TDGX Misses: Cliff Lee, Shelby Miller, Everth Cabrera, Billy Butler, & Andre Ethier

As the fantasy season winds down so too does the inaugural season of our Dynasty Guru Experts League. We’ve written pretty extensively about the comings and goings on in the league on these pages. It has certainly been a fun exercise for us as managers to be able to so openly discuss strategy among competitors, and hopefully it’s been an illuminating source of public disclosure for you as readers. So as a final act of transparency for the season I used this space last week to talk about some of the players I nailed correctly, and now I get the pleasure of going through all of my numerous failures. Realistically I could just run through my top seven picks, because I managed to whiff to varying degrees on all of them. My first two picks, Ryan Braun and Evan Longoria, both produced substantially below draft value returns, and perhaps most troublingly for a dynasty format both look like shaky propositions going forward. But here now is a cautionary tale of my five worst misses.

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Ben’s 2014 All-Disappointment Team

It’s Monday morning, and the entire world is grumpy. I am part of the world, and so also grumpy.

Rather than write a positive, insightful or analytical column, I’m going to vent. Many of my teams are somewhere between fourth and seventh place in my respective leagues, and this was not a year in which I was planning to rebuild. This is a fact that makes me angry.

So here you go: a complete lineup of suck that has drained the life from many of my redraft and dynasty league teams alike. Thanks for nothing, professional athletes who have failed to live up to my lofty, unreasonable standards.

C: Carlos Santana, CLE
1B: Eric Hosmer. KC
2B: Jedd Gyorko, SD
3B: Brett Lawrie, TOR
SS: J.J. Hardy, BAL Continue reading

Time to Worry About These Struggling Aces? Verlander, Price, Cole, Zimmerman and Miller

This week I will take a look at some really good starting pitchers who have not met our expectations. All of these guys were highly ranked and drafted early and their owners were depending on them to perform much better than they have thus far. We have now played more than 1/3 of the season, so if these guys are going to bounce back it is now or never. Let’s figure out which of these guys you should try to dump and which of them you should trade for while their owners in your league are panicking over their nasty stats.

Justin Verlander — Yahoo preseason rank #10, current rank #263 among SP
6-5 Record, 61 Ks in 86 innings, 4.19 ERA, 1.47 WHIP Continue reading

#TDGX Status Check: Time to Make the Donuts

Last week I put together a snapshot of where my team stands in TDGX at the two-month point, and this week we’ll turn the page from past performance to future performance. Since that post my team has gained some tenuous ground from 127.0 points and a seventh place standing to 136.5 points and 6th place. I took steps forward in Runs (+3), WHIP (+3), strikeouts (+2), and runs (+1.5) to make up the ground, and currently sit 4th in total offense and 9th in total pitching, about 40 points behind the league leader (give or take). It’s a solid position, but if I’m going to make a run this year I’ve got some work to do to make up some ground over the next couple months heading to the trade deadline.

Over the course of my analysis last week I identified top-end starting pitching and the tandem of batting average and homeruns as my most pressing holes in need of addressing at this point, and that’s where we’ll pick up this week. The hour is nigh for aggressive action if you’re looking to compete this season. Time to rise and shine and figure out what comes next.

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#TDGX Status Check: Building the Foundation for a Deep League Run

We’re almost exactly two months into the baseball season, and I’ve always liked to use the start of June as the jumping off point to make my first real soul-searching conclusions about the squad(s) I’m fielding. We’ve reached a stage of the season where a decent number of stats have gained a semblance of statistical significance, and we can start to separate some early season performance from the security blanket of small sample size. So with the spirit of self-evaluation in the thick air, let’s take a look under the hood of my TDGX squad. In Part I this week I’ll check in on how the team has performed to date, and then in Part II next week I’ll plot and scheme on what I should be looking to accomplish over the next phase of the season.

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TDGX Player Notes: Shelby Miller, Ryan Howard, & Andre Ethier

One of the reasons I was so excited about Bret’s idea to create TDGX this year is that I knew the massively deep league structure would provide me with an almost endless supply of players to write about from the vantage point of someone with a vested interest in their performance. So every couple of weeks I plan to use this space to check in on a handful of players on my TDGX team in order to take a deeper look at their current performance trends. Hopefully this’ll be a helpful exercise for both owners of these players as well as managers who might (or might not yet) be considering acquiring or trading them.

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TDGX Motto: “Relax. It’s a Long Season.”

Disaster struck my squad in Week One. I sat in 17th place out of 20 in the TDGX league, with some significant warning lights flashing already. My first round draft pick, Ryan Braun, can’t feel the thumb on his throwing hand. More importantly for our purposes, that thumb happens to be kind of important for swinging the bat, something Braun did not do well at all out of the gate. My elite speed guys didn’t steal a single base. One of my primary AVG/Runs guys, Omar Infante, took a fastball to the face and went down like Eddie Richardson taking a left hook from Mike Tyson. On the pitching side, my #1 starter gave up 8 runs in his debut start. My ostensible #6 starter, a late-game pick I was extremely proud of, mind you, lost out on a rotation spot to Lucas Harrell. Lucas Harrell. A guy who had a 5.86 ERA and 89:88 strikeout-to-walk ratio in over 150 innings last season. And there still exists no plausible scenario in which anybody on my roster will log even one save this season. Clearly it was time to sell, sell, SELL!

Or not. Deep breath, kids. It’s the second week of the season. A couple solid days in a row already boosted me back up to 11th as of this writing, and the larger takeaway is that it is way, way too early to consider drastic measures of any kind. Even if your team hasn’t gotten off to the banner start you envisioned when you cackled maniacally to yourself in the dark after your draft ended, it’s important to not overreact to small sample sizes. Still, it’s never too early to start evaluating your team’s performance, so that when the time comes you’ll be in the best position possible to make the most appropriate moves. Let’s take a closer look at a couple of the early storylines with my team in the context of early season strategy.

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