I gave you a Wander Franco dart throw! Wheee! I slid a Alec Bohm dart throw in your DMs! Sexy! I alley-oop’d you a MacKenzie Gore dart throw — Horny time! — Monte Harrisoncheck! Tyler O’Neill? You best believe it! Kyle Lewis? Yum! Nate Pearson? *wearing a Canadian tuxedo* It was my pleasure. So, now the sexiest of the sexy, A.J. Pollock! Okay, he’s the most boring dart throw ever. He’s like the dart throw you make while reenacting a scene from Too Hot To Handle where you’re not touching anything. “Ooh, yeah, baby, how do you like that non-touching? You like that? You want more of nothing? Huh? You bad boy!” That’s me 70-something days into quarantine and slightly losing my mind. The great thing about Dodgers’ manager, Dave Roberts, okay, really the only good thing, besides his ability to steal one base so the country gets a free taco, he’s able to get a lot of players at-bats. Somehow, Roberts has always managed to get part-timers at-bats even when they didn’t have a job. Case in point, Enrique Hernandez had 460 plate appearances last year and Chris Taylor had 414. That’s with Taylor only starting 91 games, and Hernandez starting at seven positions. Dave Roberts is the ultimate Dart Thrower, because he seems to label a bunch of darts with players’ names, then throw them at a lineup card. So what can we expect from A.J. Pollock for 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a great dart throw?

All about that universal DH, bay-bee. With the Dodgers’ depth, they’re one of the few NL teams that can swallow up the DH and make good with it. By the way, I get now why they’re pushing for a universal DH in this shortened season. But, honestly, it’s super unfair to just about every NL team. Even the Dodgers, who have the players to DH, did not build their team all offseason to have an extra hitter in their lineup. I’m not saying the Pirates would’ve went out and actually signed a free agent hitter — never! — but if they knew all offseason they had the DH incoming, it would at least put them and all NL teams on a level playing field. Can you imagine any other season where teams had no idea of the rules going into the season? If the universal DH were actually to become rule of the land in the NL, they’d prolly give the teams about two years to prep for it. Actually, at least two years! They started playing around with a pitch clock in the Arizona Fall League in 2014 and still haven’t instituted it into the majors. Any hoo! The great thing about Pollock’s previous years is he’s injured so much he has a large sample size of small sample size seasons. In 2017, he went 14/20/.266 in 112 games; in 2018, he went 21/13/.257 in 113 games and last year he went 15/5/.266 in 86 games. If there’s at-bats for Pollock, and he’s healthy, well, let’s look at the Steamer projections for him in 93 games: 50/16/54/.254/7 in 400 PAs (projections there are for him in 241 PAs, but I roughly prorated them up). That’s basically a number three outfielder in a 100-game season, and, if there’s only 82 games, he’s prorated down, but won’t lose his value. Pollock might not be as exciting as some other dart throws, but he feels like the kind of pick that is actually valuable vs. sexy.

 
  1. galica says:
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    Grey!!!

    Awesome dart throw report for AJ.

    a. Pollock is a train wreck looking for an Amtrak train to hit. No way would I ever draft him for fear of making an 82-game season a 41-game season+injuries.

    b. What are the rules on players going on the IL this season? Will it be the same as last year, ’cause last year was pretty bad but I can only imagine how bad it could be this year. Like a possible worst-case-scenario…

    Oops, I kind of sneezed on you, spoiler alert I just got my test results and I’m positive for corona, so now your whole team is infected. I could see players with no role on a team actually wanting to do that – sabotage his zero-sum season to destroy a team that is playoff bound.

    c. MLB quote of the day for August 1, 1973

    ‘Well, you tell Marge Schott to shave her Saint Bernard, and I’ll shave my moustache.’

    Roland Glen ‘Rollie’ Fingers, on his reaction to Marge Schott rejecting Pete Rose’s deal for Fingers to join the Reds and her ‘clean cut’ policy. Set many records, was a key part of the As three-peat and was surpassed as the all-time saves leader only by Jeff Reardon after he retired.

    [Trying to lighten it up after a couple of Jim Crow south quotes spoiled the mood. How’d I do?]

    d. Have a nice weekend.

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • lennydykstraisjustkmisunderstood says:
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      do you think St Bernard was a euphemism? kinda like Rosebud?

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Haha

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      A. Haha, fair enough

      B. Not sure yet, I think these things and many others need to get locked down soon…My guess is baseball allows for extended rosters and shorter IL stints

      C. Awesome!

      D. You too!

    • DonnieB says:
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      Now you are just attacking an age-challenged woman. Much better. Don’t go soft on us. Let’s get into the whole transgender issue.

