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Star Spangled Baseball PDF Print E-mail
MASTERSBLOG
Written by Perry Van Hook   
Thursday, 03 July 2014 18:24

Across our great country Friday, Americans will celebrate the July 4th “birthday” of the USA with parades, picnics, fireworks displays and of course the great American sport of baseball.

The first game on the July 4 calendar will be an 11 AM ET start for the Washington Nationals hosting the Chicago Cubs in the nation’s capital. That is a nice 8 AM breakfast start for those of us on Pacific Time.

That will be followed by a 1:35 ET/10:35 PT visit of the Baltimore Orioles to Fenway Pahk to play the Red Sox. Who knows, maybe it will be one of Jon Lester’s last starts in the iconic Boston stadium.

Then we start a new game each hour.

 3:10 ET (2:10 PM CT and just past noon on the left coast) the Yankees visit Minnesota to play the Twins.

4:05 ET (1:05 PT) sees the AL East first place Toronto Blue Jays in a cross country matchup with the AL West leading Oakland Athletics.

5:05 ET (2:05 PT) is the battle for bragging rights in the state of Pennsylvania as the Phillies visit Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates.

6:40 ET (3:40 PT) is the No Cal vs Lo Cal battle with the San Francisco Giants playing the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.

The bulk of the 4th of July games start in the 7 o’clock hour on the East Coast, obviously three hours earlier on the Left Coast.

7:05 ET (4:05 PT) the Kansas City Royals at the Cleveland Indians

7:08 ET (4:08 PT) the Tampa Bay Rays are at the Detroit Tigers

7:10 ET (4:10 PT) has the first pitch scheduled for three games:

Milwaukee Brewers at the Cincinnati Reds

Seattle Mariners at the Chicago White Sox, and the

Texas Rangers in New York City to play the Metropolitans

7:15 ET (4:15 PT) the Miami Marlins are in St. Louis to play the Cardinals

7:35 ET (4:35 PT) sees the Arizona Diamondbacks visiting Georgia to play the Atlanta Braves

8:10 ET (5:10 PT the Los Angeles Dodgers will be up for a game at the Colorado Rockies and finally at

9:05 ET (6:05 PT) the Houston Astros visit the home of Disneyland to play the LA Angels of Anaheim for the final game of the day.

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 July 2014 19:08
 
Tout Wars FAAB Report: Week of June 30 PDF Print E-mail
MASTERSBLOG
Written by Todd Zola   
Monday, 30 June 2014 15:22

toutbanner

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

Tout Wars uses a Vickrey system to award bids. For a complete description of the Vickrey system, click HERE for the Tout Wars constitution.

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 is a bid 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.

*PLEASE NOTE - We have slightly altered the presentation in an effort to help you reconstruct the actual bidding a little better. The amount the owner paid is listed in a column followed by the non-adjusted Vickrey bid. The remaining bids for that player are then listed in order of amount. if the amount of an unawarded bid is greater than what was charged, the bid was a contingency bid by that owner and they were awarded a player of higher priority.

New to the report is "Todd's Take" where Lord Zola will share his unique perspective focusing on FAAB strategy, game theory and league dynamics.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

putnam

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

ZPutnam, CWS 16 Rob Leibowitz 17 Jeff Erickson 15 Mike Podhorzer 7
Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 6 Andy Behrens 5 Larry Schechter 5
CPena, Tex 16 Andy Behrens 16 Larry Schechter 16 Mike Podhorzer 12
Joe Sheehan 12 Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 1
TMcFarland, Bal 2 Andy Behrens 4 Chris Liss 1
JPolanco, Min 1 Andy Behrens 8
JGrilli, LAA 7 Jeff Erickson 15 Rob Leibowitz 7 Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 6
Larry Schechter 5 Mike Podhorzer 3 Chris Liss 0
NMartinez, Tex 0 Chris Liss 0 Joe Sheehan 3
DMastroianni, Tor 1 Mike Podhorzer 6
LHoes, Hou 3 Larry Schechter 8 Mike Podhorzer 3 Ron Shandler 2
Jason Collette 1 Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 1
JGuerra, CWS 4 Joe Sheehan 7 Mike Podhorzer 3 Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 1
RCook, Oak 1 Larry Schechter 1
MSierra, CWS 1 Jason Collette 8
CJoseph, Bal 1 Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 1
JVeras, Hou 0 Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 0

UNAWARDED BIDS

NFreiman, Oak Larry Schechter 4
CFigueroa, TB Jason Collette 2
BGlenn, Tor Andy Behrens 2
SCarroll, CWS Chris Liss 0
YMedina, Sea Larry Schechter 0
AWarren, NYY Larry Schechter 0
FAbad, Oak Larry Schechter 0
MMorin, LAA Larry Schechter 0
BHoladay, Det Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 0
BHayes, KC Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 0
JMolina, TB Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 0
JThole, Tor Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 0

