Gone are the days when you could compete in fantasy baseball simply by perusing the season totals of the eight to 10 categories your league used for scoring. Nowadays if you don’t dive into MLB advanced stats and take a deeper look behind those surface numbers, you’re going to get left in the dust. Maybe it started with the simple addition of WHIP on the pitching side. Whatever the case it’s pretty much become a necessity to be at least familiar with the most common MLB advanced stats, and now you need to be aware of StatCast data as well.
There are tons of sites that offer MLB statistics. Below we included only links to those that feature advanced stats and offer the most function for fantasy baseball managers. If you’re just now digging into advanced stats you should check out MLB.com’s Advanced Stats Glossary. And for a good breakdown of just what StatCast is checking out MLB.com’s StatCast Glossary.
Top Sources for MLB Advanced Stats and StatCast Data
FanGraphs – FanGraphs was one of the first sites to really embrace MLB advanced stats and they do it right. You can create reports for pretty much any time period and with almost any set of criteria. Best of all, all of it can be downloaded for work in excel if you like to work with the numbers further.
Brooks Baseball – Brooks Baseball is famous for their player cards and Pitch f/x tool. Their graphics make it pretty easy to see what’s going on with a player.
Baseball Savant – The official home of StatCast, Baseball Savant is an arm of MLB.com. There’s debate about how predictive StatCast data is, but there’s little doubt that it can shed light on changes in players’ batted ball results. Launch angle, exit velocity, and barrels are here to stay!
Baseball Prospectus – They’ve always had an advanced approach to baseball, now they have the advanced metrics to back it up. If you’ve used their statistical data please leave your take in the comments below.
Baseball Reference – BR is a bit on the old school side of things, but they still do it as well as anybody. Not only can you dig into this year’s stats, but they offer an incredible database of historical data.
MLB Advanced Stats Analysis
These sites may not offer incredible endless databases of stats, but they offer plenty of analysis to help you make sense of the data. Most of the sites listed above could also be included here.
- Baseball Think Factory – Tons of Saber-focus talk with kind of a study group feel to it. A lot of great minds hang out here so if you’re looking to connect with like-minded folk you might want to check it out.
- SABR – This is pretty much where it all started. The Society for American Baseball Research was the first organized effort focused on the study of baseball statistics and they are still going strong today. They do not focus specifically on the fantasy game, but the more we know about stats, the better we can evaluate players.
Understanding Advanced Stats
The following articles do a nice job of explaining these advanced stats and how you can use them, both for traditional and Fantasy Baseball Purposes.
- Ben Harris, The Athletic – A sabermetric primer: Understanding advanced baseball metrics
- Tristan Cockcroft, ESPN – Advanced stats to use for fantasy baseball
- Jonathan Chan, Fantasy Six-Pack – Your Not-So-Advanced Guide to Advanced Stats
- Steve Gardner, USA Today – Your guide to WAR, BABIP, FIP and more
- Neil Weinberg, Beyond the Box Score – How to evaluate a hitter, sabermetrically
- Chris Clegg, FantraxHQ.com – HOW TO USE STATCAST DATA TO WIN IN FANTASY BASEBALL
- Anthony Franco, FantraxHQ – 3 ADVANCED STATS TO USE FOR FANTASY BASEBALL
Historical Baseball Statistics
- Baseball Almanac – Baseball Almanac is an interactive baseball encyclopedia filled with 500,000+ pages of in-depth baseball facts, original baseball research, and baseball statistics not found anywhere else.
- Baseball Guru – Source of incredible databases of historical stats as well as links to some of the best sites for further statistical analysis.
- Baseball Cube – A massive online baseball information database with historical statistics and player cards for players ranging from Major Leaguers to Minor Leaguers to Division I College Players. There are a wide array of baseball topics here including the Draft, Transactions, Boxscore/Pitch-Level Data, and Full College Baseball coverage.
- Lahman’s Baseball Database – Contains complete batting and pitching statistics from 1871 to 2019, plus fielding statistics, standings, team stats, managerial records, post-season data, and more.
- Retrosheet – Find box scores, narratives, game logs and event files of MLB games. It’s an incredible resource for game summaries and stats.