Welcome to the 2015 edition of the RCL Razzball Champion’s League. No matter how the season plays out and what the stats say, I will be claiming this is the best and toughest RCL. The 12 owners had 8 of the top-20 teams in 2014, and 17 of the top-50. The draft (April 1) was interesting as only 55 SPs were selected, compared to the RCL average of 81.6. 68 RPs were grabbed as well.
Here is the Team-By-Team breakdown, including the Vegas odds on winning the Champion’s League title…
(1) Odin’s Virulent Man Beard (7:1) Matthew Wright – Mauledbypandas
The target is clearly on Panda’s back, probably because he picked up a 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the 3 toughest RCLs in 2014. Also, he is the 2013 RCL champion! And, everybody likes to hunt bear, right?
3B is so deep that Panda waited until round 24 to grab Lonnie Chisenhall. He took two top starters in Max Scherzer and Chris Sale, and then added Masahiro Tanaka in round 12 as the only other SP. Mookie Betts continued to be taken well ahead of Grey’s 12th round ranking as Panda selected him in round 6.
(2) Rube Waddell’s Shiny Objects (9:1) Matt Trussell – MattTruss
Vegas is undoubtedly impressed with his 2 titles in 2014, including the incredibly competitive ECFBL.
Having the number 1 pick, Matt added Troy Tulowitzki and Albert Pujols to Mike Trout for a solid start on offense. Matt Harvey was the next pick, followed by the first closer, Aroldis Chapman. Truss gambled on Joc Pederson in the 7th round and selected Jedd Gyorko in the 15th as his 2B. Taijuan Walker in round 17 and Billy Burns in round 23 could be key picks.
(3) Colicky Fuddruckers (12:1) NehYih Tseng – Nate T
Your 2014 overall champion should probably feel slighted as the 3rd favorite, especially considering he also had another top 10 team. But his 6th place finish in the Champion’s League is a flashing red light for the oddsmakers.
Nate drafted only 2 SPs, grabbing Jeff Samardzija in the 8th and Drew Smyly in round 18. He added 10 RPs, led by Craig Kimbrel, Drew Storen, Neftali Feliz, and Joe Nathan. His offense is anchored by Miguel Cabrera, Yasiel Puig, Adrian Beltre, and Jacoby Ellsbury, with Everth Cabrera and Kennys Vargas as later picks that could be big contributors.
(4) Razzball Mike (19:1) Mike B – Mike
Razzball’s most respected writer will be in tough as his time is split between playing and writing. His 2014 Razzball Writer’s League championship which qualified him for this league is not considered a major accomplishment on his resume, though it did place him 12th overall. Ever humble, Mike is “just pumped to be playing with this crew. It’s going to be a fun challenge.”
After taking Paul Goldschmidt and Stephen Strasburg, Mike went with 3 straight OFs ahead of their ADP – Starling Marte, Jason Heyward, and Jorge Soler. Cole Hamels, Francisco Liriano, and James Paxton round out his starting staff.
(5) Manwich Men (60:1) Patrick McDonnell
He won a tough league to finish 13th overall, but probably doesn’t get the respect he deserves as it was a Tehol Beddict league.
Pat got good value on his pitching staff, nabbing Johnny Cueto, Adam Wainwright, Alex Cobb, Michael Wacha, and Phil Hughes after their ADP. Hughes actually went in round 17, over 100 picks after Grey’s ranking.
(6) Vin Risky (70:1) Vince Reid – Vin Reich – VinWins
Vin has been spouting off on his 4th overall finish and 5 top 50 teams, but the oddsmakers know that was against much weaker competition than he’s facing now. Since he knew he wouldn’t be able to outstream these guys, Vin drafted the 6 Sps he was sure would match Grey’s projections – Alex Wood, Mat Latos, Mike Fiers, Matt Shoemaker, Michael Pineda, and Lance Lynn. So, before the RPs are added in, that’s 77 wins and 1063 Ks with a 3.33 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. Not bad. Waited until the 16th round for a 3B, and still got one of the best in Chase Headley.
(6) Kid A (70:1) Kid A
2 titles plus a 4th place in the super-tough Frequent Commenter League make the Kid a legit contender, but oddsmakers don’t think he has what it takes in this competition.
Adam Jones and Josh Donaldson at the turn set up offense, while 6th and 7th round picks Jordan Zimmermann and Jake Arrieta anchor the pitching staff. Kris Bryant in the 5th round is a gamble that could pay big dividends.
(8) Backdoor Sliders (75:1) Mitch Clearfield
His 29th overall finish came as a result of winning a tough league, Ones are Good, Right?
(9)Tennessee Achilles (80:1) Barry Pritchard
His 20th overall finish came in a weaker league, so the oddsmakers fear he will have little success here.
Jose Bautista, Bryce Harper, Evan Longoria, and Adrian Gonzalez should provide a good offensive start for Barry. He also drafted just 4 SPs – Zack Greinke, Sonny Gray, Chris Archer, and Aaron Sanchez.
(9) Happy Vegans (80:1) Terry Holland – Militant Vegans
Finished 21st overall, but faces the same critical analysis as Tennessee Achilles.
(11) Johnny Utahs (100:1) Matt Harshba
Had the 95th overall team in 2014, so definitely considered an underdog this season.
A nice start to the draft with Giancarlo Stanton, Nolan Arenado, Justin Upton, Madison Bumgarner, Yoenis Cespedes, Prince Fielder and Jason Kipnis. The bullpen could be a weak spot with Kenley Jansen and Koji Uehara starting on the DL.
(12) The Jem ‘Hadar (200:1) Mike Lester
Mike’s team finished 194th in 2014, and will look for Andrew McCutchen, Robinson Cano, Ryan Braun, Freddie Freeman, and Jon Lester to help The Jem ‘Hadar move up in 2015. Mike noted that power guys were going earlier than expected. ” It was an interesting draft. I say interesting as, how else do you explain my owning Ryan Howard for 20 homers with that .200 avg he’ll give me. UGH-ly!”
So, that’s a look at the Razzball Champion’s League. Sure to be a humbling experience. I just hope I don’t get discouraged and quit this league before