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Target 5000: My Cousin WIN-ny

Wins are among the most mercurial of stats. A pitcher can be let down by his bullpen, his fielders, or his offense which can deny him a victory even if he pitches 8 innings with no earned runs. So what lessons should we take away from this noted fantasy baseball movie?


* Please note: Next Week’s article will be shorter than usual due to family obligations. I will try to get the key stats/tables done to keep everyone up-to-date but some may have to wait until the following week. Apologies in advance…


1. If You’re Hostile Because Your Pitcher Didn’t Get the Win; Try to Understand the Underlying Reason:

Vinny: Ms. Vito, you're supposed to be some kinda expert in automobiles, is that correct? Is that correct?

Judge Haller: Would you please answer the counselor's question?

Lisa: No, I hate him.

Vinny: Your Honor, may I ask your permission to treat Ms. Vito as a hostile witness?

Mona Lisa: You think I'm hostile now? Wait till you see me tonight.

Judge Haller: Do you two know each other?

Vinny: Yeah, she's my fiancée.

Judge Haller: Well, that would certainly explain the hostility.


2. Don’t Get Overconfident About a Win When Your Starter is Going Well:

Vinny Gambini: I object to this witness being called at this time. We've been given no prior notice he'd testify. No discovery of any tests he's conducted or reports he's prepared. And as the court is aware, the defense is entitled to advance notice of any witness who will testify, particularly those who will give scientific evidence, so that we may properly prepare for cross-examination, as well as give the defense an opportunity to have the witness's reports reviewed by a defense expert, who might then be in a position to contradict the veracity of his conclusions.

Judge Chamberlain Haller (looks up with surprise): Mr. Gambini?

Vinny Gambini (unsure): Yes sir?

Judge Chamberlain Haller (with great import and respect): Mr. Gambini, that is a lucid, well thought-out, intelligent objection.

Vinny Gambini (Brightens up with a smile on his face): THANK YOU, Your Honor.

Judge Chamberlain Haller (firmly): OVERRULED.


3. Don’t Plan on Accumulating Wins Without Your Starter Receiving Lots of Help:

Vinny: My problem is, I wanted to win my first case without any help from anybody.

Lisa: Well, I guess that plan's moot.

Vinny: Yeah.

Lisa: You know, this could be a sign of things to come. You win all your cases, but with somebody else's help. Right? You win case, after case, - and then afterward, you have to go up to somebody and you have to say- "thank you"! Oh my God, what a fuckin' nightmare!


WINS AWARDED AT THE SAME PACE


I know some of you have been unimpressed by my analytic skills. But after lots of study and consideration, I have determined that Wins are being awarded at the same pace as other seasons – exactly 1.0 per game. I’ll wait while you let that revelation sink in.


OK, so the only question is whether wins are being accumulated on Main Event fantasy rosters at the same level, not whether there are more or less in MLB.


Leading Wins

There are 18 starting pitchers with 7 or more wins as of 6/18. In addition, there are 18 relievers with 4 or more victories (including 5 or 6 primary closers). These 36 players have been the best contributors to the win category this season, but the stat is so dependent on other factors it’s just not possible to project that these players will be big win producers the rest of the way. That’s why each win opportunity gained or lost is such a big deal – a little bit of luck goes a long way – two pitchers can have the same ratios and yet have big differences in the number of wins generated.


Target 5000 for WIns


However, we still want to determine TARGET 5000 for Wins (the total that yields 500 points - since reaching 500 points out of 645 in all 10 categories are enough for 5000 points and a top 20 overall position). Main Event fantasy owners needed 93 Wins in 2019 to reach the 77.5% level, and MLB has played 42.0% of the 2021 season as of June 18th – so are owners within the Main Event at 42% (39 Wins) of the 2019 level? Interestingly, it turns out between 40 and 41 Wins are needed to be at 500 points in this category as of 6/18. Since Wins are accumulating more rapidly in the Main Event, we will set THIS YEAR’S Target 5000 at 96 Wins by the end of 2021. My theory for why more Wins are on fantasy rosters? I believe closers are generally accumulating more Wins because with the ghost runner on second more games are ending in the 10th inning – and MLB managers are going with their top reliever in the 9th and 10th innings when these games are being decided.


2019 Full Season: 77.5% level in Main Event = 93 Wins

2021 on June 18th: 77.5% (Target 5000) level = 40.5 Wins

2021 Full Season Target: 77.5% (Target 5000) level = 96 Wins


FAAB Review


At this point, we’re about 42% of the way through the season, and Main Event fantasy owners are balancing the original $1000 of FAAB they were given while bearing in mind that only 48% of FAAB periods have been completed (13 of the 27 FAAB periods). Here are the Main Event FAAB totals across 645 teams including the winning bids from the June 20th FAAB run:

For all ten FAAB runs thus far, the average Main Event team has won 24.2 bids this season (1.86 per week) and spent $677. This is higher than $1000 FAAB dollars divided by 27 FAAB periods ($37 per week – 13 FAAB periods times $37 indicates that $481 is the proper spending on a straight-line basis – so that would mean that teams would have $519 left). Actual spending, however, leaves the average team with $323 of FAAB, dropping their average weekly budget for the remaining 15 periods from $37 to $23.07.


Abraham is a Bull


In the thirteenth FAAB period of the season held on June 20th, 10 players were picked up in 25 or more leagues (see below). Abraham Toro was targeted in 41 leagues as he should have solid playing time in Houston for the next two or three weeks with Alex Bregman sidelined. Jesus Sanchez, the rookie outfielder who is playing regularly for the Marlins, was added in 40 leagues, and Matt Manning, another rookie with a great pedigree, was also added in 40.

