MLB SEASON COUNTER: 33.3%
Major League Baseball has now completed exactly 1/3 of the season through Sunday June 5th. So if you want in-depth and complete analysis of your fantasy teams, you can just triple every number and be assured that this is how you will finish – right? Maybe? Possibly?
For most of the 705 NFBC Main Event owners, the Earned Run Average statistic was a focus on draft day. The thinking was – and I went around the room in Las Vegas asking this question and this is the answer that was ALWAYS given – if a fantasy owner can draft a good solid set of pitchers you should be fine in the ERA category – how hard could it be? A couple of aces, a top reliever, and a few later round bargains and your ERA will be up near the top. Well, maybe back in the Jurassic Era, this was all you needed to do. (Yes, there was fantasy back then – well a SORT of fantasy – all I know is T-Rex was the number one overall draft selection).
Well, unfortunately (at least for me), plans do not always lead perfectly to results. But this is not always about me – even though it’s MOSTLY about me – so what if you have a partner – what guidelines should you adhere to? Well, for that fantasy managers need only to turn the highly realistic movie Jurassic Park, which is often quoted by savvy fantasy managers (I checked with a large number of them as research for this article) for how partners should operate effectively together. It DEFINITELY has two important lessons we can take away to improve our game.
This one is important. First, make sure you’re being specific and clear when you communicate. Otherwise, you and your partner might end up working at cross-purposes:
John Hammond: Our attractions will drive kids out of their minds.
Dr. Alan Grant: [meaning the attractions] What are those?
Dr. Ellie Sattler: Small versions of adults, honey.
And then there is this (which happens to me) – you tell your partner that this new rookie is just like Mike Trout. He disagrees and notes that he has a .210 batting average with 1 home run in the minors. You’ve just made a poor comparison, just like this one:
YOU MIGHT WANT TO RETHINK THAT COMPARISON
John Hammond: All major theme parks have delays. When they opened Disneyland in 1956, nothing worked!
Dr. Ian Malcolm: Yeah, but John, if The Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don’t eat the tourists.”
If this happens to you as well – you KNOW you made a mistake…
The MLB Environment: Improvement Shown
Through Sunday 6/5, MLB hitters have been scoring just 4.30 runs per game, well below the 4.53 in 2021. However, this runs per game has improved sharply from the 4.08 average five weeks ago and has jumped up from last week’s 4.24 average. Perhaps the warmer weather is helping after all? This has been built by two main factors (see chart below):
- Batting average is now at .240 (.232 five weeks ago and .239 last week – but still down from .244 last year).
- Home runs are now 02 (from 1.22 in 2021 but up from 1.00 last week).
|MLB HITTING STATS||RUNS/GAME||HOME RUNS||BATTING AVERAGE|
As we’ve stated previously, MLB strikeouts have been down and held steady this week at 8.33 per game, and with walks also holding level at 3.17 per game up, MLB WHIP is now 1.266 slightly up from last week’s 1.261, which is still historically very low. Batters are definitely striking out less – almost as low as 2017.
|MLB PITCHING STATS||MLB WHIP||STRIKEOUTS RECORDED||WALKS ALLOWED||K:BB RATIO|
Earned Run Average: 80% Target 2022 = 3.294
No matter if you’re communicating poorly with your partner, you need to remember that there HAS been less scoring in MLB this season. So it would make sense that the 80% Earned Run Average target to hit in the Main Event is better than in 2021. In the 2019 Main Event, fantasy owners needed an Earned Run Average of 3.85 to get 80% of the overall points available in this category. In 2021 (skipping 2020 because of the shortened season), that number decreased to 3.65 (about 5.2% lower). Thus far in 2022, a Main Event team would need an average of 3.29 to get 80% of the points available, or 9.9% lower than 2021 (and 14.5% lower than 2019).
