Target 5000: Batting Average

Main Event fantasy owners are striving for consistent strong performance. But what level of consistent performance would get you into the overall top 20? It turns out that achieving stats 80% of the way up the ladder of all fantasy teams will do the job. For the Main Event, that means reaching 516 points (out of a possible 645) in all 10 categories. If a team can do that, it totals 5160 points in the overall competition, which is good enough for a top 10 place. In fact, 5000 (77.5%) points puts you strongly in contention in the top 20.

So with that in mind let’s take a look at the batting average category this week and determine the batting average that yields 500 points as of May 13th. The remarkable fact is that the MLB batting average has dropped 18 points from the full year 2019 to the partial season 2021. As a result, the 77.5% level in the Main Event has dropped 11 points even though Main Event rosters are utilizing the top players in MLB.

2019 Full Season: MLB Total = .252; 77.5% level in Main Event = .268

2021 thru May 14th: MLB Total = .234; 77.5% (Target 5000) level = .2569

Who are the batting average underperformers and how high were they drafted in the Main Event? There are 20 players with a Main Event ADP in the top 200 (drafted in the first 12-13 rounds) that are sitting at .225 or below as of May 13th. They are listed below - but these 20 players are likely the culprits for low overall batting averages on many fantasy rosters. I have highlighted those with very high strikeout rates and those that are not particularly unlucky on BABIP – as those players are less likely to turn it around without some sort of basic change. Those that are striking out at reasonable clips (20% or so) or who have been quite unlucky with BABIP (below .270) have an easier path to posting an improved batting average.

Through Sunday, there have been 46 days of baseball since the Major League Baseball opened on April 1st - that’s about 25% of the season or approximately one-quarter of the way through (there are 186 days of baseball in the regular season). Main Event fantasy owners are balancing the original $1000 of FAAB they were given while bearing in mind that only 30% of FAAB periods have been completed (8 of the 27 FAAB periods). Here are the Main Event FAAB totals across 645 teams including the winning bids from the May 16th FAAB run:

For all seven FAAB runs thus far, the average Main Event team has won 14.5 bids this season (roughly 2 per week) and spent $474.22. This is higher than $1000 FAAB dollars divided by 27 FAAB periods ($37 per week – so 8 FAAB periods times $37 indicates that $296 is the proper spending on a straight-line basis). Actual spending, however, leaves the average team with $526 of FAAB which drops their average weekly budget for the remaining 19 periods from $37 to just under $28.

In the seventh FAAB period of the season held on May 16th, 11 players were picked up in 21 or more leagues (see below) with James Kaprelian targeted in 35 leagues as he has entered the Oakland rotation. Hansel Robles, who got a save chance for the Twins last week, was added in 33 leagues, and Michael Fulmer, who might get more save opportunities in Detroit, was added in 32 leagues.

The Wow Bid of the Week

The Main Event Wow Bid of the Week – going to the largest bid of each FAAB period – is awarded to a $337 bid for Seattle pitcher Logan Gilbert, who was available in 12 Main Event Leagues. This winning bid beat a runner-up amount of $251, so a strong bid was necessary to prevail in this league. Gilbert has all the tools and may provide strikeouts and a strong ERA and WHIP even at this higher price.

The Century Club has 21 Members This Week

There were 37 SUCCESSFUL bids over $100 of FAAB during this FAAB run – higher than last week (27) but of course significantly lower than the first five weeks (91, 81, 83, 139, and 135). The $200+ free agent re-emerged as 4 players attracted bids of over $200 (after zero hit that target last week). Even so, it is clear that most Main Event fantasy owners are ratcheting down their bids as they show concern for their remaining FAAB dollars.

Instead of showing the ten players dropped the most – you can see below some of the most INTERESTING drops. These are the players dropped who were most likely difficult decisions – either prompted by a run of injuries to a fantasy team or driven by a need for a replacement at a particular position. These players might draw bids next week from other league members, and many of these players were bid on aggressively a couple of weeks back (i.e. Zach McKinstry?).

