Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Fantasy Baseball - Roto League Tales...

This week I will review my roster, and season so far in an ESPN hosted league, entitled Beer and Whiskey Baseball. [How could you not like it]?

As of the morning of June 24th 2015 I sit in 5th place with an overall score of 69 points. There are 12 teams in this league, and each category has a scale of 12-1 and your ranking in each category gives an overall score. 12 for being the best in that category, and 1 point for being the worst. To have a chance at winning the league, you would need to be top 3 in most [if not all] categories. We are allowed to keep any 8 players every year, and only allowed to keep a player for three years [whether traded or not] per cycle. An example - A Player drafted in 2012 would be eligible to be a keeper up until and including the 2015 draft, but they wouldn't be allowed to be kept in 2016. Any keepers are subjected to salary- and each year kept inflates total cost, for example: a Player drafted in 2014 for $26 will be over $30 for his final year of keeper eligibility, before being returned into the draft system,

The categories used for hitting are R,HR,RBI,SB,AVG and for pitching W,SV,K,ERA,WHIP.

My seasonal line so far 11,8,8,10,3 7,7,8,5,1 . I will reveal the actual numbers later but the roster I have now is as follows:

Catcher - Derek Norris [I also used Wilson Ramos for a while at U].
1st Base - Yonder Alonso - Recently got the starting gig on my team as I demoted someone to the bench, but you'll find out who later!
2nd Base - Joe Panik [Steal alert for a keeper next season at only $1]!
3rd Base - Chris Davis- in his final year of keeper eligibility.
SS - Andrelton Simmons - Drafted for $3 this year, an early possibility for a keeper for 2016.
2b/SS [in some leagues this slot is named MI] - Kolten Wong. I kept him for $1 going into this year so is keeper eligible for 2016.
1B/3B [In some leagues this slot is named CI] - Justin Turner. Recently acquired via FA when dropping Ryan Zimmerman to Waivers. Zimmerman was drafted by me for $11 [had multi position eligibility, but cleared Waivers so would be $1 potentially to keep.
OF - Jason Heyward - I was able to keep him [for the first time] this year and I paid a little higher than I would had he remained in Atlanta, because I felt at the time, his move to Bucsh would be an advantage. $22. It remains to be seen what I'll do with him for 2016 but I'm enjoying his recent hot streak !
OF - Mookie Betts - Dynamo in Centre, originally a middle infielder, adjusted well and was kept at $1. Plenty of value in the long term and I won't be giving him up easily !
OF - Josh Reddick - Picked up from FA in Early April, Reddick has often been one of my top hitters over the last 7 days although has cooled off slightly of late.
OF - Steven Souza Jr - Drafted in 2015 for $4 and will likely be kept for the same price come 2016. Helping to contribute in four out of five categories.
OF - Gerardo Parra - Plucked off the FA market as an injury replacement on June 10th, has been consistent, but nothing special and is not on the radar for 2016.
UTIL - Jace Peterson - A good addition to my roster, added June 11th as cover for Simmons and Wong. Will likely be in and out of the team the rest of the way or until promotions [or people return from the DL].

SP - Jon Lester - $12 keeper for this season and is performing better and better as the season goes on and more often than not goes at least 6 innings.
SP - James Shields - Drafted for $22 and has provided nice W-L totals and contributed in most categories eligible.
SP - Jordan Zimmermann - Drafted for $25 and hasn't really performed at the levels I know he can perform at, and when on form, he's arguably, one of the best at preventing runners from scoring. He's coming off three straight losses, although his last performance was tolerable.
P - Kenley Jansen - Drafted for $15 and has been worth every cent since he returned from foot surgery. No brainer.
P - Jacob DeGrom - Drafted for $15 and has a sparkling 2.34 ERA on the season and rarely gives up more than 3 ER a start. Might be a nice trade piece later in the season, but as of now, I'm looking to consolidate my mid table finish to try to turn it into a trophy next year.
P - Jason Grilli - Picked up the Day the Braves traded Craig Kimbrel and has delivered 20 Saves for an ERA of 2.73. Not really sure what my long term plans are for Grilli but I'm enjoying the Saves for now !
P - Craig Kimbrel - Originally selected as a keeper for $25 , I traded away Gio Gonzalez and Cody Allen on June 9th. Elite as you get, if you ignore the base runners allowed !
P - Matt Shoemaker - a P o D guy going off matchups via the 411 advice.
P - Brett Anderson - Another P O D guy, but was a good bet for his last start in a 6 inning W.

My bench is devised of both Hitters and Pitchers.
BN - 1B Mike Napoli - Looked amazing in Spring Training but hasn't looked the same hitter since. This could be two things , one, the pitchers didn't have the arm strength behind them yet or two - he's pressing, and trying too hard to replicate what we all know he's capable of. Perhaps Option C is in play and he's slowly becoming a Monday - Thursday guy . Either way, I paid $5 for him on draft day so could be a very cheap keeper, if he can turn the ship around.
BN OF - Michael Taylor - Nothing against players with their first name Mike, Taylor has fantastic short term value here with Jayson Werth on the shelf until the latter half of the season, and should contribute where Speed is scarce [at least for me].
BN SP - Steve Matz - Next in line for promotion for the Mets and is coming soon, should be shortly before the ASB.
BN SP Matt Moore - Returning from the DL in, maybe the next couple of weeks, Often a slightly rough time of it after returning from TJS [the three most feared letters in fantasy baseball] Moore has a high ceiling and I'll be hoping for an amount of wins in the second half with an ERA in the low 3.00's perhaps with a view to locking him up for 2016.
BN - SS Corey Seager - Stuck behind Jimmy Rollins in the pecking order, Seager might otherwise have been up already had he been in another organisation. When he does arrive, it should be for good and I'll be looking for a good average, speed and some power to show what he can do and should be a useful player upon his activation. Could he help provide the difference in Runs scored, RBIs and HR to bridge the gap remains to be seen, but he should at least contribute to at least two categories.

My Totals

Runs - 470 [need 4 more to have a share of first] Home Runs - 109 [Need 6 more for a top three berth] Runs Batted In - 423 [Need 15 more to have a share of third place] Stolen Bases - 75 [Already in the top three in this category, and have a lead of 3 over fourth place]. AVG - .2558 - Need to add at least .200 points to be competitive in this category, currently sit in 10th.

K's - 644 [Need 45 for a look inside the top 3] Wins - 43 [Need 5 more to re-enter the top 3, and have been in and out of it all season]. Saves - 50. [Need 12 to enter the top 3, but have had a run of saves over the last fortnight sending my team up to 6th and have a comfortable cushion of 12 over the team below]. ERA - 3.918 - Having fought with an ERA above 4 for much of the season, recent movement has seen it dip below that number for a stretch and I'm hoping it continues to fall and I'll need it to be around 3.450 to get a top three spot perhaps] Finally, WHIP - 1.330 [ The top three sits around 1.181 and lower so I'll need my pitchers to stop issuing as many base runners to really see it come down.

All in all, its pretty promising beginning to the season, in one I was projected [after the draft to finish 3rd] I still reckon I have a chance of accomplishing this, and I'm excited for every pitch to see where I inevitably end up.

I should also mention I have 2 players on the DL, Jacoby Ellsbury [whom I drafted for $29 is still my leading Base Stealer, despite being sidelined for over a month] and Matt Holliday who appears to be transitioning into a line drive hitter for good average rather than that of a power guy with middling average who I selected as my final keeper for $25. He was hitting over .300 before being placed on the DL.

Swing Betters, Swing [unless you're facing my pitchers] .

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