My fantasy baseball team got off to a rough start by losing the season’s opening week. The twenty point loss hit the team hard, but morale in the locker room has seemed to rebound. I believe in my team, I believe that the talent is there, but I don’t know if my team has the want to win. I have put together a solid team, as the draft went as planned, although in hindsight, I probably should have drafted an outfielder who could hit the ball. I also had trouble drafting a pitcher, as a certain member of my league drafted every single pitcher. The best option left is Bartolo Colon. If my league counted batting for the pitcher, I would draft the 265 pound butterball out of the Dominican Republic. But batting does not count, and I am pretty sure that his early season success is a fluke.
I have devised a strategy to hopefully fill the gaps in my outfield. I am carefully watching performances of free agent outfielders, hoping to find a sleeper. I still lose sleep over my decision to trade the number one overall pick, Mike Trout. I felt that trading this major trade chip would allow me to acquire a variety of players, instead of having just one star. Acquiring Jonathan Lucroy, Jose Abreu, and Chris Sale, but now my barren outfield just begs for a talent like Trout. My strategy of trying to poach a sleeper off the waiver wire may have worked, as Adam Lind is showing signs of locking up my utility spot. Lind has batted .417 with one bomb and 5 RBIs through opening week, his strikeout numbers are down as well, and most importantly he has stated that he has reached his target weight. Congratulations Adam Lind. Other players such as Lorenzo Cain and Jake Lamb are showing signs of putting together a solid 2015 campaign, although I am not quite sold yet.
I also feel that the backup position is also a key for fantasy leagues, especially when it comes to positions such as catcher or outfield. With catchers normally getting a routine day off, it is always good to have someone to substitute for him. I have Travis d’Arnuad as my backup and the starting Mets catcher does a solid job. Outfield, especially in leagues that have more than three position spots, is also a good position to have a backup in as well. I also feel strongly that using a valuable bench spot to hold a pitcher, is a foolish move. I believe you should have four or five solid pitchers, maybe even a reliever or two, and then use your final one or two pitcher spots as a makeshift bench spot. I pray every night that Ubaldo Jimenez finds the success that he had as a Rockie, but deep down I am skeptical that this will happen. This spot can hold an experimental prospect or whatever a bench spot would normally be used on.
The injury bug is something that also deprives me of sleep. I have not suffered a major injury yet, but when Yordano Ventura decided to start rolling around like he had been shot, my heart stopped beating (Ventura suffered a terrible thumb cramp and missed no time). I also have taken a considerable risk in trading for Hanley Ramirez. Although the Dominican star is tearing the cover off the ball, he has suffered his first (small) injury eight days into the season, and I’m sure that there will be more to come.
I have also learned that fantasy baseball is a glorified crapshoot. Drafting a surefire player like Josh Donaldson should be a good pick out of the draft. Donaldson is hitting .192 without a home run to start the season, through seven games. There was absolutely no way to predict this slump. There was also no way to predict that Adrian Gonzalez would bat .556 with 5 home runs through his first seven games. This is what makes this fantasy sport so much fun. It is an unpredictable set of stats that favors absolutely no one. Fantasy baseball has caused me to cry, laugh, and rage uncontrollably, but the prospect of winning has me hooked forever.