    • Coolwhip

      Coolwhip says:
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      bahahahaha Rollie was the best. That stache was king.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        No one touches the stache

  2. AmericanTroutfisher says:
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    Grey, I must congratulate you for your initiative, during this time of quarantine and no baseball and reduced revenues for Razzball, in moving into the music video business. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKKSDu_a9ik

    • lennydykstraisjustkmisunderstood says:
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      against my better judgement …………..remind me to never click on a link again

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks, ATF! That video is of me

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        That is my national anthem

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I can’t believe how perfect this is for me

    • Coolwhip

      Coolwhip says:
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      what the WUT… hahaha

  3. Am currently doing my draft prep for a league using some of the rarer stats. I’m using the excellent RB custom rankings as my values. Just wondering what PS is and what it’s used for. I’m guessing position started but just trying to figure out it’s relevance.

  4. Harley Earl says:
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    Hey Grey,

    Dynasty question. Drop Brent Limp-Armed Honeywell for Dart Throw Tyler O’Neil? I’m listening!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yes, 100% — Honeywell’s done in my eyes until he actually does something

      • Harley Earl says:
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        Before I pick up O’Neil, here are some other possibilities. Any of these a better choice than O’Neil in your eyes?

        Tommy LaStella, Daniel Murphy, Jurickson Profar, Teoscar Hernandez, Ji-Man Choi, Chance Sisco, Yoenis Cespedes, Isan Diaz, Seth Beer, Adolis Garcia, Pablo Lopez, Spencer Turnbull, Blake Treinen, Michael Wacha or possibly Zack Thompson (STL prospect).

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Nothing wrong with O’Neill for now…But I’m kinda partial Teoscar

          • Harley Earl says:
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            Damnit!

            Now I have to find your Teoscar Dart Throw and read it all over again!!!

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Ha

              • Harley Earl says:
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                Man, this Teoscar piece is making it hard on me. I’m not sure who I want more. Thinking …

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Teoscar is a bit safer, if that matters

                • baby seal says:
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                  Teoscar has a starting job now… can’t go wrong there

                  You should cyclops Isan. Young power guy who will get a shot to play everyday at 2B

                  • Grey

                    Grey says:
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                    Yeah, agree with BS

                    • Harley Earl says:
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                      Cyclops? What’ that mean? OK, I’m grabbing Teoscar. Do I need to grab Isan too?

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      You can Cyclops with a Monocle Teoscar, but he’s safer and just as upsidey

                    • Harley Earl says:
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                      What does Cyclops mean? I’m not getting what you guys are saying? Are you saying to pick them up or are you saying to keep an eye on them?

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Who? Teoscar? I’d go with him over O’Neill

                    • baby seal says:
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                      Keep one eye on someone haha. There’s a glossary here, ya know!

                      Basically, put the star next to his name in the FA pool.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      CWM!

                    • Harley Earl says:
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                      OK, got it! Thanks!

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      No problem

                    • baby seal says:
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                      BTW, Harley Grey isn’t a huge fan of Turnbull and I don’t necessarily disagree w/ redraft. I do think he has the stuff to be better and started to show that a bit at the end of LY. He’s also on the Tigers… so yeah.

                      I’d keep an eye on him too. Sounds like pitching depth may be tough to come by in your league, so that’s part of the thinking too.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Turnbull could have a good year, but nothing is pointing to it, and it will simply be lucky if Turnbull is good

                  • Harley Earl says:
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                    Pitching is as shallow as it can possibly be!! We have 14 teams, 30 man rosters and 6 man minor league rosters (11th year dynasty league).

                    It’s like the Mojave Desert looking for an SP in my league! So Turnbull is actually appealing here.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      If you must then

                    • baby seal says:
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                      Yeah, exactly. I may have 1 or 2 late DC shares. We’re talking pick ~500-range.

                      When you’re that deep, you’re just praying you get *something* even halfway-decent. In those leagues, just having innings available on your bench is a win.

                      Depending on your situation, he’s either worth the shot or just worth watching. Putting a guy on your watch list never hurt anyone, right?

                      Another late guy I like who may be around is Voth. It all depends who else is avail. Junis was apparently working on getting his curve back. Elieser was much better in the minors and may be worth a look. Ponce de Leon is a guy Grey and I like late. Ross is similar to Voth (same team). I slightly prefer Voth. Who the hell knows, though? Daniel Norris has a nice change (another Tigers guy…). I’ve heard Mills on the Cubs mentioned as someone who’s interesting (haven’t looked–think it was Jeff Zimmerman).

                      Those are some random ones just quickly going through my sheet. Can only go off the list you gave us… good luck!

  5. Coolwhip

    Coolwhip says:
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    ahhh yes AJ Pollock, I knew thee well. A key replacement when my entire roster got injured on home stretch last year lol. He has weird splits last few years:
    Career – .281/.279
    2017 – .277/.261
    2018 – .221/.275
    2019 – .323/.239
    small samples maybe? but each is 100+ ABs so not that small. who knows.

