Justin Mason’s Baseball Chat – January 23rd, 2023

Here is today’s chat transcript:

9:47

Justin Mason: Will start once we have enough questions. In the meantime, please follow me on all my social media’s (twitter, tiktok, facebook, youtube, and instagram) at JustinMasonFWFB! I am doing 30 team preview podcasts in 30 days on the FWFB podcast as well as three episodes a week for the Sleeper and the Bust so definitely make sure you are subscribed there as well!

9:58

Justin Mason: Just waiting on a couple more questions and we will get rolling.

10:00

Mr. Robinson: The O’s showed they weren’t ready (or willing) to dive too deep into the free agency pool for starting pitchers.  Do you feel there is a trade partner waiting this winter (or possibly the trade deadline) to take some of the surplus infielders they have in their minors?  If feels like they’re waiting out some of these kids to see if they continue to grow and then make a push next year.

10:02

Justin Mason: I wonder if Texas would be a good match for them considering how deep their pitching now is with all of their free agent additions. They could move guys like Dane Dunning, Cole Ragans, Spencer Howard. The Marlins could also move another guy as well

10:02

KC: Do you think Matt Brash will be in the starting rotation on opening day?

10:03

Justin Mason: I do not unless they decide to go to another six man rotation, but as of right now, I think it is Luis Castillo, Robbie Ray, Logan Gilbert, George Kirby and Marco Gonzales. He definitely is a nice high upside stash though.

10:03

Hazmat Corntail: Where does Adalberto Mondesi play this year…and for which team?

10:05

Justin Mason: He is playing on the Royals and I think he moves around the infield. I still think he is hard to project for 400+ plate appearances. About as high risk/high reward as you can get.

10:06

Doo Doo Brown: Super specific question…12-teamer roto, 3-year keeper league. Need to pick 3 of these 4: Helsely, Devin Williams, Clay Holmes, Luis Castillo…all the RPs are at minimum for the next 3 years, Luis Castillo is at half his normal cost (a savings of about $15 in a $260 auction).. Is it worth just locking down my closer roles? Is that even a thing?

10:07

Justin Mason: Castillo, Williams, Helsely. I love locking down the two closers and not having to worry about it in season. Love Holmes, but the other two are a bit safer.

10:07

hebrew: Otto 5×5 question:

Currently holding Gleyber ($13) McMahon ($6) Polanco ($11) Kolten Wong ($5) Bryson Stott ($6)

(also have Oswaldo but he’s gonna end up playing OF for me when he’s in)

Who are you keeping and who are you cutting from this list? is 5 second basemen too many?

10:09

Justin Mason: Im pretty new to Ottoneau, so I would definitely check with Chad Young. I think I would lean keeping Gleyber, McMahon, and Stott here. 5 2B is definitely too many.

10:09

Sarah: What are your expectations for Brett Baty this year?

10:10

Justin Mason: I think he will have a chance to win the job in spring. The problem is, I think the mets will give Escobar the better chance for the job. If he played full time, I think he could hit 25 bombs, but I think he probably doesn’t get to 400 PAs.

10:11

Steve: Gausman had some gnarly splits for RHH.  Is there something to that moving forward?

10:12

Justin Mason: There is something to it, but he won’t be that bad vs RHH. He had a pretty huge BABIP versus righties and a low strand rate. I think that should normalize some. He is still a top 30 starter to me with good upside.

10:14

Michael: Thank you so much for the chat!!!  Keeper question (points league, 12 teams, runs kinda shallow tho 3 OF spots, no CI/MI spot – just 1B 2B SS 3B C, 1 DH, 5 SP, 2 RP, handful of bench spots; no contracts or anything so keep free forever if you want, 15 total keepers).  Trying to decide on my last keeper.  For Sure Keepers – Varsho (C), Freeman (1B), Xander (SS), Bregman (3B), S. Marte (OF), C. Carroll (OF), Tucker (OF), Nola (SP), Bieber (SP), Woodruff (SP).  Probably Keepers – Henderson (SS), Vinnie P (1B), Clase (RP), D. Williams (RP).  Need 1 more (or more of you think I should ditch maybe(s) – J. Ryan (SP), H. Brown (SP), K. Bryant (OF/3B).  What do you think?

10:14

Justin Mason: I think I am keeping Kris Bryant if I am trying to win now and Hunter Brown if I am more concerned about the future.

10:15

Ryan: A bit of a different topic… Have you ever done a fantasy baseball auction in person (or barring that, a snake draft)? Do you have any recommendations for how to make that work well?

