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From the files of “Oh, my God, Grey is really stupid,” I predicted Shaun Marcum would start this year’s All-Star game.  It’s hyperbole, people!  No, it’s man love.  No, it’s I’ve lost my mind for Shaun Marcum and there’s no one that can stop me.  He’s on all of my fantasy teams this year.  I gave him the 2011 projections of 15-8/3.35/1.15/185.  That’s Cy Young shizz.  If I didn’t think I’d get committed by giving him an ERA under 3, I would’ve.  I didn’t love him this much when he was on the Blue Jays.  I saw a guy who was just returning from surgery, a guy who doesn’t throw very hard and a guy who throws a lot of fly balls.  So what changed and why is he now a 2011 fantasy baseball sleeper?

Because of his move to the NL.  This isn’t brain surgery.  He was a 3.75 ERA pitcher, give or take, in the AL East.  He has to shave at least a quarter of a run off his ERA moving to the NL Central.  He struck out 7.60 batters per nine last year.  In the NL Central that has to go up to around 8.  In his first year back from Tommy John surgery, when most pitchers can’t find their control, he had a BB/9 under 2.  That’s a beautiful thing.  With all the hyperbole aside that I used to try and light a fire under your ass so you would draft Marcum, I’ll be honest.  He might just be around a top 20 starter this year since he’s not going to strikeout 250 guys or something.  But he’s being drafted around the 33rd SP off the board.  He’s currently going right around my fellow heartthrobs, Daniel Hudson and Brandon Morrow.  I kinda want to make love to Marcum in the middle of a cotton candy machine while Morrow and Hudson watch.   Is that weird?  No, of course not!  Marcum’s coming at a decent enough bargain to make him a definite sleeper.  I love you, Shaun.  Now have my sticky babies!  And, you, stop looking at me weird!

  1. Wilsonian says:

    Haha…great show of man love for Marcum!

    And thanks for the advice on the last pick in my draft. Definitely appreciate all the help.

  2. fredaycouples says:

    For those of you also on Yahoo, Marcum is ranked 112 there — so it looks none of us are going to get him.

  3. xtremehulk says:

    continuing with the pairing post….

    I have second pick in 16 team OBP league and will be drafting Hanley.

    I was originally thinking my 2nd and 3rd round picks (31 and 34 overall) should be Uggla and Dunn since we have a MI position that needs to be filled as well as SS and 2nd and the league is large (16 team) so I can get solid production from my middle infield….

    However if Holliday, Upton, or Heyward are available to do I take them instead of Uggla or Dunn. If yes, should I take Dunn or Uggla with pick 3?

  4. RandomItalicizedVoice says:

    @fredaycouples: Yeah he keeps going a bit early for me in mock drafts. You have to take him early as your #2.

  5. chris says:

    I have Marcum on my dynasty keeper team. A guy in my league offered me his Brandon Phillips for my Marcum/Ryan Kalish. What side do we like more, I have always loved Marcum so its tough to move him.

  6. OaktownSteve

    OaktownSteve says:

    @Grey and Eddy: Re: Sonovabenched continued from the last thread.

    I’m relatively new to the site but I don’t have to look at the glossary to guess what that means. I think the sonovabenched phenomenon isn’t necessarily the best argument against manufacturing your own platoon. There’s a principal studied in psychology and economics that basically says it hurts a lot more to get screwed than it feels good to win. I think the sonovabenched phenomenon is just feeling the days where you miss out more than enjoying the days where you get it right or where it’s basically even. Odds say that if you played the guys roughly half the time each over the course of the season you should be relatively close to getting half each of their numbers. You would think that because you could look at matchups etc. you might do a little better even.

    That being said, I never really see anybody using a platoon strategy and with so many people playing fantasy, it’s pretty efficient out there. If it was good strategy, people would be doing it. I just can’t figure out logically why it wouldn’t work accept that the extra roster spot outweighs the potential advantages.

  7. Broccoli Roberts says:

    I’ve been seeing the same things in my Yahoo mocks where i can grab Hudson or Gio a few rounds later than Marcum. He seems to be going as a number 2 where as the other guys from his tier are number threes. What do you think Grey?

  8. Grey

    Grey says:

    @chris: I’d take Phillips. Gotta be realistic.

    @OaktownSteve: It might just feel like you play Snyder and he goes 0-for-4 while Rajai gets 4 steals on your bench then you switch them the next day and your Snyder then sonavabenches you, but it still hurts. Also, it’s just a waste of a roster spot in most leagues. You could have a MR playing every day and getting vulture wins and helping your ratios instead of a bench bat. In deeper leagues, I could see it because there’s less waiver wire guys and you need to max hitting stats on days Snyder or Rajai is benched on their team.

