As we are now in the throes of draft season, this time I want to discuss my upcoming Murphy League Draft which uses the Scoresheet format.
Zito: quite valauble
Scoresheet is a head-to-head simulation contest that translates current stats of the major leaguers into weekly matchups within the league.
Murphy is a pretty shallow set-up, with 24 teams compounded by a 37-player draft that allows a soft eight freezes plus one prospect who automatically becomes the 19th-round pick for teams freezing such a player.
In my case I dropped Jedd Gyorko in the 19th position, but this year I did not feel I had enough keepers to freeze eight regulars. That means for me, and the other 18 teams who faced a similar lack of talent, we all get to draft from the non-keeper pile until all 24 teams have eight players.
And, then the snake draft begins, starting with the team that finished last to the title winner, and back around till all 37 rounds are completed.
Needless to say it is a long and somewhat grueling affair -- any draft that lasts longer than five hours qualifies as such for me -- and this year I am planning on attending the draft in person as it will be housed at Willie McCovey's restaurant in Walnut Creek, Calif.
I actually went toward freeze day with just six keepers, however in looking to rebuild I did have an extra 16th-, 17th-, and 27th-round pick. So, I was able to swap my 18th-rounder for Jonathan Lucroy, bringing me up to a magic seven keepers, along with Gyorko.
What I did find interesting this time was how many teams -- 19 to be sure, including mine -- did not feel they had enough talent to freeze the full complement of allowable players.
And, though I have never really done any research as to the norm, I do know this is the first time I have never kept eight over my five years' worth of freeze dates in Murphy.
Now, I am not sure if this is because the Murphy League is mimicking our economy by spreading the riches of stars around a few squads, or if like me a chunk of other owners were willing to give up some of their better players for future considerations, thus making the rich richer.
I do know in addition to Lucroy and Gyorko, I kept Albert Pujols, Erick Aybar, Alex Gordon, Clayton Kershaw, Shaun Marcum, and Roy Halladay.
That means I need to cover second and third and a couple of outfield spots, and pick up two more starters plus someone who can DH to cover the basics, for in Murphy we play a nine-man roster supported by a five-man rotation every week. Note that we are allowed to set both left- and right-handed rosters each week, and also that defense is factored into our games, adding a layer of complexity.
In the past I have had pretty good success in Murphy, making the playoffs and World Series twice in four years, then missing the other two, but still registering a .500-pluss record.
So, my big question going into this weekend's conclave is sort of a combination of who will be out there, and what holes do I fill first?
I am inclined to fill out my rotation as good starting pitching is indeed paramount in Scoresheet as I have discovered. In addition, fourth and fifth starters like Barry Zito and Mark Buehrle are far more valuable in this format than they seem to be in straight roto ball. Additionally, they are more highly regarded, and both of them will be out there.
I have to say it took me a while to get into the Scoresheet groove, but since I have been in the league this long, I really enjoy it. I do think it does behoove us to play different formats as I think playing with different rules and setups allows us to see things that occur on the field and within our games that otherwise we might not see.
And, I think that is what affords the opportunities to make us better players irrespective of format.
Natch, I will report back the results of the soiree and the season as it progresses.
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About Lawr Michaels, MastersBall.com
Lawr Michaels has been a player in the fantasy baseball industry since he began writing for John Benson in 1993. He has written for STATS, Inc, was the first fantasy columnist for CBS Sportsline, and has appeared in numerous journals and on websites. In 1996, he founded CREATiVESPORTS, a staple for serious fantasy players, which he merged into Mastersball in 2010.
Over the years, Lawr has participated in a wide variety of playing formats and won numerous titles, including AL Tout Wars crowns in 2001 and 2009. Along with his Mastersball duties, Lawr works for MLB.com as a statistician.
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