We have released an update to the daily MLB projections beginning with June 7th games.

This upgrade took a longer time than expected to complete as it required almost a full rewrite of the code but I am psyched to finally release it!

Thanks to all of you – especially you rabid DFSers – who have provided suggested improvement areas throughout the season. Behind the scenes, we automated several processes to ensure that daily projections are updated as early as possible (~6:15 AM EST) and then updated throughout the day regularly to reflect posted lineups (every 10 minutes. increased to 5 minutes between 4-7PM EST).

Below are some of the noteworthy upgrades with our new projection system:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Big Game James went into Milwaukee and clinched at least a 16 win season for the Padres. Clutch!

This was a flashback Shields start – 7 IP, 9 K, 1 BB, 0 HR. I thought the NL would extend his fantasy acehood a little longer – like it did for Jon Lester and his fried chicken and beer buddy, John Lackey – but Shields’ BB and HR rates spiked insanely last year.

The HR rate (a near league-leading 1.47 HR/9 IP) was due to regress a bit (now around 1 HR/9 IP) but his BB rate is still 3.6/9 which relegates him to streaming in shallow leagues and an Ian Kennedy-like SP4/SP5 in 15-team leagues. If he could regain his control, he has a shot at a 3rd act as a KaBoB.

So Grey handed me the roundup keys on a short slate Thursday. I’m so excited. I’m so scared. I’m so tired (I’m shocked Grey hasn’t moved to Hawaii yet so he doesn’t have to write at night). I asked him to return the favor and give me a title and all he came up with was, “Brooke Shields Is Handsome” and “The Shields Start Was RiChiklis”. Oy.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This is the third year I’ve drafted solo in the Yahoo Friends & Family MLB league. Here are links to the draft results and a Q&A with all the owners.

This league allows daily pickups where all adds/drops take effect the next day. The biggest challenge is that this is the news sharkiest expert league ever created so there is NO WAY I’m ever landing a player based on breaking news (there are three from Rotoworld, two from Rotowire, and Yahoo’s Scott Pianowski. If they get by those 6, then there’s Grey. I had some success in 2014 grinding to a 6th place finish with a mediocre draft leveraging the Streamonator and Hittertron (and even out-sharking people on two closers) but that advantage was nixed when a move cap of 125 was added in 2015.

In addition, several members have no problem drafting in an unorthodox way (the hit/pitch splits this year ranged from 48/52 to 80/20!). This has put me in some uncomfortable spots in past drafts.

All that said, I felt good going into the draft for three reasons:

  • There are only 12 teams for 2016 where historically it has been 14 teams. Grey and I are used to streaming in RCL and – while the 125 transaction + 1,400 IP cap makes it slightly different than RCL – I felt more comfortable waiting on SPs after acquiring two top pitchers.
  • I had a good feel how the draft would go based on my ADP research and previous drafts. Even if Jeff Erickson, Chris Liss, and Dalton Del Don followed through on their SP-heavy 2015 strategy and Scott Pianowski did some gambit, I felt comfortable enough that I wouldn’t be caught off-guard.
  • I got the 3rd pick.

Here is my team:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Draft season is almost done. I hope Grey’s voluminous rankings/advice posts, my advice/projections (w/ Steamer), and the rest of the teams’ work has set you up with some solid rosters.

(Or, if you just play DFS, I hope March basketball kept you entertained.)

We’ve been hard at work improving the Razzball MLB tools for 2016 to help manage your team(s) in-season and in the top Daily Fantasy Sports sites. We have updated FAQs on our streaming pitcher (Streamonator), hitter (Hittertron), and DFS (DFSBot) tools. There are even videos for Streamonator and Hittertron if you cannot process screenshots and text.

If you are unfamiliar with our tools and play season-long or daily fantasy baseball, I IMPLORE you to go to our Subscriptions page and read up on them. The tools are easy-to-use (no math skills required) and will help you make quicker and more effective player decisions no matter what format you play. We even have options where you can try it out by the day. You will not find a site out there that delivers a better bang-for-the-buck subscription or is more transparent/accountable than ours.

Click here to see our subscription options. Starts at $4.99/month or $19.99/season. Free or discounted with new account + deposit on select DFS sites.

Below are the kick-ass improvements for 2016:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Last year, I wrote a “If You Can Think It, I Could Test It” where I invited commenters to ask me draft questions that I can test against the Razzball Commenter League data. With Grey traveling back from his stealthily awesome Tout NL draft, I figured I’d use today for a sequel.

Here’s what I have at my disposal:

  • 101 12-team RCLs from 2015: Draft Results + Final Standings/Stats (Daily roster changes/pickups)
  • 17 12-team NFBC leagues from 2015: Draft Results + Final Standings/Stats (Weekly)
  • 2015 Steamer/Razzball Hitter and Pitcher Projections
  • 84 12-team RCLs from 2014: Draft Results + Final Standings/Stats (Daily)

Types of questions you can ask include:

  • How did teams that drafted a SAGNOF like Billy Hamilton or Dee Gordon do?
  • How did teams that invested a lot vs a little in starting pitching do?
  • What stat categories correlated best with final standings points?

