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Daily blurbs from the Guru
If this is your first visit to this site, you should first stop by my home page to find out what this site is all about. And please support this site's advertisers. They make free sites like this one possible.

Go forward to more recent blurbs.

10/25 - The start of the NBA season is less than a week away. The RIHC draft has passed the mid-point, and draft pick rationales will soon be converting to “rationalizations.”

Meanwhile, behind the scenes I’ve been reengineering some of my hoops stats processes, most which haven’t been significantly updated in the past 10 years. While I will be continuing to produce the traditional sortable stats for the various affiliated daily contest sites, I’m wondering if there are other reporting capabilities (e.g., production of raw stats data in CSV format, or some other sort of statistical analysis) that might be worth developing. I certainly have no interest in reproducing analysis that’s already available at sites like ESPN or Yahoo or But are there useful tools that I could develop that would “fill in the cracks” in the more widely available tools? If you have ideas, please speak up.

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10/23 - Football Pickoff finally yielded some points this weekend, with 67% of active slates posting positive scores. Two entrants went 13-0, and another nine had 12 correct picks. Consensus Favorites won 12 of 13 games (Buffalo’s late loss to Tennessee was the only blemish.) And yet, only 42% of the YTD scores are currently positive.

By the way, I added an asterisk(*) in the Football Pickoff standings which denotes eligibility for GuruPatron prizes. As stated in the rules, this eligibility extends to GuruPatrons (as of 10/1/12) and members of their immediate families. I've done my best to identify these people, based upon matching of registered names, team names, or email addresses. However, this was far from an exact science, and I probably missed some people - and may have also erred in the other direction as well. If you believe your GuruPatron designation in the standings is not correct, please send me a GuruMail and I'll make the correction. And if you are not a GuruPatron and would like to become one, here is how to do it.

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10/22 - The NLCS was pushed to a game 7, and the NFL was in full swing.

But at RotoGuru, the primary activity is now the drafts for five RIHC leagues. The RIHC draft is now in round five. Draft rationales are being produced on about a 2-round lag.

You can also follow the four RIHC qualifying league drafts with these links:
AAA-Yahoo     AAA-ESPN     AA-Yahoo     AA-ESPN

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10/18 - The Yankees avoided a sweep last night when the weather radar forced a postponement. But even so, they probably lost the ability to bring Sabathia back for a possible game 7 start (now on only 2-days rest), since the intervening off-day was sacrificed. Of course, it’s unlikely that a game seven will be needed.

As of this moment, 71 Football Pickoff contestants (81%) have picked San Francisco to beat Seattle tonight. That’s not surprising. Two have doubled the game, making for a high risk, low reward gamble. If SF wins, gain 38 pts. If they lose, drop 162.

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10/17 - Last call for managers for a second RIHC AA hoops league! A full league has 12 managers. So far, we have about 8, assuming all come through. If this is going to happen in time for a draft, it needs to happen now. Speak now or forever hold your peace.

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10/16 - In Football Pickoff this year, you couldn’t do much better than by consistently taking the road less traveled. Consensus Underdogs won 8 games for 284 points, and for the full season, only five entries rank better.

The best result this week was +886 from GS: A Family Company, who picked 13/14 correctly, missing only Baltimore’s precarious win over Dallas. If that entry name sounds familiar, it should - as he’s won Football Pickoff twice before. With this monster week’s output – more than 300 points better than the second best score of the week – he’s back on top. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

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10/15 - There will be no “Beltway Series” this year. The Orioles and Nationals sucked the baseball life out of the Potomac Basin on Friday night. But on Sunday, the Ravens and Redskins pulled out the defibrillators and resuscitated the area’s sports pulse. We probably won’t be hearing talk of a “Beltway Super Bowl”, but the Ravens are 5-1, and even though the Redskins are only 3-3, Robert Griffin III is providing plenty of excitement. Thank goodness they have something to focus on other than politics. Then again, that’s the one area of the country where people probably like politics.

On my RIFC team, since week #2 I’ve had Jordy Nelson and Jeremy Kerley sharing one WR slot. Over those five games, I’ve started Nelson three times and Kerley twice. Their total points for those five games is 16.8. If I had always taken the other guy, I’d have averaged 16+ points per game. Obviously, I’m an idiot. And yet, my team is still doing OK in spite of my boneheaded choices. But come playoff time, I kind of hope one or the other is injured – so I don’t have to choose.

