Archive for the ‘Fantasy Baseball’ Category

Dethroning Allan, Week Seven

What a crazy week! And more specifically, what a crazy weekend. At least it was for me. I apologize for the weekly power rankings being late, so if you don’t mind, lets just get right into it before we waste any more time!

 

Week Seven Power Rankings

1) WillisBeTheYear- For the first time all year, we have a change at the top. Willis gets a huge win in our game of the week and takes over the lead in the Fried Chicken division. Now take a second and consider facing this team when Jose Fernandez returns. Scared yet?

2) Love Boat Captains- Ginger had her worst week of the season, by far. But this is just a blip. I feel badly for whoever has to play her this week. Indeed, she’s already up 15 over The October Boys.

3) RedRays- Another week where the “good” RedRays show up and destroy their opponent. This week it just happened to be the #1 team in the league. I’m going to be keeping a close eye on his matchup this week with team Stogies. I still wanna see this team put together two great weeks in a row.

4) Yankeehaters- Another close loss for team Yankeehaters. Dave worked his usual magic this past week and brought Felix Hernandez into the fold. Although I seem to remember a post from thefoulline.com past where Dave expressed his desire to never have King Felix on one of his fantasy teams. Hmm

5) Panda the Hammer- This was a tough week to rank, because all the teams sitting 5-7 lost. Sam had a tough 3 point loss to sportsmanMike this week, and Johnny Cueto appears to be at a crossroads with his arm. This will be a really telling next few weeks for Sam.

6) The October Boys- Outside of Mike Trout, The October Boys lineup was pretty awful this week. I’m not crazy about this teams infield, with guys like Mark Trumbo and Howie Kendrick, but it doesn’t help that Troy Tulowitzki has fallen short of being his elite usual self all season long. With a tough game against the Love Boat Captains looming, it could be a rough few weeks for Dennis.

7) sportsmanMike- Mike returned from Greece to find that he had toughed out a close three point victory over Panda the Hammer. The Goldschmidt, Kipnis, and Sale triumvirate continues to be money in the bank. The injuries to his outfield are significant right now. We’ll see Mike’s skill as an owner over the next few weeks as he navigates this rough injury patch.

8) Rays Those Cowbells- Should I send Carlos Frias a thank you card? His -17 debacle put me in position to steal a victory I desperately needed. Stephen Strasburg continues to rip my season to shreds with every outing. I finally benched him, so the Nationals will enjoy his best start of the year I’m sure.

9) Stogies- Had a great week thrown into the garbage by one pitcher. Probably deserved a better fate. Yordano Ventura might end up being a steal off the waiver wire. I still say he has the best offense in the league.

10) Believe The Hype- Is Allan finally ready to get on a roll? Big game with team Yankeehaters coming. Lets see if our champion can get his first winning streak of the season. He filled several holes with trades this week, and in a typical Allan fashion, traded Danny Salazar to me only hours after trading for him himself. Maybe that’s how he gets his swagger back.

 

Game of the Week

The October Boys vs Love Boat Captains

Both these teams are coming off bad losses with low point totals. I expect a ton of points and a really close game in this one.

 

Good luck to everyone in Week 8!

 

Side note: If you’ve never been to Turner Field in Atlanta, please go before they tear it down in a few years. It’s a stunning ballpark and is well worth the trip.

Dethroning Allan, Week Six

Well so much for that.

My big “statement” game with the Love Boat Captains? It was pretty much over by Tuesday. I got a 70 point whitewashing that felt alot more lopsided than that. This week showed me just how big the gap is between myself and the LBC’s, and how much work I truly have to do. It was a rude wake-up call that’s for sure.

I feel like I’ve said this a lot this year, but again, there was much more excitement around the league than Rays Those Cowbells being blown out. WillisBeTheYear dominated and won a high scoring game over Panda the Hammer in a game of the week that finally lived up to it’s billing. Corey Kluber has finally righted the ship. I’m officially really scared of this team. Aren’t you?

Can we just take a minute though to mention Bryce Harper? Back to back 50 point weeks? Has that ever happened before? Will it ever happen again? Team Yankeehaters must be a complete wreck right now. He was first in line at the station for three years, goes to the bathroom for five minutes, comes back and he’s missed the Harper train. That really sucks. Guess who gets the fun task of facing Harper this week?

Week Six Power Rankings

1) Love Boat Captains- Has anyone ever reached the #1 spot in week one before and then never let it go? Could it happen this year? Her destruction of Rays Those Cowbells was never a contest. Jake Arrieta looks like a dark horse CY Young contender.

2) WillisBeTheYear- Looks like the buy-low period on Corey Kluber is officially over. There’s going to be a week here soon when Corey Kluber and Clayton Kershaw both have two-starts. And they’re going to put 60 points each on you. It’s gonna happen. It will probably be against me.

3) Yankeehaters- Solid no-nonsense win for the Yankeehaters. He seems to have mastered getting the right pitchers into the right matchups, and puts up solid point totals every week. This team will be a factor in the playoff race after sitting out last year, that’s for sure. Plus he has Prince Fielder, in one of the most lopsided trades in our league’s history.

4) RedRays- Looks like the good RedRays are back for a week. I’ve nicknamed this team the elevator, because nobody has more ups and downs. He’s already led the league in weekly scoring three times, and always follows them up with low scoring 200 point duds. If this team can find some consistency, look out.

