Since the beginning of the baseball season, I’ve been pulling the baseball stats from Fangraphs with the hopes of developing a way to look at short term data to help in the daily baseball. Ideally, I like to show the 3-day, 7-day, and 10-day splits for all players while pulling the stats on Tuesdays and Fridays each week. I missed one day of data on April 18th so I’ll have to wait another period to add in another stat line for 10 days.
Over the winter, I had this idea of looking at a batter swing by ground ball and strikeouts divided by at bats. The goal was to show, which batters are making weaker contact or even no contact. Over about 20 games, the batter with the most ground balls and strikeouts divided by at bats with a full-time job is Jonathan Villar. He’s hit 34 ground balls while striking out 35 times to delivering poor contact 72.6 percent of the time. Kevin Kiermaier has the second highest rate (69.8 percent) of batters with over 90 plate appearances.
On the reverse side, Daniel Murphy has the best rate (39.4 percent) for batter with over 90 plate appearances followed by Anthony Rizzo (42.2 percent). Murphy gains his edge with a low strikeout total (nine over 98 plate appearances) with hitting 28 ground balls. Rizzo has been tough to strikeout as well (12 Ks over 100 plate appearances in 2017) while producing 23 grounders.
The stats should be more helpful over the short term when deciding between a couple of batters. If a player is striking out and hitting ground balls, he will be out of rhythm. If a player with minimal hits over a three-day or seven-day period has a lot of line drives and fly balls, he could be ready to pay off if facing a favorable pitcher.
The second data point was current form. I wanted to reward a player who is hitting the ball well while also account for his outs. I gave a score of minus one for a strikeout and minus 0.5 points for a groundout. For a flyball, a batter will get a half of a points and a line drive is worth a 0.75 points. These totals were added to the base line for Fantasy scoring in a points league (single = 1, double = 2, triple = 3, home run = 4, walk, run, and RBI = 1, and stolen base = 2). The idea here is to get a feel for a player going in and out of form.
A Fantasy owner can look at the last three days of data put up by the Washington Nationals to know who is hitting. Trea Turner has 10 hits over his last 17 plate appearances with nine runs, three double, a triple, two RBI, and 11 RBI to deliver a form score of 2.47, which is up from his last seven-day total (1.65). In comparison, Bryce Harper played well in Colorado as well (7-for-13 with six runs, a HR, and five RBI), but his form score came in at 1.56 compared to 1.39 over the last seven days. Daniel Murphy had massive three days in Coors (8-for-16 with five runs, two HRs, and 11 RBI). These three players will be easy to identify, but how do we find the next group of batters that may pop?
I would have my eyes pinned on Kris Bryant. He has an eight-game hitting streak with eight runs, five RBI, and two SBs. His 7-day form score is 1.00 and a 3-day total of 1.22. Kris is trending upward and he draw a lefty in a hitter’s park tonight (.438 vs. lefties in 2017 – 5-for-16 with a HR and six RBI).
Paul Goldschmidt has been great over the last week (12-for-22 with nine runs, two HRs, 12 RBI, and two stolen base) leading to a form score of 1.86. This number improved to 2.18 over the last three games thanks to eight hits in 11 at bats with a HR, six RBI, and two steals. The Rockies have been run over in the last three games (42 runs allowed). Colorado has four solid backend relievers, but they have no value if the Rockies fall behind early. The Diamondbacks are the second highest scoring team in baseball after 24 games (132 runs) behind the Nationals (139 runs). Paul will draw rookie lefty starter tonight, but he’s only 3-for-23 against left hand pitching in 2017 with a HR, two RBI, and two SBs after crushing them in 2015 (.364 with eight HRs, 24 RBI, and 10 SBs over 121 at bats) and 2016 (.352 with six HRs, 24 RBI, and 12 SBs over 125 at bats).
I also added Fanduel Fantasy Points divided by plate appearances and DraftKings Fantasy Points divided by plate appearances. Many daily Fantasy owners look at weighted on-base average. The stat looks interesting, but I thought it made more sense to weight each player’s value based on that daily games scoring average. This would give a truer evaluation of each player’s production within that system.
Below is a spreadsheet with all the 3-day and 7-day data for baseball games on April 28th.
Note: The spreadsheet's appearance varies by device and browser. Due to the size and dimensions of the data, it may be best to download the file. We recommend using Google Docs, Microsoft Excel or any spreadsheet-compatible app/program to view.
APRIL 28 MLB DFS SPLITS CHEATSHEET