We have four days with no non-exhibition games so I figured I would vomit out a ‘how are my teams doing?’ post. It has been a pretty good year so far – I’d say 3 of my 7 teams are in contention to win. Read the below at your own peril as – by their very nature – team writeups are sess pools for self-congratulation and self-pity.
|Standings||3rd place (98.5, 17.5 points from RotoExperts’/SiriusXM’s Adam Ronis) – 44 pts Hitting, 54.5 Pitching|
|Top 5 Picks||Encarnacion (#11)/Donaldson/Dickerson/Kluber/B. Hamilton|
|Bargains||Bryant (9th), Perkins (11), Hammel (17), Burnett (20), Chen (22), Hundley (27), B. Anderson (28)|
|Bombs||Dickerson (3rd), Neil Walker (10), Benoit (12), Jose Ramirez (19)|
|Key Injuries||Dickerson, Holliday, McCarthy, Morrow|
|Key FA||Justin Turner ($1), Gerardo Parra ($1), Shawn Tolleson ($1)|
|Stupidest Move||I’ve given 250 PAs to Jose Ramirez & Francisco Lindor. This tandem has delivered bad stats and required me burning a bench spot for Lindor. I should have moved on quicker and bid more aggressively in free agency (e.g., Joe Panik, Carlos Correa).|
My hitters have performed about as expected. Encarnacion/Donaldson have been a solid #1/#2 punch, Billy Hamilton has delivered a boat load of SBs, and Matt Holliday/Shin Soo-Choo averaged out to solid OBP. The main disappointment here has been Corey Dickerson’s foot injury. I really think he was primed to put up huge numbers this year (Blackmon 2015 being his ‘floor’).
My pitching has been better than expected with one exception which I’ll elaborate on in my next paragraph. A key to deep mixed leagues is pitching depth. Despite losing (admittedly injury-prone McCarthy and Morrow) and rolling craps on Masterson, my non-ace pitcher selections have incredibly overperformed ERA/WHIP expectations. I am not sure whether to count my blessings or pat myself on the back. Losing Benoit’s saves by an unexpected trade was a tough break but my luck balanced out with Perkins’ huge 1H save total and nabbing Tolleson under the radar. But onto the exception…
While I remain a Wins vs QS fan, this league has the potential for being my second expert league where brutal Win luck keeps me from the championship. Though my team is 1st in K’s and 2nd in both ERA/WHIP, it is tied with 2 other teams in 12th for Wins. How does that happen? The league averages about .71 Wins per Quality Start. If you multiply .71 by a pitcher’s GS and subtract Wins, you can see their Wins above/below average. My top 7 pitchers by GS are all in the top 26% of unluckiest for Wins of those with 8+ GS and no relief appearances (Kluber 5th, Chen 6th, Burnett 9th, Anderson 16th, Shields 23rd, Hammel 24th, Kennedy 32nd out of 125). That amounts to about 20 Wins lost vs average. Granted, a few of those happened on my bench but given I am 14 Wins from the lead, I think it’s fair to say that this bad luck has cost me close to 12 standings points (Note: This has little to do with Team – the aggregate Win/Loss of these pitchers’ teams is above .500). And the 1st place team (Adam Ronis) – who has played fantastic (Stanton/Harper his #1/#3) – also happens to have two of the 14 luckiest pitchers in W/QS in Gerrit Cole and Michael Wacha.
I think I have an outside chance of winning this league but a lot will have to break my way to do it.
|Standings||7th place (76, 43.5 points from Baseball Prospectus’ Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre) – 27 pts Hitting, 49 pts Pitching|
|Top 5 Picks||Abreu (#4)/Ellsbury/Kluber/Kimbrel/Seager|
|Bargains||Casilla (17), D. Peralta (26)|
|Bombs||Gio Gonzalez (9), D. Santana (11), K. Davis (13), Porcello (20)|
|Key Injuries||Ellsbury, Alex Gordon, K. Davis, McCarthy, Morrow|
|Key FA||Hundley ($3), Matt Duffy ($1)|
|Stupidest Move||Hard to pick. Abreu over Stanton or Goldschmidt? Ellsbury over Harper or Donaldson? Drafting Danny Santana? Drafting Khris Davis when Joc Pederson was on the board? Not outbidding more aggressively on rookie hitters?|
Such a mixed bag of a team. I chose Abreu over Stanton with pick #4 as I was worried about Stanton’s injury and AVG history. Both these concerns eventually came to fruition but it still might not matter. Goldschmidt wasn’t really in my consideration set because I steer clear of players with recent wrist injuries but, wow, has he delivered this year.
First pick aside, I prepped a lot for this draft and it felt like one where the guys I wanted got snagged right before I pick. I imagine my place in the standings would be a little higher if USAToday’s Steve Gardner did not snag Scherzer and Votto two picks before me at #2/#6 (My 3rd round target was Marte who got drafted about 10 picks higher than expected).
A lot of my ‘stupidest move’ notes are hindsight 20/20 call (except Santana). There were only three guys that I thought had 15 Hr / 30 SB potential and Ellsbury was the only one available (Gomez, Marte). That’s great value at that draft slot – it just hasn’t worked out so far because of the injury.
In any case, 7th place feels closer to best case for this squad vs worst case based on 1H performance. Good news is I can’t be any worse in HR/RBI (3 total pts).