5) Panda the Hammer- Sam holds steady at #5 after having a good week but still managing to get the loss. Strangely enough his offense carried the load for a change, and it was his normally stout pitching staff that had a few duds that led to his defeat. I think this is a solid, if unspectacular team that will hang around mid-pack in the power rankings for most of the season.

6) The October Boys- Two words, Harper for Tanaka. This has the makings of a trade that Dennis will regret for years to come. If he still had Harper in an OF with Mike Trout and Matt Kemp? Man…. Even still, this team is better than it’s performance this week. He’ll bounce back.

7) Stogies- Edwin Encarnacion. Dee Gordon. Kris Bryant. Hanley Ramirez. Andrew McCutchen. Bryce Harper. If Dave V can somehow get some consistent pitching, he’s gonna win it all. That offense is ridiculous kinds of scary. It’s only a mediocre pitching staff holding him back.

8) sportsmanMike- As much as I hate to admit this, it looks like Alex Rodriguez is going to be a good pick up off the waiver wire. Eww. One thing that doesn’t surprise me is Chris Sale’s return to form, or even Jason Kipnis for that matter. This is a good roster that just can’t seem to put it all together for a single week. Mike goes to Greece for vacation this week, will he have a win waiting for him when he returns?

9) Rays Those Cowbells- Oh boy where to begin. The outfield is mediocre, the pitching is awful, and all my trades in 2015 have turned out to be duds so far. Strasburg is the bust of the season up to this point. I still (kind of?) like my team, but things need to change in a hurry or it won’t matter.

10) Believe The Hype- The season as the defending champion is the hardest season you’ll ever have. Both Dave and myself told him this before the season. I still hold out hope, only because I know for a fact that Allan has too much pride to just let a season fall down the drain. He’s going to do something big, soon.

 

Game of the Week

WillisBeTheYear vs Yankeehaters

First place in the Fried Chicken division is on the line. Equal number of PSRs. This is going to be a really good game.

 

Good luck to everyone in Week Six!

 

Dethroning Allan, Week Five

Is that a record breaker?

My pitching staff this week was a complete abomination, combining to go 0-7 and not getting a single win all week long. Just for comparisons sake, October Boys standout Michael Pineda scored 63 points by himself. My entire pitching staff, including my relievers, combined for 63.5 points. My pitching was so bad, I’ll have to go through thefoulline.com record books to see if there has ever been a week where a team didn’t record a single pitching win. It was ugly!

Much less ugly however were some of the other exciting games around the league this week. WillisBeTheYear dug down deep and knocked off the unbeaten and and imposing Love Boat Captains, Panda the Hammer and Alex Gordon nearly gave team Yankeehaters a nervous breakdown, and team sportsmanMike has returned to the winners column after getting a big win over our defending champion. Things are really shaping up nicely for the rest of May!

But seriously my pitching was really really bad.

Week Five Power Rankings

1) Love Boat Captains- It will take more than one loss to knock this team off the top of the mountain. Rare trade acquisition Matt Holliday will make this offense even scarier going forward.

2) WillisBeTheYear- When you hand the unbeaten and #1 ranked team in the power rankings their first loss, you get a big boost up the rankings. This team is winning games with Corey Kluber and Clayton Kershaw pitching like mediocre scrubs. Just think about that for a minute. What will actually happen when they get going?

3) Yankeehaters- 308 points will win you a game most weeks. Although I have to admit, I found your Alex Gordon hatred amusing. Why on earth didn’t I pick up Danny Salazar off the waiver wire? I feel like a fool.

4) The October Boys- When this team lost Tanaka, I thought they were in for rough times ahead. But little did I know that Michael Pineda was the best pitcher in baseball. Now if I could just figure out why this team refuses to start Jon Lester, we’d be getting somewhere.

5) Panda the Hammer- Two straight really bad weeks followed by two straight really good weeks. Sam seems to have righted the ship in a hurry. The scary part is that David Price isn’t pitching that well. Is it just me or are alot of aces struggling around the game right now?

6) RedRays- What happened to this team? A few weeks into the season they looked like world-beaters. Now they’re struggling to score and piling up the losses. The good news is that Evan Longoria seems to have finally broken out of (two-year?) slump. The bad news is that Chris Archer looks awful right now. This team needs a rebound. And quickly.

7) Rays Those Cowbells- As mentioned, my pitching was awful. The Yasiel Puig setback really hurts. I’m hoping that new stud arm Carlos Carrasco can make a big difference. Huge game with the Love Boat Captains this week. I can’t afford to fall to 2-4.

8) sportsmanMike- Are you enjoying Garrett Richards, Mike? You’re welcome. Jason Kipnis seems to be back to 2013 form. Although Chris Sale is really struggling recently. Again, I may sound like a broken record here, but what is the deal with all these aces pitching badly?

9) Stogies- Back into the win column! It must be a great feeling. I have a sneaky feeling Dave V will grab this momentum and really get this thing moving in the right direction again. He’s way to knowledgeable about baseball to continue to pile up losses like that.

10) Believe The Hype- Where are the trades? I know Allan isn’t happy with his team. How long will he let it go on like this? Any day now I expect full-scale changes for BTH.

 

Game of the Week

WillisBeTheYear vs Panda the Hammer

These two teams are trending up the power rankings. I’m anxious to see how Kershaw and Price pitch in this matchup. The one that pitches the better game might decide who wins this showdown.

 

Good luck to everyone in Week Six!

Dethroning Allan, Week Four

Now that we are officially into May, I feel like things are really starting to shake out. Most of the players with hot starts are fading, and most of the slow-starters are rounding into form. This is the time of the year where the contenders begin to separate themselves from the pretenders.

