For the fifth straight year, Razzball is competing in’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…

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).
  1. TheTinDoor says:

    Having never played in an ‘only’-league, your prices on the corner guys look great. I have Abreu as $30 in my 13-tm mixed league; similarly, I have Seager as $17 and Pujols as $16 in mixed. You got those 3 corner guys for just a $3 premium on mixed league prices!

    • @TheTinDoor: yeah, those prices were solid. the premiums are less than you’d think for AL-only on top players because you need to save $ to get depth in other positions.

  2. MattTruss

    MattTruss says:

    Nice, thanks for sharing these. I’m excited to have joined a 12 team AL-Only league this year for the time. It’s one set-up via the original roto rules with contracts and a 4 man farm system and what not. Can’t wait to give it a whirl. I’m struggling a little to figure out auction values but have some thoughts. Just a little skewed with some of the cheap contracts out there is all. Info like this is helpful though, so thank you for going over it.

    • @MattTruss: you’re welcome. for handling inflation caused by undervalued keepers, sum the difference between my AL 12 team values for those keepers, divide that by (23*12-# of keepers) – total # of players to be drafted – and then add that number to each player’s $ value.

      • MattTruss

        MattTruss says:

        Perfect! That saved me some head scratching later on once keepers are announced. That denominator will always just be -(# of keepers), correct? So, if there was a difference of $300 and 50 keepers, I’d just add $6 to everyone’s value? That makes sense.

        While I have you, the league also uses K/9 instead of just Ks. I noticed you included K/9 in your “other pitch” section, but it looks like it’s the exact same value as Ks and you mention to just use the $K for Ks and K/9. Is that true across the board? For example, in your 12 team AL Only dollar values, I shouldn’t bother trying to figure out a K/9 value and I should just use $K to get me there?

        Thanks a ton Rudy, always appreciate the time.

        • You got the formula wrong. It’s $300 / (# of remaining players to draft – # of keepers).

          So if there are 50 keepers in a 12 team league (2 catcher) then you have 23*12=276-50=226 players to draft. $300 / 226 = $1.33.

          • MattTruss

            MattTruss says:

            Got it, much better!

            And $K is good whether my leagues uses Ks or K/9, right?

  3. Snarky Anklebiter says:

    When is the Yahoo F&F draft? I’m assuming you guys are involved again this year?

  4. Cronut Burger says:

    Hey Rudy! I asked Grey this question and figured I’d ask you as well, since two experts’ opinions are better than one! I have my AL-only auction tonight and it’s almost certain that Altuve goes for $45-$50, which feels like a ridiculous amount to pay for just one player. That said, landing Altuve would make navigating through the auction far easier because I would no longer need to prioritize SB, and they’re obviously going to go at a premium. Am I an idiot if I pay such a high price for Jose?

    • that’s a stupid stupid bid. i’ve got 12-team AL $ on the site. You can compare them vs LABR and see I’m a little less conservative than them on prices for top players. If you can get any of the top players at my price in a standard home league, you’re in good shape. I consider CBS AL to be similar to a home league sometimes w/ the top player bids. That’s why I’m so happy about getting Abreu at that price.

      So my reco is to avoid going over my price. For a couple of foundation pieces, no need to be too cute. If it’s an aggressive room, don’t be afraid to jump to my price (e.g., frustrating when you bid $29 on a $30 player and then winning bid is $30). All that extra $ spent will give you better purchasing power as the draft goes on.

      • Cronut Burger says:

        @Rudy Gamble: Thanks for the feedback. Your wisdom is well received. Off topic, but could you be so kind as to tell me who you expect to be the Astros’ 1B come Opening Day? Reed? White? Duffy? Singleton (gulp)?

        • Singleton. Reed’s job by June 15th.

  5. Mike says:

    I was surprised that OF Saunders from Toronto was not drafted. He is healthy and looks good so far.

    • @Mike: agreed. will check him out on FAAB!

      • he was taken in reserve rounds :(

  6. The Great Knoche says:

    Rudy, I see you’ve taken Chen in a couple mixed leagues now as 4th/5th starter type. See a lot of upside there getting out of Baltimore? Just curious as to your thoughts since I did not have him on my radar at all.

    • yes have drafted chen thrice this week (tout + two scout drafts). I wouldn’t say upside but love the park and league move. i have him as the 26th SP and you can get him a few rounds later than that.

    • Beware the Shit Rope says:

      @The Great Knoche: in every yahoo for sure i’ve drafted they have him ranked much lower than the raters or Grey has him.

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