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The 19 Most Powerful MLB Hitters Who Didn’t Hit 30 Homers in 2016

One of the biggest displays of power on a baseball field includes a hitter stepping into the batter’s box and mashing a pitch over the outfield wall. A lot of fans enjoy watching home runs more than anything, and posting a gaudy number in that department can help a player land a huge pay day.

But in today’s game, we all know there are more ways to value a player’s power than by simply seeing how many homers they’ve hit in a given season or career. We displayed that in a recent article when talking about New York Yankees rookie sensation, Gary Sanchez.

FanGraphs’ Isolated Power (ISO) metric is one of my favorite advanced stats because it shows a player’s raw power. Those who posted 30-plus homers dominate the 2016 ISO leaderboard, but the presence of a few players got me thinking…

Which hitters had the highest ISO without reaching the 30-homer plateau? FanGraphs says an “excellent” ISO is .250, while a “great” one is .200 or above.

So, I sifted through the leaderboard for all the qualified hitters with at least a .200 ISO to see which ones were the most powerful from this past season.

Here is that list. The bolded and italicized numbers indicate they led this group in that particular category. Below the table, I provide one takeaway for each player.

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Washington Nationals: 2016 Could’ve Been Different if the Winter Went How They Expected

With less than three weeks to go in the regular season, the Washington Nationals are all but assured their third National League East title since 2012. One has to wonder how this year would’ve gone if the offseason went as planned for general manager Mike Rizzo and his front office, though.

Rizzo made an appearance on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight podcast with Buster Olney earlier this week to talk about his club in advance of October. No conversation in 2016 about the Nats is complete without singing the praises of two influential people: manager Dusty Baker and second baseman Daniel Murphy.

They have truly been difference makers for this club, who owns a 87-59 record as they travel to face the Atlanta Braves this weekend. Rizzo didn’t hide how he felt about their contributions this year, referring to Baker as the NL Manager of the Year and Murphy as the NL MVP.

Even if they don’t take home hardware come November, it’s hard to fault Rizzo for feeling this way. It’s just ironic because neither of them were Washington’s first choice when it came to filling their jobs last winter.

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Daniel Murphy, Jose Altuve on Track to do Something we Haven’t Seen Since 2004

With about two months of play to go, the National League and American League playoff races are just starting to get interesting. However, the batting races appear to be all but finished thanks to the raking Daniel Murphy and Jose Altuve have done all season.

Entering action on Friday, each second baseman has a stranglehold on their respective league’s leaderboard when ranked by batting average. What’s so special about this? Well, I was looking through the box scores this week and kept thinking to myself, “God, these guys are still hitting close to .360? In August? When was the last time the batting champ in both leagues finished with an average over .350?”

As it turns out, this particular scenario isn’t as common as it used to be. Between 1990 and 2004, it happened eight different times.

A handful of batting champs have come close to reaching this benchmark since 2004, but haven’t quite gotten there. Is this .350 benchmark rather arbitrary? Probably, but oh well. This gets more interesting upon seeing the similarities between Murphy and Altuve, both with regard to the season they’re enjoying and the current situation they find themselves in. Here are four that stood out:

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Selecting the 2016 First Half MVP for Each MLB Team

Now that All-Star Week festivities in San Diego are finished, we’re forced with the task of getting through the next few days without any baseball. To pass the time, we’ll do what any self-respecting fan or analyst would do – look back at the first 80-90 games played and see who had the biggest impact.

Below are my first-half MVPs for each of the 30 MLB squads, with some facts to back up why they should be admiring some brand-new, imaginary hardware on their mantle before embarking on the second half of play.

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These 6 MLB Players Have Been Incredible Free Agent Bargains so Far in 2016

During this past winter, the MLB free agent market seemed to move a lot slower than in recent memory. While there were plenty of legitimate players available after the holidays and with Spring Training fast approaching, a number of them still managed to bring in huge paydays.