    This season I might want just about anyone on the Dodgers minus Chris Taylor, lol. Even Kike alledgedly found an mechanical fix to his swing, so he might rebound some as he is known to go on hot streaks.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, same with the Dodgers — tho, Pollock is prolly lowest on my list of ‘wanting’

      • Coolwhip

        Coolwhip says:
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        haha. Yeah I see him as a streamboat, is this a term yet? should be! that guy you pickup as a streamer that keep rostered for stretches while they are hot and loving it.

        • Coolwhip

          Coolwhip says:
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          ah it is! so yes, that.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Ricky The Dragon? Yeah, streamboat’s a term

    • baby seal says:
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      What u got against Mr. Taylor, haha? Assuming not enough ABs.

      I have a few very late Best Ball shares…

  6. Alex says:
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    When they announce the new opening day, would you consider creating a new top 100 list, or would the changes not be significant enough?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I reordered my top 100 and all my rankings when we went into shutdown

  7. Really thought AJ was a good sign after his ’15 season when he hit .315 with 20HR/39
    Turned out to be more fragile than a china doll (no pun intended) That said, still worth a dart

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, for sure!

  8. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    Pollock will platoon in LF with Joc in 2020. I would think being a righty, not many Ab’s for AJ in a short season.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Universal DH

      • Malicious Phenoms says:
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        Brain is not working right today..lol..thanks

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          No problem

  9. Speaking of boring, I heard someone…forget who…talking about how it’s not new guys that are now going to be the DH that will benefit the most it’s guys who were already going to play but sit often now can just DH and get the extra ABs. McCutchen and Braun were examples.

    Also NL leadoff guys who usually struggle with RBI, should benefit with more opportunities and NL pitchers all immediately lose 2 free K’s per outing. I’m boring myself…thank dogs it’s Friday!w

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, that makes sense…Go with the horse that brought you to the dance — plus, those two specific guys can’t play the field much anymore, like Pollock

      • krazyivan says:
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        Those are great points. Has Rudy updated the projections based on the DH? It seems like the NL guys get a boost. In fact, the Dodgers could break the modern day record for runs per game. What they were doing w/o a DH was scary, and now your going to gift them the DH plus Mookie Best? Plus they will be facing a taxi squad pitcher a 1/4 of the time- seems a little unfair.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Rudy hasn’t updated projections yet for DH, because it’s not 100% official yet…When it becomes official, they will be updated… Agreed on the Dodgers…Their team isn’t even close with some of the other NL teams…Imagine them against the Giants’ lineup…

          • Yeah right dance with the Mom you find in the past before the photo fades as they say…

            LAD will be TB West

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Enchantment Under the Sea Otter Dance

              • Go Go Go Johnny Go Go Go seriously get to dry land we’ve floated up to Santa Cruz and Doc Brown’s nose is gone…

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Sea otters making in Doc Brown’s hair wasn’t something I saw, um, coming

    • baby seal says:
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      Rob Silver said that on the most recent LA podcast… almost word-for-word, haha.

  10. krazyivan says:
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    Good article. It’s definitely the quiet boring type darts that I’m afraid of passing on (Pollack, Braun types) and not the greenhorns. Last year nobody wanted guys like Carlos Santana, or, the Seoul Train, but they delivered huge value.

    I’m still skeptical and will probably pass on this one. We know David Roberts the Dodger manager of the former way but I’m not certain the same will be true once he has a DH. That should go for every NL manager (well, maybe not Bud Black). No more pinch hit double switches type stuff. There is no telling how this has a ripple down effect on the managerial and GM tendencies for this lot.

    Another aspect of this is how do they choose to deploy Justin Turner. Is he still a key bat to have in the middle of the order? Or, is he going to slide more and more towards the David Freese type role? If he is still a Roberts mainstay then he could benefit from being the DH. They have Muncy, Hernandez, Taylor, Rios as guys that can get plugged into the IF that can make that happen. My educated guess is that Pollack and Pederson are a strict OF platoon.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks! Turner will likely get some DH looks, all of them will…Muncy, Kiké, etc…But that opens a spot for Pollock to get on the field too…I think Pederson is always a platoon bat, but one that gets a lot of ABs

      • krazyivan says:
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        Have a happy Memorial Day weekend Grey!
        Still doing online school grading but should be done soon! Just started listening to to the ‘67 WS series radio play-by-plays. Hopefully with a little good weather in NC I will get some outdoor time in the yard listening to more games from it.

        The Cards with Brock,Cepedes,Maris,McCarver and the power pitching of Gibson vs the amazing run that the BoSox and Yaz were on is a delicious matchup.

        Interesting player I’ve learned about so far: Boston CF, Reggie Smith. Maybe one of the best 5 tool players of all time. The arm from the OF was legendary and the only two switch hitters with a higher career OPS+ were Mantle and Chipper.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Soon-to-be Dodgers’ OF Reggie Smith? Same?

