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.
|Jonathan Lucroy, TEX||Winning Fantasy Baseball 85||Tim Heaney 83||SiriusXM 54||RotoWire 43|
|Fangraphs 39||ESPN.com 12||USAT Sports 8|
|Colton & The Wolfman 5|
|Francisco Liriano, TOR||Tim Heaney 57||SiriusXM 54||RotoWire 43||USAT Sports 6|
|Baseball HQ 3|
|Andrew Benintendi, BOS||SiriusXM 54||ESPN.com 12||Winning Fantasy Baseball 9||USAT Sports 5|
|Colton & The Wolfman 2||Colton & The Wolfman 2||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 2|
|Joe Musgrove, HOU||Tim Heaney 27||Fangraphs 22||Baseball HQ 13||USAT Sports 7|
|ESPN.com 5||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 2|
|Jefry Marte, LAA||Winning Fantasy Baseball 8||SiriusXM 8||USAT Sports 3||Fangraphs 3|
|Baseball HQ 2||Colton & The Wolfman 2||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
|Matt Andriese, TB||Baseball HQ 4||Tim Heaney 36||ESPN.com 1||SiriusXM 1|
|Jeremy Jeffress, TEX||USAT Sports 4||Tim Heaney 16||Baseball HQ 4||SiriusXM 3|
|RotoWire 2||ESPN.com 1||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
|Ryan Pressly, MIN||Fangraphs 3|
|Michael Feliz, HOU||Mastersball 2|
|Mike Clevinger, CLE||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 2||Tim Heaney 16|
|Tyler Clippard, NYY||RotoWire 2|
|Gregorio Petit, LAA||Baseball HQ 1|
|Mike Aviles, DET||Colton & The Wolfman 1||Winning Fantasy Baseball 3||Baseball HQ 1|
|Jered Weaver, LAA||Tim Heaney 16|
|Guillermo Heredia, SEA||Winning Fantasy Baseball 5||Colton & The Wolfman 1|
|Chris Gimenez, CLE||USAT Sports 2|
|Ariel Miranda, SEA||Baseball HQ 1||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
|Mychal Givens, BAL||Baseball HQ 1|
|Christian Colon, KC||Baseball HQ 1|
|Robbie Ross Jr., BOS||Mastersball 1|
|Chris Devenski, HOU||Mastersball 1|
|Carson Fulmer, CWS||Tim Heaney 1|
|Bryce Brentz, BOS||USAT Sports 1|
Lawr Michaels' Commentary
And the wallets did indeed fly open this week as last Monday, the final day of the trade deadline, proved to be a big one for inter-league swaps, and subsequently for the AL LABR owners.
Larry Schechter managed to cop the big prize in Jonathan Lucroy for $85, besting eight bids with a high of $83 and a low of $5, while Tim Heaney nabbed Francisco Liriano for $57 beating out seven would-be owners who gambled between two and $54 (two bids at that price) for the new Jay.
Ray Flowers scored hot Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi for $54 (four challenges).
Heaney also acquired Joe Musgrove for $27 beating out five tries ranging from $2 to $22, while Schechter also got Jefry Marte for eight bucks, with four other owners vying for the rights to the Angel.
On the bottom end of the scale, Mike Aviles joined another squad hitting team Wolf/Colton for a buck besting a like bid, while Dave Adler picked up Matt Andriese for $4 (two losing bids there) and host Steve Gardner bagged Jeremy Jeffress for four bucks beating out five league owners who were willing to pay between $1-$3.
I am hoping the $2 I spent for Michael Feliz helps me with some whiffs with Lance McCullers injured, and while Liss probably hopes the same of Tyler Clippard ($2), Greg Ambrosius and Shawn Childs hope this for Mike Clevinger, and Adler a little offense from Gregorio Petit.
The rich get richer as league leader Larry Schechter opted to spend his wad on the best hitter that crossed over, Lucroy. It doesn't matter that his squad is strong at receiver, a Schechter trademark, sitting with Brian McCann and Salvador Perez. Lucroy can slide in at UT as well as 1B or CI where Larry has Justin Morneau, James Loney and Ryon Healy all active. Looking at the standings, the author of Winning Fantasy Baseball has about six points in play via ugrading with Lucroy.