Yeah right… This is thefoulline.com fantasy baseball league, where parity rules.

Five teams with 2-2 records. The highest scoring team and the lowest scoring team are separated by only 200 points. You win a big game one week, then get slaughtered the next. It’s maddening sometimes, but I’ll say it again, this is why this is the best fantasy baseball league in the world!

Week Four Power Rankings

1) Love Boat Captains- The Love Boat continues to sail along in calm waters. I remember there was a time when I thought Jose Altuve was going to regress this year. That seems hilarious now. Maybe there’s a reason that she’s won three titles and I only have one.

2) Yankeehaters- Dave didn’t have the greatest of weeks, winning a low-scoring duel with Dennis. Even still, team Yankeehaters still leads the league in scoring and is the only team above .500 in the Fried Chicken division. I have a sneaky feeling that some big changes are coming to team YH this week, it’s been awhile since Dave made a deal.

3) RedRays- So apparently the RedRays either obliterate their opponent and score 330+ points, or struggles to crack 250 and gets smacked around. This team will need to find some consistency going forward to be a true title contender.

4) Rays Those Cowbells- My team is really starting to come together. I have the most points scored over the last three weeks since my week one abomination, and Yasiel Puig should be returning in the very near future. I like where things are heading.

5) WillisBeTheYear- Grinded out a nice win against a division opponent. Evan Gattis and Jose Bautista are starting to get things going, but what on earth is wrong with Corey Kluber?

6) The October Boys- Not a great week for Dennis. Losing Tanaka is really going to hurt this pitching staff. But with Jon Lester seemingly returning to form, he’ll add a much needed boost and can hopefully fill the void.

7) Panda The Hammer- Now that’s more like it! After two really awful weeks, Sam’s team brought out the whooping sticks and put up the highest point total of the week, by far. Price, Zimmerman and Cueto carried the load and should continue to do so going forward.

8) Believe The Hype- The tough times continue for Allan. He had a really good week, got a ton of points from George Springer, Nelson Cruz and Justin Upton, and still lost by 50 points. But if this offense really is this good and can continue this hot streak, the wins will eventually come in bunches.

9) sportsmanMike- Two straight bad losses for Mike, but there are some positive signs. His offense absolutely crushed it this week, and new addition Garrett Richards goes right into the lineup as a two-start pitcher. There’s no way his pitching can be this bad again. Chris Sale for -13? No chance. I predict Mike’s team will break out this week.

10) Stogies- Three straight losses after starting the season 1-0, things aren’t looking great for our newcomer. This pitching staff continues to lay eggs, and allowed me to blow open our closely contested game. I think a trade for an ace may be coming soon. This team could really use it.

 

Game of the Week:

Love Boat Captains vs WillisBeTheYear

Is this finally the week that the LBC’s go down?

 

Good luck to everyone in Week Five!

 

 

Dethroning Allan, Week Three

I feel like this is some sort of strange time warp back to 2011. The Love Boat Captains are dominating the league again, Joey Votto is mashing, and Adam Wainwright is gone for the season. I guess it’s true what they say, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Unfortunately some things don’t change, and team sportsmanMike laid an egg after a great performance the week before. Our game of the week was never really much of a contest, and the Yankeehaters reigned supreme as the only team above .500 in the Fried Chicken division.

Side Note: Was this the first week in the history of our league where nobody made a trade? Strange times!

Side Note Two: Week Four won’t have that problem, Mike flips Yasiel Puig to me for Garrett Richards. Nice deal Mike! Let’s make another.

Week Three Power Rankings

1) Love Boat Captains- Joey Votto looks like the steal of the draft. Or is it Jake Arrieta? This is a GOOD team.

2) RedRays- Leads the league in scoring, paced the field in week three.

3) Yankeehaters- Rebounded from a loss to blow out team sportsmanMike. A great effort!

4) The October Boys- Rebounded from a really bad week one to win two straight.

5) WillisBeTheYear- Had a bad week, but I still really like this team alot. Is Jose Bautista healthy? He’ll need him to be.

6) Rays Those Cowbells- Came within an eyelash of beating the LBCs. I just wish Stephen Strasburg didn’t suck.

7) sportsmanMike- Mike didn’t have a great week in his showdown with Dave, but he needed a pitcher and traded for a really good one today. Garrett Richards is a stud.

8) Believe The Hype- First of many wins for Allan. But I’m surprised he hasn’t traded more.

9) Stogies- Losing Adam Wainwright for the season was utterly devastating. Hang in there man, you still have a good team.

10) Panda The Hammer- Two really bad weeks in a row. Maybe some changes coming for Sam?

 

Game of the Week:

Love Boat Captains vs RedRays

The lone unbeaten vs the highest scorer. The top two teams in the power rankings face off. Great matchup!

 

Good luck to everyone in Week Four!

 

Too Much Fun

The Red Sox came rumbling into town Tuesday, and I was preparing for disaster. After the three-game debacle against the Yankees, isn’t it just a perfect time to welcome one of the majors’ best offenses to St. Petersburg? Good times were to be had by all, as the Red Sox sent ball after ball into the seats, and Rays pitchers were left shaking their heads, looking for answers.

Well wouldn’t you know, the Rays give up 7 runs in 3 games, win the series, and do some of their best pitching of the young season. Baseball is a funny game sometimes. Nearing the end of April, I still have no idea if the Rays are contenders in the AL East or the division bottom-feeders.