10:18

Justin Mason: Absolutely! In person drafts/auctions are way better than online ones. I highly recommend some sort of draft software to keep you organized. Rotolab, Rotowire and Smart Fantasy Baseball all have great software. I like to bring a paper copy of my ranks as well just in case technology screws up on me. It is easy to get wrapped up in the emotion of a live draft, so try and stick to your pre-draft values as much as possible.

10:18

Justin Mason: Remember to have Fun! in person drafts are the best part of fantasy.

10:18

Guest: General question re: keepers in salary/auction leagues. If you don’t have obvious value players to hold on to (say a $5 Julio Rodriguez)  do you have any problem holding on to a full priced stud (say Machado for $35) where there is position scarcity? I get that you may not realize great value with high priced stars but you’re sure to have lineup anchor and keep him off other teams in case bidding goes through the roof.

10:19

Justin Mason: I absolutely do this. I would rather keep a full priced stud than have to overpay for them at the draft table because I threw them back.

10:19

Rebob72: What’s your strategy at 2B in redraft? I’m not a fan of the position this year.

10:20

Justin Mason: If I don’t get one of the studs, I have been waiting. Don’t wait too long though because the drop off is atrocious. I have a lot of Thairo Estrada, Brandon Lowe, Bryson Stott so far this draft season, but my hope is to try and get Altuve or Albies in the beginning of the draft.

10:20

CaptRon: Whats your take on B. Woodruff? Speaking from experience Raynauds does not “go away” Its cold in Milwaukee in spring.

10:22

Justin Mason: We have seen other pitchers be ok after experiencing symptoms, but it is definitely something to monitor in spring. If we see him having trouble early in spring training, I may avoid him.

10:23

Guest: Am I crazy for thinking Ke’Bryan Hayes can match or exceed Gunnar Henderson’s numbers?

10:23

Justin Mason: If you are crazy, then so am I. I have Hayes above Henderson in my projections and it’s not that close to be honest.

10:23

Hazmat Corntail: Thoughts on DL Hall? he was in the 20’s in the prospect rankings and now in the 70’s+. Is he a starter or reliever?

10:25

Justin Mason: I think the Orioles have no reason to not try him as a starter. The fact they didn’t go and get anyone really good in free agency tells me he has a shot to make the rotation out of spring training and stick in the rotation this year. Will need keep the walks in check though.

10:25

Colton: Speaking of things the Mets do, what’s the chances Alvarez starts the year in AAA in your opinion?

10:25

Justin Mason: 90%

10:26

Hazmat Corntail: One more…Luis Campusano

10:28

Justin Mason: I think this is the year he finally gets a real shot to stay on the roster. However, his defense likely costs him a ton of opportunity and with Nelson Cruz and Matt Carpenter on the roster, there won’t be many opportunities at DH.

10:28

Rickey: At what point in a draft does Buxton become a bargain?

10:28

Justin Mason: When you have a lot of IL spots and good replacement value on the wire. Should be a huge target in 10 and 12 team standard leagues.

10:29

Craig in Chicago: NL Central breakout/sleeper SP amongst this crew: Johan Oviedo, Luis Ortiz, Hayden Wesneski, Andre Pallante? Like any of them as an upside play?

10:30

Justin Mason: Luis Ortiz is my dude. The question is do the Pirates screw with him the way the did with Roansy? Wesneski was really interesting before the blocked him. I would still keep an eye on him there.

10:31

Balki: What do you think we can expect out of Kris Bryant this year? If healthy of course. Thanks.

10:31

Justin Mason: If healthy, 25-30 homers with a .280 average and some chip in steals. Big IF on the health though.

10:32

Craig in Chicago: Can Jesus Luzardo take another step this season? Jump in to the top tier of NL SP?

10:33

Justin Mason: The only real step he needs is health. Dude has shown the top tier talent, but he has never thrown 110 MLB innings in a season. I can’t project him for more that 140.

10:33

vinny: adell kirilioff baddo who makes it as an mlb regular? thank you

10:34

Justin Mason: Hurts me to say this, but probably Kirilloff. I kind of want to answer that none of them will

10:34

Truce: High hopes for Maeda this year? Medium hopes?

10:34

Justin Mason: Almost zero hopes?

10:34

Justin Mason: I never draft guys in their first year from TJ.

10:35

Craig in Chicago: Do you have an opinion on Jake Alu? Potential for breakout season? Seems like there will be playing of opportunity in WAS this season.

