Stud Flop Bingo

Clayton Kershaw

Ryan Owen is the founder of RotoTrix – A UK based fantasy baseball rankings, advice and musing website. He is also unfortunate enough to be in the same TGFBI league as our own Tom Pringle.

One of the things that I respect about Razzball is that they leave previous season rankings up on their website, as well as the accompanying commentary for each player at that time.

Sure, you can traipse around Google in an overwhelmingly unfruitful effort to find some old rankings, and sometimes you’ll stumble across some that were accidentally left up.

Razzball leave theirs front and centre, and I respect that.

Projections dominate this industry, and naturally, statistical projections are an important tool in a game whereby the aim is to accumulate statistics. Yet it is my belief that we’re a little too attached to projections.

Firstly, whose projections are we to trust?

Those of us who take this game far more seriously than we should, gravitate towards the same projection models anyway. There is no real edge in aligning ourselves to these projections.

“Ah, but Ryan, I use underlying metrics and tweak those projections!”

Better. Much better.

Full respect to anyone who has identified the underlying metrics they consider pivotal indicators of future performance.
Further respect to anyone who carefully sifts through every single player, analyses past performance and underlying metrics, and then arrives at their own projections. You’re definitely building a potential edge, yet your projections could be wrong.

None of us can accurately predict the future, otherwise fantasy baseball would be pretty dull. In this honest moment of self-reflection that we ask ourselves the killer question; what makes a person good at fantasy baseball?

Well, now that I’ve shattered your nonsensical belief that you’re some sort of gifted fantasy baseball whisperer, I’ll give you a glimmer of hope that you might not be totally useless.

What makes a person good at fantasy baseball?


  • Do you truly believe in your philosophies?
  • Do you know what you’re looking for amidst the noise?
  • Do you trust yourself?

I’ve written about this sort of thing before, because I’m confident that conviction is the key attribute of any perennially successful fantasy baseball nut.

And that leads us nicely on to … Stud Flop Bingo.

I have a deeply entrenched aversion to significant investment in starting pitching.

Tom Pringle and I were chatting about taking Mike Foltynewicz in our TGFBI league earlier last week, as he was getting nervous about the state of his elbow.

The season hasn’t even begun, and here is your list of high-profile pitching concerns: Mike Foltynewicz. Clayton Kershaw. Luis Severino. Carlos Martinez. Mike Soroka.

10% of the Top 30.

Razzball has EIGHT new entries to its 2019 Top 20 Starters list.
Clayton Kershaw, Robbie Ray, Carlos Martinez, Yu Darvish, Chris Archer, Jose Quintana, Dallas Keuchel & Shohei Ohtani all drop out.

Blake Snell, Gerrit Cole, Walker Buehler, Patrick Corbin, Jack Flaherty, Mike Clevinger, James Paxton & German Marquez all jump in.

40% of the Top 20 is different.

This isn’t a dig at Razzball whatsoever (so calm down before that hate flows). Pitching is inherently difficult to project. Arms fall off and we don’t really get much warning, it just happens.

For more on my entrenched hatred of starting pitching, see here.

In response to his Folty concerns, I told Tom that while I like Folty, I don’t trust any pitching.

“Yeah. I’m waiting for the first big name to blow up. Bauer? Snell? Kluber? Who knows? It could literally be any of the ‘studs’ … I call it Stud Flop Bingo”.

It’s a sadistic game really. I sit at home with a Pepsi and a bingo card, and I cross off the arms as they inevitably wither away.

On March 5th, four days later, I sent Tom a message: “Cross off Severino on your stud bingo cards folks”.

My conviction is my conviction, and while I’d strongly urge you to consider joining me aboard this crazy train of piecing together high upside, low investment starting pitching, many of you will surely think I’m insane.

Of course, that is fine by me, because I’ll crush you with my sexy offense / cheap pitching combo.

But seriously, the point here is not that you should all adopt my conviction (you really should though). 

The point is that you need to know what you believe in. You need to know why you believe in it.

You need to implement your beliefs unapologetically.

I’m off to check my Stud Flop Bingo card.

Has another one dropped yet?

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