Justin Mason’s Baseball Chat – March 6th, 2023

Here is the transcript from today’s chat:

9:41

Justin Mason: Chat will begin at the top of the hour as long as I 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 regular podcasts 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!

10:01

RD: Have/will you be bumping down Soto and Yordan in your OF rankings at all.  My draft is in 10 days and Soto’s nagging calf injury has me nervous.  I had Yordan last year and he still raked with his hand issues, but the fact he hasn’t started swinging yet has me very nervous about him as well.

10:02

Justin Mason: I am not moving down Soto unless we hear something that delays his timetable to the point where he is going to miss Opening Day. Yordan Alvarez on the other hand is off of my boards until we get some good news.

10:02

Jeff: In an Ottoneu 5×5, how much of your cap money would you keep back for free agent auctions in season?

10:02

Justin Mason: To be quite honest, I am just learning the format so I would not be qualified to answer this question. Ask Chad Young

10:03

Guest: H2H points league with 3 year keeper contracts;  which side do you like better ?  A: Triston McKenzie ($1 for 2023 only) + Mitch Haniger ($3 for 2023 only);  B: Rafel Devers ($41 for 3 seasons) + Kyle Wright ($1 for 2 years);  Thanks

10:03

Justin Mason: I think I lean Devers here but can understand wanting to go with the savings.

10:03

RGM: Is there a place to get ADP for a 5×5 OBP league?  It seems all the available ADP is based on BA leagues

10:03

Justin Mason: Not that I know of unfortunately.

10:03

Guest: In a 13-team daily league that uses OBP is Ohtani the slam-dunk #1 pick? Does he weirdly mess up a team’s build? Thanks!

10:04

Justin Mason: He should be the #1 guy in a daily format and it is not close.

10:04

Mark: 12 team 5×5 hth keeper league where we keep 4 at a cost of +$5 each year for a max of 3 years. need to keep 4 out of: Gunnar Henderson, Elly De La Cruz, Vaughn Grissom, Vinnie Pasquantino, Jordan Walker, Kyle Wright (all cost $6). Thanks!

10:05

Justin Mason: Henderson, Vinnie P, Walker and Vaughn

10:05

Iso: 10 team NL Only 6×6 with TB+BB as the 6th category. In a vacuum, could you rank $50 Soto, $40 Freeman or $34 Machado?

10:05

Justin Mason: Soto, Freeman, Machado

10:05

Guest: Thoughts on Soto for an OBP league. Seems like people are weirdly down on him. Am I missing something?

10:06

Justin Mason: In OBP, he is an elite hitter. I think people are discounting him because of the “down” year. He will be great

10:06

BTinVT: Your thoughts on Garrett Mitchell? Thank you.

10:07

Justin Mason: Garrett Mitchell is a potentially amazing buy. We know there is power and speed. If he can make even league contact, we might have a break out.

10:07

Chantanella: Dynasty, 12-tm, Roto, 6×6 (OPS, QS, S+H)

My middle infield has been decimated by injuries (Lux and Rodgers) and now all I have is Seager (happy with) and Cronenworth (iffy) to fill out my 2B, SS, and MI positions and the available options on the waiver are not pretty.

If I’m willing to move Judge (obviously only for worth, not trying to dump him), can you name a few CI and/or MI to try to make a move for? I have been in the top 3 the last few seasons so I’m still trying to compete for the ship this year.

10:09

Justin Mason: If I am moving Judge I would want a top 10 hitter. Vlad, J-Ram, Freeman, Bichette, Machado and Witt are probably the only ones I would do straight up from the infield.

10:10

Eh?: I play in a Strat-O-Matic baseball simulation league (not fantasy) where each team has a 40-man roster and rules are similar to MLB. I have both Luis Frias and Junior Fernandez at league minimum salary. Which one should I cut?

10:10

Justin Mason: I honestly don’t know that format, but I would gues Frias

10:10

Bill Newton: Appreciate your work Justin—12 team points league. Need to keep 3. Not tied to any draft rounds… Harper, Albies, Eloy, Urias, or Wander.

10:10

Justin Mason: I would keep Wander, Albies, and Eloy.

10:11

Cheston: Could use help with my final keeper slot. 12 team 5×5 dynasty league (SV+Holds and OBP instead of Saves and AVG) with 10 keepers. I have one slot left for either Kelenic, Torkelson, Felix Bautista, or Trevor Rogers (last round keepers) or Devin Williams (4th round keeper).

Already keeping Juan Soto, Franco, Eloy, Rutschman, Carroll, Joe Ryan, Buehler, Alcantara, and Hunter Brown.

What to do with the final slot?