Rob Leibowitz' Commentary

Zach Putnam earned himself a save and earned himself some bids as a result. Given an average fastball, average control, and solid, but non-typical closer strikeout rates (7.1 K/9), Putnam did not receive aggressive $30-plus bids he would have had he been a reliever with a stronger skill set and of course if Manager Robin Ventura had actually committed to him for the time being. Instead, the White's Sox's closer situation remains fluid, but those speculating for saves must pursue the person who drew first blood. In Putnam's defense, he may not be a true strikeout machine, but the righty has gotten ground balls over 50% of the time in 2013 and over 60% of the time in 2014, so that will certainly help his cause too.

The Brad Snyder experiment did not last long as the Rangers brought in their former player, Carlos Pena. The 36 year old still has some pop and draws walks, but has not hit over .227 in a single season since 2008. For OBP leaguers he did at least produce a .325 OBP back in 2010 when he hit .196, so there is a little better value there. This will not be the Ranger's last experiment of the season at first base with Moreland and Fielder out

Todd's Take

Granted, the number of precincts contributing to this vote is limited but according to the Touts, Zach Putnam has a better chance of earning saves than Jason Grilli. Leibowitz and Podhorzer were both willing to spend more for Putnam. Behrens only bid on Putnam so that makes three votes for Putnam. Erickson, Schechter and Wolf/Colton all bid equally on both. Liss was the only one to bid only on Grilli and that was a $0 bid.

For what it's worth, I'm in the Grilli camp if the play is for the second half. Working against Grilli is Joe Smith is better than anyone the White Sox have but my gut says the Angels acquired Grilli hoping he has one last run as a dominant closer.

If you're wondering where Mookie Betts is, Rob sneaked him onto his roster just last week using the rule that Brian Walton has so eloquently discussed in his Saturday feature on Mastersball, Articles of Configuration. The Tout rule is anyone in that formats organization is available for acquisition with two caveats: a non-zero bid is required for all those not on a 25-man roster and the player must remain active during the week of acquisition. So if you're willing to take a zero for the week, you can get a jump on prospects previous to their promotion.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

campbell

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

ODespaigne, SD 7 Scott Wilderman 8 Todd Zola 6 Gene McCaffrey 6
Mike Gianella 5 Brian Walton 4 Peter Kreutzer 4
ECampbell, NYM 7 Todd Zola 13 Gene McCaffrey 6 Mike Gianella 4
Brian Walton 3
MGonzales, StL 5 Gene McCaffrey 21 Mike Gianella 4 Brian Walton 3
Peter Kreutzer 1 Derek Carty 3 Peter Kreutzer 0
NAhmed, Ari 3 Phil Hertz 7 Mike Gianella 2 Brian Walton 2
ADuvall, SF 2 Mike Gianella 4 Todd Zola 11 Peter Kreutzer 1
Tristan H. Cockcroft 0 Steve Gardner 0 Brian Walton 0
KNieuwenhuis, NYM 1 Brian Walton 1 Mike Gianella 1 Todd Zola 0
Peter Kreutzer 0
CHernandez, Phi 1 Tristan H. Cockcroft 1 Phil Hertz 0
EFrieri, Pit 1 Tristan H. Cockcroft 2
TWatson, Pit 0 Brian Walton 0
SPimentel, Pit 0 Brian Walton 0 Peter Kreutzer 0
SSimmons, Atl 0 Todd Zola 0 Brian Walton 0 Tristan H. Cockcroft 0
GLaird, Atl 0 Todd Zola 0
DDescalso, StL 0 Mike Gianella 0 Phil Hertz 2
DSolano, Mia 0 Peter Kreutzer 0 Phil Hertz 0 Tristan H. Cockcroft 0
ATorres, SD 0 Steve Gardner 0
JRussell, ChC 0 Peter Kreutzer 0

UNAWARDED BIDS

NEvans, Ari Todd Zola 11
JGoebbert, SD Todd Zola 11
MRojas, LAD Mike Gianella 0 Phil Hertz 0
JLobaton, Was Peter Kreutzer 0 Todd Zola 0
CStewart, Pit Todd Zola 0
JMathis, Mia Todd Zola 0
KHill, Phi Todd Zola 0
WNieves, Phi Todd Zola 0

Brian Walton's Commentary

The National League Tout Wars free agent who received the most ink this past week is certainly deposed Angels closer Ernesto Frieri, dealt to the Pirates for Jason Grilli in an old-fashioned challenge trade. Two-time defending league champ Tristan H. Cockcroft of ESPN was the lone bidder, however, and had to pay just $1. FWIW, I instead added two other Bucs’ relievers in Tony Watson and Stolmy Pimentel for some ratio help. Chances are that none of the three will be receiving save opportunities any time soon.