Some of thefoulline.com gang got together Thursday night for the rubber-game of the set, and the trade talks (and the beer) started flowing instantly. By the end of the night, however, one had flowed quite a bit more than the other. My one mission heading into last night was to get Willis to deal me Corey Kluber. Unfortunately, I woke up this morning sans Kluber. After hearing rumors that team Yankeehaters has been pursuing him hard, I feel the need to step my game up. You might want to keep an eye on your inbox today, Willis!

Quick Hits:

– The crowds at the Trop are getting worse. It’s getting to the point where not even Red Sox and Yankees games can save them. We pretty much had section 131 all to ourselves.

– After watching a bigger crowd gather around the TVs in the hallway to watch the Lightning’s win in Detroit last night than there actually were watching the Rays, I now understand how truly low in the pecking order the Rays are in this region.

– Shout out to the rude Boston fan who was talking trash before I even got into the Trop. Everytime I talk to a Boston fan, I’m reinvigorated by my love of the game.

– Rays Those Cowbells is having a really great week! And I’m still down 50 points. The Love Boat Captains are the clear best team right now. Ginger wants #4.

– Nearly 3 full weeks in, and Allan and I haven’t made a deal together yet. Huh?

– Darn you all for getting me interested in Fanduel. I’m doing the research right now to get started. You’re all very bad influences.

– Is BJ Upton still in the major leagues?

 

Good luck to everyone. Finish Week 3 strong!

Dethroning Allan, Week Two

Well, that was interesting.

Parity was the name of the game in week two. Four of the five teams in the top five of the power rankings lost this week. Four of the five teams in the bottom five of the power rankings rebounded from bad first weeks and got huge wins to avoid starting 0-2. I don’t think anything speaks to the competitive nature of our league more than this. Any team can win, any given week. By the end of the season, it wouldn’t surprise me to see first place and last place be separated by only a game or two. Things are that tight!

Week Two Power Rankings

1) Love Boat Captains – The only 2-0 team in the league. I’ll have quite the game on my hands this week.

2) Yankeehaters – Dave put up a good game this week. It always sucks to put up 300 points and lose. But I think Rick Porcello owes him a beer. Or five.

3) RedRays – An offensive slump drops him from the #1 spot. Losing Carlos Gomez hurts, badly. Perhaps a trade for an OF coming soon?

4) WillisBeTheYear – Gut-check time for Willis. Trailing most of the week, he rallies and clips the Yankeehaters in the best game of the week. I like this team. They have good balance.

5) sportsmanMike – A balanced bounce-back effort from Mike vaults him up 3 spots. He absolutely smoked Panda The Hammer by 115+ points. This game was never close. How didn’t Goldschmidt go higher than fifth in the draft?

6) Rays Those Cowbells – Now that’s more like it. My team decides to play up to its potential this week and puts up the season’s highest total so far at 370. Rizzo and Donaldson are heating up, and Strasburg appears to be righting the ship. Alex Wood comes over from the Yankeehaters to provide a spark in the RP spot.

7) The October Boys – Dennis knocked off the #1 team in the power rankings and appears to have righted the ship from his season-low week one point total. Now who the hell is Shane Greene, this out of nowhere CY Young contender?

8) Stogies – This team has got to get more from its relievers. Fernando Rodney absolutely blows, and the Daniel Norris-in-the-major-leagues experiment isn’t working out great so far. Although I find it hard to believe Edwin Encarnacion will continue to bat .190 for very long. He’ll bounce back.

9) Panda The Hammer – An awful week, but is it a one-off, or a sign of things to come? Nobody on his team played well this week. Still, there’s talent here. We’ll see how things go in week three.

10) Believe The Hype – And we come to our champion. I know two things about Allan. There’s no way in hell that he’ll take this 0-2 start lying down, and losing to his two arch-rivals to begin the season will light a fire in his gut. I wouldn’t be shocked to see full-scale changes coming if the winning doesn’t start soon. He’ll be back with a vengeance, and pretty soon, we’ll all Believe The Hype again.

Game of the Week:

Yankeehaters vs sportsmanMike
This is a big game for Mike. Can he build off his good week? So many of his teams in the past could never put together winning streaks for very long.

Good luck to everyone in week three!

Dethroning Allan, Week One

Let me just start by saying this, I have never in my entire life been more happy to see a fantasy week come to a close than week one of the 2015 season. My game against the RedRays was Bambi vs Godzilla, Grass vs Lawnmower, Bug vs Windshield, and Yankees vs Clay Buchholz. Pretty much anything that could go wrong did.

Fortunately, a lot of our other games were a lot closer than the Rays Those Cowbells obliteration. Team Stogies and team sportsmanMike’s game came down to the wire, as did the grudge match between two of our playoff teams from last year, WillisBeTheYear and Panda The Hammer. The trade market was buzzing, as Dave V pulled off two blockbuster trades and brought in Bryce Harper and Cole Hamels. Nice moves! Those two guys are game-changers who will make a huge difference for this team.

Week One Power Rankings

1) RedRays- When you win by 170 points, you get the #1 spot. Is that a record margin of victory? Utter destruction of RTC.

2) Yankeehaters- Dave had a good draft and knocked off our champion in week one. Nolan Arenado looks like theft in round four, and his pitching staff carried the load.

3) Love Boat Captains- I really don’t think Jose Altuve, Devin Mesoraco, and Ian Desmond will combine for 20 points again any time soon. Even so, a solid point total and a big-time blowout of Dennis.

4) Panda The Hammer- Sam decided he wanted the two best closers in the league, and they responded with 70 points combined. He’ll never lose a game in a week where his closers pitch like that.

