I let out a full-throated cackle when I wrote the title. I don’t know how to predict wins in a 162-game season. In a 60-game season? Dress up your four cats in players’ jerseys and spin a bottle. Whether the Fanta lands on Hairy Styles or Cat Stevens, don’t matter, pick them up, because they could lead the majors in wins. I was saying to Rudy the other day, I don’t know if it’s fortunate or not to roster Freddy Peralta. He could be the 3rd thru 6th inning guy every third game and lead the majors in wins, or he could be unrosterable. (Brewers are especially problematic with Corbin Burnes, Peralta, Josh Lindblom, Brett Anderson, and Eric Lauer. Start Brandon Woodruff and Adrian Houser and pray for rain, but since MLB has a hard stop date, there’s no time for rain, so spin the bottle and hope it lands on Purry Mason.) So, with a 60-game season, what is a fantasy baseball strategy for wins?

1. Opportunities for Wins: Whatever that means. Okay, what I think Eight Word Ago Grey meant by “opportunities for wins” is it best encapsulates the shituation I mentioned in the opening about Freddy Peralta throwing in the 3rd thru 6th, and Brandon Woodruff throwing five-plus innings. If a guy becomes a manager’s go-to guy for 3rd thru 6th innings, then he has opportunities for wins. If a guy is going 5+ innings, then he too has opportunities for wins. An Opener? Well, dur. A setup man, who regularly goes in the 8th? Meh, not especially. A closer? Nah, homey. Could Sean Doolittle lead the majors in Wins? Of course. Is it likely? No. I don’t know if deGrom is going to shock the world and get six wins to lead the majors, or if Vince Velasquez is going to come in every tied game in the 6th inning and lead the majors. Wins will be fluky eh-eff. Opportunities feel like the best guess for them.

2. Good teams: Last year in the last thirty games, the Astros had a 22-8 record and their pitchers ended up with 22 wins. I’m totally effin’ with you. I mean, it’s true, but that’s not real advice. “The Nats had 19 wins in their last thirty games and their pitchers accounted for 19 of those wins.” Haha, I’m not that dumb! Though, good teams will get more wins. Where the wins will go on those teams? Over-the-internet friend, we are really struggling to make heads or tails of that.

3. Avoid 4th or 5th starters: Teams might not even have 5th starters, and their 4th starters won’t see many innings. Think of the playoffs. Okay, now think of a hot tub. Now think of stick of margarine. Are you just doing whatever I say? Think for yourself. Now, technically, if you’re thinking for yourself, you’re still doing what I’m saying. Okay, seriously, think of the playoffs. Teams with three good starters can bully their way through to the World Series. Look at the Astros or Nats last year. If you’re a team with a solid front three, you can fight your way through about a month of games in October. Why would anyone start, say, Vince Velasquez for more than a few innings, if they were trying to win two months of baseball? In six months, sure, you concede some games. In two months of baseball? You don’t concede anything. If you can start Bieber, Clevinger and Carrasco for 200 IP total out of ~540 IP, why give Plesac or Civale more than a few innings to bridge to the bullpen? If you can start Sonny Gray, Castillo and Bauer for 200 IP, do you really trust Wade Miley or DeSclafani? Teams’ bullpens are going to be about 12-man deep (good luck finding six feet to put between them!) and pitchers who struggle are either going to get removed from the rotation, or be pitching for the Orioles.

In summation: Wins are a clusterfudge of extreme proportions. All you can do is get good pitchers with opportunities and hope the dominos fall your way. I never chased wins in past seasons, and I wouldn’t chase wins now. Long relievers on good teams may account for a team’s wins just as much as their ace. To give you a few extreme examples, the Nats had 12 postseason games last year. The league leader in wins was Strasburg with five wins, Scherzer had three, Corbin had two and Anibal and Daniel Hudson had one each. Tracks pretty well. But then you look at the Astros who had ten wins, and Cole had four; Josh James had two; Verlander had one and Greinke had zero. That is how all over the map wins could be. One team could look relatively normal; another team could have a top 20 starter with zero wins, and a top five starter have one win after a month of games. Say it with me now, “Wheeeeeee!”

 
  1. Gg says:
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    I’m with your point. Using Carrasco to drive it home seems quite odd. If he pitches I wouldn’t touch him with your dick. Seriously though, I can’t think of a mlb pitcher in the entire mlb I’d less like to own.

