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Daily blurbs from the Guru
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Go forward to more recent blurbs.

4/29 - Obviously, it would have been a good day to have Ben Zobrist in a daily baseball contest. The only disappointment would have been that, for most formats, his stats would have only been counted for one game of the doubleheader. I have him on one (full season) roto team, however, where both games counted. There are many days when my whole team doesn’t put up his stats for yesterday’s doubleheader.

Today’s weather forecast looks pretty safe today for all MLB games. Play anyone!

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4/28 - If the Spurs go on to take the next two games and oust Memphis, the defining moment will have been the 3-pointer by Gary Neal when the Spurs inbounded the ball with only 1.7 seconds left in regulation. The Grizzlies never recovered form that in the overtime period.

What’s up with Bartolo Colon? In 8 innings last night, he held the White Sox to one run on 7 hits plus a walk over 8 IP, getting his second consecutive win. I picked him up as a free agent in the RIBC a couple of weeks ago, figuring at the time that I’d hold him for one start, get an expensive lesson, and move on. Still might happen, but he’s earned at least one more start for me, as well as for the Yankees. Lightning in a bottle!

Charles Howell III is the popular favorite in GuruGolf this week, although only on about 27% of foursomes. Diversity reigns again.

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4/27 - Grady Sizemore has certainly gotten off to a nice start after his long layoff. He’s averaged 4.6 FanDuel points/game in his first 8 games back. Only two hitters have a higher average this season. Cleveland’s game tonight is looking iffy from a weather standpoint, but aside from that, he looks like an obvious hitter to own in FanDuel contests, at least until his price catches up to his performance. His current price of $2700 is about 30% below other hitters with a similar point average.

The Zurich Classic of New Orleans tees off tomorrow morning, where the weather outlook looks pretty benign. Get your foursomes set!

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4/26 - Congrats if you drafted Jered Weaver in March. He was the 12th starting pitcher drafted in the RIBC, and generally a late 4th round pick in the RIBC leagues. But with 6 wins in 6 starts, an ERA of 0.99 with a WHIP of 0.79, and 43 Ks in 39 IP, he’s way ahead in current ranking among starters. Can it last? Last year, Ubaldo Jimenez started out on fire, with very similar numbers in his first six starts. Jimenez stayed on top through mid-June, but wasn’t able to sustain his lofty numbers after that (e.g., 4.65 ERA, 1.34 WHIP after June 20) – although he still ended the season ranked #5 among pitchers (on the ESPN Player rater). If Weaver follows a similar path, you should hold for another 8 starts and then sell high.

In daily contests, Matt Cain seems like an attractive option in Pittsburgh tonight. The Pirates have been one of the one of the more favorable teams to face so far this year. But today’s weather dashboard suggests that the biggest obstacle for Cain might be getting on the field at all.

Weather also threatens games in Cleveland, Detroit, and Minnesota. If all four of those games are washouts (probably unlikely, but certainly plausible), that would bring the number of postponements for this season up to 19. In the entire 2010 season, only 20 games were postponed.

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4/25 - My big news today is a change in the ownership of I’ve set up a separate thread in the baseball forum on The State of to discuss this development and solicit feedback, so I encourage you to visit that thread.

In GuruGolf, the top best ball team for The Heritage was Pin High (-48), while Drop One- WB (+46). It’s always gratifying when the top worst ball score comes from a team that seems to be chasing that objective.

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4/22 - Sometimes, there are no shortcuts. Yesterday, apparently dropped its pages that provided forecasts for all MLB games on a single page. That page and many of its embedded links were integral reference points for the Weather Dashboard program on So, in order to restore the dashboard, I had to develop some of the weather info – including wind speed and direction – from available raw data. And knowing that the wind in Pittsburgh will be from the southeast is simply data, not information – unless I also know how the stadium is oriented (vis a vis compass direction). So I’ve spent a fair amount time over the past 24 hours looking at satellite photos of all non-domed MLB stadiums in order to assess their orientation relative to north. Thank you, Google maps! Without that resource, this would have been a much more laborious undertaking – although a couple of the satellite images pre-dated new stadium construction for the Yankees and Twins, so discerning those orientations required some extra sleuthing.

In the process, I discovered a nice summary of weather data for all sporting venues at You might want to bookmark that page for a “rainy day.”

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4/21 - The most popular report on is the Pitcher vs Batter report, showing career records of each of a given day’s starting pitchers against batters on the opposing team. In the past week, that report has been viewed more than 1000 times per day. That’s about the same as the total number of pages viewed each day across the entire RotoGuru site.

So what does that report tell us today? Here are a few observations:

  • Johnny Damon is 11/19 (.579 avg, 1.442 OPS) in his career vs. White Sox starter Gavin Floyd
  • With a small sample size, Wilson Betemit is 3/7 with 2 home runs vs. Indians starter John Tomlin
  • Bobby Abreu apparently has trouble getting his bat on Josh Beckett’s pitches. More than half of his 95 plate appearances have resulted in either a walk (20) or a strikeout (25), while just 14 have fallen in for hits. That makes his batting average a dismal .187, but his OPB is a very respectable .358 – a full 50 points higher than his slugging percentage.
Is this data useful? For daily contests or bench/active decisions, it can point out some potential opportunities in both directions. But, of course, everything has to be taken in context. For example, Damon is day-to-day and has missed the last three games since being hit by a pitch in the hand on Sunday. Even if he does return to start today, there might be more reliable options elsewhere.

In GuruGolf, diversity reigns this week. The most widely owned golfer is Ricky Barnes, but he’s only on 23% of active foursomes.

