Thanks to the fantasy baseball sabbatical of our longtime pal Nick Minnix, the Tout Wars Mixed League (15-team, snake draft) had an extra spot for good ol’ Rudy. Grey is also in the league (his draft review here) which gives Razzball two chances to win and me three chances to beat Grey in a 2015 league (RCL and Yahoo Friends & Family the other two). It is also the 3rd straight expert draft (LABR Mixed, CBS AL) that fellow Austinite Paul Sporer was in the same draft as me. So I have the opportunity for two hat tricks this year (or to be hat tricked….grr, pessimistic parentheticals).

The one wrinkle in Tout Wars vs. LABR or the NFBC 15-team format is that it is OBP vs. AVG. This made draft planning a little more challenging because NFBC ADP and any learnings from past drafts are fairly useless for hitters. But since my Player Rater code already has 5×5 OBP set up, I at least had solid player values to lean on.

See here for draft reviews from other drafters and industry snoopers. Actually, wait. Read my team review first.

Below is Team Rudy – drafting from the 12 hole:

Pos Name Pick
C Wilson Ramos 14.199
C Nick Hundley 27.402
1B Edwin Encarnacion 1.12
2B Neil Walker 10.139
SS Jose Ramirez 19.282
3B Josh Donaldson 2.19
OF Corey Dickerson 3.42
OF Billy Hamilton 5.72
OF Shin-Soo Choo 6.79
OF Matt Holliday 8.109
OF Travis Snider 25.372
CI Kris Bryant 9.132
MI Scooter Gennett 23.342
UT Billy Butler 18.259
SP Corey Kluber 4.49
SP James Shields 7.102
SP Ian Kennedy 13.192
SP Brandon McCarthy 15.222
SP Jason Hammel 17.252
SP A.J. Burnett 20.289
RP Glen Perkins 11.162
RP Joaquin Benoit 12.169
RP Jake McGee 16.229
B Jimmy Nelson (SP) 21.312
B Wei-Yin Chen (SP) 22.319
B Shane Victorino (OF) 24.349
B Francisco Lindor (SS) 26.379
B Brett Anderson (SP) 28.409
B Justin Masterson (SP) 29.432

Early Round Notes (Note: when I say ‘top player on my board’, I’m am stretching the truth a bit. Just interpret it as ‘around the top of my board, I liked the player and felt he was going soon’.)

  • I was near certain that the first 11 off the board would be (in some order): Trout, McCutchen, Stanton, Abreu, Kershaw, Miggy, Goldschmidt, Rizzo, Bautista, Encarnacion, Gomez). So my plan was to take any of those players that fell but, otherwise, take Joey Votto thanks to his tremendous OBP. The hope was Puig or Donaldson make it back to me for Pick #2 and, if not, take Scherzer (I am just not a Tulo or Hanley 1st round pick guy given their injuries). Luckily, Paul Sporer chose Votto in front of me so I got Encarnacion and avoided the barrage of ‘How could you take Votto in the 1st round – it’s not 2012?!’ comments on Twitter and this post.
  • Puig went #14 but, luckily, Anthony Perri of Fantistics took both Tulowitzki and Hanley Ramirez off the board which paved the way for Donaldson as my 2nd pick. While Encarnacion and Donaldson are not great OBP guys, they both have 11-12% walk rates and moderate K-rates which give them an above average OBP floor to go with their potential for 60+ combined HRs.
  • My 3rd/4th picks went about as well as I could have hoped. Dickerson and Kluber were my top two players on my board after Grey snagged Starling Marte 5 picks before mine. Luckily, Dickerson lasted until my 3rd pick. I understand some industry hesitance to buy into him given he was not a top prospect and has 1 full year under his belt but I see him as a 5-category contributor (thanks in large part to Coors). Kluber at #4 marked my first of several repeat picks from my LABR team and was a no-brainer to me since he was the best SP on the board and there were 22 picks before my 5th pick and who knows what kind of pitching run might happen.
  • Perhaps the 5th was destined to be my most interesting round. After choosing Kluber, I looked at my board and felt Matt Harvey was likely to be the best player available. Yeah, right! He went 5.63 – 31 picks earlier than where I got him in LABR. I might have bit on Kimbrel (after Grey took Chapman) but I had planned to grab two closers around rounds 10-12 and invest in hitting. And suddenly I realized when running through the available options, “Oh s**t, I’m going to take Billy Hamilton”.
    • Before taking Ben Revere in my recent NFBC draft, I do not recall EVER selecting a low power / high speed OF in the first 10 rounds of a snake draft. Maybe Ichiro once?
    • But one of my takeaways from my 2014 draft failures was the realization that the near universal bias to draft speed with other skills (like power) leads to overvaluing that type of player. There is no way I would have drafted 2014 Will Venable in the first 15 rounds if it were not for the allure of 20/20. Brad Miller got me with the potential for 15/15. While this power/speed type is rife for overvaluing, the inverse is generally true in that speed only (aka SAGNOF) guys are undervalued. Granted, a guy like Billy Hamilton only really makes sense for a team that has drafted heavy power/light speed with their early picks. That fit my draft to a tee. The value seemed to be there – I had him as the 37th ranked player and it was pick 72 (or 52 picks after Mike Podhorzer drafted him in LABR). So why not grab him and then focus the rest of your offensive efforts in the other 4 categories? (Fun support point: Billy Hamilton’s ADP in 84 Razzball Commenter Leagues was 81. Teams that drafted him had the 2nd highest average standings points of all hitters drafted on 50+ teams.  Jose Altuve was #1)
  • My other ‘interesting’ top 10 round pick came after choosing perhaps the most boring trio in recent draft memory: Choo, Shields, and Holliday. In three words: OBP, Petco, OBP.
  • Then Kris Bryant with pick #132 in the 9th round! After LABR, I gave more thought to Bryant and felt he had been undervalued. If I had a do-over, I would’ve grabbed Bryant or Soler instead of Rosenthal and Alex Gordon. Bryant has Stantonian power, 3 years of college baseball plus one monster minor league season under his belt, has shown a good eye (important for OBP), is coming up sometime in mid/late April, and will have no playing time limitations assuming he does not completely c**p the bed (as opposed to Mookie Betts who is getting drafted earlier and I has some PT concerns with Castillo/Victorino). The fact that I had Donaldson is actually a plus as it means I did not have to waste a pick on a placeholder 3B – I drafted Billy Butler as a CI who can move to UTIL once Bryant is promoted. I am about 85% confident that people look back on their 2015 drafts and say, “Why the hell did I not take Kris Bryant when I could have had him at a ridiculous discount?”.
    • Further support:

