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Kindergarten Cop with a K

Major League Baseball completed its first month of the season and through Sunday May 1st it has played 13.7% of the season. I’ve been writing about how the 705 NFBC Main Event owners are noticing the reduced power stats in major league baseball and on their fantasy teams. But my boss, Michael Simione, the demanding website owner and founder of spstreamer.com, was less than fully satisfied with that. Michael wrote me a pointed e-mail as follows: “Listen Todd, this is spstreamer.com, one of the top baseball websites on the internet. We have to talk about pitching. Don’t you know that I pick a streaming pitcher each day? Don’t you know that I have a podcast? Let’s talk about strikeouts! And while you’re at it, please relate this to a movie like you used to do – and make it funny, OK? Some of your recent work hasn’t quite been up to par. Thanks.”

So I thought back to my interview with Michael and realized that my conversation with Michael before he hired me as a writer was almost exactly the same as the scene in the movie Kindergarten Cop when Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character, big, tough Detective John Kimble shows up as the substitute teacher (one change in parentheses) the following exchange took place – the same as in our interview!

(Michael) Principal Schlowski: “I assume you have some teaching (writing) experience.”

(Todd) John Kimble: “They wouldn’t have sent me otherwise.”

So I figured that writing about strikeouts would be easy, and relating it to Kindergarten Cop would be no problem. For example, when Kimble has to substitute for his sick partner Phoebe O’Hara as a kindergarten teacher, he was ALSO highly confident and said:

John Kimble: “Get some rest and don’t worry. I’ve been working undercover for a long time. They’re six-year-olds. How much trouble can they be?

Phoebe O’Hara: “On second thought, take the gun.”

 Michael has recently told me – like kindergartener Dominic Palmeiri said to John Kimble – that all of the other spstreamer.com are better writers than me.

Michael: “And by the way, Josh St. Marie (Weekly Hitter Projections) is a better writer than you – And Victor Akintola (Bullpen Breakdown) – And Rodrigo Motoyama (Streaming Speed) – And Mike Carter (Streaming Hitters) – And Matty Kiwoom (Combing for Catchers). This prompted the following exchange, which amazingly mirrored the scene in Kindergarten Cop:

(Todd) Detective John Kimble: “I really appreciate your honesty. You happen to know someone that is not better than me?”

(Michael) Dominic: “I don’t know that many people.”

Through Sunday 5/1, hitters have been doing a little better. MLB runs per game, which were 4.53 in 2021 reached a low of 4.02 last week but have now rebounded to 4.08. In addition:

  • Batting average is up just slightly to .233 (from .232 last week – but still down from .244 last year).
  • Home runs were at 0.89 per game but are now a little better at 0.91 (from 1.22 in 2021).

Maybe things are improving a little? We’ll track them and see…

MLB HITTING STATS RUNS/GAME HOME RUNS BATTING AVERAGE
2022 YTD 4.08 0.91 0.233
2021 4.53 1.22 0.244
2020 4.65 1.28 0.245
2019 4.83 1.39 0.252
2018 4.65 1.15 0.248
2017 4.65 1.26 0.255

K Leaders

I’ve been focusing on the lack of hitting, but there is another side of the coin. Pitching stats are obviously a nice story. But has the improved ERA gone hand in hand with better strikeout totals? Interestingly, across MLB, strikeouts per game have actually declined from 8.68 in the last two seasons to 8.49 thus far in 2022 (a dip of 2.2%). Walks, on the other hand, are slightly higher. This produces an overall 2.59 K:BB ratio for MLB – down from 2.67 last year.

MLB PITCHING STATS RUNS/GAME STRIKEOUTS RECORDED WALKS ALLOWED K:BB RATIO
2022 YTD 4.08 8.49 3.28 2.59
2021 4.53 8.68 3.25 2.67
2020 4.65 8.68 3.39 2.56
2019 4.83 8.81 3.27 2.69
2018 4.65 8.48 3.32 2.55
2017 4.65 8.25 3.26 2.53

 

In the Main Event, I’ve tracked the 80% level over the past few seasons, and in 2019 fantasy owners needed 1476 strikeouts to get 80% of the overall points available in this category. In 2021 (skipping 2020 because of the shortened season), that number declined to 1389 (about 6% lower). Thus far in 2022, a Main Event team would need 186 strikeouts to get 80% of the points available. So extrapolating that out to the full season, at this rate both MLB and the Main Event target are down a couple of points in terms of strikeouts.

