MLB SEASON COUNTER: 29.2%
Major League Baseball has now completed 29% of the season through Sunday May 29th. For most of the 705 NFBC Main Event owners, Batting Average was a priority during draft day. The thinking was – if you can acquire enough good solid hitters you should be able to generate a fantasy team average in the .250’s – after all, the MLB average from 2021 was .244, right?
Well, unfortunately the high-average heyday that was 2021 is over. Now MLB is sporting a batting average some 10 points lower – so does that make it easier for our intrepid Main Event fantasy owners to compete? I turned to a highly relevant movie from 1966 to look at the current situation from the right angle.
Did you ever feel like you wanted to re-do something – such as who you pegged as a high-average hitter? Well, here are two examples from “The Good, The Bad & The Ugly,” which should tip you off that MAYBE you should have come up with a different approach:
YOU MIGHT WANT TO RETHINK THAT
Tuco decides that he wants more of the bounty money in their regular money-making scheme (in which Blondie turns in Tuco, collects the money and then sets him free each time by shooting the rope as he is about to be hung). Because Tuco is taking the risk, he says he deserves a bigger percentage.
Tuco: “There are two kinds of people in the world, my friend, those with a rope around their neck, and the people who have the job of doing the cutting. Listen, the neck at the end of the rope is mine. I run the risks. So the next time, I want more than half.”
Blondie replies: “You may run the risks, my friend, but I do the cutting. We cut down my percentage and it’s liable to interfere with my aim.”
And then there is this – you draft a bunch of hitters and discover that your fantasy team batting average is under .225 (not unheard of in the 2022 Main Event, by the way):
I HAD THE SAME CONCLUSION AFTER DRAFTING A BUNCH OF UNDER-PERFORMING HITTERS
Tuco and Blondie (the Ugly and the Good) burst into a room looking for Angel Eyes (the Bad) and instead find a note lying on the bed. Tuco picks it up and tries to read: “See you soon, id… ” “id… ” “ids… “
Blondie: (taking the note and reads) “Idiots.”
He hands the note back to Tuco and says drily: “It’s for you.”
If this happens to you – you KNOW you made a mistake…
The MLB Environment: Improvement Shown
Through Sunday 5/29, hitters have been scoring just 4.24 MLB runs per game, well below the 4.53 in 2021. However, this runs per game has improved from the 4.08 average three weeks ago and has jumped up from last week’s 4.18 average. Perhaps the warmer weather is helping after all?. This has been built by two main factors (see chart below):
- Batting average is at .239 (.232 three weeks ago and .236 last week – but still down from .244 last year).
- Home runs are now 1.00 (from 1.22 in 2021 but up from 0.97 last week).
|MLB HITTING STATS||RUNS/GAME||HOME RUNS||BATTING AVERAGE|
As we’ve stated previously, MLB strikeouts have been down and fell slightly further – from 8.36 to 8.33 per game, and walks edged up slightly (3.17 per game up from 3.16 per game). MLB WHIP is now 1.261 from 1.247, which is still historically very low. I’m wondering if strikeouts will continue to decline this year – maybe back to 2017 levels?
|MLB PITCHING STATS||MLB WHIP||STRIKEOUTS RECORDED||WALKS ALLOWED||K:BB RATIO|
Batting Average: 80% Target 2022 = .2535
No matter if the Batting Average category makes you FEEL like an idiot, you need to remember that there HAS been less scoring in MLB this season. So it would make sense that the 80% Batting Average target to hit in the Main Event is lower than in 2021. In the 2019 Main Event, fantasy owners needed a Batting Average of .269 to get 80% of the overall points available in this category. In 2021 (skipping 2020 because of the shortened season), that number decreased to .261 (about 2.8% lower). Thus far in 2022, a Main Event team would need an average of .2535 to get 80% of the points available, or 2.9% lower than 2021 (and 5.8% lower than 2019).