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Oh, and have a great Memorial Day too!

          • krazyivan says:
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            As is was once Dodger (77 & 78 I believe). Hit 3 dingers in the WS but was slightly overshadowed by another Reggie that year in the fall classic.

            Smiths career numbers seem unbelievable. https://www.fangraphs.com/players/reggie-smith/1012201/stats?position=OF
            You have to be very talented to put up the consistency he produced, so much that it doesn’t seem plausible that he wouldn’t have more of a breakout, or, prime. His best year was 10 years after he broke into the bigs.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              He looks better than Eddie Rosario for about 10 years — he had a nice career, I had forgotten

          • krazyivan says:
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            Haha! I just figured out the soon to be reference! I’ve been listening to too much things in the past to get away from the present that all space time continuum have merged simultaneously. Where is that sometime Razzball writer who compares baseball to quantum theory when you need him.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Haha

    • Paying him a lot to just platoon, but Roberts does over manage. Could see AJ getting a few starts in CF vs some righties. Wouldn’t be a bad 9 hole hitter vs RHP.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Agreed

  11. baby seal says:
    (link)

    Thanks for reading my HUGE comment yesterday! Isn’t that Munger line great?

    FYI, hopefully was clear, my Bieber and K-BB% comments weren’t directed at you or your analysis — didn’t mention you, but if I did I would’ve said the same thing you did, you’ve been good about both — wanted to share some high-level thoughts w/ the commenters.

    Thanks for the thoughtful response Coolwhip!

    Apologies I couldn’t get back to either of you yesterday — we had some production issues I had to attend to, and as I said, no longer have my analyst to lean on any more…. *sad face*

    Agree on top starters comment, Cool! Value baby, value.

    Pollock — have gotten some cheap shares in those slow auctions. Agree, not as sexy as your other darts, but could be a good value!

    Hope ya have a great weekend!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      It was a great line!

      Nah, I know on Bieber, I was just agreeing

      You too!

      • baby seal says:
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        Cool, man!

        You know, it’s funny how everyone is soooo into Buehler but out on Bieber. I have them SP3 and SP4, respectively. And I’ve had it that way the entire year.

        Here are some lines (not the snow kind, although I’m jonesing for a little fun…):

        Player A: 6.4 avg distance (IP), 3.26 ERA, 3.23 FIP, 3.36 SIERA, 1.05 WHIP, .228 AVG against, .295 BABIP, 14.0 SwStr%, 30.2 K%, 4.7 BB%, 42.6 Hard%, 13.3 Soft%, 44.1 GB%, 1.31 HR/9, 35.0 O-Swing%, 85.7 Z-Swing%, 70.6 Contact%, 40.0 Zone%, 65.2 F-Strike%, 5.6 WAR

        Player B: 6.1 avg distance (IP), 3.26 ERA, 3.01 FIP, 3.50 SIERA, 1.04 WHIP, .221 AVG against, .290 BABIP, 12.1 SwStr%, 29.2 K%, 5.0 BB%, 41.8 Hard%, 14.0 Soft%, 42.7 GB%, 0.99 HR/9, 33.9 O-Swing%, 84.4 Z-Swing%, 75.9 Contact%, 46.5 Zone%, 65.7 F-Strike%, 5.0 WAR

        What’s the difference?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Oh, yeah, totally…I was saying this last year when they were both super cheap…I owned Bieber and Buehler everywhere in 2019, bc they were affordable…Now, who the hell knows, but the point remains — K/BB or GTFO

          • baby seal says:
            (link)

            Haha, yep!!

            Honestly, here is the difference in my eyes: Bieber is more cerebral and has slightly better command, Buehler has the better fastball, which in theory, does give him a bit more upside.

            That plus Paddack: Chef’s Kiss

            I am coming back around on your boy Woodruff now. Not that I ever disliked him — was just a function of the innings for me before. But for this season? They need him to be a horse. Some good value there, me thinks. Another K-BB guy.

            Giolito’s new mechanics scare me a bit. Everything else is pretty rock solid, though. I just worry he’s gotten injured twice now w/ those new mechanics, and not sure how it’ll hold up when repeating thousands of times. May be fine for this year, though. It just seems very unnatural, and he added some velo, which is great — but those two together — gives me the yips.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              People look at me like a wizard — maybe it’s this Merlin hat I’m wearing — but you can’t go too wrong with K-BB — 100% Paddack and Woodruff — Giolito scares me a little bc of the command, and feels like he might be Trevor Bauer going into 2019, which worries me too…But Giolito does seem to have cut his walks

              • baby seal says:
                (link)

                Yep, totally. I missed that point. The new mechanics were all about the control.

                Just have to wonder if that came at the expense of long-term healthy… only time will tell. I’ll be watching from the sidelines, for now.

