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Daily blurbs from the Guru
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Go forward to more recent blurbs.

4/30 - Big night for Albert Pujols: 4-8, 2HRs, 3R, 3RBI. That raised his BA for the last week up to .233. YTD, his slugging is now up to .439. While those numbers don’t sound Pujolsian, they are ahead of last year’s April, when he batted .217 and slugged .304. Of course, he picked up the pace thereafter, although his only period of top tier production was June-August.

But he’s not the biggest problem in the hitting lineup for the Angels. Remember Josh Hamilton? Last April, his slash line was .395/.438/.744. Of course, he didn’t maintain that pace for the season (although his May output was similar). But this year, his slash line is .202/.246/.298. Those three add up to last April’s slugging percentage. In this year’s RIBC drafts, Pujols was the 8th player drafted (on average), and Hamilton was 24th (late second round).

The consensus #1 RIBC pick, Mike Trout, isn’t off to a much better start - .252/.322/.402 with 4 SB. And this all helps to explain why the Angels are in the thick of the race for the worst record in the American League.

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4/29 - Three GuruGolf teams tied for the top best ball score of -52, and all three had Billy Horschel, who was clearly the top gurugolfer of the weekend with 26 birdies (vs. 21 for D.A. Points). Worst ball scoring was also bunched up this week, with four teams colliding at the top score of +32. Horschel even managed to make it onto one of those teams.

Two NBA teams bit the dust yesterday after 4-0 sweeps. Surprisingly Golden State took a 3-1 series lead over Denver. The Warriors haven’t lost since David Lee went down. Did not see that coming.

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4/26 - When the “head table” at the NFL draft show on ESPN features Mel Kiper, John Gruden, and Chris Berman, one can’t help but be struck by the extreme difference in hair. And if that’s what I’m thinking about, then it was a slow night.

I played my first daily baseball contest for the season on DraftStreet yesterday. I like to wait for several weeks before starting, just to be able to build some stats and get a sense of how teams are doing. Yesterday, I played in a $2 league with 6 entrants, where payouts are for the top 2 finishers. That’s a format that I like to play. When I went to bed last night, it looked like I’d finish in 3rd, just out of prize position. I still had three hitters in play – Brandon Moss, Chris Davis, and Kyle Seager – but I was far enough back that I didn’t figure to cash. Lo and behold, when I pulled up the game scoreboard this morning, I saw that both Seager and Davis homered, and I ended up with a close win. That was fun.

I tend to prefer Draftstreet for my personal play because the rosters are deeper, the scoring is fuller, and pitching is not as dominant – particularly the points for wins. I also sometimes play their weekly format. DraftStreet data (player points and salaries) are incorporated in the RotoGuru sortable stats, which is a useful tool for evaluating daily or weekly lineup decisions. Note that the sortable stats also provide filtering for daily starting pitchers and opposite handed hitters. When used with the other tools available at, there is a lot of home-grown info to work with.

If you have never tried DraftStreet, they also offer free games so that you can try it out. Register using this DraftStreet link, and if/when you decide to deposit funds, you’ll be eligible for a 40% bonus on your first dfeposit. If you are a low stakes player like I am, taking advantage of the bonus offers dramatically improves the odds, since 20% of all entry fees come from bonus money. So, for example, when I play a $2 contest, it’s really only costing my $1.60.

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4/25 - …and keeper league owners of Adrian Peterson can all let out a collective sigh of relief now that AP will not be exposed to the Madden curse in 2013.

Stephen Strasburg lost his 4th consecutive game yesterday. It’s not like he’s been pitching badly, however. With a 3.12 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, and .221 BAA, he could easily be 5-0 at this point. Only one of his starts was bad (giving up 6 runs to Cincy on April 7). Throw out that one and he’s surrendered only 5 earned runs in 4 games. The apparent problem is that he’s not hitting well enough, as the Nats have scored only 7 runs in his five starts combined – and he scored one of those runs himself. Sounds to me like he should spend more time in the batting cage!

No rainouts yesterday, and today’s weather looks pretty benign as well. KC@Det could see some delays, but patience should get that one in, and most other game cities have 0% chance of rain. About time.

In GuruGolf, this week’s popular favorite is Billy Horschel, on about 35% of active foursomes. K.J. Choi is close behind. Horschel doesn’t tee off until this afternoon, but Choi is off to a weak start, at +1 thru 11 holes on a day when birdies have not been scarce.

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4/24 - When David Lee went down in the first game of the Warriors/Nuggets series, the Nuggets were essentially given a bye into the second round – by many. But not by the Warriors, who lit up the Nuggets for 131 points, shooting 65% from the field (56% on treys). Go figure. That seems like an unlikely performance to repeat, although they do go home for the next two.