    Yarbrough won what 16 games one year? He’s the type I like. A lot of contending teams aren’t even going to stretch their starters out. Going to see a lot of 3-4 inning starts out of guys getting drafted in the first 3 rounds right now in nfbc.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, could see Yarbrough being sneaky good for wins (or absolutely terrible, total crapshoot, but yes like him)

  2. John Jacob says:
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    I’d bet most the top 10 pitchers right now are going to be abbreviated on their first couple starts. Drafting all offense and dart throwing the rest imo. No starter wins 6 games this year. Relief pitchers almost assuredly will lead the league in wins.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, could be the case for sure…I think 10 wins is the best possibility, but that’s assuming a guy throws 11-12 full starts, and like you said no one may throw 5 IP to start the year since there will be next to no camp games

  3. galica says:
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    Grey!!!

    Awesome report, though I don’t know if I should be happy or sad.

    a. I only have starters and closers. Is that good or bad? They are all projected to be 1-2-3 in the rotation plus Gore and Pearson as wildcards. I didn’t take any primo middle relief guys like in previous years – like Chad Green in previous years an innings eater who’ll give you 0 wins but decent ERA and Ks. Are there any middle relief pitchers who could be useful (Yarborough comes to mind but was thinking of someone a little less off the radar.)?

    b. Drop Hicks for Knebel? Who do you like better this year for speculation on saves? Hicks is now officially starting the season on the IL, so it would be a straight swap IL for IL not losing any players with the move. Are there any other IL guys about to return that are interesting for this year?

    c. MLB quote of the day for July 2, 1996

    ‘If there’s anything I’m proud about from that season, it was not being deterred by appendicitis and a torn quad.’

    Brady Kevin Anderson. Anderson is the ONLY player in MLB history to steal 50 bases (53 in 1992) and hit 50 HRs (50 in 1996) in his career. Also he’s the only player to be both in the 20-50 club and 50-20 club, how ’bout ‘dem apples? He is also the ONLY MLB leadoff hitters with three (3) 75-RBI seasons!

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks, sad!

      A. I think that makes sense — middle relievers are fine, but only if you can stream — so you grab an MR when you don’t have an SP going, then drop him when you need to grab another SP

      B. Aaron or Jordan?

      C. HAHA — nice stat too on 75 RBIs, crazy

      • galica says:
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        Grey!!

        a. It’s Jordan. So..Knebel or Jordan Hicks? Kind of neither here nor there. I love Hicks, but…

        b. On Brady Anderson, you said yesterday…Brady Anderson, so I do Brady Anderson. Crazy on the 75 RBIs from the leadoff spot but they had a pretty good lineup. BJ Surhoff was their catcher in his prime.

        Cheers,
        Ante

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          A. Kinda neither, but I guess Hicks so you can just IL him

          B. Love it!

          • galica says:
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            Grey!!

            Yeah, I guess you’re right. They’re both coming back from the same injury, Knebel a little more advanced on the timeline for recovery but both scary and both could equally crap the bed and give up a grand slam in 0.1 IP and call it night in 2020 requiring my teams also to call it night for 2020! Hopefully someone else on my team will be on the IL when Hicks is eligible to come off and then I can swap them and put Hicks on the bench until I see some form of consistency in terms of his velocity, his arm strength and also what his role is in the bullpen in 2020.

            Cheers,
            Ante

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Ha, yup!

    • Forgot what a beast B. Anderson was. I’ll be monitoring Knebel and Hicks, leaning Knebel.
      Thanks Ante!

  4. MattH says:
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    Nice work, Grey. I enjoy chasing Wins. With the shorter season i vote commenters pick their daily “W” prediction in the comments.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Love it!