General Notes/Strategy
This section goes over some larger draft goals/philosophies + evaluating other teams’ decisions. It went over well in my LABR team review so thought I would do it again. I kept the ‘In General’ text the same to call out any hypocrises / changes of heart.

  In General My Team Observations on Other Teams
Upside vs Reliability Sprinkle upside picks throughout draft, veer towards reliability in early rounds. Be cautious of guys with brutal contact rates (e.g., Springer, Baez, Bryant) Well, I changed my mind on Bryant but it is an OBP league and he has a good eye. I think I succeded here. A lot of solid bats/arms with more upside bets on the hitting side (Dickerson, Hamilton, Bryant, Jose Ramirez) than pitching side. No team jumps out as too ‘upside-y’ or too reliable.
Bouncebacks I like them as long as health not a question mark, skills/age look positive, and properly discounted. Shin-Soo Choo is my only early round bounceback but his OBP skills + solid 4 category contributions make him an ideal target. Minor bounceback bets on Victorino and Billy Butler. Did not love Anthony Perri’s Fielder and Chris Davis turn at #3/#4. I think Pujols or A-Gonz and Arenado (who all went soon after) are better plays. Paul Sporer is heavily invested in bouncebacks (Votto, Zimmermann, Machado, Mauer) but the OBP appeal is clear.
Category Balance vs Best Player Available In a weekly league with FAAB, I prefer to come out of drafts without glaring weaknesses. So I do monitor this during draft so, unless there is a large value difference, I am choosing the player who provides better balance. Very happy with this one. I track as above average in each category and that is with conservative PAs for Bryant and Jose Ramirez (note: I have Lindor too). I ran the numbers on all the teams and, without divulging too much to maintain a sliver of competitive advantage, there are a surprising number of imbalanced offenses. Here is a crazy stat: if i exclude my fairly balanced team, the team correlation between $HR and $OBP is NEGATIVE 65%. This is crazy since they have a positive correlation at the player level. Perhaps this is due to varying levels of over and undercompensation of OBP?
ADP vs “Get Your Guys!” I prefer to wait as long as possible for guys I like but adjust based on draft room dynamics. Since ADP does not really exist for 5×5 OBP hitters, this is a little subjective but I think the only players that I jumped the gun were Jose Ramirez and Jimmy Nelson and they were late round picks. These are some of the picks that felt too early to me: Lucroy (2nd), Betances & K-Rob (5th, before Holland), Bogaerts (6th), Semien (8th), Souza (8th), a host of middle relievers in 16th/17th round
Hit/Pitch Mix I price at 67/33 and 22/11 for SP/RP. That’s my general goal. The total split for the league was 66.5% / 23.9% / 9.6%. I avoided a repeat of LABR where I went 60% H/ 26% SP / 15% RP with a 65% H / 24% SP / 10% RP split. The biggest change was waiting on closers. I Didn’t draft my first until round 11 vs. two top 10 round picks in LABR. I was tracking very hitter-heavy (espec. for me) with 8 of my first 10 picks being hitters but I reverted back to form with 7 of my next 10 picks being pitchers. The team splits were all over the place. 4 teams were under 61% in hitting (Both Tom and Greg from NFBC, Charlie Wiegert, and Grey) while 7 were between 70-71%. There were only 4 between 65-69%. Tom, Greg, and Tim McLeod had 30+% in SP while six were 20.2% or less (with Paul Sporer the lowest at 15.8%).
Closers Like’s Fred Zinkie and Jeff Erickson of Rotowire, I like having 2 dependable closers in the 15-team format. HATE HATE HATE relying on FAAB or trades to fill a closer spot. As noted above, I shifted strategies with a goal of picking off 2 closers right above the dependable closer line. Very happy with Perkins/Benoit in the 11th/12th round. Also happy to take a third closer in Jake McGee with my 16th round pick. All signs are positive that he will regain the closer role in late April and he was VERY good last year. Defending hamp Tim McLeod’s 10th round pick of Jean Segura when he already had Reyes + Wong confuses me as a closer run was in progress. He ended up with Feliz and two fliers (Quackenbush, Ottavino). BHQ’s Brett Hershey bypassed various low-tier closers for Brad Boxberger and Sergio Romo. I like Boxberger but would have taken Mejia or Cecil there. Paul Sporer took no changes with Betances/Allen in the 5th/6th – clearly confident that his SP knowledge would allow him to go all LIMA on us.
Middle Infielders Do not overpay for ‘scarcity’. Aim for middle rounds. Focus on R/RBI/SB/AVG over HR. Emphasis on skills. Very happy with Neil Walker in the 10th, Jose Ramirez in the 19th, and Scooter Gennett in the 23rd. A slight overpay for Jose Ramirez, perhaps, but that was an SB play, not SS. Neil Walker vs Ian Desmond is a fascinating comparison. Here are the Steamer PA/R/HR/RBI/OBP projections: ID 620/67/18/75/.310, NW 600/69/18/72/.343. Fair case for saying Steamer is cheating Desmond a few HRs. That said, I got Walker 8 rounds later. Now I understand others see Desmond as a surer thing for counting stats or prefer SS vs 2B but I think that this marks an excellent case where desire for power/speed lead to premium pricing. Interestingly, the draft pick value spent on 2B/SS was about on par with my non-adjusted allotment. I think some players were picked earlier because of scarcity inflation but it evened out. One note here: I have a ton of respect for Anthony Perri but pairing Tulo and Hanley #1/#2 is either an amazing or lethal combo. I christen that move the ‘speedball‘.
Catchers I like to punt Catchers. The demands of the position lead to greater injury risk and more volatile offensive numbers IMO. I am eh on my 14th round pick of Wilson Ramos. The non-adjusted C value was there. I am very very happy with Todd Nick Hundley in the 27th round. He’s going to get the majority of starts, he has some power, and Coors!!!! As expected, the room invested about double the draft pick value I had on my draft board for catchers. It felt like the room was a little more measured on C investments thank LABR. Shocked that Robinson Chirinos made it to the last pick in the draft.
Starting Pitchers Draft quality and quantity. Mix upside and consistency. I think Kluber/Shields are a strong top two. I know Shields has benefitted from pitcher parks and good defenses and he’s going to a bad defense in SD but I am optimistic he has close to a career year. Kennedy/McCarthy/Hammel are solid NL K/BB types and I hope to play matchups and/or get lucky between the five of: AJ Burnett, Jimmy Nelson, Wei-Yin Chen, Brett Anderson and Justin Masterson. I can see the thinking behind the LIMA-esque SP choices of FG’s Sporer + Sarris and BHQ’s Hershey and Murphy. But Paul Greco’s bargain budget staff really looks like one with Fister/Tanaka/Verlander/ Weaver/Kazmir/CJ Wilson. A lot has to break right (or not break in re: to Tanaka’s elbow) for that not to be a bottom 3 staff IMO.
  1. Blue says:

