If you read the title and expected this post to be an anit-MadBum rant, you’ll find your initial impression to be inaccurate. I’ve been a huge Bumgarner fan since he came into the Majors. In fact, I picked him to be this season’s National League Cy Young Award winner in the Razzball experts picks. I had to change that prediction to Stephen Strasburg after the injury for obvious reasons. Last year’s accident was one hundred percent avoidable. As much as I love him, I really hope he did not get paid for his missed time. Shame on him for riding a dirt bike. What’s next, sky diving? This year, however, was just another of the many injuries to a pitcher as a result of an unpredictable comebacker. I’m going to go out on a short limb and say that there was very little, if anything, he could have done to avoid the injury. The incident actually looked quite harmless compared to other comebackers I’ve seen over the years. My favorite was back in 2008 when Papa Grande took a line drive right off the dome piece. I can’t seem to find a good quality video, but he went down like he had been shot. The craziest part is that he ended up staying in the game and getting the save. The messed up part is that when he went down, all I could think about was the ten points I wasn’t going to get for the save. I was pissed. When he ended up staying in the game he became an instant hero.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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Last week, I congregated some fantasy and baseball writers with the objective of doing a league with similar characteristics to the Tout Wars H2H or LABR. A 12-team snake draft, head-to-head with 5×5 scoring categories and 2 catchers.

With the influx of fantasy basketball and football, the head-to-head leagues is a format increasing in popularity. (Which is why if you play in these leagues, check out the “Getting Ahead” series.) If you play head-to-head leagues, they offer a different way to play than Roto leagues, and it requires a different strategy. The league functions are essentially the same as the standard “rotisserie” style. However, instead of adding the accrued statistics and ranking each column as you would in a standard rotisserie league, each individual category is counted as a win, loss or tie. In a league using 10 categories, teams will rack up some combination of 10 wins, losses and ties per week. The head-to-head style of play lends itself perfectly to stocking a pitching staff with multiple relievers. Grabbing an elite reliever, such as Craig Kimbrel or Kenley Jansen, instead of a fourth or fifth starter may allow an owner in a head-to-head league to eke out wins in multiple categories.

In traditional rotisserie leagues, the production of some relievers may not be enough. They may log solid ERA, WHIP or strikeout totals, but their total number of innings pitched may not weight heavily in the overall statistics. Nevertheless, this is a very useful strategy in H2H, giving you the opportunity to obtain wins in saves, ERA, and WHIP with middle and late round players.

For the first time, and some research, this was my key strategy in my drafts this season. Trying to grab a couple of elite relievers between rounds 4 to 8. I drafted Robert Osuna with the pick 56 and Aroldis Chapman with the 65. And in late rounds Andrew Miller (161), Chad Green (224) and Chris Devenski (272).

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At this point everyone knows who they want to target in the early rounds, but the middle/late round picks to fill out your roster can help make or break your team. Last article I explored some undervalued middle infielders that I think could be solid value picks in upcoming drafts. It felt natural to work my way inside out and cover some corner infielders that could provide a great return on investment this season. You won’t be getting much speed from these guys, but they are all capable of helping you out in various other categories.

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On March 6th, I took part in the Tout Wars Mixed Draft – a 15-team snake draft that is unique amongst expert leagues in that it is a 5×5 OBP league. Otherwise, pretty standard. Weekly transactions. 2 catchers. $1000 FAAB. This is the 5th year for the mixed draft (the AL/NL-only ones have been around longer) and my 4th year participating in it.

Last Year Recap (here was my post-draft recap and final standings)
FINALLY. After two straight close 2nd place finishes to Adam Ronis, I won this league (Even better, it was a Razzball Tout sweep as Grey won Tout Wars NL).

As the standings below suggest, I had a charmed season. Everything broke right for me. I think I drafted/managed a little bit better than the previous 2 years but no doubt I was probably the luckiest team in the league as well. Shout out to pal Scott White from CBSSports.com (1st year in league) and the always tough Ray Murphy of BaseballHQ who did great jobs but, unlike me, did not sell their soul to the fantasy gods.

