I’m sure some of you remember that between 5/24/19 and 6/10/19, I was unable to post the MLB Summary or Coaching Session transcripts because of some issues with my power & internet.
I still feel awful about that, and don’t want you guys to miss out on the fantastic info our coaches provide, so I combed through all 18 days of chat and isolated the lessons from DraftCheat, Vlad, Phil, Benny, and Jeff that are every bit as relevant now as they were then.
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Bullpen (Phil Backert)
Hi, Phil! how do you fit BPs into your Cash selections?
Phil Backert: I consider it heavily, especially if its a tiebreaker between two players at similar price points
do you ever take into account if a BP is trending hot or cold?
Phil Backert: yep! That’s what good about the bullpen coach that is posted, it looks at the last seven days. There are some units that are just always bad – O’s Tigers Nationals
For example, with Familia looking more like himself, does that change your assessment for the MetsBP?
Phil Backert: yes…but he obviously can’t pitch everyday so if you know he pitched 20some pitches day before or went back to back then you know he probably won’t pitch again
OK…Let’s say Boyd is pitching for the Tigers, does that take weight off of them?
Phil Backert: It certainly factors in like everything else…but like his last start, he only went 6 innings, gave up no runs yet the Tigers bullpen allowed 5 runs after he left. I also use it for what pitchers im using…could prevent us from getting the Win like we need. Sometimes its the perfect storm…David Hess on the mound and a bad Orioles bullpen
Makes them like the Nats in that they can’t get the ball to Doolittle. Tigers cant get the ball to Green.
Phil Backert: yep exactly…i think too many people see a team has a good closer and stay away, but they have to get to that closer
DraftCheat: https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=mcgowi000kyl&type=pgl&year=2019 good place to look up minor league game logs
Pitching (Vlad Sedler)
im still learning i found a site where im looking at splits.. Leftys vs Rightys and stuff like that and its seemed to help the last week. i can t understand fangraphs
Vlad Sedler: What you need help understanding? Go to a hitter or pitcher’s page. Click SPLITS. Review different stats for v L and v R. Click on advanced tab and look. Click on Batted Ball and review there. Can review by month, by 2 weeks, last week, over career
does batted ball mean flyballs?
Vlad Sedler: If you click on ‘BATTED BALL’ you can see their FB% (fly ball percentage), GB% (ground ball percentage), HH% (hard hit rate) so on and so forth
looking at Wacha stats…his ERA vs RH bats is 7.58 and given up 10 hrs to RHBats vs 2 to LHbats.. shouldnt that mean we play Miami Right hand bats? my first year of MLB so im VERY VERY new to all these stats and abbreviations and understand them
Vlad Sedler: Look at rate stats with splits…not total homers. Because I’m sure you’ll notice a major difference in IP (innings pitched) vs RH and LH
Vlad Sedler: Worth it to spend the time and watch some of these tutorials on Fangraphs: https://www.google.com/search?q=fangraphs+tutorial&oq=fangraphs+tutorial&aqs=chrome..69i57j0j69i64.3184j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
Vlad Sedler: Here look at Stroman for example and see what an extreme GB pitcher he is https://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=13431&position=P#battedball
Vlad Sedler: Then can go to PLAYERS > PITCHERS > BATTED BALL and sort by GB% or FB%
Hitting (Vlad Sedler)
BennyRicciardi: Small slates tend to be won by stacks even more than large ones do on a 15 game slate you would expect a couple teams to put up big numbers
BennyRicciardi: on a 4 game small slate, you may have one put up a big number and the rest with 2-4 runs, if so, the stack tends to win it. I prefer stacking and using some of the guys near the bottom of the order.
BennyRicciardi: On FD I like stacking and then using cheap options to round it out to be able to pay for pitching
BennyRicciardi: pool size has a lot to do with that too
Yeah I’m trying to understand the best way to create a lineup in those GPPs. I know stacking has the highest upside but it Seems like every night the guy at the top had like 3 bats here, 2 bats there, and then one offs
BennyRicciardi: mini stacking is still stacking, I do prefer the full stacks myself, at least in my construction for GPPs
BennyRicciardi: ok… Let’s get into this, So today I’m going to talk about Stolen Bases because not enough people do
A Home Run is the highest scoring thing a player can do with his At-Bat, but a single followed by a stolen base is worth more than a single or double
BennyRicciardi: That means getting that puts you ahead of the people who may have gotten that double or even a pair of singles from their guy. Stolen bases and home runs are the things that win GPPs. So naturally we want to know how to get them and how to use and how to research for them.