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10/12 - All five games in the MLB Division Series are going the full five games. That’s unusual. At least, it hasn’t happened in the 18 years of Division Series play.

Since I’m a geek, I worked up the statistical probabilities of such an occurrence. Assuming each team has a 50/50 chance of winning each game, a single series would be expected to go five games 37.5% of the time. On that basis, the odds of all four series going a full five games is about 2%, or only once in 50 years. Feel free to check my math, but I think I did it correctly.

A few random thoughts…

A-Rod still has five years to go on his contract. Doesn’t look like this one’s going to end gracefully.

If the Orioles win tonight, Buck Showalter will have beaten the Rangers and Yankees this postseason, the two American League teams that previously fired him. Too bad he can’t have a shot at Arizona to complete the revenge-trifecta.

I was surprised to discover last night that the Yankees-Orioles game #5 is the late-afternoon game today. Then I realized that the winner has to play tomorrow, and if it’s Baltimore, they have to hightail it to Detroit. Meanwhile, the NL Championship Series doesn’t start until Sunday, so a late night finish in Washington lacks a similar issue.

Looking ahead, Justin Verlander’s normal 5-day starts would be for game 3 and game 7. While I’m sure Detroit would rather have won in four (saving Verlander for the ALCS opener), this setup shouldn’t bother the Tigers too much.

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10/11 - If you like playoff baseball, hunker down today. Four games. Two are deciding game-5s. The other two are 2-1, and could potentially end today as well. The first game starts at 1pm ET, and the last probably won’t end until about 12 hours later.

And if baseball doesn’t hold you, you can click back and forth to/from the Thursday night NFL football game. Or even a couple of college football games. And it’s only Thursday. The weekend doesn’t start until tomorrow!

Of course, there’s also the Vice Presidential debate…

Last night’s baseball games didn’t need any click relief. Raul Ibanez personally ended Baltimore’s 76-0 streak of never losing a game that they led after the 7th inning. As Tony Kornheiser put it this morning, Joe Girardi has “onions the size of pumpkins” for his decision to pinch hit for ARod in the 9th inning. On the west coast, the A’s continue to confound, as Coco Crisp continues to make decisive plays, this time with the bat in hand. Cuckoo! (actually, I guess that’s Cocoa Puffs, but …)

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10/10 - I typically comment on the weekend Football Pickoff results in my Tuesday blurb, but yesterday I simply forgot. Fortunately, the football schedule allows plenty of time to overcome my memory shortcomings.

It was a relatively kind week, with 55% of active slates posting positive scores. However, I do note that the top two entries in the YTD standings both moved backward. The top score was by C1-NRB, who posted a +519 on 12 correct picks, doubling Miami over Cincy.

For the full season, however, a cumulative score of zero would currently rank above the median, as only 42% of cumulative scores are currently positive. And if you had been picking nothing but Consensus Favorites, you’d be in the bottom 10%.

If you haven’t signed up yet, this seems like an optimum time to “get in the game.” Remember, it’s free!

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10/9 - After watching most of last night’s MNF between the Texans and Jets, I offer the following three observations:

  1. Good teams are not as good as they look when they’re playing really well.
  2. Bad teams are not as bad as they look when they’re getting roughed up.
  3. Pink is not a good sartorial color for Rex Ryan.
Fantasy football can be a game of inches. I’m in a head-to-head league that plays doubleheaders each weekend, and last night I ended up winning one game by less than a point while losing the other game by less than a point. If Arian Foster had gained six yards at the end of the game when Houston was running out the clock, I’d have been 0-2. But if Shonn Greene had gained only 22 yards instead of 31 in a mid-4th quarter play sequence, I’d have been 2-0. Some say that these circumstances are part of the charm of fantasy football. Regardless, they do set up some unusual rooting interests if you’re in a close game on Monday night.

Speaking of close games, the Orioles won another one-run game last night (after going 29-9 in the regular season). And perhaps more impressively, they are now 76-0 in games in which they have led after the 7th inning this season.