10:36

Justin Mason: I don’t know that he has a major carrying tool in  fantasy or gets enough playing time to accumulate. He is a really deep format gamble.

10:37

Guest: I can keep either L Castillo or C Rodon as a crossover.  Which one should I be looking to hold?

10:37

Justin Mason: Super close, but I have Castillo one spot above Rodon.

10:37

Catcher on the Rye: Why do the Jays think that after his last 2000 at bats and a .295 OBP that KK is suddenly playable as an everyday CF’er? Kill me

10:38

Justin Mason: They needed that defense and a LHH, but I get the frustration.

10:38

Daniel: The projection systems are all pretty underwhelming about what to expect for Riley Greene relative to his lofty former prospect status.  Any reason to be more optimistic?  Trying to decide if he’s a keeper.

10:39

Justin Mason: I don’t think we should get overly excited for 2023, but he is still young and developing. I think he turns into a pretty good MLB regular, but maybe not a star.

10:39

George: How would you rank these catchers:  Alvarez, O’Hoppe, Moreno, Melendez

10:40

Justin Mason: For 2023: Melendez, Moreno, O’Hoppe, Alvarez

10:40

Justin Mason: For the keeper: Melendez, Alvarez, Moreno, O’Hoppe

10:40

Craig in Chicago: Bailey Falter first half: 9 G, 5 GS, 4.82 ERA, .911 OPS… Bailey Falter second half: 11 G, 11 GS, 3.38 ERA, .720 OPS…. May we see the 2nd half Bailey Falter this season? Do you like him as a breakout type candidate for this season?

10:42

Justin Mason: He was extremely lucky in second half with the schedule. I do not think he is much more than a streamer.

10:42

Rodney: Logan O’Hoppe looks like he’s got the potential to be a real differencemaker offensively. Shades of the Alejandro Kirk profile, except full path to playing time. Think he ends the season as a Top 10 catcher?

10:43

Justin Mason: I think the depth at catcher this year makes that unlikely, but I do like him as a high upside C2.

10:43

Prospects 4 Life: My dynasty league starting OF is Acuña, Tucker, Tatis. No question, just bragging. Thanks!

10:43

Justin Mason: You make me sad.

10:43

TBD: Any chance for the Giants to improve their bad defensive marks of last year, and give their starters a chance?

10:44

Justin Mason: Yes and no. They probably can’t be quite as bad as they were last season, but they did nothing to improve it, so it probably won’t be good.

10:44

Joe: For keepers where you have a limited number and a round value assigned, would you tend to keep a potential superstar pitcher coming off an injury at a few rounds discount or set the market with a last round keeper that is a super prospect and will probably be up this year.

10:44

Justin Mason: Give me the super prospect.

10:45

Johnny5Alive: Really old NL only roto league dynasty, auction with $270 cap.  Bought Luis Garcia (IF) for $12 in FAAB last year – was desperate for someone who was playing.  Our league discourages crazy FAAB bids by either locking you into the contract for an additional year or having to pay real money into the pot ($50) to release the player.  Average buy in for the league (with buy outs like this) is ~$400-450 per team.  With that said, as an every day MI who does a little of everything but has no stand-out tool, you keeping him at 12 or paying real money to throw him back?

10:45

Justin Mason: I probably throw him back

10:45

Guest: Edward Olivares and Joey Meneses an everyday players?

10:47

Justin Mason: I think so to start the season, but the Royals hate Oliveras with a Motte-like intensity. #06010 so it wouldn’t surprise me if he ends up in a platoon. I think Meneses gets a shot at every day time until he proves he shouldn’t have it.

10:47

Pat Listachio: With everyone doing their own projections in high stakes leagues (or at least, having access to the same projections), and fighting over 1-3 dollars in value… how does a fantasy player separate themselves? Seems like we’re moving toward a place where the smallest of edges (or just random luck) are what wins leagues

10:50

Justin Mason: I think the small edges are what win competitive leagues. Being able to identify who the projections are missing on is what separates the good from the great players. One thing I learned from my bad season last year was how close I was in some leagues from having a great year. One or two players in a draft/FAAB can be the difference in a lot of leagues.

10:50

Tristan: If you’re in dynasty, how many years do you think Christian Walker stays a viable starter at 1B? Not clear many others are going to pick up eligibility this year (Gallo?)

10:50

Justin Mason: Walker probably has another 2-3 years of real viability

10:51

2B Free: Hola, Justin. I can keep Ozzie, Semien, Edman, and Dansby all for about $2 to $3 over auction calculator values in my deep 12 teamer (AL/NL). Thinking any overpay on my part doubly hurts my league mates due to really shallow 2B and and somewhat shallow SS. Your thoughts?

