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Daily blurbs from the Guru
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5/31 - When one team scores 21 runs in Arlington, Texas, you’d have to figure it was the Rangers – especially if the other choice is the Seattle Mariners, whose team batting average was .229 (before the game), almost 60 points lower than that of the Rangers.
But not only did the Mariners win 21-8, the game was not actually as close as the score suggests, as it was 16-0 in the top of the 3rd. Huh?
Only three MLB games are scheduled today, all night games. That’s extremely light. In fact, after opening day, it is the lightest scheduled date of the entire season. Huh?
In GuruGolf, the most widely owned golfer for The Memorial Tournament appears on roughly 23% of all a foursomes. By now, you can probably guess who it is. Huh? (John Huh, that is.)
5/30 - The Miami Marlins may have won 20 games this month. But the San Antonio Spurs have won 20 straight, including ten in the NBA playoffs. They haven’t lost since April 11th. It sounds to me like Gregg Popovich has been getting quite a bit of “nasty” out of the team.
GuruGolf tees off tomorrow morning for The Memorial Tournament. Get your nasty foursomes set.
5/29 - Both NBA Conference Championship home teams held serve in their opening game, so there’s nothing very interesting going on there yet.
Congrats to Duffer#3, who survived Jason Dufner’s final round meltdown to claim the top best ball score by a 3-stroke margin (-49) in GuruGolf for The Crowne Plaza Invitational. Four teams shared worst ball honors with a +48.
I may be taking a blurb hiatus for most of this week. I’ve been suffering pretty severe eyestrain related to staring at the computer monitor, and I need to find ways to get away to relieve the fatigue and occasional double vision. I have an appointment with my optometrist later this week, and can hopefully get fitted for a better prescription for computer work. Otherwise, I may be headed for a stint on the RotoGuru DL. Consider me day-to-day for now.
5/24 - I find that I often get so consumed in the day-to-day minutiae of fantasy baseball that I tend to lose track of the big picture. So every now and then, it’s instructive to step back and look at some overall stats.
This morning, I pulled up the YTD fantasy points for a few different scoring systems. Josh Hamilton ranked tops in hitting; no surprise there. But I was a bit surprised to see Ryan Braun was generally ranked 2nd among hitters. It’s not that Braun isn’t a perennial stud. But I haven’t heard much about his 2012 season, which suggests that he’s been quietly putting up decent numbers throughout. Other players who are highly ranked (approx top 5) that you wouldn’t necessarily expect: Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Jones. I’ve been aware of those guys having hot streaks, but apparently their whole seasons have been hot streaks. So what does this all mean? Mostly, that I just don’t pay attention very well, I suppose.
GuruGolf is off and running again for the Crowne Plaza Invitational. Jeff Overton is the popular favorite this week, on just over 20% of active foursomes.
5/23 - Perhaps the reports of the Miami Heat’s death were premature.
GuruGolf tees off tomorrow morning for the Crowne Plaza Invitational. Don’t forget to check your foursome. Until this morning, there had been no withdrawals from the originally announced field, although I see that Scott Verplank just withdrew this morning
5/22 - I could probably do a month of daily quotes by or about Jamie Moyer. Giancarlo Stanton, who crushed a scoreboard-breaking HR against Moyer last night, noted that Moyer had been pitching in the majors for 3 years before Stanton was even born. Bob Ryan recently noted that the ball had yet to go through Bill Buckner’s legs when Moyer broke into the majors. Last night’s start in Marlins Park was the 50th major league stadium he’s pitched in. The only active stadium that he’s missed is Minnesota’s Target Field, and barring a trade, he won’t pitch there this year. Guess he’ll have to come back next year.
Kobe scored 40 last night, but it wasn’t enough to overcome elimination in Oklahoma City. Maybe his zero assists weren’t enough. Regardless, the Western finals will be OKC vs the Spurs, but it won’t start until Sunday, giving the Spurs a full week of rest since they closed out the Clippers. Presumably, that works in favor of the aging Spurs, although a full week layoff seems like a lot of downtime.
5/21 - After a brief weekend tease, interleague play goes back into stasis for a few more weeks. As it should. Next year, interleague play will (have to) occur all season long – although I think that will be better, in a sense, because it won’t be as noticeable. Then again, I should reserve judgment, since the schedule for 2013 hasn’t been set. But if they have approximately the same number of interleague games over the course of the season, most days will have only one interleague contest.
