Being a consumer of Razzball for years, I’m sure many of you already participate in or know OBP or On-Base Percentage league(s). The metric has eased into MLB broadcasts (along with OPS) as an advanced way of measuring player value and performance. During the course of the season we will look at OBP, OPS, WQS, OPS, RC27 and assorted other measurements to put a lens on how these scoring leagues may differ from standard leagues. This is not a commentary on what type of leagues you should play in, I enjoy playing in all kinds of baseball leagues, Head to Head, Rotisserie, etc… The idea is to provide you some insight, which I hope is helpful regardless of your favorite format.

For the opening week of 2015, I hope you’ve avoided a closer surprise (injury or trade for instance), a starter clutching his arm, or an ex-MVP suddenly hurting his ribs. If you have avoided this, your lineup can benefit with a speculative stash, so stay right here. Most fantasy leagues allow 2 DL spots, look around your league, someone is using them to stash value right now. I didn’t remember to look at this until after I saw Matt Weiters come up in a league with his elbow being on the mend. For longtime RCL leaguers, apologies for “DL 101,” but if you’re new like me, take a look at your wire:

  • First the hard part, yes I know you had high hopes for fill in the blank (Joaquin Benoit, or Zach Wheeler)… someone you no longer feel you have bench space for, go ahead and dump him. If you want to pick the same player back up (unless that player qualifies for waivers, in which case, you probably shouldn’t drop in the first place), you can pick that dropped player right back up at the end of the following transaction.
  • Second, identify the best players listed in the “DL-15” and prioritize what you need on your team. Did you draft light on Starters, Relievers, or need another Outfielder?
  • Draft the DL player, than promptly move him to the “DL” slot.
  • If you have two (or more) DL slots open (like in our RCLs), rinse and repeat (go ahead, I’ll wait).
  • Now pick back the original player you dropped, or fill out your last bench space with whoever you need.

Now, most rosters will endure a few injuries and those DL stashes may need to be dropped soon, so looking at short-term speculations may be more valuable. I looked on a few of my RCL rosters, many of the savvy players drafted DL players at the end and slotted them for the DL right away, but these names popped up a few times in each RCL leagues:

Bats: Matt Wieters, Michael Saunders, Hardy, J.J, Josh Hamilton, Coco Crisp, Josh Reddick,

Stats courtesy of Razzball Projections for the rest of the year.

139 J.J. Hardy 499 55 14 57 1 0.251 0.294 0.681
161 Josh Reddick 458 56 17 62 5 0.243 0.308 0.728
176 Michael Saunders 430 56 14 55 10 0.246 0.324 0.739
229 Josh Hamilton 382 47 14 52 3 0.246 0.309 0.719
246 Matt Wieters 338 41 13 44 2 0.245 0.308 0.718
255 Coco Crisp 298 42 7 31 11 0.251 0.328 0.712

It’s understandable you’re not overwhelmed by Michael Saunders, but there is more to look at with pitching. Also keep in mind, the shallower league, even more value awaits (Homer Bailey, Hyun-jin Ryu, Hunter Pence, and Jason Werth are possibilities in an 8 or 10 team league).

Pitchers:  Drew Smyly, Homer Bailey, Mike Minor, Sean Doolittle, Jake McGee, Bobby Parnell, Casey Jansen (Matt Cain if on DL), and Jenrry Mejia if someone drops him right away.

Stats courtesy of Razzball Projections for the rest of the year.

544 Jake McGee 0 0 3 20 3 52.8 65 16 2.47 1.05
532 Homer Bailey 29 17 10 0 0 180.2 162 49 3.66 1.2
528 Drew Smyly 28 17 11 0 0 167.4 152 52 3.49 1.21
530 Sean Doolittle 0 0 3 20 3 46.2 55 12 2.38 1.02
381 Bobby Parnell 0 0 2 8 1 33.3 31 11 3.4 1.24
375 Mike Minor 25 13 8 0 0 143.8 121 40 4.04 1.27
352 Casey Janssen 0 0 2 3 9 46.4 36 12 3.66 1.24

This strategy works well with Razzball’s SAGNOF candidates, which Rotolance covered nicely here on Tuesday. These can all be speculative ads, and if you keep room on your bench for matchups (I suggest using the advanced tools on the site here), then it will be easy to maneuver players in and out of your DL slots creating two more speculations that just might turn into value after everything is picked clean in early May. I hope this column turns up a gem in your league and look forward to providing assorted league advice and commentary as the baseball season ramps up, if not, remember, the two slots are FREE.