For the fifth straight year, Razzball is competing in CBSSports.com’s AL-only league (we also compete in NL-only). It has been a struggle the past three years after Grey and I won it in 2012. Beginning last year, we divided up AL and NL-only duty with the other one as co-manager as a backup. One look at last year’s squad and you will see that it effectively served as my “Everything bad happen to this one so my other teams are spared” team.
I enjoy the CBSSports leagues for two reasons: 1) We are in the mixed league versions of LABR and Tout Wars so this league lets us compete in an expert AL-only league and 2) There are daily pick-ups in this league with a $0 FAAB option – this hugely favors maniacal daily players like me.
Below is the team I drafted on Wednesday, February 24th. Here is the complete CBSSports AL-only draft as well as the LABR auction prices for those players from March 5th. Here’s is Grey’s recap of his NL-only draft. Notes below…
|POS||PLAYER||$||LABR AL $|
|C||John Ryan Murphy, MIN||2||5|
|C||James McCann, DET||6||5|
|1B||Jose Abreu, CHW||30||30|
|2B||Johnny Giavotella, LAA||1||1|
|3B||Kyle Seager, SEA||19||25|
|SS||Francisco Lindor, CLE||22||23|
|MI||Christian Colon, KC||2||1|
|CI||Albert Pujols, LAA||17||19|
|OF||Hanley Ramirez, BOS||19||21|
|OF||Kevin Pillar, TOR||19||18|
|OF||Josh Reddick, OAK||16||15|
|OF||Mark Canha, OAK||3||0|
|OF||Austin Jackson, FA||2||0|
|U||Victor Martinez, DET||9||12|
|P||Carlos Carrasco, CLE||28||24|
|P||Taijuan Walker, SEA||20||15|
|P||Clay Buchholz, BOS||11||8|
|P||Trevor Bauer, CLE||10||7|
|P||Nate Karns, SEA||5||5|
|P||Wade Miley, SEA||2||6|
|P||Ubaldo Jimenez, BAL||2||0|
|P||James Paxton, SEA||1||3|
|P||Drew Storen, TOR||14||8|
|RES||Franklin Gutierrez OF | SEA||0|
|RES||Daniel Nava OF | LAA||0|
|RES||T.J. House SP | CLE||0|
|RES||Kelvin Herrera RP | KC||2|
|RES||Bryan Shaw RP | CLE||0|
|RES||Tommy Milone SP | MIN||0|
|RES||Ivan Nova SP | NYY||0|
- Apologies I do not go into crazy analysis mode like my LABR mixed league recap. I think auction drafts are harder to evaluate in such a fashion than snake drafts and figure only a fraction of our readers play AL-only.
- The CBSSports drafts are more Stars ‘n Scrubs than LABR/Tout Wars which historically has led to me investing in mid-priced stars (~$20) and building a deep team. That has not been working out so well so I planned on being more aggressive with star players and a greater willingness to pay ‘face’ value. Really liking Jose Abreu and Carlos Carrasco as my two stars (I didn’t mind my ‘ace’ last year in Yu Darvish until yu know…)
- One surprise was that I was leading the pace for spending throughout the first half or so of the draft. When I had about $40 left, the average was $70. This wasn’t by design – I just like the players/values and had no particular desire to sit on the cash. As is often the case, several teams held back only to compete amongst themselves for the remaining players. At the $40 point, though, I took a breather and let the field catch up. By the end, I still had enough money to go to $2 for a couple of players I liked and only had to pick two $1 players.
- I budgeted for a 67/33 hit/pitch split but adjusted late in the draft to 64/36 when the last closer on the board (Drew Storen) was available for $14. If someone bid another dollar, I was punting closer and investing an extra $10 or so into my offense.
- Really like my offense – especially with Austin Jackson signing with an AL team. I feel like my team will be near the top in playing time which should lead to strong R/RBI performance. I have strong power, speed, and AVG bases. My biggest weaknesses right now are vulnerability to injury (Pujols, Hanley, V-Mart) and 2B/MI playing time vulnerability with Giavotella and Colon. The latter is the tradeoff you make when you overspend on pitching (the Bauer $10 bid is the culprit).
- When 7 of your 9 pitchers are owned in mixed league LABR (all but Jimenez and Paxton), you have to feel pretty good. This staff is WAY BETTER than last year’s pitching staff where I invested too much money in low-upside pitchers (Tillman, Norris, Porcello) and it exploded in my face. If all goes right, I will have 9-10 SPs on major-league rotations to start the year with 2 quality RP handcuffs (Herrera, Shaw) to swap in for bad matchup weeks. I even have a little bit of handcuffing going on with Paxton a handcuff for my 3 other Mariners SPs and House as a handcuff for Bauer.
- Based on my auction values, I kicked butt. I have a $315 team and I do not have any other team as particularly close (within $30). Whether that ends up meaning anything come October, I have no idea. I will just be happy to survive the preseason and April with my team relatively in tact (last year: Darvish and Saunders out for year, Cecil out as closer, Salazar temporarily loses job, Oswaldo Arcia gets banished, Masterson s**ts the bed).
- BUT, if you count up how much my players went for in LABR AL, it certainly looks like I am alone on ‘Loving my team’ island. My team went for a total of $253 in LABR – meaning slightly below average. My offense went for $175 in LABR (vs me paying $167) but I spent $17 more for more pitching! A little of this was due to that room being 69/31 hit/pitch where I ended up 64/36. So I may have drafted well but I certainly didn’t squeeze out much value according to the other ‘perts. Whomp-whomp (sad horn sound).