Not a good day for Boston. While the Warriors were running off three straight quarters of 35, the Celtics managed only 23 points in the entire second half. And that was much better than the Red Sox, who lost 13-0 in Fenway. At least rain ended that misery early.

GuruGolf tees off tomorrow morning for the Zurich Classic. Get your foursomes set.

In baseball, two more postponements. We’re now up to 17 postponements, all in the last 14 days. Last year, we had only 6 postponements through April 23. Two years ago, we were up to 15 postponements by this date, but in 2010, we’d had only one so far. I’m sure 17 at this point is not a record, but it must be well above average.

Kevin Correia. I believe I got that right.

The Upton brothers homered in back-to-back at bats last night. It was only the second time that brothers have gone deep BTB. The first time - Lloyd and Paul Waner in 1938. That sounds even rarer than 17 postponements in 14 days.

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4/23 - After three straight failed attempts (although he pitched reasonably well in all three), Felix Hernandez finally found the team to beat for his 100th career win – the Houston Astros.

Although the Astros are only 5-14, they aren’t anywhere near the bottom of the rankings in team scoring. Houston has scored 75 runs this season, which ranks 17th out of 30 teams. Compare that to Miami, with only 43 runs scored. The Dodgers have scored only 54, and four other teams are in the 60-64 range. Houston’s bigger problem is pitching, as they sport a 5.49 team ERA, three-quarters of a run worse than any other team, and 1.5 runs worse than the American League average. They weren’t competitive in any aspect last night, though, scoring only once late against the Mariner bullpen in a 7-1 loss.

When you are a hot weather team with ice cold bats, there’s nothing like playing a game in April in Minnesota, where the gametime temperature is expected to be in the upper 30s (with a 30° wind chill factor). At least the skies should be clear of precipitation (and baseballs, in all likelihood - although the forecast shows the wind blowing out toward center). If you’re looking for a spot starter today, Kevin Correia (2.95 ERA, 1.22 WHIP) might be worth a gambit – and he’s probably available in all but the deepest of leagues. There are actually two games scheduled in Minnesota today – with Mike Pelfrey (7.95 ERA, 1.95 WHIP) getting to face the Fins in colder, darker weather. Of the two starters, Correia’s much better ratios suggest that he’s the safer option – although on any given frigid day…

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4/22 - Three GuruGolf teams tied for the top best ball score of -40 in the first tournament of the Spring to the Open Contest. Worst ball honors were claimed by Cyberwahoo5(+50). Curiously, the best GuruGolfer performance for the tournament was by Robert Garrigus, who scored 18 birdies – even though he finished tied for 24th, with a total score of -1. Evidently, he would have provided a lot of value for both best ball and worst ball scoring. That explains why he gained $100 in spite of finishing well down the leaderboard. By comparison, Graeme McDowell had only 14 birdies, and Webb Simpson had 15.

So far, we’ve had 13 postponed MLB games. Nine of those have already been replayed or rescheduled, and the MLB Schedule Grid already reflects those updates. For the other four, I haven’t yet found any info on rescheduling. If you figure out when the following four postponed games will be played, please let me know: Angels@Minn, Twins@White Sox, Texas@Cubs, and Cardinals@Pitt.

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4/19 - Evan Gattis was undrafted in all five of the RIBC leagues. Two weeks later, with a 4-digit OPS and 12 RBI in 12 games, I suspect he should be rostered everywhere, especially as a catcher. He ranks as the #57 hitter in the ESPN player rater. Maybe it won’t last. But I’m sure he’s enjoying the ride.

In the past week, I’ve gotten several emails asking about the details of the weather dashboard at The underlying forecast data comes from, and you can see the site-specific details if you click on any game heading. The wind info is for the top of the hour following the game start (e.g., 8pm for a 7:30 start). I’ve even been asked if the data is accurate. It’s weather forecast data – so of course it’s not completely accurate. But that report has been getting about 5000 pageviews per day this season, more than double for the same period last year. It’s been the most active page at this season.

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4/18 - The NBA regular season has ended, and somehow the soap opera that is the Lakers has been renewed for the postseason, albeit without leading man Kobe Bryant. We’ll see how that goes. I’ll plan to continue to produce sortable stats for hoops during the playoffs as long as the affiliated daily contest sites are offering NBA action.

Congrats to Florian, manager of the RIHC Luebeck Eagles, who won his third consecutive RIHC championship, and his 4th in five years (finishing second in the other year). We’ve never had a stretch of domination like this in any of the RotoGuru Invitational leagues. Amazing. Dude must know what he’s doing.

Stewart Cink is the popular GuruGolf favorite this week, on 36% of active foursomes.