                • krazyivan says:
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                  Bio mechanics aside, plenty of guys with smooth deliveries have blown out elbows and shoulders. JS

                  I love guys like Paddack and Giolito. Heat and change ups are the new sexy in the next gen of pitchers. These hard throwing slider guys like Verlander, Scherzer and deGrom will always be useful but these young guns with elite heat to pair with a devastating change is what is going to beat today’s hitters. Less about setting them up and more about keeping their timing messed up.

                  • baby seal says:
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                    Yep, really like that comment w/ the change.

                    I hear you. The big thing w/ Giolito is not just above. To expand on the injury comment — he ended last season w/ an injury and had another one in ST. Any pitcher who reports something like that in the spring is someone I’m almost certainly avoiding, unless we’re talking last 5-10 rounds. I can’t take that kind of risk that early.

                    • krazyivan says:
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                      Giolito had a lat strain in Sept. and the flu and a sore chest muscle at ST. None of that bothers me going into a shortened season starting in July.

                      In terms of mechanics, he has a tight arm motion like Kluber and every Japanese pitcher that I’ve ever seen. He should be ok.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Give me all the Giolito shares

                    • baby seal says:
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                      I’m not against him whatsoever — hope that’s clear. Just not something I wanted to do this year.

                      Lat strains can be devastating for a pitcher. I’d put that one notch below a shoulder or elbow issue. It’s not surprising something else was pulling for him after that. Throwing harder is one of the leading causes. Same thing happened to Thor!

                      I wouldn’t down play the chest muscle strain (obviously, lol, talking my book here–that’s a finance term). That can be a precursor to a sports hernia, or intercostal, as they call it nowadays. All of those muscles are VERY much connected. I strained my lat pretty badly once and could never serve (tennis) the same after that. Of course, I am not a MLB pitcher. Hopefully you get the point!

                      You can google a lot of other cases where MLB pitchers had this injury. Severino, Peavy, Kershaw, Strasburg, Halladay, Kerry Wood.

                      If he’s healthy and does well this year — then more power to you guys. I think he has great stuff and I’m a believer. I’ll just be a year late. That’s my reasoning!

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Yeah, same

                  • krazyivan says:
                    (link)

                    Paddock is working on his curve. The fastball/change command is elite. If he could master a curve to mix in to get through three times in the order then game over.
                    The part of his game that is underrated is the gamesmanship. He puts out a strong Pedro aura on the mound.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      I love Paddack too

                    • baby seal says:
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                      Thought he had a similar bulldog mentality to Scherzer. Love Paddack!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Which is me saying 100% agree but I don’t draft early starters

          • baby seal says:
            (link)

            Yeah, was wondering if we’d go down this rabbit hole this today…. thought we do have all weekend…. haha.

            1) Let’s set the record straight off the top — very pro your strategy and literally have zero against it.

            2) In overall competitions, the winners and top finishers very much skew towards investing quite a bit more in SP than you do.

            3) That being said, one of my new Twitter buddies finished 10th overall in the Main last year. His first pitcher was Strasburg in the 4th I think, then he had Bieber somewhere close to pick 100. Also had Lance Lynn…. only to drop him after a couple good starts! Painful!

            4) I’m always a process over results kinda-guy. I often wonder if the whole drafting pitchers early is essentially going to the roulette table, putting it all on black, and letting it spin. There is obviously a certain amount of truth to saying you need aces to win an overall, since the top finishers overwhelmingly invest heavy in SP. HOWEVER, that can very much be survivorship bias, IMO. What about all the guys who took the plunge on Bauer, Snell, Nola, etc.?
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivorship_bias

            5) Again, that being said — at the end of the day — we ARE essentially doing a form of gambling here. It’s essentially a mathematical fact that taking a top starter or two greatly increases your chances to win an overall. I don’t think one can really dispute that claim — at least in today’s game. Open to being proven wrong.

            6) This is where seal starts taking shots–better duck! Haha, I kid, I kid. The line I’ve had in my back pocket, that’s pithy and fun, but also kinda mean and I don’t *entirely* believe it… whatever, let’s do it: Your strategy is stuck in the early- to mid-2000’s. Zing!

            7) OK, this is where seal backtracks and apologizes with big sad Japanese teary eyes. *I’m so sorry, Grey, Fantasy Master Lothario. Please forgive me!*

            8) Snap back to reality, oh there goes gravity. Now, you know me, I’ve done a bit of research before throwing these haymakers. When you come at the King, you best not miss. What I’ve found is that your strategy was the en vogue strategy at that time. Things have changed! BUT — gotta be veryyyyyyyy clear about this — I am only focusing on overall competitions with this argument.

            9) Argument? No, no, no. We simpatico, right? So, what I’ve learned is that your current strategy was how everyone did it before everything changed. The winners had changed their strategy to gambling on top starters. Then others followed.