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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. These are based on the Steamer/Razzball projections.

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).

The 2018 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join with prizes! All the exclamation points!

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Last week (or so) I put out my early first base rankings. I completely intended to follow that up with a post for each position, but if I’m being honest, I’m running out of time. With drafts already starting to happen, it’s time I got to it and worked on my official rankings. With that said, I am knee deep in projections, rankings and spreadsheets. I know many of you are patiently waiting for my customizable spreadsheet, but that’s still a couple days away. In the meantime, I have gotten far enough to share my rankings.

Please keep in mind that these rankings are based on a specific scoring system. When my spreadsheet is released it will allow you to enter your league specific scoring system and will generate custom rankings. Because as I’ve said many times before, “all leagues are not created equal”.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

Baseball, like a flower, blooms in the spring.  They also share equally effusive PR people.  Just the other day I read about how a petunia’s branches gained 15 pounds and was in the best shape of its life.  Sure, it’s always good to look at spring training numbers to give you an idea what you can expect from guys during the season — can I draft Ronald Acuna yet?!  Players in spring training are facing the top pitchers who are all displaying their best stuff.  No one needs time to get warmed up.  No one’s trying new pitches or getting a feel for the ball.  They are at the height of their game in the beginning of March.  Our former commissioner, Bud, once doffed his toupee and tried to have the World Series played in March.  Since these spring training numbers mean so much, I decided to look at some players stats so far:

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Let’s follow up on a post of mine from a few weeks ago. Before Spring Training kicked off, I took a quick look at two players – Christian Yelich and Byron Buxton – with differences between Rudy’s Player Rater for 15-team NFBC leagues and NFBC ADP data.

It was easy to get carried away with Yelich and Buxton, but for this version I’ll expand out to four players.

If you’re interested in taking a look at the differentials I’ll be using, feel free to navigate to this google sheet I made and will be using as reference. The NFBC data is from drafts between 2/15/2018 and 3/3/2018, about 100 drafts in total. I’ll reiterate once again that this isn’t exactly a one-for-one comparison, as the numbers I’m using for Rudy’s rankings are purely on ranked dollar-value output, while NFBC data is where the player is actually being drafted. The merit here is highlighting standouts between the two, as opposed to relying on one as the true indicator of a given player (…Rudy’s projections are essentially gospel for me). I’ll also focus on players inside the top 200 overall and those whom Razzball is higher than NFBC ADP on. These should be some of your value targets if you’re a faithful Razzballer.

The 2018 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join with prizes! All the exclamation points!

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

Today, we take a look at the positional battles for the National League East, a division that is quite emblematic of the US of A. The power and leadership resides in Washington DC. The New York Mets have the money, 11th highest payroll in baseball, but they are not the Yankees. Atlanta. Sorry, I mean Hotlanta, always gets overlooked, but there’s tons of talent down south. We may be seeing lots of non-Native Americans tomahawk chopping on TV very soon. Philadelphia is usually in the shadow of New York. Well, the Eagles won the Super Bowl, so suck on that New Yorkers. I kid. There’s tons of young talent on the Phillies, especially on the pitching side, but they will continue to play in the shadow of their brethren to the east. Miami. This is where things break down. A city of opulence and culture, yet the Marlins sold off all their assets like a Pookie crackhead would for one last hit. The only way I can tie this into the US of A analogy is that Miami is located in the state of Florida, a state in which the lawmakers said that porn is dangerous but refused to talk about assault rifles. Ladies and gentlemen, the NL East.

The 2018 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join with prizes! All the exclamation points!

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

Delino DeShields? More like Delino DeSTEALS. I know, I know. Pretty corny but it really is just so fitting. He not only stole a bunch of bases last year, but he represents a great opportunity for a late-round steal in your upcoming drafts. His amazing speed, combined with his ability to get on base and run the bases well makes him a intriguing player especially in the SB and run department.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   
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