As many of you know, I’m in the NL-Only Tout Wars and LABR, so every year I take part in an industry NL-Only league with the CBS peeps (and Donkey Teeth, BDon, Itch…Now that I think about it, it’s all Razzball people and CBS’s Scott White) to try to find my footing like a drunk sailor hearing about a peg boy for the first time. If you don’t know what a peg boy is, don’t google it, which is what someone says knowing that will 100% cause someone to google it. Some might mock, some might mock draft, but this is my draft prep, and am happy to take part in this league. Until about 25 minutes into the draft, and players go for way too much, and I start getting hungry and I just want the whole thing to be over and ermahgerd! But, for those first twenty-five minutes of the five-hour draft, I’m laser focused. For this league, I once again use Rudy’s NL-Only rankings, and his War Room (it’s free with a subscription). I won’t try to get you to buy it anymore. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make the horse put a cape down so I can walk over the water without getting wet. (If you want a shallower league, play against me and hundreds others for prizes –> Razzball Commenter Leagues.) Anyway, here’s my 12-team NL-Only team and some thoughts:
C: Austin Barnes $1
C: Victor Caratini $1
1B: Pete Alonso $28
2B: Garrett Hampson $9
SS: Jean Segura $8
3B: Ke’Bryan Hayes $20
MI: Brendan Rodgers $4
CI: Christian Walker $16
OF: Cody Bellinger $37
OF: Marcell Ozuna $29
OF: Raimel Tapia $13
OF: Shogo Akiyama $6
OF: Cristian Pache $7
UT: Paul DeJong $15
Bench: Cole Tucker, Luis Garcia, Josh Rojas
P: Zach Eflin $11
P: Charlie Morton $18
P: Pablo Lopez $16
P: Tanner Rainey $4
P: Joakim Soria $5
P: Alex Reyes $3
P: Carlos Martinez $5
P: Adrian Houser $2
P: David Peterson $2
Bench: Alex Wood, Vince Velasquez, Brandon Kintzler, Drew Rasmussen
I ALREADY KNOW IT’S COMING — THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID — SO JUST TELL ME WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING WITH THIS PITCHING STAFF AND GIVE ME YOUR HALF-BAKED RATIONALIZATIONS.
And since a lot of you make like I never admit my mistakes, I made a mistake in this draft.
YOU MAKE SO MANY MISTAKES!
Shut up, Al Capps.
YOU JUST MADE A MISTAKE BY SAYING THAT TO ME. CAN WE MAKE MY FONT BIGGER SO I SCREAM LOUDER AT YOU? HOW ABOUT BOLDER? DARKEN MY FONT, YOU COWARD!
My mistake comes with a caveat that explains how it wasn’t a mistake.
OF COURSE IT DOES!
I only want two relievers in these mono leagues. Alex Reyes was a mistake. Or Tanner Rainey was a mistake. Or Soria–Okay, my bullpen is a mistake. You should (as I should) take about $20 and get saves. Not a good habit to fall into drafting three terrible relievers, and only really one with a real chance for saves. If I did it again, I’d take someone like Kenley for $17 and Reyes for $3 and be done with closers. The way that I was able to salvage it, at least partially, I grabbed more innings on my bench, so I can put in Wood — hey now! — and bench Rainey or Reyes. As you see from my War Room totals, it’s clear my bullpen is a mess.
HEY, NOT TO RAIN ON YOUR PARADE OF “SOB STORIES” BUT YOUR ROTATION IS A MESS TOO.
Tough but fair. Here it is when I factor in Alex Wood:
Still not ideal, but you see if I’m putting in Wood — seriously, is this NC-17? — it does help the staff, uh, literally. I’m pretty fine with my rotation vs. admitting my bullpen is not great. Last year, here was my rotation in this league:
P: Kirby Yates $20
P: Kevin Gausman $9
P: Sean Doolittle $12
P: Steven Matz $9
P: Zach Eflin $3
P: Sandy Alcantara $7
P: Johnny Cueto $2
P: Joe Ross $2
P: Rick Porcello $3
Bench : Freddy Peralta, Eric Lauer, Daniel Ponce de Leon, Ryne Stanek
I didn’t win the league (came in 4th, but I’m throwing out all 2020 results in that dumb year). My rotation was not the reason why I didn’t win. My top bats last year were Arenado (not great, Bob), Puig, who I drafted the day it was rumored he was going to the Rockies only for that to be rescinded (really not great) and Ozuna (actually great). If you notice one thing, look at how right I was on Gausman, Eflin, and Alcantara. In an NL-Only league, you don’t need to hit more than three SPs like that. This year their prices went from a combined $19 to this year’s $42. That’s what I don’t think people understand when they say you have to draft top starters. You have to draft starters this year that will outperform their price and be higher priced next year. This year on my staff, I believe Pablo Lopez, Eflin (again!) and C-Mart will be worth more next year. Charlie Morton is fine, and prolly correctly priced.
SINCE I’M IN CHARGE OF TEEING YOU UP, ANYTHING YOU WANT TO SAY ON YOUR HITTING?
It’s so stacked.
STACKED WITH ROCKIES.
People get a narrative in their head and can’t shake it. See it all the time. Arenado is traded and this year that narrative is the Rockies suck so their hitters will suck. Do you know how many full-time Rockies have hit below .250 in the last 20 years in a 162-game season? C’mon, guess. Rockies hitters are never bad. They play in the equivalent to a zero-gravity chamber with aluminum bats. No guesses? There’s been four Rockies hitters since 2000 who have hit below .250 in a season. Four in 20 years! Trust me, they haven’t always had good hitters. Clint Barmes did it twice, then Ian Desmond (2018), Trevor Story (2017) and Juan Uribe (2002). That’s it! And only one of those was below .235.
ANYTHING ELSE THAT HAS YOU PEELING AWAY DANDRUFF AS YOU SCRATCH YOUR HEAD?
Cody Bellinger is one that has me truly perplexed this year. He’s clearly a top guy in the NL. On our NL-Only rankings, he’s the 4th best. He’s debatable with Tatis in those auction prices, and clearly above Betts. I love Cody. If it were my own ranks, I’d have him below Betts, but(ts?) here’s the thing: Betts, Tatis, Soto, Acuña, deGrom, Trea Turner, and Yelich (!) went for $40 or more, and the 1st four in this list went for $50 or more. Prices were not cheap. Bellinger though? He went for the same price as Ozzie Albies. I get the concern about the shoulder, but c’mon. He had that surgery so long ago now, and he’s in the prime of his career. As I said above with the pitchers, do you really think Bellinger is going to be priced less than $37 next year or more? He’s such an easy $40+ in NL-Only. I get that a lot of you play in mixed, shallower leagues, but this is a big takeaway for those leagues too. Cody Bellinger is going to look like a steal in drafts by June of this year. Speaking of shallower leagues–
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