            10) The reasoning behind this was twofold: A) Your classic argument that an Ace has the most impact on your team; B) The landscape started changing and a market inefficiency was found. Let’s focus on B), since I think that’s the more interesting of the two. What say you?

            11) From what I can tell, one thing that’s changed–to some degree–is that there’s a clearer bifurcation at the top now. I’m a bit murky on those details, tbh. However, I think what’s clearer is just simply that there was a market inefficiency that hadn’t been exploited yet. I’m pretty confident in that statement.

            12) Now, to be clear, I do think it’s gone a bit too far the other way, as most things do. There are X people in a draft who want a top starter, Y aces worth taking high, and X is always greater than Y, so you get the natural pushing up of fringe guys who don’t belong. I am NOT saying we *force* the issue.

            13) Per my friend who finished 10th overall in the ME — he ONLY takes a bat in the 1st. Same here. Then he’ll figure out the right SP value in rounds 2-4, depending how the draft goes. But always heavier on bats early. That’s basically the small tweak I’ve made to my strategy. I’m willing to go a earlier than R4 on a SP, if and only if, I can get *the guy(s)* I want.

            14) So to conclude here, the idea behind the strategy, besides what’s already been discussed above, is that we want to grab scarce resources early in the draft. It’s why combo bats go early; guys who steal bases and don’ hurt you otherwise; and players with the best batting averages year after year. And yes, finally, Aces. Those are the scarce resources. Period.

            We want to take the right risk-adjusted risks. Taking a top starter is already an inherently risky thing to do. So I’ve been focusing my time on really drilling into those guys and targeting what the best value might be if I’m going to take the dive. Justin Verlander at age 37 does not fit the mold. Again, it’s not *required,* but really — we want to play the odds — and when it comes to SP, the odds say: Your best chance to compete in an overall is by taking a top starter. (I’m happy to explain the math a bit more if needed.)

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              4. Nah, Snell was ranked way higher than those others…And what about the people who drafted Scherzer and missed an entire 2nd half? How about Chris Sale going around 3rd SP ADP last year? What about Kluber? You’re making like it was easier to draft a top 7 SP vs. one around 8th thru 12th

              5. You’re saying this like drafting a top SP is the same as owning a top SP, and that’s where you’re wrong

              10. A) You need around a 3.75 ERA — you don’t need a 3.25 ERA to win

              13. Meh, and I came in 20th overall and 3rd in postseason overall — more than one way to skin a cat — honestly, you could draft an SP in the 1st and win, one case example doesn’t matter — look at the SPs who finish in the top 20 overall every year — https://razzball.com/top-20-starters-for-2019-fantasy-baseball-a-recap/ — If you ignored the top 7 SPs as I said last year in the preseason — you missed out on Verlander, Cole and deGrom *at* value — big deal, you couldn’t win without those three? It’s ludicrous

              • baby seal says:
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                Let me first start by saying I am merely trying to stress-test my thoughts here. 1) Because I respect you obviously, 2) You’re probably the most vocally against this idea. Going to try and clarify some things here.

                4) Right, this was the part where I am questioning the entire concept, haha. I am using Snell and those guys as examples of where it *didn’t* work. I was first presenting thoughts I have about how it’s a bit deterministic — works for the guys who win — but everyone forgets about all those who got crushed by that decision.

                “You’re making like it was easier to draft a top 7 SP vs. one around 8th thru 12th” — not sure I understand that comment. Also, if anything, I was saying to avoid those really high-end guys who go in the first. I think that’s what you were getting at there. Not sure.

                5) Nope, talking about drafting one. You always draft guys thinking they are good. Whether that’s early or late. Point is, your chances are increased the earlier they go (w/ some exceptions). THE QUESTION — is if that trade off is worth the additional risk?

                10) I understand, again, the question comes down to probabilities. e.g. Anyone who drafted Marquez as a SP2 last year got destroyed (*cough, cough*). Your chances to come back from that are basically zero. Are you saying pitchers who go earlier don’t have a better chance to outperform those who go later?

                Of course, anyone can “cherry pick” (not trying to be mean) counterexamples to disprove the other side–I’m not sure that’s very interesting. The guy who took Hoskins last year didn’t get the player he thought he was getting–that doesn’t mean taking a 1B there was inherently a bad decision, right?

                13) Definitely more than 1 way to skin a cat! I presented an example of someone who did a very similar strategy to yours and finished 10th. I think you’re missing the argument to some extent, since I am not saying that at all.

                Here’s a very similar idea to the above, just said differently: I guess what I’m against is having a hard-and-fast rule against taking a starter in a certain round. It just seems very arbitrary to me. If you think the best value ends up being in the second, then why not?

                If you were to look at the pool and say, all these SP values in rounds 1-3 are terrible–I’m not taking a “top starter” this year–then I’m 100% behind that.