80% Updates on Categories Already Covered (counting stats adjusted for full season):
Home Runs: 264
SB: Not Covered Yet
Batting Average: .2535
Wins: Not Covered Yet
Saves: Not Covered Yet
ERA: Not Covered Yet
MLB BATTING AVERAGE NOTABLES
But who are the hitters that are providing the most help in Batting Average even in this reduced environment? In the chart below you can see – through Saturday 5/28 – the top 20 qualified hitters along with their ADP. The leaders in this category are JD Martinez, Luis Arraez, and Manny Machado. Which one is surprising? Martinez and Machado had Main Event ADPs in the top 100, but Arraez was way back at pick 348! Other batting average bargains on this list were Ty France (184), Andrew Benintendi (180); Jeff McNeil (291) and CJ Cron (128). But the biggest bargains with an ADP after pick 400 were Eric Hosmer (414); Jose Iglesias (416); and JP Crawford (404).
|BATTTING AVERAGE RANK THRU 5/28||PLAYER||Batting Average||MAIN EVENT ADP|
Then there are some highly drafted players who have – let’s say – not helped the overall cause of fantasy owners (see below). These players all had an ADP of 250 or better and are all hitting .222 or worse – leaving them in the ranked no higher than 136 out of all qualified MLB batters. All have been disappointing to their fantasy owners – which ones will turn it around?
|BATTTING AVERAGE RANK THRU 5/28||PLAYER||Batting Average||MAIN EVENT ADP|
And then there are the qualified hitters that are providing the LEAST help in batting average. The chart below shows the bottom ten through Friday 5/28, but doctors advise sitting down before looking too closely. All are ranked at 160 or worse, and have a batting average of between .150 and .194. Even in today’s reduced batting average environment, that is – what is the technical term? Oh yes. B-A-D.
|BATTTING AVERAGE RANK THRU 5/28||PLAYER||Batting Average||MAIN EVENT ADP|
Atop the New Harris Poll
Michael Harris II reached the majors on Saturday, causing a great deal of interest, as he was largely unavailable before this week. The question was “Do Main Event owners like a highly-touted rookies?” The answer? “Come on – what do you think?” Harris was the leader in the 9th FAAB run – attracting big dollars at the cash register. He was added in all 47 leagues, as he can provide help with stolen bases and is known as a quality hitter. In addition, 9 other players were picked up in 28 or more leagues (see below). Other wide pickups were Oscar Gonzalez – rookie power hitting OF for the Guardians, Victor Robles – who is hitting well and always has had speed to burn, Cole Sulser – who could lock down the Miami closer job, and Edwin Rios – who just might get regular playing time with Max Muncy sidelined.
|ADDED IN MOST MAIN EVENT LEAGUES||Leagues Added||Reason||Highest Winning Bid||Lowest Winning Bid|
|Michael Harris II||47||Impressive Rookie for ATL||288||5|
|Oscar Gonzalez||37||Power Hitter for CLE||41||3|
|Victor Robles||32||Hitting well for WAS||119||8|
|Cole Sulser||31||New MIA Closer?||172||7|
|Edwin Rios||30||Getting PT with LAD||148||27|
|Glenn Otto||30||2 starts for TEX||87||7|
|Nico Hoerner||30||Named starting SS||68||5|
|Cal Mitchell||30||PIT Rookie OF||42||4|
|Erick Fedde||29||2 starts for WAS||59||1|
|JP Feyereisen||28||Saves in TB?||55||2|
The Wow Bid of the Week
One of our favorite features – the Main Event Wow Bid of the Week – is back and goes to the largest bid of each FAAB period. This week that honor goes to a $312 bid for partial Cardinal closer Ryan Helsley, which easily beat the runner-up bid of $208 (Helsley was also won in two other leagues with bids over between $200-299).
5/22: Nolan Gorman $482
5/15: George Kirby $557
5/8: Brendan Rodgers $424
5/1: Eloy Jimenez $452
4/24: Jesse Winker $508
4/17: Matt Manning $475
4/10: Josh Lowe $613
4/3: Matt Brash $244
The Century Club Has 15 Members This Week
There were 15 players that attracted SUCCESSFUL bids over $100 during this FAAB run (down from 191 last week), and just 4 of those players had at least one winning bid over $200 (down from 5 last week – see chart below). Players attracting the most bids over $100 were the previously mentioned Michael Harris (23), Kyle Lewis (5), Edwin Rios (4) and Ryan Helsley and Spencer Strider (3). There were 53 successful bids over $100 (down from 75) and 8 successful bids over $200 (down from 37 – see chart below):
|TEAM||BIDS OVER $100 – MAIN EVENT||Winning Bids over $100||Winning Bids over $200||Highest Winning Bid (FAAB $)|
|ATL||Michael Harris II||23||3||288|
For the 9 FAAB runs thus far, the average Main Event team has won 16.4 bids this season (1.82 per week) and spent $516.66 per team. This dollar amount is just 0.7% lower than last year when $520.42 was spent per team. This means that in 2022, the average team has $483 of FAAB left, so the resources are dwindling. The drop-off in spending is happening and will accelerate.
