(Photo by Samuel Stringer/Icon Sportswire)
I must apologize for the lack of an update last week: I just finished law school and I’m currently prepping for the bar exam so life took over for a little bit. But I’m committed to giving you all the fantasy help that you need.
Let’s start with the xStats leaders.
If you recall, there are qualifiers for this list: a .250 xAVG and a slightly altered .425 xSLG. To clarify, this list does not mean we expect Matt Carpenter to positively regress to a .524 SLG%. Rather, it means that Matt Carpenter’s batted ball profile supports a .524 SLG% rather than his current .408.
Matt Olson (1B/OF, Oakland Athletics)- Some were willing to give up on Olson after his slow start to the 2018 season, and I’ll admit, I was a doubter of Olson’s abilities even coming into this year.
Look at those barrels. Yes, Olson got under a few balls and topped a few others, but over the last two weeks, Olson has zero weak contact. This will not continue at its current place: Olson will likely have some amount of weak contact at some point, but this is a guy who is finding the zone that he spent the last few months of the 2017 season in. If he was somehow dropped in your league, snatch him up. Now. Oh yeah, and he’s averaged a 97.9 MPH aEV over the last two weeks, best in baseball. No big deal.
Max Muncy (1B/3B, Los Angeles Dodgers) – Fantasy leagues are abuzz about Muncy, as the Dodgers show signs of another successful reclamation project (Chris Taylor and Justin Turner).
That’s a moonshot. It’s hard to bet against the Dodgers and Muncy, as I love his exit velocity and he’s hitting a lot of balls in the ideal launch angle, but I want to see more before betting on him ROS.
Sean Newcomb (SP, Atlanta Braves) – Newcomb was a popular breakout pick entering this season due to his electric stuff. The big concern has always been his command and consistency, areas he’s improved thus far. Over his last 34 batted ball events, he’s allowed an average EV of just 83.8 MPH, good for top 20 over the last 2 weeks.
This is a heatmap of all 34 of these BBEs. What I love about this heatmap is the strong leaning towards the corners as well as the amountof contact outside the strikezone.
Michael Fulmer (SP- Detroit Tigers)- Michael Fulmer is in a tough spot. Let’s take a look at his radial chart from the last two weeks.
He’s got all the talent in the world, but he hasn’t allowed any weak contact over the last two weeks. However, he also hasn’t allowed many barrels. It’s concerning when a pitcher’s radial chart looks very similar to a red-hot hitter (hence the title). Here’s hoping he can turn it around.
Travis Shaw (3B, Milwaukee Brewers)- Shaw has been in a bit of a slump lately, marked by the 17th lowest EV in baseball of all hitters with 20 PAs over the last two weeks, but let’s take a closer look at the statcast data.
I actually don’t hate this. It looks like a decent amount of bad luck- a few topped balls, a few hit under, but there’s still a lot balls in that ideal triangle. I expect him to turn things around moving forward.
I’m doing bar exam prep too – life is pretty much 100% bar exam and baseball for me right now. At least we don’t have to sit in a classroom!
It really is. I feel like I have time for nothing else and at times, it’s even hard to find time for baseball. But I’ll be damned if the bar stops me from enjoying my favorite thing in this world! Hope your bar prep is going well!
Dave, exactly 10 years ago, I was right where you are. Congrats on surviving law school and good luck with the exam! Judging by your avatar pic here, you won’t have any problems figuring out what to do after the exam is in your rearview mirror.
I was the one who dropped Olson, and on the wire he remains in my 10-team 6×6. But now I have another conundrum; do I drop Mitch Moreland or Jesus Aguilar for him, or stand pat?
Yes, I’d say Aguilar because Moreland is in the better lineup. But Olson is more valuable than both.