    “But one of my takeaways from my 2014 draft failures was the realization that the near universal bias to draft speed with other skills (like power) leads to overvaluing that type of player”

    I absolutely believe this. You pay such a premium for the 5th category contribution. I’ve played around with stripping SB out of value calculations entirely due to it.

    • @Blue: Nice. I think there are some decent values in the first 2-3 rounds (Gomez, Ellsbury, Marte) but, should you miss those, it is tough to draft HR/SB without sacrificing on something (value, AVG, etc.)

      • J-FOH says:

        @Rudy Gamble: do guys like Pollock and Blackmon fall into that trap or do they have enough things going for them that they can be considered value plays? Blackmon obviously for the park factor and Pollock for park and just looking like he is primed for breakout if he can stay on the field.

        • @J-FOH: Both vary depending on the draft. I have Pollock 221 for NFBC format and his ADP is 170. I ended up drafting him because i like his upside and think that more than can make up for the difference. I have Blackmon 68 and his NFBC ADP is 76 so I like him more than ADP.

          • J-FOH says:

            @Rudy Gamble: crazy on Blackmon, in the RCL’s I have drafted I was able to take him at 125 and 119, in the FCL the Big Magoo took him at 111, which coincidentally led me to make a reach for Pollock at 113 since Avisail got taken at 105 and Polanco at 102. Funny side note to all those grabs was that Pederson went 121, Rios 120 and yet Alex Gordon fell to 131.

            • Wake Up says:

              @J-FOH: Lets see how funny that side note is in July…

              • J-FOH says:

                @Wake Up: hehe, I couldnt help it, I like Joc a lot, thought Rios would of gone much later in the FCL, hey you threw your chips at him, which I get for roster construction, I like a nice bounce back too, just sayin still pretty high considering his ADP. I think Gordon is a safer pick which made me surprised he fell by other owners

                • Wake Up says:

                  @J-FOH: You didn’t even know who Dickerson was yet when I drafted him last year…just saying…I didn’t miss Gordon…he’s an avoid…

                  • J-FOH says:

                    @Wake Up: oh I knew who dickerson was, I liked the pick. I was aware of him, just knew the situation in Colorado was a mess. With Gordon I disagree, his numbers seem repeatable from last year with the RBI’s actually being the wildcard. Rios there might help him and I think overall his game plays well with them. But still think he could of been taken rounds later. On the other hand, in that draft with all the reaching up you have to take your guys and you did. I reached on Oswaldo and Pollock, and some may argue with Braun, but thats what we do when we play with the people like we do.

