Wednesday, March 27, 2013

MARDI GRAS MADNESS: Balls Out

This team will have to depend on bullpen help,
including the great Mariano Rivera.
(photo courtesy of Mike McCann)


Felipe M

Before I move on to the next team, I probably should explain a little something about this league.  Mardi Gras Madness began back in 2002 as a fantasy baseball keeper league.  Currently, we keep 7 players from the season before and hold an annual, 15-round draft.  Out of the 22 players in our roster, we need to start 9 hitters (C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, LF, CF, RF, DH) and 7 pitchers (any combination of SP and RP).  It is a  weekly, head-2-head, fantasy points league.  The team with the highest score at the end of a given week, wins that game.


The next team we'll review finish the 2012 season with the best record and most points in the league, but was eliminated by yours truly:

EAST DIVISION—BALLS OUT (out of Southern California)

BATTING LINEUP

Like: Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout, Giancarlo Stanton, David Wright, Robinson Cano, Jose Reyes; This team is stacked!  They also have Brian McCann waiting to come back from injury.  In the meantime, Alex Avila will take over duties at the backstop.  Even Melky Cabrera, who is a bust on many publications’ lists, can still come back from suspension and produce decent numbers this season.

Dislike: Recently acquired Mark Trumbo is a headache waiting to happen as his all-or-nothing approach might work, but in most weeks his strikeouts will lead to a lot of low scores on a weekly basis. 

Look Out For: MiguelSano is supposed to be the next Miguel Cabrera. 

BENCH: Vernon Wells might see his value increase a bit with the Yankees, but something tells me he won’t be on this squad for very long. 

PITCHING

Like: Jered Weaver is a great fit for this team, but he might have to carry the starters on his own. 

Dislike: Because of a high dependence on closers, the only other starters on this team are Mark Buehrle, Julio Teheran, and Tommy Hanson.  Buehrle pitches batting practice at times, Teheran, although had Braves staff marveling at his spring, is still a young, unpredictable pitcher, and Hanson’s walk rate will drive this team nuts.

Look Out For: DylanBundy has been getting hype all offseason long.  Also, look out for Ryan Madson as he should be ready sometime during the season and help this team rack up the saves.

Only a matter of time before Carlos Marmol's days
as a closer are over
(photo courtesy of Sharon P. Mancia)
BULLPEN: Because of Madson’s injury, this team went on and took my advice as they handcuffed him to Ernesto Frieri creating another satisfied customer.  Joe Nathan, despite my concerns, is still a solid closer.  Mariano Rivera is still the best in history.  Rafael Betancourt has proven himself as a dependable closer, but there’s rumors spreading that he will eventually become a contender’s setup man.  Carlos Marmol is terrible.

PREDICTION: Even for a fantasy team, this squad’s batting lineup is like some sort of Dream Team.  However, getting all of those top-tier position players forced this club to depend on closers to make up the majority of their pitching staff.  For every good closer, he went out and acquired shaky 9th inning men with the only dependable SP, Weaver.  In our league’s history, depending on a pitching staff full of closers is a questionable proposition and might end up costing this squad a shot at repeating as league champions.  

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