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Rounding Third: Week 11 Primer

Jeff Erickson

Jeff Erickson is a co-founder of RotoWire and the only two-time winner of Baseball Writer of the Year from the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He's also in the FSWA Hall of Fame. He roots for the Reds, Bengals, Red Wings, Pacers and Northwestern University (the real NU).

Week 11 Primer

After Joba Chamberlain blew the save Sunday night against the Red Sox, giving up a three-run homer to David Ortiz, I vented on Twitter about the blown save:

I was overstating the case in the heat of the moment, as I've been frustrated in my pursuit of a second closer in the NFBC and thought that getting Joba on the cheap was going to be a big score for me. In fairness, the real takeaway is that speculating on these presumed closers in waiting is fraught with risk, and if you're paying a heavy price for these pitchers, you're likely not going to get a great return on investment. And that NFBC team is a perfect representation of that postulate. I've invested in Edward Mujica, Joe Smith, Chamberlain, and others that have netted me a grand total of three saves, all by Smith. Granted, I had a shot at Sean Doolittle and missed. But despite quite a lot of closer turnover this year, there's been precious few free agent successes in the reliever pool so far, and fewer still where the winning bidder paid full price (10 percent or more of their free agent budget).

My takeaway isn't to refrain from closer speculation - though life is a lot easier when you get the closers right on draft day - but you might be better off speculating on the cheap end, weeks in advance, rather than getting caught up in the bidding wars when the jobs open up.

Week 11 Noteworthy Schedules

Two teams get short weeks - the Marlins and Cardinals. The Marlins travel to Texas for the dreaded two-game interleague series (I still can't rationalize the existence of these - what's the point?), then is off again Thursday before coming back home for a series against the Pirates. The Cardinals continue their AL park tour with a two-game series in Tampa Bay on Tuesday and Wednesday, rest on Thursday, and then host the Nats for three over the weekend.

The following teams play seven games this week: Braves, Diamondbacks, Orioles, Red Sox, White Sox, Cubs, Reds, Indians, Rockies, Tigers, Astros, Dodgers, Yankees, Pirates, Mariners, Giants and Blue Jays. That's a lot. If you've got a marginal Marlin (paging Garrett Jones) or Cardinal (sadly, Oscar Taveras currently qualifies), if you've got a seven-game alternative you need to use him instead. Be careful about the Yankees and Royals, too - there's rain in the forecast for Monday night.

Here are the interleague matchups, with the home team listed first.

- Braves-Angels (Fri-Sun) - With all the Angels hitters getting healthy, this road interleague series actually presents a problem. C.J. Cron could get squeezed, and perhaps Josh Hamilton could sit Sunday against lefty Mike Minor.
- Diamondbacks-Astros (Mon-Thur) - The first two games of this series are in Arizona, the last two in Houston. The Diamondbacks once blamed one of their collapses on trading away Jose Valverde to the Astros. This is their chance for sweet, sweet revenge. Actually, it's not so sweet - Houston actually has a better record than Arizona by a half-game.

For more on the pitching matchups, please check out our indispensable Projected Starters Grid. I use that frequently to aid my free agent bidding and my lineups, both for two-start starters and for matchups. And then refer to Paul Sporer's excellent Pitcher Value Meter to settle any ties in your starting pitching matchups.


In this section I'll try to list as many of the free agent results as I can from my Sunday deadline leagues. Due to time constraints, the commentary will frequently be short.

NFBC - RotoWire Online Championship

Team Player Bid Runner-Up
Tiger Slappy OC2 Jon Singleton (1B) 77 30
Banged Up Bravos Henderson Alvarez (SP) 55
Banged Up Bravos Lonnie Chisenhall (3B) 49 23
Big Stick Ballerinas Josh Willingham (LF) 44 31
ChrisLiss4President Kevin Gausman (SP) 37
Big Stick Ballerinas Carl Crawford (LF) 29
Big Stick Ballerinas Josh Tomlin (SP) 27
Glenneration X Shane Victorino (RF) 16 1
Belmont Ave Bombers Alex Wood (SP) 13
Belmont Ave Bombers Chris Young (SP) 13 1
Banged Up Bravos Lucas Duda (1B) 13 12
Tiger Slappy OC2 A.J. Burnett (SP) 12
High Hopes Jake Peavy (SP) 8
High Hopes Charlie Morton (SP) 8
Glenneration X Joba Chamberlain (MR) 7

As Greg Ambrosius mentioned on our show today, Singleton was the perfect storm callup for the NFBC, as he went undrafted in nearly every league, and the NFBC has a rule that the player has to play in at least one major league game in his career before he's eligible to be picked up as a free agent (you can draft a player with no major league experience, however). Sunday's grand slam ensured that everyone was paying attention to him out there on the wire, too.

NFBC Main Event

Team Player Bid Runner-Up
Team Simonian Jon Singleton (1B) 403 344
Metsmerizers-2 Danny Santana (CF) 142 79
BN Bears Kevin Gausman (SP) 121 66
El Scorchos Brad Ziegler (MR) 75 1
Dead Moneyball Kevin Kiermaier (CF) 48
Spartacus Chase Anderson (SP) 35 5
Spartacus Eugenio Suarez (SS) 29
Dead Moneyball John Axford (MR) 28
Metsmerizers-2 Michael Choice (LF) 23 4
Dead Moneyball Chris Gimenez (C) 18
Dead Moneyball Jeff Locke (SP) 18
Valar Morghulis Pedro Strop (MR) 16
Cocktails and Dreams Jarred Cosart (SP) 8
Cocktails and Dreams Jeremy Hellickson (SP) 8
Cocktails and Dreams Jordy Mercer (SS) 6
Team Simonian Brad Peacock (SP) 6
Team Taylor Bronson Arroyo (SP) 6
El Scorchos Steve Pearce (1B) 5
Team Simonian T.J. House (SP) 5
BN Bears Cody Asche (3B) 5
TeamSS Didi Gregorius (SS) 4
Team Taylor Erik Bedard (SP) 4
Spartacus Jake McGee (MR) 2
Team Taylor Kyle Kendrick (SP) 2
TeamSS Brian Schlitter (MR) 1
TeamSS Brett Cecil (MR) 1
VF's FusterCluck Joel Peralta (MR) 1
Oakland Eh's Danny Farquhar (MR) 1

To illustrate my point from above about overpaying for speculative closers, hi $75 Brad Ziegler! Meanwhile, Jake McGee goes for $2 and Joel Peralta went for $1. Well done Erickson, well done.