  5. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Great stuff! Totally agreed on avoiding 4th or 5th starters. That said, I figured that less rest days mean that teams can’t really just have 3 starters (even if they only pitch 4-5 ip a game) because they’re not going to throw again on such few days rest…obviously that works in the playoffs, but for 2 months, not sure how sustainable that is…

    No idea how to deal with that possibility of course—that said, to the extent I’m stuck with 4/5th starters, I’m looking for guys like James (or maybe Desclafani) who can give nice K and could be people you see having a big impact a middler type. Definitely avoiding guys who have the blow up chance, like Miley.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks! Yeah, it’s all so unknown, but if a team can avoid throwing their 4th or 5th starter for longer than 3-4 IP, wouldn’t they? Also, what if, say, Gerrit Cole gets rocked, knocked out after 1st inning, or hurt…and then Yanks need other guys to fill in quickly, their entire rotation could be a mess for a month…It is going to be so crazy

  6. Yants says:
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    Good teams win more games. Huge, if true. ?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      *pokes head in* You’re owned. *pokes head out*

  7. DudeLove says:
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    How would you rank Kyle Tucker, Byron Buxton and Willie Calhoun in a keeper? Also trying to compete this year.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Hmm…Kinda like Tucker still, but tough call…I guess Willie, Byron, Tucker

  8. The Great Knoche says:
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    You forgot about Brent Suter. He will lead majors in wins.

    • Cram It says:
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      Seth Lugo gets my vote.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Honestly don’t think either are bad calls for wins, Lugo especially is good

        • Cram It says:
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          Agreed, Suter is just as good a call, but since we’re playing the guessing game!….Lugo. Mark it down.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            And now Phils have placed five guys on IL without saying what the injury is and think we can guess

            • Who steps in for Neris? Velasquez?

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                I’d guess Morgan or committee, but Neris should return (I think)

            • Cram It says:
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              Coincidentally, I just got the antibody test today. Should have results tomorrow.

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                I’d love to get some of those antibodies — that’s my new #1 goal

  9. Rebar says:
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    Wins, to me, is just collateral damage while chasing K’s, WHIP, and ERA. I don’t really pay too much attention to that column, just try and get good pitchers and let the chips fall where they may.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      It’s smart way to do it

  10. Cheez Whit says:
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    Really agree on avoiding 4th or 5th starters. Especially if they get roofied they are unlikely to bounce back and return any value. We did our draft pre-Covid and right now my rotation is Degrom, Montas, Fried, Folty, Cease, Quintana. Would you drop any of those back end guys for a middle reliever with strong K/ERA/Whip potential? I am high on these MRs who are all available. Chad Green, Matt Barnes, Emilio Pagan, Tyler Duffey. I also have 3 strong closers who will always start and Gore and Whitley as lottery tickets, dynasty league.

    • Cram It says:
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      I’d drop Quintana, maybe Folty. But I wouldn’t drop any of those young guys in a dynasty league just to win a 60 game season.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, 4th and 5th starters could be trouble — agree with Cram — Green, Barnes

      • Dave D says:
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        Or some 5th starters could be gems if moved to a more more mid-inning role and they can vulture wins. Guys with good K-ratios like Josh James or Trent Thorton are worth monitoring. I could also see many teams deploying the TB one inning starter and there could be more Yarborough/Chirinos types this year on the FA for cheap W’s.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          That’s true too! So hard to say

          • Dave D says:
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            Yeah, this more than any other year should be the time to be hypervigilent on add/drop each week based on deployment.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Yeah, completely…Nearly everyone is immediately droppable

              • Dave D says:
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                Droppable except in the DC’s. How you feeling about your team from our early DC in November?

                It amazes me that of all the leagues to preserve they chose the two formats with least FAAB. Seems backwards to me. Should have dropped DCs and Cutline, kept ones with regular weekly FAABs.

              • Dave D says:
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                Just scanned your roster. Looks like you benefit possibly from NL DH with I.Happ, J.D.D. and Riley. List Joe Ross but not likely you’d have used anyway. Staff still looks good.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Yeah, not terrible, I think I have a chance, all things equal

  11. Schmohawks Bob says:
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    Now that Neris hits the DL, who leads the Phils in saves this year?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Hmm…Tough call, can I say Neris still? I guess Adam Morgan?

    • The Great Knoche says:
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      Neris

  12. The Great Knoche says:
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    Yancy/Melnick feud

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ha, yeah

  13. JM says:
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    Grey!! Man have I missed baseball…let’s hope all goes well!!

    Thoughts on Jon Gray? I’m in a 15-keeper dynasty league – JGray was on the bubble for me. I got an offer yesterday to trade him for a couple mediocre draft swaps – nothing much but it’s getting something for a guy that I wasn’t likely to keep anyway. Now it has me wondering if the guy who offered the trade knows something I don’t.

