Fantasy Baseball Tumbling Dice: Strat-O-Magic

by Lawr Michaels, MastersBall.com on August 27, 2013 @ 12:19:07 PDT

 


I have not written all season about my MidWest Strat-O-Matic League Berkeley Liberators, who were in the throes of rebuilding last year, and enduring an even worse 2013, albeit with light at the end of the Simulation Game Tunnel.

In 2012 we finished a relatively rosy 60-102 (.370 PCT), while this year, with a current mark of 29-74 (.292 PCT), I can only dream about better days.

Truth is, this month I have activated Matt Harvey -- my first-round pick last year -- and brought Domonic Brown up for the past couple of months, giving at least a glimpse of what awaits at the core of next year.

I earned Harvey largely due to my team's dismal 2012 showing, but I traded Shane Victorino to Jeff Erickson last year for a draft pick and Brown, and also swapped Ubaldo Jimemez this offseason to Dean Peterson as part of a deal that bagged me Carl Crawford and Jose Tabata.

So, looking to next year, I would have a more than respectable outfield of Tabata, Crawford, and Brown, with Brandon Crawford at short, some kind of scary platoon of Jesus Guzman and Ike Davis at first, and some solid catching with Derek Norris and Jonathan Lucroy.

Miami Marlins SP Jose Fernandez
Fernandez: top target in 2014

Since both Jeff and Dean are in the playoff hunt this year, the deal worked out OK for them, and since I am on the verge of having a much improved roster next year, these were trades that hit the objectives of all involved.

However, as I have been taking my lumps this year -- and let me tell you, my team won 90-plus games from 2008 to 2010 -- I have noticed one of the things that makes Strat-O-Matic such a great simulation.

That is, no matter how terrible my team is, I still win some games 10-5, and even get the occasional pitching gem from the likes of Kevin Correia and Erik Bedard, kind of like the Astros muscle up once in a while and get some strong pitching at times.

And, aside from that making it realistic, it also makes playing the games fun, for no one likes to lose all the time.

As for the coming year, now knowing that my treasured Mr. Harvey will likely be down for a chunk of 2014, I have to take it as it comes, but, I am heartened because the National League has such a plethora of great prospects coming, that the holes I still have could be nicely filled.

Among the pitchers I am looking at are Jose Fernandez, Tony Cingrani, Shelby Miller, and Trevor Rosenthal, while Yasiel Puig, Nolan Arenado, Jedd Gyorko, Anthony Rendon, Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna are all possible picks, and thanks to my repeated terrible 2013 team, I should get one of these players, and perhaps two.

In fact, should I work a swap for Norichika Aoki, I could bag three players -- a good hurler and a couple of infielders -- and be competitive in 2014 just like my mates Dean and Jeff are this year.

Rebuilding does involve so many risks and hopes. But, it is also a lot of fun, especially when it seems to be working.

You can get the Mastersball Top 250 Prospects as part of our Platinum package, with more information at 2013 Mastersball Platinum Package. Mastersball Platinum is the edge that supported four of the top five finishers in the NFBC in 2012. You can get the same insights and analysis that helped Dave Potts with the $100,000 grand prize last year by subscribing to Mastersball at 2013 Mastersball Platinum Package.

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About Lawr Michaels, MastersBall.com

Lawr Michaels has been a player in the fantasy baseball industry since he began writing for John Benson in 1993. He has written for STATS, Inc, was the first fantasy columnist for CBS Sportsline, and has appeared in numerous journals and on websites. In 1996, he founded CREATiVESPORTS, a staple for serious fantasy players, which he merged into Mastersball in 2010.

Over the years, Lawr has participated in a wide variety of playing formats and won numerous titles, including AL Tout Wars crowns in 2001 and 2009. Along with his Mastersball duties, Lawr works for MLB.com as a statistician.

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