. Delanie Walker TEN 9 18
16. Antonio Gates SD 10 17
17. Ladarius Green SD 10 14
18. Garrett Graham HOU 10 21
19. Dwayne Allen IND 10 19
20. Jared Cook STL 4 24
21. Tyler Eifert CIN 4 UR
22. Eric Ebron DET 9 12
23. Coby Fleener IND 10 UR
24. Owen Daniels BAL 11 20
25. Travis Kelce KC 6 UR

Why I ranked above ADP:

Jason Witten: Witten is often the TE that gets overlooked year in and year out because of more flashy stars like Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski and this year Julius Thomas. The Cowboys veteran has not missed a single game since 2003 and has caught at least 70 balls for 7 straight seasons. Also in that span, Witten has been targeted 100 times every season. He finished as the #6 ranked fantasy tight end a season ago and finished only 10 points shy of the #3 spot. This year, the pass-happy Scott Linehan is the new offensive coordinator in Dallas. He has never had the chance to work with a tight end as talented as Witten, but one can imagine this may be a perfect match. Witten could easily have 80 or 90 receptions this season and may very well be in line for double digit scores after finding pay dirt 8 times in 2013. Draft away, drafters, as Witten is a sure bet as any at the position to finish within the top 5 and is being taken on average outside of it as of this writing.

Dennis Pitta: I’d list Kyle Rudolph here as the other player to explain, but anyone who read my “Breakouts & Busts” column already knows how high I am on Rudolph this year. So I figured I’d use this slot for another TE who will benefit greatly from a coaching change. Last season, Pitta only played in 4 games due to a hip dislocation injury. Also, with the addition of Gary Kubiak, the TE will be utilized more this year as seen during his time in Houston. Kubiak is notorious for the use of his tight end (see Daniels, Owen), and a recent column  detailing and explaining why the Ravens will be using the TE more this season can be seen here. While Baltimore will use their fair share of two tight end sets, Dennis Pitta will be the lead pass-catcher, although former Texan Owen Daniels (signed during the off-season) will see plenty of snaps. Pitta has shown a connection with QB Joe Flacco in the past, and if the Raven run game suffers like it did a season ago, they will be throwing the rock a lot.

Why I ranked below ADP:

Jordan Reed: I had Reed on a fantasy team last year and thought I had a steal the first few weeks after I snagged him off the waiver wire. But then he suffered a concussion in week 11 that took him out for the rest of the season. Reed had a checkered in jury history in college, along with concussion complications. Health wise, it’s going to be tough to count on the Redskins’ big man. He has all the skills to be a top-flight fantasy tight end, but until he shows that he can maintain his health, I’m letting my league-mates take the plunge.

Vernon Davis: Last season, Vernon Davis was an absolute beast, hauling in over 50 balls for more than 850 yards and 13 TD. Unfortunately, U don’t see a repeat in my crystal ball. The Niners added former Bill Stevie Johnson to go along with their already solid wideout core of Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree. Don’t forget about rookie Bruce Ellington and sophomore Quinton Patton. More mouths to feed in the San Fransisco offense, eh? Couple that with the fact that Davis, now 30 years of age held out early on in camp. Although he has since reported, Davis does not come without risk and we already know that this team loves to run the football. No doubt, Davis will have his moments and put up his numbers, but given the amount of weapons Colin Kaepernick now has it his disposal, the veteran tight end may have a hard time fighting the others for looks. Don’t pay too much for him at your draft.

Statistical credit: Fantasyfootballcalculator.com, Russellstreetreport.com

Doug Moore is a fantasy football contributor at The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @DMM0822!

WR Rankings 2014 (PPR)

 

