Aaron Murray from TradeBashers.com is hosting and sponsoring an AL-Only auction league. Invited to compete against ten other bloggers in no-holds-barred roto action was yours truly. The player pool was halved, the rosters were expanded and as usual, I came away from the war room with the best team. After the jump, the team.no comments
The Rebel Yell was sounded, ammo was fired and bidding battles enraged. Blog Wars has drafted and the quest for dominance of the fantasy baseball blogosphere has begun. The auction draft lasted three and a half hours, but it wasn't long enough for me to draft a Middle Infielder. Watching Alcides Escobar go for $2 was painful. I have war stories. The dust has settled, now is the time to assess the carnage.
"Yo MDS, it's time for the fantasy community to embrace me."
You may safely drop the 2% owned Mark Lowe. Neftali Feliz has been named the Closer for Texas and the rotation now consists of: C.J. Wilson, Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison, Tommy Hunter and Derek Holland. You can ignore Harrison and Hunter, but Holland should be on your radar. The Dutch Oven generates above-average Strikeout numbers (7.64 K/9 as a MLB SP, 8.68 in '10). He gets plenty of Swinging-Strikes using his Slider and Changeup. If he can hand out less free passes and continue to limit Line Drives, Holland will be worthy of standard 12-team leagues. With a 281 ADP at MockDraftCentral, Holland has the potential to produce substantial profits. He missed a good chunk of 2010 (80 days) because of shoulder inflammation (rotator cuff) so this projection is playing it safe with the Innings Pitched. 2010 Projection: 156-1.31-3.95-12 (180 IP)
"Yo MDS, I can't do this. I can feel the cake's pain."
Shaun Marcum expects to be ready for Opening Day, but he's currently dealing with tightness in his shoulder. He acknowledged the problem on March 13th, saying it's just Spring Training tightness and there's nothing to worry about. He pitched again on the 17th, but had to leave after three Innings and will have his next start skipped. Don't worry he says, again, it's just precautionary. I'm sure if you ask him, the Tommy John surgery that caused him to miss all of 2009 was just a precautionary procedure. Last season Marcum dealt with elbow inflammation and spent two weeks on the DL. In 2008 he had knee surgery. It's safe to say that Marcum does not fit the definition of a durable Pitcher and I'm going to slice 20 Innings off my previously optimistic projection (205 IP). We're dropping him down to 185 IP, this will cost him about 15 spots on the Corporate Ladder. As the designated auction sheriff, I let someone have Marcum for $9 last Sunday. I think the position is too deep to risk a chunk of money on Marcum.
More after the jump...
"Yo MDS. Join the fanclub, the Sons of Beachy."
Today was a bad day for the Million Dollar Sleeper. I turned 29-years old on Monday and today I was ticketed for Minor Consumption. How does that happen? I'll tell you how. The Atlanta Braves sent Mike Minor packing to AAA Gwinnett, in favor of Brandon Beachy, after I ranked the prospect No. 33 among my SP ranks and drafted him in numerous leagues. I think I owned Minor in three or four leagues, I'm too depressed to count. In case you're wondering, Minor was sporting a 0.69 ERA through 10 IP this Spring (7/4 K/BB). By now I think I've graduated to Step Five in the grieving process. The initial shock and denial have subsided after an explosion of tweets, but the pain is still lingering, I'm definitely angry and I'm feeling depressed as I write this... OK, I'm still on Step Two. I had to wait a number of hours before beginning work on a Brandon Beachy projection (I would have punished him for stealing Minor's job). Now the work is done and the numbers are available, make the jump for your Brandon Beachy projection.
Earlier we discussed the BABIP: Winners, now it's time for the BABIP: Losers. Let me preface this by saying there are more Pitchers included on the previous list because A) Pitchers who give up a lot of Base Hits don't last very long in baseball and B) I didn't do projections for every Starting Pitcher. I had to cut out 30 or more that are not worthy of our fantasy baseball rosters outside the deepest mono-leagues. The previous list included Pitchers who bested the league average for BABIP (.293) by 10 points, this list includes SP whom I've projected to post a .300 BABIP or worse. Our common theme today will be poor team defenses, large Line Drive numbers and high Ground Ball percentages.
There is a group of players that I am avoiding like the plague. A group of players whom I will not draft. There are times when I'll nominate a player and leave the computer for the frosty goodness of a pale ale while others duke it out for the rights to be disappointed. I'd rather grab a beer than get a discount on an injured/injury prone player. There are three players who, in my not-so-humble opinion, are untouchable: Justin Morneau, Kendrys Morales and Chase Utley. I guess we could also throw in Joe Mauer, Jimmy Rollins, Carlos Beltran and Grady Sizemore for good measure. Let's take a look at their going rates in my latest auction leagues. Make the jump to see what others are paying in larger, competitive leagues.
We're looking at my projected leaders for BABIP among Starting Pitchers and the effects these numbers have on FIP and ERA. When I make a projection for ERA, I do not look at previous ERA numbers. I completely ignore past numbers and calculate Earned Run Average based on Strikeouts, Walks, Home Runs Allowed and BABIP. I use the FIP formula and incorporate Batting Average of Balls In Play. This tells me how many Hits are either saved or allowed. Those Hits are equated into Runs and the rest is simple math. Among the leaders in projected BABIP, you'll notice many Fly Ballers, Pitchers who limit Line Drives and those who are backed by a strong defense. We're comparing Career FIP/ERA to my projected FIP/ERA and Marcels' projected FIP/ERA. Marcel is a three-year weighted average that is run by the creator of FIP, Tango Tiger. Make the jump for more damning evidence against the fallacies of xFIP/FIP and why mdsFIP is the shit.
Four of my eight drafts are in the books. All four were auction drafts (I refuse to snake draft) and all four were head-to-head leagues. The second leg of my draft season will be comprised of roto leagues. I didn't plan my draft schedule this way, but I'd actually prefer the split. Looking over my teams, patterns are starting to emerge. One of them may be disturbing. I thought I'd share with the group. Make the jump to see whom I've chosen to draft multiple times.