  9. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Broccoli Roberts: He can be a number two in some circumstances. Depends on the staff. He’s preferred as a #3.

  10. Buddo Chezuski says:

    Why the love for Marcum moving to the NL but none for Garza? I can potentially keep him for very cheap this year but going by your rankings it probably wouldn’t be worth it.

  11. Frank Rizzo says:

    At the small expense it takes to get Marcum this year, there’s reason to get sticky.

    Grey…..Liriano is getting some bad press lately. Had a shoulder issue already at ST and now there’s an article out on how the Twins aren’t happy with him because he’s been lazy in the offseason and didn’t start throwing until just a few weeks ago. Any reason for concern here?

  12. Sean A says:

    @Grey: I would make the exact same post you did for Marcum about Hudson…serious man love there.

  13. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Buddo Chezuski: Wrigley scares me, any day the wind is blowing out it’s murder. Plus, his FIP last year was 4.50 and Marcum’s was 3.75.

    @Frank Rizzo: I don’t like to overrate spring training news, need to see him in game action.

  14. mauledbypandas says:

    Marcum was amazing value last year. If people are sleeping on him this year.. that is their problem.

  15. mauledbypandas says:

    @mauledbypandas: wow that makes no sense. What I mean is. I grabbed him on all my teams last year, and with him moving to the NL… yes please.

    Grey, what is the earliest you would take Marcum? around 100th overall?

  16. majortommy says:

    Hey Grey, how about you shut your mouth. I have been let know that some people in my league read this sight. I managed to target Marcum late last year and draft him in the second to last round. Now because of this I will have to move him up to mid rounder. Why don’t you write an Ian Kennedy, sleeper pick next? Or perhaps a Brandon Webb one? Thanks for nothing Grey. Jerk Face!

  17. herschel says:

    @Grey: 12 team, 5 x 5 roto draft question. We are allowed two keepers each (mine are Tulo and Cargo). I have the 4th pick in the draft. Longoria is being kept, and due to the way the draft worked out and who teams are keeping, top 3 could possibly go Pujols/Miggy/Votto (in any order). All of that being said, do I:

    A) Draft Hanley slot him at DH and try to work trade later

    B) Draft Braun and stack up on a thin OF position.

    C) Draft Wright.

    D) Draft Howard/Fielder/Agon.

    Thanks in advance.

  18. sean says:

    For some reason this post reminded me of The State’s $240 Worth of Pudding sketch.

  19. A Hill O' Beans says:

    Marcum went #123 in my recent draft on Yahoo, so it was a little too early for me to bite since I got Scherzer a few picks before he went. He definitely makes a solid #3 though, no question there.

    When it comes to H2H I really like to concentrate on offense, and I usually like to run a bunch of RPs out there since there’s no IP cap, this way I can pick up saves, some vulture wins, some k’s and keep the ERA and WHIP reasonable.

    So pitching (to me) is much less important in H2H. Actually, ratio’s in general (AVG, ERA, WHIP) are less important since they basically get reset every week unlike roto. And, since Wins are so hard to predict, basically I’m left with trying to get K’s and Saves from my pitchers, anything else is just gravy. Does that sound like a reasonable plan, or is it just me? What do you say Grey, any tips for H2H vs. Roto, or is that a future post?

    Anyway, I wanted to see what you guys thought about how this draft turned out for me, so here it is (12 Team H2H, I had the 10th pick):

    C – McCann (5)
    1B – Tex (2)
    2B – Uggla (3)
    3B – Wright (1)
    SS – Andrus (9)
    OF – J. Upton (4)
    OF – C. Young (8)
    OF – Gardner (11)
    UT – Hill (12)
    UT – Tabata (17)
    Bench – G. Sanchez (20), Nishioka (22)

    SP – Hamels (6)
    SP – Gallardo (7)
    RP – Axford (13)
    RP – C. Perez (14)
    P – Scherzer (10)
    P – Kimbrel (15)
    P – Sale (18)
    P – Francisco (21)
    Bench – Volquez (16), I. Kennedy (19), E. Jackson (23)

  20. Sean A says:

    @Grey: Well played.

  21. JoeBot5k says:

    I’ve had a man-crush on Marcum for years. He did me solid in all three leagues I had him in last year. My only problem with the column is that too many people will know about him coming into this year’s drafts and he won’t be “my” sleeper any more. I expect a great year from him in the NL this year.

  22. Greytech Drafting says:

    Do you think it’s possible that the “Grey Effect” is actually permeating Yahoo! and ESPN?

  23. Carns says:

    Love Marcum. Love the move. Hate they growing buzz. Here’s to him getting destroyed in spring training. Cotton candy machine joke made me spit out a little fanta on my screen.