RotoWire Staff Keeper League

Liss and Shoe's Dynasty: Pick up Erik Bedard ($1), drop Jason Motte
Erickson: Pick up Vic Black ($1), drop Bryan Shaw
(Next Stop Dumpster Fire: $1)
Uggla's Decaying Remains: Pick up Kyle Blanks ($2), drop Gregor Blanco
(Jakarta Raiders: $2)
(Browns: $2)
(Uggla's Decaying Remains: $2)
(Next Stop Dumpster Fire: $1)
Uggla's Decaying Remains: Pick up Cole Gillespie ($1), drop Cody Ross
(Uggla's Decaying Remains: $1)
(Uggla's Decaying Remains: $1)
Liss and Shoe's Dynasty: Pick up Didi Gregorius ($3), drop Anthony Gose
(Next Stop Dumpster Fire: $1)
Frozen Ropes: Pick up Kevin Kiermaier ($5), drop Daniel Webb
(Browns: $4)
(Uggla's Decaying Remains: $1)
(Uggla's Decaying Remains: $1)
(Uggla's Decaying Remains: $1)
(Uggla's Decaying Remains: $1)
Next Stop Dumpster Fire: Pick up Corey Knebel ($1), drop Anthony DeSclafani
Uggla's Decaying Remains: Pick up Joel Peralta ($1), drop Jordan Lyles
(Uggla's Decaying Remains: $1)
(Uggla's Decaying Remains: $1)
Wheeler in the Sky: Pick up Neil Ramirez ($6), drop Brad Ziegler
(Next Stop Dumpster Fire: $1)
McLovin's Spoonful: Pick up Anthony Recker ($2), drop Scott Feldman
Next Stop Dumpster Fire: Pick up David Ross ($1), drop J.P. Arencibia
Browns: Pick up Justin Ruggiano ($2), drop Jose Veras
Jakarta Raiders: Pick up Matt Shoemaker ($3), drop Carter Capps
(Erickson: $1)
(Liss and Shoe's Dynasty: $1)
Anderson: Pick up Shae Simmons ($1), drop Chris Denorfia
Anderson: Pick up Eugenio Suarez ($4), drop Brandon Hicks
(Uggla's Decaying Remains: $4)
(Frozen Ropes: $3)
Don Baylor's All-Stars: Pick up Jose Tabata ($4), drop Jason Kubel
Anderson: Pick up Stephen Vogt ($2), drop Ryan Doumit
(Next Stop Dumpster Fire: $1)
Anderson: Pick up Chase Whitley ($2), drop Zach McAllister
(Uggla's Decaying Remains: $1)

Mixed LABR

Mon Jun 09 12:01 AM ET: Daniel Santana awarded to Razzball for $5.
Mon Jun 09 12:01 AM ET: Failed bids for Daniel Santana: $1, $1.
Mon Jun 09 12:01 AM ET: Eddie Butler awarded to Baseball Prospectus for $5.
Mon Jun 09 12:01 AM ET: Josh Tomlin awarded to Baseball HQ for $5.
Mon Jun 09 12:01 AM ET: Failed bids for Josh Tomlin: $1, $3.
Mon Jun 09 12:01 AM ET: Brock Holt awarded to RotoExperts for $3.
Mon Jun 09 12:01 AM ET: Failed bids for Brock Holt: $1.
Mon Jun 09 12:01 AM ET: Michael Choice awarded to Fangraphs for $3.
Mon Jun 09 12:01 AM ET: Failed bids for Michael Choice: $1, $1.
Mon Jun 09 12:01 AM ET: Yasmani Grandal awarded to Fangraphs for $3.
Mon Jun 09 12:01 AM ET: Failed bids for Yasmani Grandal: $1.
Mon Jun 09 12:01 AM ET: Kyle Blanks awarded to USA TODAY Sports for $3.
Mon Jun 09 12:01 AM ET: Failed bids for Kyle Blanks: $1.
Mon Jun 09 12:01 AM ET: Juan Carlos Oviedo awarded to Fangraphs for $2.
Mon Jun 09 12:01 AM ET: Chase Anderson awarded to USA TODAY Sports for $1.
Mon Jun 09 12:01 AM ET: Anthony Recker awarded to Baseball Prospectus for $1.
Mon Jun 09 12:01 AM ET: Ed Lucas awarded to for $1.

AL Tout

Andy Behrens: pur Vidal Nuno NYY 4
Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton: pur Kevin Kiermaier TB 15
Lawr Michaels: pur Eugenio Suarez Det 14
Larry Schechter: pur Stephen Vogt Oak 3
Jason Collette: pur Cam Bedrosian LAA 1
Joe Sheehan: pur Carlos Sanchez CWS 1
Joe Sheehan: pur Luis Sardinas Tex 5
Joe Sheehan: pur Hector Noesi CWS 1
Jeff Erickson: pur Stefen Romero Sea 1
Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton: pur Cole Gillespie Sea 0
Lawr Michaels: pur Aaron Crow KC 0
Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton: pur Joe Saunders Tex 0