    Would you recommend keeping Gray over, say, Yarbrough? Mountcastle? Odorizzi? Odor?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, it’s already shaping up to be a shizzshow

      I’d go Odorizzi

  14. Dave D says:
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    Oh no, does Kingery have COVID?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I think he might, no one knows, but it seems that way

    • Kingery, Neris…the brutal reality of 2020. Even a 60 game schedule could be tough to complete. Brutal

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Yeah, it’s gonna be tough…Total crapshoot…2020: Wheee!

        • Dave D says:
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          Teams might need all 60 players in a pool to field a lineup. It might be kinda exciting in a weird way. Maybe Ill be starting Reid Detmers, Wander Franco, and Daulton Varsho on my championship team in September…

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Ha, yeah, I’m excited but it’s a total crapshoot…I bet we see a lot of hitters pitching and players out of position

            • Dave D says:
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              Yeah, Im predicting 2 SVs for Jared Walsh.

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                Haha, totally

      • 183414 says:
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        Smitty- I would have liked to take my chances with my 11 drafted teams. When they got cancelled, my interest in drafting a team now has reached it’s nadir. A crapshoot is not my idea of fun. Hate to sit out a season at my age, but seems that logic and reason has been replaced with the complete unknown, including whether they’ll even be 60 games played. Strongly leaning to a hard pass.
        I has Kingery/Neris on 4 of my cancelled 11 teams.

        • Dave D says:
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          Yeah, Im kinda in the same boat. I dont really want to draft a team again after losing 4 I really liked in NFBC. I think I’ll force myself to draft one in NFBC just to have one. I’m leaning towards joining the NFBC Main Event and it’s $1200 price tag. I got $632 in refunds along with $2500 in NHC hockey winnings so I’ll probably just do ME and save the rest for next year and hope for the best.

          • 183414 says:
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            Dave- If you do, don’t hesitate to pick my brain. I’d be happy to help. Losing all of my drafted teams, and having the overall prize drop by $100,000, and really a total clusterfuck, I can’t see me drafting a team now, given all of the unknowns.
            Nice prize for the Main Event, but just not a fan of 15 teamers.

            • Dave D says:
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              Yeah, I dont blame you at all. $250 entry and $25k prize is a comparative joke. Id do the same in your shoes. Thanks for the offer. Picking a draft time is going to be a bitch now that my 4th child is around. I gotta get three kids to beds each night and be up early so 8pm draft times are too early and 10pm too late. Ill probably do a 10pm one night and go in late to work the following day. No good options.

              • 183414 says:
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                Just call me and I’d stay on the phone with you for as long as possible. Would love it if you won !!!

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            So, you won the hockey NHC?

            • Dave D says:
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              I had the most total season points overall but was awarded 2nd place if you can figure that one out. Mostly because of the weird playoff format that ended after 10 days, not the planned 4 weeks. They did the opposite in hockey that they did in Cutline. I won league prize of $1500 plus $1000 for 2nd overall. 1st overall would have been $3500. Big drop off from 1-2.

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                Damn, that kinda sucks…But nice to win something!

                • Dave D says:
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                  Yeah. I am very confident I would have won if it played out the final 2 1/2 weeks. I have little doubt really. My team was stacked.

                  Ill try again next year but may he weird. Not sure with the reboot in late July/August what next season will even look like though. Hockey is off tilt. Off season now is post season.

                  • Grey

                    Grey says:
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                    Yeah, thinking that with NBA too…How they gonna turn around a weeks later and play again?

                    • Dave D says:
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                      I guess we’ll see. Strange indeed.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Yup

        • Hell yeah it’s strange. Hard to know how many follow Kingery/Neris? I want to stay involved, but it’s extra tough this year. Know what you mean, definitely not the same, maybe a few boxscores will do the trick

        • Tough losing those teams you drafted, especially knowing they were really strong. Hang in Andrew, hope you and yours are good

          • 183414 says:
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            Back at you Smitty. Hope you and your family are doing well. We’re good. Been doing my daily 7-10+ miles power walking, and on a plant based diet . Seems to agree with me, my doctors agree. My daughter in law is a nutritionist and I’ve slowly completely changed my diet over the past decade.
            Yeah, not angry at the guys running NFBC (they’ve always been great to me), but I put a lot of time and energy in drafting my teams, as I was riding a nice high, and had some great balanced teams (none with Sale, Severino, or Thor).
            Tough to now draft a brand new team w/ a 60 game or less schedule, nothing that there has ever been like it before. Have gotten used to not watching television, and having my sundays free w/out stressing over faab moves. Also not a fan of a sprint, particularly where the prize was chopped to a fifth of what I thought I was playing for.
            Overwhelming luck factor for sure.