Wide Receiver Team Bye ADP
1. Calvin Johnson DET 9 1
2. Demaryius Thomas DEN 4 2
3. Dez Bryant DAL 11 3
4. Brandon Marshall CHI 9 5
5. AJ Green CIN 4 4
6. Antonio Brown PIT 12 7
7. Alshon Jeffery CHI 9 9
8. Julio Jones ATL 9 6
9. Jordy Nelson GB 9 8
10. Randall Cobb GB 9 10
11. Pierre Garcon WSH 10 11
12. Vincent Jackson TB 7 13
13. Victor Cruz NYG 8 14
14. Andre Johnson HOU 10 15
15. Keenan Allen SD 10 12
16. Roddy White ATL 9 17
17. Kendall Wright TEN 9 28
18. Wes Welker DEN 4 16
19. Larry Fitzgerald ARZ 4 18
20. Julian Edelman NE 10 24
21. Michael Crabtree SF 8 21
22. Michael Floyd ARZ 4 23
23. Cordarrelle Patterson MIN 10 19
24. Percy Harvin SEA 4 20
25. DeSean Jackson WSH 10 22
26. Torrey Smith BAL 11 29
27. T.Y. Hilton IND 10 25
28. Mike Wallace MIA 5 30
29. Marques Colston NO 6 31
30. Eric Decker NYJ 11 36
31. Reggie Wayne IND 10 33
32. Emmanuel Sanders DEN 4 27
33. Dwayne Bowe DAL 11 40
34. Reuben Randle JAX 11 39
35. Jeremy Maclin KC 6 26
36. Golden Tate NYG 8 32
37. Riley Cooper PHI 7 42
38. Cecil Shorts DET 9 41
39. DeAndre Hopkins PHI 7 45
40. Sammy Watkins HOU 10 35
41. Anquan Boldin BUF 9 47
42. Marvin Jones SF 8 49
43. Hakeem Nicks CIN 4 44
44. Justin Hunter IND 10 57
45. Brian Hartline MIA 5 59
46. Tavon Austin STL 4 43
47. James Jones MIN 10 55
48. Brandin Cooks OAK 5 37
49. Danny Amendola NO 6 38
50. Greg Jennings NE 10 58
51. Doug Baldwin SEA 4 69
52. Jarrett Boykin TEN 9 50
53. Kenny Stills GB 9 48
54. Steve Smith NO 6 54
55. Markus Wheaton BAL 11 56
56. Kelvin Benjamin STL 12 51
57. Robert Woods CAR 12 68
58. Andrew Hawkins BUF 9 60
59. Jordan Matthews CLE 4 52
60. Stevie Johnson PHI 7 70
61. Harry Douglas SF 8 72
62. Rod Streater ATL 9 66
63. Odell Beckham Jr. OAK 5 63
64. Jerricho Cotchery NYG 8 74
65. Mike Williams CAR 12 UR
66. Kenny Britt BUF 9 62
67. Lance Moore STL 4 73
68. Marqise Lee PIT 12 71
69. Miles Austin JAX 11 65
70. Jeremy Kerley CLE 4 UR
71. Jerrel Jernigan NYJ 11 UR
72. Malcolm Floyd NYG 8 75
73. Nate Washington SD 10 UR
74. Brandon LaFell TEN 9 76
75. Jarvis Landry NE 10 UR

Why I ranked above ADP:

Eric Decker: Decker moves from an all-world QB in Peyton Manning to a sophomore who struggled last year. The potential for regression exists, but he is now the undeniable #1 target in an offense that added a ton of talent over the winter. Decker is the Jets’ only above average pass-catcher and should see plenty of looks. Jeff Cumberland is a backup talent, Jeremy Kerley has been an utter failure, and Chris Johnson is not a great pass-catching tailback. Decker has the tools, talent and situation to be a PPR asset. Without hesitation, Decker could wind up being a high-end WR2 option by season’s end. Buy, buy, buy at current draft position.

Doug Baldwin: Golden Tate is gone, Sidney Rice retired and he is going to be starting opposite Percy Harvin. Baldwin is a prime breakout candidate. I wouldn’t mistake Baldwin for a stud option at wideout, but drastic improvements on his past numbers are likely. If Seattle uses Baldwin in the slot, his value rises even more given his ability to go get the ball in traffic. He could sneak into WR3 territory if he continues to impress in camp. Keep an eye on him.

Why I ranked below ADP:

Jeremy Maclin: DeSean Jackson is gone, hallelujah for Maclin. However, he has been consistently overvalued and overdrafted because of that. Keep in mind, this is a WR who relies on his legs and is coming back from a torn ACL. Consider that Maclin, although a solid talent, has never been a stud-type option. He does a lot of things well, but doesn’t do any one thing exceptionally. I think that Foles comes back down to earth some in 2014, thus limiting Maclin’s upside. With Shady McCoy gobbling up all kinds of touches and the already established connection between Foles and Riley Cooper, it seems as though Maclin is being overrated by some. Don’t get me wrong, Maclin should have a good season if he can stay healthy, but drafting the man as a WR2 is a bit premature. I’m passing on Maclin for the moment until his price comes down, and if it doesn’t then I won’t be owning many shares this year.

