Trader’s Corner: TDGR Trade Deadline

If you are a regular reader of TDG, then you are aware of the TDGX experts’ dynasty league. It’s a 20-team dynasty league with 40-man rosters of which we protect 35 players. What you may not know is that a group of readers set up a league that mirrors TDGX and is made up of readers from this site. The TDGR league recently had its trade deadline, just like TDGX, and we were sent some of the moves that were made for this post.

For some more league context the 40-man roster consists of 14 hitters, 9 pitchers, a 7-man bench, and 10 minor league spots. The bench can be composed of either major or minor league eligible players. Scoring is standard 5×5 categories and there is one catcher slot along with two utility slots. Players may be kept forever with no penalty or contract system in place. A big thank you to TDGR member ‘Kris’ for sending in what I think are some really interesting transactions. Here are the trades… Continue reading

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Trade Targets: Strasburg, Leake and Odorizzi are Undervalued Pitchers

Here are some pitchers whose perceived value is less than their real value. Each of them is a solid trade target right now because you might be able to get them at a discount compared to what it will cost you in the offseason. These guys will be ranked highly on cheat sheets next Spring. Let’s dive right in…

Stephen Strasburg — Washington Nationals

9 Wins, 194 Ks in 163 innings, 3.53 ERA, 1.21 WHIP

Strasburg’s 3.53 ERA is easily the worst of his career and ranks him only 44th out of 93 qualifying starting pitchers in the majors. Is Strasburg really only a middle of the pack starting pitcher this year? Well, his 2.94 FIP is 16th in the league, his 2.51 xFIP is 3rd (behind only Kershaw and King Felix) and his 2.62 SIERA is 4th in baseball. You know how much I like K%-BB% and Strasburg’s is 5th in baseball at a stellar 23.2%, which is the best in his career for a full season. In fact, pretty much every one of Strasburg’s peripheral stats is better than his career averages. What does this mean? It means he has been pitching better than ever despite the fact that 26 starting pitchers are ranked higher than him in 5×5 roto leagues. Strasburg has a losing record again this year just like he did last year, but much of that is because the Nationals rarely score many runs behind him. His 4.42 runs per game of run support is 70th in the league this year. The Nationals’s below average Defensive Efficiency Rating of .700 is not doing Strasburg any favors either. His .336 BABIP is 40 points higher than his pre-2014 career average and is likely to come down as the season progresses. His ERA and WHIP will improve right along with his BABIP. Continue reading

Digging for Diamonds: Scouting the Cape League

It’s never too early to get a jump on planning for your dynasty squad’s future, particularly in the middle of August if you happen to be at the helm of a team whose ship has already sailed in the current season. And one of the best opportunities for longer-term planning presents itself annually out on Cape Cod, where a solid majority of the nation’s best and brightest soon-to-be-draft-eligible collegiate players congregate for their first taste of wood bat baseball. I made my annual pilgrimage out to the land of mackerel bones and sand last week and caught home-and-home series of Brewster-Harwich and Chatham-Orleans. In the process I managed to squeeze in looks at a handful of players that should be high on your deep league follow lists heading into the spring college season and next year’s draft. Below are my scouting reports on some of the more intriguing fantasy prospects I was able to put eyes on, along with some notes about their future potential fantasy value.

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#TDGX Transactions Report: The Trade Deadline Comes and Goes

You’ve been following TDGX. You love TDGX. We all love TDGX.  And every week here at The Dynasty Guru, I am going to be bringing you commentary from our flagship experts’ league, directly from the participants themselves.

The goal here is to give you insight into the moves made by our group of experts so that you can use this information the next time you need to make a trade or prominent FA move in your league. So let’s not mess around with too much longer of an introduction. We’re going to break this up into three sections: trades, major league additions, minor league additions.

TRADES

Mike Rosenbaum trades Jordan Zimmermann to Nick Doran for Aaron Blair and Jesse Winker

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Trader’s Corner: The Value of Corey Kluber

We’re at the point where most leagues’ trade deadlines have passed or are close to passing. That means trader’s corner will likely glide to a gentle stop over the next two weeks. We did have several submissions this time around and next week I’ve got a big TDGR trade deadline extravaganza planned, so stay tuned.

One of the names I see coming up frequently is Corey Kluber. He’s had a dominant season and at 28 years old he’s being targeted in a lot of keeper and dynasty formats. In 2014, Kluber has a 2.46 ERA (2.69 xFIP) with 187 strikeouts and 36 walks in 171 innings pitched. Those are ace numbers and improvements across the board over his quality numbers from 2013. So the question is really whether dynasty and keeper league owners value Kluber in that “ace” tier now. Is he somebody you build a fantasy rotation around or is he a fantasy #2?

Personally, I’d be happy to have him as my fantasy ace going forward and I’d imagine this winter we’ll be talking about who next year’s ‘Kluber’ will be. His breakout has been a huge boost to Indians fans here in Cleveland, and I’m a little sore that I didn’t have more faith in him this preseason. Here are this week’s trades… Continue reading

Three Dynasty Lessons I Should’ve Learned Sooner

The 2014 season is three-quarters over and my favorite team is bad and most of my fantasy teams are middling or bad, so I’ve already started to think about my ranking process for 2015 and beyond.

Unfortunately, I still haven’t given any thought to my intro-writing process, so you’re stuck with this.

1) At a certain point, proximity outweighs upside

Lesson No. 1 I’m going to take into my off-season rankings has a lot to do with the age-old debate of upside vs. proximity. Historically, when push comes to shove, I’ve given the nod to upside. The more deep leagues I play in, though, the more tempting investing in players close to the majors becomes.

I began the year, as did many others, with players like Lucas Giolito, Clint Frazier and Jorge Alfaro ranked quite highly on my personal Top 150 dynasty prospects list. And if you understand what these players can become at their peaks, it’s not hard to see why.

But as I watch the likes of Marcus Stroman and Yordano Ventura and Chris Owings and George Springer and Kolten Wong come up and produce meaningfully for contenders this year, I become increasingly less patient with high-upside, pie-in-the-sky type players. Continue reading

Unexpected Aces: Porcello, Duffy, Keuchel and Simon. Will Their Success Continue?

Last week we talked about some pitchers who have come out of the blue to deliver excellent results this year. In that article we covered Tyson Ross, Jake Arrieta, Garrett Richards and Tanner Roark (read it here). But those guys are not the only unforeseen fantasy aces to burst onto the scene in 2014. This week we will evaluate several more to see if their success is the real deal or if they will regress in the future. Let’s get right to it…

Alfredo Simon — Cincinnati Reds

12 Wins, 85 Ks in 138 innings, 3.07 ERA, 1.12 WHIP

Simon’s pretty stats have him ranked as the 24th best starting pitcher in 5×5 fantasy leagues so far this season. After several disappointing years in Baltimore the Orioles released Simon and the Reds picked him up off the trash heap. Nobody knew it at the time, but that move has been a tremendous success for the Reds. Simon put up a brutal 5.18 ERA over 184 innings with the Orioles, but as a Red he has delivered a magnificent 2.92 ERA in 286 innings. What a huge difference! Why did that happen? Did Simon suddenly become a better pitcher or are there other reasons? Well, some might say that going from the AL East to the NL Central is the reason why, but I don’t think so. For one thing, the competition in the NL Central is every bit as good or better than the AL East the last few years. Both Wild Card teams came out of the NL Central last year and it could happen again this year with 4 of the division’s 5 teams well over .500 and close to claiming the Wild Card. Getting to face the pitcher instead of a DH does help, but not nearly enough to explain the difference in Simon’s performance. Continue reading