Monday, May 30, 2011

Ask COSFBA: May 30th, 2011

I get asked fantasy baseball questions on Twitter all the time but this one deserves more than a 140 character response:

The first question has me a little perplexed because Colby Rasmus put up a .276/85/23/66/12 5x5 line in 2010 in 144 games at just 23 years of age. So I think my gut-reaction answer to the first question is a "yes". But wait a moment. Rasmus only has four home runs and four stolen bases in 51 games this season and projecting a .284/106/12/59/12 2011 5x5 line. So his average and runs are up but his home runs, RBI and stolen bases are down.

A deeper look into his numbers (via FanGraphs) show his BB% is up (14.1% 2011 vs 10.2% career), K% is down (23.4% 2011 vs 25.5% career) with a high BABIP (.355 2011 vs .321 career). Hmmm, deeper. His LD% isn't bad (18.2% 2011 vs 19.3% career), neither is his GB% (37.8% 2011 vs 34.2% career) or FB% (44.1% 2011 vs 46.5% career).

Where can the problem be to help explain why his home run numbers are so far down? An elevated IFFB% of 11.1% in 2011 is what his career HR/FB% normally is (11.1%) but is down to 6.3% in 2011 explains it all. He's still hitting the ball in the air but it's not leaving the infield.

If you can find an owner who's fed up with Rasmus and his low HR/RBI totals so far, make a fair offer knowing he'll eventually turn things around once he gets more fly balls out of the infield. BUY NOW!

Max Scherzer was humming right along through nine starts (57.2 IP; 6-0; 2.81 ERA; 8.34 K/9) and looking every bit the sleeper most fantasy baseball writers expected him to be in 2011. His last two starts (7.2 IP total; 10 ER; 8 K) have owners wondering if they held on too long to a good thing or if this is simply a couple of rough starts most pitchers have along the way during a 30+ start season.

A deeper looking into his numbers (via Baseball-Reference) show the 39 batters he faced over his last two starts hit .400 against him with a .464 BABIP. Ouch! An even deeper look shows through his first nine starts, he threw 62% Strikes with a 19% rate of Strikes Looking and a 9% rate on Strikes Swinging. In his last two starts, those same numbers are 68% Strikes, an 18% rate of Strikes Looking and a 6% rate on Strikes Swinging.

I'm going to say Scherzer will be fine and dandy this season and could approach 15+ wins with 200 K's if he stays on pace for 200 innings pitched. Again, if owners are panicking and in a selling mode, send them a fair offer and see if they'll bite. BUY NOW!

If you have a fantasy baseball question you'd like to see answered in an Ask COSFBA column in the future, be sure to follow me on Twitter or visit the Ask COSFBA page on this site.


  1. I agree and am all in on Rasmus. I think his HR total will come along as the summer progresses. Batting in the midst of some potent hitters in the order is never a bad thing either. The only concern I would have is the fact that he is hitting lefties at a higher clip than his career rate but this could also be due to some adjustments he is making.

    In regard to Scherzer, I also agree that if you can get him, do it. His last 2 starts can probably be chalked up to some bad luck.

    Keep the fanatsy gems coming!

  2. The Cardinals have put Rasmus at the top of the order, and perhaps he is focusing more on getting on base. LaRussa has been all over him about the strikeouts, so that may be a factor too with the homers. His power numbers should rebound, but not to 2010's production. Nice post.