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Welcome back to The FAAB Review, the series that looks at the expert bidding in LABR mixed, Tout Wars NL, and Tout Wars AL every week in an effort to try and help you, the Baseball Prospectus reader, with your fantasy baseball bidding needs. Mike Gianella is on vacation this week, so we’ve handed the control over to George Bissell to navigate us through the post trade deadline landscape.

As a reminder, Bret Sayre and Mike Gianella both participate in LABR Mixed and Mike also has a team in Tout Wars NL. LABR uses a $100 budget with one-dollar minimum bids, while the Tout Wars leagues use a $1,000 budget with zero-dollar minimum bids.

LABR and Tout Wars both use a bidding deadline of Sunday at midnight ET.

All 2016 statistics in this article were as of Monday, August 8th.

LABR Mixed

Joe Musgrove $6 Other bids: $3, $2

Andrew Benintendi $5 Other bids: $1

In two starts since replacing an injured Lance McCullers in the Astros rotation, Musgrove, a 23-year-old right-hander, has allowed just one run on six hits while striking out 14 batters and issuing just one free pass over 11 1/3 innings of work. The pinpoint control (just 10 walks over 85 1/3 minor-league innings prior to his call-up this season) is his indelible signature, but the strikeout totals (87 over 16 starts) have been equally impressive in 2016. After two excellent outings, it’s surprising that the bidding wasn’t more aggressive on Musgrove.

While I would love to boldly proclaim that Benintendi could have a similar impact like Jacoby Ellsbury did for the Red Sox down the stretch as a rookie in 2007, it doesn’t appear that he’s going to be given the green light on the base paths to make that happen. The 22-year-old outfielder should provide a boost in batting average and has already swiped one base in just five games so far. While he doesn’t project as a fantasy superstar over the final two months, the playing time will be there in left field and he’s going to produce. For more on Benintendi, check out Christopher Crawford’s scouting report and Wilson Karaman’s fantasy analysis here.

Eddie Rosario $5

Doug Fister $3 Other bids: $1

Alex Gordon $2 Other bids: $1

Matt Andriese $2

Jose Berrios $2 Other bids: $2, $1

The 22-year-old’s return to the Twins rotation (5.73 ERA with nine strikeouts and one walk over 11 innings) has been rocky through two starts, but the minor-league numbers (2.44 ERA with 111 strikeouts and just 35 walks in 103 1/3 innings) are extremely encouraging. It seems like it’s only a matter of time before he puts it together and for just a $2 FAAB gamble, he’s a solid investment.

Ivan Nova $1

Tyler Saladino $1

Kirk Nieuwenhuis $1

Matt Boyd $1

Ryan Dull $1

The savvy pickup here is Nova, who has flashed some serious potential at times this season and will hold down a rotation spot over the final two months in Pittsburgh. He went seven innings, allowing three runs on six hits while striking out five, in his Pirates debut over the weekend.

Tout Wars NL

Rich Hill $630 Other bids: $255, $225, $165, $88, $77, $3

Josh Reddick $404 Other bids: $255, $180, $88, $81, $17

Matt Moore $382 Other bids: $255, $150, $81, $77 $17, $3

As Mike Gianella discussed last week, the central question in both expert mono leagues during the previous FAAB cycle was whether it made sense to wait and see if better players changed leagues at the major-league trade deadline last Monday. It’s clear in retrospect, that waiting was the right move.

By electing to pass on both Aroldis Chapman and Eduardo Nunez (the two biggest names to cross over to the senior circuit prior to last Sunday’s FAAB deadline) Derek Carty, currently tied for first place with Todd Zola, had control of the board with a league-leading $711 FAAB to spend. Here is how the Tout Wars NL experts stacked up as they put in their bids on Sunday:

Table 1: Tout Wars NL – Remaining FAAB – Aug. 7, 2016





Derek Carty






Brian Walton



Ray Guifoyle



Mike Gianella



Lenny Melnick



Grey Albright



Todd Zola



Scott Wilderman



Steve Gardner



Phil Hertz



Andy Behrens


With a solid offense across the board, Carty elected to go with Hill over Reddick, bidding more than every other owner had available to spend. He could still pick up a few points in strikeouts, which is exactly what the veteran left-hander brings to the table in spades. The 36-year-old southpaw, currently on the disabled list with a blister issue, owns a stellar 2.25 ERA (2.95 DRA) with 90 strikeouts in 76 innings this year. Barring an unexpected setback, he will make his Dodgers debut on Friday.

