MLB: San Francisco Giants-Photo Day

I’ve got to be “bust”ing your chops by suggesting Buster Posey as a first round pick in points leagues, right? First I declare Clayton Kershaw the top overall pick over Mike Trout, and now this? Some of you are probably thinking that I’ve been smoking a bit of the devil’s lettuce with Tim Lincecum while putting together these posts! Well I can assure you, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Although I wouldn’t mind sitting down with Big Time Timmy Jim and seeing if I can figure out what the heck happened to him, as I expected The Freak to anchor my staff for longer than he did…

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kickmejimmy
Unlike roto leagues, most points leagues “kick you in the Jimmy” for strikeouts. In a roto league a strikeout is no different than a ground out, a fly out, a pop out, a line out, or making contact with one foot completely outside the batters box. It’s just another out. While it doesn’t help your batting average, there is no additional penalty for being sent down on strikes.

In points leagues, however, strikeouts can have quite the detrimental effect on the overall value of a hitter. And depending on the number of points deducted for a strikeout, that effect can easily shift a roto-stud to a points league dud. Most leagues usually subtract either half a point or a full point for a strikeout. In leagues that take the full point, you are going to have some frustrating weeks if you own any of the strikeout kings of the league.

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What is there not to love about Mike Trout? I know. The fact that I don’t own him in any of my keeper leagues and the chances of me owning him in any of my other leagues is slim. In order to do so I’d have to have the first pick of the first round. Or would the second pick be good enough to land me Trout? Dare I suggest the idea of drafting Clayton Kershaw ahead of Trout in head-to-head points leagues? The thought of not taking Trout with the first pick is one that only Dom Cobb could plant in your subconscious. But would it be such a terrible decision? Let’s look at the numbers.

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kershawshank

Well, I thought I was extremely clever when I came up with the title for this one, but then a quick Google search proved that there were others that were clever before I thought I was being clever. Darn you Google for knowing so much! And darn you Al Gore for inventing the internet! Thanks to the internet, a guy can’t get away with anything these days. Google, Facebook and Twitter have made it next to impossible for a guy to get a reach around in the back of the bowling alley from the girl that rents the shoes without everyone knowing, and every one of those people finding out about it. But I digress…

As draft dates draw nearer, I decided it was time to put together and share my head-to-head points league rankings. But before I do, I wanted to let you in on my process. Points leagues are all about one thing. Points. It’s the only category that counts for jack squat. I wonder how many dudes out there actually have the name Jack Squat? I guess it’s better than Richard Nose. I don’t care if my player gets 100 points because he had 100 RBIs or because he stole 100 bases. Whatever he needs to do to bring home the bacon is A-O-K with me. In Japanese that would be “Aoki”. I don’t even care if it’s turkey bacon! Points are points. So ranking players within the same position comes down to who will score more points. I’ll touch on comparing players across positions in my next post.

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therecord

I’ve been playing fantasy baseball since I was 15 back in 1992. If you have access to a calculator, that should tell you how old I am. Back then we had to gather the stats from newspapers, The Bergen Record to be precise, and compile the standings by hand. We had two guys in the league responsible for this awful task, and I was one of them. It wasn’t as bad as it sounds, but to look back at it from where we are today with all of the websites and mobile apps we now have that make it so easy, I wonder what fantasy sports will be like in another 20 years. What I’m hoping for is a button that I can press that will instantly taser a player on my team if he does something that I don’t like. Not likely? I didn’t think so, but a guy can dream.

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Everyone knows that the most hitter friendly ballpark in the Major Leagues is Coors Field, home to the Colorado Rockies. We all love us some Rockies on our fantasy rosters, but we also enjoy when our non-Rockies players visit the Mile-High City. Mile-High, Colorado… Not even gonna go there. So many possibilities. I’m sure most have been done already.

So… how do the fantasy points stack up? Does Coors Field live up to its reputation when it comes to the points? It sure does! Last year there were 4,269 fantasy points scored there by batters. That is more than double the 2,063 points scored at Petco Park in San Diego, which came in dead last. Exactly as many would have predicted, Coors with the most, Petco with the least. But what about in between. What other ballparks were fantasy points friendly in 2014?

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How do you know if you’ve drafted a great pitcher? If his name is Clayton Kershaw or Felix Hernandez, you are on the right track. But what about everyone else that is not them? Well, in head-to-head points leagues, I like to look at points per start (PPS). This gives me an idea of approximately how many puntos (that’s spanish for points) I am going to get, and is often a factor in helping me decide which pitchers to both draft and start.

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Rosters expand on Monday to allow for the big league clubs to take a look at 15 more players during the last month of the season.  All the mainstream experts say to pick up the top prospects who will get to see playing time for the last month to boost your roster.   But I’m so bitter today that I can’t recommend doing anything like that if you’re in a points league.  You see, I woke up early and picked out just the perfect outfit, but not one person has mistaken me for homeless.  I hate people.  And I hate prospect call ups (for points leagues).  They’re so new and trendy and just not sustainable enough for me.  In fact, even my moustache hates them.  I’m so heated over the matter that all 12 handlebars I waxed into it are now pointing down.  I used Burt’s Bees and now I can breathe like Brian Wilson on the mound.  Sinuses are so clear!

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I’ve spent the better part of a decade in the food and beverage business in Sonoma County, the heart of California’s wine country.  I’m not a grizzled vet, not a master of my craft, nor an industry personality.  I am however, a contributing writer to Razzball, a generous person and one who enjoys testing the boundaries of my own comfort zone and palette.  One of the few passions that has surpassed the culinary attention span of my life is fantasy baseball… ok and self-absorbed writing.  If you’ve got a lack of storytelling in your life, I’ve got the anecdotes.

Presuming you hang with us regularly on Razzball, you’re accustomed to many digressions.  Before I get to what we do best, lemme offer up a teaser of our actual job: talking about the clean, more socially acceptable fantasy… sports.  I’ve been rapping not so poetic about some strategies and players to target all year, but I’ll take the platform here to plant some seeds for you next year.  Points leagues are relatively obscure for baseball.  They’re often viewed as fantasy football offshoots or ways to bring in the “casual” baseball fan to fantasy.  Points leagues are not the short bus, ya’ll.  In fact, if done correctly, they can be much better corollaries to actual baseball value than category leagues. The keystone of doing this is called linear weights and it assigns a point value to each action a player makes, whether it be on the mound or from the batter’s box (or in the field, but we’re not talking D cuz we’re too caught up in fantasy baseball to notice).  Wait, where was I?  Ah yes, beer.

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You just endure a break up?  My apologies.  But also… congratulations, you’re free!  Two opposing notions can be equally true and appropriate.  The bottom line is you need a rebound, and now that you have to pay all the utilities solo, a cheaper option is best.  So hit up your ex-ex-ex, or just stick with the acronym form of the same.  Either way, don’t waste more than a couple of hours, because it’s August and that means it’s crunch time for fantasy baseball.  While your standings and players end-of-year stats may represent a full season’s work, all that you can control from this point forward is which players’ points you pile up.  In basketball, they call the end of a blowout “garbage time” because it allows the scrubs to come in and pile up stats.  That’s the focus of this post.  We’re going to focus on waiver wire guys who should be able to help you rest of season despite the fact that up to this point in time they’ve been essentially unrosterable.

Please, blog, may I have some more?