Captain's Fantasy Baseball Log: Ron Shandler's One-Month Leagues

by on July 8, 2013 @ 10:40:00 PDT


By Perry Van Hook

Lord Zola's questions for his Knights this week were about Ron Shandler's new monthly rotisserie contest (see details at Had they entered a team and what did they think about the contest and their strategy to win a one-month competition?

Cleveland Indians C/1B/3B Yan Gomes
Gomes: Yan can do it all

For those of you who didn't enter the contest or haven't read about it (see MastersBlog), the contest is a 4x4, 30-man roster for one month's play with 23 starters and seven reserves who must fit the salary cap with prices based on performance to date.

Most of the answers were the obvious two camps -- those who had entered and those who weren't aware of the contest or didn't have time to enter before the June 30 deadline. And several shared their teams.

While I hadn't entered the contest, I did look at the replies as they entered my inbox. And when Lawr Michaels shared his squad that had only one reserve pitcher, I made my first reply to the group -- "looks very short on pitching." This quickly turned into a discussion of strategy where I was somewhat surprised by the opposition to my suggestion that with twice a week lineup changes -- Monday and Friday -- most of the reserves should be pitchers.

This is not something I suggested without quite a bit of experience with the twice a week format. You see, the FBPC main event which debuted this year with a $50,000 grand prize as well as the now defunct WCOFB both used the Monday and Friday lineups, as has Mastersballer Greg Morgan. In fact, Greg has two teams both in the top 10 in the FBPC this year, one with his father and one named Captain Morgan (thus you can easily guess his partner). Our Captain Morgan collaboration twice won our league and finished in the top 10 overall in the WCOFB.

So I feel pretty strongly that the strategy for Shandler's contest would be to have five of my seven reserves be pitchers so I could maximize my number of starts each week. When I had a good SP with a two-start week, I would keep him in my lineup both periods. When one of the starts is risky for a non-stud starter, I could sit him that period. And, if I didn't have enough good to great starts, I could play an additional reliever since the category is not saves but saves+holds. In fact, since there is no WHIP category (W, K, SV+HLD, ERA), both the high strikeout setup relievers as well as high strikeout starters who walk too many but have decent ERAs are more playable.

Pitchers are a less stable group than hitters, and in a one-month contest you should be able to choose hitters with a higher reliability of loss of playing time than in a season-long event. Of course, that means that you should maximize roster versatility with very good players with multi-position eligibility, so Matt Carpenter would be high on my list regardless of his salary. I would also carry a player with catcher eligibility that plays another position just in case. With Evan Gattis now on the DL, my first choice there would be Cleveland's Yan Gomes.

It will be interesting to see the composition of the winning rosters in August (the contest extended a few games to compensate for the All-Star break). I suspect they will have a minimum of 13 pitchers on their rosters.

Now I will disclose the reason I did not enter the contest, as I told Ron and then sent to Todd and the Knights. I play in 13 leagues and currently lead seven of those with only two teams out of contention, and have even made the decision not to be in Las Vegas for the high stakes fantasy football drafts in September to concentrate fully on my baseball efforts.

Flags fly forever -- and most of those have $ instead of stars on them.

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