As you have likely seen, Mastersball and DraftStreet.com are working together on a promotion. For details about the Mastersball $300 Freeroll, click HERE . In brief, the fine folks at DraftStreet.com have arranged for a contest just for Mastersball’s fans. It costs nothing to enter and someone is going to win $100. Six others will also earn a cash prize. I promise, you will never have better odds.
As part of the promotion, I am entering a team into the contest and will detail my thought processes. The idea is to assemble the best team possible with the catch being each player is assigned a salary in proportion to their potential and you need to build a team under a cap.
Here are the roster requirements and scoring system:
Nothing really stands out with respect to taking advantage of a certain profile of player. Some points leagues award only one point for a steal but with DraftStreet awarding two, speedsters can be as useful as power hitters, though power hitters still are preferred since a homer scores a minimum of seven points unto itself.
Later in the season, I will take the time to work out a means to rank the available players in terms of bang for the buck. Today, as I get a feel for the game, I am going to keep it rather simple, identifying five criteria for hitters and three for pitchers to be used to filter my players.
Conspicuous by its absence is a review of how batters fare against specific pitchers and vice versa. I'll save this for another time as it deserves its own space, but the sample size of hitter-pitcher matchups is too small to be useful. To be honest, this is the point where I hope to gain an edge over those that overemphasize this type of analysis.
In brief, the desire to use hitters in hitter's parks and pitchers in pitcher's parks is obvious. Studies have shown that a player's skills are up to 10% superior at home as opposed to on the road which is an edge I want to capture. Finally, it is another given that right-handed hitters fare better against southpaws and left-handed hitters enjoy more success against right-handers. The gameplan will be to have each player meet as many of these three criteria as possible, plus be matched up against weaker competition.
My initial sense is getting starting pitchers that have great games is paramount to finishing with a score among the day's best so my first step is going to be deciding on a couple of ace starters. For the reliever, I will look to pair up one of the starter's closer. For the last picther spot, I would prefer a starter since you don't know if the closer is going to get in the game. However, in the likely event I cannot afford a third starter, I will pair up the other starter.
After that, the plan is to start at the bottom of each position and find the first hitter than meets as many of the five hitting criteria as possible. By filling in with the cheapest options, I can then go pricey with the utilities and bounce salary around until the cap is reached with the best possible lineup.
Without further ado, here is my entry into today's Mastersball $300 Freeroll:
C: Carlos Ruiz, PHI ($5771) - Ruiz is at home and Citizens Back Park favors offense. R.A. Dickey pitches for the opposing Mets. By this time, the Phillies should have faced Dickey enough to make the knuckler less of a challenge to hit. Ruiz and Dickey are both righties, but this edge is lost with a knuckler.
2B: Dan Uggla, ATL ($6845) - While Turner Field is not particularly hitter friendly, Uggla has the power to hit it out anywhere and the righty is facing a southpaw in Randy Wolf that has been known to allow a gopher ball or two.
SS: Jimmy Rollins, PHI ($6753) - The switch-hitting Rollins joins teammate Ruiz, squaring off against Dickey.
OF2: Eric Thames, TOR ($5484) - Another lefty to face the less than imposing Hunter.
OF3: Alex Gordon, KC ($5438) - Like Moustakas, not looking for a homer but a couple of knocks and some production. Gordon should be able to at least make good contact off of Lowe.
UT2: Adam Jones, BAL ($7667) - Jones is the only hitter to go against two of the primary criteria as he is on the road and facing a fellow righ-hander. I'll take my chance Jones can get on and is looking to run this season. Plus, there was no one I liked better in the price range and I could not find amy more switches I liked more.
SP1: Felix Hernandez, SEA ($16485) - The King at home facing the Athletics, what's not to like?
SP2: Matt Cain, SF (14267) - Cain in AT&T facing the less than imposing Pirate attack, sign me up.
RP: Brian Wilson, SF ($2118) - Closers are cheap since there is a chance they will not pitch, but my thesis is if I feel the starter will do well, the closer should have a chance to do his thing.
P: Brandon League, SEA ($1903) - As the season wears on, I hope to be use a third starter, but there were no bargains with sticks sufficient to free up salary.
There you have it. Total salary is $99977, $23 under the limit.
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