  15. WoeisMoe says:
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    Someone offered me Willie Calhoun and AJ Puk for my Kyle Tucker in a keeper league. Looking towards 2021, I’d be crazy not to accept that, right?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Take it

  16. 183414 says:
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    If ever there was a year to autodraft most of your team…..

    The skill to luck factor for fantasy baseball, has gone from 90-10 to 10-90. Still better than the lottery, but a lot more work.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, luck is reigning supreme

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        It’s basically fantasy football

        • 183414 says:
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          Haha. me and my partner won the fantasy championship 2 years ago. $110k. I put up the money, and he drafted and hit on several free agents. Crazy.
          Still think that this 60 game joke is even much more luck than fantasy football, but I deflnitely get your point.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Yup

  17. Play Ball says:
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    On average, how many days in between outings do middle relievers go? Thinking of streaming them.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Impossible to say…Some go 3 days in a row, some go 1 day, sit out two

      • Play Ball says:
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        If you were to guess with expanded rosters and heavier use of bullpen this year?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I’d guess MRs are used more

          • hondo says:
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            A few days ago when I started paying attention again I thought my early draft reach for J Urias was proof of my genius.
            Turns out it might as well have been a WW pickup of Ross Stripling and I’m still a dumbass.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Haha

    • 183414 says:
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      Also depends on how many pitches; how healthy their pitching staffs are; the situation……

      Agree with Grey. Impossible to say.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Yeah, tough call

  18. 183414 says:
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    Pretty insane that MLB won’t tell you if a player has the Wuhan virus, so they’ll just say player A is on the I.L. Dumb and Dumber have taken over the asylum. Manfred could be the worst commissioner in the history of sports.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Manfred is terrible

    • Dave D says:
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      I think its a HIPAA/PHI thing, but it is indeed peculiar.

      • joeurso1 says:
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        How is this a HIPAA thing when all other injuries and illnesses were and are reported. Makes no sense. “Concussion” etc are all reported.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, I don’t think HIPAA applies, but I honestly have no idea

  19. Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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    NL only saves and holds, but separate, have
    gott, watson, wick, raise the church. drop wick or gott for morgan now? already dropped mahle for a.mills

    • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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      4 max RP so i wouldn’t drop a SP for a RP unless very odd circumstances.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Gott

  20. Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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    similar, but 16 teamer and max 6 RP slots.
    have: ginkel, doolittle, d.castillo, r.iglesias, graterol, r.montero

    drop ginkel (had always appeared behind tons of guys if depth charts is right, obv not dropping in dynasties, this here isn’t) for morgan

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, that works

  21. SheaSeraSera says:
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    Last bat, Grisham or Riley for this 60 game run? extra category is OPS.
    and
    one Pitcher spot use for Bummer or Daniel Hudson for possible Saves of Mikolas or Rich Hill as a 5th starter? Not sure which is more valuable this year?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Hmm, tough…But I think I’d try Riley

      Hudson

      Hill

      • Sheaserasera says:
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        Thanks, but just to clarify question: if you have one P spot, would you look for a good setup man who could get saves or go with a 5th starter on Hill’s level ( currently have 4 SP’s and 3 expected Closers).

        Yahoo innings limit of 475 which seems a bit low is also in play. Thanks for all your work and shifting analysis.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          More IP better, however you can get them

        • The Harrow says:
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          475 is low, is the same as 1282.5 for a 162 game season, which is low. in a normal season you can get by with 6-7 max SP for that few (even if no or little streaming). this year you could probably keep 5, then constantly stream the 6th or keep 6 and sometimes stream the 7th and you’d likely meet that. or keep 5 and intend on streaming 6 and 7 and hold onto guy who’s doing well with the 6th

  22. Cliff says:
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    My league replaced Wins with QS, which seems even more of a clusterfuck. Any tips for approaching QS or do we punt that as well?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Nah, you need to draft decent SPs for QS, but they’re gonna be tough to find

  23. Schmohawks Bob says:
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    Now that David Price is gone, who do you like best to take his place, Stripling or May?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      May

Comments are closed.