En Votto Veritas

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  1. I think 2021 is going to have a weirder first round than many years past because fantasy baseball managers tend to have very short term memories and this season was really odd. At quick glance, a 16-team league first round might look like: 5-category studs (picks 1-7 in whatever order you like): Acuna, Betts, Soto, Tatis, Turner, Story, JoRam. Guys on discount (picks 8-14 in whatever order you like): Trout, Arenado, Yelich, Bellinger, Lindor, Freeman. (We all would be wise to recall from the 2020 first round that discounting superstars like Jose Ramirez for one bad half is a terrible plan) Ace SPs (mixed into the above two tiers): Bieber, DeGrom, Cole. Honestly I'd be ok with any of them and that means I think we'll see a lot of different rankings and drafts. For 12 team leagues I'd drop 4 guys from the discount rack into the second round and hope that you end up with the 10th, 11th, or 12th pick so you can effectively get two first rounders on the turn. I mean, would you really be upset with Yelich/Bellinger for your 1-2? Or Arenado/Lindor?
  2. Other than Trout, Arenado, and maybe Betts, Freeman has the highest and most consistent floor of any hitter. .300/.385/.500 is going to happen with 25+ HRs and 180+ counting stats. Book it. The handful of SBs that he used to provide seem to have gone away but his power is up so it's 30+ bombs and 200+ R/RBI now. Also his walk rate has increased each season over the past three and is now 3% higher than his K rate which is... just silly. His OBP is an obscene .454 at the moment. The guy is a pure hitter and so hard to get out; reminds me of a vintage Miguel Cabrera.
  3. Looks like that rough stretch is over. Not including tonight, over the past fourteen days he's gone .321/.390 with 1 HR, 2 SB, and 8 R. Tonight he hit another HR with 2 RBIs. Dude is turning it on though they keep hitting him in the 3 spot and I agree with others that he should be leading off.
  4. Career: 9.7% BB% and 23.6% K%. 2020: 20.3% BB% (!!!) and 20.3% K%. Dude has always had the power, he hit 30 HR in 2016 with TB. His BABIP this season isn't insane at .341 though his career mark is .290, so he's not getting crazy lucky but he is luckier than usual. Hard hit rate is up at 53.5% vs career 34.4% and he's hitting a crazy 51.2% of his balls to center and 27.9% line-drives. So it looks like he's seeing the ball real well and when he makes contact it's right back up the middle and hard. Honestly I have no idea what happened but he's 4 for 6 tonight with 2 home runs and f'in 7 RBIs... so...
  5. Winker is legit. He's a .300/.400/.500 hitter with a great eye. The power is something new and makes him relevant beyond OBP, points, and deeper leagues. I don't think he's a 40 HR guy, though, 20-30 HRs seem reasonable going forward. Couple that with a great AVG and OBP and good counting stats and he puts up a really good floor. SBs is all that's lacking and they probably aren't going to come. As I said before:
  6. As far as I remember going into this season everything hinged on him getting that K rate down. All the other peripherals were in order, he was just going too deep into counts, passing on good pitches, then swinging at crap. Honestly everything else in his profile looks very similar this season, perhaps with the sole exception of he's hitting to opposite field more than center now. But that K rate: 2019: 28.6% 🤮 2020: 19.7% 💪 Dude is money. And when Bichette comes back he will be money plus more money. And when Vlad Jr stops hitting so many ground balls and starts driving, Biggio will be money cubed.
  7. I don't watch CLE games but I will say that when I buy a first rounder I'm not buying amazing first round production every week of the season. What I'm buying is a talent floor that is higher than the rest of the player pool. All players have slumps, some extended, some just have down years. But a guy goes in the first round because when he, such as Lindor right now or JoRam last season, goes through an extended funk I have reason to believe that he will not only come out of it, but that when he does he will produce really well.
  8. Re: the SD closer situation, keep an eye on universally un-owned Matt Strahm. Why, you say? Career as SP: 106.2 IP, 5.06 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 1.86 HR/9, 24.1% K%, .267 AVG Career as RP: 131.9 IP, 2.65 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 0.97 HR/9, 26.6% K%, .194 AVG Dude was a good prospect, has a four-pitch mix, and is pegged as a long-relief guy. Yet... he has not pitched over 2 innings in a game this season and routinely goes for 1.1 or 1.2. Yates is done for the year, Pomeranz is having shoulder issues and has an injury history, Pagan is crapping the bed, Patino has walked as many as he's struck out, and Stammen has 18 blown saves to 5 saves in his career. So that leaves... Matt mf-ing Strahm. 2020 so far: 13.1 IP, 2.02 ERA, 0.45 WHIP, 6 K, 0 BB, 6 H, 3 HR. The K rate is way down and the HRs way up, but he's generating 42.1% ground ball contact. Oh, and he qualifies for SP in Yahoo. I was right about Rosenthal in KC, can I go 2 for 2?
  9. And it's "worse than expencted." Sun, Aug 16 According to Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun, Bo Bichette's right knee injury is "worse than expected" and could keep him out until mid-September. Advice: Awful news. Bichette was placed on the injured list Sunday after spraining his right knee during Saturday's game in Buffalo against the visiting Rays. The young shortstop had a stellar .356/.387/.678 batting line with five home runs, 13 RBI, four stolen bases, and 11 runs scored through 62 plate appearances (13 games) this season. Joe Panik and Santiago Espinal appear likely to share playing time at short in Bichette's absence.
  10. Hoskins likely isn't getting benched. He's only 27 and is walking more (24.6% this year vs 15.5% career) and striking out less (17.5% vs 23.2%). EV is right on pace with career lines (90.1) and he's hitting the ball hard 50% of the time. I mean the dude is hitting second in the lineup and has more walks (14) than hits (6), his OBP is .404. Things just aren't connecting after 13 games; just a slump. Actually looks like a great buy low IMO. Look for Bohm to share 3B with Segura while Segura moves over to 2B to relieve Kingery. Platoon likely incoming with these three.
  11. Additional value: he qualifies at 2B, 3B, SS, LF, and RF in Yahoo, which is huge this season especially with teams having a lot of PPDs.
  12. All I'm saying is if Pressly comes out and Ks three dudes in 12 pitches for a shut-down save it'll be crickets here. Baseball players aren't machines; they need time to figure things out. Yes it's a shortened season but this isn't some rando sub for Osuna, it's one of the most dominant relievers the past 300+ games. Give the dude a chance.