McClanahan Rode On

Who are the pitchers that are providing the most strikeouts in the early season? In the chart below you can see – through Saturday 4/30 – the pitchers with the most whiffs. Shane McClanahan and Carlos Rodon are the April leaders. McClanahan has 42 strikeouts and Rodon – who broke out last year, went unsigned by the White Sox, and signed with the Giants, has 38 Ks. Both of these pitchers had reasonable Main Event ADPs (92 and 74) but they were not nearly the biggest bargain in the top 20. That honor goes to Kyle Wright, who went undrafted in many leagues and had an overall ADP in the Main of 418. Also noteworthy are five additional pitchers that we are available after pick 200 – Eric Lauer, Nestor Cortes, Jesus Luzardo, Josiah Gray, and Tylor Megill. These have been great adds to fantasy staffs thus far.

I also show the K:BB ratios to date for these strikeout pitchers, and 9 pitchers have ratios at 6.0 or above (including Kevin Gausman who has yet to issue a walk!). This ratio does highlight some concern for Sean Manaea, Dylan Cease, and Josiah Gray, who have been handing out plenty of walks along with their high strikeout totals.

STRIKEOUT RANK THRU 4/30 PITCHER STRIKEOUTS 2022 K:BB RATIO 2022 MAIN EVENT ADP
1 Shane McClanahan 42 6.00 92
2 Carlos Rodon 38 4.75 74
3 tie Aaron Nola 34 6.80 33
3 tie Kyle Wright 34 5.67 418
3 tie Eric Lauer 34 6.80 311
6 tie Max Scherzer 33 4.13 15
6 tie Corbin Burnes 33 5.50 6
7 Nathan Eovaldi 32 10.67 102
8 tie Kevin Gausman 31 zero walks 70
8 tie Frankie Montas 31 3.88 82
10 tie Shohei Ohtani 30 6.00 10
10 tie Clayton Kershaw 30 15.00 114
10 tie Sean Manaea 30 2.73 109
13 Shane Bieber 29 4.83 32
14 tie Justin Verlander 28 7.00 53
14 tie Dylan Cease 28 2.80 54
14 tie Nestor Cortes 28 9.33 294
14 tie Jesus Luzardo 28 3.11 210
14 tie Josiah Gray 28 2.80 265
19 tie Tylor Megill 27 4.50 229
19 tie Gerrit Cole 27 2.70 4

Earning Demerittes

In the fifth FAAB period held on Sunday May 1st, ten players were picked up in 27 or more leagues (see below) with Travis Demeritte targeted in 42 of the 47 Main Event leagues as he has been playing regularly even after the return of Ronald Acuna. The question remains – will this continue? Right now Demeritte is producing, and showing that he has both speed and power – so he might just earn regular time in the outfield. Josh Winder threw an excellent game for the Twins and was added in 35 leagues – will they give him another start? Yadiel Hernandez just keeps hitting and visits Coors Field this week, helping his case as he was picked up in 33 leagues.

Others in the top ten widest pickups that also attracted at least one winning bid over $100 were Ian Kennedy – who has been closing in Mark Melancon’s absence for Arizona, Kyle Isbel, who was called up Thursday by the Royals, and Ryan Helsley, who earned a save for the Cardinals.

ADDED IN MOST MAIN EVENT LEAGUES Leagues Added Reason Highest Winning Bid Lowest Winning Bid
Travis Demeritte 42 Getting PT in ATL 101 1
Josh Winder 35 In rotation or bullpen? 53 2
Yadiel Hernandez 33 Hitting well for WAS 112 1
Taylor Walls 32 Getting PT in TB 86 3
Ian Kennedy 31 Closing for AZ? 163 2
Kyle Isbel 30 Getting PT in KC 125 3
Victor Robles 30 Hitting well for WAS 71 1
Chad Kuhl 29 It’s Kuhl to be kind 60 1
Ross Stripling 29 In TOR rotation 56 1
Ryan Helsley 27 Earned save for STL 251 17

The Wow Bid of the Week

One of our favorite features – the Main Event Wow Bid of the Week – is back and goes to the largest bid of each FAAB period. This week that honor goes to a $452 bid for White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez, who was available in just two Main Event leagues (he was won for $245 in the second league). The runner-up bids of $177 and $164 were solid – but not close to being successful. Notably, the player with the second-highest winning bid was Drew Rasmussen for $340. Normally I don’t highlight the second-highest player, but the winning bid was from notorious cheapskate Philippe Dussault, who is a big believer in Rasmussen this season. Rasmussen was available in two Main Event leagues, and while Phil won him handily ($340 to $142), the second league was much tighter, as the winning bidder got him for $234 compared to a runner-up amount of $232.

