The Draft Buddy members head-to-head points fantasy baseball league draft is underway. Continuing from my draft prep post, we can call this continuing draft prep, since it is a slow draft, or draft recap, or a bit of both.
We started Monday morning with a 6-hour timer, but frankly, other than one longer stoppage, it hasn’t been very slow. Tuesday morning now and we are through pick 4.08 in this 12-team H2H points fantasy baseball draft. I am drafting from the 12th spot so a long wait for me after each pair of picks.
I am going to use the same format as the prior post, so keep checking back in for ongoing updates.
H2H Points Fantasy Baseball
As mentioned, this is a fantasy points league. This is an important distinction from a roto league, and most fantasy baseball analysis that is based on standard 5X5 roto, or category scoring. In this league, ratios are (mostly) meaningless. Of course if a player earns exceptionally poor ratios then they are going to be riding the pine or off their Major League Baseball team roster eventually, but there is no direct impact on fantasy league scoring.
We are doing this league on Fantrax and using their default scoring. You can review 2018 season player stats with Fantrax scoring. The top hitter who hit under 30 HR in this scoring is Trea Turner, checking in at #13 with his 19 HR and 43 SB.
Bah! Live blog format doesn’t work well with constant distractions! Off to take my daughter and her friend to a swimming course they are taking while on spring break. Back in an hour with some actual draft pick updates…
Import Draft Results From Fantrax
As I was saying, knowing the impact of the scoring system (plus number of teams, lineup requirements, etc.) is crucial to properly value players for your draft. That is where Draft Buddy helps immensely. With baseball in particular, there are a much wider range of league types than most fantasy football leagues, and points versus roto is a great example.
Before we get to the draft picks, I cooked up a new video demonstrating the Fantrax integration features in Draft Buddy. These allow you to import team names, keepers and most importantly, draft results. This makes tracking your draft so much easier and faster. Love this feature.
If you already use fantasy football Draft Buddy and draft on MyFantasyLeague.com, then you know what a benefit this is. The Fantrax integration for baseball works very much the same.
Lets get to some draft picks or I will never get caught up. We are now into the middle of Round 5 as of writing this, but lets take a look a round at a time. The draft started with, no surprise, Mike Trout going number one overall. My projections score him 40 points higher than Mookie Betts, who went number two overall.
As shown back in the prior draft prep post, starting pitchers accounted for half of the Top 12 in my overall rankings output from Draft Buddy, including spots two, three and four. So I really was wondering when the first pitcher would get drafted. I didn’t really expect second overall, but maybe three. Max Scherzer lasted to pick six, which to me, ends up being a really good value for Kerry.
Jacob deGrom went immediately after Scherzer. I thought our own @Roto_Chris (articles, Twitter) might take a starting pitcher, as we discussed the pitcher-heavy valuations for this draft and he continued to jibe me about starting the draft with two pitchers. He went Bryce Harper though, whose ADP is 16th overall currently, so a sign the fantasy points favoring power hitters are impacting the draft.
Ronald Acuna is surprisingly absent from our first round. Don’t see that very often. I did end up taking a starting pitcher in Chris Sale. There were good choices with only Scherzer and deGrom drafted at SP ahead of Sale, but I still have him a notch ahead of Corey Kluber and Justin Verlander.
Now having fallen way behind, lets streamline some pick recap and comments. Drafting on the end, I am first up in the even rounds. A second starting pitcher right out of the gate is tempting. I think it is more doable when you already have a big bat you can count on. In a recent 12-team NFBC draft, the number one team took Trout, and then came back with Kluber and Verlander.
That seemed to set him up very nicely the rest of the draft, but he had Trout of course. I don’t have that luxury of course, and with 14 starting hitters versus 9 starting pitchers (who don’t play “everyday”, obviously), really have to lean hitter here I think.
I should note here too I expect this draft to follow average draft position pretty well, even though this is a points league, and ADP is predominantly roto. Starting pitchers are going earlier and earlier in drafts this year, so it may be difficult to tell if they go high here is it because of the scoring, or because that is the norm. I don’t however think every owner will adjust enough to the format, so there should still be good pitching choices in the third and fourth rounds.
Hitter it is, I take Giancarlo Stanton. Our Draft Buddy projections are very bullish on Stanton. Keep in mind our projections are based on Steamer, but with our own playing time adjustments. The combination of the two equals lots of home runs, which translates to lots of points in this league. Thankfully, no negative points for strikeouts.
Acuna finally gets drafted, third pick of the second round. His owner is very happy, and why not. He was the 73rd ranked hitter last year in this scoring, in 111 games. The same output playing 150 games puts him at 627 fantasy points, good for 11th last season. He is appropriately valued falling into the second round, given the scoring, but even as a second year player perhaps a safer bet than someone like Stanton, or Harper, who rely more heavily on the long ball.