Zack Greinke and David Price both broke records for starting pitchers with their respective $200 million deals, and there were five others who landed a payday of $100-plus million (Jordan Zimmermann, Johnny Cueto, Jason Heyward, Justin Upton and Chris Davis). Those huge contracts are great, but they also come with high expectations. Some have dealt with them just fine in 2016, and some are off to a slow start.

There’s plenty of baseball to be played, but with about a quarter of the regular season schedule complete, the following six players have been incredible free agent bargains thus far — especially considering the ever-growing cost of acquiring top talent on the open market.

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ATTN: Daniel Murphy No Longer Plays for the New York Mets

ATTN: Daniel Murphy No Longer Plays for the Mets

Daniel Murphy agreed to a three-year deal worth $37.5 million on Christmas Eve 2015 with the Washington Nationals. He was introduced as their new second baseman on January 7th, 2016 and his tenure with the New York Mets was officially over. In fact, the last time Daniel Murphy wore a Mets jersey was November 1st, 2015, so you could say it was over then.

It’s time to let it go. No more Murph. No more #ImWith28. No more errors at second base.

I will admit that when the season started, I followed everything he did. Home runs, RBI’s, .400+ Batting Average – and errors. I wanted to say the Mets made a mistake by letting him walk, but that new guy they got, what’s his name, Neil Walker? Yeah, he never allowed me to talk smack about the move.

Click here for the full post.

Daily Fantasy MLB DFS Picks For DraftKings 5/11/16

If you have any questions or comments about this article or fantasy baseball, please Tweet me @dynasty_digest. I post daily DFS lineups for Draft Kings everyday, so please make sure to follow my blog (dynastydigest.sportsblog.com) and my Twitter for updates.

 

P- Francisco Liriano (@ Cincinnati Reds): $9,000. Liriano has been fairly consistent over his first few starts in 2016. He has thrown 35 innings, with a 3-1 record, 3.60 ERA, 39 strikeouts, and 19 walks. He will be facing the 25th ranked offense on Wednesday, which is a great matchup for Liriano. The Reds’ lineup has really struggled against the left-handed throughout his career. In 170 career at bats against Liriano, the Reds’ lineup is batting .224, with 5 home runs, 40 strikeouts, and a .298 OBP. These numbers are very much in favor of Liriano on Wednesday. He is currently averaging 15.8 points per game on DraftKings this season.

P- Wei-Yin Chen (vs. Milwaukee Brewers): $7,800. Chen is facing another struggling offense on Wednesday. The Milwaukee Brewers are currently ranked as the 22nd overall offense in Major League Baseball. In 62 career at bats against Chen, the Brewers’ lineup is batting .210, with 1 home run, 17 strikeouts, and a .258 OBP. There will be a 12 MPH wind blowing towards home plate, which is a great sign for Chen considering this should limit the number of potential home runs. Chen has faced the Milwaukee lineup one time this year and he got the win after throwing 6.2 innings, giving up 4 hits, 3 earned runs, 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts. Chen is averaging 12.1 points per game on DraftKings this season.

 

To view the rest of the picks, click the link below:

 

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MLB Power Rankings 2016: Week 2 – April

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Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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Disclaimer:  We based these rankings on best strength to win the World Series.  Therefore some teams that have an easier division to play in, with the least path of resistance to the postseason overall may be ranked a lot higher than a club who is equally talented, yet may play in a juggernaut of a division.

The Cubs will top our list for a second straight week despite losing 2 out of 3 games to the Rockies at Wrigley Field this weekend.  The biggest reason is the pitching.

Jake Arrieta is 3 – 0, and has picked up right where we he left off in 2015, and Jon Lester has thrown awesome too.  The Bullpen has also been good.

The bats are too solid not to come around and gel as the season moves along.  They are playing .750 baseball after a 4 – 2 week still.

Bryce Harper is the best player on the planet, and has homered in 6 straight contests at Citizens Bank Ball Park (4 overall in a row for the MLB this year.)

Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg. Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy are their top players – and all performing like it, the rest of the club is following through in their secondary roles.  This team is scary.