      • the swinging says:

        @Rudy Gamble: brantley is undervalued even as high as he’s valued imo

    • Ryan says:

      @Blue: Great idea, Blue. I am going to try this with my SGP spreadsheet and see what it does. I am joining a league that allows 4 keepers, however, I was left with shit to keep. Im holding Holland (13), Leonys (17th), and Alvarez (22) while one team, to give an example, has Trout, Stanton, Harper, and some other stuff all with his last 4 picks! My strategy with have to be too try getting Kershaw and two more pitching studs with my next two picks, dominate pitching and find speed and peripherals throughout three mid rounds. By not trying to grab power/speed guys I can maximize my strategy.

  2. Nate says:

    Is the War Room tool broken?

    • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:

      @Nate: Grey says use firefox, and clean out cookies, he mentions a way to do this.

  3. Whatever says:

    First off, solid draft.

    Second, I looked at your 5×5 OBP and noticed it was for a 12 team mixed league. Do you think I can still use the values in that tracker for a 10 team mixed?

    • @Whatever: Thanks. 10-team and 12-team values will change slightly. Shoot me an e-mail at rudy at razzball dot com and i’ll shoot you out the 10 team (feeling generous today)

      • Whatever says:

        @Rudy Gamble:

        Hey Rudy

        Email sent. Thanks!!


  4. Shibboleth says:

    Hey Rudy,

    Phenomenal team. Love the breakdown/analysis, too. It validates a lot of the strategery I made use of in drafting my team. Speaking of, can I get your blessing/thoughts on my team? 12 team, keepers, 5×5, OPS, QS, Solds.

    C: Gomes, Norris
    1B/CI: Goldschmidt, Adams (Belt)
    2B/MI: Wong, Betts (Schoop)
    3B: Frazier (Alvarez)
    SS: Peralta (Owings)
    OF: Marte, Dickerson, Melky, OZUNA, Arcia, (Viciedo)

    SP: Price, Shields, Iwakuma, Gonzalez, Petit, Chen, Norris
    RP: Melancon, Reed, McGee, Farquhar, Quackenbush

    • @Shibboleth: Thanks! I’m liking a lot of your team. Without doing a deep analysis, I think you just need to work on your last roster spots. Viciedo sucks – I’d want a better 6th OF. I like Chen at P6. I’d avoid Norris and dig for an NL SP…maybe AJ Burnett or Niese is available? Also consider JA Happ for his home starts.

  5. Tom says:

    I wish TODD Hundley was still in the league! 41 homers out of the catcher slot in ’06!!!

    • AJA says:

      @Tom: That was 96, friend. It only FEELS like it was 06.

  6. J-FOH says:

    I was following the draft live and liked watching your team being built more than grey’s . Im a big fan of the Scooter, Snyder, McCarthy, Walker and McGee picks. Like the values there. The taking of Anderson really made me feel better about taking him in a deep 16 team league. If he can stay healthy even if only for three months, will return great value as long as he stays away from some of the fluky injuries of the past. I dont know what it is but i like what the Dodgers pencil pushers have done with going after upside arms and seeing if one sticks.

    • @J-FOH: Thanks! Before the Anderson pick I asked, “Is it unlimited DL?”. When I heard yes, I figured I’d give him a shot. Me likely cheap LAD pitchers.

      • J-FOH says:

        @Rudy Gamble: I know he is not cheapy but I have been getting Ryu all over the place at what i consider a massive discount.

        I like Beachy signing, very under the radar as well as Nicasio, who I like out of the pen and even possibly later in the year as a starter if injuries hurt them.

  7. Pope says:


    I love reading your posts. I wish I had your statistical/numerical talent and knowledge (if that’s even the right way to put it). It is always excellent to hear the thought process behind your picks. Understanding the underlying stats is vital and I always try to read (and fully grasp) everything you write.

    I have asked Mike and Grey this question already, but I would appreciate your opinion so I can finally make up my mind.

    I’ve got to make a keeper decision. It’s a standard ESPN 12 teamer, R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, K, W, SV, ERA, WHIP.

    Last year was H2H but we may switch to roto, so your input on both league types would be appreciated (if it even makes a difference). $260 auction budget, we can keep 2.

    $23 – Pujols
    $1 – D. Gordon
    $3 – Frazier
    $2 – Baez
    $10 – Rizzo
    $21 – Kemp
    $24 – Puig
    $1 – Soler
    $1 – Bruce
    $1 – J. Pederson
    $17 – J. Heyward
    $1 – C. Carter
    $1 – Myers
    $1 – R. Castillo
    $1 – Y. Tomas

    $10 – Cobb
    $6 – Doolittle
    $3 – A. Wood
    $1 – Arrieta
    $1 – Fiers
    $1 – Carrasco
    $21 – Strasburg
    $12 – Storen
    $1 – J. Fernandez
    $0 – Harvey

    Grey originally suggested Rizzo and Puig, but Mike likes keeping Soler over Puig due to the price difference. Who would you keep?

    • @Pope: Thanks for the kind words! Soler and Harvey are the best bargains in my opinion.

      • Pope says:

        @Rudy Gamble: Boy, that throws a wrench in my thinking. Not in a bad way. Can I ask you to explain a little more please? I feel like Rizzo will be a $30+ player for a few years, correct? I guess you’re thinking Harvey returns to his elite status and becomes a top 5 pitching option for years to come that’s worth $30+?
        Do you think I can win this year if I keep Soler and Harvey?
        This is my first and only keeper league, so maybe I don’t have the right mindset for keepers.