By the way, if I added correctly, the AL went 24-18 this weekend. All but two series were split, and the two sweeps were both by AL teams winning in NL parks (Whites Sox over Cubs, and Seattle over Colorado.)
5/18 - Interleague play starts today. Roto teams with A.L. designated hitters playing in N.L. parks get screwed. Daily contest entrants need to be careful about starting lineups. And historical batter vs pitcher matchup data becomes very limited. Such is the beast of interleague play.
Having said that, I do see that both Konerko and Dunn are in today’s starting lineup in Wrigley Field (with Dunn in left field.) I’ve also heard that Adrian Gonzalez may play some outfield this weekend in Philly, in order to keep Ortiz in the starting lineup. Then again, the way Adrian Gonzalez has (not) been hitting, maybe a few days off wouldn’t be such a bad idea. He reportedly guaranteed a home run for Thursday night’s game. The result: 0-3 (HBP, strikeout, ground out, fly out). He is now trailing Albert Pujols in home runs for the year.
5/17 - Daily Joust is offering a special free contest on Friday, May 18. Experienced Jousters need not apply - as entrants must not have won a baseball contest yet this season. So, this is a chance for "newbies" to try out the format free of cost, and free of experienced competition. Double free!
The prize pool is $250BB (bonus bucks), which means that if you win, you'll have some funds to invest in subsequent Daily Joust contests.
If you do enter, be sure to take advantage of the DailyBaseballData tools to help you prepare your roster. For example, Friday's weather outlook looks pretty benign as of now (Thursday morning), but you'll want to revisit that as Friday evening nears. The batter vs pitcher summary may point out some attractive matchups. And, of course, the RotoGuru sortable stats will allow you to evaluate recent salary-adjusted performance, with a number of customizable options. (Note - player salaries will be updated for Friday's contests on Thursday night.)
If you're new to daily contests, or even just new to Daily Joust, what better time to give it a shot? Joust do it!
Meanwhile, back at the ranch…
In GuruGolf, Jimmy Walker is the popular favorite, on roughly 25% of foursomes for this week’s HP Byron Nelson Championship. Dy-no-mite!
5/16 - Watch out for the Angels! They just passed Seattle to move out of last place in the AL West. They are now only 7 games behind division-leading Texas. Albert Pujols has hit .320 over the past week, raising his season average over the .200 mark. And 77% of the season still remains. By the middle of the summer, it wouldn’t surprise me to see them back in the thick of it.
Imagine if the NBA Eastern Conference championship series is between Indy and Philly. Or even Indy and Boston. Three weeks ago, that would have seemed like a looney prediction. If Indy can hold serve for the next two games, they’ll be in the driver’s seat. And outside of south Florida, the Pacers have probably garnered a lot of temporary fans.
GuruGolf tees off tomorrow morning for the HP Byron Nelson Championship. Get your foursomes set.
5/15 - The migration to the new RotoGuru server is almost complete, and I’m encouraged by the results. I’m pretty sure that there were a couple of periods over the past several days that would have gridlocked the old server. A year ago, the server was getting about 4-5 thousand pageviews per day. This year, daily pageviews are running in the 10-12 thousand range, and about one-six of those occur during the hour prior the dominant starting time for MLB games (e.g., noon-1pm on Sunday, 6-7pm on most weekdays).
Over the next month, I’ll be working on automating more of the statistical production. The work can be tedious, but I think the longer-term benefits will be significant - both in the timeliness of updates and the manual work needed for daily maintenance. A lot of the statistical feed processes were developed 10 or more years ago, and really need to be re-engineered. Time to bite the bullet.
By the way, I was recently able to (re)acquire the RotoGuru.com domain. As long term Gurupies may recall, I did not originally have legal ownership of the domain when the site was started back in 1997 (a naïve mistake), and the inability to control the domain led me to eventually shift to RotoGuru.net as the “home base”, along with several other derivatives. I don’t have any immediate plans to revert back to RotoGuru.com as the advertised home url, although it now leads to the same place. It feels a bit like the prodigal son has returned home.
