The numbers say that Brandon McCarthy can help your fantasy baseball team
By John Otano
In 1968, Boston Red Sox first baseman and outfielder Kenneth Harrelson hit 35 home runs, drove in 109 runs while finishing third in the American League MVP voting. Harrelson had hit 24 home runs in the past two seasons combined and his previous career-high had been 23 homers. He was named the Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year in 1968.
In 1968, the Sporting News understood how Harrelson had won their award. They just didn’t have the tools to understand why Harrelson had achieved that award.
Why are we talking about a player in 1968? Kenneth Harrelson is better known, now, as Hawk Harrelson. His home-run calls are a show within the show. He’s also cited the movie Moneyball as a leg of his argument against the use of sabermetrics in the game of baseball. He believes the “will to win” can’t be quantified.
In a way, Harrelson has a point. As effective as sabermetrics can be, it can’t completely predict the future performance of a player. It does, however, improve your chances of correctly evaluating the future performance of a player.
Evaluating players future performance is the name of the game, after all. In order to play fantasy baseball, there needs to be a basic understanding of sabermetrics. The question you need to ask yourself as a fantasy baseball player is, why should you view baseball played in 2013 through a 1968 lens?
This brings me to a baseball player who is active who embraces and uses sabermetrics to improve his game on the field, Diamondbacks right-hander Brandon McCarthy. He’s the anti-Hawk Harrelson and he also has some value for you on your fantasy baseball team.
Brandon McCarthy (ARI-SP) (Owned in 37 percent in Y!, 37 percent in CBS, 32.6 percent in ESPN)
On the surface, Brandon McCarthy looks like a completely passable waiver wire option right now. He’s 0-3 with a 5.63 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP in 48 innings so far this season. He’s still doing the little things right, despite the ugly results so far.
The most effective pitch in baseball is a strike and this Diamondbacks hurler is one of the best in the game at throwing strikes. McCarthy is currently sporting a 5.3 strikeout to walk ratio. Anything above a 3.0 strikeout to walk ratio is usually a good indicator that the pitcher is finding the strike zone with regularity. Which is a good thing since, you know, three strikes and you’re out.
There’s a direct correlation between a pitcher’s Cmd ratio (Strikeouts/Walks) and potential earned run average.
Taken from Ron Shandler’s 2013 Baseball Forecaster (you need to make the yearly investment), here’s some research done outlining the correlation over the past five seasons.
(From Ron Shandler’s 2013 Baseball Forecaster)
Besides throwing strikes, McCarthy is retaining his velocity, though, he won’t post incredible strikeout rates, he’s getting ground ball outs 43.2 percent of the time. Ground balls are good because they aren’t in the air and, you know, those can land in the seats.
Owned in less than 40 percent in all of the major fantasy baseball major platforms, Brandon McCarthy is still displaying the skills that make him a very useful starting pitcher in mixed leagues in 2013.
John Otano is a freelancer for Sports Illustrated and Web Production Assistant for MSG Varsity in New York. He was a reporter and editor for several Long Island Patch.com sites and wrote a fantasy baseball column for the Long Island Press. John can be followed on Twitter at @MisterOtano.
As most of you have seen on Twitter, we released the 2013 FantasyTrade411 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide right before Valentine’s day. The positive response has been absolutely overwhelming (and humbling), but I’ve also had some folks understandably ask for a preview of the guide before they spend their well-earned $9.99. Don’t worry…I don’t blame you. I waffle before I make a purchase all the time.
To help you make your decision(and hopefully sway you to the dark side), I’m going to start releasing a quick preview of each piece that we have in the draft guide over the next few weeks. We have a full list of what’s in the guide over on the site, but today’s preview is an awesome piece by Moe Koltun of RotoAnalysis called, “What the F#@K Are Sabermtrics?!”.