The Century Club Has 25 Members This Week

There were 25 players that attracted SUCCESSFUL bids over $100 during this FAAB run (down from 28 last week), and 5 of those players had at least one winning bid over $200 – Eloy Jimenez, Drew Rasmussen, Anthony Bender, Ryan Helsley, and Trent Grisham. Players attracting the most bids over $100 were Ryan Helsley with 14 and Anthony Bender with 9. There were 49 successful bids over $100 (down from 82) and 12 successful bids over $200 (up from 7 – see chart below):

TEAM BIDS OVER $100 – MAIN EVENT Winning Bids over $100 Winning Bids over $200 Highest Winning Bid (FAAB $)
CHW Eloy Jimenez 2 2 452
TB Drew Rasmussen 2 2 340
FLA Anthony Bender 9 5 322
STL Ryan Helsley 14 2 251
SD Trent Grisham 1 1 213
AZ Ian Kennedy 2 0 163
MIL Aaron Ashby 1 0 151
KC MJ Melendez 1 0 149
TEX Glenn Otto 1 0 143
TOR Santiago Espinal 1 0 130
TB Corey Kluber 1 0 129
KC Kyle Isbel 1 0 125
SD Eric Hosmer 1 0 122
MIN Chris Paddack 1 0 121
BAL Kyle Bradish 1 0 120
PIT Nick Pivetta 1 0 118
AZ Ha-Seong Kim 1 0 117
CIN LaMont Wade Jr. 1 0 117
DET Yadiel Hernandez 1 0 112
BOS Shane Baz 1 0 108
BAL Michael Wacha 1 0 105
LAD Bruce Zimmermann 1 0 104
PIT Sheldon Neuse 1 0 103
STL Nick Lodolo 1 0 103
OAK Travis Demeritte 1 0 101
49 12

For the 5 FAAB runs thus far, the average Main Event team has won 8.1 bids this season (roughly 1.6 per week) and spent $244.21 per team. This is lower than last year when about $318 was spent per team in the first 5 FAAB runs. This means that in 2022, the average team still has $756 of FAAB left, so bidding should continue to remain relatively strong over the next few weeks.

2022 TOTAL NUMBER OF MAIN EVENT WINNING BIDS TOTAL FAAB DOLLARS SPENT MAIN EVENT AVERAGE WINNING BID MAIN EVENT AVERAGE AMOUNTS SPENT PER ME TEAM
1 403 $7,962 $19.76 $11.29
2 1035 $36,124 $34.90 $51.24
3 1445 $46,026 $31.85 $65.29
4 1431 $44,112 $30.83 $62.57
5 1367 $37,945 $27.76 $53.82
TOTAL 5681 $172,169 $30.31 $244.21

Colosseum Stats: Four Players from Three Weeks Ago…Results: 1 Good Add out of 4:

Again this season we’ll be keeping tabs on the 4 most added players from 3 weeks ago to see how some of the biggest free agent acquisitions have been doing for their fantasy owners. These are the players acquired in the most leagues on the second FAAB run this season – on 4/10 just after the season started (stats are from 4/11 through 5/1):

  • Daniel Bard: 7.0 IP; 8:0 K-BB; 1 WINS; 2.57 ERA; 0.71 WHIP and 5 SAVES – WOW. Bard has been a great find for fantasy owners and certainly earns a WIN in our Roman Colosseum.
  • Kyle Wright: 18.0 IP; 28:5 K-BB; 2 WINS; 1.50 ERA; 0.94 WHIP Double WOW! – Wright has been incredible thus far and has certainly earned the WIN! A fantastic add!
  • Josh Lowe: 10-for-55 .182 AVG; 1 HR; 1 SB – his batting average wasn’t great, but he might not have fully deserved to be sent down to the minors on Sunday. Nevertheless, this didn’t turn out well for owners that bought in – so we sadly score this as a LOSS.
  • Tyler Duffey: 7.0 IP; 6:1 K-BB; 1 WINS; 3.86 ERA; 1.43 WHIP but 0 SAVES. Well, this didn’t work out – it seemed like he would be in the mix to close, but we’ll have to say this was a LOSS.

2022 RECORD:

  • 3 thumbs up – 37% (full year 2021 24%)
  • 1 side thumbs – 12% (full year 2021 27%)
  • 4 thumbs down – 50% (full year 2021 49%)

It’s still early yet, but it’s nice to see a surge in winning pickups – will this continue? Stay tuned to find out!

In addition, we’ll be following the Main Event chase all season in this space, and showing the overall leader board as it shifts throughout the season. First, here are the top 20 in the overall standings after the on the morning of April 12th.