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4/17 - It seems like we’re getting a baseball postponement just about every day now, after none for the first 10 days of the season. Yesterday, we had one game washed out after a couple of innings, and another one suspended in the 9th inning of a scoreless tie. That one (Philly@Cincy) will be completed this afternoon. I’ll adjust my scoring totals to include the complete game stats on Tuesday. If you are playing in daily contests, that may or may not be consistent with your contest’s handling of the situation.

The next GuruGolf contest begins tomorrow, encompassing the eight tournaments between the Masters and the US Open. Even if you have gotten off to a slow start this year, everyone gets a fresh start for each of the in-season contests, so keep plugging away – and you may just score a sleeve (or two) of coveted RotoGuru/GuruGolf logo golf balls!

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4/16 - It’s well chronicled that both Houston and Miami have been pretty anemic on offense so far, and a viable strategy for daily contests is to pick their opposing starters. Curiously, it looks like Tampa Bay has been the kindest, gentlest team for pitchers to face – although that seems like an anomaly that could revert some time soon. In any event, remember that the RotoGuru sortable stats have an option to show results for opposing starters. For example, here is the run for FanDuel – opposing starters.

If you are scrambling to fill your fantasy hoops lineup tonight, you just lost one-third of your options, as the Pacers@Boston game has been canceled, leaving only two games to pick from on the penultimate night of the NBA regular season.

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4/15 - Congrats to the GuruGolf winners for the Masters:
Best ball: Birdie man cometh (-48)
Worst ball: t2g_2 (+57)

This was a big week for roster value creation, as the two golfers with the highest ownership – Fred Couples and Angel Cabrera – both scored big value gains, due to their low price and excellent performance. From a GuruGolf valuation perspective, the three most “useful” golfers of the tournament (from strictly a scoring perspective) were Cabrera, Thorbjorn Oleson, and Bubba Watson. Watson may seem like a surprising name for that list, but his notorious 10 on a par three doesn’t hurt his value any more than a double bogey would have, and he had a total of 20 birdies – topped only by Olesen (21 birds, one eagle). By comparison, Adam Scott had only 15 birdies.

My RIBC team had a disastrous weekend. My first round pick – Giancarlo Stanton – missed the entire weekend with a shoulder contusion, and may miss the next series as well. My 2nd round pick was Jose Reyes – ‘nuff said. And although my 3rd rounder, Michael Bourn, led off Sunday’s game with a first pitch home run, he later left the game with a lacerated finger that is likely to sideline him for a few more games.

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4/11 - One popular feature is the production of consolidated live daily stats for all MLB games. Yesterday, that routine fell flat for a combination of unusual technical reasons.

It's been corrected now, and steps have been taken to avoid that specific issue in the future. Of course, there are still thousands of other things that can go wrong, so there are no guarantees, other than that I'll do my best to keep this routine functioning properly, no matter how badly the server tries to foul things up.

If you downloaded the CSV output version of the program prior to 9am ET this morning, you should probably download it again. Also, be aware that when games are postponed after starting lineups have been posted, this routine will continue to show those players in pregame status. For example, lineups for the Cleveland-NY game are included in yesterday's listing. Of course, those players have no stats - but if you are using the download for any statistical analysis, you may need to compensate for that. Forewarned is forearmed!

Turning to golf: The Masters teed off at 8am this morning, and as of this moment (11:38 am), Tiger has gone par-par. For GuruGolf, only about 5% of foursomes include Tiger, no doubt because of his hefty pricetag. Converely, 30% of foursomes have Fred Couples, who tees off at 1:08. At this stage of the GuruGolf season, some cheapies are necessary, and Couples is the dominant choice this week, priced at about 44% of Tiger’s price.

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4/10 - The Masters toon-a-ment tees off at 8am ET tomorrow morning. For GuruGolf, this tournament often presents a financial challenge, as roster values haven’t had much time to appreciate. But this year, if you are cash poor and trade rich, you have a new option. You can sell trades to raise cash, at the rate of $50 per trade sold. So far, 22 trades have been sold this week, and many foursomes still remain to be assembled. This may not be the optimum strategy for you, but you should at least consider the possibility.

Switching to baseball, I took a quick look at the early results for the top ten pitchers drafted in the RIBC leagues. As a group, they have 9 wins in 20 starts, with a 4.13 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. Not exactly the stuff of aces, but not hideous.

However, it’s not quite that simple. Five of those pitchers (Verlander, Kershaw, Hernandez, Lee, and Darvish) have 8 of those wins, with an aggregate ERA of 1.40 and a WHIP of 0.75. That’s more like it. Which means that the other five (Strasburg, Price, Hamels, Weaver, and Cain) have only one win, with a collective ERA of 7.24 and WHIP of 1.61. Wow. If you drafted pitching early, I hope you got on the right side of that dichotomy.

