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.
|Matt Chapman, OAK||SiriusXM 37||Colton & The Wolfman 28||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 21||Baseball Prospectus 12|
|Fangraphs 6||Winning Fantasy Baseball 3|
|Derek Fisher, HOU||Baseball Prospectus 36||SiriusXM 34||Colton & The Wolfman 28||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 27|
|USA TODAY Sports 3|
|Jacob Faria, TB||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 31||Baseball HQ 18||Fangraphs 16||Winning Fantasy Baseball 12|
|Colton & The Wolfman 8||Baseball Prospectus 4|
|Jaycob Brugman, OAK||Colton & The Wolfman 7||Winning Fantasy Baseball 2||Baseball Prospectus 1||Colton & The Wolfman 1|
|Adam Rosales, OAK||Baseball Prospectus 2||Colton & The Wolfman 1|
|Alex Presley, DET||Winning Fantasy Baseball 2||Colton & The Wolfman 1|
|Alen Hanson, CWS||Colton & The Wolfman 1||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 4||Baseball Prospectus 3||Baseball Prospectus 1|
|Hector Velazquez, BOS||Colton & The Wolfman 1|
|Rob Refsnyder, NYY||Fangraphs 1|
|Jose Leclerc, TEX||Fangraphs 1|
|Daniel Robertson, CLE||Colton & The Wolfman 1|
|Kevan Smith, CWS||SiriusXM 1|
|Daniel Gossett, OAK||Colton & The Wolfman 1|
|Dwight Smith Jr., TOR||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 7||Colton & The Wolfman 1|
|Josh Rutledge, BOS||Fangraphs 1||Winning Fantasy Baseball 1||Colton & The Wolfman 1|
|David Washington, BAL||Colton & The Wolfman 1|
|Francisco Rodriguez, DET||Colton & The Wolfman 1|
|Mason Williams, NYY||Colton & The Wolfman 1|
|Sam Gaviglio, SEA||Colton & The Wolfman 1|
|Taylor Featherston, TB||Colton & The Wolfman 1|
|Tyler Smith, SEA||Colton & The Wolfman 1|
|David Hernandez, LAA||Fangraphs 1|
|Zach McAllister, CLE||Fangraphs 1|
|Chris Gimenez, MIN||SiriusXM 1|
Lawr Michaels' Commentary
As the season nears its half-way mark, LABR owners made some aggressive bids for playing time using the FAAB wire this past week, but in deference to potential inter-league trade deadline machinations, the bids were in general aggressive, yet controlled if that makes any sense.
The grand prize of the weekend was the acquisition of now starting Oakland third sacker Matt Chapman, who generated eight bids (including one from me) but ultimately went to Ray Flowers for $37, a little more than one-third of the Baseballguy's total budget. Astro's outfielder Derek Fisher drew nearly as much cash, though not quite the same interest as Chapman.
Hitting was not the only focus with Jacob Faria going to Greg Ambrosius and Shawn Childs for $31, besting five bids for the red-hot Ray.
From there the process became more pedestrian, with owners hopefully plugging holes, ideally for less than $2.
Jaycob Brugman found himself on team Colton/Wolf, but in what might really be the sleeper acquisition, Glenn and Rick picked up new Pale Hose utilityman Alen Hanson. Hanson, copped from the Bucs stash of players, has always been solid in the minors, but struggled in the Steel City. Hanson is quick, to be sure (205 minor league swipes to go with a .340 OBP) and plays second, but has now logged some Chicago time in the outfield , as well as some time at third and short over the weekend. In a deep league like LABR, 10 steals from Hanson could be huge.
As I've talked about previously, sometimes I care more about why a bid was made more than who it was on and for how much. With a trio of 30-plus winning bids this week, it's a great time to try to get in the heads of some of the industry's sharpest minds.
Ray Flowers currently sits in third place. heading into this FAAB run, he had one of the big stacks terms of budget. It's also relevant he hails from the Bay Area since his target was Chapman. This tells me Ray doesn't want to wait around until the trade deadline to make a move, he sees Chapman as sticking -- and being productive -- at the hot corner. The Athletics traded Trevor Plouffe to Tampa so a pathway to playing time is there. The club doesn't trust Ryon Healy's glove at the spot. Once Marcus Semien returns, which could be in a couple weeks, there's a chance Chad Pinder picks up some time at third, but both he and Chapman are righty swingers so it won't be a platoon, Chapman should get the majority of the at bats.
