Home Run Derby: Thursday, July 12th
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Over the past couple of years, my blog for RotoGrinders has taken on many shapes and forms. I spent time identifying plays for Single Entry tournaments, chronicled results in All-Day contests for MLB on FanDuel, and even published a blog covering the Royal Rumble. During the 2018 MLB season, I will search for a few home runs in different salary tiers on FanDuel and call my shot. I implore all of you to join me this season and make your tiered home run calls in the comments section below. Without further ado, let’s play Home Run Derby!
Today, we “swing for the fences” with a few home run calls for today’s main MLB slate. We will use FanDuel pricing as a reference and choose a home run from the following price tiers:
Luxury Box – $4,000 and above
Club Seats – $3,000 and above
Bleachers – below $3,000
Happy Thursday, Grinders! We have a smaller slate tonight with 7 games around the MLB. The pitching on tonight’s slate makes the pool of power hitters very narrow (confidence-wise) especially when we get to the low tier. There might be overlap, but here are my three home run calls followed by a recap of Tuesday’s slate.
J.D. Martinez – OF – $5,300
Boy, it feels like I just selected J.D. a couple days ago. Yep, that’s because I did on Monday night. Here was the short blurb I used to buttress my Martinez call in Fenway Park:
“In 163 PA, Martinez boasts a .442 ISO, 217 wRC+, 55.1 Hard%, and 44.7 HR/FB%. I am not sure if you read that last one, so I will repeat it. Martinez owns a 44.7 HR/FB%! Normally, we would assume that number has to regress. While it certainly will, Fenway Park is extremely helpful to right-handed sluggers.”
Martinez homered again on Monday night, so the above numbers should be boosted. With that said, in a tier filled with hitters opposing really good pitching, Martinez seems to be the sure choice.
Nelson Cruz – OF – $3,700
When we get to the middle tier, calling a home run becomes a little trickier than the auto-play we used in the Luxury Box. However, the Mariners find themselves on the road against a returning southpaw in Tyler Skaggs and provide some potential choices for home runs. I am not sure what sample size I should use to support my Nelson Cruz versus a lefty spiel, so let’s just take a look at his entire Seattle career versus lefties:
670 PA, 48 HR, .309 ISO, 170 wRC+, 38.4 FB%, 43.6 Hard%
Admittedly, Skaggs leans a more towards the groundball side. Unfortunately, with the pitching on this slate, a returning Skaggs has to be considered a target given Cruz’s track record in Seattle. Cruzin’ to a home run tonight… I’ll see myself out.
Teoscar Hernandez – OF – $2,900
But wait, I cannot leave yet. I still have to make a pick in this wasteland of a tier. The low-end options are typically less able hitters or hitters in really bad matchups. Well, there are a ton of bad matchups tonight. Luckily, Teoscar Hernandez sticks out like a sore thumb on the road in Fenway Park.
When I picked J.D. Martinez the other night, I mentioned a fun statistic about Martinez and barrels. Let’s take a look…
“Martinez leads the MLB in both Barrels (48) and Barrels/PA% (13.1). Second in Barrels/PA%? J.D.’s teammate, Mookie Betts is also flexing this year.”
The gag worthy use of the word “flexing” aside, Martinez and Betts are lighting up the MLB Statcast leaderboards this season. Who is third on the Barrels/PA% list? You guessed it. Teoscar Hernandez checks in with 11.1%. Does that mean he is going to homer? Does that make him the best option amongst this atrocity of a group?
I don’t know but stuck in this mess of filth that statistic is all I need to certify Teoscar as my low-end option tonight. I expect him to be popular in salary games and probably as a home run call. I will take Teoscar to close possibly the chalkiest set of calls I have made thus far.
July 10th Results and Leaderboard
The MLB provided 31 home runs for us on Tuesday night which might be considered disappointing given all of the great power contexts. Luckily, members took advantage and put together a solid overall night.
jsherman003 rejoined the pool and called multiple home runs with a two-piece. TheDataDetective stayed hot with another home run to move into a tie for 1st place in the month of July. Yours truly continues to plod along with another solo shot (3 in 4 slates).
We were graced with a handful of new home run callers on Tuesday: Bam79, B_Heals152, chris5764. All three collected their first home run (although Bam79 needs to adhere to the tiers). Welcome aboard, guys!
I cut the leaderboard off at four home runs because we have six members with three home runs. Hopefully, the leaderboard crystalizes more on tonight’s slate. Good luck tonight… you will need it!
Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed the blog, stick around for the entire MLB season. Want to compete against me throughout the year? Drop your expensive, mid-tier, and cheap home run calls in the comments (FanDuel pricing). Otherwise, give me a follow on Twitter where I love to post statistics about the MLB slates during my research.
Statistics were pulled from FanGraphs, Baseball Reference, RotoGrinders, and Baseball Savant for this blog.