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UPDATE: My response to Steve Gardner of USA Today (only two years late)

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Recently Steve Gardner, USA Today’s fantasy baseball columnist, published a post on USA Today in which he drafted a fantasy baseball team to play in the SNBL, an online baseball simulation league.  In his article he listed his team and also asked “How would you arrange the batting order?”  Well, being an online baseball simulation player myself I’d like to answer that question here.

First off I am a big fan of Dynasty League  Baseball. I have played the board version since 1996 when I joined a 12 person tabletop baseball league, now in its 26th year called SABLE,  in central Massachusetts.  I also regularly play the online version vs human and AI controlled managers since 2011 and have won a few daily tournaments.  I enjoy the online game because it allows you to play against people from all over the United States and Canada, but there really isn’t anything like rolling the dice, finding the result, and imagining the game play out in your imagination.

As a side project each year when the Dynasty League Baseball game is published I like to create player reports.  These player reports I share with my SABLE friends and anyone who assisted in the process of creating them.  These reports break down a player card, list all the ratings for every player, and I also provide my own type of SABERMETRIC analysis. I did an analysis of Mr. Gardner’s Baltimore Orioles Team and created this Batter Report.  I will create a pitcher report for his team later this week.

I recently posted and article ( that explained the cOPS batter ratings.  If you are familiar to baseball statistics and OPS you should understand the concept behind the rating.  This is however just a game and there are no “stats” on a card to create real time batting average, slugging percentages, etc; although that is a very fun part of playing the game in  a league.

So in using the cOPS analysis I have determined that this is the lineup that Steve Gardner of USA Today should use in the SNBL.

First the starters by position vs RHP

C- Matt Wieters – I actually prefer Greg Zaun as the every day catcher but he has a limited use vs right handed pitching.

1b – Joey Votto

2b – Dustin Pedroia

ss – Jhonny Peralta – I chose Peralta because he has a higher WCOPR and error rating than Escobar that is greater than the difference in Range dropoff from C+ to C.

3b – Adrian Beltre

lf- Chris Coghlan

cf – Adam Jones

rf – Ichiro Suzuki

dh – Russell Branyan – if using DH

Now the batting order.

1st – Ichiro Suzuki

2nd – Dustin Pedroia

3rd – Joey Votto

4th – Adrian Beltre

5th – Russell Branyan

6th – Jhonny Peralta

7th – Adam Jones

8th – Matt Wieters

9th – Chris Coghlan

My personal opinion of this lineup.  I would actually have liked Ichiro to bat 2nd, Pedroia, Votto, and Beltre 3,4,5 but this team doesn’t really have a “lead off ”  hitter.  Its only once a game he’ll lead off an inning and after that Ichiro has a very good card for advancing runners, driving in runners from the bottom of the lineup, or beating out a possible double play, which actually helps the team because then Ichiro becomes an upgrade to any other baserunner on the roster.

On the positive side this team has overall good defensive ratings and very good error ratings so the team shouldn’t need to get any extra outs in the field.  Offensively you have a mix of baserunning, power, and the ability to drive in a runner from 1st at any time.  A runner on 1st base is in scoring position in this lineup.

One glaring defect is that his team is injury prone. I count 6 F durabilities including Pedroia and Coghlan who are starters.  If either of them go down you’re done for.  I mean Mark Derosa (D/5) is your backup 2b!  and all your OF replacements have C or worse range and +2 throwing arms.

Overall I think you did a good job!  Now go out and get ’em.


UPDATE: It wasn’t until after this post published that a discovered it was from 2 years ago.  Well don’t I feel stupid.  Anyways the mini project was fun and I’d love to analyze Steve again, 2012 team perhaps?  Everyone else you too can get a copy of my 2012 Player Reports to compare every card in the game.  Its only $15 and payable through paypal. Contact me for details.


Written by Dom

January 21, 2013 at 2:09 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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