I’m going to be honest gang, having only three of my eight entries move on in the 10K Fantasy Aces Survivor Tourney is disappointing. That said, if you’d have asked me going in if I’d be pleased having three in Thursday’s finals, I’d have said I would have preferred eight but I can’t complain with three.

The lesson from last night is trust the process, not the results. I used the same process that earned me eight tickets; my teams just came up short. If Tanner Roark or Jake Peavy got a win last night, we may be talking about six teams alive. And if I never ate a piece of pizza or drank a beer, I’d be 200 pounds lighter.

The post mortem is I did not have nearly enough shares of Jeff Samardzija. I had him in two of the eight and both advanced. My thinking was Samardzija was a bit too high-risk, high-reward for what amounted to a double-up tourney. On one hand the opposing Houston Astros are generous with strikeouts but on the other, they’re near the top of the league in home runs versus right-handers at home.

Last night’s slate was devoid of a true cash game anchor. Further complicating matters was James Shields was off the board as the Yankees-Royals started at 7:00 PM ET and Fantasy Aces must have been concerned locking lineups five minutes earlier would have caught some off-guard.

I went with Chris Tillman, Tanner Roark and Jake Peavy as my main three hurlers (Aces uses two starting pitchers). Ironically, Tillman was the only to get a win and he was only in my lineup because Shields couldn’t be. I was a little worried about him facing Jake Odorizzi. I was much more comfortable with Roark against A.J. Burnett and especially Peavy against Tyler Matzek. Burnett has been in a slide, the Nationals hit him well in two recent games and as a whole, have been playing well. Peavy was at friendly AT&T Park against a squad in the Rockies that has been putrid on the road in recent weeks. More offense was expected against Matzek as well.

But as was stated earlier, trust your process, not the outcome. This assumes you’ve vetted your process and it has been overall successful as your process should always be subject to scrutiny, but that’s a story for another day. The story for today is how I’m going to keep all three tickets alive until Thursday.

Today’s docket has a handful of hurlers that are more along the lines of the usual cash game anchor. Leading the pack is Madison Bumgarner, followed by Johnny Cueto and Cole Hamels. Secondary options include Gerrit Cole, Tyson Ross, Alex Wood, Gio Gonzalez and Lance Lynn. Ride the hot pitcher options such as Alex Cobb, Matt Shoemaker, Brandon McCarthy and Rick Porcello are also available.

I’m keeping it simple. I have three teams and will pair up Hamels/Bumgarner, Hamels/Cueto and Bumgarner/Cueto. I trust my ability to find bats well enough to eschew price and focus on those starters most likely to score in the teens when you add innings plus whiffs.

That’s my process and I’m sticking to it.

I’m going to go and enter the preliminary rosters as I await the announcement of official actives. I’ll post the lineups in the comments for those wanting to play along at home.

Though, I’m pretty sure most eyes will be focused on a contest with a few more zeroes in its grand prize.


Todd Zola 

So two will advance to Wednesday -- better than nothing but I wanted more.

Todd Zola 

OK, so maybe Wood for Hamels is a wash.

Todd Zola 

pretty sure tomorrow's piece will be about trusting first instinct ARGHHHH should have stuck with Hamels!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Todd Zola 

#1: Madison Bumgarner, Alex Wood, Buster Posey, Ben Zobrist, Alexei Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, Todd Frazier, Darin Ruf, Scott Hairston, Colby Rasmus, Kendrys Morales #2: Johnny Cueto, Alex Wood, Miguel Montero, Carlos Sanchez, Jose Reyes, Todd Frazier, Paul Konerko, Scott Hairston, Kole Calhoun, Jose Bautista, Billy Hamilton #3: Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, Derek Norris, Carlos Sanchez, Alexei Ramirez, Todd Frazier, Kyle Seager, Darin Ruf, David Peralta, Kole Calhoun, Kendrys Morales

Todd Zola 

backing off Hamels -- liking Alex Wood

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About Todd Zola

Affectionately known as Lord Zola, Todd was the 2013 Fantasy Sports Writers Association recipient of the Fantasy Baseball Article of the Year, Web. He's been with Mastersball since its inception in 1997 and presently Todd writes for the ESPN Insider and Baseball HQ. Todd is a frequent guest on SiriusXM and is a regular on HQ Radio. He's a veteran of Tout Wars and LABR as well as a multi-time NFBC champion. Follow Todd on Twitter @ToddZola

Todd Zola on Twitter

Anyone that is bummed the @DraftKings Millionaire Maker is over and needs something to do, please feel free to send me $27.

Looks like my Brandon Finnegan gambit in early leagues will go for naught. @Mastersball Platinum update by midnight.

OK, let me get this straight. A fictional movie has been pulled from five theater chains but the Thursday night football game is still on?

Waiting in a long line empty-handed, having the other shop and cut-in-line is not clever, it is selfish.

@FantasyMarkBall @wilmyers The Trop was no picnic, actually not very different