Emmanuel Sanders: Any WR who lines up on the same side of the ball as Peyton Manning has a chance to produce big time numbers. But even Manning can have trouble feeding so many mouths. Sanders was signed this year and expected to take the place of Eric Decker, but I don’t see him stepping in and immediately filling that void.Eric Decker is the more talented pass-catcher. The Broncos added wideout Cody Latimer in the draft and he has impressed, Montee Ball is ready to take over at RB and he is a much better pass-catcher than Moreno ever was. Plus, Julius Thomas is expected to get even more looks this year as well. Oh yeah, and those two other guys Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker will be target monsters. If you can get Sanders as a WR3, great, but he shouldn’t be drafted as a WR2 option.

Statistical credit: Fantasyfootballcalculator.com

Doug Moore is a fantasy football contributor at The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @DMM0822!

QB Rankings 2014 (PPR)

 

Quarterback Team Bye ADP
1. Peyton Manning DEN 4 1
2. Aaron Rodgers GB 6 2
3. Drew Brees NO 9 3
4. Matthew Stafford DET 9 4
5. Andrew Luck IND 10 5
6. Robert Griffin III WSH 10 7
7. Tony Romo DAL 11 11
8. Nick Foles PHI 7 6
9. Cam Newton CAR 12 10
10. Matt Ryan ATL 9 9
11. Tom Brady NE 10 8
12. Jay Cutler CHI 9 13
13. Colin Kaeparnick SF 8 12
14. Phillip Rivers SD 10 14
15. Russell Wilson SEA 4 15
16. Ben Roethlisberger PIT 12 16
17. Ryan Tannehill MIA 5 22
18. Alex Smith KC 6 23
19. Andy Dalton CIN 4 17
20. Carson Palmer ARZ 4 21
21. Johnny Manziel CLE 4 18
22. Eli Manning NYG 8 19
23. Josh McCown TB 7 20
24. Joe Flacco BAL 11 UR
25. Brian Hoyer CLE 4 UR

 Why I ranked above ADP:

Tony Romo: For some reason, like every other season, Tony Romo doesn’t get enough credit for what he provides fantasy owners. Sure, he is probably more valuable in fake football than in real life, but he is undervalued nevertheless. He is currently being drafted after the likes of Matt Ryan and Tom Brady, despite the poor seasons they both had in 2013. Romo has dark-horse candidate #1 PPR WR in Dez Bryant, a sophomore wideout who is poised to breakout this year in Terrance Williams, one of the top pass-catching TEs in Jason Witten and an RB with a good pair of hands in DeMarco Murray. Not to mention, Romo might have the best offensive line protecting him and Scott Linehan is his new offensive coordinator. Linehan helped Matthew Stafford throw for almost 5,000 yards last season. Despite having two back surgeries in the past two years, Romo has only missed one game in the past three seasons. Gamers are concerned about his health and age, but he has proven to be durable. Romo could wind up finishing the season as a top five option at the position.

Robert Griffin III: Griffin had what we call a “sophomore slump” last season after having a stellar rookie campaign. Part of that can be attributed to his rushing back from ACL reconstructive surgery too soon and clashing with his coaching staff. However, he has had a whole off-season to recover and with a new regime in place (Jay Gruden as HC and Sean McVay as OC) this year should be different. Gruden has come over from Cincinnati and fills the void at offensive coordinator He helped Andy Dalton (yes, THAT Andy Dalton) produce a top 5 QB season last year. Gruden will institute a more balanced offensive scheme, which should benefit RG3. The new game plan should help utilize RGIII’s cannon of an arm without forcing him to overuse his legs. Plus, he will have reliable receiver Pierre Garcon again (led NFL in receptions last season) and also a new deep threat DeSean Jackson who will stretch the field. Also Jordan Reed is on the mend and will be back early on after dealing with concussion issues at the end of last season. Considering the Redskins’ new coaching staff and Griffin’s health, there is a non-zero chance he finishes as one of the top four or five QB options in fantasy this season.

Why I ranked below ADP:

Tom Brady: Using standard metrics, Tom Brady finished as the 15th ranked QB in 2013. 15th! This year already, owners are drafting him to be a top 10 option, but I don’t buy it. Brady has been Mr. Reliable for a long time, but he just doesn’t put up the same gaudy numbers anymore. Many are banking on him to have a big time bounce-back season due to all-world tight end Rob Gronkowski being reportedly healthy, but one player isn’t going to completely save Brady’s fantasy value. Granted, the Patriots lost both Gronkowski and pass-catching back Shane Vereen for large chunks of the season. Brady has a shot to finish as a top 10 QB, but I’m not ready to gamble on him in drafts to find out. Brady will be 37 in just a couple of days, the New England run game will be prominent again and it is difficult to count on “Gronk” to maintain health for the long haul. My love for Brady is well documented, but for fantasy purposes he’s not who he was.