|2022||TOTAL NUMBER OF MAIN EVENT WINNING BIDS||TOTAL FAAB DOLLARS SPENT MAIN EVENT||AVERAGE WINNING BID MAIN EVENT||AVERAGE AMOUNTS SPENT PER ME TEAM|
Colosseum Stats: Four Players from Three Weeks Ago…Results: 1 Good Add out of 4:
Again this season we’ll be keeping tabs on the 4 most added players from 3 weeks ago to see how some of the biggest free agent acquisitions have been doing for their fantasy owners. These are the players acquired in the most leagues on the third FAAB run this season – on 4/24 (stats are from 5/8 through 5/29):
- Juan Yepez: 16-for-68 .235 AVG; 4 HR; 0 SB – the power has been solid, and the average is acceptable in this current environment. He’s also scored 12 runs and driven in 7 – WIN.
- Royce Lewis: 10-for-33 .303 AVG; 2 HR; 0 SB – Lewis would have been a WIN for sure even though the Twins inexplicably sent him down (I’m not bitter), but it looks like he will go to the IL with a bone bruise. On the theory that it’s not too serious, I’m moving this to a PUSH – if he’s back soon he can still be helpful.
- Jose Miranda: 8-for-45 .178 AVG; 0 HR; 0 SB – sadly this Twins pickup has not worked out – he was optioned back to the minors on Sunday – LOSS.
- Ben Gamel: 12-for-62 .194 AVG; 1 HR; 1 SB – and ANOTHER trip to the IL for our top adds – so nope – this one just hasn’t worked either. LOSS.
- 9 thumbs up – 38% (full year 2021 24%)
- 6 side thumbs – 25% (full year 2021 27%)
- 9 thumbs down – 38% (full year 2021 49%)
The record took a little bit of a hit this week, but still is ahead of 2021. At least in the first 9 FAAB periods, Main Event owners are finding one gem per week thus far. Perhaps we’re all getting smarter?
Interesting Single Team Drops
I took a look at the Main Event transactions to look for any interesting players dropped this week. These are players dropped just once that I found somewhat surprising. I mean – some of these guys were the aggressive pickups this week!
5/29: Joey Votto; MJ Melendez; Anthony Santander; Eloy Jimenez; William Contreras; JP Feyereisen; Luis Arraez; Jeff McNeil; Roansy Contreras; Jakob Junis; Anthony Rendon; Raisel Iglesias; Teoscar Hernandez; Jhoan Duran; Ryan Helsley; Joc Pederson; Tommy Edman; Kolten Wong; George Kirby; Bryan Reynolds; Tyrone Taylor; Matthew Liberatore; Tyler O’Neill; Andrew Vaughn; Victor Robles; Rowdy Tellez
Ringle Hangs out His Shingle
|Overall Rank: Thru 4/17||Fantasy Owner||Overall Points||Points Behind|
|11||Robert Mirshak & Ian Kahn||5502.0||647.5|
|Average Top 20 Overall Score||5569.7|
Congratulations to Leonard Ringle for holding the Number One position – and Leonard is exuding confidence, saying: “As the adage goes, if you’re in first by Memorial Day it’s over!” I don’t think that’s what the saying is, but Leonard has put up a shingle on the NFBC standings page to indicate the permanence of his position, so who am I to argue? Leonard has 3 Main Event entries, and his first ten selections in the list below. Congratulations also to Mark Bendar, Bob Catsiroumpas, and Tyler Jung who are all in the top five in the early season. All of these Top 20 owners are in outstanding shape.
Stoop Ball I: Top Ten Picks
Philippe Dussault: Contemplating the Queen
Philippe Dussault – hounded by reporters after his recent brush with an official inquiry from the NFBC – fell to 46th place overall from last week’s 35th. Phil is still holed up at his house in Terrebonne, Quebec –and says he is considering whether Canada should really celebrate the Queen of England’s birthday on Victoria Day. He sent me this image to show the hard work he is putting in on this.
Where are our 2022 Previous Overall Leaders?
