With Tout Wars now in the books, Jason looks at the similarities and differences between that auction, CBS, and LABR.
This past weekend, I participated in the American League Tout Wars draft in New York City. If you missed my team review from earlier this week on the Unfiltered blog, you can find it by clicking here. Once the expert auctions are done, I like to compare the results from the three industry auction drafts—LABR, CBS, and Tout Wars—to look for similarities and differences. The three auctions take place at different times, with CBS coming in late February, LABR in early March, and Tout Wars in late March, so it allows us to see how hot or cold spring trainings as well as injuries affect experts’ evaluations and strategies. For example, Mark Teixeira went for $24 in the CBS auction, but after getting injured during the WBC schedule, his value fell to $6 in Tout Wars. Rick Porcello went undrafted in the CBS auction, but a hot spring has propelled his value to $4 in LABR and $5 in Tout Wars over the past weekend.
Despite the different personalities that make up the ownership rosters of each of the three expert leagues, the spending habits are rather similar on a macro level. The talent pool does not change that much over the course of the four weeks, between the CBS auction and the Tout Wars auction, so differences come down to strategy and any major injuries.
The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.
Not a subscriber?
Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.
Mike adjusts his bid limits based on the latest injury news and the players' Tout Wars price tags.
Between some of my reactions to the prices at Tout Wars and a long list of injury news, it was an incredibly busy week for pricing updates. Below is a list of the most significant changes made this week.
With persistence, a plan and a few well-placed risks, Derek turned around a struggling Tout Wars team.
I’ve been talking a lot about theory lately, so I thought I’d lighten things up today and talk about my favorite subject: me. More specifically, I wanted to update you on the progress of my Tout Wars team’s transformation. A couple weeks ago, I talked about how I approach making trades and offered up my Tout NL dealings as a real-life example. That was in the midst of my process to turn my team into a contender, shifting my resources toward the categories that I could gain the most ground in. My stated goals at the time basically boiled down to:
Whether he was expecting them or not, these guys are all over Derek's drafts.
With my final draft completed late last week, draft season is officially over for me, and I’m ready for the season to begin! While we’re waiting for the first pitch (or at least the first pitch thrown in the United States), I thought it might be interesting to look at which players wound up on more than one of my teams. I’m playing in six experts leagues this year, so I had plenty of opportunities to draft a player multiple times.
Before we get started, it’s important to remember that just because a player wound up on several of my teams doesn't mean he was a "have to have" guy for me or that I was targeting him specifically. Take this list for what it's worth: Simply that these players, for one reason or another, wound up on my team multiple times. Some guys I had a feeling ahead of time would wind up on my team (like Boesch, Ludwick, and Encarnacion) while others merely happened to end up on my team through no real preconceived plan (like Holliday, Soto, Hernandez, and Rivera). Then there are others that I thought would be on more of my teams but, for whatever reason, aren't (Mark Reynolds, Brandon Morrow, and Adam Dunn, among many others).
How did our fantasy guru fare in his recent Tout Wars and LABR drafts?
This past weekend, I ventured into New York City for the annual Tout Wars draft. Earlier in the week, I was moved from the Tout Wars Mixed to the NL-only league, which means that I’d be a participant in the two highest-profile NL-only auction leagues for the 2012 season: Tout Wars and LABR (which I drafted at the beginning of the month). Since I didn’t get a chance to write up my LABR team, I thought it would be useful to show you how it compares with my Tout team, give some thoughts on the common threads between the two, and get your opinion on how my teams look.
You’ll find my rosters below (note that LABR uses 10 pitchers and six reserves, while Tout uses nine and four; additionally, Tout uses a “swingman” instead of a fifth outfielder, which can be filled by any hitter or pitcher):
The introduction of the swingman role to Tout Wars presents an interesting set of scenarios.
Earlier this week, Tout Wars made a couple of announcements for the upcoming fantasy season. First, I found out who my competitors would be in the Mixed League as the third and final lineup for Tout Weekend was set. Additionally, rule changes for 2012 were announced, and one of those changes is quite dramatic and unique.
Prefacing these rule changes, the Tout crew wrote:
A look at which stats are the easiest (and hardest) to find on the waiver wire in-season, helping to dictate draft day resource allocation
Draft day is the most ____ day of the year. How that blank is filled in depends on who you talk to. Responses can range anywhere from critical to overrated. Some walk into the draft room with a mini-Best Buy strapped on their shoulder as they set up a laptop, mouse, a tablet device, and a smartphone on the table for their makeshift draft center. Some roll into the draft room with a legal pad of paper and a periodical or three. Some role in with a pen, their bravado, and a six-pack of beer ready to show everyone how superior their baseball knowledge is to the rest of the room.
Derek examines the differences between mixed leagues and AL/NL-only leagues through the lens of expert leagues Tout Wars, LABR, and CardRunners.
Over the past week, Jason Collette has been taking turns examining each of the three Tout Wars leagues: AL-only, NL-only, and mixed. Yesterday, he examined the mixed league, which I participate in. Unfortunately, I’m not having the best year, currently in 12th out of 15. Interestingly, though, I am third in two other high-profile expert leagues—LABR (the League of Alternate Baseball Reality) and CardRunners—priming myself for a run at the championship.
What I find particularly interesting is that LABR is an NL-only league and CardRunners is an AL-only league. Despite doing well in leagues that draw from either league pool, in the league that combines them, I’m flailing. I also struggled in Tout Mixed last year, finishing middle-of-the-pack, but I won a LABR NL championship the year before. What gives?
Jason examines the state of Tout Wars AL and suggests a course of action for owners who are falling out of contention.
Some teams played their 82nd game of the 2011 season last night, meaning we are now officially in the unofficial (but mathematically accurate) second half of the season since people seem to cling onto the All-Star Break being the equal divider between the two halves. The 14th of 26 fantasy scoring periods begins for most leagues this Monday, giving us just 12 scoring periods to make up ground in the standings in order to win the league. Yes, I said win because second place is still just the first loser as far as I am concerned.
One of the staples of this website is the yearly Prospectus Today column in which Joe Sheehan discusses the expert fantasy leagues he participates in-the Rotowire Staff League and Tout Wars. Today, I find myself in the odd position of hijacking one of those discussions, mainly because of peculiar luck and a wonky wireless Internet connection. Last Friday, I was BP's on-site representative at the AL Tout Wars draft-yes, the one made famous by Sam Walker's bestseller, Fantasyland, as the ne plus ultra of fantasy leagues.
What happens when Nate Silver's PECOTA system joins forces with Jonah Keri's boundless energy and Will Carroll's injury encyclopedia? You get a killer roto team...maybe. Read on to see how BP fared at this year's Tout Wars National League draft.
So when Jason Grey and the crew of mastersball.com asked me to join Tout Wars this season, I was torn. Having met Jason at Ron Shandler's Arizona Fall League Symposium in November and being a veteran of countless home roto leagues, I loved the idea.
But that still left one question: What was in it for BP? Sure, the draft offered a chance for some publicity. But holding Pizza Feeds, hosting Scoresheet drafts, and having Jeff Bower run out naked to the 50-yard line during halftime of the Super Bowl already offered great marketing opportunities.