Mike Gianella is in the middle of the pack. He had 78 FAAB units to work with. There's a chance he could have a shot at a difference-maker in five or six weeks, but considering he needs to jump over several teams, giving up that outside shot for a potential difference-maker now makes a ton of sense. Houston has a bunch of moving parts, and has been known to rise the hot hand, so there's risk. Josh Reddick will be back, but Nori Aoki isn't blocking anyone. George Springer is a fixture, while the corners are up for grabs. Especially in the potent Astros lineup, Fisher can contribute in all the counting categories. Average is usually a crapshoot for a young hitter. Fisher's contact rate isn't super, but it isn't at all terrible, especially in today's environment. Obviously, position and needs matter, but in a vacuum, I like Fisher to be a better fantasy asset than Chapman the next three-plus months.
The last of the hefty bids came courtesy of league leader Shawn Childs and Greg Ambrosius. They've been fairly aggressive all season, already spending 34 FAAB units, so their chance of a top deadline acquisition wasn't strong. Not to mention, they're sitting on three White Sox prospects, Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez. Remember, movement from reserve is more restricted in LABR. The point is, the NFBC duo don't need a deadline splash. They can afford to spend FAAB now. If only one of the three minor leaguers comes up, they have their equivalent of a deadline pick-up. With Chris Sale as a foundation, Greg and Shawn can take the chance on Faria, which is also a defensive tactic, keeping him away from those chasing down the top spot.
The final piece to the puzzle is second-place squad and perennial contender Tristan Cockcroft, friend and ESPN colleague (well, he works there, they rent me). Tristan has one of the top FAAB totals. We're close enough to the deadline that treaing water in hopes of landing the big fish is viable. With his track record, I don't question anything Tristan does.
|Nick Pivetta, PHI||RotoWire - DVR 12||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 9||Colton & The Wolfman 1|
|Enny Romero, WSH||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 4|
|Johan Camargo, ATL||USA TODAY Sports 4||Colton & The Wolfman 1||Mastersball 1|
|Daniel Nava, PHI||Lenny Melnick 2||USA TODAY Sports 2||Baseball HQ 1||Colton & The Wolfman 1|
|Aaron Hill, SF||Baseball HQ 1||Colton & The Wolfman 1|
|Tommy La Stella, CHC||Mastersball 1||Colton & The Wolfman 1|
|Jose Torres, SD||Yakkertech 1|
|Patrick Kivlehan, CIN||Mastersball 1|
|Ryan Raburn, WSH||Mastersball 1||USA TODAY Sports 2|
|Gorkys Hernandez, SF||Lenny Melnick 2||Mastersball 1|
|Ichiro Suzuki, MIA||USA TODAY Sports 1||Mastersball 1|
|Chase d'Arnaud, SD||Baseball HQ 1|
|Elias Diaz, PIT||Baseball HQ 1|
|Kelby Tomlinson, SF||Baseball HQ 1|
|Andres Blanco, PHI||Mastersball 1|
|Chad Huffman, STL||Mastersball 1|
|Pat Valaika, COL||Mastersball 1|
|Ty Kelly, PHI||Mastersball 1|
|Blake Wood, CIN||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
|Craig Stammen, SD||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
|Edgar Santana, PIT||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
|Tyler Lyons, STL||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
|Chris Hatcher, LAD||Yakkertech 1|
|Josh Fields, LAD||Yakkertech 1|
Brian Walton's Commentary
Phillies starter Nick Pivetta was the most desired commodity in NL LABR this week, with the $12 bid of Derek Van Riper of Rotowire acing out a $9 offer. The right-hander opened eyes this past week with seven scoreless innings against the Red Sox with nine strikeouts. Needless to say, it was his best of six career MLB starts to date. Pivetta takes on the Cardinals and Diamondbacks in a two-start week ahead. I like the first matchup better than the second.
I didn’t get my $3 bid on new Nationals closer Enny Romero in ahead of the deadline, but it would not have mattered as the winning offer of $4 was submitted by Greg Ambrosius and Shawn Childs of NFBC/Stats Inc. Oddly, no one else even made an attempt to get the lefty. I guess everyone is weary of the Washington closer carousel, likely to stop as the trade deadline approaches.
Another winning $4 offer was made on Atlanta utilityman Johan Camargo, this one by host Steve Gardner of USA TODAY. The 23-year old did get 13 at-bats in each of the last two weeks in an infield that will be missing Adonis Garcia for the next two months. It is not surprising that Gardner also owns Garcia.