Andy Dalton: As I mentioned earlier, Dalton did have a top #5 QB year last year in fantasy. But that was with Jay Gruden manning the offensive coordination. Now with Gruden in Washington, his new OC is Hue Jackson. If you don’t know about Jackson, he loves to run the ball and rely on his running backs. Because of that, the player who is going to be affected the most by this is Andy Dalton. The Bengals gunslinger doesn’t do any one thing particularly well, but was put into a nice situation when installed as the starter on a pass-first team. Regression was going to be  big story in Dalton’s 2014 anyway, but with the new scheme likely to be installed, his upside becomes severely limited. Clock control may be a theme for the Bengals this season, as their stout defense will likely keep them in most of their games. Dalton still has the tools around him (AJ Green, breakout candidate Gio Bernard) to be a serviceable fantasy option, but expecting anything more may be a mistake.

Statistical credit: Fantasyfootballcalculator.com

Doug Moore is a fantasy football contributor at The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @DMM0822!

Script Splits: Using Advanced Stats to Rank 2B

Altuve is stealing his owners fantasy titles this year
Jose Altuve is stealing his owners’ fantasy titles this year

While there was surprising depth at catcher and first base, my research of second basemen shows much more of a chasm between the players to target against pitching splits in daily fantasy. This will also reflect in rankings for next year as players like Dustin Pedroia continue to lose traction in the ranks. It also underscores just how good Scooter Gennett has been this year as both he and Neil Walker rank ahead of Robinson Cano based upon the advanced statistics used to rank performance in this article. For instance, would you think that Steve Tolleson has been better against left-handed pitching than Dustin Pedroia?

Before I get into the splits rankings, here are the five categories I am using:

wOBA: Weighted On Base Average represents all the ways a player gets on base (HBP counts in this metric). It is used to measure a player’s overall offensive value.

ISO: Isolated Power  is simply a player’s slugging percentage minus his batting average.

OPS: On base plus Slugging is exactly what it’s surname suggests, adding together both statistics (OBP and SLG%). In the daily game being getting on base via the extra base hit is preferred.

AB/HR: A simple stat. How many homers does a player hit between each at bat? The fewer the better.

wRC+: Weighted Runs Created Plus A measure of how many runs a player creates. The “+” accounts for differing ballpark factors. So a player who’s home park is Coors is weighted to equal one in Citi Field, for example.

2B versus Left-Handed Pitchers (minimum of 70 plate appearances):

wOBA:
1. Jose Altuve .433
2. Steve Tolleson .428
3. Ben Zobrist .410
4. Anthony Rendon .394
5. Howie Kendrick .372
6. Daniel Murphy .363
7. Gordon Beckham .357
8. Brian Dozier .339
9. Rickie Weeks .338
10. Dustin Pedroia .334
11. Robinson Cano .320
12. Dee Gordon .319
13. Aaron Hill .319

ISO:
1. Steve Tolleson .224
2. Brian Dozier .219
3. Danny Espinosa .192
4. Anthony Rendon .188
5. Rickie Weeks .185
6. Gordon Beckham .159
7. Ben Zobrist .149
8. Dustin Pedroia .149
9. Logan Forsythe .138
10. Aaron Hill .125
11. Howie Kendrick .124
12. Daniel Murphy .124

OPS:
1. Steve Tolleson .991
2. Jose Altuve .989
3. Ben Zobrist .941
4. Anthony Rendon .907
5. Howie Kendrick .850
6. Gordon Beckham .831
7. Daniel Murphy .827
8. Danny Espinosa .827
9. Brian Dozier .774
10. Rickie Weeks .757
11. Dustin Pedroia .753
12. Robinson Cano .735

AB/HR:
1. Brian Dozier 19
2. Steve Tolleson 25.3
3. Rickie Weeks 30.7
4. Danny Espinosa 36.5
5. Aaron Hill 40
6. Gordon Beckham 41
7. Ben Zobrist 47
8. Logan Forsythe 47
9. Daniel Murphy 48.5
10. Howie Kendrick 56.5
11. Chase Utley 57
12. Jose Altuve 57

wRC+:
1. Jose Altuve 181
2. Steve Tolleson 174
3. Ben Zobrist 170
4. Anthony Rendon 154
5. Howie Kendrick 143
6. Daniel Murphy 136
7. Danny Espinosa 126
8. Gordon Beckham 125
9. Brian Dozier 115
10. Rickie Weeks 113
11. Dustin Pedroia 109
12. Dee Gordon 106

