Tout Wars Review: H2H Points

It was a surreal experience last weekend taking the ferry from lower Manhattan and arriving at Richmond County Bank Ballpark, home of the Staten Island Yankees, for the 2018 Tout Wars auctions.

This was just my second year competing in Tout Wars, and there was a major change in my league: the decision was made to move from H2H categories to a H2H points format.

This change had a dramatic effect on how most of us valued players and production. Knowing your format is so important — if you play in anything other than a standard 5×5 Rotisserie league, you can’t just draft from a standard cheat sheet or gauge value based on ADP.

The scoring system:

Hitting Points: Single=1, Double=2, Triple=3, HR=4, BB=1, Strikeouts=-.5, Runs=1, RBI=1, Stolen Base=2, Caught Stealing=-1

Pitching Points: Win=5, Loss=-3, Save=5, Blown Save=-3, Strikeout=1, Walk=-1, Out=1, Hit Allowed=-1, Earned Run=-1

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AL Tout Wars Team

On Saturday, I took a ferry to Staten Island, the first time I’d been to that borough since 1976 when at five I went to a bi-centennial celebration there, bought a cap-gun cannon and a pack of baseball cards with Tom Seaver in it. The occasion this time was the Tout Wars auctions, set up in the Staten Island Yankees locker room. I got there early to broadcast the Mixed-League and NL Auctions for SXM and had time to take a little batting practice in the cage.

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NFBC Main Event

My 15-team NFBC Main Event league took place this morning at a hotel conference room in midtown Manhattan. The Main Event consists of 32 15-team leagues that compete both for their individual league prizes ($6,500 for 1st, $3,200 for 2nd, $1600 for 3rd) and also for overall prizes ($125K for 1st) among the 480 total contestants. The overall works much the same way as the smaller leagues do, only instead of 15 points for being first in a category, you get 480 points if you’re first, 479 if you’re second… all the way down to one point if you’re 480th.

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Bracket Strategy: Four Sweet 16 Picks To Fade The Crowd

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from, a site that has provided data-driven bracket tools and analysis since 2004. They also offer premium bracket picks.

When it comes to picking a bracket, there are no golden rules. Every tournament, every team, and every potential path to the Sweet 16 is different.

Even the usually-smart bracket advice of picking undervalued teams (e.g., teams that have a better chance to make the Sweet 16 than the public is giving them, based on pick popularity data from nationwide bracket contests) isn’t all that easy in practice.

For example, it’s simple enough to identify undervalued teams using win odds and pick popularity data. However, it’s a whole lot harder to figure out how many of those value picks you should make, or exactly where in your bracket you should make them.

Balancing Risk vs. Reward In Your Bracket

One of the key goals of smart bracket strategy is to make sure that the risk/reward profile of your bracket as a whole makes sense for your specific pool’s characteristics (e.g. its scoring system, size, and other factors). Make too many value-driven picks in a small pool, for instance, and you may end up with a bracket that is too risky overall, thus lowering your odds to win.

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Sweet 16 fantasy baseball sleeper SP

I haven’t blogged in a while, but I’m back with a March Madness tradition: my Sweet 16 fantasy baseball pitchers list, which I write every year to point out sleeper and bargain hurlers.

I’m focusing on pitchers with an Average Draft Position of 200 or higher, according to RotoWire’s free ADP report from NFBC and Fantrax leagues and mocks, as of March 13.

This leaves out numerous middle-round arms I like (Lance McCullers, Jeff Samardzija, Garrett Richards, Danny Duffy and Kevin Gausman included), and I chose not to include injured but hyped Ervin Santana.

1. Taijuan Walker, Diamondbacks (203.58 ADP)

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How Much Should You Expect to Lose With Your Top Picks?

I came across an interesting article by Fangraphs’ Mike Podhorzer on Twitter this morning, wherein he shows that last year’s breakouts typically fail to earn their keep the following. It’s well worth a read. But I started wondering to what extent they fail relative to every expensive player. Because – after all – every top-50 list fails in the aggregate to live up to its preseason billing for the simple reason that players outside the top-50 before the year will wind up on it by year’s end. There’s nowhere to go but down for every set of players in the Top-10, Top-20, Top-x.

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