NFBC First Place – Kershaw and Kemp lead the way
I should be knocking on wood, but my 17 point lead has me a bit giddy. One of the reasons for this blog-site was my entry into the NFBC leagues. My team name is Moustacheball and I’m a member of the Las Vegas Main Event March 22nd League One group. I’ve been playing for almost 30 years now, and as I fine tuned my skills over the years, I finally decided to take the plunge and play with the big boys. The League I ended up being slotted with was a scary group which included last years overall winner Dan Semsel ($100,000) along with other members who had done damage in years past. For a newbie I felt I might be chewing off more than I could chew.
In years past I’d leaned heavily on Baseball HQ, but for this league, I felt I’d need a novel approach, since many of the players were also disciples of Baseball HQ, or the Average Draft Position. Hitters I know, pitchers are tougher, so for the first time I spent some money that specifically addressed the area of pitching, combining scouting and metrics. I’m reluctant to say who I used because they were so damn good this year that I want to keep them to myself. Because of that info the staff I ended up with comprised of many pitchers who should have been drafted much higher but were ignored. Kluber / Lackey / Fister / Neise.
Given this blog is supposed to be a little Dodger centric I took a huge gamble with the 3rd pick of the draft. For the first time Clayton Kershaw was being discussed as a possible top six pick, but I decided to take it a step further. I used the 3rd pick on Kershaw. It changed the dynamics of the draft, and one month into the season it appeared I’d made a huge blunder. I was dead last in all the pitching categories, because not only did Clayton get hurt early, I had drafted Cole Hamels, and Fister who also missed all of April.
Yet, even while using the first pick on Clayton, I had struck gold in offense with Abreu in the 7th round, so while my pitching stats were moribund headed into May, my offense was keeping me in the game. It was fun to watch a team dead last in ERA / Wins / WHIP make the turnaround as each pitcher returned to the rotation. Slowly but surely I kept moving up the standings.
As I entered July I had moved into second place, fourteen points behind 1st. With July turning to August, I not only hunted down first place, I blew past them, and now have a 17 point lead, with quite a few points still to be earned.
However, while winning the league is what you need to do, being relevant in the overall is the main goal. Out of almost 500 teams, the Moustacheball team is now very relevant with an 18th place in the overall. Many many things have to break right to keep moving up, but one of the main things that has to go right has gone very right in the past week.
Matt Kemp was big question mark headed into this year. I threw a 5th round pick at him, which was a bit high when compared to his average draft position. While he’s been productive, up until last week he had been the least productive of my five outfielders. Last week changed everything. Five home runs in a week will do that. If Kemp can continue to show the life in his power bat, that goal of a top ten overall finish is looking better and better.
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