In my regular Saturday column, I predicted two of the top sellers in NL Tout this week. Unfortunately, I also predicted I would not be the highest bidder for either pitcher.

On Sunday, San Diego’s Odrisamer Despaigne made his second respectable start since replacing injured Andrew Cashner in San Diego’s rotation. The 27-year-old Cuban has a solid arsenal, but does not possess a true strikeout pitch. Scott Wilderman from onRoto.com was willing to go $8 and had to spend $7.

St. Louis’ rookie Marco Gonzales lost his opportunity to start in the Texas League All-Star Game and was pulled from the MLB All-Star Futures Game, but the reward was a promotion from Double-A to the majors. After an uneven first start in Denver, the 22-year-old draws Tim Lincecum in San Francisco next. Wise Guy Baseball’s Gene McCaffrey was willing to go $21, reduced to $5 by Vickrey Rules. The aggressive bid apparently indicates low confidence in rehabbing Joe Kelly coming back soon and bumping Gonzales down to Triple-A. My bid of just $3 reflected that possibility.

Last month, Mets manager Terry Collins said he was considering giving Eric Campbell a look at middle infield. Though that has not occurred, the 28-year-old has seen time at both infield corners and both outfield corners, too. Results at the plate have been decent as well, leading to spirited bidding won by our Lord Zola at $7, reduced from $13 by Vickrey.

Todd's Take

On a personal level, especially considering the collective effort it takes to produce these reports, I'd like to make them as useful as possible. As such, I wonder about the most subtle details of the presentation. Granted, it's all there but it's human nature to start at the top of the grid until you get bored and move onto the analysis. Here's an example, piggybacking on Brian's comment concerning McCaffrey and Marco Gonzales. The single largest non-Vickrey bid was Gene's $21 offer for Gonzales - that's relevant information. I value Gene's opinion and this tells me he has some faith in Gonzales. However, this nuance may get lost as the bid was reduced to the third highest so the brain may perceive the interest on Gonzales wasn't as strong as some of the other available players when in fact it was.

That said, I also value Brian's opinion and he's less enthusiastic with respect to Gonzales. Guessing playing time and injuries is a crap shoot so my personal take-home message from this is Gene believes in Gonzales' talent while Brian is reticent to spend to get only a couple more starts. The relevant info for me is to put Gonzales on my radar. I play in ample mixed leagues that if he does in fact keep the job, he may be worth a pick-up.

MIXED LEAGUE AUCTION 

mookiebetts

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

MBetts, Bos 36 Fred Zinkie 65 Ray Guilfoyle 35 Cory Schwartz 13
SCasilla, SF 14 Al Melchior 16 Cory Schwartz 13 Tim Heaney 11
Ray Flowers 6
LMorrison, Sea 3 Nando DiFino 8 Cory Schwartz 2
ZPutnam, CWS 1 Ray Flowers 6 Derek Van Riper 6 Tim Heaney 4
Cory Schwartz 1
TDArnaud, NYM 1 Ray Flowers 6
GBalfour, TB 1 Nando DiFino 21
JJay, StL 1 Cory Schwartz 1
DJeter, NYY 1 Derek Van Riper 2 Cory Schwartz 1
BWorkman, Bos 1 Cory Schwartz 5
TWood, ChC 1 Tim Heaney 4
MGonzales, StL 1 Derek Van Riper 15
RWeeks, Mil 1 Ray Guilfoyle 3

UNAWARDED BIDS

ODespaigne, SD Derek Van Riper 6
JPetricka, CWS Ray Flowers 3 Tim Heaney 2 Cory Schwartz 1
YGrandal, SD Ray Flowers 3 Cory Schwartz 0
RChirinos, Tex Ray Flowers 1
MMcKenry, Col Ray Flowers 1
TKoehler, Mia Cory Schwartz 1
JGuthrie, KC Cory Schwartz 1
CJoseph, Bal Ray Flowers 1
RHanigan, TB Ray Flowers 1
MMoustakas, KC Cory Schwartz 1
ACallaspo, Oak Fred Zinkie 0

Zach Steinhorn's Commentary

Saves and steals are the two categories where ground could be made up quickly with the addition of as little as one player. Throughout the season, owners in this league have been willing to spend large amounts of FAAB dollars on speculative or even temporary closers. And there was some of that this week, as Santiago Casilla, who will share closer duties for the Giants with Jeremy Affeldt until Sergio Romo straightens things out, garnered a $14 winning bid. Casilla does have experience in the ninth inning, but this does sound like one of those temporary situations, as Romo has been one of the game’s elite closers over the past few years. In other words, Bruce Bochy probably wants to reinstall Romo as his closer as soon as possible. He just needs a reason to make the move.

