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March 26, 2014

My Model Portfolio

Clayton Kershaw Leads the Way

by Craig Goldstein

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On Friday, Mike Gianella released his latest mixed league Bid Limits, which spurred an idea from Bret Sayre called Model Portfolios, wherein the fantasy staff (and anyone else on the BP roster who wants to participate) will create their own team within the confines of a standard 23-man, $260 budget. The roster being constructed includes: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CI, MI, OFx5, UTx2, and Px9 along with the following standards issued by Sayre:

  • We are using the mixed-league values.
  • You can use any player not on Mike's sheet for $1.
  • The scoring will be 5x5 roto, so we're not just picking the players who will return the most value.
  • Eligibility is kept to the positions applicable right now. No potential in-season eligibility is to be considered.

We will track these teams throughout the season to see how everyone fared. Below is Craig's offering, along with an explanation of how he assembled his crew.

I’ll admit to feeling a little overwhelmed when I began this assignment. I had a lot of questions and, more to the point, a lot of decisions to make. Honestly, I’ve played in more head-to-head leagues than Roto in my life, so I’m not the guy who figures out how many points are needed to win and then goes and gets those points (though I admit that’s the smart way to do it). In the end it’s all about drafting a team that can compete and that I like. Rather than pick guys I hate because I think they’ll make me win, I prefer to pick guys I like because I can at least justify it to myself later. Sure it’s a form of self-handicapping but hey, I’ve been doing that all my life.

The true dilemma here though was not so much whom to pick but whom other players were picking and how I could differentiate myself from them in a good way. My biggest debate settled on Billy Hamilton. He’s almost impossible to rate because we have no idea if he’ll hit enough to remain in the big leagues, but even if he’s a merely bad hitter, he’s going to lead the league in steals. That being the case, can I afford to leave him off my roster? If everyone else gambles on him I’m starting from dead last. Even if I take him, I’m merely starting from the same baseline as everyone else who took him. That means I need to add more speed just to compete in stolen bases, and is it worth investing that much to merely compete in one category.

That’s the intriguing part about this “my dream portfolio” series… we can all take the same players. It’s no normal draft because the baseline of what is even competitive changes. Add in that as of right now I have no idea how many people are going to be in this “league” and I don’t know how much damage punting an entire category will cost me. Anyway, my roster is below, including some small notes at the bottom:

Position Players:

Pitchers

Total: $260

Notes:

  • I managed to spend the whole $260 budget. Using Mike Gianella’s bid limits provided for some nice opportunities, especially since we could take anyone he didn’t rank for $1. I immediately added Yordano Ventura to my roster upon hearing that, only to replace him with Shelby Miller. The dollars saved on Ventura weren’t going to be able to be spent elsewhere, so I went with Miller because he has a bit more experience, can potentially log more innings and is in the National League.
  • I did end up opting for Hamilton at the expense of Hanley Ramirez at shortstop. I had Hanley at $34 and Segura in a UTIL spot, but switched Segura to SS and added in Hamilton at the last minute. My thought process was: Hanley might not run like he used to, as he might have been doing something with his leg after running out a hit in Australia, maybe. Anyway, Segura might not be as good as last year but he should run plenty, and along with Choo, Kemp and others, provide me some nice stolen bases above the Hamilton Baseline.
  • I opted for the surest thing there is in pitching in Kershaw, backed him up with an extremely high-quality, high-innings guy in Shields, and then an extremely underrated property in Latos. I filled out the rest of my staff with high-upside young guys that I think have less risk than their prices imply.
  • I went with three closers, hoping most teams would opt for two. Hawkins isn’t popular but I think he can notch 15 saves, and if he can I think I have a shot in the saves category. Of course, the downside to being one of the first to post means that others can ape my strategy if they so choose.

Craig Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Craig's other articles. You can contact Craig by clicking here

1 comment has been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article My Model Portfolio: Hi... (03/26)
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Fantasy Article My Model Portfolio: Hi... (03/26)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article My Model Portfolio: A ... (03/26)
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