5) Stogies- Dave V squeaks out a win in a tight one, thanks to Clay Buchholz’s epic meltdown. This team was really active on the trade market and brought in two stud players. Expect a rise in the rankings to follow in the coming weeks.

6) WillisBeTheYear- Lost by 8 points and Evan Gattis was -5 with 137 strikeouts. Ouch. This is a good team. He’ll be fine.

7) Believe The Hype- Allan squandered away a game he should’ve won, having a PSR advantage and several high-profile aces pitching twice. The additions of Justin Upton and George Springer will go a long way to hopefully matching this team’s offense with its high-profile pitching staff.

8) sportsmanMike- Mike was in a perfect position to start 1-0. Then Clay Buchholz happened. Still, Mike got good performances from Paul Goldschmidt and Corey Dickerson and looks a lot stronger this year. Now if he could just get Chris Sale back on his roster, he might be onto something.

9) The October Boys- Dennis’s pitching staff let him down this week. Matt Cain went on the DL and put up a big zero. A really tough game with the RedRays is next on the schedule. He’ll need a big performance to avoid starting 0-2.

10) Rays Those Cowbells- Was there any doubt? Not much to say about this debacle. I need help, in a lot of areas. Couldn’t crack 175 points in a week with an extra day? Really?

Game of the Week

Love Boat Captains vs Stogies
Huge battle in the Beer division this week of unbeaten teams.

Game of the Weak

Believe The Hype vs Rays Those Cowbells
One of us is starting 0-2, Allan! Game on! Who am I kidding? It will probably be me.

Good luck to everyone in week two!

The Pick Is In

In the hours leading up to thefoulline.com’s 8th annual fantasy baseball draft, I tried all sorts of different things to relax and get into the right mindset for drafting. I watched the NCAA Tournament, I turned on some of the NASCAR race, I went out and washed my car, and I even went to the driving range and smacked some golf balls around. Turns out, it was useless.

I quickly realized that I could play in this league for 50 years, and I would always get pre-draft jitters watching that clock tick down. There’s nothing like knowing that nine other baseball savants have worked just as hard as you, for just as long as you, and would like nothing better than to steal the player you’ve been targeting all offseason. In fact, they probably revel in it.

I always try to have a backup plan in place for all my picks. Turns out it’s not enough. In this league, you need a backup plan for your backup plan for your backup plan. This year was no different. This might have been our most well executed draft ever. So let’s recap – it’s thefoulline.com draft diary!

The Clock Hits Zero

As I entered the draft room, I found myself knee deep in a discussion about which was better, the World Cup or the NCAA Tournament, As I was about to step in and give my opinion, Dave V. decided to put a stop to that conversation right away. It’s probably for the best. That debate would’ve lasted well into the 6th round. After some more idle small talk, the timer ticked down, and we were ready to go.

Surprise! Mike Trout goes #1 to The October Boys. There were some rumblings that Dennis has been bribing his way into the first pick year after year, and who knows, maybe they have some weight? I know I’d do just about anything to get Mike Trout, he’s a game-changer!

WillisBeTheYear grabs the best pitcher in the world after claiming he would do so last year and not following through. Clayton Kershaw goes #2, and our draft has a predictable start.

If there was one team I was completely unsure about, it was newcomer David Valentino. I’d heard rumblings he could go several different directions here. He settles on the best OF in the world, Andrew McCutchen. Great pick!

The Love Boat Captains grabs the best power hitter in the game, Giancarlo Stanton. Just move out of the way next time a fastball is heading for your face.

I know for a fact that Mike wanted Goldschmidt and only Goldschmidt with this pick. He gets his wish, and the best first baseman is off the board at pick #5.

If there was any pick in the first round I had pegged for sure, it was that Sam was taking a pitcher in round one. He doesn’t disappoint, and David Price goes to Panda the Hammer.

Believe The Hype grabs the second-best first baseman in the city of Chicago, Jose Abreu.

Is Miguel Cabrera fully healthy? If so, the RedRays just got the steal of the first round as Miggy goes #8.

The worst kept secret in the league was that I wanted Anthony Rizzo with my first pick this year. I get my way and Rizzo finds his way onto Rays Those Cowbells at #9.

Dave and I had been discussing our picks in the weeks leading up to the draft. He did a great job of pretending to give me information, but still not really letting me know who he was going to take. Adam Jones is the pick, and it’s a good one. He’s become so consistent it’s almost boring.

Round Two

I’d been preparing myself for a huge pitching run in round two. All the mock drafts that I did and all the pre-draft research suggested that this was the time to grab your ace. I thought as many as eight pitchers could go in this round. Well true to form, thefoulline.com goes away from conventional wisdom, and Dave grabs Robinson Cano at pick #11. I thought this was a bit of a reach, but I think Dave had some personal mission to get Cano on his team at least once before he retires.

Another pick I had pegged for weeks before the draft, AL MVP Josh Donaldson goes to Rays Those Cowbells at pick #12.

RedRays grabs Max Scherzer here, and I really like it. Moving from the AL to the NL is good. Moving to the best team in baseball is better.

Believe The Hype takes fantasy monster Felix Hernandez, and the pitching run has begun.

Panda the Hammer grabs the best catcher in the world, Buster Posey, and the pitching run stops as quickly as it started.

In a move that surprises nobody, Mike takes AL CY Young winner Chris Sale here. Like he does every year. Man crush!

