Draft Scripts: Using NFBC ADP’s to evaluate Corner Infield

Miggy's health will go a long way to determining his value in 2015.
Miggy’s health will go a long way in determining his 2015 value

Early average draft position results are not the bible, but in the midst of preseason rankings it helps to see where players are being selected. There is controversy every year, whether it be concerns over “fat” Mike Trout, where Kershaw will go or Miguel Cabrera’s health. Things have been quiet in Detroit and if the Tigers are indeed going for it this year, Cabrera will play. He proved that by playing hurt throughout September while putting up an epic stat line for the month:

Miguel Cabrera September 2014: 19 R, 8 HR, 18 RBI, .379/.409/.709, 1.118 OPS, 214 wRC+

The concern with Cabrera has gone from whether he should be the top pick to how far he falls in mocks. Early indications seem to suggest it is not as far as I would like, but I have seen him go in mocks as far back as number 8. Is there risk involved? Of course, but if he is on the field for the whole season he’ll be more than fine. Outside of Cabrera, a healthy Paul Goldschmidt and the return of old favorites Prince Fielder and Joey Votto make the position deep once again. In fact, it looks like power at the position can be had throughout. Anthony Rizzo seems primed to take another step forward and is climbing up rankings and draft lists. First base is making a comeback as a position of elite fantasy production.

On the other end of the spectrum is third base. With the loss of Miguel Cabrera and the lack of production top to bottom along with the volatility of the players at the position, it will be a tough sea to navigate this year. In looking at early data, it seems like you’ll have to take a third baseman in the top-100. Otherwise, just fill the position late and hope it pans out. In dealing with corner infielders, it appears most teams will be grabbing from the first base pool but there could be an advantage gained by grabbing two strong third baseman early and thinning the pool for your competitors if you can grab a Josh Donaldson and a Kyle Seager. This means another guy in your league may be forced to roster a Mike Moustakas at third, yuck. Have a plan and if you can force a run, it opens opportunity for you to get what you want. For starters, here are the first baseman taken in the top 200 in money NFBC drafts thus far:

1B NFBC ADP

There has never been a time to get such value on players like Prince Fielder and Joey Votto, but do you want to? If you could see their credentials without the names attached, would that change your mind? With credit to Matthew Berry of ESPN, I love his use of blind analysis to take the name value out of the equation and simply focus on the numbers. I will use Steamer projections as a guide for this exercise:

Player A: 79 R, 20 HR, 71 RBI, 4 SB, .280/.409/.473
Player B: 77 R, 23 HR, 73 RBI, 6 SB, .270/.349/.464

Sure, you are giving up some OBP and a pittance in slugging percentage but are the numbers really that different? Drafters say yes since player A is being drafted on average at pick number 79.85 while player B is outside of the top 200. One more:

Player C: 73 R, 20 HR, 79 RBI, 2 SB, .295/.353/.484
Player D: 81 R, 24 HR, 86 RBI, 1 SB, .282/.380/.483

Player D is going at pick number 69 and player C is being selected on average at pick 166.69, I cannot make this up. I sort of played my hand in the intro to this exercise but here are the players:

Player A: Joey Votto
Player B: Steve Pearce
Player C: Justin Morneau
Player D: Prince Fielder

See what I am saying? If I put those names in front of you without the numbers are you changing how you look at them? Something to think about. Just like with Miguel Cabrera, until he comes out and says he is hampered by the injury and may miss time, I am taking him. If he is there at pick 8, I will be ecstatic. I do like Freddie Freeman and he had an impressive 2014 but have you looked at the lineup surrounding him? There are several other players I like more than most, too. Carlos Santana is one of them. If left alone to play first base after the failed move to third should bounce back this year. He’ll be third base eligible in 2015 too! Adam LaRoche is a forgotten entity as well. He’s in Chicago now, hitting after Jose Abreu and will hit 30 home runs this year. I’ll pass on Joey Votto and Prince Fielder. Let them be someone else’s problem, I just can’t trust either slugger. Here are the top 20 first baseman taken in the first 200 with their Steamer projections included. I highlighted the leaders in the four counting statistical categories as well:

1B Steamer Projections

While first base is getting deeper, third base is as murky as the situation in New York. With the pending return of Alex Rodriguez and his albatross of a contract, the Yankees signed Chase Headley to a four-year pact. If you want to take a chance on A-Rod being a fantasy asset in 2015, be my guest, but I will be watching from afar. Anthony Rendon was a favorite target of mine in 2014 due to his value in drafts but the gig is up. Rendon is going at pick number 14 in the drafts used for this article and that may be too steep a price. Like Carlos Santana, Rendon does have dual eligibility along with Todd Frazier but people may be pushing them up too far. Don’t get me wrong, Rendon has the talent and lineup to be successful but there are warning signs about taking him too soon. He hit 21 home runs in 2014 but 12 of them are rated “just enough” and of those 12, 3 more had “lucky” attached as well. I am not saying he will regress but to plan on more than 18 home runs may be aggressive.

