Yesterday I broke down our dynamic SMASH tool. Today I will focus on some of the early season results for the offensive side of the game a month into the season.
Let’s dive in.
I – WHAT IS SMASH?
Every day I field questions about giving a thumbs up thumbs down on players. Often times, when a player is producing – no one asks anything. However, when the player is struggling, the questions come flying in.
Ask yourself this – are we all responding to the right stimuli? Yes, we play a results game in fantasy baseball, but focusing on the results, and not the underlying skills, is a recipe for long-term pain. This is where SMASH comes in handy.
SMASH is a proprietary combination of batted ball data, pitch mix, zone data etc., that shows how a player is performing compared to the league average. SMASH considers a ton of data points – handfuls of them – and tells you just how well a player is actually doing without focusing on the results of things like runs/rbi/homers/strikeouts/wins etc. SMASH focuses on the skills of the player directly, versus the results.
SMASH takes all the data, tosses it into an incredibly long and complicated formula, and spits out the underlying value of the player.
SMASH isn’t concerned with the results.
SMASH is concerned with how you get to the results.
We know if you strike out 30 percent of the time and you’re hitting .300… you are either going to have to strike out less or you have no shot to hit .300.
We know if you are striking out seven batters per nine innings but that you have a better than league average CSW, first pitch strike rate, O-swing and swinging strike rate your raw strikeout total will improve.
That’s the beauty of SMASH. It removes all that extra work and gives you the nuts.
II – WHAT TIME FRAMES DOES SMASH REVIEW?
There are two periods of time that SMASH hunts… the last 30 days and seasonal. You can take the broad picture and look at the performance over the entire campaign, or you can focus more directly on a smaller sample size without focusing too narrowly as to be working with a non representative sample size.
III – HOW DO YOU READ SMASH?
We could have created an artificial scenario where we multiplied this part of the formula by 0.9 and divided this one by 0.32 and then added the atomic weight of Cesium to get a cleaner looking number, but we didn’t want to be artificial. In essence, we didn’t want to rig the number to look pretty. We wanted the measure to speak for itself.
The upshot is this.
You shouldn’t worry too much about whether the mark is 55.2 or 56.8. You know that 56.8 is better than 55.2, and you know the gap is pretty darn small compared to someone with a mark of 43.4. That’s what is important. Further, we color coated things to make sure that it was easily understandable.
GREEN is a player to target.
WHITE is average.
RED is a player to avoid.
As you will also note, we have a lighter RED and a lighter GREEN color coating system for players on the margins of each category to help with a quick look as you work on your lineups.
IV – EARLY SEASON RESULTS
Here is a look at some of the data through the first month of the season. We will use a minimum of 50 plate appearances.
There are a ton of names on this list which would illicit – ho hum. But what about guys like Wisdom/Tellez/Drury/Walker/Kim? Are those players you would have thought would score well given their fantasy production to date?
Wisdom has pronounced contact issues, but he blasts the ball when he makes contact, which is very similar to Joey Gallo, a bit further down the list.
Tellez is a similar type of hitter to Wisdom/Gallo. None of the three is going to be a batting average booster, but the impact they make is significant, even when the results lag.
Drury has a .286 ISO and massive barrel rates (18.2) and hard-hit marks (54.5).
Walker – I wrote about him and Wisdom the other day. They have holes, but still, they smash.
Kim has a .269 ISO, a .519 SLG and 0.50 BB/K ratio. He also has a 15 percent barrel rate.
What about guys who are struggling.
The list is full of wet noodle hitters… for the most part. Some names.
Iglesias is batting .292 and appears to be a solid backup middle infield option. His exit velocity is under 85 mph, he has zero barrels all season, and his hard-hit rate is 27 percent. His expected batted average is also .269.
Kirk can hit. We know that. Also, other than his 1.13 BB/K ratio, he’s doing nothing as he has a .612 OPS, a pathetic – not even a stronger enough word – .016 ISO and one barrel in 56 batted ball events.
Straw has five steals and 17 runs scored in 22 games, and we love that. Remember though, SMASH is trying to discern the type of overall performance a player is giving. Straw doesn’t drive the ball at all (.373 SLG and .084 ISO), hasn’t hit a single barrel this season, has a bottom 10 percent in all of baseball hard-hit rate and average exit velocity. He’s bottom five percent in expected SLG.
Carlson hasn’t hit, we all know that, and SMASH agrees.
Canha is batting .338, but… he has a below league average K/BB that is basically half his norm. He has the worst K-rate he’s seen in five years. His ISO is .120 points lower than his career mark. His BABIP is stupid high at .438. He too has no barrels this season.
Wendle is batting .300 with a .814 OPS. He also has a career low exit velocity, one barrel and he’s slightly below his career average in hard-hit rate. No surprise that his expected batting average is twenty-five points lower than his raw average while his expected SLG is down seventy-nine points from his raw SLG.
V – REMEMBER THE DAILY COMPONENT AS WELL
We have discussed SMASH in this piece, but there is also a secondary piece of immense daily value the ADVANTAGE SCORE – whether you are setting a DFS lineup or trying to figure who to start/bench in the seasonal game.
For hitters… The ADVANTAGE SCORE compares the hitter to the entire pitching staff of the opponent. Read that sentence again. Not only does that A.S. put you at an advantage compared to anyone that doesn’t have access to it, but it’s a greater advantage than you even knew it was. Why? Because our tool – A.S. – considers the starting pitchers AND the relief pitchers on the opposing team. Every other tool in the universe, OK 97.5 percent of them, only consider with the starting pitcher when talking the matchup of the day. With starting pitchers throwing about 55-60 percent of the innings, most tools are ignoring a huge amount of the matchup that you are trying to dissect on a daily basis. The A.S. takes into account the starter and the relievers to help you to decide which batters have the best, and worst, matchups of the day against the entire pitching staff.
VI – HOW TO SIGN UP FOR SMASH/ADVANTAGE
You can use this link to sign up (Elite Data – All Sports).
You will get access to SMASH.
You get access to ADVANTAGE SCORE.
You get access to all of our daily data (for those of you that dabble in DFS or just want the edge in setting your daily lineup). Here is some of what you get with the baseball package.
You ALSO gain access to the data for ALL sports (NFL/NBA/NHL).
Yep, all four major sports.
So get signed up, and smash the competition.
If you are having an issue with the sign up, you can always contact customer service: [email protected]