10:51

Justin Mason: Drowning the pool like this can definitely make people overspend at the draft table on other guys at the position. I don’t mind this play at all.

10:53

Colton: I have picks 2 and 3 in my upcoming MiLB draft. I believe Jordan Walker will go 1, think I’m gonna take Painter and Eury Perez in those spots cause they both probably contribute at some point this year. Is there anyone you think I’m missing that I should consider?

10:53

Justin Mason: Jordan Lawlar? I do like the guys you are looking at though

10:53

Maris: Chas McCormick worth a roster spot on AL only league? Got him for one unit. My only other OF is Robert.

10:54

Justin Mason: Yeah, he probably plays a fair amount this year.

10:54

Michael: Thoughts on Moncada this year?  Rebound candidate given he no longer has a dinosaur managing him?  Thanks.

10:54

Justin Mason: At this point, I don’t really know what Moncada is. That being said, he is very cheap. I might take a couple gambles this year in shallow formats where he is easy to drop.

10:54

Maris: Need to roster a 3B/Corner behind Machado in NL only league. K Hayes, E Montero, E Rivera. All bout same price. Thanks.

10:54

Justin Mason: Hayes

10:55

Chip: What’s your feeling about Seiya next year? Does he get better, worse, or was last year who he is. He seems difficult to really get my head around.

10:56

Justin Mason: He was quietly a monster in the second half. I think he has a pretty nice season. I did his projection last night and have him for 26 HR/13 SBs.

10:56

J: Where the fudge is Edwin Rios going to land?

10:56

Justin Mason: No idea. Probably needs a minor league deal.

10:56

Riddy in CA: Luke Voit…Where will he land and will it matter?

10:57

Justin Mason: The KBO?

10:57

Rob: Are you holding on Nolan Gorman in dynasty? I like the bat, I just don’t know where the PT will come from.

10:57

Justin Mason: I think you have to hold for right now. Needs a trade.

10:57

Chip: Wander Franco is a top __ SS in baseball next year, for fantasy purposes? Projections seem bearish on him.

10:57

Justin Mason: 7

10:57

JUrias: As a Julio Urias owner in dynasty, I’m always concerned about him.  Should I be?  Can we keep expecting him to outperform his peripherals?  In 600 IP, his ERA is over a full run below his xFIP and SIERA.

10:58

Justin Mason: I think he will be fine. I know a lot of people are scared by the projections, but he is a guy that always beats them. As long as he is healthy, he is a top 20 SP.

10:58

schmegs: What would be a good site to start or join an Only league?

10:59

Justin Mason: If you are looking for leagues, friend me on facebook and I can add you to some groups that are always starting leagues.

10:59

Johnny5Alive: Does Lopez trade put both Cabrera and Garrett in the rotation?

10:59

Justin Mason: I think it puts Edward Cabrera in.

11:00

Better Prospects 4 Life: My dynasty league starting OF is Soto, Yordan, Tatis.  No question, just bragging more.

11:00

Justin Mason: So jealous…

11:00

miratutti: how big of a bump does Kirilloff get now that Arraez is gone? Not sure what’s going on with RosterResource or why you all are so low on him, because he’s been bouncing between AAA, the bench, and now starting without a platoon, just in the last month.

11:00

Justin Mason: Arraez wasn’t blocking him. Alex Kirilloff’s issue is staying on the field.

11:01

Sean: Do you think Yoshida lives up to the lofty projections from ZIPS/Steamer/ATC? Seems like he would be a great value at high 200s ADP…

11:03

Justin Mason: I feel like they are a little aggressive, but it is so hard to project how these guys will adjust to MLB pitching, American life, and everything else they have to deal with when coming here. I tend to stay away in year one unless I think they have star potential which I don’t with Masataka Yoshida.

11:03

George Kirby: Am I a future fantasy ace or more of a fantasy 3rd starter?

11:04

Justin Mason: #2/#3 depending on the league. Nothing wrong with that.

11:04

Handsy: In a 12-team OBP league with no SB, you’d be happy with Meneses and Nootbar as your Xth and Yth outfielder?

11:04

Justin Mason: Love Nootbaar this year. Not sold on Meneses at all.

11:06

Red: Why don’t you guys cover/support/promote your site’s fantasy platform more?

11:06

Justin Mason: I am trying to learn the game this year so I can do more Ottoneau content. I think it is an interesting game, but I don’t want to give content on something that I don’t know how to play.