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 the top bid of $185 bids for Jesus Sanchez. This winning bid beat a runner-up amount of only $26, so this owner could have saved a little FAAB in this case. Sanchez has hits in his last four contests, so he may add punch to this owner’s offense even so.


The Century Club has just 6 Members This Week


There were only 7 SUCCESSFUL bids over $100 of FAAB during this FAAB run – the lowest number of the season – and again this week there were zero $200+ free agents as Main Event owners have pulled back their bids to try to preserve their remaining FAAB dollars.

Instead of showing the 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 even this week.

Update From the Colosseum: Four Players from Three Weeks Ago…Updated Results: 8 Good Adds out of 32


We’ll keep tabs on the 4 most added players from 3 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 5/30 (stats are from 5/31 through 6/20):

· Alek Manoah – 17.2 IP; 20-7 K:BB; 0 Wins; 5.60 ERA; 1.30 WHIP – not seeing good results here – has potential still but this is a loss so far

· Greg Holland – 8.1 IP; 7-1 K:BB; 0 Wins; 1 Save; 4.32 ERA; 1.20 WHIP – I don’t think this has been good but I’m putting him in the middle column because he still could add saves

· Rob Refsnyder – 2-for-10 and on IL due to hamstring issues - loss

· Harold Ramirez – batting .302 with 4 HR and 1 SB – a solid add


So Harold Ramirez saved the day, but two gladiators lost this week and one got a side thumb. The record is just not good to date (8 thumbs up; 13 thumbs down; 11 side thumbs). The 8 top adds (based on their first three weeks of production): Cesar Valdez/Yermin Mercedes (4/25); Lou Trivino/Huascar Ynoa (5/9); Alex Wood (5/16); James Kaprielian/Hansel Robles (5/23) and Harold Ramirez (5/30).


Opening Another Roth


Congratulations to Douglas Roth, as he has fought his way back to the top of the 2021 Main Event with his only Main Event entry – with a margin of 86.0 over his closest pursuer, Philippe Dussault. Douglas has a total of 5552.5 points, and it’s interesting to note that the top 20 as a group are scoring even more points. Last week the top twenty averaged 5225.3 and this week it has risen to 5244.0.


I was wary of asking Douglas a question because he has a way of thinking only in terms of tax-advantaged savings, but I tried to steer him away from that area with a “What will you do if you win the Main Event” query. His answer – “It’s always a good time to open a Roth IRA…did you know that a Roth allows qualified withdrawals on a tax-free basis provided certain conditions are satisfied?” Geez, walked right into that one…


Let’s check in on our previous leaders – are they still in the top 20? No – two of our previous leaders are not in the top 20 overall!


· Brian Slack (4/5): 7th place (legal effort to stop the season has been directed to the Fifth Circuit Court)

· Tyler Jung (4/12): Still in 9th (unhappy with umpiring so he is asking MLB to allow replay on every pitch)

· John Pausma (4/19): Now in 8th overall (reluctant to move below a request of $1110 of FAAB for this Main Event team and is planning to drive to Greg Ambrosius’ house to deliver his plea personally – unfortunately Greg is not answering his question of “When will you be home so I can see you?”)

· Two-time leader Chris Uram (4/26 & 5/3): has dropped out of the top twenty to 26th place (has stated that his problem is that Todd Whitestone is a poor writer and this article has thrown him off his game)

· Abdul Madani (5/10): Still a force in the standings at 13th (decided that the main floor in his house is too small for his expected trophy and is working with an architect on a gazebo)

· Samuel Horton (5/17): Dropped out of the top 20 to 21st (refuses to eat green eggs and ham in a box but is reconsidering the with a fox idea)

· Douglas Roth (5/24 and 6/21): Our current leader and financial expert

· Scott Kotchek (5/31 & 6/7): Is now in 12th and says it is because his Kotchers are weak…

· Clark Olson (6/14): Still solidly in 3rd and vowing to be back in first “before you know it. I’m tired of getting overlooked because my teams are slightly down in the standings.” Down in the standings? Clark, you are 3rd, 11th, and 51st overall!


Now our Philippe Dussault moment: The Robot is 2nd, 5th, and 48th in the Main Event. Many of the other Main Event owners have scheduled a rally against Philippe for this coming Thursday, claiming that he has an unfair ability to see the future through robotics. We’ll stay close to this story and provide updates as needed of course…

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 – only 9 had new leaders this week (compared to 8 last week). In addition, the top three places stayed in the exact same order in 15 of 43 leagues. There’s plenty of time to move up of course, but 34 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 June 20th are listed below (only included are those with at least one Main Event league-leading team) – these 13 fantasy players occupy 20 of the first place positions; 8 of the second place positions; and 3 of the third-place spots, or 31 of the 129 top three placements.


1. THREE FIRST PLACE TEAMS - Tyler Jung; Philippe Dussault; Clark Olson

2. TWO 1st – Chris Fessler

3. ONE 1st & TWO 2nd - Andrew Geller

4. ONE 1st & ONE 2nd – Dalton Del Don; Mark Srebro; Stephen Jupinka; Samuel Horton; Jeremy Brader; Joe Anthony

5. ONE 1st; TWO 3rd - Brian Slack

ONE 1st; ONE 3rd – Abdul Madani