B_Don and Donkey Teeth are back to talk some college prospects leading up to the MLB Draft with 2 resident Razzball prospectors, Hobbs and The Itch. We start by discussing the newest proposal from the MLBPA and how a shortened season might affect our willingness to play in high stakes leagues.

Then, we move on to discuss Hobbs’s top 10 college prospects. We start with at the top with Spencer Torkelson, the projected #1 pick. Hobbs and The Itch talk us through what kind of profile we can expect from Torkelson and whether they’d have a comparable asset from last year’s draft, Andrew Vaughn. We then ask our prospect gurus to give us some information on the top college pitchers including: Reid Detmers, Emerson Hancock, Max Meyer, and Asa Lacy.

Our analysts then move on to discuss how this different season could affect this, and future, drafts along with how a minor league system may look down the line. Finally, we wrap up with some Jasson Dominguez talk to find out if he’s worth all of the hype.

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Rudy didn’t like Rounders and he finally watched it the week we are having Scott Pianowski on the podcast…. After the initial shock of Rudy’s poor movie tastes, Donkey Teeth and B_Don ask Scott how he’s handling the quarantine and what a potential baseball season may look like. We get his thoughts on how he would adjust his draft philosophy for anyone drafting during the quarantine.

We move on to a couple of Scott’s teams as we look at the rosters he assembled in the RazzSlam and the Yahoo Friends and Family league with Grey, DT, and many other experts (basically the unofficial major of the fantasy baseball world). We look at how Scott put together pitching staffs in each draft and how position depth and flexibility affect his draft strategy.

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Grey comes on the podcast to blame B_Don for everything coronavirus related. Grey and Donkey Teeth are going a little stir crazy while B_Don was partying in Vegas. I think Grey was just jealous.

The trio then move on to how they are adjusting for ongoing and future drafts during this unknown period.  Grey discusses how he’s adjusted his projections initially and the randomness that may ensue in a shortened season. We each offer up our thoughts on how a shortened season may adjust our approach at pitching.

We finally get to discuss Grey’s Tout Wars NL auction and Grey auction value shames us poor amateurs. We discuss Grey’s big purchases of Bellinger and Soto, and how that affected his auction strategy. Grey identified the types of players he needed, and we ask him about some of his buys.

Before everyone retreats to their quarantined sections of Razzball HQ (aka Grey’s basement), we discuss Grey’s pitching and how he thinks he can make his value staff work. Rather than watching The Office for the 53rd time under quarantine, you might as well listen to a little baseball talk. It’s not like I watched a 2+ minute marble race yesterday or anything.

 

You can check out all of the auction results here. If you’d rather read Grey’s article about his NL Tout team, you can read his article here.

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B_Don and Donkey Teeth are joined by Alex Fast (@AlexFast8) of Pitcher List. We ask Alex about his pitching strategy and how it changes in his various industry leagues.

The guys talk about the different strategies being utilized for the RazzSlam, as Alex fits closer to the Donkey Teeth/Grey build than what B_Don tried. Later on, we discuss how the approach in the 15 team snake darft TGFBI and the 15 team LABR mixed auction before breaking down his teams. DT connects with Alex over their shared belief that a Gallo/Gary Sanchez build won’t tank their batting average.

We ask Alex specifically about some of his pitchers and what we can expect from guys like: David Price, Zack Wheeler, Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove, and more.

B_Don and DT ask Alex about his Jameson Taillon interview from how he was able to reach out to some of the more interesting points from the interview. Cannot say it enough, if you enjoy pitching discussions, it’s a must listen.

As Taillon works his way back, we talk about which spring training stats might matter. While you’re stuck at home avoiding coronavirus, you might as well listen to some baseball talk.

Side note: Here’s the chart I discuss during the podcast for 2019 spring training velocity increases.

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As I prepare for my voyage into the Vegas desert, it’s that time of year to look at the futures bets for 2020. 2019 was a terrific betting season for me as I only missed 2 non-World Series winner bets (mostly win totals and prop bets). Realistically, the divisional, pennant, and World Series winners are typically poor bets given the restricted payouts and less likely occurrence than regular season win totals or player vs player prop bets.

Divisional
There are some nice values that can be had from betting divisional winners. Unfortunately, a number of the divisions have pretty clear favorites and aren’t worth the odds. Many times, you have to take the second or third option in the division to make any money. Not a place where I put a lot of money for futures bets, but a couple of gems can be found each season, a la the Twins last season.