80% Updates on Categories Already Covered (counting stats adjusted for full season):
Runs: 1077 (359 currently)
Home Runs: 270 (90 currently)
RBIs: 990 (330)
SB: Not Covered Yet
Batting Average: .2532
K: 1326 (442)
Wins: Not Covered Yet
Saves: Not Covered Yet
My Favorite Martin
But who are the pitchers that are providing the most help in Earned Run Average? In the chart below you can see – through Saturday 6/4 – the top 20 qualified pitchers (to qualify a pitcher needs to throw at least one inning per team game for the season) along with their ADP. Of course, as we ALL suspected on draft day, the two top qualified ERA leaders through June 4th are…Martin Perez and Nestor Cortes (wait…huh?). The Main Event ADP of these two aces was 738 (i.e. undrafted) and 341. Then sanity is somewhat restored with Joe Musgrove and Sandy Alcantara in the #3 and #4 positions, as they were drafted well inside the top 100 players in the spring. All in all, the top 20 hurlers in terms of ERA were drawn as follows – top 100: 8 pitchers; ADP 101-200: 6 pitchers; 201-300; 1 pitcher; 301-400: 1 pitcher (Cortes); and undrafted (600+): 4 pitchers (Martin Perez; Paul Blackburn; Kyle Wright; and Tyler Anderson).
|EARNED RUN AVERAGE RANK THRU 6/4||PLAYER||Batting Average||MAIN EVENT ADP||MAIN EVENT ADP|
Konnor Takes the Honor
Konnor Pilkington (yes, this is a real person) earned the win last Wednesday over the Royals, with eight strikeouts in five shutout innings. And even though he hadn’t shown much through his first two starts with the Guardians, this excellent performance coupled with his fine statistical base (2.65 ERA; 1.59 WHIP and 23:10 K:BB across 17 innings) was enough for Main Event fantasy owners when coupled with a fantastic upcoming schedule – this week home for Texas and Oakland.
Pilkington was the leader in the 10th FAAB run – as he was added in all 47 leagues. In addition, 9 other players were picked up in 32 or more leagues (see below). Other wide pickups were Luis Garcia – rookie 2B for the Nationals, Ross Stripling – who is likely to fill in for Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Blue Jays, Graham Ashcraft (who has looked good as a starter) for the Reds, and Edward Cabrera – who has plenty of talent to offer in the Marlins’ rotation.
|ADDED IN MOST MAIN EVENT LEAGUES||Leagues Added||Reason||Highest Winning Bid||Lowest Winning Bid|
|Konnor Pilkington||47||Nice Two Start Week||72||3|
|Luis Garcia WAS||43||Impressive Rookie 2B||103||5|
|Ross Stripling||41||Two starts for TOR||46||3|
|Graham Ashcraft||40||SP looks good in CIN||77||1|
|Edward Cabrera||38||Loads of talent in MIA||331||17|
|Ser. Dominguez||37||Closing opportunities?||139||1|
|Ezequiel Duran||36||Rookie TEX 3B||63||5|
|Jose Trevino||35||C hitting well for NYY||77||1|
|Tanner Scott||34||Closing opportunities?||77||2|
|Bryson Stott||32||Rookie PHI 3B||69||1|
The Wow Bid of the Week
One of our highlighted features – the Main Event Wow Bid of the Week – goes to the largest bid of each FAAB period. This week that honor goes to a $331 bid for Miami starting pitcher Edward Cabrera, which easily beat the runner-up bid of $87 (Cabrera was also won in two other leagues with bids between $200-299, and 19 other times between $100-199).
