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State Of The State
I was updating the state of my four outsourced NFBC teams for most of the year, but had held off the last two months because (a) the Main Event team was in first place, and I didn’t feel like writing about how it had dropped into second; and (b) I had been busy with NFL posts.
But now that the season’s over, it’s time for a full accounting. Before I share the final standings, though, I want to swing back to how things were going in May, five weeks into the season:
I didn’t have a single team in single digits, and keep in mind three of the leagues were 12-teamers.
Here’s how it shook out in the end:
If you click to enlarge the image, you’ll see it’s a second place, two thirds and a seventh. Only the second cashed ($3,500 for the Main Event), which I’ll split with Dusty Wagner who managed it, and it pays for my entire entry fee. The other three were freerolls of sorts (the BCLs), so my net for baseball season was exactly $0. I’m okay with that because my goal really isn’t to win a couple thousand dollars (though that would be nice), but to win a Main Event overall. Getting what amounted to a free-roll for that contest still feels like a W to me.
. . .
Heading into the last day of the season, the seventh-place team was in sixth (I was hoping for top-half in every league) and one of the thirds was in second and cashing for $700, which I would have split with Ryan Garofalo (55 for him, 45 for me due to our Corbin Burnes/Lance Lynn bet.) Ironically, he won that bet, but it earned him zero thanks in large part to Lynn, the very guy he bet against! It’s almost worth not cashing to know that he got nothing for his bet!
Seriously though, if you want to know how close we were to cashing, we lost out by one point, and here were the standings in runs:
A single run gives us a share of second, though I think we would only have been tied in that case.
. . .
Alex Puma’s third-place team had a massive final surge and nearly cashed out of nowhere. It finished 454th overall (out of 2,460 teams), which is often good enough to cash, but in this case fell a couple points short, oddly, of Jack Kitchen’s team, and Kitchen was managing the one that finished seventh.
. . .
Kitchen’s seventh place team was the worst drafted of the four. He stuck with it all year, but couldn’t overcome some of the picks like Fernando Tatis (78 RBI)/Yordan Alvarez (77 runs, zero steals) in Round 1, Daulton Varsho at the 3/4 turn and Lance Lynn whose 5.73 ERA plagued all my teams. He deserved better.
. . .
Finally, my best team was my most important, the Main Event, though FantasyPros didn’t entirely agree in March after the draft:
If you’re ever worried about what the ingenious algorithm there thinks of your draft, worry no more.
I gave Dusty great hitting, with the only real error being Tatis at 17, and even then he went 25/29 despite missing a month and having whatever sub’s stats tacked onto that. Otherwise I had Betts at 14, Corbin Carroll/Matt Olson at the 3/4 turn, Wander Franco in the sixth, Josh Jung and Spencer Torkelson late, among others. Plenty of power, more than enough speed.
But the pitching I got for him was abominable: I got Kenley Jansen, but the other two closers (David Robertson and Michael Fulmer) didn’t pan out. And the starting pitching was even worse: the aforementioned Lynn was the “ace” of the staff, and he really was compared the the No. 2 Luis Severino. (I landed on Severino when the guy at the turn snaked me on Clayton Kershaw. What a difference that would have made.)
My No. 3 starter Freddy Peralta was very solid, but the No. 4 was Dustin May who was out for the year in May. (Maybe I should have drafted Dustin September.) Starter No. 5 was Andrew Heaney who had a brief run before blowing up in August. My late Taijuan Walker and Michael Wacha picks salvaged it slightly, but you can see this staff would be lucky to get 25 points in the pitching standings. Dusty got us 43, including a 15 in wins and a 12 in Ks.
Key pickups were: Tanner Bibee (130 IP, 3.04 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 128 Ks, eight wins), Logan Allen (91.1 IP, 2.96 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 87 Ks, six wins), Reese Olson (86 IP, 3.56 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 86 Ks 5 wins) and Kenta Maeda (80 IP, 3.38 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 94 Ks, six wins.) That’s yeoman’s work in a 15-team league with sharp owners.
He also boosted the hitting with Matt McLain, Logan O’Hoppe, Tommy Pham, Ryan Mountcastle and Yoan Moncada, something we needed when Franco was suspended for pedophilia (it’s on me for not foreseeing the risk) and Jung got hurt.
Had I taken Kershaw instead of Severino, Sonny Gray later (who I always have on my teams but not this year) or Justin Steele who I was on before his injury scare in camp, we’d be talking about an overall cash instead of second place. Woulda, coulda, shoulda.
. . .
All told, it was a solid and enjoyable season, the first baseball one I’ve enjoyed from start to finish in a long time. I chose good managers who worked hard all year on the teams, and I’d have any or all of them back again if they were up for it.