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Mike Gianella 

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04-20

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Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Ep. 129: Grey Albright
by
George Bissell and Mike Gianella

04-20

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Reconsidering Your Targets
by
Mike Gianella

04-18

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0

Expert FAAB Review: Week 3
by
Mike Gianella

04-12

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4

Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Ep. 128: The Colorado Attraction
by
George Bissell, Mike Gianella and Greg Wellemeyer

04-11

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2

Expert FAAB Review: Week 2
by
Mike Gianella

04-06

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Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Ep. 127: Treinen To Lose
by
George Bissell, Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

04-06

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: The PFM and The Model Portfolio
by
Mike Gianella

04-04

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3

Expert FAAB Review: Week 1
by
Mike Gianella

04-01

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4

Fantasy Draft Rankings: The Top 300 For 2017 - Second Version
by
Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

03-31

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8

Fantasy Auction Values: Fifth Edition, 2017
by
Mike Gianella

03-30

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3

Expert League Auction Recap: Tout Wars General Impressions
by
Mike Gianella

03-29

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Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Ep. 126: Tout Wars Recap
by
George Bissell, Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

03-28

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5

Expert League Auction Recap: Tout Wars National League
by
Mike Gianella

03-24

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15

Fantasy Auction Values: Fourth Edition, 2017
by
Mike Gianella

03-23

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Looking Back on Tomorrow: Atlanta Braves
by
Mike Gianella

03-22

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Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Ep. 125: The Auction Strategy Show
by
George Bissell, Mike Gianella and Jeff Quinton

03-20

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Adjusting for Smaller Leagues
by
Mike Gianella

03-17

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32

Fantasy Auction Values: Third Edition, 2017
by
Mike Gianella

03-15

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Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Ep. 123: NL LABR Recap with Steve Gardner
by
George Bissell and Mike Gianella

03-15

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16

Fantasy Draft Rankings: The Top 300 For 2017
by
Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

03-10

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3

The -Only League Landscape: American League Relievers
by
Mike Gianella

03-10

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23

Fantasy Auction Values: Second Edition, 2017
by
Mike Gianella

03-09

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4

Expert League Auction Recap: 2017 LABR Overview
by
Mike Gianella

03-08

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Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Ep. 122: AL LABR Recap
by
George Bissell, Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

03-07

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12

Fantasy Tiered Rankings: Relief Pitchers
by
Mike Gianella

03-07

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3

Expert League Auction Recap: American League LABR
by
Mike Gianella

03-03

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The -Only League Landscape: American League Starting Pitchers
by
Mike Gianella

03-03

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7

Fantasy Freestyle: PECOTA, the PFM, My Bid Limits, and You
by
Mike Gianella

03-03

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40

Fantasy Auction Values: First Edition, 2017
by
Mike Gianella

03-01

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2

Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Ep. 121: Starting Pitcher Preview
by
George Bissell, Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

02-24

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10

Fantasy Tiered Rankings: Starting Pitchers, Part II
by
Mike Gianella

02-23

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14

Fantasy Tiered Rankings: Starting Pitchers, Part I
by
Mike Gianella

02-22

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Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Ep. 120: Defending Andrew McCutchen
by
George Bissell, Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

02-20

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The -Only League Landscape: American League Outfielders
by
Mike Gianella

02-16

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Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Ep. 119: LABR Recap
by
George Bissell, Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

02-15

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13

Fantasy Tiered Rankings: Outfielders, Part II
by
Mike Gianella

02-14

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4

Fantasy Tiered Rankings: Outfielders, Part One
by
Mike Gianella

02-10

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The -Only League Landscape: American League Shortstops
by
Mike Gianella

02-08

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Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Ep. 118: It's Just Stupid
by
George Bissell, Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

02-07

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12

Fantasy Tiered Rankings: Shortstop
by
Mike Gianella

02-07

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12

Prospectus Feature: Using the PFM and BP's Fantasy Tools
by
Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

02-03

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0

The -Only League Landscape: American League Third Basemen
by
Mike Gianella

02-01

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Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Ep. 117: A Game of Concern and Illusion
by
George Bissell, Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

01-31

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34

Fantasy Tiered Rankings: Third Base
by
Mike Gianella

01-27

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4

The -Only League Landscape: American League Second Basemen
by
Mike Gianella

01-26

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Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Ep. 116: The Trea Turner Question
by
George Bissell, Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

01-24

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17

Fantasy Tiered Rankings: Second Base
by
Mike Gianella

01-20

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The -Only League Landscape: American League First Basemen
by
Mike Gianella

01-18

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1

Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Ep. 115: Animal Crackers
by
George Bissell, Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

01-17

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21

Fantasy Tiered Rankings: First Basemen
by
Mike Gianella

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Razzball founder Grey Albright joins the show to discuss a myriad of relevant (and irrelevant) topics. Then George Bissell and Mike Gianella answer listener questions in the first-ever mailbag segment.