Overall Rank: Thru 4/17 Fantasy Owner Overall Points Points Behind NFBC League Number #
1 Chris Read 6308.5 0.0 1332
2 Abdulaziz Madani 5731.5 577.0 1402
3 Douglas Gruber 5698.0 610.5 1244
4 Jason Santeiu 5634.0 674.5 1371
5 Bob Catsiroumpas 5627.5 681.0 1331
6 Matthew McDonough 5574.5 734.0 1363
7 Eric Heberlig 5544.5 764.0 1132
8 Steve Gregovich 5484.5 824.0 1292
9 Tyler Jung 5422.5 886.0 1265
10 Philippe Dussault 5413.0 895.5 1320
11 Doug Moe 5380.5 928.0 934
12 Douglas Gruber 5348.5 960.0 1318
13 Anthony Botzo 5286.0 1022.5 935
14 Michael Garcia 5378.5 930.0 1226
15 Scott Fleming 5271.5 1037.0 1511
16 Kelly Uganski 5248.0 1060.5 1260
17 Zach Bettencourt 5237.5 1071.0 1297
18 Ryan Rufe 5206.0 1102.5 1264
19 Brian Slack 5184.5 1124.0 1371
20 Leonard Ringle 5180.5 1128.0 1332
Average Top 20 Overall Score 5458.0

Read it Twice

Congratulations to Chris Read for continuing to hold the Number One position! Not only that, but Chris has just two Main Event entries, and apparently that’s enough! Kudos also go out to Abdulaziz Madani (the 2019 overall champ), Douglas Gruber, Jason Senteiu, and Bob Catsiroumpas for their top five early-season positions. Certainly, none of the top 20 can feel secure about their position after 1 month, but it is also true that it’s much more preferable to get off to a fast start than to stumble out of the gate. All of these 20 can feel good about posting a nice solid beginning.

Philippe Dussault in 10th Place!

Philippe is back in the top 10 now! Noooooo! This cannot be happening! The robot is apparently in full gear!

Where are our 2022 Previous Overall Leaders?

Tim Lilly (4/11): Tim is in 31st place, which is not too shabby, and says that he is just giving others a chance to shine until he surges back to the top. He’s just hanging out in his pond among the lilly pads.

Scott Fleming (4/18): Right in the thick of the race at the number 15 overall position, Scott is still in Belgium with his Flemish family, which is strange, because they appear not to know who he is. He plans to be back soon according to Flemish TV though.

League of Legends

In addition, we’ll follow the individual league races this season. It is no small feat to win a league championship in the Main Event regardless of a fantasy owner’s overall place, and the top three in each league earn a cash prize and deserve recognition. You can see the 47 leagues listed in the chart below – along with the top three in the standings as of Monday morning.