10:11

Justin Mason: Bautista

10:12

Oh-oh-oh Ohtani: Hey Justin. Keep 4 of 5, 10 tm Al Only, daily moves. Ohtani ($57), Clase ($14), McKenzie ($6), Kwan ($1), Munoz ($1). Thanks!

10:12

Justin Mason: Drop Munoz

10:12

Kate: Do you think either of Will Brennan or Ezequiel Duran make carve out any kind of meaningful MLB role to start the year?  Or are both more likely bench / minors bound?

10:12

Justin Mason: Both will begin as bench options most likely, but I think Brennan could definitely carve out a role in Cleveland pretty easily.

10:12

Oh-oh-oh Ohtani: PS – Loved hearing you mix it up with John Laghezza the other day

10:13

Justin Mason: Thanks! John is so much fun to chat with. Just a huge ball of energy!

10:13

Ty France: In a roto 5×5 where I have 3B eligibility, would you put me right around Ke’Bryan or significantly above or below?

10:14

Justin Mason: I have them right around each other. I think for me it usually depends on what my team needs at that point and if I am looking for upside or safety. France is a bit boring, but the floor seems safe. Hayes’ upside is immense, but there is a bit more risk to him.

10:14

Guest: Is Jenny Butler the Babe Ruth / Jackie Robinson of female fantasy baseball players?

10:16

Justin Mason: I love Jenny, but I don’t know that she is Babe or Jackie. I would say she is the Johnny Bench of fantasy baseball players. Figure since she is from Cincy, she’d appreciate that one.

10:16

HarryLime: Where is Danny Jansen’s 400+ PA coming from?

10:17

Justin Mason: That’s the tough part. With Belt in town, he is limited at the DH. I think it will work itself out because Belt gets hurt a ton.

10:17

Cody: Thoughts on Willy Adames, Nathaniel Lowe, and Tommy Edman? 16 team, H2H categories, OBP/TB league

10:17

Justin Mason: Lowe

10:17

Bunt Single: Any word on the Tout Wars 2023 schedule, specifically NL Only? Touts is a really cool resource, and I feel bad saying it, but their website makes it impossible to find anything. Thx

10:18

Justin Mason: NL Tout is Sunday March 19th at 9am EST, I believe. I am in Tout Mixed Auction which is March 18th at 2:30pm

10:18

Colton: Justin, please talk me out of being in on Kikuchi again. I can’t quit him on my own unfortunately

10:18

Justin Mason: Please let me know your address so I can send the authorities there for your own safety.

10:19

Springtime: I’m always looking at spring at bats but worried about how the WBC will boost a few names. How are you accounting for WBC stuff?

10:20

Justin Mason: I look at the WBC very similarly to spring training. I mostly don’t care. Unless I see an actionable change (mechanics, big change in K-BB%, Velocity/New Pitches for pitchers) I am mostly just making sure everyone makes it out healthy.

10:20

Joey Bag of Donuts: What is your prediction for Joey Meneses?  Over/under 25 homeruns..

10:20

Justin Mason: Just under.

10:21

Bunt Single: Have you taken a victory lap on Sporer yet over your dueling Glasnow takes from sleeper/bust in February???

10:21

Justin Mason: I am still running…

10:21

Chip: Better 3-year fantasy outlook: Ha-Seong Kim 김하성 or Ke’Bryan Hayes? Pondering a keeper trade

10:21

Justin Mason: I think it is Hayes, but it is closer than it should be.

10:22

Maris9: AL only league. Put these 2B in order of preference: Polanco, LeMahieu, Wong, Brandon Lowe, Merrifield. Thank you Justin.

10:22

Justin Mason: Lowe, LeMahieu, Polanco, Wong, Merrifield

10:22

Getting Lowe: Josh Lowe playing a decent amount in spring, leading off when he does. They gave him a run last year. Am I talking myself into the same mistake I made last season?

10:23

Justin Mason: Probably, but if he can strikeout less that would be intriguing

10:23

Bunt Single: Alek Thomas looking real good so far this Spring while Kyle Nelson is MiA. Upgrade Thomas? Or not yet?

10:23

Justin Mason: Not yet, but I really am hoping they trade him somewhere.

10:23

Pick ONe: If you had to choose between German and Schmidt to fill the starter role for the Yankees, why would you choose Clarke Schmidt?

10:24

Justin Mason: Because German is boring and an awful person. Schmidt has really interesting upside.

10:24

Walter: Thanks for the chat. In a 12tm 8×8 keep forever league where I get to keep 6,  I have a decision to make between Scherzer, Verlander and Wander Franco…which 2 would you keep?

