Editor's note - this is the first of a series of blogs discussing our staff entries into Rotoderby.com's Longball Derby, a new kind of fantasy game.
In laying out my two rosters for the RotoDerby Longball Challenge, I put the first rule of fantasy sports to the test – know the scoring system. Home Runs, RBI, and strikeouts is all there is.
The first team is the “Gut Feel” team. Pick the players that look like they have the highest room to raise their value based on their 2013 home run total. The ten-player team has no single player that cost more than 26. The infield ended up with five corners and one middle. I suspect that Albert Pujols will find his way onto most rosters as his price is artificially low based on last season’s injury. The rest of the infielders are Matt Adams, Justin Morneau, Jedd Gyorko, Freddie Freeman and Prince Fielder. Bryce Harper and Giancarlo Stanton seemed like obvious choices for outfielders with their perceived 40 home run ability. The often-injured Carlos Gonzalez and Home Run Derby stud Yoenis Cespedes rounding out the team.
Then we crunched the numbers to see how players really scored in 2013 when you factor in RBI and strikeouts. We will call this team the “Value-Based Team.” Miguel Cabrera is such a runaway high-scorer in this system that he is a must-own. Based on the 2013 numbers, Cabrera (263 points) outscored runner up Edwin Encarnacion (also on my roster) by 41 points and the fourth highest scorer Adrian Beltre (another member of my roster) by over 100 points. Pujols is the only common player on the two teams, as his value is just too good to pass up. We could not put Martin Prado in the title without having him on the roster at a cost of 14 for the 25th highest scorer. Matt Holliday and Pablo Sandoval also score well at a low price. We take some cheap risks with the final three outfield spots, rostering Jason Heyward, Michael Morse and Wil Myers.
The staff at Mastersball is joining our colleagues at Fantasy Alarm in a private Rotoderby league. Over the next several days, those of us participating will write a blog discussing our strategy. A few of us are so enthralled that we're also playing for real. So if you've always wanted to be in a league with one of us, now's your chance. Just click on the logo below and sign up!