NFBC League Number LEADER League Points 2nd PLACE League Points 3rd PLACE League Points
#934 Doug Moe 120.0 Jason Anthony 110.5 Matthew Shepherd 102.0
#935 Anthony Botzo 120.5 Mark Srebro 108.0 Scott Waggener 94.0
#943 Daniel DaSilva 105.5 Andrew Kopicz 105.0 Joe Gelsomino 102.0
#1026 John Pausma 111.0 Scott Davis 110.0 Jody Ryan 98.0
#1027 Michael Govier 114.5 Jason Gill 106.5 Scott Jenstad 104.0
#1028 Jacob Halusker 105.0 Ryan Atkins 96.5 James Milkowski 93.0
#1029 Ken Magner 114.0 Mark Northan 102.0 Donald Warner 98.5
#1030 Zach Bettencourt 118.5 Daniel DaSilva 106.5 Douglas Roth 99.5
#1031 Dustin Wagner 114.0 Daniel Prepas 107.5 Tim Lilly 107.0
#1032 Keith Tonsager 111.5 Shawn Childs 93.5 Tony DiVincenzo & Dave McDonald 91.5
#1034 Joe Green 106.0 Ned Donohue 99.5 Michael Lins 98.5
#1132 Eric Heberlig 125.0 Jin Chun 89.0 Jon Engstrom 87.5
#1143 Markus Sultan 108.0 Greg Lathrop 103.0 Curtis Jones 97.0
#1192 Christopher Vaccaro 106.5 Robert Cramutola 101.5 Marc Fleisher 98.5
#1221 Marc Fleisher 117.5 Eric Heberlig 100.5 Mike Duggan 100.0
#1226 Michael Garcia 115.0 Patrick Longood 110.5 Glenn Schroter 91.0
#1228 Jordan Epping 104.5 John Pausma 101.0 Charles Sommer 98.0
#1233 Steve Heisman 108.5 Joe Anthony 105.0 Jon Stadtmueller 89.0
#1236 Dalton Del Don 111.5 Joe McHugh 107.0 Clark Olson 100.0
#1244 Douglas Gruber 132.0 Scott Zeidman 106.5 Scott Sakiyama 92.5
#1260 Kelly Uganski 114.0 Jason Aberli 102.5 Douglas Roth 99.5
#1263 TIE: Stephen Jupinka 105.5 TIE: Chris Uram 105.5 Eric Heberlig 96.5
#1264 Ryan Rufe 112.5 Bill Macey 107.0 Brian Edwards 105.0
#1265 Tyler Jung 120.5 Bob Mazur 95.5 Joe Morrison 92.5
#1287 Aaron Lawson 107.0 Eric Price 104.5 Jason Perkins 99.5
#1292 Steve Gregovich 122.5 Chris Fessler 105.5 Jeremy Brader 90.0
#1294 Dominic Rello 105.0 Bryan Fitzgerald 101.5 Matthew Anderson 100.5
#1297 Zach Bettencourt 116.0 Douglas Gruber 105.5 Richard Briskin 100.5
#1304 Jeff Campbell 108.0 Bryan Fitzgerald 104.0 TIE: David Redgrave & Abdulaziz Madani 98.0
#1306 David Miller 101.0 Brian Slack 98.0 Dave Petroziello 96.0
#1318 Douglas Gruber 121.0 Dan Kenyon 97.5 JimJ Ferrari 96.0
#1319 Bob Casale 106.5 Leonard Ringle 100.5 Jon Stadtmueller 92.5
#1320 Philippe Dussault 114.0 Robert Mirshak 106.5 Michael Fuchs 104.5
#1321 Bradley Beckman 113.5 Gary Allen 110.5 Andrew Sullivan 100.0
#1322 Kellen Arneson 117.0 Mike Cameron 100.5 Jeff Mitseff 94.5
#1331 Bob Catsiroumpas 117.5 Robert DiPietro 105.0 Bradley Libros 103.0
#1332 Chris Read 136.5 Leonard Ringle 116.5 Ben Tidd 90.0
#1363 Matthew McDonough 124.0 Scott Davis 104.5 Paul Hong 102.5
#1364 Geoffrey Stein 107.5 Al Williams 101.5 Stephen Jupinka 93.5
#1365 Scott Waggener 114.0 Raymond Ventura 105.5 Craig Clarke 103.0
#1366 KC Cha 98.0 Isaac Cockburn 96.5 Jeff Mitseff 95.5
#1371 Jason Santeiu 118.0 Brian Slack 111.5 Hunter Dorbandt 102.0
#1402 Abdulaziz Madani 123.5 Ray Butler 108.0 Shawn Childs 97.5
#1405 William McAleer 106.0 Michael Lins 100.0 Zachary Waxman 97.5
#1408 Les Travis 111.0 Ronny Mor 100.5 TIE: Eric Heberlig & Pat Tremaglio 100.0
#1511 Scott Fleming 117.5 Beau Reid 112.5 Mike Ballscmiede 110.0
#1524 Zachary Viglianco 104.5 Marc Perlmutter 97.5 Brett Wemer 93.5
Average 1st Place Score 113.4 Average 2nd Place Score 103.7 Average 3rd Place Score 97.8

 

There are multiple NFBC players who are in the top three of not only one league, but two or more. Even at this early stage, that is impressive. A special shout-out goes to my podcast partner Robert DiPietro, who is in 2nd place in his league and 36th place overall! Also notable names (at least to me) are – crowd favorites Brian Slack, Tyler Jung, Michael Govier, 2017 Main Event Champ Chris Fessler, Stephen Jupinka (who recently had an encounter with a bear – see his Twitter timeline), my pal Christopher Vaccaro, Jordan Epping, Dalton Del Don, Zach Bettencourt, Ryan Rufe (in his first ever Main Event contest!), Doug Moe, Greg Lathrop, Jon Stadtmueller, Mark Srebro and newly-inducted Hall-of-Famer (and 2018 Main Event Champ) John Pausma! Great job by all!

As we head into the 2nd month of the MLB season, remember to get as much feedback as possible from your boss at work. And be sure to ask him or her if they know someone who is NOT as good as you – maybe you’ll get a more positive answer than I did!

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Todd Whitestone

Todd Whitestone

Writer for SPstreamer.com focusing on the NFBC Main Event

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