                Again, when reviewing the top 10-20 finishers in Mains and OCs over the last few years, the numbers are overwhelming in favor of taking a starter *earlier.* Def not giving the impression you have to take one in the first or even early. I’m pretty fundamentally against taking one in the first, even w/ everything I’ve said thus far, just to be super clear about that again.

                Same idea again said differently, why are the %s are so overwhelmingly in favor of top overall finishers investing more in SP? Genuine question.

                PS. Was that 20th finish in the main? I didn’t know you played the main last year. Or was that the Cutline?

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  It’s not easier to choose 8-12 vs 1-7 but the cost is dramatically cheaper… 5) why are your chances increased? 10) I’m just saying German might’ve killed you as much as say Sale but it cost less to get destroyed 13) not last year, was 2018 when I finished 20th in DC — but there’s many ways to skin a cat — I don’t think SPs in the first 3 rounds is death, but I think it’s easier to skip top SPs — as I’ve talked about in my rankings every year — this year before the shutdown — didn’t like five SPs hurt themselves even before March 13th when the season was out on hold? That was not rare

                  • baby seal says:
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                    5) lol, why not? You don’t think they are going earlier for a reason? Again, the idea isn’t that you HAVE to take a starter early. You find the right guy. Apply the same principles you use to find later guys. So we are not taking the Sales, Sherz, Verlanders of the world. I get the risk is higher. Usually: more risk = more reward.

                    10) Totally agree! That’s why I think there IS a HUGE difference between drafting e.g. Morton vs Verlander this year. It’s all about cost! And that’s before his injuries. If you’re going to take an older guy w/ good skills — take the cheaper one — all day, every day.

                    Yeah, we are in agreement there. I’m merely talking about slightly tweaking the strategy. I honestly really love it. It’s just simply: I see the guy I really like in the third, then I’m pouncing. If not, then we wait. And if we don’t like whose there in the 4th, again, we should wait. No NEED to force it. Just want to be a little more flexible!

                    NO STARTERS IN THE FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!! NEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!

                    Haha, thanks for being a good sport, appreciate the back and forth!

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      5. People don’t see it that way, they actually think early SPs are *less* risk, not more 10) Yes, 100%! Also, there’s no hard fast rule, I’ve drafted an SP or two in the 3rd round of 15 team leagues… So, yeah, flexible is fine with me, I don’t hate SPs, I just think they’re way more mercurial

                    • baby seal says:
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                      Yep, cool, thanks again man.

                      Really, really do appreciate the convo. I always learn at least a thing or two, either from you directly, or from looking stuff up later–or usually both.

                      I hope you realize that! I have no intention of being difficult or anything similar.

                      Random thought: I don’t mind putting myself out there and even looking dumb at times. Always find I learn more from my mistakes anyways. And I don’t think this approach is even a mistake. I think most people are afraid to push themselves or be different–in general–not just w/ fantasy.

                      5) Yep, completely agree. I don’t get it, but also don’t mind it at all, lol. Don’t really care how other or most people look at it. Just trying to get better myself and bounce ideas off people I respect, like you.

                      Totally. Which is why I’m spending so much time trying to figure out the best way to approach these fuckers. Haha!

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Btw, I believe Andrew didn’t draft a top SP last year when he won the ME

                  • baby seal says:
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                    He won the OC actually, ha.

                    Took Cole in the early third. Here’s the team he drafted:

                    R1-6 (6) Christian Yelich
                    R2-7 (19) Trevor Story
                    R3-6 (30) Gerrit Cole
                    R4-7 (43) Anthony Rendon
                    R5-6 (54) Patrick Corbin
                    R6-7 (67) Mike Clevinger
                    R7-6 (78) Gleyber Torres
                    R8-7 (91) Craig Kimbrel
                    R9-6 (102) Matt Olson
                    R10-7 (115) Luis Castillo
                    R11-6 (126) Aaron Hicks
                    R12-7 (139) Josh Hader
                    R13-6 (150) Amed Rosario
                    R14-7 (163) Jose Alvarado
                    R15-6 (174) Nick Senzel
                    R16-7 (187) Hunter Renfroe
                    R17-6 (198) Joe Musgrove
                    R18-7 (211) Domingo Santana
                    R19-6 (222) Trevor May
                    R20-7 (235) Mike Zunino
                    R21-6 (246) Max Kepler
                    R22-7 (259) C.J. Cron
                    R23-6 (270) Jimmy Nelson
                    R24-7 (283) Cedric Mullins
                    R25-6 (294) Omar Narvaez
                    R26-7 (307) Blake Parker
                    R27-6 (318) Kyle Gibson
                    R28-7 (331) Yolmer Sanchez
                    R29-6 (342) Leonys Martin
                    R30-7 (355) Mike Minor

                    https://nfc.shgn.com/historical/team/baseball/2019/183183

                    • baby seal says:
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                      Here is the drafted team who won the ME:

