Rudy Gamble Wins Tout Wars Mixed Draft League for the Second Year in a Row

Rudy (Still) Can’t Fail
by Jeff Erickson

We’ll delve into Rudy Gamble of Razzball’s hegemonic-like dominance of the Tout Wars Mixed Draft League momentarily, but first, a song:

I know that the spelling is different, but any excuse to include a Clash song has to be taken.

For the second year in a row, Rudy Gamble of razzball.com has won the Tout Wars Mixed Draft League. Once again, he had to hold off Adam Ronis of Scout.com for the title. I wanted to say that Rudy and Adam are the Red Sox and Yankees of the Mixed Draft League, but that wouldn’t do justice to the size of the field they are besting each year, and the comparison fails because there’s no carryover from year-to-year. Moreover, Rudy made a better analogy in his write-up of his victory—they are Federer and Nadal, with a combined four firsts and three second-place finishes over the last four years.

With the win, Rudy vaulted into third place on the All-Time Tout Wars leaderboard, behind only Fred Zinkie and Larry Schechter, despite having played only four years. Thus, Rudy will get another meal named after him at our annual Tout Wars get-together at Foley’s. It’s a good bet that if you ever have leftover Tout Wars currency from that meet-up and it has Rudy’s visage on it, you should keep it so that you can use it the following year.

It’s worth noting that Ronis isn’t that far behind on the list, sixth all-time and fifth among active participants, and fellow Razzballer Grey Albright has demonstrated similar strength, following up his 2017 win with another “cash” finish in 2018.

If you’re looking to see where I’m on the list, don’t bother. Seriously, it’s embarrassing. Having me write this article is like having Anders Jarryd or Manuel Orantes compare themselves to Federer or Nadal.

So … how did Rudy do it? Let’s take a quick look at the standings first:

The first thing that jumps out is Rudy’s utter dominance of the pitching categories. He won four of five categories outright and finished third in saves. He did this despite getting only 25 starts from his first pitcher, Noah Syndergaard, who he took at the 2-3 turn. Unlike many of his competitors, he backed up Thor with a second ace, getting Aaron Nola at the 4-5 turn. Two great starters aren’t enough to dominate the starting pitching categories, however – he had to hit on the slippery mid-round starters to succeed, and he did that in spades by getting Charlier Morton in the 13th and Blake Snell in the 15th rounds.

One might be tempted to dismiss those picks as windfalls – but I think that’s underselling the skill in picking in the mid-tiers. Moreover, because he had that second ace, he was less reliant upon ‘hitting’ with all of his mid-tier SPs. Obviously, there are so many landmines that he could have gone with (and in one case, in Round 12, did go with, in Jon Gray) instead of Morton and Snell – just looking at the draft grid, some disastrous alternative picks in that range included a lot of injuries (Danny Salazar, Garrett Richards, Taijuan Walker, Dinelson Lamet) and underachievers (first-half Cole Hamels, Chase Anderson, Aaron Sanchez, Jake Odorizzi). Rudy was able to combine all that top end starting pitching with quality contributors late in the draft, too – getting significant contributions from Eduardo Rodriguez, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Tyler Skaggs, the latter two in the reserve rounds of the draft.

Rudy might not have won saves, but he got two solid closers in Felipe Vazquez and Raisel Iglesias that weren’t ever a threat to lose their jobs. 2018 was a really frustrating year to chase saves – plenty of closers lost their respective jobs, but often their replacements weren’t all that stable, either. Iglesias was Rudy’s first “value pick” at 9.1 – and it had the added bonus of preventing a disaster in Delino DeShields.

Turning to the hitting, once again most of Rudy’s value came from the draft rather than through trades or the waiver wire. Starting out with Mike Trout is great, especially in an OBP league, and then he hit perfectly at 3.1 with Christian Yelich. After that, he had a number of solid players but few breakout hitters (at least compared to the year before, when he nailed Tommy Pham and Whit Merrifield), though he got great values with Shin-Soo Choo (16.15) and Michael Brantley (19.1).

It wasn’t the proverbial “perfect draft” for Rudy – he had to overcome injuries and suspensions from Kevin Kiermaier (10.15), Steven Souza (11.1) and Jorge Polanco (14.15), for example. But he avoided the critical early-round disasters, which is so important in a format like this. He also invested very little in scarce positions. Catchers were a disaster in 2018, but with his catchers coming in Rounds 17 (Mike Zunino) and 28 (Bruce Maxwell), any shortcomings there weren’t that damaging.

Can Rudy be stopped? All signs point to no, but you should tune in next spring and of course read up at Razzball to find out!

