Tout Mixed Auction: How To Beat a Zinkie

by David Gonos,

There are a few things I’ve come to realize in my eight Tout Wars seasons

  1. I’m usually a very good drafter (especially in auction leagues).
  2. Drinking the night before the auction is always good luck for me.
  3. I usually lead the league – or hang out among the top group – in the first couple months of the season.
  4. I usually fade back as injuries attack my roster and in-season studs get snatched up by other more aggressive owners.
  5. I’m a bad in-season fantasy manager.
  6. And I’m a horrible end-game player.

I tell you all of this because my Tout Wars team was a little different in 2013. I managed to hang around the top in the first couple months, and then ascend to the upper crust (just two or three of us in a 15-team league) in the second half of the league, and stay there.

My team managed to escape crippling injuries, although I had to wait quite a bit for Adam Eaton to make his debut on my team.

And I’ve made several very good trades at the right time.

But now, with one week to go, I’m four points back of the lead, chasing only MLB’s Fred Zinkie. It has been this way for about six weeks now, and I decided to take to Twitter to trash talk Zinkie into accidentally dropping three superstar players after putting his lineup in with a nervous twitch.

But, alas, he stayed strong.

So here’s what I need to happen:

I can lose points in the following categories:

  • Runs – Can’t gain, but I can lose one point.
  • Home Runs – Can gain 1.5 points, can lose two points.
  • RBI – I can gain one point.
  • Stolen Bases – Can gain a point (and make Zinkie lose a point) if I have eight more SBs than him this week. Very unlikely, but more on that in a second. I can lose one point here, too.
  • OBP – Safe.
  • Wins – I can gain 1.5 points, or lose one point here.
  • Saves – I can gain one point.
  • ERA – Safe.
  • WHIP – Safe.
  • Strikeouts – I can gain or lose 0.5 points here.

In this final week, I can realistically gain 6.5 points this week, and I can realistically lose 5.5 points.

It became apparent that I could use some power (who can’t?), some speed (always) and some wins and strikeouts.

I picked up Jordano Ventura for double starts, giving me 10 starts this week. I’m hopeful of picking up at least six wins from my starters, against weak teams like Houston, Colorado twice, Miami, San Francisco and the White Sox. This should also give me a nice boost in strikeouts.

As far as speed, I went all in on buying Billy Hamilton, hoping he can help make up that eight-SB difference between Zinkie and myself. Hamilton picked up seven steals all on his own this past week, so let’s see what the speedy part-timer can do for me in the final week. If he steals me seven more and I win the whole thing, I will become the fattest guy ever walking around in a Billy Hamilton jersey!

Unfortunately, adding Hamilton made me sit Michael Morse. When I grabbed Hamilton, I thought he would be SS eligible, but he’s only OF eligible. I’m a dope. (See Point No. 5 above.)

So here we go, it all comes down to the final week.  Over the past couple months, I’ve come close to Zinkie, and even tied him once last week, but I’ve yet to overtake him. He also owns the Roto tiebreaker over me, so I need to beat him outright.

Here goes nothin’!

Follow along with the fun on my Twitter account, @davidgonos, as I have the week long sweats (It’s like Thanksgiving all over again!)