Overall Rankings Based on Aggregate Averages:
1. Steve Tolleson – 76 AB, 8 R, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 1 SB, 355/412/579
2. Ben Zobrist – 95 AB, 13 R, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 3 SB, 358/426/505
3. Anthony Rendon – 102 AB, 22 R, 3 HR, 15 RBI, 4 SB, 333/378/520
4. Brian Dozier – 114 AB, 17 R, 6 HR, 13 RBI, 2 SB, 246/310/465
5. Jose Altuve – 114 AB, 16 R, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 11 SB, 421/445/544
6. Danny Espinosa – 74 AB, 11 R, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 5 SB, 284/369/473
7. Gordon Beckham – 92 AB, 13 R, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 1 SB, 317/356/476
8. Howie Kendrick – 113 AB, 16 R, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 2 SB, 336/390/460
9. Daniel Murphy – 98 AB, 5 R, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 3 SB, 327/370/449
10. Rickie Weeks – 92 AB, 13 R, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 1 SB, 239/333/424
11. Dustin Pedroia – 121 AB, 22 R, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 1 SB, 256/348/405
12. Aaron Hill – 80 AB, 9 R, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 275/318/400

Count me among those daily fantasy players who did not realize how good Steve Tolleson is against left-handed pitchers. It will be interesting to see if he can still get at bats against lefties once Brett Lawrie returns from the disabled list. The acquisition of Danny Valencia suggests a platoon with he and Juan Francisco at 3B may be in order. This would push Lawrie to a 2B role, which would limit Tolleson’s reps moving forward. On a positive note, Ben Zobrist and Anthony Rendon are two options to target against southpaws moving forward. If you subscribe to the notion that “speed never slumps”, Jose Altuve is another great 2B to have in lineups against lefties with his 11 stolen bases and .421 batting average. Seeing Aaron Hill and Dustin Pedroia at the bottom of this list just exacerbates how they have struggled in 2014. By the way, where is Robinson Cano? Daniel Murphy made the top ten against lefties.

2B versus Right Handed Pitching (minimum 100 at bats):

wOBa:
1. Robinson Cano .393
2. Scooter Gennett .381
3. Neil Walker .372
4. Chase Utley .357
5. Ian Kinsler .342
6. Jose Altuve .341
7. Anthony Rendon .335
8. Dee Gordon .334
9. Jason Kipnis .332
10. Roughned Odor .330
11. Brian Dozier .326
12. Daniel Murphy .322

ISO:
1. Neil Walker .211
2. Scooter Gennett .195
3. Anthony Rendon .185
4. Brian Dozier .175
5. Ian Kinsler .169
6. Roughned Odor .159
7. Chase Utley .149
8. Jonathan Schoop .147
9. Robinson Cano .140
10. Kolten Wong .140
11. Ben Zobrist .138
12. Brian Roberts .136
13. Aaron Hill .136

OPS:
1. Robinson Cano .909
2. Scooter Gennett .889
3. Neil Walker .847
4. Chase Utley .877
5. Ian Kinsler .786
6. Jose Altuve .773
7. Anthony Rendon .767
8. Roughned Odor .764
9. Dee Gordon .755
10. Jason Kipnis .742
11. Daniel Murphy .730
12. Brian Dozier .729

AB/HR:
1. Neil Walker 19
2. Brian Dozier 22
3. Jonathan Schoop 26.4
4. Scooter Gennett 32.8
5. Jedd Gyorko 32.8
6. Ian Kinsler 34.1
7. Kolten Wong 35.6
8. Ben Zobrist 42.2
9. Chase Utley 46.8
10. Gordon Beckham 47.6
11. Danny Espinosa 48.3
12. Robinson Cano 48.4

wRC+:
1. Robinson Cano 155
2. Scooter Gennett 142
3. Neil Walker 141
4. Chase Utley 128
5. Jose Altuve 117
6. Dee Gordon 116
7. Ian Kinsler 115
8. Anthony Rendon 113
9. Jason Kipnis 113
10. Daniel Murphy 108
11. Brian Dozier 107
12. Ben Zobrist 104