6/5: Edward Cabrera $331
5/29 Ryan Helsley $312
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 12 Members This Week
There were 12 players that attracted SUCCESSFUL bids over $100 during this FAAB run (down from 15 last week), and just 4 of those players had at least one winning bid over $200 (the same as last week – see chart below). The only players attracting the bids over $100 were the previously mentioned Edward Cabrera (23), plus Andres Gimenez and Seranthony Dominguez (2 each). There were 36 successful bids over $100 (down from 53) and 6 successful bids over $200 (down from 8 – see chart below) – and one interesting note – there was a $2 bid for no player at all this week – dropping Drew Steckenrider. Now I’m no big fan of Drew Steckenrider as a fantasy asset at this point of the season, but paying $2 to drop him with no add seems like overdoing it a little:
|TEAM||BIDS OVER $100 – MAIN EVENT||Winning Bids over $100||Winning Bids over $200||Highest Winning Bid (FAAB $)|
|WAS||Luis Garcia WAS||1||0||103|
For the 10 FAAB runs thus far, the average Main Event team has won 18.6 bids this season (1.86 per week) and spent $563.59 per team. This dollar amount is just 2.8% lower than last year when $580.01 was spent per team. This means that in 2022, the average team has $436 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 7th FAAB run this season – on 5/14 (stats are from 5/15 through 6/5):
- George Kirby: 22.0 IP; 4.50 ERA; 1.23 WHIP; 23 K; 2 BB; 1 WIN – Kirby has been solid thus far – he hasn’t been a world beater, but he’s held his own. With the strong control and promise of future success, I am scoring this as a WIN.
- Alek Thomas: 14-for-72 .194 AVG; 4 HR; 0 SB – the power is nice, but the average is a little disappointing. Thomas is playing every day though, and has shown enough for observers to believe he will be a good producer. Based on the first three weeks, I’m placing this as a PUSH – he should be a helpful addition this season.
- Chase Silseth: 10.1 IP; 7.84 ERA; 2.03 WHIP; 7 K; 5 BB; 0 WINS – sadly this Angels pickup has not worked out – LOSS.
- Rowan Wick: 10.1 IP; 6.10 ERA; 1.84 WHIP; 9 K; 5 BB; 0 WINS; 1 SAVE – and this hasn’t really helped fantasy owners. LOSS.
- 10 thumbs up – 36% (full year 2021 24%)
- 7 side thumbs – 25% (full year 2021 27%)
- 11 thumbs down – 39% (full year 2021 49%)
The record of top adds in the Main Event is still ahead of 2021 through the first 10 FAAB periods. Main Event owners are consistently finding one good solid add per week thus far. Perhaps all of us are getting smarter? (OK, not me, but the rest of the Main Event owners…)
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!
6/5: Dylan Carlson; Kole Calhoun; Nathaniel Lowe; Graham Ashcraft; Keegan Thompson; JP Crawford; Yuli Gurriel; Brady Singer; Trevor Larnach; Dany Jimenez; Taijuan Walker; Austin Meadows; Jose Miranda
Bendar It Like Beckham
|Overall Rank: Thru 4/17||Fantasy Owner||Overall Points||Points Behind|
|17||Robert Mirshak & Ian Kahn||5344.5||609.0|
|Average Top 20 Overall Score||5526.4|
Congratulations to Mark Bendar for taking the Number One position – and Mark wants everyone to know: “I was actually in the hit movie Bend It Like Beckham, but it was a relatively small part so most people don’t know about it!” Wow – interesting, Mark, but what WAS your role exactly? Mark said he was too busy to get back to us but since he’ll be at the top for many weeks to come, he invited us to follow up next week. Congratulations also to Bob Catsiroumpas, Scott Jenstad, Chris Fessler, and Richard Briskin, who are all in the top five in the early season. In fact, all of these Top 20 owners are in outstanding shape.
Strike Force ME: Top Ten Picks
Philippe Dussault: Contemplating the Queen
Philippe Dussault – (what is happening?) – fell to 60th place overall from last week’s 46th. Phil says he is very busy (as he had to perform at the Queen’s Jubilee this past weekend) – and says he is now completely in favor of Canada celebrating the Queen’s sovereignty. He sent me this image to show how the queen responded when he provided her with some of his finest food from Canada.
Where are our 2022 Previous Overall Leaders?
Tim Lilly (4/11): Tim has dropped to 310h place (up from last week’s 344th at least), and says he has looked in on his Main Event team but refuses to leave his garden of lilies so he must look through the window at his computer to check in.