With Carty grabbing Hill, Tristan Cockcroft, currently towards the bottom of the standings, opted to split his remaining $629 FAAB, ensuring that he landed Reddick with a $404 bid, and Nova with his remaining $185. With Hill and Reddick off the board, Brian Walton, currently in third place, was able to scoop up the last big name left on the board, Matt Moore.

Ivan Nova $185 Other bids: $77, $76, $15, $3

Scott Schebler $20 Other bids: $10, $8, $3

Drew Hutchison $17 Other bids: $2, $1

One of the more perplexing pitchers to pin down in recent years, Hutchison has shown flashes of the stuff that enabled him to post a 2.90 DRA and a strikeout per inning over 32 starts back in 2014, but there is still a great deal of volatility in his performance and even more uncertainty surrounding his immediate outlook. Demoted to Triple-A Indianapolis following the trade, it remains to be seen whether the 25-year-old gets a crack in the Steel City over the remainder of the season. He doesn’t have much to prove at the minor-league level right now. In 19 International League starts this season, he owns a 3.39 ERA with 115 strikeouts and just 39 walks over 109 innings.

Ryan Vogelsong $15

Jake Thompson $14 Other bids: $10, $5

The 22-year-old was roughed up for six runs over just 4 1/3 innings by San Diego in his major-league debut last weekend. Armed with a four-pitch mix, he may not be ready to make a huge impact this season, but if his slider progresses, there should be some strikeout upside to harvest. For more on Thompson, check out Jeffrey Paternostro scouting report and Scooter Hotz’s fantasy analysis here.

Jabari Blash $12 Other bids: $7

With Matt Kemp shipped out of town and top prospects Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe remaining in Triple-A, the Padres are going to give Blash an extended look at the major-league level, at least for the immediate future. While he possesses tremendous raw power, he’s a batting average liability (to put it mildly) for fantasy owners, who shouldn’t be counted on for anything besides the occasional long ball.

Luis Perdomo $11

Rob Segedin $10 Other bids: $4, $1

The 27-year-old first baseman/outfielder posted one of the highest True Average’s (.359 TAv) of any hitter in the Triple-A Pacific Coast league this season, hitting .319/.392/.598 with 53 extra-base hits (21 home runs), 71 runs scored and 69 RBI in just 424 plate appearances before being called up last weekend. He certainly didn’t look overmatched in his big-league debut, notching a pair of hits (and driving in four runs) off Red Sox ace David Price. There’s little doubt about his ability at the plate and if regular playing time is there, Segedin could be a sneaky play in NL-only formats over the final two months.

Robert Whalen $10

Despite a rocky first inning in which he surrendered four runs, the 22-year-old right-hander held the Pirates at bay over his next four frames, to pick up a victory in his major-league debut, last week. While he lacks premium velocity, Whalen has still been able to rack up a healthy supply of strikeouts at the minor-league level (112 in 120 innings between Double-A and Triple-A) this year, which gives him some fantasy relevance.

Hunter Strickland $5

Clint Robinson $5

Kyle Barraclough $2 Other bids: $1

If you listen to the Flags Fly Forever podcast, you already know about #TeamBearclaw. If it weren’t for the presence of Dellin Betances (15.9 K/9) and Andrew Miller (15.4 K/9), Barraclough would have the unique distinction of leading all major-league pitchers in both strikeout rate (14.5 K/9) and walk rate (5.9 BB/9). Control has always been a bugaboo throughout his career, but the overpowering stuff and mammoth strikeout total (79 in just 49 innings) are impossible to overlook regardless of format.

