Articles by Clay Link

A listing of all the articles written by Clay Link for the RotoWire Blog.

King of the Dish: 14-team Auction Review

Draft season is flying by.

On Wednesday, I took part in my seventh draft/auction of the season. Only two more to go.

Wednesday’s auction was perhaps the most interesting one I’ve taken part in so far this spring. Put on by the kind folks at SportsVault, King of the Dish is a 14-team, 5×5 mixed rotisserie league that uses OBP instead of average and saves-plus-holds instead of saves. Each roster consists of 23 active players (14 hitters, nine pitchers), including two catchers, and three bench spots. Each owners had $300 to spend in the auction to fill those 26 spots.

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Nine Pitchers Who Could Reach 20 Holds

Hold the phone.

You’re telling me more people are incorporating holds into their fantasy leagues? It sure seems that way, whether it’s as a standalone category or as saves-plus-holds, rather than just saves. I’ve come around to the stat myself.

Counting holds adds another wrinkle and element of strategy to fantasy baseball. Holds make monitoring back-end bullpen battles a lot of fun, and in saves-plus-holds leagues especially, auctions and drafts play out much differently. Owners are typically hesitant to spend much on closers in that format, and rightfully so, meaning there is more being spent elsewhere. While closers generally rack up more saves than the top setup guys, holds are far more plentiful around the league and rather easy to find on the waiver wire. That said, pinpointing the premiere holds contributors can separate you from the pack.

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The Thom Brennaman Blues

“Boy oh boy, Cowboy…”

So says Thom Brennaman to “Cowboy” Jeff Brantley when things just aren’t going right for the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds are my team, but I can’t help but laugh in many of these instances, simply at Brennaman’s sheer disgust with what’s going on on the field. As many know, Thom wears his heart on his sleeve, to say the least. I remember fondly a particular David Holmberg start last year against the Braves — it was August 21.

Holmberg looked generally awful, giving up a home run to Andrelton Simmons in the first and then issuing three walks — including one with the bases loaded — in a five-run second inning. As each run for Atlanta crossed the plate, Thom grew increasingly repulsed and eventually apathetic to what was going on. Before long, he was (almost) completely ignoring the action and droning on about other things, solemnly tossing it to Jim Day in the stands when he felt like it and randomly offering up lunches with his dad for charity. “Who wants to eat lunch with a Hall of Famer?”

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Punt Saves In Only Leagues

The save may be the the scarcest statistic in fantasy baseball, but the closer position is also the most volatile in the game.

So, what’s the point of spending big on that scarcity if it’s largely negated by the turnover at the position?

In “only” leagues — NL-only or AL-only — that scarcity is magnified, leading to great inflation in auctions and drafts. I got to see this again first-hand Wednesday night, as I was invited to rep RotoWire in the Triple Crown NL league, put on by the kind folks at It is a 12-team, 5×5 rotisserie league with each active roster consisting of 14 hitters (including two catchers) and nine pitchers. Each owner had $264 to spend in the auction to fill the 23 active spots as well as four bench spots.

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Kris Bryant Stays Hot And Other Notes From Saturday

With two more home runs Saturday, Kris Bryant now has six long balls in 20 spring at-bats.

No player hit more than six homers last spring. The four players that hit six last year; Mike Trout, Jose Bautista, Luis Valbuena and Chris Heisey. Bryant came into Saturday’s game nursing some shoulder fatigue and didn’t even start, which makes his feat all the more impressive. The 23-year-old expects to be able to return to the hot corner Sunday, after coming off the bench and serving as the designated hitter in Saturday’s exhibition.

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My Staff Keeper League 2 Auction Review

Staff Keeper League 2.0 has become my favorite fantasy baseball league.

Now in its third year, SKL2 features 17 of RotoWire’s best baseball minds, as well a fun mix of personalities. The owners are generally very active — there were 21 trades (!) in the month leading up to last week’s keeper deadline — and smart when it comes to keeper strategy. It’s highly competitive, with several teams usually jockeying for the top spots at the end of the season, and a fun topic of discussion around the office. Plus, each roster has 10 minor league spots. It makes me feel like I’m back running a franchise on MVP ‘05, only with actual human competition and a fair amount of money at stake.

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Staff Keeper League 2: Efficiency Rankings

If you listened to the RotoWire Fantasy Baseball Podcast or the Prospect Podcast last week, you’re well aware that our Staff Keeper League 2 auction and reserve draft are coming up Wednesday.

With all 17 owners submitting their keepers last week — up to 15 major league keepers and 10 minor league keepers per team — I decided it was time to generate my “efficiency rankings” for 2015. It’s a really simple concept. You take the RotoWire recommended value for each player based on your league’s settings, generated using the custom auction values tool, and subtract from that number the price they were kept at. So, if RotoWire projects a player will return $11 in value and you have him at $1, that contract has a +10 efficiency score for 2015. It’s not perfect, but it’s a nice way to estimate how much you can expect to profit from a player’s contract in the upcoming season. 

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