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Wednesday 22nd Feb 2017

LABRLOGO

Each week, your friends at Mastersball will post the results of the weekly LABR FAAB run, featuring the winning bid as well a the runner-up bids. There are three LABR leagues, a 12-team AL only, 12-team NL only and 15-team Mixed Draft League. You can see the complete standings for each league by clicking on the appropriate heading, located just under each player photo.

Included with each league report will be commentary from a Mastersball staff member participating in that league. We invite you to ask questions and post comments at the bottom of the report.

All contingency bids for awarded players are included. Sometimes, this bid is tied to a player that the owner received, so at times the bid amount is larger than the winning bid. We are including it to provide as much information and context as possible with each report.

 dylan bundy full

AMERICAN LEAGUE

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

Dylan Bundy, BAL NFBC/Stats, Inc. 4 Colton & The Wolfman 1 USAT Fantasy 1 USAT Sports 1
Cam Bedrosian, LAA USAT Fantasy 4 USAT Sports 3    
Jake Smolinski, OAK Baseball HQ 1 USAT Sports 1 SiriusXM 1 NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1
Sandy Leon, BOS Colton & The Wolfman 1      
Nick Franklin, TB NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1 ESPN.com 1 USAT Fantasy 1  
Deolis Guerra, LAA USAT Sports 1      
Darwin Barney, TOR SiriusXM 1 NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1    
Jefry Marte, LAA NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1 Baseball HQ 1    

UNAWARDED BIDS

Clay Buchholz, BOS NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1
Junior Lake, TOR NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1
Marco Hernandez, BOS NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1
Mike Montgomery, SEA USAT Sports 1
Wade LeBlanc, SEA USAT Fantasy 1

Lawr Michaels' Commentary

The Fourth of July holiday precipitated some spirited bidding that could even point to some roster fireworks as teams sort of played musical players.

Not that there were a lot of mega bids, but more like any points that can be squeezed from the already threadbare free agent pool seems to be tried, and no one represents the hope of fantasy owners more than Dylan Bundy, whom Greg Ambrosius and Shawn Childs bagged for $4, fending off three hopeful but failed $1 bids.

As if we weren't familiar with Bundy's name and potential, Cam Bedrosian also generated a $4 price tag (with a $3 challenge) to Tim Heaney, with another name we have drafted, Nick Franklin also going to team Ambrosius/Childs for a buck, besting another pair of dollar tries, and the pair also acquired Jefry Marte, again knocking off a dollar challenge.

Team Colton/Wolf, searching for backstop help went the way of Sandy Leon, while Dave Adler rostered Jake Smolinski, again for a dollar, again besting a pair of $1 attempts to get the stats of the familiar flychaser.

Ray Flowers made what looks like a good move with the acquisition of Darwin Barney for a dollar, and Steve Gardner gave a shot to Deolis Guerra--a pitcher who once topped my Top 250 prospect list--for a dollar.

Apparently all the stars in the free agent sky this weekend were indeed pending fireworks.

Todd's Take

Why the spike in interest for Dylan Bundy? A look at his game log shows six of his last seven appearances have been for at least two innings, his last three being 3, 3, and 2.2 frames. This is highly unusual, even for a middle reliever. The speculation is the first place Orioles may reverse course and give Bundy a shot at the rotation in the second half. In those last three efforts, Bundy fanned nine to one walk in 8.2 innings. This isn't to say he'd do that as a starter, only that he's throwing well and if his health permits, he's certainly a better option than Tyler Wilson and at least as good as Yovani Gallardo and Ubaldo Jimenez. Yeah, that's three-fifths of a first place rotation.

chad kuhl full

NATIONAL LEAGUE

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

Brandon Maurer, SD Colton & The Wolfman 11 Baseball HQ 8 Sandlot Shrink 3 USA TODAY Sports 3
Chad Kuhl, PIT NFBC/Stats, Inc. 6      
Mauricio Cabrera, ATL RotoExperts 3 USA TODAY Sports 2    
Emilio Bonifacio, ATL RotoExperts 2 NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1    
Alex Dickerson, SD RotoWire - DVR 2      
Hector Neris, PHI Baseball HQ 1      
Carl Edwards Jr., CHC NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1      
Erik Kratz, PIT NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1      
Clint Robinson, WSH NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1      
Hansel Robles, NYM Sandlot Shrink 1      
Joe Blanton, LAD USA TODAY Sports 1      
Will Venable, LAD RotoExperts 1      

UNAWARDED BIDS

Edubray Ramos, PHI NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1
Sammy Solis, WSH NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1

Brian Walton's Commentary

I have never spent more time evaluating weekly FAAB options, only to decide not to bid. On the surface, losing Fernando Rodney’s saves with his trade from San Diego to Miami should have led me to chase his replacement, Brandon Maurer. Worse, I had held Maurer for most of the first half because of this very possibility, only to finally give up on him a few weeks ago. Still, I felt comfortable dropping just one pitcher this week and it was more important to me to create room to re-activate Stephen Strasburg.

To acquire Maurer, Glenn Colton and Rick Wolf of Full Moon Sports were tops from among four bidders at $11.

Pittsburgh’s Chad Kuhl has made two starts to date, having allowed five runs in 11 innings with seven strikeouts against four walks. Greg Ambrosius and Shawn Childs of NFBC/STATS, Inc. wanted Kuhl’s services enough to bid $6 and were uncontested.