                      R1-8 (8) Ronald Acuna Jr.
                      R2-8 (23) Gerrit Cole
                      R3-8 (38) Cody Bellinger
                      R4-8 (53) Stephen Strasburg
                      R5-8 (68) David Dahl
                      R6-8 (83) Jonathan Villar
                      R7-8 (98) Jordan Hicks
                      R8-8 (113) Luis Castillo
                      R9-8 (128) Rafael Devers
                      R10-8 (143) Wilson Ramos
                      R11-8 (158) Tyler Glasnow
                      R12-8 (173) Matt Barnes
                      R13-8 (188) Aaron Hicks
                      R14-8 (203) Collin McHugh
                      R15-8 (218) Eduardo Escobar
                      R16-8 (233) Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
                      R17-8 (248) Delino DeShields
                      R18-8 (263) Tyler White
                      R19-8 (278) Greg Holland
                      R20-8 (293) Matthew Boyd
                      R21-8 (308) Kole Calhoun
                      R22-8 (323) Omar Narvaez
                      R23-8 (338) Andrew Heaney
                      R24-8 (353) Brandon Belt
                      R25-8 (368) Felix Pena
                      R26-8 (383) Josh Harrison
                      R27-8 (398) Matt Shoemaker
                      R28-8 (413) Matt Adams
                      R29-8 (428) Christian Vazquez
                      R30-8 (443) Jeremy Jeffress

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Cole was great, but are we just ignoring he got Acuna, Bellinger, Stras…So much value everywhere on this team

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Thought he won the DC, well, either way there’s many ways to skin a cat — one team that wins is neither here nor there

                    • baby seal says:
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                      Yep, it’s obvious when you win the an overall, you have *a lot* of things go right. Both pitching and hitting.

                      I think it’s an interesting/fun exercise to review these teams and see what the approach was originally. I only pulled those two teams since that’s what you mentioned above. You can peruse around the top teams if you so desire.

                      Have you read Ariel Cohen’s, “The Case for an Ace” before?

                      https://fantasy.fangraphs.com/the-case-for-an-ace/

                      This was the first time I opened up to the idea — but I didn’t totally buy it at first. Then I discussed w/ some people, thought about it more, did some research, etc.

                      I’m a big fan of Toby, BatFlip Crazy, I’m sure you know of him. He’s obviously well-known for the Pocket Aces strategy (I’m not doing that). I’m fairly certain Ariel’s article was the underpinning for the idea. Hearing his thoughts on it just got me to revisit the idea and think about it more.

                      At the end of the day, as you said, there are many ways to skin a cat. Don’t want to give the impression that there is ONLY one way. Nope. For me, coming around on the idea of taking a starter in the 2nd-3rd round was difficult to accept at first. Wanted to get your thoughts and see if you’d be open-minded about changing your strategy. It all depends on a lot of factors, I know.

                      At the least, I knew it would be a good/fun convo. Thanks!!!

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Any strategy that says you should always draft an ace (or not) is silly…I *prefer* not to draft an ace… and I beat, or am competitive, in expert leagues, so if it ain’t broke…

  12. DonnieB says:
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    Who is the drop? Teoscar, McCutch or Ian Happ?

    Who is the drop? Gore, Gausman or Freddy Peralta?

    • baby seal says:
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      Between Teoscar and Happ. I say Teoscar.

      Gausman, easy. Peralta next.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Agree with Seal

  13. Gator says:
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    Who has more upside for 2021 – W Franco, I Happ, M Gore?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Wander

      • baby seal says:
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        What’s Ian Happ doing here? haha

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Living his best life

          • baby seal says:
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            Haha, well so is seal. Gf and I are heading over to a friend’s apt in about an hour for the first time since quarantine started…

            My buddy passed his exam yday to get the license he needs to sell certain financial products. I got the candy. Let’s go! haha

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Great time to spread the Rona!

  14. Jaysfordays says:
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    5×5 obp keeper league

    My story for their bragmen

    Which side my guy?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Story

      • baby seal says:
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        Agree, but it’s dead even for me. I think Bregman may be “worth” a touch more, but getting a guy who can steal and not hurt you elsewhere is probably the better move.

        All depends what you need: OBP or steals?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Bregman is worth more in OBP, but I don’t want him

          • baby seal says:
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            yeppers

  15. Perfect Game says:
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    Springer or Yordan for this year only?

    • baby seal says:
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      Yordan

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Springer

  16. Big Magoo

    Big Magoo says:
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    Can’t say that I’m as excited about Pollock as some of your other dart throws like Santander. Or your other sleepers like Calhoun, Dozier, Happ, and DeShields (all of whom I liked to in my OF post). But a universal DH could make him more interesting.

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