Tim Lilly (4/11): Tim has dropped to 334th place, and says he doesn’t care about his Main Event team any more – just his garden of lilies.
Scott Fleming (4/18): Still doing well at 33rd overall, Scott is seemingly in a good place after being deported from Flanders (the Dutch-speaking northern portion of Belgium). He reports that he has been assured that King Willem-Alexander (the actual King of the Netherlands) will get back to him soon to respond to his letter.
Chris Read (4/25-5/8): Chris had an impressive three-week run at the top, and is confident that even though he has dropped to 63rd place, this is nothing more than a minor blip. He is serving as the sole librarian at the new Chris Read Library (Where Reading is Fun!) in Reading, Pennsylvania and is planning a speaking tour. His current booking is just at the local 4th grade class, but that seems to be his target audience anyway.
Tyler Jung (5/15): Tyler is in 4th place, which is outstanding. However, he has taken his “Welcome to the Jungle” moniker to heart and has left for his trip to deepest, darkest Africa. He also packed plenty of socks, which is why he names his teams after socks. Hopefully he has a few other clothing items as well…
League of Legends
In addition, we’ll follow the individual league races this season. It is no small feat to win a league championship in the Main Event regardless of a fantasy owner’s overall place, and the top three in each league earn a cash prize and deserve recognition. You can see the 47 leagues listed in the chart below – along with the top three in the standings as of Monday morning.
|NFBC League Number||LEADER||League Points||2nd PLACE||League Points||3rd PLACE||League Points|
|#934||Jason Anthony||109.5||Daniel Semsel||104.0||Doug Moe||102.5|
|#935||Anthony Botzo||113.5||Mark Srebro||108.0||Scott Waggener||100.5|
|#943||Andrew Kopicz||115.0||Steve Weimer||97.0||Chas Nelson||95.0|
|#1026||John Pausma||116.5||Toby Guevin||114.0||TIE: Broc Miller & Errol Thompson||98.0|
|#1027||Scott Jenstad||110.5||Tanner Bell||104.0||Michael Govier||95.0|
|#1028||Jacob Halusker||106.0||Russel Wyatt||105.0||Timothy Pamperin||91.0|
|#1029||Mark Northan||107.5||Matt Modica||104.0||Rusty Clark||97.5|
|#1030||Rob Silver||118.0||Zach Bettencourt||97.5||Clark Olson||96.5|
|#1031||Dustin Wagner||109.0||Matthew Anderson||100.5||Daniel Prepas||99.0|
|#1032||Mark Bendar||130.0||Ronny Mor||100.0||Keith Tonsager||86.0|
|#1034||Ned Donohue||121.5||Robert Cramutola||115.0||Stephen Jupinka||97.0|
|#1132||Roland Pinto||108.0||Eric Heberlig||104.5||Scott Masel||94.5|
|#1143||James Anderson & Todd Whitestone||113.0||Markus Sultan||102.5||Mark Srebro||101.5|
|#1192||Christopher Vaccaro||122.5||Robert Cramutola||116.0||Michael Amarante||104.5|
|#1221||Mike Duggan||107.5||Marc Fleisher||107.0||Eric Albright||96.5|
|#1226||Michael Garcia||110.0||TIE: Patrick Longood||97.0||TIE: Robert DiPietro||97.0|
|#1228||Charles Sommer||113.0||John Pausma||99.0||Jordan Epping||96.0|
|#1233||Gregg Martin||111.5||Stephen Jupinka||109.5||Jon Stadtmueller||101.0|
|#1236||Clark Olson||113.5||Daniel Prepas||105.5||Russell Withers||103.0|
|#1244||Douglas Gruber||117.5||Jordan Epping||105.5||Kent Stermon||90.5|
|#1260||Jason Aberli||110.5||Kelly Uganski||107.5||Douglas Roth||102.5|
|#1263||Michael Brophy||115.5||Eric Heberlig||108.5||Kyle Brinkmann||101.0|
|#1264||Bill Macey||119.0||Brian Edwards||115.0||Vlad Sedler||110.5|