Where Are They Now? Four Players from Four Weeks Ago…

We’ll keep tabs on the 4 most added players from 4 weeks ago to see how some of the biggest free agent acquisitions have been doing for their fantasy owners. These are the players acquired in the most leagues on 4/25:

· Alex Wood – 24.0 IP; 3 Wins; 2.25 ERA – fantastic add so far

· Nico Hoerner – was placed on IL; .294 w/3 SB; not worth it so far

· Josh Staumont – Got 2 saves quickly; a couple of rough outings since – putting this middle column for now

· Yonathan Daza – .364 since acquisition w/2 SB – did have a short period when he wasn’t playing which caused some to drop him

So we’ll say one up (Wood) and three in the middle for the biggest acquisitions from April 25th – making it 5 good adds; 4 poor adds; and 3 moderate adds so far this year.

Sam I Am

Congratulations to Samuel Horton, as he is leading the 2021 Main Event with one of his three Main Event entries – with a margin of just 42.5 by earning 5378 points. His Contest-Leading roster was built from the #5 draft position as he selected Fernando Tatis in the 1st round. He followed that by (unluckily) grabbing Luis Robert and stuck with hitting for the 3rd and 4th with Vladimir Guerrero and Randy Arozarena before getting a starter in Jose Berrios and covering saves with Ryan Pressly. Other fine picks were Byron Buxton in the 7th; Wilson Contreras in the 8th; Dylan Carlson in the 11th; Freddy Peralta in the 12th; and Matt Barnes in the 20th. When responding to my question of why he knew Matt Barnes would be a lock-down closer, he replied “Look, man, I learned through my research that he eats green eggs and ham – on a plane, on a train – wherever. It just doesn’t matter.” OK, at least I know where Barnes gets his energy I suppose…

Let’s check in on our previous leaders – are they still in the top 20? Brian Slack (4/5) is in 33rd place and has hired his new legal team which will ask for an injunction stopping the season after one week; Tyler Jung (4/12) is in the top 20 at 17th and claims that he is the victim of lousy umpiring (Angel Hernandez, perhaps?); John Pausma (4/19) remains solidly in contention at 11th place overall and is arguing that he should be provided $1200 of FAAB because he is a genuinely friendly guy; two-time leader Chris Uram (4/26 & 5/3) is 7th and wants everyone to know he doesn’t like this weekly article. Finally, last week’s leader (5/10), Abdul Madani, is in a great position in 6th. Kudos also go out to Douglas Roth, David Ehsanipoor, Scott Kotchek, and Bradley Beckman for their current top five positions. It’s been 46 days of baseball, so they just need to maintain this first-quarter lead for 4 ½ more months!

In addition, we’re following the individual league races this season. It is no small feat to win a league championship in the Main Event regardless of a fantasy owner’s overall place, and the top three in each league earn a cash prize and deserve recognition. You can see the 43 leagues listed in the chart below (with those in the top 20 positions highlighted in blue) – you can find your assigned league number for the purposes of this article number by referring to the chart at the end of my first article of the season (use this link https://www.spstreamer.com/post/and-they-re-off) – which displays the league draft location, draft date and time, and Official NFBC League Number.

Out of the 43 Main Event leagues – 14 had new leaders this week compared to last week (the same number that changed hands one week ago) – indicating to me that the standings are getting a little less volatile. There’s plenty of time to move up of course, but 29 fantasy owners held the lead from one week to the next, showing that they have solid teams that will be difficult to catch.

Thirteen Main Event Stars

There are multiple NFBC players who are in the top three places of two or more Main Event Leagues, which is extremely impressive. The most notable players as of May 17th are listed below (only included are those with at least one Main Event league-leading team) – these 13 fantasy players occupy 16 of the first place positions; 10 of the second place positions; and 5 of the third-place spots, or 31 of the 129 top three placements.

Good luck to everyone in the week of May 17th!

1. TWO 1st – Phillippe Dussault; Jeremy Brader; Tag Team of Jeff Erickson & Tim Schuler

2. ONE 1st & ONE 2nd – Tyler Jung; Brian Slack

3. ONE 1st; ONE 2nd; ONE 3rd – Clark Olson; Matthew Davis; Richard Dimondo

4. ONE 1st; ONE 2nd - Matthew Shepherd; Vlad Sedler; Mark Srebro

5. ONE 1st; ONE 3rd - Douglas Gruber; Samuel Horton