11:07

Chucky: Keep forever with no contracts. Always seem to be looking with an eye to the future instead of playing for now. My team is poised to win but I think I can make it work with either pair. Especially if one of the two rookies hits bigley[sic].
Gunnar and Carrol or JTR and Edman?

11:08

Justin Mason: This is tough because I think the right answer for this year is JTR and Edman, but that is a lot of future value to give up.

11:09

JT: How would you rank D. Swanson, C. Seager, W. Franco, CJ Abrams in a keep forever league?  R, HR, RBI, SB, Ks, Ave

11:09

Justin Mason: Franco, Swanson, Seager, Abrams.

11:11

Galen: Any read on these two bullpens? Texas and LAA? You’re favorite in each pen at their current cost?

11:11

Justin Mason: LeClerc and Estevez are the favorites.

11:11

Guest: Worth keeping Machado at $41 (12 team, $260 budget) over someone like McNeil ($2), Lemahieu ($5), Stott ($4), Amed Rosario ($9)? we get 6 keepers, and my other 5 are $54 total

11:11

Justin Mason: Probably keep Rosario there and try to buy back Machado.

11:12

Chuttbeex: 18 team keeper league. My top 3 keepers are all OF (we start 4 and a UTIL). My 4th and 5th best players are also OF – is it better to simply keep the best players and figure the rest out via draft and FA or keep a lesser guy like India just to have a 2B?

11:12

Justin Mason: Depends on who they other guys are

11:12

AFC North But Baseball: If you’re judging team performance for fantasy purposes (lineup strength), rank these lineups – Baltimore, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh

11:12

Justin Mason: Cleveland, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Cincy

11:13

Guest: I need to keep 5 who do I leave out from Trout, Bichette, McClanahan, DeGrom, Semien, Bieber, Manoah & Jordan Walker?

11:13

Justin Mason: Thats tough. I guess Bieber

11:13

Prospectist: Given a minor league roster spot, would you rather speculate on Evan Carter or Nate Pearson for now?

11:13

Justin Mason: Carter

11:13

Joey Chicken: Gallo a top 250 pick in OPS  leagues?

11:13

Justin Mason: Probably not

11:13

Alex (Mets): Asking for a friend: How do you think the Giants’ bullpen shakes out?

11:14

Justin Mason: I think that it is a rotating role. Doval was great but the Giants did everything they could to give the job to someone else last year and they just paid Taylor Rogers.

11:15

MJ Mass: 10-team Yahoo mixed league w/$260 cap and max 5 keepers (keep max of 3 yrs). Can choose 5/7: Jose Ramirez ($31); Kyle Tucker ($16); Wander Franco ($16); Jazz Chisholm ($14); McClanahan ($12); Max Fried ($12), and Austin Riley ($11). Leaning toward cutting Franco and Fried?

11:15

Justin Mason: I think thats right but man that is hard.

11:15

Tia Tamara: What happens to Bailey Ober this year?

11:15

Justin Mason: I think he is a really effective per start but I think the innings are capped.

11:15

Redbeard: Expectations for Glasnow this year?

11:16

Justin Mason: I love Glasnow on a per inning basis, but I can’t project him for more than 140 innings.

11:16

E: In a dynasty league for my last keeper, I’m looking at either volpe or mj melendez. I have kirk and bogaerts as my starters. Who would you choose there?

11:16

Justin Mason: If you are competing then it is Melendez. If you aren’t then its Volpe.

11:17

Justin Mason: Thanks for chatting with me today! please follow me on all my social media’s (twitter, tiktok, facebook, youtube, and instagram) at JustinMasonFWFB! I am doing 30 team preview podcasts in 30 days on the FWFB podcast as well as three episodes a week for the Sleeper and the Bust so definitely make sure you are subscribed there as well!





Justin is the co-host on The Sleeper and The Bust Podcast and writes for Rotographs covering the Roto Riteup as well as other periodic articles. In addition to his work at Rotographs, Justin is the lead fantasy writer/analyst and co-owner for FriendswithFantasyBenefits.com, and the owner of The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational. He is also a certified addiction treatment counselor. Follow Justin on Twitter @JustinMasonFWFB.

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DarthSader9
2 days ago

Why did I miss the bragging about our Dynasty OF’s chat. I’ve got Acuna, Soto and Judge, with S Marte as my Util. (and Prospects 4 Life and Better P4L didn’t say how large their leagues were, mine is 16).