Author Archive

Highly Custom League: Battery

The Highly Custom League series is back with, well, something silly. Previous entries covered 2×2 Roto, Split Auctions, Roto-to-HeadRotating DivisionsWAR warsCategory WarsPublic Trade NegotiationsIf Only, Elimination, Home Team, and Owners & Managers.

Last night, I stumbled upon this hungry Ray Flowers tweet.

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Is Gavin Lux Safe?

This is really a two-pronged question – will he perform and when will the Dodgers allow him to play in the majors? In neither case is the answer entirely clear.

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Brad Johnson Baseball Chat: 2-11-2020

We chatted!

3:59
Brad Johnson: Let’s start this ball rolling

4:00
Brad Johnson: For those who missed all my twitter promoting, check out Juiced Balls episode 3 with Dan Szymborski. Now on Spotify, Apple, and Anchor.

4:01
Matt: Is there a way to determine if punting a category is smart/viable beyond just some back of the envelope guessing? I play in a 13-team 6×6 roto (+OBP and QS) with seven dedicated SP slots (and 3 dedicated RP), so well over 100 SPs are rostered at all times. Since I’m definitely hammering SP early, and there are two extra categories, does it make sense to punt steals? I feel like I could grab a lot of pitching early and still put together a great AVG/HR/OBP lineup by eschewing any steals guys.

4:01
Brad Johnson: If I understand the intention of your question, no. Not ahead of time.

4:03
Brad Johnson: Punting a category usually should be a matter of circumstance. For instance, you missed various runs of closers and would rather go with elite non-closers than Joe Jimenez and Mychal Givens types.

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Towards A Better Way To Rank Players

It’s not a secret – I hate rankings. I’ve been writing this post once a winter since 2014. I’m pleased to finally see a few others in the industry publicly eschewing the rankings-based mentality. My quest against rankings is finally gaining some momentum. So, contrarian that I am, let’s work on making rankings actually, uh, work.

There are many reasons why traditional attempts at rankings are broken. The biggest is simply this – they’re one size fits all. Running a team is about managing categories. Rankings aggregate all that information ordinally in perhaps the least useful way conceivable. Attempts to use tiers scarcely help matters, especially since the location of those tiers often has more to do with name recognition than expected output.

A projection-based rankings system isn’t sufficiently novel, but it does at least take us a step in the right direction. And it’s what we’ll use for today’s thought experiment as we try to take a second step along the path towards relevance.

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Five Always Broken Starting Pitchers To Target

I got the idea for this post while writing a player caption for Nate Eovaldi (more on him in a moment). As I outlined the glass half full scenario for the upcoming season, it occurred to me that 1. Eovaldi is free even in the deepest leagues and 2. pitchers like Eovaldi sometimes spontaneously become useful. Excellent even.

Charlie Morton and James Paxton immediately came to mind – they were always injured and then suddenly they found health and reached acedom (*cough* Paxton is broken again). Those are just two poster children for the upside. Carlos Carrasco, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Lance Lynn, Mike Minor, Eduardo Rodriguez, Frankie Montas, Jameson Taillon, and Homer Bailey are all variations of this profile.

And so, without further ado, I present five always broken starting pitchers who might just might have something left to give.

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In Defense Of Slow Drafts

Most of you are probably familiar with the concept of slow drafts. Even if you’ve never seen one in action, it’s a slow… draft. Ya draft slowly. Got it.

As a writer, I’m contractually obligated to explain it in excruciating detail. Instead of allowing one to two minutes per pick, a slow draft grants owners a much longer period – often three or four hours. The clock usually “sleeps” during the overnight hours (picks can still be made). I guess that wasn’t too excruciating.

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Brad Johnson Baseball Chat: 2/4/2020

The chat is complete. Digest this transcript if you dare.

3:47
Brad Johnson: I’m just screwing around with Twitter instead of finishing my player caps so let’s just get this ball rolling.

3:49
Michael Chavis: Downs and Verdugo stocks would go way up with a trade to BOS right?  Even though it’s not the best park for Verdugo at least he’d get the playing time

3:49
Brad Johnson: Absolutely. Boston has a thin farm system whereas the Dodgers not only have a trove of prospects, they also keep minting all these excellent not-prospects.

3:50
Brad Johnson: They have a small horde just waiting to climb over the walls of Triple-A.

3:50
Brad Johnson: Really, they’d crush the Tigers and Orioles.

3:50
Reds: Are you staying away from eugenio suarez or looking to pounce if his ADP drops to about 80-90 (i think it’s in the 40s or so now)?

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National League East Sleepers

Parity is apparently on the rise in Major League Baseball, and the NL East is one of the poster children for this new wave of competitive baseball. Four clubs are poised to take a shot at postseason glory while the Marlins have improved from horrific to merely bad.

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League Depth Affects Prospect Value

This winter, I’ve gotten in the habit of running polls about interesting trades in my patron dynasty league DTBNL. It’s a 25-team, keep-30 format. It’s a certified “deep league.” There are deeper leagues of the 30-team variety, but they are rare. By virtue of these polls, I’ve noticed some apparent misconceptions about prospect value in ultra-deep settings.

Yesterday, for an unknown league, Shelly Verougstraete ran a poll pitting Trevor Bauer against Jeter Downs, Taylor Trammell, and Josiah Gray.

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Lessons From nuLIMA

Last spring, an industry consensus emerged – if you wanted to win, you needed to invest early and often in starting pitchers. When a consensus becomes too commonplace, a profitable contrarian approach often becomes available. And so I explored the possibility of finding an advantage by investing in cheaper pitchers. I dubbed it nuLIMA. To be certain, it was meant as theorycrafting, not gospel. Check it out if you’d like to revisit an old idea that might still have legs.

The setup to that article still applies.

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