As for steals, well, there’s this guy named Mookie Betts who was sporting a .437 OBP in the Minors this year with 29 stolen bases in 77 games. Betts made his big league debut last night, and he wasted no time getting to work on the base paths, though he got caught stealing in his one attempt. Boston’s outfield is a bit crowded but it’s hard to imagine that the Red Sox called up Betts to sit on the bench. The stolen base standings are still bunched up in the middle, with league leader Fred Zinkie being one of those middle teams, so it’s not a huge surprise that Fred chose to bid $65 for Betts’ services, a number that could only be topped by three of the other 14 teams.

And the wait continues for Scott Swanay to use some of his 97 remaining FAAB dollars. Scott didn’t make any bids this week despite being another one of those middle teams in the stolen base rankings.

Todd's Take

Let's play another round of which guy is most likely to get saves. Based on the bids, the Touts favor Casilla over Putnam. While I don't disagree, I see Sergio Romo getting the gig back. True, his strikeouts continue to fall but it is a severe case of gopheritis that ails him most. A few clean outings and Romo should be back in the ninth.

What's really curious is no one other than Nando DiFino was willing to take a shot on Balfour. That would have been my play -- of all the candidates, he has the best chance to lock it down over the second half.

MIXED LEAGUE DRAFT

guyer

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

BGuyer, TB 5 Eno Sarris 6 Scott Engel 4
ZPutnam, CWS 5 Nicholas Minnix 6 Tim McLeod 4
TDArnaud, NYM 3 Nicholas Minnix 6 Anthony Perri 2
ESuarez, Det 3 Nicholas Minnix 6 Nicholas Minnix 3 Perry Van Hook 2
OArcia, Min 1 Eno Sarris 1
DDietrich, Mia 1 Eno Sarris 2
JPetricka, CWS 1 Grey Albright 1 Anthony Perri 1
SVogt, Oak 1 Paul Sporer 4 Nicholas Minnix 0
EInciarte, Ari 1 Perry Van Hook 1
TWood, ChC 1 Greg Ambrosius 2
ODespaigne, SD 1 Perry Van Hook 3
WDavis, KC 0 Ray Murphy 0
KGiles, Phi 0 Tim McLeod 0

UNAWARDED BIDS

SVanSlyke, LAD Paul Sporer 4
JMayberry, Phi Paul Sporer 3
EVolquez, Pit Perry Van Hook 2
JBroxton, Cin Perry Van Hook 2
WVenable, SD Eno Sarris 1
BBoxberger, TB Ray Murphy 0
BMcCarthy, Ari Nicholas Minnix 0
BRoberts, NYY Nicholas Minnix 0
HConger, LAA Nicholas Minnix 0
CJoseph, Bal Nicholas Minnix 0
DNava, Bos Nicholas Minnix 0
RHanigan, TB Nicholas Minnix 0
RWeeks, Mil Nicholas Minnix 0

Perry Van Hook's Commentary

Highest bidder this week was Nick Minnix who tried three six dollar bids for Mets catcher Travis D’Arnaud, White Sox RP Zach Putnam, and Tiger shortstop Eugenio Suarez. With Vickrey reductions, Minnix got D’Arnaud for $3; Putnam for $5; and Suarez for $3.

Eno Sarris was also a six dollar bidder, winning Tampa fly chaser Brandon Guyer for $5.

Interesting that in chasing the White Sox new closer by committee, Putnam went for $5 while Jake Petricka went for just $1 to Grey Albright which was his only bid.

Also interesting to note that as in some other leagues, San Diego Padres new Cuban pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne went cheaply – I got him for $1 on a three dollar bid despite now being 2-0 with an ERA under 1.00. We will see what happens in his next start – also at Petco against the struggling San Francisco Giants.

Todd's Take

We've come this far with the closer comparisons, may as well finish this off with one more. It's intriguing that Putnam and Jake Petricka both received a pair of bids, but no one bid on both. The bids on Putman were more aggressive - but why not bid on both?

Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 July 2014 10:36
 
LABR FAAB Report: Week of June 30 PDF Print E-mail
MASTERSBLOG
Written by Todd Zola   
Monday, 30 June 2014 11:34

labr2

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 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.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

dannava

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

Mookie Betts, BOS $62 Winning Fantasy Baseball 62 NFBC/Stats, Inc. 38 RotoWire 30
Colton & The Wolfman 21 Mastersball 17 Baseball HQ 11
Daniel Nava, BOS $28 Winning Fantasy Baseball 28 ESPN.com 9 RotoWire 4
Jason Grilli, LAA $11 Baseball HQ 11 ESPN.com 8 Fangraphs 7
Colton & The Wolfman 6 SiriusXM 6 RotoWire 3
Mastersball 2
Carlos Pena, TEX $8 RotoWire 8 ESPN.com 5
Erik Bedard, TB $7 RotoWire 7 SiriusXM 2
Zach Putnam, CWS $4 Fangraphs 4 SiriusXM 3 Baseball HQ 3
Colton & The Wolfman 2 Mastersball 2 ESPN.com 1
Jake Petricka, CWS $4 SiriusXM 4 Fangraphs 3 Baseball HQ 3
Colton & The Wolfman 2 Mastersball 2 RotoWire 1
Caleb Joseph, BAL $2 Colton & The Wolfman 2
Javy Guerra, CWS $2 Colton & The Wolfman 2 Fangraphs 3 SiriusXM 4
NFBC/Stats, Inc. 2
Darin Mastroianni, TOR $1 ESPN.com 1
Jose Veras, HOU $1 Mastersball 1 Colton & The Wolfman 2

 UNAWARDED BIDS

Charlie Furbush, SEA SiriusXM 10
Adam Warren, NYY SiriusXM 2
Kevin Correia, MIN SiriusXM 2
Aaron Crow, KC SiriusXM 1
Casey Fien, MIN Fangraphs 1
Cesar Ramos, TB SiriusXM 1
Neal Cotts, TEX RotoWire 1
Yoervis Medina, SEA SiriusXM 1

Perry Van Hook's Commentary.

Larry Schechter, Winning Fantasy Baseball, finally got a chance to bully the weekly bidding with the most FAAB as he won the Mookie Betts derby for a cool $62. The five underbids on Betts ranged from $11 to $38.

Schechter also won Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava for $28 giving him two thirds of the current Boston outfield, both previously unowned.

The first crossover player from the NL, new Angels RP Jason Grilli, received seven bids from the twelve owners with underbids of $2 to $8 below Dave Adler’s winning $11 bid.

Todd's Take.

This concept has come up previously - knowing what MLB teams your competitors follow and using that to help read between the lines with their bids. Larry Schechter is a Red Sox fan. But he's also a big fan of winning at fantasy baseball (see what I did there?) so he's not going be a fan-boy and go all-in on a couple of Boston outfielders if he didn't believe these two would offer him more help than anyone else that becomes available going forward. Sure, there could be a measure of desperation, but Larry isn't going to put all his eggs in a basket he doesn't believe in. If he does, so should you.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

marcogonzales

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

Marco Gonzales, STL $21 RotoWire - DVR 21
Odrisamer Despaigne, SD $17 RotoWire - DVR 17 Mastersball 5
Eric Campbell, NYM $7 Mastersball 7 Fantasy Insiders 4 RotoWire - DVR 3
Colton & The Wolfman 2 NFBC/Stats, Inc. 2
Jacob deGrom, NYM $7 RotoWire - DVR 7
Ernesto Frieri, PIT $7 RotoWire - DVR 7
Adam Duvall, SF $6 Colton & The Wolfman 6
Donovan Solano, MIA $3 Colton & The Wolfman 3
Tom Kahnle, COL $3 Mastersball 3
Craig Stammen, WSH $1 USA TODAY Sports 1
Travis Snider, PIT $1 Colton & The Wolfman 1
John Baker, CHC $1 NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1

UNAWARDED BIDS

Matt Stites, ARI RotoWire - DVR 1
David Buchanan, PHI USA TODAY Sports 1
Carlos Villanueva, CHC USA TODAY Sports 1
Bryan Morris, MIA USA TODAY Sports 1
Mike Bolsinger, ARI USA TODAY Sports 1
Justin De Fratus, PHI USA TODAY Sports 1

Lawr Michaels' Commentary

After sitting on a wad of FAAB cash for the first half of the season, RotoWire's Derek van Riper shot a chunk this week, purchasing four pitchers and overhauling his staff.

First, he grabbed Cardinals hurler Marco Gonzales ($21), and then outbid just me with $17 for the interesting Odrisamer Despaigne (I bid $5), and the $7 for Jacob deGrom, winding things up with a  $7 save crap shoot for Ernesto Frieri. Aside from the Despaigne challenge, the other bids were uncontested, meaning DVR could have spent just $3 on $35 of actual cost.

But, he had the money, and decided it was time to take a shot. In all DVR spent $52 for four players: $7 more than I gambled on Joe Panik last week.

I managed to grab Eric Campbell for my Mastersball team, which now features nine players on the DL. I  expect Campbell to get hurt this week so I can replace him next, however (there were six bids between $2-$4 I beat out). I also nabbed Thomas Kahnle to spell the again injured Andrew Cashner.