The best pitcher, Francisco Liriano is a huge risk. Sometimes park factors are overplayed but working in Rogers Centre as opposed to PBC Park is a huge downgrade for the veteran southpaw. Fortunately for Liriano's new owner, Tim Heaney, his club is looking at up to ten points in wins and whiffs while only putting three ratio points in jeopardy. Tim could use some help in achieving this which is where Joe Musgrove comes in. Between the two, Tim a chance to make a move up from his present fourth place standing. It is interesing to note Tim went heavy on Lucroy in case Larry didn't go all-in. It's riskier, but there are more points to be had this way for Mr. Heaney.
If you're wondering about Tampa's impending shortstop, current third-base eligible Matt Duffy, LABR doesn't allow bidding on disabled players. There's a good chance this time next week we're talking about how much Duffy went for as he's currently on a rehab assignment.
|Josh Reddick, LAD||Yahoo Sports 87||Derek Carty 68||Baseball HQ 46||Colton & The Wolfman 21|
|Matt Moore, SF||USA TODAY Sports 60||Baseball HQ 46||Mastersball 40||ESPN - Karabell 23|
|Yahoo Sports 13||Colton & The Wolfman 4||Sandlot Shrink 2|
|NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1||RotoWire - DVR 1|
|Ivan Nova, PIT||Mastersball 27||USA TODAY Sports 15||ESPN - Karabell 6||Colton & The Wolfman 4|
|NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1||RotoWire - DVR 1|
|Scott Schebler, CIN||Yahoo Sports 13||Colton & The Wolfman 11||Derek Carty 3||Derek Carty 1|
|Jim Johnson, ATL||Inside Edge 4||Yahoo Sports 13||USA TODAY Sports 10||Colton & The Wolfman 4|
|Baseball HQ 2||Mastersball 1|
|Braden Shipley, ARI||Baseball HQ 2|
|Wilmer Difo, WSH||Baseball HQ 1|
|Robert Whalen, ATL||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
|Jabari Blash, SD||Colton & The Wolfman 3||Derek Carty 3|
Brian Walton's Commentary
With only the sixth-most FAAB coming into the weekend and wanting more pitching, I was delighted to add my second choice among the new fish in the NL pitching free agent pool, new Pirates starter Ivan Nova, for just $27. But let’s get to the big money players.
Dalton Del Don of Yahoo Sports, with the full $100 to spend, dropped to $0 in one night. Outfielder Josh Reddick, off to a slow start for his new Dodgers team, was the top player acquired at $87 with Reds flychaser Scott Schebler burning the other $13. With no zero dollar bids allowed in LABR and no trading of FAAB, it looks like Del Don is del done bidding this season.
Also out of cash is Steve Moyer of Inside Edge, who used his last $4 to pick up Braves closer Jim Johnson, a player I dropped last week. If Johnson isn’t traded to a contender to become a setup man, ala Fernando Rodney, I am going to be kicking myself. I already am, having left two saves on the table this past week.
Derek Carty of ESPN, with the second-most amount in his kitty, $86, thought he used $68 to secure the services of new Dodgers lefty Rich Hill. The league leader earlier lost LA ace Clayton Kershaw to injury, so Carty was likely looking for Hill to help fill some of the slack. However, a finger blister that has Hill on the DL makes him ineligible to be selected in LABR until activated by the Dodgers – a bad break for Carty.
The team third in FAAB balance coming in added the second-most expensive awarded player in new Giants starter Matt Moore. Steve Gardner of USA TODAY dropped $60 of his $67 for the veteran right-hander. For what it is worth, Moore was my primary target as well.