The LBCs give Jose Altuve a home at pick #17, and I’m lukewarm on this pick. I see regression coming. Still, it’s 40 steals in the bank.

Team Stogies grabs my personal favorite pitcher in the game, Adam Wainwright, to anchor his pitching staff.

Willis steals Jose Bautista, who should’ve went 5 picks before this. The building of the infamous WillisBeTheYear beer league softball offense has begun.

As Dennis went on the clock, I told Allan that he would take a pitcher and Troy Tulowitzski with his next two picks. The first half the equation comes true as World Series hero Madison Bumgarner is the last pick of the 2nd round.

Round Three

I feel downright clairvoyant as The October Boys grab Troy Tulowitzki with this pick. Dennis loves Tulo!

Willis will keep building his stud offense, right? Nope. He takes Corey Kluber here. I love me some Kluber. This is a great pick.

I have no idea why, but for some reason Edwin Encarnacion sinks like a stone in the draft every year. He routinely puts up first round numbers, and are his injuries really that much bigger a deal than some of the other players that go before him? David V gets McCutchen and EE to anchor his offense. Dangerous.

The Love Boat Captains steal rising superstar Anthony Rendon, who I thought would go ten picks before this.

Mike must have seen a copy of MLB 15 The Show in a store somewhere, because he makes Yasiel Puig his #1 OF. It’s a great pick! Puig will break out this year.

I knew two things about Johnny Cueto heading into this draft. Somebody would take him early, and that somebody wouldn’t be me. Still, you can’t argue with his numbers last year, and Panda the Hammer adds a 2nd ace to his team.

Allan takes a 3rd baseman in the first three rounds every year. This year is no different, as the champ adds the ageless Adrian Beltre to his lineup.

Michael Brantley is a RedRays-type player. Solid, not flashy, gets the job done. He’ll put up huge points this year for team RedRays.

All along I wanted a pitcher here. I was targeting Jon Lester or Cole Hamels. Never in 100 years did I think I could land Stephen Strasburg at pick #29. I’m amazed this pick took me 25 seconds to make. Maybe I just wanted to be sure I didn’t click onto the wrong player.

Team Yankeehater thinks this is 2010 as he nabs Albert Pujols with the last pick of the 3rd round. I don’t hate the pick, but aren’t there younger, higher upside players available here?

Round Four

I always consider round four to be the game-changer round. There are a ton of high quality players available in the first 30 picks, and it’s pretty hard to make a mistake, outside of unforeseen injuries. But in round four you have to start taking gambles and making decisions. When to pass on the player getting older, and when to reach a little and grab the up-and-coming young stud. Dave makes just such a decision and takes Nolan Arenado #31. I like this pick, a lot! Great home ballpark, elite prospect pedigree. He may hit 30 HRs this year.

If there was one player in the whole draft I had to have, it was Matt Harvey. He’s throwing 99 MPH in spring training, and his breaking stuff looks sharp. He may throw 185 innings, but those 185 innings will be the best for a pitcher not named Kershaw.

The RedRays commit downright larceny as they snatch Carlos Gomez at pick #33. Gomez is a mid-2nd round player who had no business being on the board here.

Allan grabs his boy Julio Teheran. Can’t argue with this pick. He’s young and getting better. I just worry about his win total after Atlanta completely bottomed out this offseason.

Panda the Hammer takes only 10 seconds to select Jordan Zimmerman, and once again, he’s building the best pitching staff in the league.

sportsmanMike nabs Carlos Santana with this pick. Can’t hate it. He set career-highs across the board and has multiple position eligibility.

Ginger takes the least likeable pitcher in the game, Zack Greinke. You couldn’t pay me enough to take this dude.

In a move that shocks nobody, one of our Yankees fans takes only 9 seconds to draft Masahiro Tanaka. With Wainwright and Tanaka leading his pitching staff, team Stogies better pray the Tommy John fairy doesn’t come knocking.

WillisBeTheYear grabs Jose Reyes. He’ll steal 30 bases and score a ton of runs atop the major’s best lineup, and he plays at a horribly weak SS position.

Dennis grabs Jon Lester with pick #40. I was willing to take him at pick #29. See how this draft can ruin a man?

Rounds 5-10: Where Championships Are Won

The October Boys: Bryce Harper, Matt Kemp, Michael Wacha, Jered Weaver, Chris Davis, David Ortiz.

It’s hard not to like these picks. Dennis resists the urge to grab Harper early and gets him in a much better spot here. The problem with Harper is you always have to overpay to get him, but if you can get him at a reasonable price, the value is there. Matt Kemp looked back to normal in the 2nd half last year, and I think the big dimensions at Petco Park play well to his gap power. Wacha has one of the best arms in the majors, and Weaver is always a solid guy to fill out your rotation. I think he reached on Chris Davis, but I think a bounce back and 40 HRs could be possible. I have no idea how Ortiz lasted until round 10.

WillisBeTheYear: Freddie Freeman, Adrian Gonzalez, Victor Martinez, Dallas Keuchel, Ian Kinsler, Evan Gattis.

Wow. Runs of picks like this should be illegal. This is an amazing run for Willis. He got three stud first baseman here, all at amazing value. Freeman and Gonzalez mash, and V-Mart in round 7 is robbery. Dallas Keuchel was one of my targets. With a 63% ground ball rate, he’s Brandon Webb in his prime and will be this season’s breakout ace. Ian Kinsler still has something left, and Evan Gattis will hit 30 HRs moving from behind the plate and into Minute Maid Park. I’m REALLY glad they moved Willis out of my division.

