Fantasy Baseball's Tumbling Dice: Deal or no deal?

by Lawr Michaels, on April 22, 2014 @ 09:17:40 PDT


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I'm getting a horrible sense of deja vu in the National League LABR game as we round out the first month of the season.

SP Jordan Zimmermann, Washington Nationals
Zimmermann on his way out?

Last year I finished a decent fourth, with easily the best pitching in the league, grabbing around 50 points from my hurlers but just around 20 hitting points, where I suffered a lack of pop despite having a very good team average and some speed.

I tend to draft pitching, figuring you can never have enough, trying to make it through the offense with a couple of lesser bangers. Not to mention I always think I can trade pitching later, for as noted, one can never have enough.

So, this season I did sort of go the same route, establishing dominant pitching with Jordan Zimmermann, Andrew Cashner, Alex Wood, Marco Estrada and Cole Hamels as my core, and Sergio Romo along with Jonathan Papelbon in the pen.

During the first week I slipped Hamels onto the DL and grabbed Aaron Harang out of the free agent pool for $1, and again began the push to dominating the arms race with 51.5 points through the weekend.

However, my offense was again suffering, despite my acquisition of streaky but powerful Mark Trumbo, and yet-to-get-hot-and-will-hopefully-stay-healthy Matt Kemp.

And, though my squad is last in offense, now with under 20 points, it is not so much the recent struggles of Mssrs. Kemp and Trumbo that are hurting me. In fact, a bad week of hitting (.251-1-15), Week 3, is what started to hurt in a competition that looks like it will be very tight for the coming year.

That is because as of the Monday morning numbers yesterday, 10 points separated first place from ninth place, and it does indeed look like this trend will continue.

Since it is early still, a couple of good weeks of hitting would put us back among the top three teams, rather than the middle three, although in looking at the numbers, I do have one big issue: at-bats.

Week 1 found me 69 at-bats fewer than the most in the league, and Week 2 was much the same, with my squad accumulating 60 fewer. By the completion of Week 3, we were 200 at-bats below the team with the most full-timers, ranking 11th in total at-bats, 74 behind the 10th-place team of Rick Wolf and Glenn Colton.

While Kemp and Trumbo and my other players can get hotter than July, it is impractical to expect my offense can compete with that big a gap in at-bats, plain and simple.

That is because the source of counting stats are innings if you are a pitcher, and at-bats if you are a hitter.

What did Lawr decide to do?

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About Lawr Michaels,

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 as a statistician. Fantasy Baseball

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