MoFo Fantasy Baseball - 2018 Regular Season

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I imagine you're aware, with the exception of one year you've finished in first or second EVERY SINGLE YEAR! How the hell do you manage that, exactly?
In all seriousness, a really big part of it is just not overreacting to things.

There are plenty of little things I like to do, and more than a few general principles I try to keep to (I think I even wrote them down a few years back), but if I only had a sentence or a single thing to say, that would be it.
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"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."



I would love to win the Football thing someday but to me this Baseball league is so tough. While Football can be so random, Baseball is daily. It really feels like I accomplished something when it goes well.



I'm gonna miss Beltre too.
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We are both the source of the problem and the solution, yet we do not see ourselves in this light...



I would love to win the Football thing someday but to me this Baseball league is so tough. While Football can be so random, Baseball is daily. It really feels like I accomplished something when it goes well.



I'm gonna miss Beltre too.
Congrats PW!!! Well deserved.
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Baseball is definitely more of a meritocracy. So many more games. Especially since we have daily lineups rather than weekly ones. Obviously, with that many games random stuff factors in when it's this close, but the general range each team ends up in is usually where they belong, barring lots of bad/great luck or significant injuries.

Football is less of a grind, but wayyyyy more of a crapshoot.



Congrats, PW! I'm obviously disappointed that I couldn't hang on, but I'm happy to see you get your first title in the league! You spent so many days in first this year that it seems fitting that you'd end there.

On my end, I'm not displeased with 2nd overall. I had a fun ride to get into contention in the second half. Over the last five years, I've come in 4th twice ('14, '17), 3rd once ('16), 2nd once ('18), and 1st once ('15), so I'm overall happy with where I've been.

I'm doing some analysis on my draft and season that I'll report back with. Hope you've all enjoyed our two (!) game 163s today!



I'm doing some analysis on my draft and season that I'll report back with. Hope you've all enjoyed our two (!) game 163s today!
Also I note you only made 33 moves all season. That's impressive trust in your draft.



Also I note you only made 33 moves all season. That's impressive trust in your draft.

I was going to say the exact same thing. I had an actual shocked face the first time I really noticed it. Pretty impressive.



I really learned a few more things this year and I really hope to continue to make this thing all difficult and junk for y'all in the future. It's taken me a minute to figure this out enough just to be in contention at the end. Now I hope to do it again next year which is a whole other challenge in my ever so humble opinion. Man, this game is so fun! I can't to see you all back next year.



I made some charts/excel docs. Trying to figure out the best way to post them here. In the meantime, I'm getting ready to root for my team leader in QS's, FA pick-up Kyle Freeland (19 QSs tying w/ J. Taillon). Really hoping to see the Cubs go 0–2 in these one-game playoffs.



I made some charts/excel docs. Trying to figure out the best way to post them here.
Attachment would work, but I'd copy them into Google Docs and link them, personally.

Really hoping to see the Cubs go 0–2 in these one-game playoffs.
Yes, we go back to being baseball allies now.

Rooting for the A's most of all, Indians second. After that there's a pretty sizable drop-off with pretty much all the teams that aren't the Cubs and Brewers.



go Rockies!!
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I made some sheets: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing

I originally had some chart ideas, but none of them worked out when I actually plotted them. The outliers were too large for draft # vs. 2018 rank.

Anyway, I have four things for you: (1) my season results, finishes, and number of moves, (2) my team, in order of how they were drafted, plus my major FA pick ups, (3) same info but sorted by how much they played on my team, and (4) the same info sorted by their end of season rank.

This was probably the least engaged that I've been in baseball and fantasy baseball in several years. Part of that is because I've been busier with other things, but also because I had a lot of injuries to key players early on. Because of that, I felt a bit handcuffed in my ability to fix my slow start.

I'm a bit surprised to know that I've never made more than 62 moves in a given season, but I stuck with my M.O. and didn't shuffle my roster much. Normally, I make a handful trades, so my small number of transactions are usually more impactful, but I didn't make any this year.

Hitting:
I did really well with 3 of my first 4 picks: Trout, Machado, and Yelich. It's good that I drafted maybe the NL and AL MVPs because Donaldson and Puig both underachieved. Realmuto was good when he played; I was surprised to see that he wasn't ranked higher. For what I lost in my middle tier of drafted hitters, I found a lot of value later in the draft. My gamble on Acuna paid off, Shin-Soo Choo had a quietly good season, and Matt Chapman really filled the void that Donaldson left me. I struggled all year to find solid contributions from 1B and 2B. I thought I'd be able to find a more capable fill-in at 1B through free agency and felt comfortable punting 2B since I invested in a solid catcher. First was mainly filled by Josh Bell and Justin Bour, who were minimally acceptable. Second was a wasteland for me—J. Villar, T. Beckham, Y. Solarte.

