Wednesday, February 18, 2009

CBS Sportsline A.L. Recap

Since it's been a week since the dust has settled on the CBS Sportsline 5x5 expert A.L.-only auction, I thought it would be a good time to go back and review how I did. This post is going to be more of a general analysis; I'll get to more specific questions like Frank's at a later date.

Toz and I have similar approaches to our pricing and preparation, but I took a slightly different road than he did to get to my numbers. Instead of deciding on a pre-determined hitter/pitcher split, I instead looked at last year's average expert league salaries and used these for my budgets. The result was $2141 budgeted for hitters and $979 for pitchers for a 69/31 percent split.

Since Alex Patton's bids and predictions weren't ready yet, I instead downloaded the hitter/pitcher predictions from Sportsline and used these as a baseline. I took my Patton formulas, plugged them into the values, and aligned my bids with those values. I then tweaked my bids when a price didn't make sense. For example, Rocco Baldelli's "raw" bid value was $10 or $11 (I forget which now), but there was no way I'd pay that for a fourth OF. So I bumped him down to $4. I make these adjustments on several players, using either common sense or gut feel to come out with prices I felt comfortable with.

With a mere 31% of my money allocated toward pitching, I assumed that I would be in the position I was in last year, with one ace in tow and a few lower priced starting pitchers in hand. But I found myself in the odd position, 45 players into the auction, of having spent $108 on five pitchers - Cliff Lee ($19), Mariano Rivera ($24), Ervin Santana ($21), Josh Beckett ($24), and John Lackey ($20). Unless I made an adjustment, I was going to be light on offense.

In a start over auction with crisp time limits, it's not always easy to see where you're going to make that adjustment. It wasn't until after I bought Mike Aviles at $17 that I decided to push for a modified no power strategy. I felt I had most of the pitching I needed, so I'd hope that one solid starter would fall into my lap toward the end, I'd grab two or three saves possibilities on the cheap and devote most of the rest of my money to hitting.

Well, the pitching side of things worked out fine (though that's easy to say when you spend $116 on your pitching staff). I closed out with Jeremy Guthrie at $5, giving me a #3 or #4 starter as my #5. I then added Roy Corcoran, Miguel Batista, and C.J. Wilson - all at $1 - as closer fliers. With Rivera already in tow, I think I could actually grab 10-11 points in saves if this motley combination of relievers can get 15-20 saves. Last year, I grabbed Brad Ziegler and Jensen Lewis off of the FAAB wires, and drafted Fernando Rodney for $1, so cheap saves are easy to come by in this league.

My offense is OK, but it didn't turn into the Sweeney Plan that I had anticipated. I agree with Eugene that Akinori Iwamura at $7 was a nice buy, but he locked me out of some of the bargains that fell in later. Wilson Betemit at $4 was simply a mistake; I got caught price enforcing Greg Ambrosius (who due to a system glitch had to instantaneously enter his bids) thinking he'd say $5. He didn't, and I got stuck.

After Betemit, I shifted gears yet again, looking to add cheap hitters with upside instead of cheap speed plays that wouldn't do much for me in batting average or runs. Here I feel like I did OK. I have to admit that I didn't like my hitting endgame at first - it was difficult to watch some projected everyday players go for $2-3 while I was standing on the sidelines out of money - but my endgame of Scott Rolen, Garret Anderson, Ryan Sweeney, Nick Punto (my one cheap speed guy) and Russ Branyan worked well.

Using the Sportsline projections, I came out with an 84 point team. This doesn't sound like much...until you consider that these types of projections are usually pretty generic and teams fall into a pretty narrow band. The next best projected team - Sportsline's Peter Madden - came out with a 72 point team according to the projections.

The projections tell me what I suspected. I came out with a 51 point pitching staff, which will be a 52 point pitching staff if Madden doesn't make innings. I'm at or near the top of the heap in most of the pitching categories which, again, shouldn't be a surprise.

Hitting is where I looked at the final numbers and was pleased. I didn't dominate any of the hitting categories as a result of my decision to spend money on non-speed guys at the end, but I came out fourth in runs, SB, and BA in the projections. I'm not surprisingly at the bottom in HR, but project out to five points in RBI. There's a tight clump here, and I could come in with as high as seven points and as low as two depending on how things shake out. But I was glad that I did what I did. Instead of throwing away two categories, I only threw away one and have more flexibility as the season moves along.

Of the three expert auctions I've done, this is probably my favorite. I initially regretted spending $20 on Lackey and pushing myself into a soft offense, but I like what I did looking back. I don't think I "dominated" the way Eugene suggested, but I do think I put myself into a good position to be competitive, and if things break right on even half of my endgame hitters, I should definitely be in the first division fighting it out all year long.

1 comment:

Eugene Freedman said...

I don't know Mike. Winning by nearly 20% more points than 2nd place seems like domination by just about any standard.

Maybe you were looking for a 100 point team...