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4/20 - Two more baseball games succumbed to rainy weather yesterday. That bring the total to 12 rainouts through just the first 20 days of the 2011 season. By comparison, there were only 2 rainouts during the entire month of April in 2010.

I finally got the bullpen usage report re-activated at the site. Reformatted source data (and my recent vacation) had delayed resurrecting that report. It provides a comprehensive summary of reliever usage over recent days (up to the past week), and can be a useful tool to identify closers who might be unavailable due to heavy workload, and to assess who might be called upon to fill in for current day save situations. The report is easily expandable to show daily details for any player or team. If you want to analyze how any team’s bullpen is being used, this can be a convenient and effective tool to work with.

The Heritage golf tournament tees off early tomorrow morning. As of this morning, there are still more than 100 GuruGolf teams with inactive golfers. Set those lineups today!

Speaking of GuruGolf, I turned on the mulligan scoring feature last week. For the full season standings, each team gets to discard its worst tournament of the season (although the four major tournaments cannot be excluded). If you hover the cursor over any team’s full season score in the GuruGolf standings, details will appear for that team’s currently excluded tournament.

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4/19 - Troy Tulowitzki has been getting a lot of notice this season, cranking out 7 dingers in the first 2½ weeks of the season. But, after reviewing several different fantasy scoring systems, the early hitting leader looks to be Matt Kemp, who may have only 3 home runs, but has stolen 8 bases (tied for ML lead), scored and knocked in 13 runs, and is batting .459/.529/.689 for a 1.218 OPS. If you can lead the majors in steals and be third overall in OPS, that’s a tough combination to beat!

There’s a lot of rain in today’s weather outlook, with games in Philly, Baltimore, New York, St. Louis, and particularly Chicago all looking tentative. Plan accordingly.

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4/18 - I’m back in the captain’s chair at RotoGuru World Headquarters today, after being away for almost two weeks. Lots of catching up to do.

Let’s start with GuruGolf. Here are the Masters prize winners:
Best ball: Cyberwahoo2 (-47)
Worst ball: Wipeout (+47)

In last weekend’s tournament, the top best ball score was a -40 by Faders, while worst ball honors were shared by a couple of teams with a +56. Three foursomes included tournament winner Brendan Steele, although none of those teams were among the weekly leaders.

Now to Hoops. Big props to Gurupie Florian for winning the RIHC, taking over the league lead sometime in December and never looking back.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t also give a shout out to longtime Gurupie Dave R who took first prize in the RotoHog Salary Cap premier Hoops game.

In baseball, be aware that today is the one day of the MLB season with a morning game time, as the Patriots Day game in Boston starts at 11:05am ET. React accordingly. And, since I may never get the chance to say it again this season, I figured I’d point out that the team with the best W/L record in the American League is the Cleveland Indians! Just as ridiculously surprisingly, the Indians and Royals today begin a 4-game series for the top spot in the American League Central. What’s up with that?

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4/5 - I guess it says something about this year’s tournament when my dog’s entry, picked solely based on team mascots, takes the Market Madness title. For the contest excluding basket units, the title was shared by two entrants. Most of the country found the championship game to be exceedingly ugly basketball, but in Connecticut that doesn’t seem to matter much to anyone.

It’s not as though Rufus had tremendous insight, however. His winning score of G$687 was less than half of the best possible score of G$1474. Not surprisingly, that entry would have included the Final Four teams as well as their seed baskets, plus the SEC and Pac 10 baskets. On the short side, it’s a collection of high seeds and conference baskets. The Big East basket ended up being neither a good long nor a good short, with a net return of -10.

I’m going to be away from RotoGuru World headquarters for the rest of this week and next, heading to South Carolina – starting with a few days in Charleston, and then a week in Hilton Head. So blurbs will be suspended until April 18. And Market Madness GuruPatron prize notifications will probably be delayed until then as well.

In the meantime, we’ll have the end of the NBA regular season, and The Masters golf toonament. I will have my laptop in tow, so the site will continue to be statistically updated, as usual.

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4/4 - If UConn wins the toonament tonight, then my dog Rufus wins the Market Madness contest. I haven’t told him yet, so he’s pretty calm about it all. And I also haven’t broken it to him that he’s not eligible for a prize, so if you are chasing him in the prize race, you can discount his entry.

In GuruGolf, the top best ball score for the weekend was a -52 by louky 5, while Loopy posted a 5 stroke margin with a +51 in worst ball scoring. In the March to the Masters Contest, the best ball winner is LAMBES KNIGHTS with a scant one stroke margin, while JeffG crushed the competition by 24 strokes in the Worstball Contest

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4/1 - John Axford gave us the first reminder of the role of c-Loser, blowing a 3-run lead in spectacular fashion. Last season, he gave up 16 earned runs all year. So far, he’s given up four this year. Not a good start, with an ERA of 54.00 and a WHIP of 4.50.

I’m still working out a few kinks here and there in baseball processing, but I think the four programs I highlighted in yesterday’s blurb are all still functioning as desired, although one needed some emergency repairs last night. And one of my overnight data-gathering jobs brought the rotoguru server to a virtual standstill early this morning, requiring a “when all else fails, reboot” response. So there’s plenty of work to be done.

The weather outlook for today looks more favorable than for yesterday. Pirates @ Cubs looks iffy, but everything else looks likely to be played.

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2011: March . . . February . . . January

2010: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2009: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2008: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2007: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2006: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2005: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2004: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2003: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2002: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2001: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2000: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

1999: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

1998: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March

RotoGuru is produced by Dave Hall (a.k.a. the Guru), an avid fantasy sports player. He is neither employed by nor compensated by any of the fantasy sports games discussed within this site, and all opinions expressed are solely his own. Questions or comments are welcome, and should be emailed to Guru<>.

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