        • Pope says:

          @Pope: Also, the consensus seems to be against keeping a pitcher. Are keepers almost purely based on value?

          • Whatever says:


            With only two keepers, you are going to need to draft a good team. Keepers alone are not going to win you a league with only 2 keepers.

            • Pope says:

              @Whatever: That makes sense. So value is much more… valuable with only two keepers. Thanks

  8. Bryce Krispies says:

    Do I trade or stand pat?
    I have the following keepers in 16 team mixed league H2H keep 12 pool. 20 games required to maintain position eligibility for the next year for hitters
    Hosmer Santana Rendon Machado Beltre Segura
    Harper Stanton Braun
    Kershaw Chapman
    The guy with Rizzo has a need at third Basemen. IS it worth me offering
    Santana and Gallo for Rizzo and pcks?
    Trading Machado or Rendon straght up ( Rendon is my 2b now and I hope he maintains 2b eligibility for another year)
    I am wondering if seeing what happens with either Santana or Hosmer as my long term solution is a better idea than cutting a deal

    • @Bryce Krispies: I like Rizzo a lot more than Hosmer. Santana is going to lose value next year when he’s 1B only. Gallo sure seems like a fun keeper though!

  9. SteveNZ says:

    Hey Rudy – nice looking team – we have some players in common ;-) Your analysis is very valuable as usual.

    Be interested in your thoughts on a team I drafted at the weekend in an OBP league. We count AVG too (I asked you about grabbing Mauer for this team on the OBP Player Rater page).

    Picked 13th and EE, Bautista and Rizzo were the three that got picked right ahead of me so I was sweating that my corners would be looking pretty shabby – and I hadn’t even picked yet! Donaldson was basically the top-ranked guy in your rankings that I wanted…

    C Santana (41)
    1B Davis (69)
    2B Wong (97)
    3B Donaldson (13)
    SS Segura (209)
    LF Holliday (72)
    CF Puig (16)
    RF Car-Go (44)
    Util Choo (128)
    BN Tomas (156)
    BN Souza (293)
    BN Gyorko (240)
    BN Owings (296)
    BN Avisail (237)

    SP C-Mart (265)
    SP Petit (268)
    RP Robertson (100)
    RP Perkins (125)
    P Papelbon (153)
    P Davis (181)
    P Watson (184)
    BN O’Day (212)
    BN Warren (321)
    BN Quack (324)

    I don’t love Choo, but he’s good for OBP. Got him in the 120s which is probably OK – he’s in the 70s in your OBP rankings. Waited too long on Danny Santana for SS, so hopefully Segura bounces back.

    Oh, we count Holds too and I’m going relievers-only which has worked well for me in this league.

    • @SteveNZ: your offense looks great. the pitching looks odd but if the reliever method works in your league, good job!

      • SteveNZ says:

        @Rudy Gamble: Thanks!

        Yeah, the pitching is a little different, though we only have 10 adds per week in this league which makes streaming tough, unless you draft lots of starters – which of course dilutes your offense.

        Going relievers-only in a league this shallow means I can pretty much fill my hitting roster before I have to worry about closers/top MRs so my hitting *should* be pretty good.

        Aim, obviously, is to let the hitting look after itself and to win Saves, Holds, ERA and WHIP every week. Sometimes I have to get my SP stream on if a reliever gets flamed really in the week, but it’s a strategy that has worked pretty well for me over the years. Fortunately no one else ever bother to try it out.

  10. Nick says:

    Wow, if you don’t do well in this league something is wrong. I like every player you picked at the spot you picked him, and that’s rare for a nitpicker like me. Great writeup as well. I think the format is working. The general strategy is helpful, and I like it alongside the specific examples.

    • @Nick: Thanks! Fingers crossed something doesn’t go wrong then.

  11. Schwab says:

    Hey Rudy,
    Great draft. Looking for opinions. 8 team, H2H point based scoring, Keep 15 each year for as long as you want. 1B=1.5pts, 2B=2.5, 3B=3.5, HR=6, RBI=1.5, R,SB,BB=1 each. W=7, L= -2, K=1.5, ER = -1, IP=1.2, QS, CG, SO= 3 each and 10 starts per week. Kept Encarnacion, Rendon, Machado, Baez, C.Gonzalez, Harper, Heyward, Hosmer Price, Cueto, Teheran, Lester, Kluber, Taijuan Walker & Giolito. Any thoughts on where I’m weak, strong and what I should look for in the draft?

    • @Schwab: Thanks. Not very familiar w/ 8 team but the team looks solid. I’m not convinced that Baez and Taijuan will have any value in this format but I can see keeping them on the bench in case they break out. (Same goes for Giolito of course).

  12. sport says:

    Always happy to read your posts. I love finding Grey ‘ s late round diamonds but I follow your drafting strategy a little more.

    With the lead off spot in Texas do you see Martin as an 85 run, 35 SB guy? 265ish AVG?

    • Thanks. That sounds about right for Martin if he stays at lead off. Not sold he keeps spot though

  13. cub blue says:

    So, did I miss who won the computer….mine is crap and was really hoping it’d be me.