Stogies: Hanley Ramirez, George Springer, Kris Bryant, Justin Verlander, Taijuan Walker, Dee Gordon.

Our newcomer means business. I saw Hanley Ramirez go mid-2nd round in some of my mocks; he gets him in round 5. I cried a little bit when he took Springer, I’ll admit it. I really wanted him! He may hit 45 HRs this year. Someone finally takes the plunge and takes super rookie Kris Bryant! It’s a good pick. But then the dreaded autodraft kicks in and grabs Verlander and Walker. I’m not crazy about those picks, but they are high-upside arms. At this stage in the draft, you could do a lot worse. Dave V. returns and grabs Dee Gordon, who should steal 50 bases leading off for the Marlins. This was a good run for team Stogies.

Love Boat Captains: Ian Desmond, Joey Votto, Carlos Carrasco, Jake Arrieta, Devin Mesoraco, Christian Yelich.

This is such a Ginger run. The last of the elite shortstops go off the board, and surprise! Joey Votto goes to the LBCs. At this point I honestly just want someone else to take him, just so she can’t get him. Carrasco and Arrieta are high-upside mid-rotation arms who have the talent to pitch like aces, and are typical LBC pitchers. Mesoraco may be the best power hitting catcher in the majors. He’ll make a run at 30 HRs. If there was one person I was sure was going to take Christian Yelich, it was Ginger. Yelich has huge breakout written all over him. It’s runs like this that have the LBCs in contention every year.

sportsmanMike: Jacoby Ellsbury, Jacob deGrom, Corey Dickerson, Jason Kipnis, Zach Britton, Alex Cobb.

This is a nice run for team sportsmanMike. He gets good value with Ellsbury, who always seems to be overdrafted one way or another. deGrom was one of the nice surprises in the league last year. His stuff is legit. He’ll be a strong #2 on this pitching staff. Dickerson tears up Coors Field, and Mike makes his best pick of the draft getting Kipnis this late. He has 20 HR, 30 SB upside. I can’t say that I like the Britton pick. There were better closers available with later price tags. But he makes up for it with a high upside arm in Alex Cobb. If Mike can ride out April, he’ll have a borderline ace at a round-10 price tag.

Panda the Hammer: Greg Holland, Jonathan Lucroy, Brian Dozier, Todd Frazier, Aroldis Chapman, Ben Zobrist.

If there’s one team in the league who laughs in the face of conventional wisdom, it’s the Hammer. He takes a catcher in round two, grabs two elite closers before round 10, and piles up on the early pitching. Everything the experts tell you not to do. Holland and Chapman form a dynamic closing duo. Lucroy is an elite catcher. Dozier was a revelation at 2nd base last year. He’ll put up points for this team. Todd Frazier is legit. He’s not flashy, but he could go 20/20 this year. Zobrist can play everywhere and is fairly predictable in his stat lines. These are the types of runs of picks Sam makes every year.

Believe The Hype: Cole Hamels, Phil Hughes, Tyson Ross, Nelson Cruz, Carlos Gonzalez, Mat Latos.

As Allan and I watched Cole Hamels tumble down the boards, I knew Allan would grab him here. It might be the steal of the draft. Allan’s laptop then proceeds to crap out on him, and Phil Hughes is autodrafted to BTH, leading to a string of obscenities being screamed throughout the RTC/BTH war room. You could’ve done worse! Hughes might be the most underrated pitcher in MLB. Or maybe it’s Tyson Ross, whose playing for San Diego was the only thing holding him back from being among baseball’s top tier pitchers. Nelly Cruz will swat 30 HRs, and I admit, I completely forgot about Carlos Gonzalez. I think Allan might have too, until he saw him sitting there for the taking. If he plays 120 games, it’s a steal. Latos moving to a more pitcher-friendly ballpark is good value. This was a nice run for our champion.

RedRays: Jeff Samardzija, Hisashi Iwakuma, Evan Longoria, Craig Kimbrel, Dustin Pedroia, Salvador Perez.

This is an awesome string of picks. Samardzija and Iwakuma are excellent pitchers to fill out the middle of a rotation. Longoria is GREAT value this late. He’s always drafted too high every year. I guess this is the over compensation as he tumbles down the draft boards. Kimbrel is the game’s best closer, although I’m concerned about the Braves win totals dropping this year, limiting his save chances. I’m not sure how in a league full of Red Sox fans, Pedroia lasts until round 9. It’s a great pick. Perez has power at a position where power is scarce. This run could get the RedRays back into the playoffs.

Rays Those Cowbells: Ryan Braun, Gerrit Cole, Prince Fielder, Matt Holliday, Jay Bruce, Garrett Richards.

Is Braun’s thumb healthy? I sure hope so, I’m counting on him to be my #1 OF. I had two preferences for this round 6 pick. I wanted Alex Wood, and if I couldn’t get him, I wanted Gerrit Cole. Wood goes to team Yankeehater right before I could get him, so I settle on Cole, who I really like, a lot! I like a 30-HR bounceback from a healthy Fielder, and Holliday is somebody I’ve always wanted but could never get. He’s as solid as they come. There’s no pick in my draft I regret more than Bruce. I should’ve taken Christian Yelich with this pick. I make up for it by snatching my #1 mid-round target, Garrett Richards. He’s a top-tier ace, going in round 10, because he’ll miss two weeks? Sign me up! This run of picks was okay, with Richards being my favorite and Fielder a close runner-up.

Yankeehaters: Alex Wood, James Shields, Justin Upton, Sonny Gray, Jorge Soler, Doug Fister.