LINK: Jeff Zimmerman, two-time Tout Champ, looks at the stats teams can buy on waivers

We missed this FanGraphs’ piece from February, which uses Tout Wars 2017 stats to ask and answer the question of how many stats do teams find in their original rosters, and how much is added later?

It’s well worth a read.

 

Podhorzer and Schechter Lead Projected AL Standings! And the season doesn’t start until Sunday!

Using Clay Davenport’s projections applied to the Tout AL rosters, Mike Podhorzer is going to win Tout AL big this year, finishing 10 ahead of Larry Schechter and nearly 20 ahead of Rob Leibowitz. Here’re the projected results, thanks to onRoto.com‘s Toy Box.

But onRoto doesn’t project the standings based on rest of year projections using only one projection system. They also run them with the BaseballHQ rest of season projections. With BaseballHQ, Podhorzer and Schechter are closer, much closer, but there is also an alsoran, Patrick Davitt, who becomes a contender in a seriously tight race.

Guess we better let them play it out.

Tout Mixed Draft Winners! Preseason Style.

Our stat provider, onRoto.com, has a feature that allows us to apply two sets of projections to the current rosters, and see the year’s “final” standings before the season even starts.

Gary Davenport’s projections like Greg Ambrosius and Anthony Perri:

While the BaseballHQ projections tip to Anthony Perri and Greg Ambrosius, with a helping of Ray Murphy:

It’s probably a comfort to two-time defending champ Adam Ronis (and everyone other than Ambrosius, Perri and Murphy, that last year’s projected standings had him finishing 10th and ninth respectively. That’s why we let them play.

See you on Opening Day!

How To Follow Tout Wars Mixed Draft Tonight, March 7!

The live spreadsheet is here.

Colton and the Wolfman are covering the draft from 8pm to Midnight tonight on SiriusXM.

Rotoman will be talking about the draft live on the Tout Wars Facebook page.

Tim McLeod will be chatting from inside the draft room on his Facebook page.

Come join us!

Neaux-Blesse Oblige Wins Doubt Wars AL!

doubtwarslogoResults from the 2016 Doubt Wars contest are starting to trickle in. In Doubt AL, Neaux-Blesse Oblige has won the title with a slim lead over Reasonable Doubters.

Doubt Wars players put together dream rosters after the Tout
Wars auctions are done, pricing players at $1 more than their Tout Wars price. Draft day rosters are held all season long, and then combined with the Tout Wars draft day roster to form one big roto standings.

The team with the highest average rank in the TW 5×5 categories is the champion.

This year’s Tout Wars draft day winner was Larry Schechter. His TW AL squad was bested by 11 Doubt Wars players.

Tout AL champ, Seth Trachtman, sees his draft day lineup bested by 42 other teams!

See the whole standings here.

Here is the Neaux-Blesse Oblige Doubt Wars squad. Great seasons from Mike Napoli, Jose Ramirez, Kyle Seager, Justin Upton, Kendry Morales and David Ortiz on offense, and Justin Verlander, Corey Kluber, Roberto Osuna and David Robertson pitching, overcame some pretty big holes.

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Congratulations Neaux-Blesse Oblige!

Look for NL and Mixed Doubt Wars results in the coming days.

Tout Wars Roundup!

PHOTOS From SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio on Saturday, March 19, 2016 (click the date!)

H2H: Evan Tarracciano article – Peter Kreutzer Jeff Boggis (graph) – Jeff ZimmermanHoward BenderBrent Hershey – Jeff Zimmerman Readers (How Would You Approach This Tout Wars League?)Jeff Zimmerman (How I Approached It)

AL: Jeff EricksonRon ShandlerChris LissLawr Michaels (pre-draft) – Lawr Michaels (post-draft) – Mike PodhorzerMike Gianella (AL and NL auction analysis  with charts) – Rob Leibowitz – Patrick Davitt

Mixed Auction: Bret SayreRay FlowersTim HeaneyCory SchwartzBret SayreFlags Fly Forever Podcast (mixed auction and NL) with Bret Sayre and Mike Gianella – Zach Steinhorn – Derek Van Riper – Steve Gardner and Tim Heaney on Tout NL and Mixed Auction –  Fred Zinkie

NL: Ray GuilfoyleGrey Albright – Flags Fly Forever Podcast (mixed auction and NL) with Bret Sayre and Mike Gianella – Andy BehrensMike GianellaSteve Gardner and Tim Heaney on Tout NL and Mixed Auction – Brian Walton – Steve Gardner (Sports Weekly)

Mixed Draft: Rudy GambleRudy Gamble/Alan Harrison Tout Wars (and LABR) PodcastAdam Ronis