Dynasty Baseball

Discord Dispatches: Hey! Regular Season Stuff

Well, well, well, welcome back to another edition of the Discord Dispatches, the most highly talked about dispatches in our Slack channel. This week I am joined by none other than the Friendly Neighborhood Dynasty Dad himself, Taylor Case.

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As a reminder, Discord Dispatches is an article where I (plus sometimes a guest if I beg hard enough) answer questions from our Discord, about various topics that I’ll either ask for open questions (like this article) or want questions on something more specific so I can go into more detail.

This week it’s pretty free-form.

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@Drew Klein asks:

I’d enjoy hearing your philosophies on Week 1 and 2 FAAB/Free Agency? Chase the Trayce Thompsons and/or early saves? Or hold your hand for a bit so you don’t drop someone in haste and regret it later?

This is a good one. Honestly, for me, I try not to overspend too much early in this season. I force myself to underreact (yeah, right), as unbelievably hard as that is at this point in the season. The best answer to this question though is that it’s league-dependent, team-dependent, etc. Did you punt a category in your draft or did your main closer hit the IL in the last few weeks? Well, then it’s probably a good idea to pony up and then add another small percentage to your FAAB amounts for good luck. Personally, I added Pierce Johnson for $44 (runner-up of $24) this last Sunday in TGFBI, and I feel good about that. Not great, but good. And if he saves even 4-5 games over the next month, I’ll be thrilled. Coincidentally, I added Trayce Thompson for $43 as well (runner-up $23). Could both of those bids have been a little more conservative? Sure. But we were at an Easter party for the kids, and there were babies and animals and baby animals (you heard that right) everywhere and you know what? Sometimes it is what it is. We’re all speculating at this point, and I think both of these guys have the opportunity, at least at the front end of the season, to make a positive impact for what I consider to be low-impact bids.
Here’s a question I often ask myself early in FAAB season: if the amount of money I’m about to bid on these players were to actually go straight in the trash instead of toward rostering the players, would my team still be okay for the rest of the season? Is my FAAB destroyed if this doesn’t work out? If the answer to question #1 is No or the answer to question #2 is Yes, I pull back. That often keeps me from getting some of the more opportunistic players early in a season (David Robertson, Michael Fulmer, Trevor Larnach, etc.), but hey, it’s a long season. Be smart. And good luck. (Taylor Case)
Taylor and I decided to tackle this question together, as more opinions are always better (right?) however I approach the early FAAB period much as he does, by trying to not get too excited about guys (such as Trayce), especially in dynasty. There is the usual caveat of league dependency/team needs etc., that it’s too difficult to say yes you should bid aggressively early or no you should not. On one hand, if you nail the FAAB pickup early in the year you get that much more time reaping the benefits so there are instances where it may make sense.

I had Edwin Díaz in TGFBI, and in that first FAAB period, all the indications were pointing to Robertson getting the bulk of the saves for the Mets. I bid 16% of my FAAB to try and get him but the winning bid was 20%. I didn’t want to go that high for a few reasons: there was no concrete news on Robertson being the guy, internal candidates (such as Ottavino) will steal some of the saves, and the always-present possibility of a trade. I was leery of spending so much of my budget on a closer that might not retain the job for the whole year or only give me twenty-something saves.

For pitchers, what I`m looking for early in the season is increased velocity and a new pitch that was added plus opportunity, and for hitters, if they have a new max exit velocity along with a new opportunity. (Ryan Epperson)

Is Ian Anderson still worth a hold? After a rough ST, got lit up in his first start in Triple-A. I was buying back in after him working his ass off all off-season and working on a new pitch but man it doesn’t look promising for him.

In short, no.  If there is anyone close to interesting on the waiver wire I would be going after them as the Anderson spot is essentially an open spot. He is seemingly the seventh option (and probably more like the eighth) behind Schuster and Dodd.

I am always hesitant to give up on players that showed extreme success early on but what I have found is that it`s ok to let them go, absence makes the heart grow fonder and all of that. Keep tabs on them for sure, and if you see something you like (new pitch, increased velo etc.,) pay a little more attention. Then, depending on your stomach for risk, pick them back up before the upswing happens as I have generally seen (at least in my leagues) most owners are hesitant to pick up someone they have no attachment to that MIGHT be good eventually. (Ryan Epperson)

Here is one for you…..Do you all think SP and pitching in general to start the season is a bump in the road or a more significant sign that things are changing?

It sure feels like we’re back in 2019, doesn’t it? I know we’re going to need more than 5 or 6 games to get a true read on this question, but jeez has pitching been a mess this season. Even the aces! Don’t even get me started on Aaron Nola. Or the pitch clock. Just, don’t.

If I had to make a blind guess, based on hearsay and conspiracy theories….I kinda get the feeling that streaming is just going to be hard for the next month or two. Hell, maybe it’ll be the whole season. At this point, you probably know about MLB’s push for more compact, action-packed games – the early returns appear to be coming at the expense of solid pitching. My advice? Go easy on the streaming for a bit so that we can reconvene in May with a bigger sample size. It’s not worth blowing those ratios this early on, only to have to go full-Sisyphus for the last 5 months. (Taylor Case)

Favorite overreactions after the first weekend of baseball?

As I mentioned above, I do my best to not overreact after 5 games. But it’s inevitable. Kinda like the impending doom of Twitter. You see that weird dog face in there yesterday? What is life. In any case, I find myself overreacting nonetheless. Gurus…they’re just like you!

Here are a few of my personal overreactions based on what can only be called a baby-sized travel mug sample:

  • Adley Rutschman is an All-Star, and he wins the Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, and the gosh darn MVP as well. He’s that dude. A true leader. The clear #1 catcher in the Gurus’ eyes headed into the season, he’s off to a scorching start and there’s no reason to expect he’ll stop.
  • Jorge Mateo has 80 homers plus stolen bases this season. I think I was probably a bit too lukewarm on how the pitch clock and the bigger bases were going to affect thievery this season. Early (see: Very Early) evidence is showing us that my stolen base predictions would have been more appropriate in the “boiling lava hot” range.
    • Interesting note, and something I’ll be monitoring: does this mean that everyone’s roto stolen base totals are going to go up as well, making this kind of prediction a bit less impressive? Man, I hope not. Either way, we I guess we should be happy that perhaps they will be a bit easier to find on the wire during the season.
  • Jacob deGrom is cooked. Just kidding. Or am I? Yes, yes I am. I know I noted above that it’s been frustrating to watch a few aces get shelled easier than a perfectly cooked hard-boil, but I think they’ll bounce back. See: Nola, Aaron for similar sympathies. (Taylor Case)

The Author

Ryan Epperson

Ryan Epperson

Lead prospect analyst and managing editor for The Dynasty Guru.

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