Pushing BvP for fantasy baseball plays
June 02, 2015 3:00 AM
by Ramon Scott
Admittedly, I am an unabashed member of team BvP.
For the uninitiated, that new-age acronym stands for an old school stat by today’s standards – batter-versus-pitcher. It’s a much-bandied, argued, misused and simple statistic to consider when handicapping a daily fantasy baseball contest.
In today’s world of WOBA, BABIP and ISO, BvP is a quick, easy reference often considered a statistic preferred by amateurs.
Hardcore statisticians are quick to argue that sample sizes are often too small to consider whether or not 5, 10 or even 20 at-bats are necessary to determine when a batter seems to have a competitive advantage over his opponent. Some of the brightest minds in the game even shun the statistic for the most part, deeming the short-term success simply an event.
However, some former major league players have said that the mano-a-mano confrontation is at the true core of the game.
Former Tigers’ pitcher Zach Miner, a weekly commentator for Rotogrinders.com’s Daily Fantasy Happy Hour, said that the cerebral battle is real, and off the top of his head easily named the players - some stars and some scrubs - who raked off him over his short injury-plagued ML career.
Many veteran matchups will only occur between 10-to-50 times over the players’ respective careers. While proponents of using the seemingly controversial statistic have taken it a step further, using batted ball speed as more of a top consideration when judging a standout head-to-head performance for a hitter.
Many factors should be considered before “rostering” a player, including betting lines and totals, comparative salaries by position, cash-game and/or tournament value, and more traditional commonly-used hitting and pitching splits.
However, using important tie-breakers such as the batter-versus-pitcher split likely won’t result in the already off-the-means production, but may provide a strong enough advantage to provide the true slight edge needed in a game often decided by decimals.
DFS Starting Pitchers
Wednesday: Cole Hamels (PHI). Held current Reds squad to a .192 average over 130 at-bats. Votto and Phillips a combined 7-for-47 against the lefty.
Thursday: Aaron Harang (PHI). Has had some decent success against some of Cincinnati’s key bats. Posted at least 6-strikeouts in three of his last four starts.
Friday: David Price (DET). Has limited current White Sox roster to a .211 BA with just two homers in 147 at-bats. Had a quality start against the Angels despite allowing eight hits and four walks.
Saturday: Felix Hernandez (SEA). Has held current Tampa Bay hitters to a .224 BA over 134 at-bats, with just one home run allowed while striking out 39.
Sunday: Chris Archer (TOR). The alternative to the Nats’ Scherzer, who certainly commands top-dollar price. Has limited the Mariners to just a .147 average over 75 at-bats, including 24 strikeouts.
DFS Position Players
Wednesday: Mike Moustakas (KC) has an impressive 13-for-27 career BvP against Indians’ star Kluber; Ryan Howard (PHI) has a pair of homers in 15 AB against the Reds’ Leake; Adam Lind (MIL) has been strong against the Cards’ Lackey, going 15-for-31 against him; Denard Span (WAS) is hitting .364 over 33 at-bats, including a pair of HRs against the Jays’ Buehrle. Washington as a team hits .306 against him.
Avoid: Texas bats against White Sox lefty Chris Sale. Andrus, Choo, Fielder and Hamilton a combined 10-for-71.
Thursday: Jose Altuve (HOU) has seen a dramatic salary drop industry wide with a recent streak of sub-par production, so we will likely be taking him fairly often for now, especially here considering his 6-for-13 against the Orioles’ Chen; Yunel Escobar (WAS) modestly-priced in a lineup that has been productive of late. Is 7-for-18 against the Cubs’ Arrieta; Adam LaRoche (CWS) despite recent woes is 11-for-30 with a pair of HRs against the Rangers’ Gallardo,
Avoid: Anthony Rizzo (Cubs) is 0-for-11 against Nats’ left Gio Gonzalez.
Friday: Jose Bautista (TOR) is 7-for-17, including two homers, against the Astros’ Hernandez; Yanks’ Alex Rodriguez has five homers in 26 at-bats against the Angels’ Weaver; Adam Jones (BAL) was sidelined over the weekend with an ankle injury, but is 7-for-12 lifetime against Indians’ Marcum.
Avoid: Marlon Byrd and Brandon Phillips of the Reds. They are a combined 2-for-20 against the Padres’ Tyson Ross.
Saturday: Dustin Pedroia (BOS) has a knack for contact against Oakland’s Kazmir, going 19-for-40, with eight extra-base hits; Josh Donaldson (TOR) was hitting bombs all weekend, so we can look to take him at home with his 6-for-15, including five extra-base hits, against Houston’s Oberholtzer; Ian Kinsler (DET) is batting .341 lifetime against White Sox lefty Danks,
Avoid: Maybe not so much now, but Bryce Harper (WAS) is 0-for-10 lifetime against the Cubs’ Jason Hammel.
Sunday: Matt Kemp (SD) hasn’t produced as expected and as a result his salary has fallen to bargain territory, but is 6-for-13 against the Reds’ Cueto; Prince Fielder (TEX) a top fantasy producer this season, is 12-for-24 lifetime against the Royals’ Guthrie; Josh Hamilton (TEX) right now is crushing his meager salary which will surely be higher than 3k and has 4 HR in 31 at-bats against KC’s Guthrie.
Avoid: A’s bats Billy Butler, Brett Lawrie and Ben Zobrist, who are 13-for-80 combined against Boston’s Clay Buchholz.
Ramon Scott is a Southern California-based sportswriter, covering the preps to the pros for over 25 years. Contact him at RamonScott@GamingToday.com.