|#1265||Tyler Jung||122.0||Joe Morrison||109.5||Bob Mazur||99.5|
|#1287||Aaron Lawson||103.5||Aaron Silver||97.5||Jason Perkins||93.0|
|#1292||Steve Gregovich||117.0||Chris Fessler||106.5||Steven Heffernan||106.0|
|#1294||Scott Waggener||107.5||Jarrett Greco||103.5||Dohn Terrell||95.0|
|#1297||Richard Briskin||121.5||Zach Bettencourt||116.0||Douglas Gruber||100.0|
|#1304||TIE: Richard Dimondo||103.0||TIE: Jeff Campbell||103.0||TIE: Herb Eroh||103.0|
|#1306||David Miller||119.5||Dave Petroziello||103.5||Brian Slack||98.5|
|#1318||Douglas Gruber||126.0||Emmett Ruland||111.0||JimJFerrari||110.5|
|#1319||Jeff Mitseff||110.5||Abdulaziz Madani||95.5||Jon Stadtmueller||95.0|
|#1320||Robert Mirshak & Ian Kahn||118.5||Philippe Dussault||111.5||Michael Fuchs||98.0|
|#1321||Chris Fessler||121.0||Aaron Jones||108.0||TIE: Aaron Sullivan & Mike Rothe||98.5|
|#1322||Ned Donohue||109.5||Jeff Mitseff||104.5||Mike Cameron||101.5|
|#1331||Bob Catsiroumpas||126.0||Bradley Libros||107.0||Robert DiPietro||105.0|
|#1332||Leonard Ringle||133.0||Ben Tidd||108.0||Chris Read||102.5|
|#1363||Matthew McDonough||106.5||Paul Hong||106.0||Kevin Grady||101.0|
|#1364||James Tomony||107.0||Al Williams||105.0||Brian Slack||104.5|
|#1365||Scott Jenstad||126.0||Scott Waggener||117.5||Craig Clarke||113.5|
|#1366||Isaac Cockburn||107.5||Jeff Mitseff||102.0||Chris Boudreaux||97.5|
|#1371||Brian Slack||112.5||Jason Santeiu||112.0||Hunter Dorbandt||106.0|
|#1402||Ray Butler||113.5||Abdulaziz Madani||108.0||Shawn Childs||100.0|
|#1405||Zachary Waxman||110.0||Christopher Torres||97.5||TIE: Michael Lins & Michael Secor||95.0|
|#1408||Jody Ryan||104.5||Christopher Vaccaro||95.0||TIE: Chris Avey & Eric Heberlig||94.5|
|#1511||Scott Fleming||109.5||Ian Hubbard||99.0||Rusty Clark||94.0|
|#1524||Mark Srebro||126.5||Scott Waggener||105.0||Jamie Ickes||104.0|
|Average 1st Place Score||114.5||Average 2nd Place Score||105.5||Average 3rd Place Score||99.4|
There are multiple NFBC players who are in the top three places in more than one Main Event league. Even at this early stage, that is impressive. Shout-outs:
- Scott Waggener (one 1st, two 2nd)
- Jeff Mitseff (one 1st two 2nd)
- My podcast partner Robert DiPietro, one 2nd and one 3rd
- The dominator – Douglas Gruber with two 1st and a 3rd – and 7th and 13th overall
- Crowd favorite Brian Slack with a 1st and two 3rd
- Fantasy Baseball/Football expert Mark Srebro – one 1st, two 2nd
– and 12th overall
- Newly-inducted Hall-of-Famer (and 2018 Main Event Champ) John Pausma – a 1st and a 2nd
- 2016 Main Event Champ Rob Silver – 1st in his league, 10th overall, and as he told me this week – the Launch Angle podcast is one of the joys of his life because he gets to work with professionals like Van Lee and Jeff Zimmerman. Jeff and Rob work very well together and Jeff is excellent at fantasy baseball.
- Eric Heberlig – two 2nd and one 3rd
- Podcaster for Rotowire and all-around smart guy Scott Jenstad (two 1st and 6th overall)
- Ned Donohue (two 1st and 9th overall)
- Clark Olson (one 1st, one 3rd)
- Robert Cramutola, Zach Bettencourt and Abdulaziz Madani (two 2nd)
- My pal Christopher Vaccaro (one 1st, one 2nd and 5th overall)
- Chris Fessler (one 1st and one 2nd)
- Jordan Epping, Daniel Prepas and Stephen Jupinka (one 2nd and one 3rd)
- Jon Stadtmueller (two 3rd)
Great job by all!
Good luck to all fantasy baseball owners, and for now – don’t be an idiot!!