  24. Yep, I said it.... says:

    I agree: A post that discusses some managing strategies specific to H2H leagues would be very helpful. If it could also include a short list of players who you would tend to avoid in H2H leagues for whatever reason, that would be particular interesting. Thanks!

  25. Kidface says:

    Sups Grey,

    Sorry, I had posted this question at the bottom of your previous entry. I have the first pick overall and i made a trade for the fifth pick (i gave up my 2nd and 3rd round pick – also got his 8th round) and barring something unforeskin i will draft Pujols at 1 and having spoken to the people drafting 2-4 i anticipate both longoria and tulo to be available at five. which way should i go given that i dont pick again until the end of the fourth round? thanks

  26. Dominic says:

    hey grey, where do you think I can improve on this draft?

    1. (5) Evan Longoria 3B
    2. (20) Prince Fielder 1B
    3. (29) Justin Upton OF
    4. (44) Jason Heyward OF
    5. (53) Justin Morneau 1B
    6. (68) Elvis Andrus SS
    7. (77) Chris Young OF
    8. (92) Mark Reynolds 3B
    9. (101) Aaron Hill 2B
    10. (116) Brett Anderson SP
    11. (125) Jonathan Broxton RP
    12. (140) José Valverde RP
    13. (149) Tim Hudson SP
    14. (164) Jorge Posada C
    15. (173) Daniel Hudson SP
    16. (188) Edinson Vólquez SP
    17. (197) Jhoulys Chacin SP,RP
    18. (212) Jason Frasor RP
    19. (221) Manny Ramírez OF
    20. (236) Lance Berkman 1B
    21. (245) Johnny Cueto SP
    22. (260) Edwin Jackson SP
    23. (269) Chris Coghlan OF

    I think my AVG is a little weak along with my saves, but I got great power and speed combo, what do you think

  27. Sir Larry says:

    “I kinda want to make love to Marcum in the middle of a cotton candy machine while Morrow and Hudson watch.”

    Outstanding stuff, Grey. Hilarious. I was so tantalized at the thought of acquiring such a stud so cheaply, and having him lead me to fantasy victory, I got overly excited…yes, I just “Marcame”!

    (consider that a nomination for the glossary)

  28. Giant JJ says:

    I have the 3rd pick and the guy with the 5th picks wants to move up to get Tulo at 3. I want Miggy and I know Miggy will be available at 5. so I don’t mind swapping but the other guy is willing to give me a token pick swap later in the draft. What is reasonable to ask given that it’s only a 2 slot swap in the first round? Perhaps his 18th round pick for my 20th? This is 20 team, 28 rounds.

  29. Giant JJ says:

    Correction- “…it’s only a 2 slot swap in the first round.” that’s not worded right. It’s a two slot swap for the entire draft.

  30. Who would you rather keep (as the 4th/5th keepers in a 12-team league… no other MI are kept)?


  31. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Dominic: No idea how many teams.

    @Sir Larry: Nice!

    @Giant JJ: Sounds fine. A two swap switch between friends doesn’t even seem like it needs something to be honest.

    @[email protected]: Pedroia/Haren

  32. GopherDay says:

    @Grey: In a 14 team Dynasty league, would you trade Vazquez for Smoak? I have a lot of pitching, and only S-Rod to play my IF slot. Yes, no?

  33. Mark says:

    I don’t get it. You are in love with Marcum but you have him ranked lower (150) than other sites, such as Yahoo (112). So what gives? Take him around 110?

  34. Grey

    Grey says:

    @GopherDay: Eh

    @Mark: I do the rankings without a parachute and don’t know how others are going to rank. If you have to reach, go for it.

  35. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Mark: The other reality of the situation is there’s at least 50 players you wouldn’t draft if you follow my rankings. Lincecum is 17th at ESPN, on mine he’s in the 40s. So you remove Lincecum because you would never draft him and Marcum moves up one, do that enough times and he moves far up.

  36. VinWins

    VinWins says:

    I reached tonight to get Marcum. Of course, then I waited too long on the rest of my staff.

    Good point on the players you’d never draft. I counted 24 on Yahoo before Marcum, plus several others you would usually never get, so it makes it pretty close.

  37. Yeah. Some people take rankings too seriously… I’ll never draft a guy like Mauer or McCann anywhere close to where they go in real drafts (12 teams; 1 catcher league), but if they fell to some moron round way later, then I would consider it. But since nobody else will ever let them fall to a moron round, I’ll never have the opportunity to do it (so I won’t). Kind of like a David Wright. Good player, don’t get me wrong, but I’ll never take him if I’ve got a chance to get a potential 40-bomb guy like Fielder…

  38. Eddy says:


    Grey, in your rankings I see that Scherzer and Marcum are 47 spots apart, with Scherzer on top.