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10/8 - Robert Griffin III has been getting most of the rookie accolades this season – and deservedly so. But don’t go to sleep on Andrew Luck just yet. In four games, Luck is averaging a tad over 300 passing yards per game, 26 rushing yards, and 2 TDs (passing or rushing). More importantly, Indy is now 2-2. having just beaten the Packers. Last year, the Colts won their second game on Dec. 22nd. And, for that matter, the Redskins have only won twice as well.

Of course, the big news for RG3 is not his statistical comparison with Luck, but the “mild concussion” he suffered yesterday. He did manage to complete 2½ quarters, however, and was decidedly contained, garnering less than 100 yards passing and rushing combined. Of course, you never know how that game would have progressed. But even if he hadn’t been concussed, he seemed to be coming back to earth statistically, at least for the time being.

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10/4 - The regular season is over. Let the playoffs begin!

Congrats to Tilt23, who won the 2012 RIBC with a strong performance throughout the season, taking the league lead in June and never looking back – although 2011 winner Uptown Bombers did make a nice late charge.

The segue to the RIHC (RotoGuru Invitational Hoops Challenge) has begun. The 12 teams in the 2012 RIHC have been announced, as have the 24 teams in the two AAA leagues. One AA league has been filled, and if there is sufficient interest, a second can still be created. See the RIHC 2012-13: Qualifying Leagues thread if you are interested.

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10/3 - Detroit plays in the final game of the AL tonight, with the game starting at 8:10 ET. Josh Hamilton’s game starts at 3:35 ET, and Mike Trout starts at 6:40 ET, so it’s likely that Jim Leyland will know before the game starts whether Miguel Cabrera needs any hits or HRs to claim the Triple Crown. And if Cabrera does start, he should know whether an early exit from the game could lock it in. So the decision to start or not to start Cabrera isn’t likely to entail much risk.

The postseason MLB teams are all set. Texas and Oakland will decide who wins the AL West and who gets the wild card, mano a mano. The Yankees and Baltimore could conceivably need one extra game to settle the same issue in the AL East, although Boston seems to be incapable of putting the Yankees away, and the Yankees have a one-game lead. The Nationals and Reds still have to settle the eventual NL home field advantage, although no extra game will be required if they tie, as Washington owns the tiebreaker. And I think those three issues are all that remain to be settled.

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10/2 - We finally had a positive week in Football Pickoff, with 60% of active slates posting a positive score. It wasn’t just a matter of picking favorites, either, as a straight slate of consensus favorites only netted 6 points this week. Then again, this was the first week that consensus favorites posted a positive score. Congrats to Cash Collector, whose score of +701 was the tops for week #4, missing only one game (Cincy over Jax) and doubling Washington over TB.

There are still a few baseball postseason issues to be settled. The Yankees hold a 1-game lead over Baltimore for the A.L. East title, with the runner-up getting the wild card. Ditto for Texas over Oakland, heightened by the fact that those teams are facing each other. In the N.L., the Cardinals have a 2-game lead over the late-surging Dodgers. Both of those teams are facing division champs who may have motivations other than winning (like resting starters and setting up rotations for the playoffs.)

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10/1 - RotoGuru Hall of Fame Day!

In recent years, I’ve been announcing and enshrining the most recent Hall of Fame class in the summer, typically June or July. This summer, I just forgot. But, better late than never.

Join me in congratulating the newest enshrinees for the RotoGuru Hall of Fame Class of 2011-12:

  • Francis Rodriguez, 2011 RotoGuru Invitational Baseball Challenge Champion
  • Martin Lee, 2011 GuruGolf Champion and 2011 Football Pickoff Champion
  • Neal Flexer, 2011 RotoGuru Invitational Football Challenge Champion
  • David Greenstone, 2012 RotoGuru Market Madness Contest Champion
  • Neil Crowell, 2012 RotoGuru Market Madness Contest Champion (excl. basket units)
  • Florian Kirstein, 2011-12 RotoGuru Invitational Basketball Challenge Champion
As you can read in the enshrinement blurbs, several of these individuals have been enshrined more than once, some in multiple sports, and some as repeat winners. Repeat listings are an impressive testament to sustained excellence.

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2012: 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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