Glenn Colton and Rick Wolf went for a pair of players: Adam Duvall ($6) and infielder Donovan Solano ($3), leaving the final $1 players as John Baker (NFBC/Stats) and Steve Gardner dropped a buck on Craig Stammen.

Todd's Take.

While I'm still a firm believer that pitching needs to be addressed more aggressively than before in the draft, I'm beginning to reconsider my perception that not as much useful pitching emerges in-season. So while I'll still look to draft or purchase a solid foundation, I'll also look to improve the back-end of my staff in-season and direct a little more draft assets to the dwindling offensive side of the ledger.

MIXED LEAGUE

mookiebetts

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

Mookie Betts, BOS $35 Rotowire-Colton 35 RotoExperts 13 MLB.com 11
ESPN.com 10 USA TODAY Sports 8 Fangraphs 6
Grant Green, LAA $6 RotoExperts 6
Santiago Casilla, SF $6 RotoExperts 6 Baseball HQ 6 Fangraphs 5
Rotowire-Colton 3
Jacob Petricka, CWS $4 Baseball HQ 4 Rotowire-Colton 3
Jordy Mercer, PIT $3 KFFL.com 3 Rotowire-Colton 3
Jeremy Affeldt, SF $3 Rotowire-Colton 3
J.A. Happ, TOR $3 USA TODAY Sports 3
Zach Putnam, CWS $3 Fangraphs 3 Rotowire-Colton 3
Vance Worley, PIT $1 MLB.com 1
Ruben Tejada, NYM $1 Rotowire-Colton 1
Ryan Hanigan, TB $1 Baseball HQ 1

UNAWARDED BIDS

Joe Panik, SF KFFL.com 1
Brian Roberts, NYY KFFL.com 1
David Phelps, NYY MLB.com 1
Gregor Blanco, SF Rotowire-Colton 1
Eric Campbell, NYM Rotowire-Colton 1
Kevin Kiermaier, TB Rotowire-Colton 1
Zack Cozart, CIN Rotowire-Colton 1

Todd Zola's Commentary

You always need to acquire the best player in a deal, right? Hogwash, I say. Your overall team outlook needs to be improved after a deal. I made the next swap in my effort to climb out of last place by dealing Mike Trout, Aroldis Chapman, Doug Fister and Chris Owings for Troy Tulowitzki, Curtis Granderson, Rafael Soriano and Tyler Clippard. Well, OK, there isn't that much of a difference between Trout and a healthy Tulo but in general I'm not a fan of any advice that included the words always or never.

Offensively, I should accrue more counting stats from the Tulowitzki and Granderson pair than from Trout and Owings and that's where I need the most help - HR, RBI and runs. I'm last in steals with little chance of anything more than the 1 point you get for signing your name. On the pitching side, even though I'm middle of the pack in ERA, since I'm very poor in WHIP, I expect the ERA to worsen as the season progresses so I made the decision to accept the loss and not worry about ratios and focus on wins and whiffs. Thus losing Fister isn't an issue and neither is the downgrade in closer. A points total in the middle 70's is attaiable and even though that will leave me 50 points shy of the title, it's quite an improvement from the 39 I had when I embarked on this campaign to achieve mediocrity.

Todd's Take.

It's fairly rare that the top FAAB bid in the mixed league is the same as one of the single formats but Mookie Betts pulled it off this week. The reason is while there is a reserve list in LABR, the reserve to active rules in the AL and NL formats favor using Major League players though there will always be owners that stash a prospect or two. Back in early March, Betts did not carry the prospect cache worthy of a reserve stash in this format. Note this was also true in AL Tout but Mastersball's Rob Leibowitz stealthly snagged Betts a couple weeks ago using a unique Tout rule discussed in the Tout Wars report.

Last Updated on Monday, 30 June 2014 13:18
 
Angels & Pirates Swap Troubled Closers PDF Print E-mail
MASTERSBLOG
Written by Perry Van Hook   
Friday, 27 June 2014 17:40

Friday afternoon the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Pittsburgh Pirates exchanged trouble closers Ernesto Frieri and Jason Grilli.

I think both of these former closers will start in 7th or 8th inning slots but have a chance to regain the closers role should Joe Smith or Marc Melancon falter in their current roles. I think Smith is more likely to need replacement.

In AL or NL only leagues they do become nice speculative additions IF you don’t have to play them right away. I wouldn’t add them in mixed leagues unless you are really save desperate but I would watch them to see if things are headed in the right direction.