The more specific the question, the better.

This is a special day. If you ask me an everyday question about your team, I’m going to reply with “Boo, wrong post. Ask Grey tomorrow.”

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This is a post for the fantasy baseball drafters who use Excel, Google Docs, or some other war room software that automatically totals a drafted team’s stats while in the middle of a draft. Or perhaps for those of you who do mock drafts or simulated drafts.

The below grid represents my projected 75% mark in each stat category across 10/12/14/15/16 team ESPN and Yahoo default roster format leagues.

These numbers should only be used directionally. Please note that each projection source projects to a different league average so your team may look great if using a ‘bullish’ source and look poor if using a ‘bearish’ source.

While I stand behind these numbers as they are part of the foundation behind my Player Rater $ estimates, I do not use these as part of my draft. I prefer to add up the dollar values per category. Same difference I suppose but it is easier to see counting totals for ratios and it lets me fixate less on the numbers (e.g., I see $7, I know they are good…I don’t fixate on 20 SBs vs 25 SBs).

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I was thinking about ideas for a draft strategy post to complement Grey’s recent draft strategy post when I concluded that the vast majority of my strategic thinking goes into my draft preparation. The draft itself is more just execution. So I figured it might help some of you if I laid out my draft preparation and then some notes on how my strategy might change based on league format.

My larger goal with any draft is to be in control. With the right preparation, I can take advantage of whatever advantages the draft room is giving me. I drafted the 2nd and 3rd pitchers off the board in this year’s Tout Wars and was the last player to take a pitcher in LABR.  Yet my hit/pitch split for the two teams was within one percentage point (63.7/36.3 vs 64.6/35.4).

I also strive for zero ‘instant regret’ picks. Those are the picks where you are ‘under the gun’ and pick someone that you regret while the draft is still going on. I think most drafters get ‘lost’ during snake drafts more than they’d care to admit. I can say with full honesty that I only made one of those picks combined between LABR and Tout (LABR – Yasmany Tomas in 16th when none of my planned bats were still on board and Storen went the pick before).

You do not need to follow each and every step (you could just from my $/projections and edit from there) but I do think all this research makes for a smarter, more efficient draft.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On Tuesday March 8th, I had the honor of taking part in the Tout Wars Mixed League Snake Draft for the second straight year. Last year, I finished in 2nd place after a brutal September (one spot above 3rd place Grey who will be taking part in Tout Wars NL-only this year!).

There’s no place to go except up, down, or finish in the same spot.

Before I break into the recap, here are two unique differences between this Tout Wars draft and the LABR mixed draft I recapped earlier this preseason:

  1. This is 5×5 OBP not standard 5×5 (w/ AVG). Otherwise it’s generally the same (NFBC roster format of C/C/1B/2B/SS/3B/OF/OF/OF/OF/OF/CI/MI/UTIL/9 P/6 bench)
  2. There was a requirement that we needed to draft a ‘starting 23’ before reserve rounds – e.g., you couldn’t wait until the last couple rounds to draft your 2nd catcher.

Here are the results of the 2016 Tout Wars Mixed League Draft. (If you hate reading, here’s a podcast with my pal Alan Harrison at The Fantasy Fix where I talk about Tout Wars and other things) I suggest opening it another tab while reading this post. Apologies it isn’t all pretty and color-coded but OnRoto.com doesn’t support that yet.

My team:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

For the fifth straight year, Razzball is competing in CBSSports.com’s AL-only league (we also compete in NL-only). It has been a struggle the past three years after Grey and I won it in 2012. Beginning last year, we divided up AL and NL-only duty with the other one as co-manager as a backup. One look at last year’s squad and you will see that it effectively served as my “Everything bad happen to this one so my other teams are spared” team.

I enjoy the CBSSports leagues for two reasons: 1) We are in the mixed league versions of LABR and Tout Wars so this league lets us compete in an expert AL-only league and 2) There are daily pick-ups in this league with a $0 FAAB option – this hugely favors maniacal daily players like me.

Below is the team I drafted on Wednesday, February 24th. Here is the complete CBSSports AL-only draft as well as the LABR auction prices for those players from March 5th. Notes below…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

For years, Grey and I have been thinking about what would be the perfect low-stakes paid league complement to our free Razzball Commenter Leagues (sign up now).

In 2014 and 2015, we co-sponsored 15-team $150 NFBC leagues (50 round slow drafts) and got a positive response from many of you. I cannot say enough good things about NFBC – great service, great people, great site. Unfortunately, we did not get anywhere near the turnout we get for RCL leagues (100 leagues vs 3?!) which puts us in a Field of Dreams-esque position when it comes to lobbying/negotiating a format more attractive to Razzball readers. No offense to people who love that movie but ‘build it and they will come’ does not work very well in the business world.

I mentioned this dilemma to my buddy Dr. Roto when he told me that Scout.com – which has hosted the Fantasy Football World Championships for years – was contemplating Fantasy Baseball paid leagues for 2016. A partnership was born….

Here are the rules for the $88 Scout MLB Razzball Pennant Leagues that are available NOW and will feature Razzball writers + Scout.com Fantasy experts.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
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