10:24

Justin Mason: Definitely Franco in a keep forever. I lean Scherzer over Verlander, but i could go either way.

10:25

Oh Kerry: Does Kerry Carpenter get enough playing time to be relevant?

10:25

Justin Mason: In deeper leagues I think he does.

10:25

Chucky: What’s Joey Votto’s path to relevancy? Does CE-S have any chance at pt with Myers in the 1B mix and Steer at 3b?

10:25

Justin Mason: Health. He plays every day if he is healthy.

10:26

Maris9: Dynasty question. Which young SS you like best: Abrams, Tovar, Elly DeLa Cruz.

10:26

Justin Mason: Abrams, De La Cruz, Tovar

10:26

Kut it out: You said Whitlock was the guy you wanted of the Boston young arm morass. Did Laghezza’s love of Kutter Crawford boost him into that conversation?

10:27

Justin Mason: Not over Whitlock. Crawford is likely a place holder until other guys like Paxton are healthy.

10:28

Mr Hooper: In a 12tm 6×6 OBP $260 budget league, would you keep either Betts ($46) or JoeRam ($58) at their costs? Both feel a bit inflated based on expected cost. Thanks!

10:28

Justin Mason: Both are definitely inflated probably due to inflation. I lean the cheaper Betts here

10:28

Slick Rick: When would you expect the Jays to call up Ricky Tiedemann?

10:28

Justin Mason: Midseason

10:29

How many MI is too many MI?: Hi Jason in a dynasty roto 5×5 with daily lineups, I kept Jazz, Abrams, Stott, and Rengifo (because I liked a combo of their price and potential). Need to fill 2B, SS, and MI daily: would you look to take 1 or 2 of this group: Bogaerts, Correa, Polanco, Lux, LeMahieu, Drury. Also, anybody here you expect to significantly outperform their price?

10:30

Justin Mason: None are really guys I think will outperform their price too much. Bogaerts is the best of the bunch though

10:30

Kate: I’m reading a lot of concerns about Scherzer’s durability this offseason.  A lot of folks seem to be now slotting him into the Kershaw bucket where they just expect he’ll miss a bunch of starts every year going forward.  This seems premature?  Other than last year (when he still threw 145 innings), he’s been 170+ innings each year.  Would you agree that the innings concerns are a bit overblown?

10:30

Justin Mason: Absolutely. He is a horse. I am not really worried unless we hear something to make us worried. Dude is a unicorn

10:31

Bunt Single: In the NL, who are some of the value OFers you are targeting in the back of the draft that you think the market is sleeping on? Thanks!

10:33

Justin Mason: TJ Friedl, Wil Myers, Brandon Marsh, Garrett Mitchell, Brendan Donovan, Avisail Garcia, Jesus Sanchez, Sal Frelick, Victor Robles, Stone Garrett

10:33

Kate: How do you handle a league mate who continually spams you with horrible offers?  I have a guy who really wants a particular player off my roster and I keep getting “my spare parts for your really good player” type offers.

10:34

Justin Mason: I mostly just ignore them. Sometimes if I get too annoyed I will call them out. I have even told people that I will never trade with them because we value players way too differently.

10:34

Kingpin: Standard 8-team NL-only 5×5 auction keeper league, with just 2 bench spots, closers prices get inflated. My strategy is to try to get 1 legit closer (I have A Diaz as a $5 keeper), then try to get 1 co-closer type (say Taylor Rogers) & 1 speculative guy (like Alzolay or Robert Suarez). Does this seem like a viable strategy?

10:35

Justin Mason: Absolutely. This is what I often did in my original AL Only keeper.

10:35

Kingpin: How much, if any, are you devaluing Musgrove due to the injury?

10:35

Justin Mason: I think I am taking off 3-4 starts.

10:35

Cody: In a H2H categories league, I have Witt, Arozarena, Schwarber, Verlander, and Cease as keepers. How would you look to attack the draft? Any positions you would like to prioritize early?

10:36

Justin Mason: I would probably prioritize power, second base and closers early.

10:36

Pedro: I’m intrigued by Michael Massey as a possible 15 HR/15 SB guy – seems to be flying under the radar (KC effect?)

10:36

Justin Mason: He definitely could be but I think he is beginning as a strong side platoon guy which limits his ceiling.

10:37

Kingpin: With Pfaadt not on the 40-man, and the rules in the new CBA, couldn’t you see AZ keeping him in AAA until Sept to retain his rookie status & get extra picks?

10:37

Justin Mason: I absolutely could, but we have seen them be a bit more aggressive with guys like Thomas and Carroll last season. I think they may be in the mix for a Wild Card spot this year which could make them even more aggresive.

