Lord Zola's Fantasy Baseball Mailbag

by Todd Zola, MastersBall.com on March 21, 2011 @ 10:29:33 PDT


Home, sweet home. I just got in after spending the weekend in New York City for Tout Wars. I participated in the American League auction, helped administer the mixed auction, which featured KFFL's own Nick Minnix and Tim Heaney, then served as auctioneer for the National League auction. I thought I would post my team from the American League team. As you will see, I bucked the current conventional trend and spent more on pitching than usual.

If you have any questions on any players or the strategy, please email then to lordzola@kffl.com, post them on the KFFL Baseball Facebook page or via Twitter by following @KFFL_Baseball.

Let's see what we have lined up for today.

Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Colorado Rockies

Hi Todd, I'm curious, who are your top-15 hitters and top-10 pitchers for standard 5x5 roto leagues. - Joey Brooks

I will list my top-15 hitters and 10-pitchers in terms of raw value and then I will share my personal rankings for drafting purposes followed by an explanation of the differences.

Hitters: Raw value

1. Albert Pujols
2. Miguel Cabrera
3. Carl Crawford
4. Joey Votto
5. Hanley Ramirez
6. Ryan Braun
7. Adrian Gonzalez
8. Evan Longoria
9. Mark Teixeira
10. Matt Holliday
11. Carlos Gonzalez
12. Troy Tulowitzki
13. Robinson Cano
14. Joe Mauer
15. David Wright

Lord Zola's hitters rankings for snake drafts

1. Albert Pujols - if you choose anyone other than Pujols, you are trying to be too smart.
2. Miguel Cabrera - not concerned (yet) about off the field issues.
3. Hanley Ramirez - others have him second and I will not argue.
4. Evan Longoria - partially due to position, partially because I think last year will turn out to be the outlier.
5. Troy Tulowitzki - promise me he will play 150-155 games and he'll be No. 2.
6. Ryan Braun - slight risk as there are worrisome trends, but I like his chances to reverse them.
7. Carlos Gonzalez - upside is through the roof.
8. Carl Crawford - drop due to the percentage of his value from speed and the ease of being able to acquire steals later
9. Joey Votto - how come no one else is worried about Votto's high BABIP?
10. Alex Rodriguez - head says to be conservative with playing time, heart says A-Rod will basically play a full year and the heart wins.
11. David Wright - always excels at two of three from power, speed and average.
12. Mark Teixeira - position drops him down a notch or two.
13. Robinson Cano - lack of steals and a deeper than perceived second base pool drop Cano for me
14. Adrian Gonzalez - if it were only the leap of faith that the move to Fenway helps or only the concern about recovery from shoulder surgery to worry about, he would be higher, but with both, he drops.
15. Matt Holliday - there is no way the other 14 will all go before Holliday so the good news is I can usually get Holliday in the second round of a 14-team draft.

Pitchers: Raw value

1. Roy Halladay
2. Tim Lincecum
3. Felix Hernandez
4. Cliff Lee
5. Dan Haren
6. Justin Verlander
7. Jon Lester
8. Jered Weaver
9. CC Sabathia
10. Clayton Kershaw

Felix Hernandez, SP, Seattle Mariners

Lord Zola's hitters rankings for snake drafts

1. Roy Halladay - the Pujols of pitching
2. Felix Hernandez - proper projection theory assumes some regression, but King Felix's growth could mask that
3. Tim Lincecum - I will put him here, but I would not take; I would wait for the next tier
4. Cliff Lee - same as Lincecum, it is not because of a lack of confidence in the pitchers but the preference of offense early.
5. Justin Verlander - first guy in the tier I will start picking.
6. Jon Lester - solid April away from a Cy Young
7. Jered Weaver - believe the skills improvements are real
8. Clayton Kershaw - could have the best upside of anyone not nicknamed King
9. CC Sabathia - we keep expressing concern over workload and one of these years, we will be right and with the quality of the other options, why take the chance it is this year?
10. Dan Haren - just like Holliday above, since I value him more, I can wait on him and get him and someone else first and Haren later.

When Todd is not explaining his bromance on Austin Kearns, you can usually find him hanging out on the forum at Mastersball.

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About Todd Zola, MastersBall.com

Focusing primarily on the science of player valuation and game theory starting in 1997, Todd Zola and Mastersball carved out an important niche in the fantasy industry. In 2006, Todd became the Research Director for fantasybaseball.com, and in 2009, he relaunched Mastersball and is now a managing partner.

Todd competes in Tout Wars and the XFL, and has been a multiple-time league champion in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. He has been a contributor to the fantasy content at MLB.com and SI.com, is a frequent guest on Sirius/XM and Blog Talk Radio and is an annual speaker at the spring and fall First Pitch Forum symposiums.

MastersBall.com Fantasy Baseball

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