I have the Royals as the top American League club.  This squad is 8 – 1 in games that are not started by back end of the rotation man Chris Young.

The reigning 2 time pennant winners have company on the top of the Division to make it interesting, however this team has the better pedigree the last few years.

Some may say with a weekend series win – that the Dodgers should be put in front of the Giants, yet they are still only one game ahead of San Francisco.

With the Giants – there is no real weakness, while with the Los Angeles team, the Bullpen is not giving everyone confidence in the back half of games.

The Dodger Blue is still in the top 5, so I am high on them. Kenta Maeda could be the steal of the winter with how this guy is throwing so far.  Reinforcements are starting to come back. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Power Rankings: Week 1 Results – April 2016

The Cubs are the prohibitive favorite to win the 2016 World Series, butcoming year.

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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Disclaimer:  We based these rankings on best strength to win the World Series.  Therefore some teams that have an easier division to play in, with the least path of resistance to the postseason overall may be ranked a lot higher than a club who is equally talented, yet may play in a juggernaut of a division.

Team – Rank (W – L Record) (Last week ranking in parenthesis)

(1) Chicago Cubs  (5 – 1)  (1):  The Cubs weathered the loss of their slugging OF Kyle Schwarber this week – by taking 5 of the 1st 6 games played, and all on the road.  After these 6 contests – the squad is outscoring their opponents 42 – 15.

Love the idea of setting the table with Dexter Fowler, Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist 1-2-3 prior to the boppers coming after in Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant.

Having the 2015 NL ROY may help Rizzo win the NL MVP this season.  He had 10 RBI this week – including a 6 RBI effort.

Jake Arrieta is already 2 – 0, and this team shows no signs of slowing down.

(2)  KC Royals  (4 – 1) (2):  This club just knows how to win with the dominant Bullpen and clutch hitting.  They have only yielded 11 runs thus far, and this team has not even hit huge strides on offense yet.

The AL Central is better in 2016 there is no question, however KC will be ready to take them on.  There may not be a more filthy Late Inning Reliever right now than Wade DavisEdinson Volquez has picked up right where he left off in 2015 as well. Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The MLB Divisions In 2016: Best Value Bets

It seems about once every 3 years Ubaldo Jimenez puts together a Cy Young caliber type of year. If he can find all the stars aligned in the right direction he could throw like a suitable #1 pitcher in the league. The problem with the rotation is that Jimenez and Tillman are up and down - while Gausman and Bundy are unproven at the big league. At least the potential is there for one year.

It seems about once every 3 years Ubaldo Jimenez puts together a Cy Young caliber type of year. If he can find all the stars aligned in the right direction he could throw like a suitable #1 pitcher in the league. The problem with the rotation is that Jimenez and Tillman are up and down – while Gausman and Bundy are unproven at the big league. At least the potential is there for one year.  Decent Innings were thrown by both starters this week, and Bundy worked a nice frame out of the Bullpen last night.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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So less than a week of play has occurred and we are seeing some early trends.  They jumped from +1300 to +900 in 3 games, and I still believe that is great value.

1st impressions are I am glad I bet a lot of money on the Baltimore Orioles for the Division and the American League Pennant overall.  Yes they swept a Twins club at home, and  have yet to play on the road, but the pitching looks decent.

Chris Tillman and Ubaldo Jimenez look decent in their limited work, and the offense has come up clutch.

If the O’s are able to get that Cy Young caliber type of chucker Jimenez seems to wharf into for half a year (for once every 3 seasons), than maybe Baltimore has a fighting chance to win the AL East in 2016.

Baltimore was 47 – 31, and played one of the weirdest home games ever in front of no fans after the Baltimore riots.  For those scoring at home too, the Rays hosted 3 games with the civil unrest, and that is why there were only 78 games played at Camden Yards in 2015.

The Orioles were 34 – 50 on the road.  If they are able to win some games away from home cooking, they will compete. Read the rest of this entry

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