Donaldson and his fantasy value head north with his trade to Toronto.
Donaldson and his fantasy value head north with his trade to Toronto

I think Josh Donaldson’s move to Toronto should allow him to thrive and finish as fantasy’s top third baseman in 2015. However, he is being taken at the end of the second or beginning of the third in NFBC money drafts. This number may climb but if it does not, pounce. Here are what the ADP’s for third baseman look like so far:

3B NFBC ADP

It seems that Evan Longoria is finally being valued correctly, but look at the precipitous drop for David Wright. He is teetering at the edge of the top 100 which means he is finally a value pick. But is this name value again? He is an injury risk but the Mets should have a chance to at least compete for a wild card spot with the pitching depth they have. How about another blind comparison?

Player A: 69 R, 17 HR, 68 RBI, 6 SB, .257/.343/.413
Player B: 67 R, 16 HR, 66 RBI, 9 SB, .275/.347/.432

Not too far apart on value but player B is on the outside of the top 200 even after Martin Prado while player A is David Wright. Player B is his New York counterpart. Yes, Chase Headley. Here are the Steamer projections for the third baseman drafted in the top 200:
3B Steamer Projections

Navigating third base will be interesting but while some values exist, people will be reaching for name value like Evan Longoria and Chris Carpenter. One surprise is Kris Bryant going at pick number 105 without yet being named the starting third baseman for the Cubs. Could he return a profit at this spot? Yes, but that is a fine line to walk. I like Nolan Arenado to take a step forward this year but so does everyone else. Kyle Seager should thrive in the improved Seattle lineup and he was already profiled here. If healthy, Manny Machado is a steal at 148.69. Players outside of the top 200 that I like include Nick Castellanos, Aramis Ramirez and Jake Lamb.

Corner infield is setting itself up for a bounce back in 2015 but there are as many questions as there are locks. Good luck avoiding the land mines. Throw name value out the window and try to see a player for who he really is using the numbers.

Statistical credits: Baseball-Reference.com, Fangraphs.com, NFBC.com
Photo cred: http://goo.gl/VEC1jj (Cabrera), http://goo.gl/IBmCX9 (Donaldson)

Check out FantasyRundown.com for all of our latest articles and other great fantasy content.

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

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Fantasy Profile: Kyle Seager

Seager may sign a 7 year deal for 100 million, why this is a bargain for Seattle and fantasy owner's alike
Seager’s 7-year, 100 million dollar deal spells value for both the Mariners and fantasy owners

While talking to my son the other day I told him a story about how the only day of high school I missed was to sleep overnight to get my Dad tickets to see his favorite artist, Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band. Of course, his first question was “who is Bob Seger?” So I explained, saying that he had no relation to Kyle Seager. My son plays baseball and loves it, but gave me the same look. “Who is Kyle Seager?” Fantasy owners seem to have the same question. The problem here is that Kyle Seager plays in the Great Northwest and is probably still overshadowed by the old guard at his position. Entering 2014 drafts, Seager was the 11th third baseman selected at pick 106, or only 25 spots after Pedro Alvarez. If you were fortunate enough to draft Seager, he rewarded you with a 7th place finish on the ESPN Player Rater.

What Kyle Seager lacks in sexiness, he makes up for in consistency. He has played an average of 158 games per season since 2012, and with all of the inconsistent performers at third base, this is a welcomed trait. Here is the average of his last three seasons:

3 Year Avg: 71 R, 22 HR, 84 RBI, 9 SB .262/.329/.434

Seager made strides last year, especially in his RBI total:

Kyle Seager 2014: 71 R, 25 HR, 96 RBI, 7 SB .268/.334/.454

It’s surprising that he had his best homer total in 2014 considering his home run distance and speed off the bat have trended downward. Here are his first three full seasons according to ESPN’s home run tracker page:

2012: Average standard distance off the bat 400.5 feet, average speed off bat 103.3 MPH
2013: Average standard distance off the bat 385.1 feet, average speed off bat 102.3 MPH
2014: Average standard distance off the bat 382.8 feet, average speed off bat 102 MPH

While the speed off the bat has only seen a slight dip, the distance drop of 18 feet can be a bit concerning. Seager still smacked 25 homers in 2014 and his stats paint the picture of an upward pointing arrow. He just turned 27.