Adam Ottavino $1

Jonathon Niese $0

Edwin Jackson $0

There’s a legitimate possibility that Ottavino might not allow an earned run ever again. He hasn’t surrendered one since 2014. That stat is a bit misleading, since he’s thrown just 21 innings over the past two seasons combined due to Tommy John surgery, but it goes to show how dominant he’s been for Colorado when healthy. With incumbent closer Carlos Estevez stumbling of late, it’s only a matter of time (and likely healthy) before Ottavino regains the role.

Tout Wars AL

Jonathan Lucroy $896 Other bids: $886, $873, $872, $801, $90, $29

Gary Sanchez $873 Other bids: $571, $135, $29, $12

Matt Duffy $571 Other bids: $340, $301, $136, $57, $40, $10, $1

Table 2: Tout Wars AL – Remaining FAAB – Aug. 7, 2016





Patrick Davitt



Mike Podhorzer



Jeff Erickson



Larry Schechter



Ron Shandler



Jason Collette



Lawr Michaels



Steve Moyer



Seth Trachtman



Rob Leibowitz



Chris Liss



R. Wolf/G. Colton


Armed with $1,058 FAAB, Patrick Davitt dropped the hammer on Lucroy, easily the top hitter to switch leagues last week. After slugging three home runs in his first five games in a Rangers uniform, Lucroy is hitting .299/.358/.500 with 16 home runs and five stolen bases. It’s hard to put into context how valuable that is for a two-catcher mono league.

Stuck in 12th place in the standings, Mike Podhorzer invested nearly his entire remaining FAAB budget on Sanchez, a 23-year-old backstop. He’s finally getting an extended opportunity at the major-league level for New York after hitting .282/.339/.468 with 10 home runs and seven stolen bases in 71 games at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season.

While he may be on the disabled list right now, Duffy has already embarked on a rehab assignment and could join the Rays as soon as this week. With iconic third baseman Evan Longoria entrenched at the hot corner, Duffy will slide over to shortstop, which only makes him an even more attractive fantasy commodity.

Joe Musgrove $94 Other bids: $24, $12

Jeremy Jeffress $94

Jorge Polanco $57 Other bids: $10, $7

Currently residing in fifth place and lacking the capital to make a serious run at the bigger names available, Ron Shandler certainly made the most of the $245 FAAB he dished out last weekend, scooping up a trio of quality players. Of the three, it’s Musgrove (who I profiled earlier in this column) that should make the biggest impact, but don’t discount Polanco (.313 TAv in 68 plate appearances), who is riding an eight-game hit streak since being recalled at the end of last month. The 23-year-old middle infielder has slotted in at shortstop, second and third base so far this year and despite not being a highly touted prospect, could make a difference down the stretch, especially in AL-only leagues. It’s almost hard to believe he was still available.

Francisco Liriano $45 Other bids: $40, $12

Nick Franklin $32 Other bids: $27, $10

Lacking the cash to make a serious run at Lucroy, Larry Schechter instead supplemented his roster by snagging both Franklin and Liriano along with Duffy. With veterans Brandon Guyer and Steve Pearce shipped out of town at the deadline, Franklin has been entrusted with everyday playing time and could be one of the savviest pickups of this entire FAAB cycle if he continues to hit like he has over the past two weeks since being recalled from Triple-A. Liriano delivered a quality outing in his Blue Jays debut, firing six innings of two-run ball with five strikeouts. His command woes (1.61 WHIP) make it difficult to roll him out there every week without wrecking havoc on your ratios, but with Toronto transitioning to a six-man rotation, he should continue to get the ball over the final month or so.

Casey McGehee $19

Bryan Holaday $19

Tony Kemp $10

Juan Centeno $5

Ariel Miranda $3

Keone Kela $0

Xavier Cedeno $0

Tyler Clippard $0

Chris Gimenez $0

Danny Barnes $0

Junichi Tazawa $0

There isn’t much to see out of this group, but the most intriguing addition from a skills standpoint is Kela, who missed nearly three months after undergoing elbow surgery in April. Since July 16, the right-hander has allowed just five base runners total, while racking up 13 strikeouts, in 10 appearances.

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