Clay Link’s Head to Head Season Recap

My second year in Tout Wars H2H was a big improvement on the first.

The move to a points-based scoring system (from categories), with every out recorded being worth a point, played into my strengths as a player. I’ve found that I am better at finding an edge on the pitching side, and in this format, I was rewarded greatly (more so than in standard 5×5 leagues) for my pitching finds. I finished second, and while it’s sometimes said that second place is “first loser,” I consider this a great accomplishment given the quality of the field.

I won six consecutive matchups to close out the season and felt like I really had the league down from a roster-construction standpoint late in the year. Unfortunately for me, by the time I had the pieces in place, it was too late to catch Jake Ciely. I emerged from the auction and reserve draft with a poorly constructed roster — four hitters on my bench. By the end of the season, I did not have a single hitter on my bench, and I think that’s the way you have to play this 12-team points format. With two lineup periods per week — Monday and Friday lineup submissions — it’s important to just have a slew of arms to rotate into your lineup to maximize points. I learned to treat the waiver wire as my bench for hitters, picking up hitters only when there was a need in my starting lineup.

 

My highest scorers:

    • Justin Verlander – 732 points
    • Aaron Nola – 665 points
    • Blake Snell – 639 points
    • Carlos Santana – 466.5 points
    • Xander Bogaerts – 461 points
    • Dallas Keuchel – 440 points
    • Jesus Aguilar – 439.5 points
    • Lorenzo Cain – 430 points
    • Stephen Piscotty – 423 points
    • George Springer – 420 points
    • Tyler Anderson – 387 points

Notable pickups:

  • Steven Matz ($1)
  • Tyler Skaggs ($61)
  • Tyler Glasnow ($0)
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu ($57)
  • Willy Adames ($0)

Interestingly, James Shields, who I streamed for only one week, would have ranked 12th on my team in points had I left him in for all of his starts (384 points), highlighting the importance of innings.

Busts: Willson Contreras ($11), Nomar Mazara ($11) — not a terrible year for Mazara in standard roto leagues, but he finished with fewer points than Kyle Seager in this format — Luke Weaver ($10), Dinelson Lamet ($5), Scott Kingery ($5).

–Clay

Tout Wars 2017: What Happened?

This is the place for links to analysis of the 2017 season by the Touts. Read what they had to say before the season here. This page will be updated from time to time, as there are more submissions.

Mixed Auction: Jeff Zimmerman (winner) | Ray Flowers

AL: Mike Podhorzer (winner)

NL: Mike Gianella (this is behind the BP paywall as I post, but that should be lifted later today)

Why Jeff Erickson Came in Last in Tout Wars in 2016. By Jeff Erickson

Post mortems are tough. You try to explain your team, your thinking, your approach, and you constantly run the risk of sounding like you’re talking about your fantasy team! Which is a no-no, of course.

Jeff Erickson gives his 2016 Tout Wars team a post mortem. It was an ugly season for Jeff, and he fearless wades into the mess to explain why. SPOILER ALERT: Hitting.

But he does such good, honest job it’s worth the read to learn how to do your own post-mortem. Read it here. It’s on the free side of Rotowire.

Post Mortems: How The Touts’ Seasons Went

More recaps are on their way.

AL: Michaels

NL: Gianella (free at Baseball Prospectus)

Mix Auc: SteinhornFlowers

Mix Draft: Ronis (mp3, 10mb, interview with Nando Di Fino on FNTSY Sports Network, embedded)

H2H: Zimmerman (free at Rotowire) | Zimmerman (free at RotoGraphs) | KreutzerHershey (preseason post, he finished second, so its of interest)

Bret Sayre: How I Won Tout Wars X.

Tout Wars X Champ Bret Sayre.
Tout Wars X Champ Bret Sayre.

Let’s let Bret set the scene:

“If the entire final month left me seasick, the final weekend made me schizophrenic. In fact, it almost made me jealous of the fantasy writers who cover both baseball and football, as I would have had a healthy distraction. Almost. By the halfway point, Pat had taken the overall lead and I was staring down the barrel of what would easily have been my worst period of the entire contest. A week later, my luck had turned and my offense started hitting–pushing me to a 5.5-point lead overall and a little more comfort, which would hold until the final lineups were set on Friday. From that point on, my team’s performance became irrelevant, as Pat’s team was absolutely firing on all cylinders. My lead was down to one at the end of the day Friday and gone by the evening games on Saturday.”

You can read Bret’s story at Baseball Prospectus. It’s on the free side of the paywall.

LINK Al Melchior Laments, and gives good advice

almelchiorEvery fantasy baseball season brings its own challenges. Al Melchior graciously shares his observation about his 2015 results, and how that might help him plan for 2016.

At CBSsports.com. With some references to FOMO, which I know about because I have a teenaged daughter, and TOFU, which I know about because my teenaged daughter is vegetarian. But I’m pretty sure Al means something else.

Gene McCaffrey (Tout NL): LET’S TALK ABOUT ME!

I can’t believe how big the whole thing is now. Back in the day we would huddle in the dank basement of some New York bar. One year we drafted in Steve Moyer’s basement, which I thought was great but later heard tell of other putative Warriors who did not. Now there are at least a hundred people there either drafting or media-involved. Even girls! Maybe three! TV cameras, live radio broadcasts, no question we’re big shots.

Gene McCaffrey, with Steve Gardner, Todd Zola and Lenny Melnick.
Gene McCaffrey, with Steve Gardner, Todd Zola and Lenny Melnick.

The best thing is that the people are terrific. The very few assholes who have passed through the expert ranks of fantasy baseball over the years all disappeared quickly. I mean, I’m the biggest asshole there and I’m only an asshole sometimes. But you want to know about my team.

I won the battle but I may have lost the war. Here’s The Conundrum: in NL- or AL-only leagues the bargains are going to come on the pitchers, but you can’t get too many or you won’t have enough money to buy an offense. Everyone is spending 30 percent or less on pitching and bragging about it, which ABSOLUTELY guarantees that 1) pitchers will be undervalued, and 2) hitters will be overvalued. (A corollary is that some team or teams who don’t spend on pitching are going to score some pitching bargains, making them instant contenders.) When it works it looks great, when it doesn’t—which is usually since everyone is doing it—it looks terrible, but no one cares because odds are that’s what the winner did. To me this state of affairs calls for a contrary strategy and hence the conundrum. Continue reading “Gene McCaffrey (Tout NL): LET’S TALK ABOUT ME!”