Razzball Commenter League (12-team mixed)
|Standings||T-2nd place (85, 12 points from Grey) – 43 pts Hitting, 42 pts Pitching|
|Top 5 Picks||Bautista (11) / Scherzer / Ellsbury / Harvey / V-Mart|
|Bargains||Pollock (11), Bauer (22)|
|Key Injuries||Ellsbury, Victor Martinez, Justin Morneau, Alex Cobb|
|Key FA||Panik, Lind, Hammel, Carson Smith|
|Stupidest Move||Nothing jumps out at me as being particularly stupid – though i’d have been a lot happier if I didn’t gamble on Cobb and chose his teammate Archer instead.|
I won this league last year after two straight 2nd place finishes but it will be difficult to repeat. I have a decent chance of getting to 90+ standings points (I am below league pace in GS which leaves W/K points on the table) but Grey’s team has been firing on all cylinders and that is with nothing from Anthony Rendon. We added a few more writers to this league and it has made it virtually impossible for me to beat anyone to the waiver wire based on breaking news. Luckily, I’ve been able to stay afloat in Saves despite just having 2.5 (Melancon, K-Rob, Carson Smith). My focus on offense in 1st half monopolized two of the three bench spots at the expense of 20-30 relief IP that could really help on the Win/K side.
NFBC $150 Draft Champions (15-team mixed)
|Standings||2nd place (111.5, 1 point behind) – 53.5 pts Hitting, 58 pts Pitching|
|Top 5 Picks||Bautista (11) / Scherzer / Dickerson / Holland / Votto|
|Bargains||Harvey (6), Bryant (8), Pollock (12), Hundley (20), Haren (25), Cozart (32), Colon (33), Pillar (40), Paulsen (41), Bolsinger (45), Ahmed (49)|
|Bombs||Dickerson (3), Napoli (18), Farquhar (22),|
|Key Injuries||Dickerson, Morneau, Smyly, McCarthy, Crisp, Victorino, Cozart, Ottovino|
|Stupidest Move||Nothing jumping out at me.|
It is nice to have an NFBC team in contention after two years of middle-of-the-pack performances. As with my Tout team, the loss of Dickerson has been huge. There is little doubt that I would be in 1st place if he had stayed healthy. My team’s depth was able to withstand a lot of injuries. I brought some of that on me by drafting high risk/medium reward players like McCarthy/Crisp/Victorino.
My offense started slow but is inching its way up the hitter rankings as teams get beset by injuries. My starting pitching has been Scherzer/Harvey and a whole lot of smoke and mirrors. Here are some of the smoke and mirror bunch: Haren (104 IP of 3.288/1.096), Bolsinger (51 IP with 52 Ks, 2.787/1.103), Colon (61 IP with 5 Wins and 1.279 WHIP), Happ (59 IP at 3.034 / 1.331), and Lincecum/Vogelsong (58 IP with 4 wins, 46 K’s and eh ERA/WHIP). Even Ian Kennedy, who feels like a disappointment, has 72 Ks in 75 IP with an ERA/WHIP of 4.163/1.269. These pitchers have helped keep my Wins/ERA/WHIP near the leaderboard but the loss of Smyly/McCarthy has been felt in K’s. Holland/Gregerson have held up as my two closers but it is disappointing that ineffectiveness and injuries prevented Farquhar, Ottavino, and Delabar from claiming open closer spots.
Yahoo! Friends & Family (14-team mixed)
|Standings||7th place (74, 1 points 25.5 behind Rotoworld’s D.J. Short) – 28.5 pts Hitting, 45.5 pts Pitching|
|Top 5 Picks||McCutchen (3) / Ellsbury / Marte / Victor Martinez / Lester|
|Bargains||Boxberger (15), Haren (25)|
|Bombs||Trumbo (7), Jose Ramirez (17)|
|Key Injuries||Ellsbury, Victor Martinez, Ryu, Khris Davis|
|Key FA||Pillar, Paulsen, Colabello, Salazar, Bolsinger,|
|Stupidest Move||Stuck way too long with Jose Ramirez and Lonnie Chisenhall when there were many FA options like Justin Turner, Matt Duffy, Brandon Crawford, Carlos Correa, etc that could have helped.|
As with my LABR team, this team’s middle of the pack status feels appropos. My offense has been poor despite devoting my first four picks to it – clearly the 2014 vs 2015 versions of Ellsbury and V-Mart would have helped. The pitching has been fine – Lester and Shields have been solid if unspectacular but Gio Gonzalez + a goose egg from Ryu haven’t helped. I see no chance at winning it but can see clawing out standings points to inch up the standings.
Leagues Where I Appear to Be Paying Penance
NFBC Main Event (15 team mixed) – 12th place (60 points – 23 points hitting / 37 pitching)
I am co-managing this team and feel bad that little has broken our way. We ended up drafting a number of players who I ranked high but did not end up with on any of my other teams – e.g., Strasburg, Beltre, Heyward, Ozuna, Cishek, Iwakuma, Melky – and they all sucked. Free Agency should have been able to help more than it did as I continually underestimated the aggressiveness of the FAAB bids. In any case, some teams just don’t seem meant to win pennants and this one qualifies.
CBS AL (12 team AL) – 11th place (40 points – 16 points hitting, 24 points pitching)
F**k this team. AL/NL-only teams are a tricky bag with everyone being somewhere on the stars/scrubs vs depth spectrum. I veer towards depth and thought I did a solid job. But holy cr*p was I wrong. I pretty much got zero from my ace (Darvish), #1 closer (Cecil) and two OFs (Saunders, Arcia) thanks to injuries and whatever happened with Cecil. My attempt to build around Darvish and Salazar with solid innings eaters netted perhaps the three worst regressers in the AL: Porcello, Tillman, and Norris. And my faith in the White Sox offseason was rewarded by Eaton and Melky sucking a loaded Vienna hot dog. I just hope this team continues to suck and fall on the proverbial grenade when it comes to fantasy baseball misfortune.