If you’ve ever found yourself listening to a fantasy baseball podcasting wondering what xFIP was or what BABIP stood for, this article is right up your alley. Moe does a great job of explaining some of the typical sabermetrics stats you’ll hear (BABIP, FIP, xFIP, ISO and HR/FB ratio) and what they mean for your fantasy team. I always hate when analysts just throw out sabermetrics and don’t actually apply them to a fantasy context, but Moe goes the extra step and identifies some players who may be affected by some of the stats he throws out. If you’ve always felt like sabermetrics sounded like a different language, there are four and a half more pages of this article that go along with the preview below:
I hope you enjoyed that quick preview, and again…there are four and a half more pages of that article in the draft guide, along with 134 more pages that you can read about here. And if you’ve ever wanted to try daily gaming, we’re also offering a special deal for first-time FanDuel customers that gives you $10 free on FanDuel along with the purchase of the draft guide!
We’ve been teasing you guys with this for weeks now, but the 2013 FantasyTrade411 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide is finally here!
We’ve been going HAM on this thing for over a month now and we’re extremely proud to bring you guys what I think is the best work that’s ever come out of this website. We’re giving you a couple purchase options (more on that below), but to start…
Here’s a quick list of what you’ll find in the draft guide:
- My Fantasy Baseball Commandments (by Nick Raducanu, aka “TraderX”)
- Top 300 Rankings and Draft Cheatsheet (by Nick Raducanu)
- Positional Tiers and Breakdowns (by Nick Raducanu)
- 300 Player Projections (by Mike Gianella of Baseball Prospectus)
- Expert Mock Draft (features Andy Behrens of Yahoo, Nando di Fino of CBS, Davis Gonos of Sports Illustrated, Dr. Roto of RotoExperts, Matt Deutsch of SiriusXM Fantasy, Jason Collette of Baseball Prospectus, Dalton Del Don of Yahoo and Rotowire, Jake Ciely of RotoExperts, Drew Dinkmeyer of Fantistics, Paul Sporer of Baseball Prospectus, Reggie Yinger of Baseball Press)
- Draft Strategies for Snake, Auction, H2H, Roto, and Points Leagues (by our managing editor, Tony Mauriello)
- Auction Values (by Tony Mauriello)
- Is the Term “Injury Prone” a Myth? (by Will Carroll of Bleacher Report)
- Daily Gaming 101 (by Ethan Haskell of RotoGrinders)
- Sabermetrics 101 (by Moe Koltun of RotoAnalysis)
- Fantasy Baseball Freshman Orientation (by Travis Rowe of FT411 and GoProFantasySports)
- Trade Strategies and Etiquette (by Kyle Soppe of FT411)
- Closer Report (by Nick Raducanu)
- Sleepers and Busts (by Michael Clifford of FT411)
- Who is the next Mike Trout?(by Davis Mattek of SportsWunderkind)
- What We Can Learn From 2012 (by Joe Costello of FT411)
- Why Fantasy Footballers Should Play Fantasy Baseball (by Rob Pallazola of FT411)
- Streaming Pitching Strategy (by Dale Sokol of FT411)
- 30 Team-by-Team Previews by 30 excellent contributors
How do you get your hands on it?
We currently have two options for you:
1. You can buy it below for $9.99 using your credit card or PayPal account
2. If you’re a first-time FanDuel customer, we’ve partnered up with the number one daily fantasy sports site around to give you all a special offer of $10 that will give you the draft guide AND $10 of FanDuel money.
- If you’re already a FanDuel customer OR if you only want the draft guide, you can purchase the 2013 FantasyTrade411 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide by clicking the “donate” button below. You’ll then be taken to a Paypal screen where you can pay using either your PayPay account or your credit card (make sure you enter $9.99 as the donation amount) and I’ll email you a copy of the guide as soon as I get your payment.
- If you’re a first-time FanDuel customer and want to try your hand at daily gaming, you can come purchase the draft guide at FanDuel here and get $10 of free FanDuel money to go along with your draft guide (or you get a free draft guide to go along with a $10 deposit on FanDuel…however you wanna think of it).
If you’re still on the fence about whether or not to purchase, fill in the form below and I’ll be happy to send you a quick sneak-peek to help aid your decision. And if you’re REALLY on the fence after that…buy the guide and if you don’t like it, shoot me an email (FantasyTrade411@gmail.com) and I’ll give you a full refund with no questions asked (that’s how confident I am that you’ll like it).
As always, if you have ANY questions…you know where to find me
. Good luck this season!