Last Updated on Friday, 27 June 2014 17:43
 
LABR FAAB Report: Week of June 23 PDF Print E-mail
MASTERSBLOG
Written by Todd Zola   
Monday, 23 June 2014 01:26

labr2

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 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.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

jmaxwell

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

Yohan Pino, MIN $8 USA TODAY Sports 8 Winning Fantasy Baseball 4 Colton & The Wolfman 2
Mastersball 1
Justin Maxwell, KC $3 Winning Fantasy Baseball 3 Mastersball 1
Brad Mills, OAK $2 Colton & The Wolfman 2 Mastersball 1
Joel Hanrahan, DET $1 Mastersball 1
Steve Tolleson, TOR $1 Mastersball 1 RotoWire 1
Don Kelly, DET $1 Mastersball 1
Efren Navarro, LAA $1 Mastersball 1
Logan Forsythe, TB $1 RotoWire 1 NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1

 UNAWARDED BIDS

Kevin Correia, MIN USA TODAY Sports 3
Casey Fien, MIN Mastersball 1
Daniel Robertson, TEX Mastersball 1
Jason Frasor, TEX Mastersball 1
Jerry Sands, TB Mastersball 1
Kirby Yates, TB Mastersball 1
Tommy Hunter, BAL Mastersball 1

Perry Van Hook's Commentary

In the AL LABR league I didn’t think there would be a lot of bidding. There weren’t great targets and while I welcomed two more outfielders to the DL I thought multiple string of one dollar bids would work fine.

Well that was mostly correct except for Steve Gardner of USA Today Sports lobbing an $8 bid for a thirty year old who just got his first start in the majors. Needless to say he won Yohan Pinto and at only double the next highest bid.

Justin Maxwell, recently recalled by the Royals with my Norichika Aoki on the DL, went for $3 to Larry Schechter, Winning Fantasy Baseball, who leads the league in FAAB dollars.

I will have to plug in my dollar outfielders – Steve Tolleson, Don Kelly, and Efren Navarro. I had bid one dollar on Pino but got my second choice of pitchers – Tommy Hunter of the Orioles (the Hanrahan bid was reversed because in LABR you can't FAAB a player on the DL)

Todd's Take

Poor Kevin Correia. To borrow from Perry, a thirty year old who just got his first start inspired a bidding war while Correia saw a sole contingency bid. In the name of full disclosure (albeit an admitted humblebrag), I had Correia on my staff twice when I took down the NFBC NL-only high stakes auction so he has a soft spot with me but it seems to me if you're willing to take a shot at Pino you should also be willing to accept what Correia offers.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

jhahn

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

Joe Panik, SF $47 Mastersball 47 Yahoo Sports 44 RotoWire - DVR 18
Colton & The Wolfman 6 Fantasy Insiders 1
Jesse Hahn, SD $16 Colton & The Wolfman 16 Baseball HQ 7 ESPN - Karabell 6
Sandlot Shrink 2 NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1
Miguel Rojas, LAD $9 Mastersball 9
Jeff Locke, PIT $3 Colton & The Wolfman 3 Sandlot Shrink 2 Baseball HQ 2
Vance Worley, PIT $3 NFBC/Stats, Inc. 3 Colton & The Wolfman 5 ESPN - Karabell 2
Sandlot Shrink 2 Baseball HQ 1
Jake Goebbert, SD $1 Colton & The Wolfman 1
Pedro Strop, CHC $1 Inside Edge 1
Daniel Descalso, STL $1 RotoWire - DVR 1
Elian Herrera, MIL $1 NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1 Colton & The Wolfman 1 Mastersball 1
RotoWire - DVR 1
Tony Watson, PIT $1 Baseball HQ 1 Inside Edge 1

 UNAWARDED BIDS

David Buchanan, PHI Sandlot Shrink 2
Travis Snider, PIT Colton & The Wolfman 1
Roger Kieschnick, ARI Colton & The Wolfman 1
Shane Robinson, STL Colton & The Wolfman 1
Pat Neshek, STL Inside Edge 1
Dana Eveland, NYM Inside Edge 1
Joaquin Arias, SF RotoWire - DVR 1

Lawr Michaels' Commentary

Finally.

A couple of prospect move to the NL LABR free agent pool who are not spoken for. Which means neither is named Andrew Heaney, who belongs to RotoExperts Lenny Melnick.

I confess to having spent over half my remaining FAAB budget on the Giants second baseman, Joe Panik.

Since my team is mired in 11th place, going nowhere, I figured I had to go for broke, in fact, I changed my bid from $29, to $37, and finally to $47, all within the span of the final three hours before the 9 PM PT deadline.

Apparently the move was warranted, as I beat out four bids, the highest being a $44 shot (also bids of $18, $6, and $1 were submitted) suggesting that this time acting out of "panic" was indeed prudent.

Then, Glenn Colton and Rick Wolf spent $16 on Padres hurler Jesse Hahn, out-gambling again four wannabe owners who submitted bids of $7, $6, $2, and $1, respectively. Rick and Glenn also went for pitcher Jeff Locke ($3) throwing down three $2 attempts, and then dropped a buck on Jake Goebbert to flesh out their team.