To sum up the rest of the second round, the pitchers went! Five to be exact from 2.05 to 2.12 – Verlander, Kluber, Aaron Nola, Gerrit Cole and Blake Snell. So that is even a bit earlier than I expected. Maybe I was naive and it was to be expected since everyone has knowledge of and access to the same fantasy baseball draft tool.
I am a bit surprised Aaron Judge didn’t got a bit higher, and really surprised Francisco Lindor fell into the third round. Interesting enough, I mentioned earlier the NFBC draft where Team 1 when Trout-SP-SP, and the same thing happened here.
This round had the makings of continuing to be heavy at starting pitcher with Carlos Carrasco taken off the top. It ended up as only a trickle though with Noah Syndergaard taken at 3.09 and Trevor Bauer 3.11. Wait until the fourth round.
This is the round where we clean up some very good hitters who often make their way into the top two rounds of drafts, but slipped down into the third. Examples using ADP from FantasyPros:
- Javier Baez – ADP 16, drafted 27
- Francisco Lindor – ADP 6 (this seems a tad high), drafted 28
- Manny Machado – ADP 13, drafted 31
- Andrew Benintendi – ADP 29, drafted 36
Through three rounds we have two teams with two pitchers. Not only team 1, but team 7 did the reverse of team 1, starting deGrom-Kluber, and getting Machado in the third. Seven other teams have one pitcher, leaving three with none.
Something I am starting to come around on at this point in terms of strategy is, do I attempt to draft and start 9 starting pitchers and no relievers? There is no distinction between SP and RP for this league, and it is a points league with Innings Pitched, Wins and Quality Starts scored relatively high, while Saves are modestly rewarded.
Starters will normally only play once a week, of course, while a reliever could see action three times. Here are the top 34 pitchers from last year in this scoring. I picked 34 because I wanted to capture Kenley Jansen in the table. The last column is fantasy points per game.
|1. Max Scherzer, WAS||SP||603.7||18.3|
|2. Edwin Diaz, SEA||RP||560.3||7.7|
|3. Justin Verlander, HOU||SP||559.0||16.4|
|4. Blake Snell, TB||SP||548.7||17.7|
|5. Gerrit Cole, HOU||SP||537.3||16.8|
|6. Corey Kluber, CLE||SP||533.0||16.2|
|7. Aaron Nola, PHI||SP||520.3||15.8|
|8. Blake Treinen, OAK||RP||519.3||7.6|
|9. Jacob deGrom, NYM||SP||500.0||15.6|
|10. Luis Severino, NYY||SP||489.3||15.3|
|11. Craig Kimbrel, BOS||RP||478.3||7.6|
|12. Carlos Carrasco, CLE||SP|RP||471.0||14.7|
|13. Chris Sale, BOS||SP||458.0||17.0|
|14. Patrick Corbin, ARI||SP||451.0||13.7|
|15. Trevor Bauer, CLE||SP|RP||450.3||16.1|
|16. Kyle Freeland, COL||SP||446.3||13.5|
|17. Charlie Morton, HOU||SP||445.0||14.8|
|18. Miles Mikolas, STL||SP||443.7||13.9|
|19. J.A. Happ, TOR||SP||438.7||14.2|
|20. Mike Clevinger, CLE||SP||430.0||13.4|
|21. German Marquez, COL||SP||429.0||13.0|
|22. Zack Greinke, ARI||SP||427.7||13.0|
|23. Felipe Vazquez, PIT||RP||427.0||6.1|
|24. Rick Porcello, BOS||SP||425.3||12.9|
|25. Wade Davis, COL||RP||414.3||6.0|
|26. Jon Lester, CHC||SP||413.7||12.9|
|27. David Price, BOS||SP||408.0||13.6|
|28. Mike Foltynewicz, ATL||SP||407.0||13.1|
|29. Jameson Taillon, PIT||SP||392.0||12.3|
|30. Aroldis Chapman, NYY||RP||384.3||7.0|
|31. Jhoulys Chacin, MIL||SP||383.7||11.0|
|32. James Paxton, SEA||SP||381.3||13.6|
|33. Kenley Jansen, LAD||RP||380.7||5.5|
|34. Zack Wheeler, NYM||SP||379.3||13.1|
I haven’t got a definitive answer yet, as it will depend to a degree how the draft goes, but I think it is valid to fade relievers hard to punting them completely.
Download Draft Buddy for Full Draft
Monday March 18
The draft wrapped last Friday, so we started and finished the slow draft from Monday to Friday with no weekend overlap, which is great. Nice pace gentlemen! I got sidetracked into programming and other work so I wasn’t able to keep going with the detailed draft recap.
I uploaded a copy of my completed Draft Buddy for this draft for your review. Find it under Additional Files on the Draft Buddy download page.