  14. Yescheese says:

    Loved your draft Rudy, I think you hit an excellent balance and have a contender as long as things don’t break the wrong way. I’m not a Dickerson believer but I can appreciate the appeal and I don’t think he will sink you.

  15. SallyCips says:

    Lot’s of great analysis here, Rudy, thanks for posting. Had some similarities on my singular team this year, OBP as well. Went Stanton-Donaldson-Price-Frasier-Hamilton to open. My RPs were Britton-McGee-Nathan-Qualls, with the first one coming in the 15th, longest I’ve ever held out. I thought about punting catcher, only needed one, but didn’t love the field when the 5th round came up and went for 3 position Santana. Later picked up McCann, who I may see if I can pry Bryant with. (Doubt it)

    • thanks and sounds like a good team. I don’t like playing scarcity but Santana as a C in OBP league is awesome

  16. Matt says:

    Any chance Randall Delgado wins a rotation spot?

    • Possible. Doubt he would be able to keep it.

  17. Allan says:

    Rudy, I’ve never played in a 5×5 roto before. I joined one of the RCL’s and it’s avg. not obp. How does my team look?
    C- Lucroy
    1B- Freeman
    2B- Zobrist
    3B- Carpenter
    SS- Reyes
    MI- Prado
    CI- Morneau
    OF- McCutchen
    OF- Melky Cabrera
    OF- Revere
    OF- Cuddyer
    OF- Granderson
    Util- Ortiz
    BE- B. Phillips
    P- Scherzer
    P- Kimbrel
    P- Harvey
    P- Shields
    P- Kennedy
    P- Quintana
    P- Bauer
    P- Lackey
    P- Clippard
    BE- Bailey
    BE- Dickey
    Not sure about Dickey. Wily Peralta, Wei-yen Chen, Jason Hammel, Jimmy Nelson and some others are available as free agents.

    • I love the SPs but I’d drop dickey, Bailey, and lackey for more relievers. Anyone with save potential and/or good ratios and K-rates. The offense looks ok – perhaps weak in power. Ditch Phillips for another OF with 20 HR potential like Snider or Rasmussen.

      • Allan says:

        @Rudy Gamble: Marlon Byrd seems like the best power option to drop Phillips for. Thought maybe drop dickey and lackey for darren oday and tony watson for help with whip and era. Thoughts?

        • Yes Byrd over Phillips. Are middle relievers that bare? Miller, boxberger, Farquhar, gregerson, qualls. Strop, quackenbush?

          • Allan says:

            @Rudy Gamble: Everyone of those is taken except strop. Oday and watson’s projections seem just a little better than strop.

            • Ok – figured strop a little more likely for saves but I hear you on ratios

  18. FrankGrimes says:

    love the way you breakdown your draft

    my 12 team keeper league (we keeps 4)
    me: AuShizz Stanton Jones and Springer
    I have 3rd pick
    Would you draft Harvey as your number one?(15ish pitchers kept)
    wait longer on pitching?
    What about a big gamble on bryant? (he won’t be there for me 2nd pick)

    • Ooh, make me choose between Bryant and Harvey. Damn you. I’d go Bryant so next year u have option to not keep 3 OF

      • FrankGrimes says:

        @Rudy Gamble:
        thanks bro
        nice spot on Sirius/XM
        too bad those DBags didnt let you talk more tho!

        • @FrankGrimes: Thanks. I’m sure our posters calling them DBags will only increase my radio time going forward!

  19. Edward Scherzer Hands says:

    In a 12 team H2H OBP league with OBP, HRs, Runs, , 1bs2bs, 3bs, SBs, RBIs are offensive cats, how would you utilize your 5×5 OBP data set? Also we just have one catcher, 1b, 2b, 3b, ss, 3OFs, and one UTIL position.

    Thank you for all of your great insight.

    • @Edward Scherzer Hands: i would use the 12-team Yahoo 5×5 OBP. To compensate for the additional counting stats (1b/2b/3b), I’d either up the weights on the $R/$RBI/$HR or grab the 1b/2b/3b data from the projections and try to come up with a formula for crediting those stats. Sorry I can’t be of more help.

  20. royce! says:

    Hi Rudy! I’d love to hear your opinion of an RCL team I drafted in one of J-FOH’s leagues. My drunkeness (who starts a draft at 8:45?!!) and Jack’s nefarious influence led me to draft the oldest team that could still conceivably compete. Based on your rankings, nearly every offensive pick was a deal. I went off script for the RPs- not enough reliable old guys. And I’ll be streaming SP for a bit. Anyhow…

    C- McCann (178)
    1B- Pujols (39)
    2B- Pedroia (82)
    3B- Beltre (15)
    SS- Zobrist (163)
    MI- Hill (298)
    CI- Victor Martinez (63)
    OF- Bautista (10)
    OF- Braun (34)
    OF- Holliday (87)
    OF- Melky Cabrera (154)
    OF- Werth (202)
    UTIL- Ortiz (58)
    BN- Pompey (255)

    P- Uehara (106)
    P- Iwakuma (111)
    P- Street (130)
    P- Cishek (135)
    P- Rondon (159)
    P- Kennedy (207)
    P- Aaron Sanchez (223)
    P- Lackey (231)
    P- Soria (250)
    BN- Joel Peralta (274)
    BN- O’Day (279)

    • @royce!: wow your hitting is old. Looks good except for SB where it is atrocious. Pitching looks decent though i’d like an ace before Iwakuma.