10:38

Salvo: When people ask about “Urias” with no other context, how do you decide which Urias to comment on?

10:38

Justin Mason: LOL. I usually think it is Julio, but I could be wrong. That being said, this brings up a great point. When asking questions, give as much information as possible about the format and players involved.

10:39

K: Keep 6 in a forever keeper league (H2H points): Julio, Harris II, Wander, Albies, McClanahan, Strider, Manoah, Bregman

10:39

Justin Mason: Drop Bregman

10:39

Justin Mason: and Albies

10:39

Justin Mason: Sorry, apparently I can’t count to six this morning.

10:39

Craig: Last season, Blake Snell came in with quite a bit of hype but struggled early on. However, in the second half of the season, Snell started 13 games and gave up only 19 ER in 78 IP for 2.19 ERA. His K/9 increases to 12 during that stretch. Snell ended the season with 2 ER over the last 4 GS across 25 IP – and did it against ARI, STL, LAD, CHW. Could Snell put it all together this year? Do you foresee a scenario where he gets back to his 2018 form… or close to it?

10:40

Justin Mason: I absolutely could if he stays healthy, but at this point, I need him to show he can throw more than 130-140 innings in a season.

10:40

Colton: Can you tell me everything is going to be okay? I’ve lost Glasnow, Suzuki, Espino, and now Painter has elbow tenderness already this spring

10:40

Justin Mason: Listen… there is still time to jump into another league for 2023.

10:41

Kate: Assuming you saw Bassitt’s comments about purposely holding back velo at this point in spring.  Does this completely allay any concerns for you (specifically regarding his velo)?  Or are you still concerned he might not get back to his normal velo levels?

10:41

Justin Mason: I will be more worried if it continues to happen as we get closer to Opening Day. Right now I am ok with the explanation, but if in a week the velo isn’t increasing, I won’t have him on my boards.

10:42

Craig: I sense quite a bit of pessimism around Bailey Falter’s potential, specifically for this upcoming season in the Phillies rotation. I am not entirely sure why that is the case. He finished the season on a nice run, especially over the last 9 appearances… including only 2 outings of more than 2 ER over that stretch. Over his last 9 GS, he had a 3.00 ERA and 3.74 FIP, 15 ER in 45 IP and only 6 HR allowed. His WHIP went up, his HR9 went down. And, his numbers were also suppressed by 4 outings out of the pen, in which he gave up 4 ER in 7 IP. As a starter, his season ERA was 3.76 in 16 GS. What am I missing here? Why isn’t there more excitement over a 25 year old that is in the Opening Day starting rotation for a team that is amongst the favorites to win the NL?

10:43

Justin Mason: A lot of that work was against really bad competition. He gives up a lot of contact with a mediocre to bad defense behind him. He is going to get the chance to succeed, so I don’t mind the gamble, but be ready to jump off quickly if things start poorly.

10:43

Kate: Do you have any concerns with Luis Garcia (the Astros version) and the changes he’s needing to make to his windup due to the new balk rules?

10:44

Justin Mason: I am not overly concerned with it. I think he will be fine.

10:44

Kate: Are the Dbacks really going to let Zach Davies and the corpse of MadBum get in the way of one of their really interesting young arms?

10:44

Justin Mason: I believe they are.

10:45

Craig: Any 5th starters or fringe starters on opening day in NL that you can see emerging to “breakout” status?

10:47

Justin Mason: Steven Matz in STL if he can stay healthy, MacKenzie Gore in WAS if he can stay healthy, Edward Cabrera in MIA, Hayden Wesneski in Chicago if he gets the role.

10:47

Guest: My keeper league is 6×5. Standard 5×5, but they added Total Bases. I think this really makes it lopsided towards hitters (sluggers, specifically). What sort of hitter/pitcher split would you do on your auction budget?

10:47

Justin Mason: 70/30

10:47

RD: Jordan Walker is mashing… do you think he breaks camp with the Cards or goes down for a couple weeks?  Either way, I am targeting him.

10:48

Justin Mason: I think he makes the team, but even if he heads down for a few weeks, I think he returns pretty quickly. He is a huge target for me.

10:48

Colton: Also, scary scene in the Boston game with Turner getting hit in the head, holy crap

10:48

Justin Mason: Oh no!!!!

10:49

Dave: SV+H league with unlimited moves– eschew RPs until the final rounds and ride the wire?  Take one or two ‘sure things’?

10:49

Justin Mason: I might take one sure thing, but for the most part, you can usually build off the wire in Saves/Holds leagues

10:49

Captain Awesome: 6×6 (OBP/QS) 30 man roster – allowed to keep 2 players each year – according to round drafted (no pick in the round if kept) … gotta be Ohtani and Tucker, right?

