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Tuesday 25th Jul 2017

I have spent a few weeks now atop the National FBPC standings, a perch I’ve been seemingly destined to fall from due to miscalculating how my opponents would use the player pool. In a 14-team format, you have to know how to balance the talent available on the wire with the talent already in tow. Placing too much importance on hitting has turned out to be a mortal sin. Early on, I placed a premium on hitting when allocating the bats and arms taking up roster space. I have paid the price as my weak strikeout and win totals continue to spiral downward. Those who thought that twice a week moves would entice streamers to replenish the pool with weekly serviceable pitching drops have been forced to suffer through the ignoble task of rostering the Brandon Maurers and Joe Blantons of the world, all while seeing hitting talent like Raul Ibanez, Adam Lind, or someone similar available for a song most every week.

On Sunday morning, the top five teams ranked thusly:

Overall Rank FBPC

Number of Bench Pitchers

Number of Bench Hitters

Total Points Wins and Strikeouts

1st

6

2

231

2nd

5

3

239

3rd

4

4

213

4th

4

4

139.5

5th

5

3

231

 Of course, I have the 4th overall team, illustrating exactly what an imbalance will lead to: an insufficient number of wins and strikeouts resulting from an insufficient number of starts. Obviously, there will be reasons for exceptions, and injuries might force one to adjust, but it seems that six starting pitchers on your bench is the sweet spot here. I think most teams will need at least five.

Quick Hits

-I noticed that Jhoulys Chacin was dropped in a number of leagues. He has a 4.92 home ERA but a 2.05 ERA away from Coors Field. He’s perfect for FBPC leagues as you can easily avoid the land mines.

-Chris Parmelee hasn’t been much of a fantasy asset in his short career, but he has quietly hit .294 with four knocks the last 30 days. Don’t forget that he slashed .338/.457/.645 for Triple-A Rochester in 2012, leaving the yard 17 times in just 64 games. There’s hidden power here. No one knows when it will arrive, but when it does he will no longer be cheap.

-Anibal Sanchez is still not throwing from a mound and the Tigers have not announced a return date. A certain rookie southpaw with a 2.78 ERA and 1.02 WHIP and an 84/16 K/BB ratio at Triple-A is still a free agent in some NFBC and FBPC leagues. That lefty will try to make it three solid outings in a row on Wednesday in Motown against the Angels.

-Zoilo Almonte is still flying under the radar in a few leagues, perhaps due to the looming return of Curtis Granderson around the All-Star break. The 24-year-old rookie has 30-20 potential. Relax, I said potential. He’s a switch-hitter who will see a lot of righties with a short porch in left field. In the second week of July, the Royals and Twins (total of one southpaw between both starting rotations) will travel to the Bronx. He’s certainly worth a buck or two to see what happens.

-Carlos Quentin had another knee scope last fall and then hired a personal chef to help him incorporate a special diet designed to reduce inflammation and reinstituted some yoga routines that he believed would increase flexibility. The brittle slugger has still missed 30% of the Padres’ matches this year.

-During an interview in the preseason, Max Scherzer talked about working on a curveball he wanted to implement. He’s only mixed it in on around 8% of his pitches, but it’s another element opposing hitters have to think about. He has a quality fastball (93.1mph) and a slider (85.3mph). His curveball (78.5 mph) adds a speed layer that disrupts a hitter’s timing. His 3.05 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 2.55 FIP are the lowest of his career.

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