      • royce! says:

        @Rudy Gamble: I also wanted an ace before Iwakuma but the only guys I could think of who fit the age restriction were Lee and Wainwright and I don’t want either for the obvious reasons. I’m going to have to break the “old guys rule” rule in order to stream SP and steals guys. Should be an interesting project…hoping I don’t give up by May!

  21. Jake says:

    HI Rudy,

    I’m going to join a 12 team auction H2H categories league this year. There’s 9 pitcher spots, 5 bench, and you’re allowed 7 adds each week.

    What do you think of the strategy to draft 4-5 closers and 9-10 SP? Spending maybe $50 on pitching? Would you need any of the 14 pitchers to be high quality or just kill it with volume?

    Would you recommend taking your 12 team auction values and re-weighting the hit/pitch 80/20? Or just go with the standard values and only pay for hitting?


    • I wouldn’t go beyond 70/30 but I’d weigh down SBs and distribute more on the other categories. I would go lighter on xlosers – maybe 2 – and get some good middle relievers assuming you can make daily swaps. For SPs, I would just spread it out with a bias towards pitchers with favorable home parks.

  22. Jon says:

    Hey Rudy, I drafted tonight in an NL-only league that uses 5×5 plus walks and holds. It also swaps out wins for QS. I’ll admit I didn’t prepare enough for the unique scoring, but I tried to grab some guys I thought had good walk rates. I also just completely ignored holds, figuring I can find those in-season. Any thoughts/suggestions? Anyone you don’t like with this scoring?

    C d’Arnaud
    1B Rizzo
    2B Gyorko
    3B Zimmerman
    SS Owings
    OF Stanton
    OF Heyward
    OF Pederson
    Bench: LeMahieu, Mercer, Aramis Ramirez

    SP Greinke
    SP Lester
    SP Wood
    SP Wacha
    SP Peavy
    SP Kennedy

    RP Chapman
    RP CIshek

    • @Jon: the pitching looks fantastic assuming wood is Alex and not Travis. i like the offense too. once Owings is healthy, i’d drop Mercer for a middle reliever.

      • Jon says:

        @Rudy Gamble: Thanks! That is Alex, indeed. I’m happy with the pitching for sure.

  23. Mick says:

    Hey Rudy,

    I am in a 20 team h2h dynasty league and have Bryant. We keep 20 out of 25 for as long as you want. My only 1B is Singleton and pitching is no problem, Would you trade Bryant and Degrom for Abrue. He is currently looking at Braun, Degrom and Buxton for Abrue. Would you do either one of these and are they enough to make it by the veto voters?


    • I wouldn’t trade Bryant straight up for Abreu. I think Braun, Degrom, and buxton seems like a lot for Abreu. I would target a 1B u can get for cheAper

  24. bossmanjunior says:

    With standard cats, how would you rank Dickerson, Marte, and Springer? I’m targeting a couple low BA slugger types like Davis and Moss, so Im thinking Dickerson might be the obvious pick with Marte as a fallback.

    Similarly, how would you rank Ortiz, Votto, Pujols and Fielder? I would love to believe in Votto bouncing back, but Ortiz seems like the safe play here, despite his age.

    Thanks Chesney!

    • bossmanjunior says:

      This is for a 10 team h2h 5×5 shallow league with big money on the line and a few quirks like a real money budget for moves, rolling waiver, and draft order annouced 2 weeks before draft (i have the first pick). The strategy I’ve constructed looks something like this to give you some context.

      C McCann (round 14)
      1B Ortiz (round 5)
      2B Kipnis (round 8)
      3B Donaldson (round 2)
      SS Desmond (round 3)
      OF Trout (round 1)
      OF Dickerson (round 4)
      OF Moss (round 13)
      UTL Davis (round 9)

      I’ve devalued OF a little bit since its only a 3 OF league and the waiver pool will be huge.

      • @bossmanjunior: My rankings are available via the Pre-season Player Rater. I think Marte is your first target to solidify SB with Dickerson and Springer as fallbacks. If you get Springer, no on Chris Davis (who i want nothing to do with this year – the shift!). i like your lineup in general though. seems pretty well-balanced aside from perhaps one too many AVG drains.

  25. Five-On-One says:

    Hi Rudy – Had a LIMA-based strategy question. In a league with daily lineups, I was thinking of spending very little of my budget on pitching (say, 15%), and acquiring 7 RPs and only 2 SPs – essentially punting K’s and W’s, while (hopefully) winning ERA, WHIP and Saves. 2 questions for you. First, what do you think of this strategy? Have you seen it used and has it worked? Second, can you recommend some SPs that I might acquire cheaply for this strategy. In need the SPs to reach the IP minimum, and want to keep my ratios low, but don’t care about K’s. Guys like Fister and Keuchel leap to mind, but there have got to be others, right?

    • @Five-On-One: Is this H2H? if yes, then the strategy is interesting. if not, i don’t think you can win punting 2 categories. in daily lineup leagues, i like limiting how many SPs i draft since so many are available to stream. Why not plan to compete in W/K and just stream while using the RP to bulk up ERA/WHIP/K?