    The main difference, however, is 20 Ks and a somewhat considerable difference with WHIP.

    As your third starter, with Weaver and Kershaw as your first two SP, do you still take Scherzer?

  39. Grey

    Grey says:

    @VinWins: Yeah, there’s a ton players I would never come near.

    @[email protected]: Yeah, there’s a ton players I would never come near.

    @Eddy: Sure, I would.

  40. Rick says:

    How’s my team?

    C mauer
    1b pujols
    2b utley
    3b longoria
    Ss Hanley
    Ci wright
    Mi cano
    Of cargo
    Of Crawford
    Of Hamilton
    Of Braun
    U Gonzalez

    Sp halladay

  41. Eddy says:


    Is there a lot of competition in that 4-team league?

  42. Eddie says:

    Marcum’s xFIP last year was 3.90. Remember that xFIP is normalized for luck, defense and home run rate, so his stats wouldn’t have looked much different pitching for another team. Marcum is a good fantasy starter, but he didn’t become an ace because he’s in the National League now.

  43. Cole says:

    @Grey: Do you have a Kila projection? Is he roster-able as a Utl dude late?

  44. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Eddie: Yeah, I said I was crazy to say he’d start the All-Star game and around a top 20 starter. Probably will be right outside of it.

    @Cole: I need to know his ABs to be accurate, but say 20 homers, okay average in 500 ABs.

  45. Cole says:

    @Grey: Hmm, may just go with Mr. April (Fukudome) instead. Equally goofy name at least.

  46. Bill says:

    Hey, Grey. Good stuff as always.

    Who’s more valuable in a Keeper League? Justin Verlander or Mat Latos? Standard 5 categories…I won’t be keeping any other pitchers. Thanks.

  47. emporersmonkey says:

    Every mock I do I seem to run into the same dilemma with my 4th pick.

    I usually spend my 1st 3 picks on a stud 1B, a top 3B, and Kemp/Holliday or whichever is the best OF available. A good example is the last mock I did Longoria/Howard/Kemp. Mind you, these are 10 team mocks.

    It always seems to come down to Cruz, Phillips, Heyward or Rollins in round 4 and I turn into a dizzy bitch trying to decide. What do you guys think?

  48. Sean A says:

    @emporersmonkey: Definitely not Rollins…I’d go with Heyward first, Phillips if 2B is getting thin.

  49. chata says:

    prayers to New Zealand .

  50. potus says:

    @12 Monkeys—assuming 5 OF then Heyward—2b doesn’t get thin in a 10 team league

    LOVE this post!!!! The day I trade away one of my best 2010 keepers he finally gets his due press. I knew it was coming but a deal had to be done. Dealt said Marcum + stuff ‘that didn’t matter to me’ for player #16 in your rankings minus $19.

    Great post! Validated one of my best keepers in years. Keep up the good work.


    “I inhaled. That was the point”

  51. barker says:

    15 team mock 5 of CI MI util 9 P 7 bench
    it was 10 guys most of the time 13 at its peak

    R1 P12 1B Mark Teixeira, NYY
    R2 P4 2B Chase Utley, PHI
    R3 P12 OF Justin Upton, ARI [RF]
    R4 P4 OF Jason Heyward, ATL [RF]
    R5 P12 SP Yovani Gallardo, MIL
    R6 P4 3B Pedro Alvarez, PIT
    R7 P12 OF Colby Rasmus, STL [CF]
    R8 P4 SP Ryan Dempster, CHC
    R9 P12 SP Shaun Marcum, MIL
    R10 P4 DH Adam Lind, TOR [DH]
    R11 P12 SP Philip Hughes, NYY
    R12 P4 RP J.J. Putz, ARI
    R13 P12 OF Jose Tabata, PIT [LF]
    R14 P4 RP Drew Storen, WAS
    R15 P12 SP Ted Lilly, LA
    R16 P4 2B Howie Kendrick, ANA
    R17 P12 RP Frank Francisco, TOR
    R18 P4 SS Yunel Escobar, TOR
    R19 P12 1B Freddie Freeman, ATL
    R20 P4 OF Garrett Jones, PIT [1B, RF]
    R21 P12 SP Brandon Webb, TEX
    R22 P4 OF Lorenzo Cain, KC [CF]
    R23 P12 C Russell Martin, NYY
    R24 P4 SS J.J. Hardy, BAL
    R25 P12 RP Scott Downs, ANA
    R26 P4 C Josh Thole, NYM
    R27 P12 3B Brandon Inge, DET
    R28 P4 SP Rich Harden, OAK
    R29 P12 RP Alexi Ogando, TEX
    R30 P4 SP Mark Buehrle, CHW

  52. barker says:

    2 C also

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