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April 20, 2017 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Reconsidering Your Targets

2

Mike Gianella

Early on, look less at the data while watching more baseball.

April is a rough time for baseball analysts, fantasy or otherwise. We’re so excited to finally write about real baseball games that many of us inevitably jump the gun and start trying to parse through miniscule amounts of data. My best advice during the first 2-3 weeks of the season is to watch as much baseball as you can while looking at as little data as possible. Yes, this includes looking at how your teams are doing in their fantasy leagues. This is particularly true if your team is off to a poor start. Spend enough time looking at poor results for a two-week period and you might find yourself believing that your team really is this bad.

However, while performances seldom impact a fantasy team’s overall fortunes, events frequently do. Injuries are the most dramatic performance-altering event, but lineup changes or mid-season minor-league promotions can have an impact as well, particularly in deeper leagues. But the in-season change I want to talk about today involves closers.

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Sorting out the Texas Rangers bullpen might take all season, but chasing saves with a losing team can be a scary fantasy proposition. Melvin Upton Jr. will get a rebirth with the Giants soon—they just better hope he does better than he did with the Jays after being traded.

Welcome back to The FAAB Review, the weekly series that looks at FAAB bidding in expert leagues to help you, the Baseball Prospectus reader, with your fantasy baseball bidding needs. Every week, I closely scrutinize the expert free agent bids in LABR Mixed, Tout Wars NL, and LABR AL.

As a reminder, LABR uses a $100 budget with one-dollar minimum bids, while Tout Wars uses a $1,000 budget with zero-dollar minimum bids. LABR and Tout Wars use a bidding deadline of Sunday at midnight ET for all FAAB claims. Any statistics mentioned in this article are through the previous Sunday’s games.

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George Bissell, Mike Gianella and Greg Wellemeyer break down the latest FAAB acquisitions in Tout Wars and LABR, discuss current events, Yoan Moncada’s blazing hot start in Triple-A, and finally answer a plethora of Twitter questions.

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Mark Reynolds, Kyle Freeland, Stephen Drew and Jeff Mathis (!?) getting lots of action.

Welcome back to The FAAB Review, the weekly series that looks at fantasy free-agent bidding in expert leagues to help you, the Baseball Prospectus reader, with your fantasy baseball bidding needs. Every week, I closely scrutinize the expert free agent bids in LABR Mixed, Tout Wars NL, and LABR AL.

As a reminder, LABR uses a $100 budget with $1 minimum bids, while Tout Wars uses a $1,000 budget with $0 minimum bids. LABR and Tout Wars use a bidding deadline of Sunday at midnight ET for all FAAB claims. Any statistics mentioned in this article are through the previous Sunday’s games.

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George Bissell, Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre of Baseball Prospectus break down the first cycle of FAAB bidding in the Tout Wars and LABR expert leagues before taking an in-depth look at April lineup setting strategies.

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April 6, 2017 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: The PFM and The Model Portfolio

3

Mike Gianella

Applying PFM valuations to the My Model Portfolio exercise and testing the results against mixed Tout Wars teams.

Every March, at least a few readers ask me “Why don’t you just use the PFM instead of your bids, Mike?”

Over the years, I have answered this question a few different ways. But today I thought I’d take a different approach. Inspired by a reader question last month, I decided to take the Player Forecast Manager's valuations for a 15-team mixed league and apply them to Baseball Prospectus’ My Model Portfolio exercise from March. As a reminder, this is what our authors did in that series.

In the “My Model Portfolio” series, the fantasy staff will create its own team within a $260 auction budget using Mike Gianella’s latest mixed-league Bid Limits for 2017. The scoring is 5x5 standard roto. The roster being constructed includes: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CI, MI, 5 OF, 2 UTIL, and 9 P.

The Process
In this case, the process is simple. I took my mixed-league bids, took the valuations the PFM spit out for a 15-team league, and posted the results below. I started by using the 23 players who had the biggest differential between the PFM valuations and my bid limits, and kept adding players with less of a differential by position until I reached $260 in salary. As a reminder, every “winning” bid below equals my published bid limits plus one. One-dollar players on my team are those who were not listed in my bid limits.

The only change I made to this exercise is that I added a second catcher to the team and removed the second utility player, since my bids are designed to mirror the Tout Wars mixed-auction format. At the end of the season, I want to test this team not against the model portfolio teams but rather the mixed Tout Wars teams.