2012: wRC+ 108, HR/FB% 9.8, SwStr% 8.3, OPS .738
2013: wRC+ 115, HR/FB% 9.9, SwStr% 7.2, OPS .764
2014: wRC+ 126, HR/FB% 12.9, SwStr% 6.9, OPS .788

Even though Seager’s average home run distance has dropped, his home run per fly ball percentage has risen over the last 3 seasons. If Seager can push his OPS over .800 he is in line for another career year. If he puts together a year of hitting well on the road and at home, this is easily possible.

Kyle Seager career slash at home: .249/.324/.394
Kyle Seager 2014 slash at home: .300/.370/.523
Kyle Seager career slash on road: .274/.332/.461
Kyle Seager 2014 slash on road: .240/.301/.393

He has been able to hit away from Seattle in his first 2 seasons but struggled on the road last year. His home statistics last year prove he can thrive in a tough ballpark environment. Two things could really allow Seager a real breakout in 2015: hitting well on the road and using left field for more power. Seager has only hit 1 career home run to left field, though he does use that side of the field. First here is his career spray chart:

seager career spray chartAnd his chart from 2014:

seager 2014 spray chartNine of Seager’s 27 doubles were to left or left-center and so were two of his four triples. To avoid a shift and push his home run total toward 30, Seager will need to use the opposite field for power. His zone profile suggests this is possible. Here is his career slugging zone profile:
Seager career slugging zone profileThen his profile from 2014:

seager 2014 slugging zone profileOn pitches middle and away Seager slugged .552 last year. On offerings in the top third of the strike zone and outside he slugged .429. It appears that Seager is on the cusp of a small but profitable breakout. Seattle acquiring another viable power bat would really cement this. Although he hit .293/.356/.503 in 40 games as the cleanup hitter, how nice would a right-handed power bat look between he and Robinson Cano? It appears that the Mariners are trying to make this happen and if it does this should move Seager up in preseason rankings. I definitely see Seager as a top-five option at third base and will be taking him over the likes of Evan Longoria, David Wright and Josh Donaldson moving forward. While Pablo Sandoval will be getting all the hype moving to Boston, Seager keeps doing his thing in gloomy Seattle. To this day, sharing that concert with my Dad was a top-five show for me as I got him seats in tenth row center. Maybe after reading about Kyle Seager some of you will accompany me on his bandwagon. Seattle will be doing well to lock him up for 2 more years than Panda for the same price. Get your tickets in 2015, this may be the last time to get Seager this cheap.

Statistical credits: Baseball-Reference.com, Fangraphs.com, ESPN.com, BrooksBaseball.net
Photo cred: http://goo.gl/vXJszq

Check out FantasyRundown.com for all of our latest articles and other great fantasy content.

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

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!

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!

Top DFS Plays for 09/02/14

*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:

Torri Hunter vs. Carlos Carrasco – hitting .500 (6/12) with a 2B, a 3B, 2 HRs, 4 RBIs & a BB

Justin Upton, Chris Johnson & Freddie Freeman vs. Kyle Kendrick – Wouldn’t be mad if all three guys were in the lineup today.

Giancarlo Stanton vs. Jonathon Niese – hitting .375 (9/24) with 2 HRs, 5 RBIs & 2 BBs

Gregor Blanco vs. Jordan Lyles – hitting .500 (2/4) with a HR, 2 RBIs & a BB
Blanco took Lyles deep in their 1st head to head matchup, can he do it again?

Russell Martin vs. Adam Wainwright – hitting .370 (10/27) with 2 2Bs, 2 RBIs & 4 BBs

Ricky’s HR Guarantee: Giancarlo Stanton

Top DFS Pitcher for today:

Clayton Kershaw vs. Washington Nationals – I don’t care who this guy is facing if he is on the mound, I am starting him.

Movie of the Day – Hot Rod – This movie is one of my all-time favorites!!!!!!!! If you haven’t seen this, you need to change that tonight.

Follow me on Twitter @Rickygangster!