Derek's in an interesting position in that the standings are distributed such that he can't make a huge move in any category. While it can be argued this is the sign of a solid, balanced team - it's also a bit unlucky the category bunching doesn't afford him a spot to move up appreciably. It looks like the attempted acquisition of Hill was as much defense as offense (he has a nice cushion even without Kershaw), preventing a competitor from benefiting from Hill once he returns. A point lost (or not gained) by your opponents are the same as the points you gain.
|Joe Musgrove, HOU||MLB.com 6||Fangraphs 3||USA TODAY Sports 2|
|Andrew Benintendi, BOS||RotoWire 5||Razzball 1|
|Eddie Rosario, MIN||RotoWire 5|
|Doug Fister, HOU||@TheFantasyFix 3||RotoWire 1|
|Matt Andriese, TB||ESPN.com 2|
|Alex Gordon, KC||Fangraphs 2||Razzball 1||RotoWire 1|
|Jose Berrios, MIN||Razzball 2||Fangraphs 2||RotoWire 1|
|Tyler Saladino, CWS||Mastersball 1|
|Ryan Dull, OAK||USA TODAY Sports 1||Razzball 1|
|Matt Boyd, DET||RotoWire 1|
|Kirk Nieuwenhuis, MIL||Razzball 1|
|Tommy Pham, STL||Razzball 1||RotoWire 1|
|Eduardo Escobar, MIN||Mastersball 1||RotoWire 1|
|Daniel Descalso, COL||Mastersball 1||RotoWire 1|
|Wilmer Difo, WSH||Mastersball 1|
|Shawn O'Malley, SEA||Mastersball 1|
|Nick Franklin, TB||Mastersball 1|
|Jorge Polanco, MIN||Mastersball 1|
|Freddy Galvis, PHI||Mastersball 1|
|Erick Aybar, ATL||Mastersball 1|
|Andrelton Simmons, LAA||Mastersball 1|
|Adeiny Hechavarria, MIA||Mastersball 1|
|Ryon Healy, OAK||RotoWire 1|
|Justin Morneau, CWS||RotoWire 1|
|Ji-Man Choi, LAA||RotoWire 1|
Todd Zola's Commentary
Mixed formats obviously don't have crossover players to deal with but there were a couple of potential useful call-ups drawing the interest of my competitors.
Joe Musgrove was summoned by the Houston Astros to fill the void left by Lance McCullers' unfortunate trip back to the DL. Musgrove doesn't have the hype train rolling like Jose Berrios, Lucas Giolito and Blake Snell but he's an intriguing prospect. His calling cards are fine control and the ability to keep the ball in the yard. He fanned a hitter an inning in the minors, if he comes anywhere close to that in the bigs, look out.
Andrew Benintendi was somewhat surprisingly given the call to join the Red Sox outfield, working on the strong side of a platoon with Bryce Brentz handling chores with a southpaw on the hill. If the Red Sox rookies were to play the vets in a game of hoops, Benintendi would check Dustin Pedroia, they're similar in stature. But like the diminutive second baseman, don't let that fool you. Pedey has more pop while Benintendi is faster but the rookie can also run into a few long balls.
I used two of my remaining five bids on Tyler Saladino and Ivan Nova. Aledmys Diaz is out and I have no other shortstop eligible player hence the extended string above. Nova was to give me another starter so I can maximize two start weeks and play matchups. I really like Nova in his new digs. Pardon if you've hard me say this recently but Yankee Stadium and Nova were like oil and vinegar whereas Nova and PNC Park go together like peanut butter and jelly.
Helping to soften the blow of losing Diaz is the return of J.D. Martinez, sending Kevin Pillar to the bench.
When is a 20-plus point lead not safe? When Clayton Kershaw is your ace and there's no word on when - or if - he'll return. The lead will take awhile to thin as first the ratio buffer Kershaw provided must be lessened. When that happens, points can be lost in bunches. I'm already dropping points in strikeouts, which feeds into wanting another starting arm like Nova to have at my disposal.
Something interesting about the mixed Mastersball squad is despite investing the fourth overall pick on a pitcher, I lead the league in at bats. This is a huge reason why I have a decent lead without my ace. I'm not killing in HR and SB but the volume of at bats is really helping fuel runs and RBI. This is a very important lesson if you try to build a team with an ace early. Don't try to catch up in hitting by taking chances. Instead build a solid, dependable core and hope no one gets injured and your non-descript shortstop goes bonkers.