The Offense

Position

Player

Bid

PFM $

C

Gary Sanchez

25

$31.21

C

Brian McCann

10

$20.22

1B

Carlos Santana

15

$22.15

2B

Josh Harrison

5

$14.25

3B

Aledmys Diaz

7

$15.26

SS

Jose Reyes

6

$14.63

CI

Tommy Joseph

9

$15.43

MI

Devon Travis

3

$11.81

OF

Billy Hamilton

22

$28.54

OF

Andrew McCutchen

22

$28.78

OF

A.J. Pollock

19

$25.79

OF

Adam Jones

15

$27.21

OF

Kole Calhoun

8

$14.75

UT

Jacoby Ellsbury

8

$15.06

Total

174

$285.09


The PFM is far more conservative on the top players than I am, so there are no Mike Trouts on this squad. This goes against what Bret Sayre typically does in Tout Wars mixed, and the approach I tend to take in shallower auctions. Sanchez at $25 is the anchor for the team, but the PFM also is betting on a comeback from McCutchen and for Hamilton to finally achieve his potential.

This is a fairly risk-averse team. Where my bid limits are somewhat cautious with Joseph and Travis, the PFM believes that they’ll be solid contributors. Calhoun and Ellsbury are not the most exciting players, but the PFM thinks that they will at least contribute at the levels they did over the last few years.

The Pitching

Player

Bid

PFM $

Clayton Kershaw

42

$49.54

Dallas Keuchel

10

$17.15

John Lackey

10

$15.61

Jeff Samardzija

10

$15.79

Michael Pineda

6

$12.73

Michael Shoemaker

4

$9.48

Wei-Yin Chen

2

$9.69

Matt Andriese

1

$6.40

Mike Leake

1

$7.63

Total

86

$144.02

You can’t argue against purchasing Clayton Kershaw. While my bid limit sits at $42, it is admittedly a compromise with at least three separate goals: trying to spread money across a pitching staff, building in some risk because he is a pitcher, and also giving deference to Clayton Kershaw. I have no qualms with spending $50 or more on him in a mixed format.

The PFM spits out mostly veterans, which isn’t surprising. A former AL Cy Young winner, a reliable-yet-aging workhorse, and a solid arm who had one poor year with the White Sox back up Kershaw at $10 apiece. This is a very strong base for a pitching staff. With a pitching staff like this, my strategy typically would be to bottom out with one dollar starters and spend $77 on the entire staff.

The Prediction

This is the section of the model portfolio where our staff came up with predictions for their teams. For a league that doesn’t play out, going with a balanced team is a solid approach. Something the PFM cannot do that a human can is look for one-dollar fliers that the PFM puts below replacement level. Someone is going to get this year’s Aledmys Diaz—we just don’t know who that is yet.

I will revisit this team at the end of the regular season. Like any “test” of the PFM, it is far from perfect, but this is the goal of the PFM: to build a hypothetical team that is a successful fantasy franchise.

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A look at how the wise guys spent their money in expert leagues during the opening week.

Welcome back to The FAAB Review, the series that looks at FAAB bidding in expert leagues in an effort to try to help you, the Baseball Prospectus reader, with your fantasy baseball bidding needs.

This year there is a change in the leagues we cover. I’ll still be covering the LABR Mixed and Tout Wars NL bids, but since I have shifted over from LABR Mixed to LABR AL I'll be focusing more on LABR AL for my American League-only readers. While I will offer insight into the bidding in the mixed expert leagues, it won’t have my direct perspective.

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Three-hundred players. Ranked in a slightly different manner than two weeks ago.

Below is the second and final update for those readers who do drafts instead of auctions. This list is modeled for 15-team mixed leagues that use standard Rotisserie scoring and rosters. As noted in the previous update, this means that the list does not contain 30 catchers, so you will need to add a few catchers to the bottom of this list to make sure that you draft a second catcher.

Most of the rankings in this update remain unchanged, particularly in the Top 150 or so. Changes in this update are due to injury or change in roles, not value judgments based on a player’s Spring Training performance.

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March 31, 2017 6:00 am

Fantasy Auction Values: Fifth Edition, 2017

8

Mike Gianella

Mike updates his bid limits for the final time this spring.

Here it is, the fifth and final bid limit update. Opening Day is Sunday (!) and at long last all that hard work and preparation will come to fruition with a kick ass auction this coming weekend. Updates below are either because of injury and playing time changes or because the results of the Tout Wars auctions this weekend made me reconsider a bid.

Changes of two dollars in either direction are listed below for players with significant value. Mixed league bids will reflect the same valuation change unless otherwise noted. Players whose prices have been updated because of the Tout Wars auction results will be updated in the AL and NL-only sections only.

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March 30, 2017 6:00 am

Expert League Auction Recap: Tout Wars General Impressions

3

Mike Gianella

Mike shares his thoughts on the recently completed Tout Wars expert auctions.

Tout Wars Recap – General Impressions

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George Bissell, Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre recap the Tout Wars Mixed and NL-only auctions from New York City last weekend.

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