My Razzball team

Rudy Gamble over at razzball.com was kind enough to invite me to participate in his annual Razzball fantasy league. For those of you who haven’t heard of the Razzball leagues, it is a points based fantasy league where the goal is to try and assemble the worst possible team. The scoring is:

Batting:
At Bats (AB) 2
Hits (H) -3
Home Runs (HR) -10
Runs Scored (R) -4
Runs Batted In (RBI) -4
Strikeouts (K) 2

Pitching:
Innings Pitched (IP) -1
Hits Allowed (H) 1
Walks Issued (BB) 1
Earned Runs (ER) 1.5
Home Runs Allowed (HR) 4
Strikeouts (K) -1
Losses (L) 8

Obviously, you can’t just go for bad players – you have to go for bad players that get good amounts of playing time. Clearly, the point system encourages you to draft speedy players with little power. Players like Willy Taveras have a lot of value in this league. The positional requirements are fairly hefty; the five outfield slots and the three corner infield slots are tough to fill. Picking pitchers is a bit more nuanced. Obviously, innings eaters like Livan Hernandez are great. But there aren’t many of those. Flyball pitchers tend to get more strikeouts than ground ball pitchers but they also give up more home runs. I had a ton of fun researching and drafting for this league. Going forward, it’ll be a nice change of pace to keep an eye out for when journeymen like Freddy Garcia might get a spot start for a team struggling with injuries.

My roster for the first fantasy week is:

C Jason Kendall
1B Billy Butler
2B Emmanuel Burriss
3B Bill Hall
SS Jeff Keppinger
2B/SS Khalil Greene
1B/3B Jed Lowrie
OF Cameron Maybin
OF Fred Lewis
OF Randy Winn
OF Travis Snider
OF Kosuke Fukudome
UTIL Miguel Olivo

Bench
Kelly Johnson
Pablo Sandoval

Pitchers
Kevin Millwood
Vicente Padilla
Tim Wakefield
Matt Harrison
Jorge De La Rosa
Adam Eaton
David Purcey
Anthony Reyes
R.A. Dickey

Bench
Fausto Carmona
Trevor Cahill
Josh Outman
Jeremy Bonderman

Though Millwood burned me with his first start of the year, I am hoping for good (bad) things out of the Texas pitching staff this year. Purcey is one of my gambles and he also fried me a bit with his first start. Still, he’s a fly ball pitcher on a mediocre to bad team with little depth to replace him if he goes through a rough patch. Some people have high hopes for Matt Harrison. I do too, only in the bad kind of way. Last year his ERA was 5.49, which his FIP of 5.20 and an xFIP of 5.12. His K/BB and K/9 are 1.35 and 4.51, his ground ball rate is only around 40 percent and he’ll be pitching in Arlington.

My strengths in the field are my catchers. Even though catchers are often Razzball all-stars for most teams, I’m especially high on my catchers. Kendall has zero offensive capability but, with Mike Rivera backing him up, he should get a lot of playing time. Olivo has a bit of power unfortunately, but I love his 7.05 K/BB ratio.

Billy Butler hasn’t yet found the power stroke that scouts were projecting years ago. I plan on riding him until he does. I actually have Burriss and Lowrie on one of my regular fantasy teams. Burriss’ speed doesn’t hurt me here though. Lowrie is eligible at third base in ESPN leagues, which is the system Razzball uses, so while I have Lowrie at short in my other league, I think he’ll do well for me at the shallower corner infield spot here.

Maybin and, in particular, Snider could hurt me in short run as teams challenge them with fastballs. I am banking that teams will figure out how to pitch to them and I’ll get to enjoy the ensuing mid-year slump.

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Comments

  1. Pat Thomas said...

    Jonathan, 

    There are players on your roster here that are not bad at all. Cameron Maybin has 5 tool talent…when does he show it is the question.
    Pablo Sandoval, Kelly Johnson, Fred Lewis, Randy Winn and Emmanuel Burriss are also useful players.You pitchers are just gawdawful though.

  2. Kampfer said...

    It is really a funny league. Hitters are bad commodity ‘cause they just hurt you in most cases. Where is Micheal Bourn! He is my MVP when I see your league setting. Kahlil Greene looks like a bad pick to me. BTW, I don’t understand when you bother to find batters with much playing time. It makes more sense to just start the MVP catchers, 2B/SS, and leave the other spots vacant. An at bat is only 2 points—less is more if you do the calculation. Then you can focus more on pitching, like the Cy Young Award winner Barry Zito who let the balls fly out of the park rapidly. Also, Tim Wakefield will probably hurt your team.

  3. Rudy Gamble said...

    Nice write-up Jonathan!

    Kampfer -
    I designed the league so that about 80% of the hitters have positive value.  Khalil Greene was a top 10 value last year because of his low average (the +2 AB, -3 Hits part plays a big role in total points).  Throw in the K’s and below average R and he was a star.

    Here’s a link to our division if you want to see how the other teams are set up: http://games.espn.go.com/flb/standings?leagueId=113313

  4. NoPepperGames said...

    Tavaras would be perfect for this league, wouldn’t he?  Where’d he draft?  Looking at last year’s stats and before looking at your team, I picked out Hermida, Fred Lewis, Bourn, Greene, C. Gomez, Iwamura, Hanrahan, B. Roberts (though his runs will hurt), B. Crosby, and the future Razzball MVP – Chone Figgins.

    I think Butler is going to hurt you, even without a power stroke.  He’s too good of a hitter to get you points in this league – strikeouts is where you’re going to really excel.  (This league would be better if it deducted points for walks, but maybe next year…)

  5. Chad Burke said...

    Getz is probably looking solid as a 2B/MI option and DeWayne Wise or whomever they rotate in and out of that leadoff role is a solid bet as well thus far. 

    As far as pitchers are concerned, Pavano looks able to give you 9 innings worth of shelling in less than an inning.  Sanchez looks like another that is capable of getting shelled and will walk enough and give up enough longballs to offset his K’s.  If he can get shelled by the Padres about anyone can do it.

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