April 4, 2014
TTO Scoresheet Podcast
Episode 12: Brandon "Sweet Talkin'" Guyer
As you may have noticed, the regular season has started, so we are going to shift the format of our articles a little bit. Our plan is for these columns to have two parts each week. We’ll start with thoughts on something related to general Scoresheet strategy and end with picks for players we recommend sitting and starting for the next week of Scoresheet games. However, we’re still trying to be flexible and figure out what works, so if next week’s article looks completely different, then the prior few sentences never existed and you can’t prove otherwise.
Benedict Arnold Was a Trader
To drive the point home, let’s quote from Russell’s latest piece on the subject, as he said it better than we could:
So, if you’re not going to adjust your projections for a player just yet, why would you make any changes to your roster? Glad you asked.
The first and most compelling reason is an injury. If you own Jose Reyes, or one of the many pitchers that have had early season issues, you can easily justify making trades to shore up your depth or improve the overall quality of your team in certain areas. A week of Player AAA in the beginning of the season is just as harmful as in the end. You’ll probably have to give up some future value to do this the right way—try to find a team playing for the future that has a piece you could use, and toss them a pick or a prospect. If you have to deal from players you’ll need this year, try to trade the ones that will be easiest to replace in supplemental drafts, like relievers or outfielders.
The second reason you might make a trade is to go after the player that got away from you in the draft. He could be off to a slow start, making his value a little lower, or he could be performing at expectations, but it’s probably going to be easier to trade for your favorite breakout targets before they prove you right. If you got sniped on a draft pick, start talking to his owner and see what it would take to acquire him before it’s too late.
The third reason you might make a trade is to start or continue playing for next year. This one is tough, but sometimes it can be extremely beneficial to swallow hard and give up on 2014 early enough in the year that you get full value for the players your fellow owners desire. For some teams, this might be a continuation of a strategy you decided on before or during the draft, but if you saw key parts of your team go down to injury, you could try to be the first seller on the market and enjoy setting your own price, since the early part of the season is usually a seller’s market. The easiest parts to move are relievers, but you should also consider dealing any position player that you’re not hoping to see turn into a keeper candidate. Try to pick up prospects or draft picks to bolster your chances in 2015. If you’re selling early, go after situations where you have the leverage and optimize your chances of setting the market to your benefit.
Start or Sit
Our advice for who to start and who to sit, therefore, will naturally differ somewhat from roto-specific formats. We generally won't be focusing on the top players, as Jose Fernandez will be starting for you each week, even if he's facing the Gashouse Gorillas. Rather, we'll be focusing on the mid-tier players who can swap into platoon roles, move up and down the lineup, or who may flex into and out of your rotations. We'll also keep in mind the effects of luck-balancing, the Scoresheet simulation feature that tends to regress your fantasy player performance to the level of their real life stats.
Who To Start in Week 2
Marcus Semien: The Sox very well can't call up Ray Durham, can they? This offseason sleeper favorite is probably on your bench at the moment, but next week may be a good time to activate him. Injuries to Gordon Beckham and Jeff Keppinger have granted Semien a long leash, and week 2 sees his team heading to Colorado and then facing the softer part of the Cleveland rotation. Semien could easily supplant Beckham this season, and still makes for a fascinating long-term play, but this week may be his best April spotlight.
Hector Santiago: The Seattle Mariners offense is looking surprisingly feisty in the first few days, including hitting Santiago himself hard once. We still like the idea of throwing lefties against that team, however, especially in Safeco. A team built around Robinson Cano, Brad Miller, and Kyle Seager is set to struggle against lefties, especially one such as Santiago who ordinarily has a big platoon split. It may be a good week to throw him into the back of your rotation.
Drew Stubbs: After an unsettled offseason led draftniks to select every available Rockie outfielder this side of Colavito, reality has settled in, and only Carlos Gonzalez appears to have any sort of regular job. This isn't generally a problem in Scoresheet, where a team can flexibly employ 2-3 start a week players. This week, however, Drew Stubbs will be in the difficult San Francisco ballpark, and he'll probably be drawing the short straw against Madison Bumgarner. There are weeks to sprinkle every Rockies hitter into your lineup, but this shouldn't be one of them.
Ivan Nova: Nova's a two-start pitcher this week, which would be useful for your head-to-head league. In Scoresheet, though, the specific weekly matchups are paramount, as compiling stats matter much less than rate stats in determining value. For Nova, who'll be facing the Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Red Sox this week at New Yankee Stadium, those rate stats may get a little rough. It seems like too much of a risk to start Nova this week when you're likely to have pitchers of similar quality hanging around in your bullpen.
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