As my Mastersball team has been struggling with the hot corner since draft day, when we wasted $8 on Maikel Franco, we were able to again plug the whole previously owned by Joaquin Arias (who can't hit), then Emilio Bonifacio (who went on the DL), then Reid Brignac (who went on the DL) on the Dodgers Miguel Rojas. In that case $1 would have been a better gamble, as no one else was interested in the Dodger.

Shawn Childs and Greg Ambrosius, of the NFBC/STATS squad then forked over $3 for pitcher Vance Worley, and again this time there were three challenge bids, two of $2 and one for a dollar.

Then came the litany of $1 players awarded: pretty much the path we have seen pretty much every week in NL LABR FAAB since the season began.

Doug Dennis (BBHQ) copped Tony Watson, Derek van Riper (Rotowire) got Daniel Descalso, , Greg and Shawn picked up Elian Herrera, and Steve Moyer (Inside Edge) added Pedro Strop.

Todd's Take

First off, I'd like to thanks my managing partners Brian in the NL Tout commentary and Lawr here in NL LABR -- should I go hack and make jokes about Joe Panik? Fortunately Brian and Lawr took care of that for me. My panic attack went for naught.

A common theme in these commentaries is the spend now as there may not be an opportunity to spend later. As Lawr alludes, that was part of his thinking and why he sagely upped his Panik bid. If I'm in this league, the mental note I make is Dalton Del Don of Yahoo is willing to spend on a free agent and not wait so when I place my bids, I take a look at his roster and if he appears to have an opening/need for a quality player I want, I better be willing to pay since there's a good chance he will.

MIXED LEAGUE

aheaney

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

Andrew Heaney, MIA $21 Baseball Prospectus 21 RotoExperts 18 MLB.com 6
Fangraphs 3
J.D. Martinez, DET $10 USA TODAY Sports 10 KFFL.com 4 MLB.com 4
Baseball Prospectus 3
Jake Marisnick, MIA $8 ESPN.com 8 KFFL.com 1
Jarrod Dyson, KC $7 Baseball HQ 7 USA TODAY Sports 2 Fangraphs 1
MLB.com 1
Brandon Crawford, SF $4 KFFL.com 4 Rotowire-Colton 1
Jesus Montero, SEA $4 FNTSY 4 RotoExperts 1
Jesse Hahn, SD $3 KFFL.com 3 MLB.com 3 Rotowire-Erickson 1
Matt Shoemaker, LAA $3 Rotowire-Erickson 3 KFFL.com 2
Jeff Locke, PIT $3 MLB.com 3
Steve Pearce, BAL $1 MLB.com 1 USA TODAY Sports 5 KFFL.com 4

UNAWARDED BIDS

Kevin Kiermaier, TB USA TODAY Sports 4 ESPN.com 2
Yohan Pino, MIN KFFL.com 3 MLB.com 1
Vance Worley, PIT Rotowire-Erickson 1
Jeurys Familia, NYM KFFL.com 1
Erik Bedard, TB KFFL.com 1
David Peralta, ARI KFFL.com 1

Todd Zola's Commentary

Quiet week on the battle to not finish in last as I was at the FSTA conference in San Francisco and didn't want to engage in trade talks that I couldn't continue uninterrupted. I'm still looking to deal James Shields and convert Aroldis Chapman and David Robertson to lesser closers. That said I am heartened by the fact that there are again a couple of starting pitchers I could have had for $1 that fit my I-don't-care-about-ratios strategy.

Todd's Take

Wanting to trade pitching for hitting is one thing. Being able to actually do it is another. In an effort to be pro-active, I looked at all the rosters over the weekend in an effort to find a competitor that could use some pitching and had some hitting to spare. The prospects are not promising. I knew this was an issue in AL and NL only formats - with the current landscape, pounding up an excess of counting stats is next to impossible. But I was naive to how hard it is in a 15-team mixed league. It's a different time. Pitching is dominating. Fantasy teams simply can't afford to deal away hitting - there's too many points to lose.

This poses an interesting conundrum. I've been preaching that in order to keep up with pitching, you need to invest a little more in pitching than a few years ago. I still believe that.

On the other hand, due to the non-linear manner talent levels descend, the best way to bully counting stats is to spend early picks on hitters. There's only so many early picks. You can't draft both the best hitters and an ace pitcher.

I don't know the answer but I suspect it revolves around which facet is more likely to emanate from later picks and in-season acquisitions. In the past, this was pitching and it wasn't close. Personal research shows the gap is closing. I need to spend some time in the off-season really analyzing where unexpected stats come from. I don't want to assume it is pitching.

Last Updated on Monday, 23 June 2014 17:49
 
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