Scott Fleming (4/18): Still doing well at 41st overall (down a bit from 33rd), Scott is planning to phone King Willem-Alexander (the King of the Netherlands) to “fully explain” his letter and “clear up” any misconceptions.
Chris Read (4/25-5/8): Chris had an impressive three-week run at the top, and is confident that even though he dropped to 63rd place last week – he now has surged back to 47th and his attitude is good. He is still on his speaking tour in Reading, Pennsylvania and has worked his way from the local 4th grade class to the local 5th grade class.
Tyler Jung (5/15): Tyler is in 11th place (down from 4th), which is still outstanding. However, he was unavailable for comment from his “Welcome to the Jungle” tour in deepest, darkest Africa. Apparently he has been to the Democratic Republic of the Congo – and is currently in Kinshasa, the largest city and capital. He did let us know that it lies about 320 miles from the Atlantic Ocean on the south bank of the Congo River, however.
Leonard Ringle (5/22-29): Leonard hung out a shingle on the #1 overall position, but was forced to take it down this week. He is now in a good strong position in 7th place though, and is making more shingles for his eventual return to the top.
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||114.5||Doug Moe||102.0||Daniel Semsel||99.5|
|#935||Mark Srebro||113.0||Anthony Botzo||111.0||Christopher Cooley||90.5|
|#943||Andrew Kopicz||112.5||Steve Weimer||105.5||Alan Mitchell||95.0|
|#1026||John Pausma||115.0||Toby Guevin||111.5||Jeff Erickson & Tim Schuler||95.5|
|#1027||Scott Jenstad||109.0||Tanner Bell||104.5||Justin Salinger||97.0|
|#1028||Russel Wyatt||111.0||Jacob Halusker||108.0||Zachary Waxman||93.0|
|#1029||Mark Northan||106.0||Rusty Clark||103.0||Joe Anthony||96.5|
|#1030||Rob Silver||118.5||Clark Olson||99.5||Zach Bettencourt||93.5|
|#1031||Stephen Marshall||103.0||Matthew Anderson||100.5||Dustin Wagner||99.0|
|#1032||Mark Bendar||128.0||Tony DiVincenzo||100.0||Ronny Mor||95.5|
|#1034||TIE: Ned Donohue||123.5||TIE: Robert Cramutola||123.5||Stephen Jupinka||100.0|
|#1132||Eric Heberlig||103.0||Roland Pinto||100.5||Tyler Jung||95.0|
|#1143||James Anderson & Todd Whitestone||115.5||Michelle Smith||105.5||Mark Srebro||102.5|
|#1192||Christopher Vaccaro||116.0||Robert Cramutola||112.5||Michael Amarante||105.5|
|#1221||Marc Fleisher||108.5||Mike Duggan||104.0||Bradley Libros||100.0|
|#1226||Michael Garcia||108.5||TIE: Patrick Longood||102.5||TIE: Robert DiPietro||102.5|
|#1228||Charles Sommer||116.0||John Pausma||113.5||Jeffrey Bryl||96.5|
|#1233||Ned Donohue||121.5||Jon Stadtmueller||102.0||Gregg Martin||100.0|
|#1236||Daniel Prepas||111.5||Clark Olson||107.5||Bradley Libros||104.5|
|#1244||Douglas Gruber||117.0||Andrew Geller||108.0||Jordan Epping||103.0|
|#1260||Kelly Uganski||121.5||Jason Aberli||109.0||Vince Clemente||99.0|
|#1263||Michael Brophy||115.0||Eric Heberlig||114.5||Kyle Brinkmann||107.5|
|#1264||Bill Macey||124.0||Vlad Sedler||118.5||Brian Edwards||109.5|
|#1265||Tyler Jung||121.0||Bob Mazur||105.5||Joe Morrison||102.5|
