The Outcomes celebrate the start of the season, answer reader questions, and discuss strategy.
It’s our 50th episode! We’re celebrating the start of the 2015 MLB season by answering reader questions, going through our draft results for our teams with an eye toward strategy for upgrading your team in season, talking about some of our favorite story lines for the year, and of course mentioning the best things we saw this week.
One of our reader questions is about converting defensive ratings to TAv (True Average) so that you can use the platoon splits for TAv and include defense.
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The Outcomes discuss their picks and their strategy for building a team that achieves their goals.
Have you ever wondered why Scoresheet drafts are slow affairs, paced out over the course of a month? Wonder no more, as the Outcomes take you through the draft of one of Scoresheet's flagship leagues, BL DwMurphy. This league, now in its 19th year, has a few special rules—there are only eight optional keepers, there is only one minor-league protection spot, everyone is eligible for the draft (meaning you, me, and your favorite Cuban/Japanese/college sleeper), and, oh yeah, the draft takes place live over one day. You can visit Brian Dewberry-Jones' lovingly maintained DwMurphy page for a complete history, and to meet some of the illustrious present and past participants.
Clocking in at a healthy 9 1/2 hours, more than 700 players were drafted in this deep, grueling league. Traditionally, drafts take place in person, in San Francisco, but the Outcomes discuss their draft from a remote setup in bucolic Michigan, as they slowly descend into madness. Along the way, they provide insight on building a team and achieving goals, interview a competitor, and try to keep their spirits high. For those who love to follow along, final rosters are now available on the Scoresheet DwMurphy League page. The Outcomes ask you: how did we—er, we mean, they—do?
The Outcomes spotlight one player from each team whose value could change between now and May.
We’re just as excited as anyone that Opening Day is fast approaching, but we also want to be careful not to overrate its importance for Scoresheet. There’s no guarantee that a player who makes the roster for day one will stick around come May. So here, we list a player we’ll be monitoring on each NL team (we went through the AL last week). Some of these guys are in position battles that potentially won’t be resolved for months. Others are finally getting an opportunity for consistent playing time. And a third group need to find that final gear to achieve (Scoresheet) stardom. Or at least be worthy of a keeper slot.
The Outcomes discuss the junior-circuit position battles they're keeping an eye on this spring.
We’re just as excited as anyone that Opening Day is fast approaching, but we also want to be careful not to overrate its importance for Scoresheet. There’s no guarantee that a player who makes the roster for day one will stick around come May. So here, we list a player we’ll be monitoring on each AL team. Some of these guys are in position battles that potentially won’t be resolved for months. Others are finally getting an opportunity for consistent playing time. And a third group need to find that final gear to achieve (Scoresheet) stardom. Or at least be worthy of a keeper slot.
Baltimore Orioles: Kevin Gausman
We tend to argue against the value of pitching prospects in Scoresheet, and to date, Gausman has been a clear example of exuberance clouding judgment. Scoresheet owners have been expecting to build around Gausman, but to do so, he’ll have to take a leap soon, because as it currently stands, he projects to be a walk-prone back end starter who probably shouldn’t make a playoff rotation. A strong 2015 would go a long way to making him the franchise cornerstone that you may have expected.
In lieu of traditional sleeper picks, the Outcomes recommend some player types to consider.
Scoresheet drafts are like snowflakes—cold, unforgiving, and increasingly filled with garbage after a few weeks. Oh, and no two are alike. Sorry, some of us are from the Northeast. When advising on potential mid-round sleepers, we have to keep in mind your draft, as fit issues and potential handcuffs are far more important in a simulation than in a traditional fantasy league. With that in mind, instead of offering a list of names of sleepers to you, we’ll instead look at categories of players that some of you may want to keep in mind.
This week, the Outcomes talk with the BP fantasy guru Bret Sayre about drafting prospects in Scoresheet.
Imagine MLB with a relaxed version of the reserve clause, and you’re well on your way to understanding the reason to go for prospects in Scoresheet. The vanilla Scoresheet format allows for unlimited minor league keeper protection, at the mere cost of a team’s lowest draft pick. When combined with the 13 perpetual hard keeper slots at the major-league level, it means that going prospecting is one of the few ways to reliably improve your team’s lot in life.
Focusing on minor leaguers doesn’t mean, necessarily, that you should build your team directly through the players on your farm. When we hear Scoresheet owners sometimes complain that prospects are being overvalued in their drafts, we wonder if they are using their farm wrong, focusing on the bust rate of a prospect as opposed to the relative commodity value of the asset. Developing your prospects in order to trade them is a perfectly acceptable strategy, much like a bad team hoarding talent at a position or drafting easy-to-flip middle relievers for future picks would be. With that in mind, even owners who doubt the return on investment in a prospect should still consider playing the market.
The Outcomes puts a new crowdsourcing tool at your disposal.
Our update this week is short and sweet, but may be helpful as you prepare for your Scoresheet league draft. While we’ve shared our keeper preferences over the past few months, we recognize that we are but three lone voices shouting Braff-style into the abyss. However, now that the public keeper deadline has passed, we have some quantifiable information that tells us more about the true nature of keepers.
One of our own, Ben Murphy, developed a tool that measures whether players are currently rostered in Scoresheet leagues, and then aggregates these findings together into an average ownership percentage. So here, for the first time, are the Scoresheet average keeper rankings for 2015.
A conceptual look at how you should treat pitching in Scoresheet formats.
Since keeper season is over for many, and our Keeper List is already available to the public, we’re going conceptual in our discussion of pitchers this week. If you’re still making keeper decisions, please feel free to check out that link, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with anything specific.
Many Scoresheet leagues are on the precipice of making keeper decisions. For those who may have missed it earlier, we’ve put together a guide to keepers for your reference or dismissal, whichever you prefer.
As some public and private leagues do not require keeper lists to be submitted yet, we’ll be joining our fantasy compatriots across the positional ranks once again. Outfielders in Scoresheet have a tendency to be overvalued, as there are generally more good outfielders available in the middle or even towards the end of the draft than there are acceptable middle infielders. On the other hand, the position is stronger at the top than it’s been in years, and you may be looking to bundle some players together to trade up.
As you've probably been reading in our sister fantasy positional articles this week, middle infield has borne the brunt of the offensive downturn. When playing Scoresheet, factors such as handedness, defensive prowess, and durability also are in play, the back end of the shortstop rankings in both leagues can best be described as "a pile of mush." We're happy to help you dig.
As always, these rankings are developed for a continuous 10-team keeper league playing under standard Scoresheet rules, with 13 keepers and up to two league crossovers. Also as always, your mileage may vary.
Both in real life and fantasy, it's a joy to watch the current crop of third basemen play. The position most neglected historically is having maybe its best era, with great peak talents, future Hall of Famers exiting their prime, and a few youngsters getting ready to approach greatness. What's more, this list doesn't even contain Kris Bryant yet.
As ever, our house rules for these rankings. The keeper rankings assume that your team is in a 10-team continuing league with 13 hard keepers, including up to two crossovers, operating under standard Scoresheet rules. The more your league differs from normal, the more your lists may vary.