Pitching:
I invested a lot of middle picks in good, but non-elite starting pitchers. I didn't really do well drafting those types this year. Robbie Ray didn't throw a lot of innings, Paxton was good but also a bit injury-plagued, and Quintana was mediocre. The next guy that I took, Jameson Taillon, proved to be capable. I rolled the dice on injured Danny Salazar, but he never threw a pitch this year. Felix proved to be non-relevant in fantasy again. What really saved my rotation was a good first half from Reynaldo Lopez, along with the nearly 300 innings that I got from Freeland and Folty. My bullpen decent. As per the usual, I did better in holds than saves. Kirby Yates, CJ Edwards, Sean Doolittle, AJ Minter and Bud Norris were my main guys. Andrew Miller had an anomalously bad year due to injuries.

Trout and Yelich are my co-MVPs, Chapman and Acuna were my best draft picks (Yelich too), and Folty and Freeland were my best FA pick-ups. I should've kept Semien and Desmond for longer. I really only had Semien for two weeks until Machado gained SS-eligibility. Desmond was horrible while he was on my team and didn't turn it around until the latter half of the season. Jose Quintana was definitely my worst player (how high I drafted him, how much I played him, how bad he was).

My patience proved to be a strength this year, but it proved costly in the end. I did very well in the rate stats this year—AVG, OBP, ERA, and WHIP—and that made it difficult, later in the season, to simply make up ground in the counting stats by brute force of rotating FAs to pick up spot starts and extra ABs. So, I largely just stuck with the team I had and was really carried by Yelich and Trout down the stretch. It almost worked.



Great stuff, Tim. Yeah, the number of moves is shockingly low. I think Yelich and Acuna were clearly the key to your success. You got the #2 player in all of fantasy at the (very end!) of the fourth round, and the #16 OF in the 15th. I'm a little curious/confused about how some of those pitching stats ended up so low, since the starters were a mixed bag, though it seems like Folty was the key there (#16 SP, waiver wire).

These ranks are for standard leagues, BTW, so with OBP and QS instead of Wins some of these players might be even higher.



Anyway, I'll do a quick recap myself:

I had 57 points from pitching and 47 from hitting. This is pretty funny, because I invested very heavily in hitting in the draft. But I bet big on Houston starters, and that paid off handsomely.

It's a good thing, too, because nearly all of my top picks were disappointments or outright busts. Blackmon (1st round) had a "good" season in a vacuum, but he was significantly down in basically every category, and if he was even 10% closer to his 2017 totals in, like, ANY category, it flips the outcome. Correa (2nd round) got hurt, and then somehow did the only thing worse: he came back before he was healed and hit terribly for weeks, almost certainly costing a couple of batting average points. Particularly bad since I nabbed Torres on waivers, so I actually had a good replacement at a scarce position, if he'd just stayed on the DL and healed. McCutchen was a disappointment in the 5th, too, though he was decent.

Buxton in the 6th was almost as big as the Correa bust. He finished incredibly hot last year and I drafted him specifically to shore up SBs...and I got less than nothing. He started slow, got hurt, and then never came back. Even a bad year from him should've produced 20-30 SBs, and literally just 10 more would've been worth 4 points in the standings. 20 would've been worth 7 (and first place in the category). That's your ballgame, right there. I liked his speed as a value floor, and anything other than the total meltdown he had probably wins the league.

Torres, Corbin, and Leclerc were great waiver finds I rode most of the year.

Strategically, I was very happy with where I was in August. I identified huge opportunity in SBs, AVG, and Holds, so I shifted my focus to those. All three had big clusters where, if I broke into them, I'd see huge gains very quickly. As it turns out, getting close in any of them probably would've done the job, but somehow I fell just short of those clusters in all three. In retrospect it looks awfully improbable, but that's why they play the games. And in an outcome this close, you're obviously going to be able to spot dozens and dozens of things that would've changed the result.

For awhile, I worried that I'd misplaced my SP advantage; I dedicated more roster slots to hitters and relievers and just rolled with the three Houston guys, Tanaka, and eventually Corbin. But by season's end I was first in Ks (by an insane margin) and only left one point on the table in QS, which are the only categories I could've improved on by tossing more mediocre starters out, so I actually managed to thread that needle almost perfectly. It's just the other end--the actual performance of the middle relievers--that didn't work out.



Oh, I touched on the Houston thing, but worth expounding: Verlander was the #2 pitcher, got him in the 3rd. Cole was 8th, got him in the 7th. There were clear indications Morton would probably be at least good, and getting him in the 18th was positively stupid value. Similar situation with Tanaka , who had good peripherals late last year and was a big target of mine.

Carpenter gave me a scare with his slow start, but exploded and became an MVP candidate. Huge value in the 9th. That said, he hit terribly the last few weeks and, along with Cruz, was the kind of guy I had to keep trotting out there (especially since HRs were close), even though the two of them were one of the reasons I just missed that AVG cluster I mentioned.

I've been a big Castellanos fan for awhile, too, and he was a bargain in the 11th.

Tremendous value across the middle-rounds, but largely offset by those early-round busts and disappointments, in a nutshell.