BennyRicciardi: so let me start with this hypothetical, If you have Yelich or Trout in a great matchup vs. a JD Martinez, which guy is the better play
BennyRicciardi: all of them are studs, all of them have power, but the threat of that stolen base to go along with that power makes guys like Trout or Yelich better plays in all formats
BennyRicciardi: anyone can go 0-4
BennyRicciardi: hindsight is not something we can concern ourselves with
BennyRicciardi: What happens more often? two bombs or a SB?
What Benny is saying is they can all hit 2 bombs. But if they all hit 2 singles, trout and Yelich can steal a base, where JDM cant
BennyRicciardi: What benny is saying is that we had more games with multiple stolen bases than games with multiple homers
BennyRicciardi: So one is still more likely than the other. Not just increased ceiling, increased floor
BennyRicciardi: If JD Martinez gets a single, he scores 3 points
BennyRicciardi: If Mike Trout gets one, he could steal second and score on a base hit, That’s 10 points, or 2X for Trout in one AB
BennyRicciardi: SB potential is more for the floor than the ceiling, Although adding 5 points to a ceiling is not bad either
BennyRicciardi: listen, no amount of stolen bases is going to trump a Derek Dietrich 3 HR game, but that’s not the point
BennyRicciardi: The point is SBs are more common than multiple homers games so to compare the two is not genuine
BennyRicciardi: So let’s get into some of the numbers, The days of attempting to steal 100 bases are long gone, Analytics even frowns on SBs because of the idea of giving away outs
BennyRicciardi: The league leader in 2018 was Whit MErrifield at 45 steals in 55 attempts, only 3 guys stole 40+
BennyRicciardi: Trea Turner and Mallex smith being the other two. About 10 guys had at least 30 now over 160 game season, that means the best in the game steals a base one in 4 games, The top handful one game out of five
BennyRicciardi: So this is not something that happens daily. This year already we only have 10+ stolen bases by 4 guys and we are about 1/3 of the way through the year
BennyRicciardi: Aldaberto Mondesi has 18 and leads the league, He’s on pace to beat last year’s mark by his teammate
BennyRicciardi: Jose Ramirez has 14. Tim Anderson has 13, These are the only guys on pace for 40, Long story short, SBs are not the norm
BennyRicciardi: with this being said, they are predictable, or at least we can find spots where they are more likely
BennyRicciardi: and that’s what we concentrate on here, The perfect storm for stolen bases requires three things, 1- The simplest to understand is guys that can steal bases
BennyRicciardi: Cecil Fielder and John Kruk never stole bases because they couldn’t do it, Even in the right spots, these guys aren’t running, the first rule for stolen bases is you need guys that have speed and can steal bases
BennyRicciardi: So this is easy to research. We want to know two things. The first is stolen base attempts and the second is successful attempts
BennyRicciardi: Most good base stealers are hitting at a 70%+ clip if not more maybe they get caught 1 in 4 times or something like that
BennyRicciardi: Guys who get caught 50% of the time or even 60% of the time they run are not good base stealers, Guys who get near or above that 70% are
BennyRicciardi: So the other two things we need to look for are the pitcher and catcher stats, Let’s start with Pitchers, #2 Pitchers Stats
BennyRicciardi: We want to know two things. How many stolen bases and how many attempts. These two things work together
BennyRicciardi: If teams are having success stealing against a guy, that news will get out, Teams scout and the report will say you can run on him, That is a self fulfilling prophecy
BennyRicciardi: If you give up stolen bases, more teams will try and your numbers will look even worse and stand out more, These are the kind of pitchers you want to target, Last year it was Noah Syndergaard
BennyRicciardi: just 3 of the 35 guys who attempted to steal on him were caught, When a team is running and being over 90% successful stealing, you are going to see more people try
BennyRicciardi: The same can be said of his teammate Steven Matz… 28 steals in 30 tries, or again over 90%
BennyRicciardi: Lucas Giolito was another one… 26 steals in 29 tries, Jon Lester for his career has been bad at this too
BennyRicciardi: This illustrates a point I talk about a lot in DFS, Bell curves are shaped that way because most of the group you are looking out is very much the same
BennyRicciardi: When looking at pitchers and stolen bases, this is true too, 90-95% of guys are in the middle, We want the outliers, Those are guys you can target against
BennyRicciardi: the last piece of the puzzle is catchers, Some catchers are good at throwing guys out, some aren’t, And you can research this as well
BennyRicciardi: The best way to do it is over at MLB.com, under the fielding tab of league leaders, you sort by position and use catcher, The three key fielding stats to look at are the same ones we have looked at.