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4/9 - Congrats to Market Madness Contest winner jasonfhall, who won with a score of G$530. (Because he is my son, the financial prize will pass down to the second place finisher.) The winner of the Basket-Free Contest is rbowling-nobasket, with a score of G$261.

The winning entry was long three of the four of the Final Four teams (missing only Wichita State), plus the Big 10 and Big East baskets. He had only two negative scores on his short side and two on the long side. His worst unit return was Georgetown, at –G$30.

The best possible score this year was G$1145, and in addition to the four Final Four teams, would have included La Salle and Florida Gulf Coast on the long side, plus the #4 & #9 baskets, plus the Big 10 and Big East baskets. The best short this year was the Big 12 basket, while the top scoring long was Wichita State. Here is the complete list of units, sorted by net return.

Prize winners will be notified by email within the next week. Thanks to all for continuing to support this oldest of all RotoGuru Contests.

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4/8 - The top GuruGolf scores for the Valero Texas Open were Goats Hooks (-47 bestball) and louky4 (+49 worstball). We also closed out the “March to the Masters Contest”, spanning the first six tournaments of the GuruGolf season, with the following winners:
Bestball winner: Sweeets[pot (by 7 strokes)
Worstball winner: Slice of Bread (by one stroke)

Note that all GuruGolf prizes will be awarded at the end of the season. This allows me to avoid awarding duplicate prizes to the same manager, while ensuring that every manager receives the best award for which they qualified during the entire season.

The Market Madness Contest closes out tonight. You may have noticed that the current leader is listed as “Luke Russert (PP)”. The designation (PP) on any entry indicates that this is a “Pundit Pick”, and not a real entry. Leading up to the tournament, I capture the bracket picks for a variety of “pundits”, run those brackets through the contest simulator, and create an entry based upon those results. Luke Russert (son of the late Tim Russert) was a former intern on the PTI program and is currently a correspondent for NBC news. While not a sports commentator per se, he is a friend of Tony Kornheiser, and he was invited to submit his picks on Kornheiser’s morning radio show. So – if Michigan wins, Russert will not collect the prize or the Hall of Fame enshrinement since his entry is strictly “for show.” Russert’s bracket actually had Louisville beating Indiana in the final game, with Michigan and Wisconsin rounding out the Final Four. I’ve actually been creating these Pundit Picks for several years, but never has one challenged for the top spot.

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4/3 - We didn’t quite get the first no-hitter of 2013, but we came very close. Yu Darvish surrendered a “through the wicket” single on the 27th batter that he faced. Fortunately, it was his own wicket that the ball went through. Of the 26 outs that he got, 14 were by strikeout. If you had him on your roster last night, I’m sure you’re as satisfied with the result as Darvish seemed to be.

GuruGolf tees off tomorrow morning for the Valero Texas Open. It’s the last tournament before the Masters, and the last tournament in the “March to the Masters” GuruGolf Contest. Get your foursomes set.

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4/2 - So how’s your season going so far?

I think I have all baseball functionality restored now, although there are probably some data glitches that need to be detected and corrected. Feel free to check my work and report anything that appears to need some attention.

Now I need to take a look at my various roto teams and see how they did yesterday. One consequence of managing a site with daily statistical production is that it’s sometimes hard to find the time and attention span to evaluate my own teams – especially at the beginning of the season, when production routines are the buggiest. (Yeah, I know – let’s have a pity party… )

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4/1 - The baseball season has begun. One game down, 2429 to go. is up and running, featuring daily weather, batter vs pitcher matchup data, lineup info, and live stats. Some items may still need a bit of tweaking, but it appears that things are generally in good shape.

Congrats to Slice of Bread, who took the best ball honors in GuruGolf over the weekend with a -51, while worst ball honors went to The Eagle Has Landed (+41).

Only one Market Madness entry has Wichita State as a long, and only six entries have the #9 seed basket on the long side. Those scorecards all benefited from the 90 point bonus when the Shockers advanced to the Final Four. However, it looks like the leading contenders in the standings have generally advanced based on the success of either Michigan or Syracuse, either directly or in their various basket incarnations. With two #4s and a #9 still alive, there are still a lot of potential points up for grabs.

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2013: March . . . February . . . January

2012: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2011: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2010: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2009: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2008: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2007: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2006: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2005: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2004: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2003: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2002: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2001: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

2000: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

1999: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March . . . February . . . January

1998: December . . . November . . . October . . . September . . . August . . . July . . . June . . . May . . . April . . . March

RotoGuru is produced by Dave Hall (a.k.a. the Guru), an avid fantasy sports player. He is neither employed by nor compensated by any of the fantasy sports games discussed within this site, and all opinions expressed are solely his own. Questions or comments are welcome, and should be emailed to Guru<>.

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