Category: 2013 Fantasy Season

Winning Fantasy Baseball 2013 Head to Head Points

The 2013 fantasy baseball season is in the books.  There were sleepers who excelled, sleepers who kept on sleeping, breakouts that broke out and breakouts that just broke.  This post is going to discuss strategies and other aspects of a fantasy season that went well for my H2H points league.

Strategy going in:  With rosters locking weekly, this eliminates streaming pitchers.  I wanted to maximize starts for my pitchers, so I targeted starting pitchers with RP eligibility.  I drafted Medlen (as my second pitcher, after Kershaw), and got lucky with an week 1 or 2 add of Iwakuma.  I rode Iwakuma and Medlen all season long as my RPs.  After I established my RP advantage, I focused on two start pitchers.  I had a staff of Kershaw, Lester, and Peavy, but frequently was starting fringe guys with two starts.  I drafted hitter heavy in my draft, and had a couple huge free agent pickups very early in the season.

Free Agent Pick Ups:  I snagged Matt Carpenter in the first few weeks of the season, and I added Jean Segura when Jose Reyes went down. These guys turned out to be huge contributors to my team already rostering, Ortiz, Zimmerman, Bautista, Prado, Butler, Gordon.  I also took advantage of early season struggling player who were dropped by their managers.  Cespedes, and Ian Desmond.

Summary:  I was told that pitching wins these head to head leagues.  That may be true, but I still argued that I could find pitching, and that I didn’t have to draft it early.  I took Kershaw in the second round (I


Winning Rotisserie Baseball 2013

Playoff baseball is underway.  That mean there is lots of exciting baseball to come, but it also means that the fantasy baseball season has come to a close.  I enjoyed a successful 2013 and wanted to discuss what went right for me.  This is a fun way for me to reflect on the moves and strategies I made this season, while possibly helping to succeed next year as well.  This post is regarding a 12 team keeper ROTO league.

Keepers:  Before the 2013 draft I took some key players into the draft already on my roster.  Chris Davis, Dustin Pedroia, Carlos Santana, Mike Minor, Pedro Alvarez, Jay Bruce, and Adam Jones.  These guys were all relatively cheap dollar amounts allowing me some spending cash going into the auction.  Note:  I had attempted in the off season to trade Chris Davis for… wait for it… Edwin Jackson… glad that one didn’t go through.

Pre-draft Strategy:  I looked up the results from our last years league and what statistics were earned in each category.  Through this information and the projections I was using for my keepers and the players in the draft, I could start trying to plan how I wanted to build my team to reach my statistical goals in each category.

The Draft:  Aware of the possible PED scare, I drafted Braun at what I thought to be a discount (in a keeper league).  I also added Adrian Gonzalez and Derek Holland.  These three were pretty much my only contributors to my season.  I did however draft Oscar Taveras, who I traded for Gio Gonzalez later in the season.

The Season:  As the season started, I found that my team had a tremendous amount of power.  At the time I didn’t know if Chris Davis was going to continue his production, but I very quickly jumped out to a sizable lead in runs, homeruns, and RBIs, while still doing very well in batting average.  I was short on speed, but knew that would be the easiest to add later in the season, so I continued to just pile on the power numbers till the last month of the season.  By that time I had such a sizable lead I could start adding stolen base guys to earn very valuable late season points.  My pitching all season long was middle of the pack in about everything.  I enjoyed cheap starters Minor and Holland, until I decided to make some moves to go for the win.

The Late Season Push:  Being a keeper league it is easier to add high end talent for young promising (or cheap) players.  I made the decision to go for the championship THIS year.  Through a couple deal I traded away, Minor, Holland, Profar, Myers, Alvarez, Cishek, and received; Ellsbury, Hamels, Price, Cargo, Kinsler.  I completely sold the farm to win this year, and would do so again.

Targeting Categories:  After these moves, I wasn’t done yet.  Once there was a month left in the season I started targeting categories that I could make up points in.  I had a sizable lead in the power categories so I could drop guys like Josh Hamilton, Pablo Sandoval, etc. to add guys like Rajai Davis, and Craig Gentry.  I also started steaming pitchers.  I took huge point leaps in Quality Starts and Ks.

Summary:  I won the league in large part thanks to Chris Davis.  I expected 30 HRs from him and a horrible batting average and got much more than that.  I also was able to add closers throughout the season and finished first in saves without having to invest heavily in the draft.  I made trades to win NOW, though Wil Myers ended up producing more down the stretch than Cargo.  I put almost all my money in hitting and traded for and streamed pitchers to win the league.

