Over the past 2 years, Grey and I have had several conversations around joining a high-stakes baseball league.   We are intrigued by the NFBC  but our math keeps suggesting that their rake is too high (e.g., I calculated a 20% rake on the $150 slow draft).

We decided to take the plunge this year with a league consisting mainly of poker degenerates (Derek Carty of BaseballProspectus is the only other ‘pert).  The league is sponsored by daily fantasy sports site DraftDay (“Where every day is draft day!” exclaims Rudy Gamble) with the fantasy baseball league’s blog hosted at http://www.ddfantasybaseball.com.

This was the first time that Grey and I have been in a 10-team AL auction.  I’ve been doing an expert 12-team AL auction the past 2 years and Grey popped his AL-only cherry in a 12-team CBSSports AL league we are co-managing (FWIW, that CBS team is my least favorite team going into the season).

There were two quirks to the draft:

  1. The $260 could be used to fill bench spots as well.  Once every team with $ has filled all their starting + 5 reserve spots, the remaining teams fill out the rest of their rosters via a snake draft.
  2. The draft was done via an AIM chat room + Skype

The first quirk plays to one of our strengths as we tend to have a little money left over at the end of the draft.  So this could allow us to stock up on some reserves with assured playing time or high-end prospects.  The second quirk made it impossible for Grey to bid so he listened in via Skype while I did Razzball’s bidding (cue evil laugh).

Below is our team.  Here are the full draft results (along with Point Share $ per player at a straight 154/96 Hitter/Pitcher split):

Position Player Auction $ Point Share $
C Yorvit Torrealba $2 ($1)
C Salvador Perez $4 ($3)
1B Adrian Gonzalez $33  $28
2B Jemile Weeks $14  $10
SS Cliff Pennington $7  $9
3B Evan Longoria $31  $28
OF Curtis Granderson $29  $30
OF Adam Jones $22  $21
OF Peter Bourjos $18  $13
OF Luke Scott $5  $7
OF Eric Thames $6  $8
1B/3B Brent Lillibridge $2  ($7)
2B/SS Gordon Beckham $6  $6
UTIL Bobby Abreu $1  $6
SP Jon Lester $22  $26
SP Colby Lewis $14  $19
SP Chris Sale $9  $18
SP Jake Peavy $6  $9
SP Tommy Milone $3  $11
SP Kevin Millwood $2  ($3)
SP Blake Beavan $0  ($1)
RP Jordan Walden $12  $15
RP David Robertson $2  $8
Bench OF Mike Trout $4  $0
Bench 2B/SS/3B Robert Andino $3  $1
Bench OF Ryan Kalish $1  ($15)
Bench SP Danny Hultzen $2 NA
Bench RP Francisco Cordero $0 $5
Sum $260 $272 (not inc. Kalish)

One constant throughout our drafts this year has been a concern for value at 1B/3B.  We’ve gotten a 1B every time in the first round and snagged Longoria in the 2nd when available and punted for someone like Moustakas in late rounds.  Thus, it should come as no surprise that we budgeted $35 for A-Gonz (assuming M-Cab and Pujols would go for more) and $33 for Bautista or Longoria.  We were psyched to nab A-Gonz and Longoria for $2 less than budgeted (and bumped Bautista up to $34 in the process for a competitor).

Our third offensive pillar was an OF in the $25-$30 range.  We got Granderson at $29 but don’t love the pick given that OFs went for less than I expected – e.g., Hamilton for $25, Cruz for $23, Choo for $22.  The prices were discounted enough that we nabbed a 2nd strong OF in Adam Jones.

I overpaid on Bourjos but we needed speed – Grey was pissed that I didn’t bid more aggressively on Gardner who went for a fair price at $22.  I think I’d be a bigger fan of Gardner if he had either HR or AVG upside but I don’t think he has either.  I addressed speed as well by only going $1 over the budgeted $20 on the 2B/SS pair of Jemile Weeks and Cliff Pennington.  The best thing I can say for the rest of the hitters is that they’ll have solid playing time and we may have some upside in June with Mike Trout, Ryan Kalish, and Salvador Perez.  I’m not thrilled about getting stuck with Abreu after no one topped my $1 bid but hopefully he’ll get 300+ AB with the Angels or another team.  Also, while I’m glad I didn’t get caught overbidding on Valencia or Betemit, it’s TBD whether Lillibridge gets enough playing time to be an adequate CI.  I had Parmelee on my ‘late round’ checklist and wished I got him for $1 during the later rounds.

As for pitching, I really wanted an ace that wouldn’t cost more than $24.  I went last year in an AL 12 team with Hellickson and Phil Hughes as my aces.  Our 2012 CBSSports AL team has Justin Masterson as the ace.  Thus, I was happy (Grey less so) that we were able to nab Lester for only $22.  Colby Lewis is a solid #2, Sale/Peavy make for higher risk/upside #3/#4, and we got an Athletic (Milone) and three Marginers on the cheap in Millwood, Beavan, and Hultzen (rookie who could get called up in May/June).   Real happy to get such SP depth in a league like this as it can cost a lot of FAAB to acquire it once the season starts.  We only needed one closer and Walden is fine at $12.  K-Rob seems like a bargain at $2 given his K-rate and that he’s next in line for saves in New York in the spare chance that Mariano Rivera ever ages.  F-Cord was our last pick who’ll generally be on the bench (it’s a weekly league) but might deliver some cheap saves if Santos gets hurt.

Overall, I think we have a contending team.  I don’t think we have any weak spots, we have decent depth, and have a good mix of reliable and high upside players.  Our luck, the shitty CBSSports AL team will catch all the breaks (1st prize – you can mention you won on your own blog!) and this team will implode.

  1. chata says:

    seems like a pretty good team , except for ;

    i’d be concerned about spending $18 for a speedster who admits
    to waiting until the season’s over before having hip surgery , and ,

    i still like henderson alvarez , especially for zero dollars .
    and definitely over a guy who might get called up in may or june .

    heck , you might have been able to spot-start alvarez 3 or 4 times
    before a hoped-for june call-up .

    good luck .
    keep us posted .

    • @chata, Henderson Alvarez went for $3. Yup on Bourjos.

      • chata says:

        @Rudy Gamble,

        oops . missed that .

        what are your projections for alvarez this season , please .

        thanking you , in advance .

        • @chata, 10 W / 4.61 ERA / 1.37 WHIP / 103 K in 174 IP.

  2. Chunk says:

    What are the point share values in parentheses?

    • @Chunk, Negative point shares.

  3. John C. says:

    Hey Grey,

    I was offered Pujols/Morrison for Aramis/Hardy/Walden/Venters … gotta take that, right? Even if I have no other 3b (polanco is on waivers, i guess) and it hurts me in saves…

    • Chunk says:

      @John C., take it

  4. PastaMan says:

    So hard to judge AL only teams. Playing time is probably the biggest factor

  5. MattTruss

    MattTruss223 says:

    High rollers, I like it! Is the buy-in public knowledge or not care to share?

    Dunn went for $13, wow. What’s up w/Phipps and no 1B or CI? What’s the strategy there?

    You 2 are off to a nice start with Lewis so far! 5IP, 8Ks, 0ER

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss223 says:

      @MattTruss223, spoke too soon, Dunn took one yard!

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