Tagged: bloomberg sports experts league

AL-Only LABR Experts Draft Recap




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By Tom Trudeau      

fantasy experts and one over-confident Bloomberg Sports analyst met in Phoenix
Saturday for the 18th draft of the League of Alternative Baseball
Reality (LABR). The AL-only, 12-team league uses standard 5×5 scoring, with
$260 to spend on 14 offensive positions and nine pitcher slots.

            My own confidence stemmed two
distinct advantages. First, I was using Bloomberg Sports’ Front Office tool to
get custom rankings based on the league settings. Second, at just 24 years old,
I can spend more time thinking about fantasy baseball. Sure, these guys work at
Rotowire and ESPN, but they have families and real world obligations.
Meanwhile, I live with my parents and it’s considered a rough day if I have to
walk the dog or unload the dishwasher, which leaves plenty of time for

course sometimes there can be too much information out there, causing you to
second-guess yourself after every bad two-inning spring outing or report of a
stiff neck. That’s why it’s so valuable to have a projection tool such as Front
Office to remove all of the noise and ill-advised impulses that occur this time
of year. Sure, it’s nice to have read that Koji Uehara had a cortisone
injection in his elbow, but without the emotionless suggestions that Front
Office provides, it can be hard to remain disciplined and bid with confidence
in the heat of a draft.

            Having participated in hundreds of
fantasy drafts, I fully expected the biggest difference between LABR and any
other would be the skill level. Instead, it was the presence of Sirius XM’s
Fantasy Sports Radio. Located feet from the draft table, the Sirius guys broke
down each pick with colorful commentary (“Chris Liss getting involved with Josh
Hamilton,”) and sometimes clouds of doubt (“Lawr Michaels picking up proposed Oakland closer, Andrew Bailey”).

            As for the draft itself, I was
tempted to go all-in for two Front Office darlings: Adrian Gonzalez ($35) and Dan
Haren ($23), but I opted for a more conservative approach early on. The result
was a flurry of pick-ups in the middle of the draft (“Trudeau strikes again!”),
allowing me to pick up several B-level players at good value such as J.P.
Arencibia ($10), Alcides Escobar ($13) and Ryan Raburn ($16). I was the only
team without a $20-plus player, but I will get meaningful production from
almost all of my starting offensive spots. I had a league-high eighteen players
won for double-digit dollars (Jason Gray was second with fifteen).

            The headline of my draft may have been my dynasty of closers.
It was not my intention to finish with five guys who could get saves (Matt Thornton,
Joe Nathan, Chris Perez, Brandon League and Fernando Rodney), but I kept getting them for less than I felt
they were worth. The fantasy adage “don’t pay for saves” really means, “don’t
overpay” for saves. With the exception of Rodney ($7), I drafted guys that will
help me in rate stats, in addition to the saves category, all for reasonable
prices. I’ll have to be active in trades, but the strategy paid off right away
as the inevitable search for saves resulted in significant dollars spent on
Scott Downs ($6), Rafael Soriano ($8), Jake McGee ($12), Uehara ($6), Chris
Sale ($7), and Kevin Gregg ($10) among others.

            By the end of the draft I had wasted
about $5 (I spent my last $6 on Corey Patterson, who I could have had for a
buck). It was slightly less efficient than I would liked to have been, but it
still looked to be a below average figure in terms of waste. Other owners were
throwing their remaining dollars at whoever was left, such as J.J. Hardy ($18).

            To see Bloomberg’s Front Office tool
in action, go to
www.bloombergsports.com. Check out the complete results of the AL LABR
draft at:

Follow Tom Trudeau on twitter @Tom_Trudeau and Bloomberg Sports @BloombergSports

The Bloomberg Sports Experts League

By R.J. Anderson

Bloomberg Sports recently held a fantasy draft featuring six industry experts and six avid fantasy players from different walks of life. For more information make sure to check out the official league site.

Here’s a brief rundown of the rosters:

Harold Reynolds of the MLB Network loaded up on power arms and flashy hitters alike. The triumvirate of Chase Utley, Adrian Gonzalez, and
Justin Upton is a pretty solid top threesome on any squad. Reynolds
also seems to be a fan of Boston’s off-season additions, since he
popped both Mike Cameron and Adrian Beltre. Edwin Jackson, Carlos
, Roy Oswalt, Chris Carpenter, and Yovani Gallardo help
Reynolds’ projected total of 112 wins.

Lawr Michaels of Mastersball.com had the first selection and took Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez – one of two players generally accepted in that slot (along with Albert Pujols). He also features a strong set of relievers that project to finish with 100 saves, good for second-best in the league, backed by Brian Fuentes, Rafael Soriano, and Leo Nunez.

Ron Shandler of BaseballHQ.com jumped on Pujols at number two. He seemingly punted saves though, rostering Heath Bell as his only closer. Shandler is projected at a league-low 53 saves, which is seven saves fewer than the next-lowest team (Gardner).

USA Today’s Steve Gardner did a fine job knocking his own efforts. He did manage to grab Ian Kinsler, David Wright, and Andrew McCutchen, as well as promising rookie Jason Heyward. Gardner’s offense is projected to finish with the second-fewest homers, runs scored, and runs batted in. His pitching staff expects to fare better, though, with Cliff Lee, John Lackey, and Rich Harden leading a staff that projects to finish third in wins.

KFFL’s Tim Heaney loaded up on top-100 players, particularly those with odd facial hair. Kevin Youkilis, Jayson Werth, and Nelson Cruz, along with the clean-shaven Mark Teixeira, headline the offensive efforts. Heaney’s pitching staff projects relatively weakly, second-to-last in projected wins.

Rotowire’s Derek Van Riper loves him some upside. Miguel Cabrera and Joe Mauer are the big names here, and Van Riper also added Ben Zobrist, one of the most valuable players in baseball last year. Some interesting upside picks here include B.J. Upton, Rickie Weeks, and Elvis Andrus, who certainly has the defense to play in the majors, and could see an offensive boost come with age.


For more
information on these players and access to the team analysis tool, check out Bloomberg Sports’ fantasy kit