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Saturday 17th Feb 2018

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.

RP: Jim Johnson ($2891) – I like to match up my closer with one of my starters. I cannot fit Craig Kimbel under the cap and I am more confident in Hammel than Burnett, so Joel Hanrahan loses out.

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.

1B: Adrian Gonzalez ($6,452) – Impressive rookie Alex Cobb will be on the bump, but the veteran Gonzalez should pose a threat in this L-R confrontation.

2B: Dan Uggla ($5,694) – The primary reason for Uggla is none of the piling on matchups were attractive so I’ll take a power-hitting righty against the southpaw Ross Detwiler.

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: Kirk Nieuwenhuis ($4,604) – Nieuwenhuis is seeing regular at-bats versus righties. Anthony Bass, the opposition, has looked very good, but let’s see how he does outside of PETCO.

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.


0 #3 Perry Van Hook 2012-05-25 22:03
But yes, Jeanmar's only terrible game was against the Pale Hose which I didn't remember until I looked it up
0 #2 Perry Van Hook 2012-05-25 21:55
Well both of your teams are going against my roto lineups and a few YTD tendencies

1) Play almost any SP against the Twinkies
2) Smyly is better than many SP
3) IF Cellular Field doesn't enhance the performance of the home town team, Gomez has looked much better than his record suggests

We shall see - it is after all just one day of games....
0 #1 Greg Morgan 2012-05-25 21:29
Hey Todd,

I like your strategies. I submitted a team and my Criteria were:

1) In the interest of being somewhat original, competitive, and not being a copy cat, take none of the players you selected.

2) Take the cheapest feasible pitchers to maximize offense.

3) Exploit L/R match-ups when possible

Here's my team:

C - J.P. Arencibia
1B - Joey Votto
2B - Brandon Phillips
3B - Edwin Encarnacion
SS - Rafael Furcal
OF - Jose Bautista
OF - Andre Ethier
OF - Giancarlo Stanton
U - Chris Heisey
U - Rajai Davis
SP - Tyson Ross
SP - Anthony Swarzak
SP - Blake Beaven
RP - Addison Reed

I took three 'scrub' pitchers who are pitching at home and may have skewed overall numbers from bad road outings. This way I can use the money saved to buy solid hitters with good match-ups, then fill in the blanks. I selected a partial Blue Jay stack with right handed hitters against a lefty who sometimes struggles with command in Texas. I'm hoping that Derek Holland gets behind in the count, grooves some fastballs in hitter's counts and the Toronto sluggers launch some missiles. I also bought a small stack of Reds going against Christian Friedrich for the reasons you already mentioned. Could easily crash and burn with these pitchers, but what the heck.

Good luck!

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