BennyRicciardi: CS, SB, ad SB%, again, like pitchers when a catcher gets a reputation for not being able to throw people out the amount of people who try grows exponentially.
BennyRicciardi: and again these are the outliers we want to targget
BennyRicciardi: The best of the catchers last year were guys like Martin Maldonaldo and Sal Perez who basically threw out half the guys who tried, on the flip side of that coin, Robinson Chirinos and Chris Ianetta were some of the worst
BennyRicciardi: Those guys allowed 53/59 and 48/56 attempted steals to be safe. That’s a horrible percentage of just 10% and 14% thrown out 89 and 85% safe
BennyRicciardi: So those are the three big th8ngs we need for a perfect storm for steals
BennyRicciardi: Now here’s the trick… When a good steals situation does come along, you want to attack it with multiple guys, So here’s a good example, If you look at the Mets this year, Wilson Ramos has some of the worst numbers for throwing out runners
BennyRicciardi: We know last year Syndergaard and Matz led the league in stolen bases allowed, So a game against the Mets probably is a good place to look for steals, Now, take the two guys mentioned in Syndergaard and Matz
BennyRicciardi: In order to steal bases you need to get on base, So despite the fact Syndergaard has more stolen bases allowed, he also has a lower, WHIP both this year and for his career, That means less guys get on to steal bases
BennyRicciardi: Remember that is important, Last year Lucas Giolito sucked so he gave up tons of baserunners and that led to a lot of steals, This year Lucas Giolito is pitching much better With less base runners allowed
BennyRicciardi: Hence less chances for guys to even try to steal, everyone following along s far, so far?
BennyRicciardi: So the thing I want you guys to take any is that stolen bases tend to be a barrage from the whole team in good spots, A good stolen base game will mean everyone is running that is able to on a team
BennyRicciardi: The Kansas City Royals and Milwaukee Brewers even in year’s past are two organizations that do this often, When either is in a good running spot, everyone runs, We’ve seen stolen base stacks win GPPs and Qs when you get 3-5 of them from various players
BennyRicciardi: you want to make sure you have a pitcher who is giving them up and at a high success rate, a catcher who is giving them up and struggling to throw guys out
BennyRicciardi: and then using the guys who have the ability to run and pick them up against them, Now, Milwaukee is a great example here to use, because not only do they run, but they have had a lot of power
BennyRicciardi: To get back to the earlier question, HRs still trump SBs in total points, but while a HR is worth 14 on DK, The next highest thing you can really do in an at-bat is a single/walk, followed by a stolen base and a run scored
BennyRicciardi: when you have those two working together, that’s when yo can put up a 200+ score and run the tournament table, So to sum it all up, here’s the two ways you can and should use SBs to help you be a better player
BennyRicciardi: 1- When deciding between two players and one has SB upside and the other doesn’t;t…. (Again, HR?SB so the ceiling is not as high, but the floor is very high as anyone who gets on, steals, and scores is basically at 2X or better). 2- When the situation is against a pitcher that can be run on and a catcher who struggles to throw guys out
BennyRicciardi: Remember this is the big upside one where the stack can win you money, If the book on a pitcher/catcher combo says running on them is going to work, you bet your ass that means more than just one or two stolen base speedsters are going to try
BennyRicciardi: Think about it this way, In GPPs we want to be different, Everyone stacks against high HR rate pitchers, or high FB rate pitchers…..Very few people look at SB potential when looking to build stacks
BennyRicciardi: Not only does this strategy have winning potential, but because this is an overlooked stat by many, it also means you tend to get these guys in great spots at lower ownership
Hitting (Vlad Sedler)
when mini stacking do guys have to hit next to each other in the order for you to consider them?
Vlad Sedler: Mini stacks, yes preferred hitting next to each other but don’t have to if it’s say a SP who his really bad against LHP and there’s a RHP between 2 LHP’s
Contest Selection (DraftCheat)
Any recommendations on contest selection for FD?
DraftCheat: smaller fields if you want to have a decent chance at building a bankroll steadily
what kind of GPP would be a smaller field? 100 man 3 entry max?
DraftCheat: yeah those are good
Miscellaneous (Jeff Mans)
Jeff Mans: I feel that Fanduel should just give me $10K tonight for how great my lineup is regardless of how it turns out. Anybody else ever feel this way?
Jeff Mans: My Sunday evening masturbation advice might have been my best advice ever during the NFL season