Overall Rankings Based on Aggregate Averages:
1. Neil Walker – 268 AB, 40 R, 14 HR, 45 RBI, 2 SB, 280/352/489
2. Scooter Gennett – 265 AB, 41 R, 8 HR, 34 RBI, 5 SB, 325/363/517
3. Robinson Cano – 242 AB, 34 R, 5 HR, 36 RBI, 6 SB, 351/417/492
4. Ian Kinsler – 307 AB, 51 R, 9 HR, 41 RBI, 8 SB, 290/326/459
5. Chase Utley – 281 AB, 41 R, 6 HR, 38 RBI, 3 SB, 310/368/459
6. Anthony Rendon – 301 AB, 52 R, 10 HR, 41 RBI, 6 SB, 262/324/445
7. Brian Dozier – 286 AB, 55 R, 13 HR, 34 RBI, 14 SB, 224/330/399
8. Jose Altuve – 320 AB, 40 R, 2 HR, 23 RBI, 31 SB, 316/354/416
9. Dee Gordon – 316 AB, 47 R, 2 HR, 23 RBI, 41 SB 297/316/446
10. Roughned Odor – 141 AB, 14 R, 2 HR, 17 RBI, 2 SB, 291/316/446
11. Jonathan Schoop – 211 AB, 23 R, 8 HR, 23 RBI, 218/250/365
12. Jason Kipnis – 200 AB, 30 R, 4 HR, 24 RBI, 12 SB, 260/352/390

Scooter is asserting himself in 2014 as a 2B to be targeted going foward
Scooter is asserting himself this season as a 2B option to keep an eye on moving forward

In daily and year-long fantasy, the seasons by Neil Walker and Scooter Gennett have gone under the radar but by these guidelines they are the highest ranked second baseman against right-handed pitching this year. Robinson Cano’s slash lines are nothing to look down upon, but the surrounding lineup has more to do with his suppressed counting stats than the ballpark. In fantasy where a player bats is also vastly underrated, look at players like Jonathan Schoop and Roughned Odor. Their slash lines are not far off from Brian Dozier and Jason Kipnis but they bat 8th and 9th respectively in their team’s lineups. This matters for DFS as well, since more at bats mean more chances to score valuable points. As noted earlier, Dee Gordon and Jose Altuve have stolen a combined 72 bags  so if the power hitting 2B do not have good matchups, target the speedsters instead. A base hit, stolen base and run scored are equal to a home run in daily play and are easier to predict. Like Pedroia above, this list underscores how much Jason Kipnis has struggled in 2014. Kipnis will either be a steal if his value is suppressed in drafts, or this is who he might be looking ahead. The remainder of the second half (Kipnis has struggled in second halves before) will help fantasy gamers better gauge his value. Last note: only Jose Altuve, Brian Dozer and Anthony Rendon qualified in the top 12 splits against both righties and lefties.

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

Statistical credits: Fangraphs.com, ESPN.com
Photo cred: http://goo.gl/MNUckp (Gennett), http://goo.gl/VbjFON (Altuve)

Script Splits: Using Advanced Stats to Rank 1B

Rizzo's 15.1 AB/HR ranks third for all 1B and his improvement against LHP warrants more attention
Rizzo’s 15.1 AB/HR ranks third for all 1B and his improvement against LHP warrants more attention

After finding some very interesting information while researching what catcher splits can tell us about players, I will continue by focusing on first base today. Not only will the advanced stats and split information tell us what players to target for daily gaming, but it will also help to show what players may be ready for a breakout or better ranking in 2015. In case you missed it here are the five categories the article will explore:

wOBA: Weighted On Base Average represents all the ways a player gets on base (HBP counts in this metric). It is used to measure a player’s overall offensive value.

ISO: Isolated Power  is simply a player’s slugging percentage minus his batting average.

OPS: On base plus Slugging is exactly what it’s surname suggests, adding together both statistics (OBP and SLG%). In the daily game being getting on base via the extra base hit is preferred.

AB/HR: A simple stat. How many homers does a player hit between each at bat? The fewer the better.

wRC+: Weighted Runs Created Plus A measure of how many runs a player creates. The “+” accounts for differing ballpark factors. So a player who’s home park is Coors is weighted to equal one in Citi Field, for example.

