Fantasy Baseball's Tumbling Dice: Refusing to wave the white flag

by Lawr Michaels, MastersBall.com on June 3, 2014 @ 08:29:07 PDT

 


Last week, on these very KFFL pages, my mate Lord Todd Zola asked the fantasy Knights as we rounded the Memorial Day milepost How to fix your last place team.

If you click to Todd’s narrative, you will see that our comrades -- Rob Leibowitz, Perry Van Hook, Ryan Carey, and Tim Heaney -- all opined one what they would do.

OF Mark Trumbo, Arizona Diamondbacks
Trumbo could be a jumbo help

Of course there were the requisite sell high, buy dirt, never give up, and of course have fun comments that we would all expect, and the reality is there is some wisdom to all those thoughts.

But, as I traded emails with Todd, he noted his question was not so hypothetical: that his last place Mixed LABR team, thanks to the wonders of the modern broken ballplayer body, is suffering thusly.

I understand and feel his pain.

But there is a difference between Todd’s M*A*S*H unit of a team, and my 11th-place collection of NL LABR underachievers. For I would feel better about my team if I could claim lost time a la Adam LaRoche and Kris Medlen and Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes, as Todd has.

In fact, the only guy we have in common on the injured list is Mark Trumbo, a hitter who did indeed start hot, and whom I certainly could use to return to form sooner rather than later.

As it stands, I am 39.5 points out of first place, with decent pitching, a struggling offense, and, aside from Matt Wisler and Maikel Franco, no actual "prospects" (pun intended) with four months of tough play ahead.

As I noted in my response to Todd, the fix my team needs are a hot bat from Matt Kemp and Will Venable (well, any kind of bat from him), the return of Trumbo, and maybe the trade of an impact player to the NL so I can spend my $97 of FAAB.

The thing is, realistically, I know this is simply one of those years. We all have them, where injuries and poor performance, off -- years that all converge at the same time. This happens in fantasy, and if you asked Joe Maddon, he would tell you it happens in the real world as well.

But, the other thing is that if I look at the points, I can move up as follows:

  • 40 runs = 2 points
  • 20 homers = 4 points
  • 40 RBI = 6 points
  • 20 steals = 7.5 points
  • .10 in average = 2 points
  • 10 wins = 8 points
  • .30 lower in ERA = 5 points
  • 0 saves = maxed out in third place
  • 50 whiffs = 3 points
  • .03 lower in WHIP = 2 points

That totals exactly 39.5 points, and though that wish list, if you will, looks like a pipe dream, offensively I do have Trumbo, Kemp, Aaron Hill, and Venable, each of whom could contribute 10 more homers than their pace simply by getting hot and take care of the bulk of offensive numbers.

For steals, if the same Venable character and Emilio Bonifacio and Jose Tabata pick their swipes back up, again, we are there.

Among my starters, Cole Hamels, Marco Estrada, Andrew Cashner (in returning from the DL) and Alex Wood (simply by going back into the rotation) can pick it up; my pitching can similarly do their thing.

Now again, I realize this is lofty, and similarly I have to remember that this extra production needs to be above and beyond the numbers I am accumulating on a daily basis. Although the reality is, were my team producing on a daily basis, I would not be in this situation.

However, since I am, as said, in 11th place, that doesn't seem like such a difficult task.

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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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