      I’d look through my Player Rater for bargains. It’s all relative to your league. Basically any cheap starter is one you’d like to bench for 1/3 of their starts to avoid bad matchups…

      • Five-On-One says:

        @Rudy Gamble: No, not H2H, regular 5×5 roto. The theory being that by spending 85%+ on hitters, a team could (should) get 55 (out of 60) hitting points and then also crushing in 3 pitching categories for around 35 pitching points. Never tried it, and maybe it is not as easy to execute as I am imagining. Perhaps it is difficult to dominate hitting even if spending so much more than everyone else on hitting.

  26. Homer says:

    Is Hundley really going to get the majority of starts over Rosario?

    • Homer says:

      @Homer: There’s also McKenry. I’m afraid to go near the Rockies catchers.

    • @Homer: Hundley is the starter is the consensus from the local papers. Both Rosario and McKenry are poor fielders.

  27. BambooLounge says:

    Rudy…loving the commentary around Ian Desmond, as I mock my 12-team (ESPN 5×5 redraft) in advance of this weekend’s draft, I keep finding myself taking Desmond in the 2nd round (I have the 3rd overall) and I can’t really get myself to move off it when I look at the other available options.

    Basically, it seems like my choices boil down to:

    1) Grabbing a Pitcher in the 2nd then either Harper/Upton in the 3rd

    2) Grabbing two of either Harper/Upton/Brantley/Donaldson in the 2nd/3rd

    3) Taking Desmond in the 2nd then Upton or Harper in the 3rd (this is what I wind up doing).

    Donaldson seems to always be there as well around this time, but I’m on Grey’s Arenado high, so I’ve been backing off Donaldson. As for 1B, I’ve been content to wait on C. Davis/Gonzalez/Frasier/Santana around Round 6/7.


    • BambooLounge says:

      @BambooLounge: Forgot to mention…My 1st rounder is Stanton (or McCutchen if Stanton goes #2 overall).

    • @BambooLounge: In that range, I like Ellsbury, Marte, Donaldson, Brantley,Harper and Scherzer, Strasburg, or F-Her for SP. Desmond isn’t awful there – just think the other guys will provide better stats.

      I like Arenado but hard to count on getting a guy…

  28. DP says:

    Is there a ranking that includes OPS as a 5th Cat? I find most leagues will add this instead of OBP.

    • @DP: nope – not at this time.

  29. NateMarcum

    Nate Marcum says:


    We have a 12 team, 12 person keeper auction draft ($50 payroll, 23 rostered players, no bench). Nominees are by team, which is pre-determined. Only available players have to be on the opening day roster. No FA moves unless injured or suspended. After the auction is over, this year we are starting a new format. All non-opening day rostered players are then selected in a snake format.

    We will have the 2nd pick in that format, and was just wondering who would be a couple good targets to go after. They can be in A, AA, AAA, California Penal, etc. There is a $2 fee to keep them each year that they don’t make the move to the MLB (actual money, not auction money) and then they take on a .90 salary.

    Kris Bryant is the suspected 1st pick. Do I go Buxton, Lindor, Correa?

    Thanks guys!!

  30. Joeg414 says:

    Just drafted in my 13 Team 6×6 , roto , Deep League , we do have keepers so picking 13th in a snake , I had to reach for a few. Closers went a little earlier then I thought . We start 13 hitters and 9 pitchers. Thoughts ?
    Drafted 13th. Go Nats !
    13 Bryce Harper, Wsh OF
    14 Ian Desmond, Wsh SS
    39 Kyle Seager, Sea 3B
    40 Jorge Soler, ChC OF
    65 Gerrit Cole, Pit SP
    66 Carlos Santana, Cle 3B
    91 Jake Arrieta, ChC SP
    92 Ryan Zimmerman, Wsh 3B
    117 Jordan Zimmermann, Wsh SP Keeper
    118 Xander Bogaerts, Bos 3B
    143 Jose Quintana, CWS SP
    144 Avisail Garcia, CWS OF
    169 Tyler Clippard, Oak RP
    170 Anthony Rendon, Wsh 2B Keeper
    195 Andrew Miller, NYY RP
    196 Brad Boxberger, TB RP
    221 Travis dArnaud, NYM C
    222 Kennys Vargas, Min DH
    247 James Paxton, Sea SP
    248 Desmond Jennings, TB OF
    273 C.J. Cron, LAA 1B
    274 Drew Pomeranz, Oak SP
    299 Kendrys Morales, KC 1B
    300 Adam Ottavino, Col RP
    325 Juan Lagares, NYM OF
    326 Joel Peralta, LAD RP
    351 Brad Miller, Sea SS
    352 Marco Gonzales, StL RP
    377 Henderson Alvarez, Mia SP

    • Joeg414 says:

      Its a Daily League

  31. nightpandas says:

    Rudy Rudy Rudy, what a great movie…

    Wanted to get your thoughts on a 15 team OBP and QS, K/9 league.

    We keep 11 and I have all offence filled except C and LF. My SP so far are Scherzer, Shields, Ventura and Kenley as RP.

    I have two early picks in the first round. Who would you take:

    C: Gattis/Lucroy
    LF: Gardner/Moss/Pederson(maybe)/Zobrist/Tomas
    RP: Allen
    SP: Ross/Salazar
    Bench: Polanco

    • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:

      @nightpandas: might be gardner is your team is steals weak, which i can’t see.

      • Nightpandas says:

        @Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo: yup on steals…keepers are: Rizzo, Dozier, Arenado, Tulo, Jones, Braun, Bruce

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