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Opportunity is a funny thing. Sometimes it just comes out of nowhere and sometimes it can be predicted. Regardless of how it comes, how it is handled is just as important. Some players wilt at the opportunity of the spotlight, while others thrive.

Opportunity plays a role in Fantasy Baseball too.

In season long roto leagues, you need to fully understand which categories you have an opportunity to move up in and which categories you may be susceptible to being caught.

All of your managerial maneuvers, whether it is a trade, waiver pickup, or even start/sit decisions, need to be based around the opportunity to be gained and the opportunity cost. Always consider both your opponents’ impact along with your own team’s impact.

In this week’s Fantasy Lookout we will start things off looking at a speedy Royal who has an opportunity knocking on the door. Then we will break down the incredible season of a Dodger chasing history with an opportunity to set an impressive MLB record.

 

The Fantasy Lookout

 

Is Jarrod Dyson Billy Hamilton 2.0?

We all know that Jarrod Dyson is fast and he likes to steal bases. He also has provided serviceable numbers in both runs and batting average, proving he is more than just a one trick pony. On his way to his fourth consecutive season of at least 30 stolen bases, Dyson has achieved this in limited playing time. Over the past three seasons, his plate appearance totals have been 330, 239, and 290. One could only dream what kind of stolen base totals he would put up if he had an everyday role.

Now, he may get that chance. Alex Gordon’s groin injury is expected to keep him out of the lineup for at least eight weeks, opening an everyday spot in left field. It appears that Dyson will play against all righties and the occasional lefty. When he does not start against a southpaw, he will be used quite often as a pinch runner, looking to further add to his stolen base total. Since Gordon’s injury, Dyson has hit just .200, but he has scored two runs, two RBIs, and five stolen bases while playing in seven of the Royals’ 10 games.

Now that Dyson should see more playing time, let’s see how he stacks up against the premier base stealer in the game, Billy Hamilton.

Jarrod Dyson, OF, Kansas City Royals

Year PA R HR RBI SB AVG BABIP GB/FB LD% Hard% Contact% SwStr%
2015 133 18 1 11 15 .261 .313 2.45 24.2% 21.8% 87.0% 6.3%
Career 1110 152 5 69 135 .257 .317 2.51 16.9% 21.3% 85.9% 5.8%

 

Billy Hamilton, OF, Cincinnati Reds

Year PA R HR RBI SB AVG BABIP GB/FB LD% Hard% Contact% SwStr%
2015 333 42 3 19 45 .219 .251 1.04 21.7% 17.2% 85.3% 6.4%
Career 966 123 9 68 114 .242 .289 1.11 21.6% 19.1% 83.7% 7.2%

 

As you can see, their career numbers are quite similar in many ways, especially when you compare them based on a per 600 plate appearance level for both 2015 and their careers.

2015
per 600 AB R HR RBI SB AVG
Dyson 81 5 50 68 .261
Hamilton 76 5 34 81 .219

 

Career
per 600 AB R HR RBI SB AVG
Dyson 82 3 37 73 .257
Hamilton 76 6 42 71 .242

 

In Yahoo leagues, Dyson’s ownership level is at just 14%, while Hamilton’s is at 96%. That ownership gap needs to close and I believe it will over the next few weeks. If you need stolen bases, go grab Dyson before he runs away on you and know that you have snagged Billy Hamilton 2.0.

 

Greinke the Great

Zack Greinke has been on an insane roll of late. He has an opportunity to test the MLB record of 59 consecutive scoreless innings set by former Dodger Orel Hershiser in 1988. Greinke’s scoreless innings streak, which now stands at 43 2/3, has been part of a tremendous 2015 campaign. His ERA just prior to the streak stood at 1.95 and currently sits at 1.30. His season has been much more than a six start hot streak, he has been great since day one. Let’s take a look at some of Greinke’s sterling statistics. To put his 2015 season into context, I have included his career numbers along with his 2015 figures and their associated MLB ranking.

 

Stat Career Avg 2015 2015 MLB rank
ERA 3.40 1.30 1
WHIP 1.20 0.82 2
K-BB% 15.9% 19.5% 13
AVG .248 .186 1
BABIP .301 .232 2
LOB% 74.7% 89.9% 1
GB/FB 1.21 1.44 39
LD% 21.1% 18.6% 15
HR/FB 9.1% 6.1% 5
Soft% 17.0% 23.3% 5
Hard% 28.1% 26.1% 27
F-Strike% 62.3% 64.3% 25
SwStr% 9.5% 11.5% 17
Contact% 78.9% 76.2% 16

 

A few things jump out. Greinke’s miniscule ERA and WHIP appear to be supported by both skill and luck factors. Greinke has been a master at limiting the opposition’s ability to square up his pitches; his batted ball profile is very impressive. His stellar strikeout to walk ratio is also fully supported by his swinging strike and first pitch strike statistics.

On the other hand, Greinke lays proof to the saying, you have to be good to be lucky and lucky to be good. His BABIP allowed and LOB% have aided Greinke’s numbers in going from great to possibly the best in the game.

When you break down Greinke’s numbers with the bases empty, with runners on base, and with runners in scoring position, you can see why his LOB% has been so high. I have included both his 2015 numbers along with his career figures.

 

2015 Bases Empty Men on Base RISP
AVG .197 .161 .130
K-BB% 19.5% 19.5% 21.3%
BABIP .244 .206 .152
LD% 18.8% 18.1% 17.0%
Hard% 23.5% 32.1% 33.3%

 

Career Bases Empty Men on Base RISP
AVG .254 .238 .241
K-BB% 17.3% 13.9% 12.3%
BABIP .305 .303 .260
LD% 21.3% 21.0% 20.7%
Hard% 29.4% 26.2% 26.3%

 

He has been lights out with runners on base in 2015, especially when they are in scoring position. This has all occurred despite giving up a significantly higher Hard%. His LOB% will not be sustained if that continues.

There is no question Zack Greinke is a great pitcher, he was on most experts’ Top 10 starting pitcher lists coming into this season. However, regression will probably rear its ugly head and bring Greinke back down to earth over the remainder of the year. I expect a rest of season ERA in the mid to high 2’s and a WHIP around 1.10. Still great numbers, just do not expect his magical, lucky season to continue.

Jarrod Dyson looks to seize his opportunity of an everyday role and Zack Greinke looks to take full advantage of his opportunity at history. Until next week’s Fantasy Lookout, enjoy the games!

Data courtesy of www.fangraphs.com

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