I missed last week’s update for fantasy baseball. The Makers are in their textbook form with awful pitching and good offense. I took a bad loss Week One but managed to squeak out a win in Week Two. So I’m off to a 1-1 start in 2017. There was no shame in losing to last year’s league champion, who also had the first pick in the draft. He narrowly won in Week Two. Things tend to return to the happy mediums, and if my pitching manages to stabilize (I have three number 1 starters on my squad) I may be able to make a serious go at the playoffs. Anyway, here’s how the Makers did. Afterward, I’ll talk about my transactions and look ahead to Week 3.
Week One: Fantasy Futility
I was eager to see how my top tier pitcher Madison Bumgarner would do. It was a two start week for him as well, so I hoped he would put up enough points to put into striking distance for a Victory. His results? He went 0-2, with a rough loss in his first outing. To make matters worse, Quintana (White Sox) and Gray (Rockies) did poorly as well. In fact, my starters only managed to win three games with a reliever picking up another W. That’s pretty terrible. But special mention goes to Sam Dyson, closer for the Rangers. He put up negative thirty-nine points in Week One. You read that right. He blew up three times and coughed up a lot of homers. I was leery of him since he had turned in a strong performance in the World Baseball Classic. Guys who do well in that tournament don’t seem to keep doing well once they return to the MLB. I suspect he’s hiding an injury. Or the league adapted to him. Either way, it’s the Rangers’ problem in RL.
Points Breakdown for Week One
All told the Makers put up 301 points, which is far short of my goal of 70-80 points per day. Dyson’s “contribution” knocked my final tally down into the 280s. My best pitcher was Bumgarner as expected but he still only managed to earn 36 points. My top offensive player was Margot for the Padres with 28 points. I drafted him at pick 277 overall. Go figure. Miguel Cabrera, my first round pick, was a nonfactor with -2 points.
Week 2: Improvements and Injuries
The pitching did somewhat better this week. I booted Dyson after he blew up again. My new problem child is Quintana. More on that in a moment. The injury bug is coming around my roster. I lost my starting catcher and my starting shortstop to the DL before the week began, and starter followed them as a bookend. I had drafted Cervelli to be my “backup” catcher, and he’s done quite well in that role, but he’s still not a great long term option. Losing Jean Segura hurts more though he’s not a top-tier shortstop. My infield is quite thin after I decided to draft an additional outfielder. John Gray, a starter for the Rockies, left Saturday with an injury which turned out to be a stress fracture. So he’s done for a while.
For all that, I managed to pick up a win.
Points Breakdown for Week Two
This time the Makers put up 331 points, a 30 point improvement over last week and 48 overall. That was just enough to sneak past my opponent who ended with 326. As Wellington once said, it was a damn near-run thing. I’m thanking my lucky stars one of his closers got the Dyson Effect on the last day, blowing up spectacularly for -12 points. Such is life and baseball. Once more my late drafts managed to exceed all expectations. Inciarte was my top offensive player, tallying 46 points (really?). I picked him at spot 204. Cabrera did better with 30 points this week, but he’s now DTD thanks to fouling off a pitch. On the pitching side, Johny Cueto was my best thrower with 24 points. Bumgarner put up a measly 4 points. The same as Adam Warren.
As I mentioned, I lost Sanchez and Segura to the DL, and I jettisoned Dyson. I elected to fill the open slots with pitching for the time being. I picked up Casilla (A’s), Devenski (Astros?) and Warren (Yankees) on the strength of their reps as relievers. They rewarded me with one point total. Not a great return for three transactions to say the least. But at least I limited the Dyson Factor and didn’t end up in the red thanks to them. I was about to get brave and pull the trigger on drafting Sabathia, who is in the midst of an alcohol-free contract year renaissance. Alas somebody else picked him up for a start spot just before I could get him. C’est la vie.
I’m still looking to fix my pitchers. It would be great if any my top starters could produce wins. Bumgarner took a loss this week, and Quintana may be the new Dyson. I wasn’t pleased with his previous start. Nor was I encouraged by his optimistic take on his loss this week (“you know, after I stunk up the joint, I was pretty good”). I’ll give him one more start before I seriously look to drop him. He may be feeling the pressure of being a trade piece for the White Sox or their new top guy. I don’t know what. But when you let the A’s and the Twins knock you around, your status as the front-of-the-rotation guy is questionable.
The Makers are currently sitting in 9th place overall in the league. My team leads in no categories. That’s cause for concern. But for Week 3 I’m looking to continue the steady pace of 45 points per days. Looking at how the other teams are doing I think that’s reasonable. 70-80 points per day may not be an attainable goal in this league. I’m going to be looking for a new starter, potentially two if Quintana continues to struggle. I think Jean Segara will be returning from the DL, so that’s a plus.
On the whole, I have a weird week. The baseball schedule is weird in April eh? Bumgarner goes again on Wednesday, and then I have the rest of the rotation going on Friday. I’m not comfortable without having a starter going at least every day, but such is the price you pay for drafting guys in similar positions on the depth chart. The team I’m up against nearly defeated the league champion last week. So it looks to be a tough slog.
Overall, it’s an OK start to the season given my unfavorable position in the draft this year and the nature of the game itself.