This is a really good run for Dave. As mentioned, Wood was somebody I really wanted. His 200 K potential and RP eligibility are worth their weight in gold. Dave double dips on new Padres, with Shields moving to the best pitcher’s park in the majors really helping him, and Upton being downgraded for the same reason. But he’ll serve nicely as a #2 OF. Sonny Gray is somebody I really like. He’ll take that final step and be a true ace as he leads Oakland’s staff. Soler is kind of like a George Springer light. It’s rare you find 30-HR potential in the late rounds. Fister is a solid mid-rotation arm who always gets underrated for some reason.

Picks I Really Love, Rounds 11-22

Round 11: Dellin Betances by Stogies. I WANTED this guy. He’ll dominate for the Yankees this year.

Round 12: Kolten Wong by RTC. My #1 target at 2nd base. He’ll hit 15 HRs and have 30 SBs. Mark Trumbo by TOB. Now healthy, he’ll follow through on last years promise of 35 HRs.

Round 13: Yordano Ventura by BTH. Does anyone in baseball have a better arm? Why is he still on the board here? Gio Gonzalez by PTH. He’s slipped from his peak, but he’s not round 13 kinda bad.

Round 14: David Wright by Stogies. Yea okay, he’s not in his prime anymore. But the guy isn’t dead. Kyle Seager by Willis. .270 average and 25 HRs in round 14?

Round 15: Chris Archer by RedRays. High upside arms are always good late. Yan Gomes by Yankeehaters. He was going to be my starting catcher with my next pick. Suck it Dave.

Round 16: Marcell Ozuna by SM. Sneaky power. Could make a run at 30 HRs. Kevin Gausman by LBC. Could be this season’s Garrett Richards. Guy throws HARD.

Round 17: Hunter Pence by Willis. I can wait the two months if I get him in round 17. Drew Hutchison by RedRays. 184 Ks in 184 innings. A strikeout per inning can’t be ignored.

Round 18: Danny Salazar by Yankeehaters. He can’t be as bad as last year, can he? The stuff is still electric. Matt Adams by SM. At some point, the breakout is coming.

Round 19: Lucas Duda by RedRays. The most silent 30 HR season ever.

Round 20: Shelby Miller by Yankeehaters. A flyball pitcher moving to a flyball park. Daniel Norris by Stogies. 15.1 strikeouts per 9 at AAA last year! That’s insane. The best pitching prospect nobody has heard of.

Round 21: Homer Bailey by RTC. I still love the talent level. He’ll bounce back from last year.

Picks I Really Hate, Rounds 11-22

Round 11: Steven Souza by TOB. This was a terrible pick. He might’ve gone undrafted.

Round 12: Jose Fernandez by Willis. Love the player, hate the fact that he might not pitch until July.

Round 13: This was a good round for everyone!

Round 14: Another top notch round!

Round 15: David Robertson by TOB. Simply because his suckage gifted Allan a championship.

Round 16: Jessie Hahn by BTH. Not a bad player, but he probably wouldn’t have been drafted.

Round 17: Drew Storen by LBC. A talented arm , but I just can’t trust this guy. Everytime I turn around he’s given up 3 ERs.

Round 18: Brian McCann by RTC. This is an absolutely awful pick that had no business being made. McCann is garbage.

Round 19: Alex Rodriguez by Willis. A-Rod sucks and so does this pick. Retire already. Matt Wieters by BTH. Allan will need to drop him for a catcher who won’t start the season on the DL.

Round 20: Jean Segura by BTH. Only because I was begging him to draft Asdrubal Cabrera. Pablo Sandoval by PTH. He’s fat and his regular season numbers are mediocre.

Round 21: Brett Cecil by BTH. I think Allan gave up at this point and autodrafted a middle reliever. Cliff Lee by Yankeehaters. Isn’t he out for the year?
If you’ve stuck with me this long, I just wanna thank you for reading. This is the best fantasy baseball league in the world, and I’ve had a blast writing for the site these last two months. I have a lot of exciting stuff coming, including the weekly fantasy reviews. Stay tuned!

And now we dip into the magic 8-ball and see who will be in our final four….

Playoff Predictions

The October Boys
RedRays
WillisBeTheYear
Love Boat Captains

Draft Day

As we approach the final hours before thefoulline.com’s 8th annual fantasy baseball draft, I feel like I’m in a pretty good place.

I’ve ramped up the prep work and I’ve assembled my strategy. I’ve taken the necessary electronic precautions after my infamous “computer meltdown” of 2012, and I’ve checked the weather forecast for possible thunderstorm-related power outages. I’m good to go.

I absolutely love draft day. It’s the only time of the year where all 10 owners get together at the same time and chat. It’s the thrill of being on the clock, wondering if the team in front of you is going to swipe the player you desperately wanted, but never thought would be there for the taking in the first place. It’s fresh beginnings, and a chance to erase the previous season’s mistakes.

This will be our first draft with this set of 10, and I hope we can play together for many years. Since I started in 2009, we’ve had a lot of roster turnover, and sometimes I miss the old gang. Dylan and his gaggle of Shortstops, the McLaughlins, Matt and Dave, our Canadian friend Less Than Zero, and of course Dave’s father and his Bostobadboys, misspelled and all. It was really fun playing and trading barbs with all those guys.

But now we have new blood in the league, and draft day is about looking forward, not backward. And I’m more focused and determined than ever before. But I know you all will be too. I’m ready.

Just leave Anthony Rizzo for me, okay?