Todd's Take

Time to vent a bit. As Brian mentions, Brandon Maurer has been given first dibs to San Diego's vacated closer gig, instead of Ryan Buchter. My beef is I thought the fantasy community was long past using ERA as the ultimate measuring stick as I saw numerous references to Buchter being more deserving since he's having a far superior season. I purposely did not respond to a tweet of that nature sent my way after I reported Maurer received the first opportunity. I've seen similar analysis elsewhere on social media and message forums. There was even a contention that neither should be targets for a rebuilding owner.

banghead

Let's take a look at their respective vitals:

  T AGE IP K/9 BB/9 MPH BABIP GB/FB HR/FB WHIP ERA FIP xFIP
Buchter L 29 36 13 4.8 93 0.292 0.46 5.0 1.17 2.75 2.75 3.88
Maurer R 26 38.2 10.9 4.2 95 0.317 1.17 14.6 1.45 5.82 4.30 4.05

Maurer is younger, throws harder and is right-handed, three check marks in his favor. Buchter is whiffing more but he's also walking more. The truth is both are fanning more than enough hitters to be a dominant closer but the pair is also walking far too many. Let's call it a wash.

Their respective BABIP are faily close. In such a small number of innings there's still a ton of variance with hit rate. The major difference is homers as Buchter has surrendered just two despite being an extreme fly ball pitcher. It's not all Petco park either as the venue is playing more homer friendly the past couple of seasons. It's cliche but Buchter has been very fortunate with respect to home run per fly ball (HR/FB) while Maurer is a bit on the unlucky side.

Look at the ERAs. Buchter's is half that of Maurer's and that's what is causing the ruckus. But Buchter's NOT pitching twice as well as Maurer. In fact, in terms of skills, they're nearly identical. The best measure of this is xFIP, which normalizes homers. Yes, Buchter sports a slightly better xFIP but it's not significant.

If you were the Padres, which option is more likely to be the closer down the line? The slightly better xFIP in a small sample of innings is by no means sufficient to sway me off the younger right-hander that throws harder. There are many examples of closers that have lowered high walk rate -- including Rodney.

Disagree? Let's talk about it in the comments. It's clear by the following image that Maurer agrees with me.

brandon maurer full

MIXED LEAGUE

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

Brandon Maurer, SD Razzball 14 Baseball Prospectus 14 @TheFantasyFix 3 USA TODAY Fantasy 3
    RotoExperts 1    
Cheslor Cuthbert, KC USA TODAY Fantasy 5      
Cody Asche, PHI Razzball 2      
Brandon McCarthy, LAD RotoExperts 1 Razzball 4 MLB.com 1 Mastersball 1
Tucker Barnhart, CIN Baseball HQ 1 USA TODAY Fantasy 1    
Brandon Nimmo, NYM USA TODAY Fantasy 1 RotoExperts 1    
Tyler Anderson, COL MLB.com 1 Mastersball 1    
Peter Bourjos, PHI MLB.com 1      
Mike Zunino, SEA USA TODAY Fantasy 1      
Nate Jones, CWS RotoExperts 1      
Kyle Gibson, MIN Mastersball 1      
Jace Peterson, ATL Fantasy Alarm 1      

UNAWARDED BIDS

Cam Bedrosian, LAA Razzball 2 USA TODAY Fantasy 1 RotoExperts 1
Albert Suarez, SF MLB.com 1    
Daniel Norris, DET Mastersball 1    
Dioner Navarro, CWS Baseball HQ 1    
Mark Reynolds, COL Razzball 1    
Wade LeBlanc, SEA MLB.com 1    

Todd Zola's Commentary

Maurer, not surprisingly, was also the player of most interest in the Mixed league. For the record, Buchter was already owned by mlb.com's Fred Zinkie. With only $9 of my budget left, I knew I was out of the Maurer sweepstakes despite having the need for a third closer. I'm running with K-Rod, Seung Hwan Oh and Fernando Abad so I'm not panicking. As it turns out, the Rodney deal hurts me indirectly since I've been sitting on David Phelps.

Cheslor Cuthbert is playing every day and more than holding his own in place of Mike Moustakas. I suppose it's a good thing I don't have room for him as he should definitely be owned, and active in a league of this nature.

Todd's Take

Okay, so it looks like I'm losing Clayton Kershaw for a month. I have the good fortune of starting the second half with a 22.5 point lead but that's not as safe as it appears since it was a single digit advantage less than two weeks ago. Plus, I dealt away Johnny Cueto right before Kershaw's injury came to light. There's plenty of wiggle room in ERA and WHIP so I should be able to cycle in adequate starters to maintain hefty points in wins and strikeouts but I'll need to be judicious. To that end, I picked up Kyle Gibson who was my top choice with Brandon McCarthy, Tyler Anderson and Daniel Norris as contingencies. I don't love the pickup, and quite frankly should have waited a week since I could have gotten by with Phelps. LABR rules require Gibson to be active this week which is a bit of a risk since he'll be in Arlington. The reason waiting would have been prudent is next week is the All-Star break which means there's a good chance of picking up a starter that won't work that period so you're taking a zero in a short week - something many will be doing anyway since there are only three games in the next period and we all won't have a full contingent with scheduled starts.

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