Allowing the numbers to sort out who is excelling in these categories will allow us to see past the counting stats that fantasy gamers rely upon. It is this knowledge that will not only help in daily contests, but evaluating players in future rankings. Following the five lists of statistical rankings, I will compile them into a top twelve list with their yearly stats against each pitching split thus far. Each group has some surprises:

Catchers versus Left-Handed Pitchers (minimum of 50 plate appearances):

wOBA:
1. Paul Goldschmidt .481
2. Steve Pearce .478
3. Anthony Rizzo .432
4. Mike Napoli .410
5. Edwin Encarnacion .400
6. Jonathan Singleton .391
7. Jose Abreu .379
8. Freddie Freeman .379
9. Brandon Moss .371
10. Miguel Cabrera .364
11. Eric Campbell .360
12. Tommy Medica .353

ISO:
1. Steve Pearce .369
2. Edwin Encarnacion .300
3. Jose Abreu .292
4. Jonathan Singleton .283
5. Anthony Rizzo .276
6. Miguel Cabrera .255
7. Mike Morse .250
8. C.J. Cron .229
9. Ryan Howard .221
10. Freddie Freeman .218
11. Paul Goldschmidt .217
12. Albert Pujols .207

OPS:
1. Paul Goldschmidt 1.146
2. Steve Pearce 1.119
3. Anthony Rizzo .997
4. Edwin Encarnacion .938
5. Mike Napoli .924
6. Jose Abreu .916
7. Jonathan Singleton .911
8. Freddie Freeman .865
9. Miguel Cabrera .856
10. Brandon Moss .841
11. Albert Pujols .822
12. Eric Campbell .819

AB/HR:
1. Anthony Rizzo 12.3
2. Jose Abreu 12.7
3. Edwin Encarnacion 14
4. Jonathan Singleton 15.3
5. Ryan Howard 15.8
6. Brandon Moss 17
7. Albert Pujols 19.3
8. Chris Davis 21
9. Freddie Freeman 22
10. Paul Goldschmidt 23
11. Matt Adams 25.3
12. Miguel Cabrera 25.5

wRC+:
1. Paul Goldschmidt 210
2. Steve Pearce 209
3. Anthony Rizzo 177
4. Mike Napoli 161
5. Edwin Encarnacion 154
6. Jonathan Singleton 152
7. Freddie Freeman 143
8. Brandon Moss 141
9. Jose Abreu 140
10. Eric Campbell 134
11. Miguel Cabrera 131
12. Tommy Medica 130

Overall Rankings Based on Aggregate Totals Above:
1. Anthony Rizzo – 98 AB, 20 R, 8 HR, 18 RBI, 306/415/532
2. Edwin Encarnacion – 70 AB, 12 R, 5 HR, 9 RBI, 257/381/557
3. Steve Pearce – 65 AB, 11 R, 6 HR, 12 RBI, 338/411/708
4. Paul Goldschmidt – 69 AB, 13 R, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 391/538/609
5. Jose Abreu – 89 AB, 9 R, 7 HR, 16 RBI, 281/343/573
6. Jonathan Singleton – 46 AB, 7 R, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 283/346/565
7. Mike Napoli – 84 AB, 13 R, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 310/448/476
8. Freddie Freeman – 110 AB, 17 R, 5 HR, 17 RBI, 282/365/500
9. Brandon Moss – 68 AB, 9 R, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 279/355/455
10. Miguel Cabrera – 102 AB, 16 R, 4 HR, 17 RBI, 265/336/520
11. Ryan Howard – 95 AB, 13 R, 6 HR, 20 RBI, 232/299/453
12. Albert Pujols – 116 AB, 16 R, 6 HR, 17 RBI, 284/331/491

While I was under the presumption that Edwin Encarnacion and Paul Goldschmidt would be dominant in this particular split, I was shocked that Anthony Rizzo averaged out the best across the five categories above. His hitting this year has been a bit under-appreciated and if he can maintain this growth against left-handed pitching, he may be a steal next year. Another surprise is that Brandon Moss, also a lefty, has as many home runs against southpaws as Miguel Cabrera, in 34 fewer at bats no less. Something is off with Miggy this year. Look at Paul Goldschmidt’s huge OBP and SLG against lefties and know that even though his home run numbers are down, he produces and gets on base against lefties. My last takeaway here is how many left-handed batters appear on this list (5), almost half. It goes against the notion of a true split advantage as seen with the catchers.

