Articles by Jeff Erickson

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

Berrios vs. Corbin

Jose Berrios was fantastic again Wednesday night, shutting out the Indians over seven innings. Unfortunately for him, Carlos Carrasco was equally superb, and both left after seven with a 0-0 tie. In fact, the game remained scoreless until the 14th inning, when both Edwin Encarnacion and Miguel Sano hit solo shots for their respective teams. The game was still going at the time of this writing, in the 15th 16th inning. Berrios allowed three hits and no walks, and now has a 1.63 ERA, 0.58 WHIP and an eye-popping 29:1 K:BB ratio over 27.2 innings.

In the latest installment of Recency Bias Theater, I posed the following question:

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Tuesday Night Observations

Typically I blurt out random observations during games on Twitter, and never end up putting it out there in one place. Moreover, those observations are often truncated because of the nature of the medium. There’s still value to me in going to Twitter first – it’s easier to generate a conversation, with immediate responses. For a handful of reasons, we don’t allow comments on the blog, so there’s less interaction.

However, the blog will allow me to formulate a few more thoughts on various topics that I might not dive into as much on Twitter. I can’t/won’t stop Tweeting (wow, that’s not a self-flattering statement, but … I love being on Twitter when live sports are on), but I’m going to try to write more here on a regular basis. Writing is a tool that can atrophy if you don’t keep using it, and I’ve definitely written less frequently than I used to. Some of that is due to having less time, but some of that is also a casualty of social media and even more is due to inertia.

Ok, that’s enough preamble. Here are some thoughts about tonight’s games:

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AL Tout Wars FAAB Results

Tout Wars is running our FAAB on Sunday mornings, in order to hopefully help others make bids in their respective leagues later on Sunday night. Our first run was last week, though it was actually earlier last week. You’ll be able to read about all the bids in all the leagues each week at But here’s this week’s results my AL league, which also includes RotoWire peeps Chris Liss and Jason Collette, as well as former RotoWire guy Vlad Sedler.

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NFBC Main Event – Vegas

I love all of my leagues, but nothing beats the live draft of the NFBC Main Event. With the $125,000 grand prize, there’s more at stake than in any of my other leagues, and the competition level is as fierce as it gets. I’ve aligned so much of my draft prep to the NFBC, perhaps to the detriment of other leagues, that it might hurt my chances in those other leagues. It’s a factor I’ve tried to be more cognizant about in my various drafts.

This year’s trip to the NFBC Main Event might have been the most enjoyable I’ve had yet. Instead of driving solo (I typically like having some flexibility when to arrive and depart) on the 3.5 hour trip to Vegas, I rode along with Tim Schuler, Scott Jenstad and Vlad Sedler. The drive there flew by – I never get the relaxed trip to Vegas, but riding along for this one was pretty sweet, with the added bonus of being able to pick the brains of Scott, Vlad and Shoe.

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Trout Wars

Last weekend was my 18th year in AL Tout Wars, a league that to my everlasting chagrin I’ve won only once, back in 2007. Even a Nutless Monkey, one might even say *the* Nutless Monkey, Chris Liss, has two Tout Wars titles. Speaking of which, you can read more about his Red Cross garbage team here, as well as his nostalgic trip to Staten Island when he was five.

Our venue was pretty sweet – we were in the home team locker room of the Staten Island Yankees at Richmond County Ballpark, a Short-Season affiliate of the big league club. A number of the touts got their rips in the batting cage and a handful went out onto the field, which overlooks New York Bay, the Staten Island Ferry and the skyline of Manhattan with an absolutely gorgeous view.

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NL LABR – Upon Further Review

When we first completed the NL LABR auction Sunday night, I was pleased with my team. Though I didn’t quite meet my target of spending $190 of my $260 budget on hitting (instead my split was $179/81), I thought that I pieced together a strong offense, hitting most of my intended slots with players that fit in well for each. By intended slots, as an example, I mean that I roughly had a $30 slot that I filled with a $29 Cody Bellinger, who was worth $33 according to my projections and valuation in the RotoWire software. Throughout the top end of my roster, I found other similar perceived bargains. I was even pretty happy with my purchases made in the mid-game. However, I think that not sticking to the original budget plan is going to ultimately hurt me, as my endgame players are fairly weak.

Before I go into detail about the players I purchased, and the circumstances under which we drafted, here’s a link to the results.

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Steering Into the Skid – Results from the “Beat Jeff Erickson” Draft

My baseball draft season began in earnest Tuesday night with the “Beat Jeff Erickson” contest in the NFBC’s RotoWire Online Championship. As a quick reminder, there are two components to this contest – your 12-team league, and an overall contest that over 1,700 entries last year, at $350 per person. There’s no trading in the league, and the pressure to do well in the overall contest in addition to the individual league creates the incentive to contend in all categories.

That said, there’s a difference between competing in all categories, and exiting the draft with a perfectly balanced team. For starters, the latter concept is mostly an illusion – we think we have balance, but injuries and managerial whims often conspire from attaining that balance, let alone the volatile nature of the game. You may very well think you have 90 saves in the bag after a draft, but you might have 30, or you might have 120. The latter is fine, except that you probably invested more resources than you needed to hit your target number, preventing you from contending in other categories overall.

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