WOO HOO!  It’s my birthday, or at least it feels that way.  My drafts are all done until I do two at the same time on April 2nd.  Now I can focus on the FUN, easy to play games I like to add.  For the last 10 straight years I have also played Head2Head Salary Cap Baseball

As I was deciding some strategy for this and how to tell you guys about it, I fired up a movie: Big Hero 6.  It was awesome, but really, it didn’t fit.  So I fired up Armaggedon.  Getting hotter. Then Platoon.  Hotter.  Then Full Metal Jacket.  Colder. I needed a movie with strategy, guts, ZERO scruples and one that has win at all costs as the agenda.  The family was watching the NetFlix series, House of Cards.  So I sat in.  Six episodes later, I was enthralled. It exemplifies exactly what I am talking about.  Frank and Clare Underwood (Kevin Spacey & Robin Wright) are the power couple that has taken many short cuts to get to the White House.  Now as the President and First Lady, they will do anything to win. That is what I plan to do in this game.  WIN.  Taking no prisoners this year. You need to work hard to get what you need to win.  So that is what I will do.  

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What’s the Game?

Like from Home Alone: “So…I’m gonna count to ten and then I am gonna fill you full of lead. 1…2…10.”

Simple to play and sooo easy.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE bullets.

  • $100 Million Salary Cap
  • Roster: C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, 3 OFs, UT and catch this…a pitching staff. 
  • 30 Team Leagues (Join My League: Fantasy Alarm with password: fantasyalarm)
  • 6 divisions of 5 teams each
  • Play Head to Head each week
  • Weekly Lineup changes make it fun, but not WORK!
  • Salaries only change twice so once you find a bargain, you can keep it.
  • Top 16 teams qualify for the Playoffs
  • Play all the way through the World Series
  • Win over $20,000 in prizes

How do I go about picking my team?

Like in Wedding Crashers: “Rule number 76, play like a champion.”

To play like a champ, you need to start fast.  Let’s discuss some strategies for filling out a lineup.  For me, it starts with the pitching staff.  Since you only select one, I review the schedule grid and determine what team with a good pitching staff has the best schedule.  I take the top 10 scoring staffs and look at the ten schedules.  Early in the season, I am going to lock in on the teams that strikeout a lot.  Now that can change from year to year, but in the case of the Astros, it got worse.  Last year, they struck out 1442 times.  They added Colby Rasmus who has a 33% K rate.  Their young guys are all strikeout guys too in Jonathan Singleton (37%), George Springer (33%) and Chris Carter (32%).They could strike out 1700+ times this year.  The Cubs, Marlins, Braves and White Sox round out the five teams that I will look for as tasty matchups for my pitching staff each week in April at least.

Like in Sherlock Holmes: "Never theorize before you have data. Invariably, you end up twisting facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

When picking the rest of the lineup, at the beginning of the season, I rely on season projections to help me find values and the week’s matchups to help me find bargains.  Also, important to look at the hitters who will face the worst pitching staffs, but without data for THIS year, it becomes more speculation but you can look at individual performances.  There are a lot of things to take into account when deciding if a player gets into the lineup.  Here come the bullets again.

  • Team: Can their team score runs?
  • Position in the order: Try to get players in the first four spots in the lineup.  In a week, they will get 3-4 more at bats.
  • Schedule: Will their team score a lot of runs against bad pitching?  How many games does each player play? Get the hitters who play the most games.
  • Ballpark: You MUST have Tulo at home early in the season.  Try to get hitters that will play that week in hitter’s ballparks
  • Handedness: If you have a left-handed half of the platoon and the team faces three lefties, you cannot take him.  However, if the team plays six righties and one lefty, that player may have an incredible week for his price.
  • Catchers: Watch for day games after night games more than once in the week.  If a catcher sits 2 out of say 5 games, it is crushing.
  • Be frugal: Find at least one bargain to save you money to free up cap to get the hitters you are SURE of.

Like from Ghostbusters: “We got the tools.  We got the talent.”

So, since I love this game and have played it for ten years, I have convinced my colleagues at Fantasy Alarm to make some tools available for the players in the league.  First, we will bring the salaries into our system so that reports can be created to determine value in the game pre-season and during the season.  Like Mrs Capone in Johnny Dangerously: “Can I borrow a cup of bullets?”

And from House of Cards: “For those of us climbing to the top of the food chain, there can be no mercy. There is but one rule: hunt or be hunted.”

So get in the game.  There are ONLY 30 Spots available to play against me and get the kind of bragging rights that will have you feeling like Frank Underwood taking control of the White House and without mercy, pity or a touch of doubt making quick sharp decisions that make him win.  You can do that now.  During the season, I will post about this league and for sure will love to compete against any and ALL of you who dare to join in the games. 

There is $20,000 in prizes up for grabs as well…so like Adrian says in Rocky 4: “ YOU CAN’T WIN!”