Finally getting around to doing this – not sure how much I’m going to remember but here it goes:
70m: MNH’s Volume 1
I created both my round 1 and round 2 teams at the same time. I tried to make them both as good as possible. I don’t consider one more important than the other. Even though round 2 is worth more, you have to make the 2nd round for it to matter. I started with pitching as I always do. It was really about what 120mil pitchers I wanted as there are some necessities at that cap. Of course I have Walsh and Joss. Pete Alexander gave me some options at 120mil (either the low IP or 1915 one) and his 1926 season should be great at 70mil. I wanted some long relievers at 120 mil so Adams and Shore made sense since they had useable 70mil seasons. After that it was just a bunch of relievers who had decent seasons for this cap and amazing seasons for the next round.
I feel a weakness of mine is putting together fairly open high cap teams from a hitting standpoint. So I tried to focus on assembling a 70mil team built on speed and ensure the 120mil team made sense from it. I didn’t consider all those great 200-300k bench players that would be studs at 120mil like some others smartly did. Instead I started as most teams should start – with Raines. Rickey was another obvious guy for speed that could play at both caps as well as Ozzie. Boggs was another obvious one. Sandberg, Sisler and Speaker fill out the rest of my team. I expected this team to do quite well in this round assuming we could avoid fatigue issues (low abs and low ips in Safeco as I usually do whenever possible) but we are hardly stealing any bases (primarily because Raines and Smith are just not getting on base). The top teams in my league are the top SB teams, which is hardly a surprise. Anyway, this team should be better in the 2nd round if we get there.
80m: Speed & Finesse (.277 and 2.51)
I knew I wanted a speed team so the hitting would be fairly easy to research. The pitching was more difficult though. I was kind of lost as to where to begin. I see some other staffs I would much rather have (in the sub 2.00 ERA zone) but I didn’t spend much time there in my research as I figured they would be too expensive at this cap. I did a search for SPs at various ERAs within parameters I feel are important at this cap and came up with a few good ones. I forget what my others were but I ended up with 2.51 and cobbled together a pretty good starting staff of Braxton, Reuss, Luque and Rijo. The bullpen is pretty blah so I won’t bore anyone with the details. I figured that I would find enough RPs at any ERA so I didn’t concern myself with them during my search.
For hitting, as mentioned, I focused on SBs. I searched by avg filtering for high sbs with a high success rate. .277 worked and gave me an obligatory Raines as well as Eric Davis, Jimmy Rollins and Brett Gardner. I didn’t want to venture too high in my team average as I knew I would be using Safeco and wanted plenty of walks. So far this team has been a bit disappointing, only marginally above .500. My mop-up pitchers have been too prominently involved already accounting for 7 losses (22%). If I can get my fatigue under control we should be fine and should finish in a playoff spot.
90m: NY Giants (1906-1930)
I love these kinds of themes. This and the 100mil theme are my favourites to obsess over. I knew I wanted to be in the early part of the 20th century so didn’t even bother looking at any other time period. Instead I looked at about 10-12 franchises during this era and built a team for each. As others have mentioned, the pitching of this era is of too much value to pass on. Plus you could get some great hitters from the 20’s and if you’re lucky find a great normalized one in the poor hitting years before that. I had a really good A’s, Cubs, White Sox, Red Sox and Giants team built and in the end I chose the Giants because I couldn’t pass up on their extremely solid staff as well as their balanced lineup (with tremendous infield range). I have Mathewson, Tesreau and Schupp in a 3 man-staff and the real attraction to me was the bullpen of Sallee, Nehf and Toney who should be fairly lights out.
The hitting is a nice mix of good normalized hitters (Burns, Devlin and Snodgrass) as well as the nice RL stats guys in the 20’s (Terry, Youngs, Frisch, etc..). Most are good doubles hitters, which fits nicely in the Polo Grounds. So far, so good. This will probably be my best team.
100m: Philly Giants (1908, 1920)
I misread the rules to this theme and spent a week or so researching teams that were in the same year that fit within the 2 cumulative wins parameter. I actually built a pretty good team with the 1916 Cubs and Tigers and I would be very interested to see how they would perform vs the team I ended up choosing. I had to quickly research this team once I realized my mistake to get it in under the deadline and kind of threw this team together. These two teams are a pretty solid compliment to each other though. The A’s provide the starting staff (Bender, Plank, Krause) and the Giants provide the bullpen (Sallee, Nehf and Toney again). The lineup is very balanced with lots of doubles (in Polo Grounds again) and has been the league leader in runs and OPS from the get go. The pitching staff has been in the top few in runs allowed most of the year as well. Hopefully they can keep it up and ride into the playoffs with ease.
110mil: No Rest For The Weary
I’m not proud of my lack of strategy for this team. I decided to take 08 Joss and a bunch of the best 100-150 ip guys (no Schupp and Chamberlain as they were too expensive). Then I took some shorter IP guys who should be good (Dean, Niggeling, Northrop, Jarvis). I didn’t consider the L/R thing....probably should have. I drafted only 1468 IP which is proving to be a handful to deal with and is probably causing my ERA to be higher than it should. I see some teams took 2 or 3 high inning pitchers and that was likely smarter and easier on the active management. I also don’t know why I just didn’t take Safeco to make things easier but instead I tried to get fancy and chose Riverfront to compliment my apparently ****** hitting. We were playing under .400 ball at home until recently so this was likely a huge mistake.
My hitting strategy was to get sucked into taking a bunch of high OPS guys that I have never had the chance to use (cuz of their low ABs) without an overall concept of how I was going to score runs. Shiny guys like ’12 Votto, ’23 Hornsby, ’37 York and ’39 Ott have been pretty big underachievers so far. The pitching they are facing for the most part is pretty incredible so it was bound to happen. I think I should have gone the speed route to produce more runs. Oh well, this team has been surging lately winning 12 of their last 15 to get back to .500 – which is probably where we will be at the end of the year.
120m: Challenged At Sicks
This was a pretty fun theme. I knew I wanted 08 and 15 pretty early on so that constrained my choices from there and made things a little easier to figure out. Those two years are pretty much all you need to make a great staff at this cap. The pitching has been a little underwhelming so far but I think that is mostly due to the involvement of my mop-ups again who have accounted for over 15% of the total runs my team has given up. I have 1479ip which should be enough at this cap but we seem to be battling fatigue quite a bit. I decided to go with 26, 37 and 94 for my hitting although it was very tough for me to pass on 29, 37, 46 which would have given me Hornsby, Musial, Dimaggio, Williams and Ruth all in their prime. I have found that Dimaggio, Musial and Williams tend to underperform and the Ruth season (29) was a bit lacking vs the 26 season so I passed. Instead I have Greenberg, Belle, Medwick and Ruth as my premier hitters. The only one really underperforming so far is Medwick. The hitting has been passable but hopefully it heats up as we are in a real tough division and will be in a dogfight to make the playoffs.
Thanks as always to schwarze for running this tournament. The themes are consistently enjoyable to obsess over and this year was no different.