5/14 - We ended up with 199 teams entered in the DraftStreet May 11 Freeroll. Congrats to fezus, who rode the hot bat of Josh Reddick to the win. Here’s the complete listing of player points for the day: DraftStreet Daily Points - May 11. (Note, the salaries in this report reflect those for regular contests on May 11, not the freeroll salaries.)
5/11 - DraftStreet Freeroll day is upon us. 150 people have already registered as of this morning. Registrations are open until 7pm ET tonight.
Remember to take advantage of all of the RotoGuru/DailyBaseballData tools at your disposal. For example, the weather in Texas looks like a potential problem, and the situation in Minnesota bears watching as well. You'll also want to consider whether any batter vs. pitcher matchups warrant exploiting.
And, of course, the RotoGuru sortable stats can help you identify potential bargains based on recent performance and lefty/righty matchups.
With more than 150 entrants, you'll want to find some roster selections that will differentiate you from the field. If you have a Ouija board at home, you might want to pull that out as well.
5/10 - Moving day!
Today, the RotoGuru forum is moving to the new server. Most threads and related files were copied to the new server overnight. Late this morning, I’ll take down the forum and copy over anything that was updated this morning. The forum will then be reactivated on the new server.
Temporarily, you’ll need to access the forum using a special URL, as the rotoguru1.com domain won’t be completely transitioned until late today or (more likely) tomorrow. When the forum is reactivated, you automatically be provided with the temporary URL.
All other pages on the rotoguru1.com domain should continue to work normally through the transition. At least, that’s the plan. If you notice anything that seems to be off, please let me know.
The field is wide open in this week’s GuruGolf tournament. J.B. Holmes is the popular favorite, on about 23% of active GuruGolf rosters. 122 different golfers are represented on at least one foursome.
5/9 - The first rule of daily contests: if someone has a game like Josh Hamilton just did, you’d better have him on your roster. Of course, Hamilton’s high salary means you have to find some bargains to be able to fit him in under the overall cap. And if you have Hamilton and he stinks it up for that game, you’re probably toast.
As promised, I have set up a special version of the sortable stats which incorporates player salaries for Friday’s DraftStreet Freeroll. Since everyone who enters this freeroll will be a user of RotoGuru or DailyBaseballData.com, you can expect that almost all entrants will have taken a look at this useful source of data. As of this morning, we’re closing in on 100 entrants, so while we’ll certainly have a critical mass, we won’t be overwhelmed with a ridiculous number of entrants, as is sometimes true of open freerolls.
GuruGolf tees off tomorrow at the PLAYERS Championship. Don’t forget to set your foursome.
5/8 - RotoGuru began an affiliate relationship with DraftStreet about a year ago. It's been a very good relationship for both RotoGuru and DraftStreet. Revenues continue to grow, signups continue to come in, and the structure of the game is one that I continue to like and personally play.
To celebrate our first anniversary, DraftStreet is offering a Freeroll on Friday, May 11 - exclusively for users of RotoGuru and DailyBaseballData.com. The links to this freeroll will only be published on these two sites.
This free contest will be salary-cap style drafting where everyone tries to assemble the best team out of the available players. You will have a $100,000 budget to build a team of 14 players consisting of the following: Catcher, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, 3 OF, 2 Utility, 2 SP, 1 RP, and 1 P. Each MLB player has been assigned a price based on their expected fantasy performance. You can adjust your roster up until the contest starts on Friday May 11th at 7:05 ET at which time your rosters will lock and the Live Scoreboard will be available.
The top 5 finishers will share in a $150 prize pool. Only one entry per person.
The salaries for this freeroll will be slightly different from those in the standard daily contests. I'll set up a special version of the sortable stats with the freeroll salaries - but that isn't available yet.
CLICK HERE to sign up for free and register for the RotoGuru / DailyBaseballData $150 Freeroll on DraftStreet.com.
5/7 - I’m in the process of migrating to a new server with an updated operating system, a new processor, and a lot more RAM. As I’m sure some of you have noticed, four times over the past month, the server has gotten so overloaded that accessibility was impossible. The stress is coming from DailyBaseballData.com, which is experiencing traffic at double the level of last year. DBD was migrated last night, so the traffic congestion issues should be solved going forward. The other rotoguru domains will be moved over the next week or two. Hopefully, you’ll never notice the shift – although the forum will need to be hut down for a few hours when the final transfer is done. I’ll clue you in when that’s about to happen.