Winning Head to Head Points Fantasy Baseball 2013

The 2013 fantasy baseball season is in the books.  There were sleepers who excelled, sleepers who kept on sleeping, breakouts that broke out and breakouts that just broke.  This post is going to discuss strategies and other aspects of a fantasy season that went well for my H2H points league.

Pitching strategy going in:  With rosters locking weekly, this eliminates streaming pitchers.  I wanted to maximize starts for my pitchers, so I targeted starting pitchers with RP eligibility.  I drafted Aroldis Chapman (when I thought he would start in the 5th round and then Medlen in the 6th.  When Chapman was announced as closer I traded him for Alex Gordon, after I  added  Iwakuma in the first few weeks of the season.  It turned out that Chapman scored the exact same amount of points in our league as Medlen.  I rode Iwakuma and Medlen all season long as my RPs.  Iwakuma ended up being the highest scoring RP.  After I established my RP advantage, I focused on two start pitchers.  I had a staff of Kershaw, Lester, and Peavy, but frequently was starting fringe guys with two starts.

Hitting strategy:  I used projections that combine many sources, and made my own player rankings based off the projections and the scoring in my league.  I frequently hear that pitching wins H2H points leagues, but I still felt I could find pitching later, and draft pretty hitter heavy in the early rounds.  I also had a few huge waiver moves, it is here where I probably won my league.

Waiver wire pickups:  I already mentioned I added Iwakuma in the first few weeks of the season.  The same week I added Iwakuma I added Matt Carpenter.  Carpenter turned out to be the 7th ranked hitter in an ESPN standard scoring league.  I also added Jean Segura when Jose Reyes got hurt.  These two guys provided a huge lift for me.  (By the time Segura cooled off I had Jose Reyes back).  I was also able to take advantage of managers who were down on their under-performers, by being able to add Cespedes and Ian Desmond after they were dropped.

Summary:  I believe I won this league out of the waiver wire.  Kershaw was a beast, but I also had to overcome early picks underperforming like Bautista, and Reyes.  In a 10 team league I was able to consistently stream two start pitchers like, Cole, Gray, Lackey, and other guys of that caliber.  This allowed me to draft heavier on hitting and take advantage of my hitters outhitting the other teams in my league, while not suffering from a lack of pitching.

Jurickson Profar Called Up, But Will He Stick?

The Texas Rangers placed Ian Kinsler on the 15 day DL and called up Jurickson Profar from AAA.  Profar being the number one rated prospect in baseball, is sure to be a hot pick up.  But when Kinsler returns from his DL stint, Profar may find himself back at AAA.  With Andrus and his new contract filling SS, Moreland playing well at 1B, and Berkman still healthy, Profar may find himself back at AAA with no spot to play in the bigs.

Fantasy Baseball All April Team

We have one month of the 2013 baseball season in the books.  With the all-star ballots already out (ridiculous I know), I thought we ought to discuss the All April Team.

All April Fantasy Team

Catcher: Wilin Rosario – R:12  HR:7  RBI:19  SB:3  AVG:.350  

Rosario had a strong rookie season last year showing real power potential.  Lots of fantasy owners had high hopes for the young catcher hitting in Coors, and so far he has delivered.  I wouldn’t expect to see him capture 3 SBs each month but that is just gravy.  The power is their and if he produces a solid AVG as he has thus far, we could be talking about a top ranked catcher at the end of the year

First Base: Chris Davis – R:19  HR:9  RBI:28  SB:0  AVG:.348

You knew this guy was gonna show up on the team.  It was just a matter of at 1B or among the OFs.  So My apologies to Prince Fielder.  He proved the power and promise was legit last year, but many weren’t sold on the batting average.  So far he is showing a lower strikeout rate, and that he can hit the ball all over the field.  The RBI are pretty hard to continue,  but if Davis produces close to this level, we are talking about a top tier offense in Baltimore.

Second Base: Chase Utley – R:15  HR:5  RBI:19  SB:4  AVG:.296

I’m aware that I should have put Cano here, and probably Kinsler after that, but what is the fun in that?  Utley has gotten off the a hot start, and was excited to start a season where he wasn’t fielding ground balls off a stool.  A full spring training has led to a productive start to the year.  I am not enthused by the Phillies lineup, but do not think that will have a major impact on Utley as long as he is healthy.