Let's do some more mind-reading, this time LABR head Poobah Steve Gardner will be the victim..err...subject. There's an extremely tight battle at the top with Eric Karabell clinging to a half point lead over Steve and the ubiquitous Colton and the Wolfman. With six more saves, Steve would garner four more points, including passing Eric, another ESPN friend and colleague. Above, it was suggested Ray Flowers had a closer read on Chapman, living in the area. Well, Steve takes residence in the DC area, so he could have a better handle on Enny Romero's chance of getting more saves. The one he earned on Saturday was of the five-out variety. However, Matt Albers was available. While it's unlikely Romero would make up the difference Steve needs in saves, every one helps. The other factor is Romero would likely replace Pedro Baez on the USA Today Fantasy roster. Steve is leading the league in ratios, with Baez much better than Romero in that regard. While an argument can be tendered Steve has a cushion in ERA and WHIP so he can absorb Romero, the counter is in today's climate, ratios can fall apart at the drop of a hat. Chances are, Steve can deal for saves if necessary. Why not maintain that ratio buffer in case he prefers to replace a starter in an effort to chase wins and whiffs?
One last quick note. I don't mean to imply Steve and Ray only know the scoop on their local clubs, nor those not living in the area are devoid of info. It's just with more local coverage, news may be available sooner, before it hits the Twitter machine, etc.
|Jacob Faria, TB||MLB.com 17||Scout Fantasy 10||@TheFantasyFix 9||Fangraphs 8|
|Baseball HQ 7||USA TODAY Sports 4||Razzball (Rudy Gamble) 4|
|Rotowire 2||RotoExperts/ FNTSY 1|
|Matt Davidson, CWS||Yahoo Sports 7||Baseball HQ 6||Scout Fantasy 4||Rotowire 1|
|Hyun-Jin Ryu, LAD||Razzball (Rudy Gamble) 4||Yahoo Sports 3|
|Francis Martes, HOU||Scout Fantasy 4||Baseball HQ 2||Rotowire 1|
|Manny Pina, MIL||Scout Fantasy 4|
|Enny Romero, WSH||Fangraphs 3||RotoExperts/ FNTSY 1|
|Matt Strahm, KC||Rotowire 2||Baseball HQ 2||Scout Fantasy 2|
|Matt Chapman, OAK||RotoExperts/ FNTSY 1|
|Francisco Rodriguez, DET||RotoExperts/ FNTSY 1|
|Eduardo Escobar, MIN||Fantasy Alarm 1||Razzball (Rudy Gamble) 1|
|Eric Sogard, MIL||Razzball (Rudy Gamble) 1||Rotowire 1|
|T.J. Rivera, NYM||Scout Fantasy 1|
|Derek Fisher, HOU||Rotowire 1||RotoExperts/ FNTSY 1|
|Mike Pelfrey, CWS||Yahoo Sports 1|
|David Phelps, MIA||Scout Fantasy 2|
|Franchy Cordero, SD||Rotowire 1||Fantasy Alarm 1|
|Clayton Richard, SD||@TheFantasyFix 1|
|Gregor Blanco, ARI||Fantasy Alarm 1|
|Alen Hanson, CWS||Razzball (Rudy Gamble) 1|
|Danny Espinosa, LAA||Razzball (Rudy Gamble) 1|
|Paul DeJong, STL||Razzball (Rudy Gamble) 1|
|Yolmer Sanchez, CWS||Razzball (Rudy Gamble) 1|
|Adam Ottavino, COL||Scout Fantasy 1|
Todd Zola's Commentary
Why all the fuss about Jacob Faria, the latest in the Rays seemingly endless supply of promising arms? Faria is ahead of both Brent Honeywell and Jose De Leon, so he got the call when Matt Andriese was put on the DL. Now that it appears Andriese will be out awhile, Faria's days on the farm may be over. The 23-year old righty isn't dominant in terms of velocity, but still misses plenty of bats, fanning 22 in his first 19 2/3 career frames, right in line with his minor league numbers. Faria features an effective change-up along with a couple other secondary pitches. Blake Snell looms, along with Honeywell and De Leon, but keep in mind Erasmo Ramirez is currently starting and can be moved back to the bullpen to clear another spot. Backed by the pitcher-friendly confines of Tropicana Field, Faria has a good chance of being one of the better in-season shots in the arm for the season.
Unfortunately, sometimes work gets in the way of play, and even though I take this, and all leagues, seriously, I was embroiled in a work issue when I normally do my FAAB and I wasn't able to enter a couple of necessary bids, meaning I'll be taking a zero for Asdrubal Cabrera. Some people like to put in holder bids earlier in the week, in case of an emergency of this nature. That sounds like a great idea.