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Rudy Gamble stops by the Goin’ Deep podcast to talk about the multitude of drafts going on. Of course, B_Don and Donkey Teeth have to ask Rudy about his RazzSlam draft and his general strategy.

The guys then get Rudy to explain his projections down from the initial ratios to how the player rater works. They also ask about Rudy’s tools from the draft war room to the in season management tools that are just as key to Rudy’s success as the draft tools and projections.

Then, it’s time to discuss Rudy’s mixed LABR draft.  He explains how he approaches his draft for different leagues and the adjustments he makes year to year. Donkey Teeth questions a couple of draft picks in Chris Sale and Cavan Biggio before we jump into Rudy’s team and where his strengths and weaknesses may be.

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Another week, another CBS auction, not that I’m complaining. Love draft season and auctions are the best way to pick a team. If you have been putting off joining an auction, don’t. Fast auction, slow auction, live auction, they are all phenomenal and gives you more choice over team construction than waiting around to see who falls to you in a snake draft.

That being said, this one was all over the place. You can find the full draft results with the CBS write up here.

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For those of you familiar with online auction draft rooms, you know the constant refrain to which the article title refers. Waiting for that final, SOLD, to make sure you can mark the player off your list. Well, I was invited to join the CBS NL auction league hosted by Scott White with many names that you’re likely more familiar with than mine.

Spreadsheets on Spreadsheets

Let me start by plugging Rudy’s tools as part of the Razzball subscription. The War Room alone is worth the price of the subscription and is something I take into every roto or categories draft. Grey can give you the hard sell over in his write up though.

I combine Rudy’s War Room with my auction values. I think of auction values in tiers of players with a range of dollar amounts for that tier. If you have a dollar values assigned to tiers rather than specific player values, you can wait for the value or anticipate the cliff coming in that tier rather than being strict on a specific number.  There is, of course, that delicate balancing act between not overspending early when everyone is flush with money and waiting too long while missing out on all of the top options.

Before entering the auction, I lay out the positions on a spreadsheet and input various dollar amounts for different spending in the auction. It helps me to see what rosters may look like if I take a $45 Christian Yelich vs a $30 Pete Alonso. How spending various amounts at hitting vs pitching can adjust a team’s construction.

It’s nothing fancy, just an Excel spreadsheet using the sum function at the end of each column.

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B_Don and Donkey Teeth are joined again by the Fantasy Master Lothario, Grey Albright, to discuss the NL auction that the trio did over on CBS with Scott White and crew. The guys discuss how they approach draft auction values and how you may want to adjust your values.

Spoiler alert: Rudy liked one of our teams more than Grey’s squad. Grey walks us through his auction thought process. Of course, it’s hitter heavy in traditional Grey Albright fashion. You can check out Grey’s write up here.

Donkey Teeth, is flexible in his yoga positions and flexible in his auction values.  DT spent early and often then went looking for draft values, which he found in guys like Shogo Akiyama and Ender Inciarte. B_Don sits back and listens to Grey and DT argue about which awful pitching staff is better.

B_Don finally gets his turn to talk. While the pitching is far better than almost any team in the league, Grey and DT don’t like the approach that B_Don took with his hitting. In NL only leagues, one has to pick and choose where to spend the money and where the roster weaknesses will be. Keep on the look out for B_Don’s write up of his NL auction experience as well.

After all the NL auction talk, the guys discuss the early rounds of their respective TGFBI drafts and note some unique picks after just a few rounds. All sorts of draft goodness in this episode, so, check it out!

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Contracts, the lifeblood of Major League Baseball. If you’re good enough, after you put in your time making nothing and riding on buses, the team owns you until you run through the rookie contract. Of course teams want to protect themselves from paying the next Jon Singleton, and this is how contracts end up with options. Some favor the team and others the player. It usually boils down to who has more leverage at the bargaining table.

Vested options are typically put on the back end of contracts, especially for older players. Some of these milestones might mean that a guy pushes through a minor injury. Others may put the club in a position where they prefer a player miss their vested option. The team can control the likelihood of completing the option.

For instance, Wade Davis has a vesting option to finish 30 games this season. Given his performance last year, the Rockies are more likely to find an alternative option should he falter or give him more days in between closing opportunities even if he returns to form.

What does this mean for you in fantasy? It means Scott Oberg, Jairo Diaz, and Carlos Estevez become interesting options at the back end of the draft. Oberg had the best numbers last year, but underlying numbers show he might have been lucky and has lost velocity on the fastball the last 3 seasons. Jairo and Estevez both throw upper 90s with sliders.

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