I’m also getting prepared for a special daily freeroll contest to be hosted at DraftStreet this coming Friday. Details to follow – but this one will be exclusively for users of RotoGuru and DBD, so it won’t have such a ridiculous number of entrants. Stay tuned.
In baseball, Cole Hamels intentionally hits Bryce Harper in the first inning (and admitted it after the game.) After advancing to third base on a single, Harper then steals home against Hamels. That was the only run surrendered by Hamels over 8 innings, as the Phillies went on to win 9-3. The Hamels-Harper dynamics may be worth following. Good stuff!
5/4 - If there is ever another Austin Powers movie sequel, I suspect Mariano Rivera’s comment about how much he “loves to do shagging” is going to work its way into that movie script.
Closing is a fickle position, especially in roto baseball. If you need to accumulate saves as a scoring category, there are a very limited number of pitchers who are likely to get them. And in the case of an injury or crappy performance, those roles can be shift at the blink of an eye – which makes spending a high draft pick for a closer very tenuous. Having been burned this way before, in this year’s RIBC draft I decided not to chase after top tier closers. In fact, I only ended up with one opening day closer on my roster - Grant Balfour, in round 12 – and that was somewhat serendipitous, because he was not announced as the opening day closer until just before that pick was made.
I did, however, take David Robertson in round 18, and may have struck paydirt, due to Rivera’s misfortune. I also drafted Kenley Jansen, who seems to be the closer-in-waiting in L.A. (and perhaps not waiting for long). So it’s possible I could suddenly find myself with three closers. Then again, it’s not clear that Balfour will be able to hold the job in Oakland, after two failed outings. Who knows?
My draft strategy didn’t exactly work out as well as I made it seem, however. Instead of paying up for a closer in round 5 (as I would likely have done in past years), I drafted Yovanni Gallardo, who currently sports a 5.79 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP. I guess I should have just taken another hitter in round 5.
Daily Joust is once again offering a freeroll today solely open to newbies. Click on the link in this paragraph to register and be directed to that contest. If you are already registered at Daily Joust but nave not yet won a baseball contest this season, then log in at the Daily Joust site and then click on the link.
5/3 - The Angels scored 9 runs, but needed only one of them. Pujols had a single in 5 AB, and none of the RBIs were his. The beat goes on.
In Atlanta, the Phillies staked Roy Halladay to a 6-0 lead in the 5th inning, eventually scoring 13 runs… and lost! Go figure.
The most popular GuruGolfer this week is Vaughn Taylor, on roughly 30% of all foursomes. 117 different golfers have made it onto at least one GuruGolf team.
5/2 - It looks like the Bulls could have used that fire extinguisher that Amare liberated in Miami the night before. Most of the pundits seemed to think that the Bulls could handle the Sixers even with Derrick Rose out of action. After all, Rose had missed a lot of games (27, in which the team was 18-9) during the regular season, and Philly had not been playing well down the stretch. But after last night, Philly has to at least have a good dose of confidence, with the series heading to Philadelphia tied 1-1.
The Angels got complete game shutout last night from Jerome Williams - whose salary is certainly costing them a lot less than Albert Pujols. Pujols went 0-4, but did manage to get his 5th RBI of the season. Even that RBI was a bit depressing, though, as he came to the plate with runners on 2nd and 3rd and one out, and only managed to ground out to the third baseman.
GuruGolf tees off early tomorrow morning in Charlotte, North Carolina. After the latest NBA season, Charlotte sports fans should be conditioned to low scoring.
5/1 - May Day!
That would seem to be an apt cry in several NBA cities, including Dallas (now down 2-0 vs OKC), and the Knicks (down 2 games and one knucklehead).
Maybe in Anaheim as well. After a big-spending off-season, the Angels exit the month of April at 8-15, mired in the cellar of the AL West, a full 9 games behind Texas. And Albert Pujols still hasn’t homered this year. Apparently, he hit a homer-length foul ball last night. You know things are going badly when that news gets reported.
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
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 toGuru<firstname.lastname@example.org>.
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