Short Stop: Jean Segura – R:13  HR:3  RBI:9  SB:7  AVg:.367

A very impressive start for Segura.  Some in the baseball industry saw this coming, but most fantasy owners did not see THIS!  The speed was expected to be there along with his impressive defense (not that it matters much), but he has shown some pop and a knack for getting on base ( yes even stealing first base).  The Angels might be wanting a redo on the Greinke rental that cost them Segura.  

Third Base: Mark Reynolds – R:20  HR:8  RBI:15  SB:4  AVG:.305

If you exited the window as soon as your saw Mark, and not Miguel I would understand.  Chances are Cabrera will be a part of a few more All Month (and season) teams, so why not celebrate Reynolds while we can.  With Reynolds you expect the power, but missed it last year.  Without the power you have a .200 hitting dud, but the power is back and his average is up.  Don’t count on the average to stick, but job well done thus far Reynolds.

Outfield: Justin Upton – R:22  HR:12  RBI:19  SB:3  AVG:.298

Wait a second you are going to put Justin Upton on here but not Cano and Cabrera?  Yes, yes I am.  Upton fell 6 HRs shy of matching his total for the 2012 season.  If you believe in playing with your brother magic or not this guy is tearing the cover off the ball. Sure most the Homers were solo shots and that team strikes out a ton, but I wouldn’t be shocked if we are talking about an MVP year for Upton.  Certainly not a sell high guy, I am buying him as an elite player this year.  We all knew that the potential was there for the last few years.

Outfield: Coco Crisp – R:24  HR:5  RBI:12  SB:8  AVG:.283

When healthy this guy is a stolen base machine, who has enough pop to not be a one dimensional Rajai Davis type.  Well he may have used up the rest of his pop for the season, and maybe the rest of his health (He is on the DL as I write this), but he gave your team a nice boost to lead things off at least.

Outfield: Dexter Fowler – R:20  HR:8  RBI:15  SB:4  AVG:.305

Again apologies to Bryce Harper who has absolutely carried the slow starting Nationals offense.  Fowler entering that magical age 27 season, may have finally put it all together.  His extra base power and playing in Coors makes the HRs somewhat believable and he has the speed to steal.  And with their new manager in Colorado it looks like that whole team is going to be swiping a lot of bases.  Regression could be in store for Fowler but their are reasons to believe as well.

Starting Pitcher: Matt Harvey – IP:40.1  K:46  ERA:1.56  WHIP:.82 

If you own a TV or computer you are probably aware of Harvey’s successes.  In the past Harvey has shown some problems with his control, so you may not want to go out and sell the farm for him.  With that said he does have ace like stuff and if he keeps his walks low, this guy could easily lead your fantasy staff.

Starting Pitcher: Matt Moore – IP: 32  K:38  ERA:1.13  WHIP .88

Some fantasy analysts (Jason Collette being one of them) suggested that Moore, could have a break out part similar to his teammate David Price’s this year.  So far so good on that one.  Moore is another guy that came up with tons of hype, and with innings and experience logged he could deliver in 2013.

Starting Pitcher:  Clay Buchholz – IP: 37.2  K:39  ERA:1.19  WHIP:1.01

This is not the first time we have seen flashes of brilliance from Buchholz.  And maybe new/returning coach Farrell really is a magician with the Boston pitching staff.  With that said, he is a big sell high guy entering the second month of the season, that is if you play with fantasy managers where that actually works.

Bonus Starting Pitcher: Hisashi Iwakuma – IP:37.2  K:37  ERA:1.67  WHIP:.69

Starting Pitcher Studs : Darvish, Kershaw, Wainwright

Relief Pitcher: Jason Grilli – IP:11  SV:10  K:17  ERA:.82  WHIP:.82

Apparently Hanrahan had affirmed Grilli’s ability to do this job, and he was right.  Grilli has been perfect in his saves opp this year and has accumulated 10 in May.  He looks great, and has a strong bullpen around him which help preserve his save opportunities.

Relief Pitcher: Aroldis Champan – IP:13.1  SV:6  K:21  ERA:.68  WHIP:.60

I know this is an easy one, but I couldn’t help it.  If you were hoping he’d start this year, well I am sorry but hey maybe he will still strike out 200!  Chapman doing Chapman things and striking out almost two batters an inning.

Bonus Relief Pitcher: Jim Johnson – IP:14  SV:10  K:12  ERA:.64  WHIP:1.00

Fantasy Baseball Players to Watch/Sleepers

Most leagues have drafted by now.  After time spend researching and going with our guts it is reasonable to want to wait and see where those players take our teams.  Aside from the few spots to fill after finally throwing a guy onto the DL now is a time to wait and watch.  Here are some players who I will be keeping a close eye on for the early season, with my mouse, finger, over the “add” button and the guys on my watch list.