|#1287||Zack Puckett||99.0||TIE: Aaron Lawson||97.0||TIE: Glenn Schroter||97.0|
|#1292||Matt Modica||113.5||Steve Gregovich||108.0||Steven Heffernan||106.5|
|#1294||Jarrett Greco||108.5||Dohn Terrell||103.5||Scott Waggener||100.5|
|#1297||Richard Briskin||123.5||Zach Bettencourt||111.5||Douglas Gruber||106.5|
|#1304||Herb Erok||103.0||Richard Dimondo||99.5||Philippe Dussault||93.0|
|#1306||Dave Petroziello||109.0||David Miller||106.5||Brian Slack||106.0|
|#1318||Douglas Gruber||120.5||JimJ Ferrari||102.5||Emmett Ruland||100.5|
|#1319||Jeff Mitseff||110.0||Bob Casale||101.0||Abdulaziz Madani||93.0|
|#1320||TIE: Philippe Dussault||113.0||TIE: Robert Mirshak & Ian Kahn||113.0||Daniel Baker||102.5|
|#1321||Chris Fessler||122.5||Aaron Jones||105.0||TIE: Mike Rothe & Kyle Brinkmann||98.5|
|#1322||Ned Donohue||105.0||Mike Cameron||100.0||Jeff Mitseff||98.5|
|#1331||Bob Catsiroumpas||123.5||Bradley Libros||108.0||Robert DiPietro||105.0|
|#1332||Leonard Ringle||121.5||Ben Tidd||114.0||Chris Read||110.5|
|#1363||Kevin Grady||105.0||Matthew McDonough||103.5||Paul Hong||101.0|
|#1364||James Tomony||115.5||Brian Slack||104.0||Al Williams||101.5|
|#1365||Scott Jenstad||128.0||Craig Clarke||108.5||Matt Hurley||101.5|
|#1366||Isaac Cockburn||110.5||Jeff Mitseff||102.5||Chris Boudreaux||98.5|
|#1371||John Pausma||114.0||Brian Slack||109.5||TIE: Hunter Dorbandt & Jason Santeiu||108.0|
|#1402||Ray Butler||117.5||Abdulaziz Madani||110.5||Shawn Childs||100.0|
|#1405||Zachary Waxman||111.0||Michael Secor||100.5||Christopher Torres||98.5|
|#1408||Chris Avey||100.0||Jody Ryan||97.0||Eric Heberlig||96.0|
|#1511||Scott Fleming||110.5||Beau Reid||101.5||Ian Hubbard||97.5|
|#1524||Mark Srebro||115.0||Scott Waggener||110.5||Jamie Ickes||106.5|
|Average 1st Place Score||113.9||Average 2nd Place Score||106.2||Average 3rd Place Score||100.2|
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:
- Ned Donohue – three 1st and 10th overall
- Avid standings watcher Mark Srebro – two 1st, one 3rd and 19th overall
- The dominator Douglas Gruber – two 1st; one 3rd and 5th AND 13th overall
- Jeff Mitseff (one 1st one 2nd and one 3rd)
- Eric Heberlig – (one 1st one 2nd and one 3rd)
- Newly-inducted Hall-of-Famer (and 2018 Main Event Champ) John Pausma – two 1st and a 2nd and 18th overall
- Podcaster for Rotowire and all-around smart guy Scott Jenstad (two 1st and 3rd overall)
- Tyler Jung, Zachary Waxman and the great Phil Dussault (one 1st, one 3rd)
- My podcast partner Robert DiPietro, one 2nd and one 3rd
- Crowd favorite Brian Slack with two 2nd and one 3rd
- 2016 Main Event Champ Rob Silver – 1st in his league, 12th overall, and as he told me this week – he loves working with the great Jeff Zimmerman
- Clark Olson and Robert Cramutola (two 2nd)
- Bradley Libros (one 2nd and two 3rd)
- My pal Christopher Vaccaro (one 1st and 16th overall)
- Abdulaziz Madani and Scott Waggener (one 2nd and one 3rd)
- Matty Modica (one 1st and 22nd overall)
Great job by all!
Good luck to all fantasy baseball owners, and PLEASE REMEMBER if you’re in the Disneyland ride Pirates of the Caribbean, keep a close eye on the pirates!!