First Base versus Right-Handed Pitchers (minimum of 100 plate appearances):

wOBA:
1. Jose Abreu .415
2. Edwin Encarnacion .414
3. Lucas Duda .404
4. Matt Adams .397
5. Miguel Cabrera .391
6. Justin Morneau .390
7. Paul Goldschmidt .389
8. Anthony Rizzo .384
9. Freddie Freeman .373
10. Adrian Gonzalez .373
11. Brandon Moss .369
12. Adam Dunn .368

ISO:
1. Jose Abreu .336
2. Edwin Encarnacion .318
3. Lucas Duda .279
4. Brandon Moss .262
5. Brandon Belt .255
6. Paul Goldschmidt .250
7. Mark Teixeira .245
8. Anthony Rizzo .233
9. Adrian Gonzalez .227
10. Mark Reynolds .225
11. Adam Dunn .218
12. Adam LaRoche .211

OPS:
1. Jose Abreu .978
2. Edwin Encarancion .965
3. Lucas Duda .942
4. Matt Adams .924
5. Miguel Cabrera .911
6. Paul Goldschmidt .902
7. Justin Morneau .902
8. Anthony Rizzo .888
9. Adam LaRoche .887
10. Adrian Gonzalez .877
11. Brandon Moss .861
12. Freddie Freeman .852

AB/HR:
1. Jose Abreu 11.8
2. Edwin Encarnacion 12.3
3. Mark Teixeira 13.3
4. Brandon Belt 13.8
5. Mark Reynolds 14.9
6. Lucas Duda 15.2
7. Anthony Rizzo 16.4
8. Chris Davis 17.7
9. Adam LaRoche 18.2
10. Adrian Gonzalez 20.1
11. Albert Pujols 21.1
12. Paul Goldschmidt 21.3

wRC+:
1. Jose Abreu 165
2. Lucas Duda 164
3. Edwin Encarnacion 164
4. Matt Adams 157
5. Miguel Cabrera 149
6. Paul Goldschmidt 146
7. Adam LaRoche 146
8. Anthony Rizzo 144
9. Adrian Gonzalez 143
10. Freddie Freeman 140
11. Brandon Moss 139
12. Justin Morneau 135

Overall Rankings Based on Aggregate Totals Above:
1. Jose Abreu – 271 AB, 45 R, 23 HR, 63 RBI, 299/344/635
2. Edwin Encarnacion – 258 AB, 45 R, 21 HR, 61 RBI, 283/364/601
3. Lucas Duda – 258 AB, 41 R, 17 HR, 51 RBI, 283/380/562
4. Paul Goldschmidt – 320 AB, 60 R, 15 HR, 57 RBI, 288/365/538
5. Matt Adams – 259 AB, 28 R, 9 HR, 34 RBI, 351/369/560
6. Anthony Rizzo – 279 AB, 51 R, 17 HR, 38 RBI, 276/379/509
7. Miguel Cabrera – 286 AB, 47 R, 12 HR, 64 RBI, 325/375/535
8. Adrian Gonzalez – 282 AB, 44 R, 14 HR, 51 RBI, 294/355/521
9. Brandon Moss – 290 AB, 41 R, 19 HR, 61 RBI, 259/340/521
10. Adam LaRoche – 218 AB, 35 R, 12 HR, 45 RBI, 284/392/495
11. Justin Morneau – 241 AB, 31 R, 10 HR, 46 RBI, 332/367/535
12. Mark Teixeira – 200 AB, 26 R, 15 HR, 41 RBI, 240/317/485

Emerging from the shadows in NY is Lucas Duda with 17 HR's & 51 RBI vs. RHP in only 258 AB's
Emerging from the shadows in NY is Lucas Duda with 17 HR and 51 RBI vs. RHP in only 258 AB

In overall dominance, Jose Abreu leads all first baseman in each of the categories above (though Adam Lind is ahead in a couple of them) for a clean sweep. But to savvy owners looking for a player on the cheap that is producing big stats, how about Lucas Duda? In the same amount of at bats as Edwin Encarnacion (presently on the DL), Duda has only four fewer home runs, ten less RBI and a better OBP for the season against right handed pitching. Paul Goldschmidt just shows his overall fantasy value as he appears in both splits lists at #4 just underscoring how he is number one going forward. Anthony Rizzo also is on both lists coming in seventh against right handed pitching. If the Cubs slot in more talent around them, a huge 2015 may be looming in Chicago with Rizzo and Abreu leading the way. It is unfortunate that injuries have really wreaked havoc at the position all year with six of the top twelve on this list spending time on the disabled list already. Whether it is the stretch run in rotisserie, the playoffs in head to head or the daily fantasy grind, this information will serve you well when deciding on roster spots and who to play. Splits may not seem like a big deal, but they provide valuable information and definite surprises.

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

Statistical credits: Fangraphs.com, ESPN.com
Photo cred: http://goo.gl/C63xjE (Rizzo), http://goo.gl/fcZr7u (Duda)