Gerardo Parra – If given playing time, he always seems to produce.

Drew Stubbs – A great speed and power talent, but what about the batting average?

Jed Lowrie – He is healthy and playing SS, always does well when healthy.

Yonder Alonso- A once big time prospect, has more than gotten his feet wet, and the fences have come in at his home ballpark.

Brian Roberts/ Carlos Quentin – If they can stay healthy or if you can just plug them in WHILE they are healthy, usually worth the production.

Chacin – Terrible place to pitch, but still waiting for a break out.

Bedard – If healthy could help your team…just not in wins.

Cashner – If he gets a chance to start could get a lot of Ks with his big time heat.

Detwiler – Some fantasy analysis are predicting big things for Detwiler.

MLB 2013 Predictions

MLB 2013 Predictions

 NL West

Dodgers – Kershaw leads the way and new additions Gonzalez, Ramirez, and Beckett return to old form.

Giants – Replicate formula with improved Lincecum &even better Bumgarner.  (Wild Card)

D-Backs – Gritty style of play and superb pitching and defense kept the team competitive all year.

Padres – Headley proves 2012 was no joke, and Alonso enjoys moved in home run fence.

Rockies – Tulo and Gonzalez combine for 65 HRs, and 40 SBs, and Pomeranz shows promise.

NL Central

Reds – Votto crushes the ball and stays healthy, Cueto and Bruce continue to improve.

Cardinals – Wainwright back to old form, Craig outshines Beltran, and same old Holliday.

Pirates – Roster depth and contributions from younger players help McCutchen and Pirates over .500

Brewers – Surprisingly good pitching rotations keeps Braun and Brewers in most games.

Cubs – Samardzjia takes a step forward, Garza and Soriano go for prospects and hope for better days.

NL East

Nationals – Pitching dominates, Strasburg hits 200 IPs, Bullpen is best in the league.

Braves – Outfield combines for 80 HRs, 300 RBIs, Minor and Medlen shine. (Wild Card)

Phillies – The old core Utley, &Howard prove healthy, and strong pitching keeps them close.

Mets – Youngsters Wheeler, D’Arnaud, and Harvey join with Wright for hopes of the future.

Marlins – Stanton crushed 50 Homeruns but not enough to carry team to .500 record.

AL West

Rangers – Hamilton isn’t missed, roster depth and steps forward from Darvish and Holland propel team.

Athletics – Coliseum benefits Parker, Griffin, & Anderson. Cespedes hits 30HRs.(Wild Card)

Angels – Big numbers for Trout, Pujols, and Hamilon, but pitching suffers. (Wild Card)

Mariners – Seager shows promise, Felix and Iwakuma good, young arms shine late.

Astros – Altuve can’t steal enough bases to overcome lowest win total in the league.

AL Central

Tigers – Cabrera and Verlander pick up where they left off, Scherzer steps into elite.

White Sox – Pitching is strong despite injuries to Sale and Peavy.  Konerko continues to hit.

Royals – Shields boosts team, and young stars Hosmer, Perez, and Moustakas deliver.

Indians –Defense and Brantley, and Kipnis not enough.  Cabrera traded mid-season.

Twins – Willingham and Plouffe provide power, but pitching gets shelled all season.

AL East

Blue Jays – Stars Reyes, Bautista, Dickey, Johnson, come together new power in East.

Rays – Excellent pitching helps struggling offense until a new spark is lit by Wil Myers.

Red Sox – Lester and staff get back on track, but often injured Ortiz and Ellsbury sputter.

Yankees – Cano with power, & Gardner with speed, but DL ridden pitching staff collapses.

Orioles – Pitching staff can’t compete, Machado, Jones, and Davis provide pop.

NL MVP – Joey Votto – Fully healthy his power returns, and he competes for the triple crown.

AL MVP – Miguel Cabrera – Continues to dominate and enjoys having Martinez and Hunter in the lineup.

NL CY Young – Clayton Kershaw – Leads the league in , Wins, ERA, Ks, and makes batters look silly.

AL CY Young – Justin Verlander – Not to be outdone by Price, he battles and leads team to playoffs giving him the edge.

NL ROY (revised after Eaton’s injury) – Travis D’Arnaud – An early call up to the majors and D’Arnaud is ready.  He also gets bonus points for playing Catcher.

AL ROY – Wil Myers – Gets the call 2 months into the season, and excites with pure power.

Dodgers over Tigers in World Series.