Ohtani – 24th round (can keep 1 more yr)
Carroll – 25th round (could keep 3 more yrs)
Tucker – 23rd round (last yr to keep)
Gunnar – 26th round (could keep 3 more yrs)

10:49

Justin Mason: Yeah, Ohtani and Tucker are steals here.

10:50

Mike: Playing in a TGFBI satellite league. What total projected HR, steals and k’s should I be targeting?

10:50

Justin Mason: I can’t find them right now, but DM me on Twitter and I will

10:50

Insert Witty Name Here: Who would you draft as closers in waiting for this year?

10:52

Justin Mason: Taylor Rogers, Jimmy Herget, Joe Mantiply, Tanner Scott, Hunter Harvey

10:52

one clap: Strider or Urias in a keep forever league?

10:52

Justin Mason: Strider

10:52

Maris9: Any value with Victor Reyes or R Tapia?

10:52

Justin Mason: Probably not much

10:52

Guest: Thanks Justin for the Bautista answer! Last question I swear: I also have the first overall pick, do I go Judge or Turner?

Final keepers (thanks to you) are: Already keeping Juan Soto, Franco, Eloy, Rutschman, Carroll, Joe Ryan, Buehler, Alcantara, Hunter Brown, and Felix Bautista.

Appreciate the help.

10:52

Justin Mason: Turner for me

10:52

Guest: Because of trades in a dynasty league, I have back-to-back R1 picks coming up. We keep 8. Rank these contenders for those picks: Kris Bryant, Jordan Walker, Max Muncy, KeBryan Hayes

10:53

Justin Mason: Walker, Hayes, Bryants, Muncy

10:53

Guest: Which do you like better:  Will Smith ($13) & Edwin Diaz ($19) or Cal Releigh ($1) & Felix Batista ($1).  Have money to spend.

10:53

Justin Mason: I will take the discount on Bautista and Raliegh

10:53

Oh… Blique: Leody T going down with a bad Oblique. Just grade one, but still a bit worrisome, right? Are you giving Grossman or Bubba T the time of day in an OBP AL league or is the platoon not worth the mediocrity?

10:54

Justin Mason: I think I lean Grossman here. Thompson can’t hit.

10:54

Fat Tub of Goo: What is the latest you would take your first pitcher in a 12 team 5×5?

10:54

Justin Mason: 6th round

10:54

Beer: Hello Jason Thanks for amazing chat. Do you think there’s a chance Sal Frelick could be in opening day? If so his rookie season could be Kwan’s 2022 season?

10:54

Justin Mason: I don’t think he makes the opening day roster

10:54

Bagwell: Keep 2 of 3 – Jordan Montgomery, Rendon, Fairbanks (17 Keeper slots, OBP, SLG, K/9, QS, SV, HLD)

10:54

Justin Mason: Montgomery and Fairbanks

10:54

Eddies Eyes: Are you buying the LASIK angle on a comeback for Swingin’ Eddie Rosario?

10:54

Justin Mason: Nope

10:55

Alf: Alfaro trending up with Wong sidelined (and a contract kicker about MLB promotion) – Do you think he carves out meaningful PT in Boston?

10:55

Justin Mason: He could, they don’t have a lot of options.

10:55

On the Hunt: Didn’t get to watch, but Hunter Brown just started his 2nd inning with 3 straight walks, lots of mound visits…

10:55

Justin Mason: Why can’t we have nice things?!?

10:55

Guest: Are you felling good about Jon Gray, & Nate Eovaldi

10:55

Justin Mason: I like Gray, but Eovaldi is always hurt and is already dealing with something

10:56

Big Joey: 12 team, H2H, keep 6 at no cost. Already keeping Soto, Yordan, Freeman, Devers, Semien, and Cole. Who should I take with the #1 overall pick? Scherzer, L. Castillo, C. Javier or Jordan Walker?

10:56

Justin Mason: Walker for me, but if I wanted to go pitcher, it is Castillo

10:57

Bill: Who is your favorite non-Giant player of all time?

10:57

Justin Mason: Cal Ripken. I grew up in the DC area when he was chasing the streak

10:57

Justin Mason: Ok, that is all the questions I have so I guess I am wrapping up a couple minute early. Thanks for chatting with me. please follow me on all my social media’s (twitter, tiktok, facebook, youtube, and instagram) at JustinMasonFWFB! I am doing regular podcasts 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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Rufus T. Fireflymember
11 months ago

In a 13-team daily league that uses OBP is Ohtani the slam-dunk #1 pick? Does he weirdly mess up a team’s build? Thanks!