It’s that time again as the fine folks at DraftStreet.com are sponsoring another $350 Freeroll for Mastersball readers. And I am here again to talk about the team I am entering. After cashing in the first two Freeroll contests, I had a rough week last time and I am anxious to get back to my old winning ways.
A mistake often made, be it in standard fantasy baseball or daily formats is to have a knee-jerk reaction when things are not going your way. As such, I am going to hold firm to the stratagem I have used to this point:
|1. Ignore streaks|
|2. Ignore historical hitters versus pitcher matchups|
|3. Focus on using players at home|
|4. Focus on off-handed hitting matchups in good hitting parks|
|5. Focus on hitters facing below average pitchers and pitchers facing below average hitters|
The key is not to get so wrapped up in these “rules” to overlook other areas to gain an edge. The first thing that struck me when I took a look at the pitchers was for the first time, there were fewer aces than normal. My first thought was “cool, this will be a real test of the home-field theory” since I would be counting on the above to get an advantage and not just rely on talent.
Then something else caught my eye. There are a couple of what I consider to be lesser hurlers working on the road, against better teams in good hitter’s parks. This goes against the spread the wealth mentality, but I opted to load up on hitters that follow the above and are facing these lesser starters. My two victims are Cleveland’s Jeanmar Gomez, facing the White Sox in the friendly Cell, rookie Christian Friedrich on the road versus the Reds in the Great American Ballpark.
Real quick, by means of review, my means of assembling the squad is as follows:
|1. Start with pitching|
|2. Go bottom-up through the positions, looking for the bargains|
|3. Go top down, looking for the outstanding stud matchups|
|4. Fili-in the blanks with what is left in terms of salary|
Here we go….
SP: Jason Hammel ($10,594) – Hammel’s peripherals suggest his success is real and I am hoping it continues, though the Royals are surprisingly strong against RHP, sporting a .738 OBP.
SP: Tim Hudson ($11,728) – Hudson does not fan as many as I would like in this format and I suspect that is going to be another rule as I continue to learn the nuances, but I’ll take the chance against a middle of the pack Nationals’ attack when facing righties.
SP: A.J. Burnett ($12,125) – Perhaps an over-compensation for wanting K’s, but Burnett is squaring off against the Cubs, who struggle against right-handers.
C: A.J. Pierzynski ($7,513) – Let the piling on begin with this L-R match-up. I feel safe Pierzynski will play but with catcher, it is always best to keep your eye on lineups and have a Plan B in mind, just in case. Matt Wieters will be the backup if needed.
3B: Todd Frazier ($4,640) – Cheap, right-handed and a Red – three for three. Let’s see if Frazier can handle Friedrich. There is some concern as if he can’t, the Rox rook is a strikeout guy which would be negative points.
SS: Zack Cozart ($,4041) – Cozart has the same three traits as Frazier and he hits at the top of the order so he is a threat to score runs, which is important in this scoring system (and may soon become a rule; only draft players in the top-half of the batting order).
OF: Alejandro De Aza ($6,823) – Pale Hose number two, De Aza is another top of the order lefty facing the RH Gomez.
OF: Drew Stubbs ($5,187) – Our third Red, if he doesn’t fan, Stubbs is almost assured of scoring some points since he can do everything. I am sure Friedrich is a great guy, but let’s just say I am not going to be his biggest fan tonight.
UT: Adam Dunn ($7882) – And now our third South Sider, Dunn is another strikeout threat but a homer threat as well. I’ll take the chance he can make contact against Gomez.
UT: David Ortiz ($9,784) – Maybe a mini-piling on, Big Papi is the second BoSox and our final hitter. Cobb has looked good, but the patient approach of the suddenly effective Red Sox attack could cause issues.
Well, here is it. I actually like the way this came together. If you’re not playing, wish me luck. If you are, let the best team win.