Daily Dose – February 15th

I have been so engrossed in SP Guide work that I haven’t been reading much on the ‘net or scanning my Twitter for the best pieces, so today’s Dose will be a little light.  The book has been priority #1 with my time off from work so while it has cut into my time dedicated to the Daily Dose, I think you will find that it is well worth it upon its release.

I finished the Kansas City Royals today and I must say that even accounting for the attrition they will undoubtedly suffer, their system is still overflowing with ridiculous pitching talent.  It’d be a minor miracle if all four of the lefties (Mike Montgomery, John Lamb, Danny Duffy and Chris Dwyer) panned out 100% as expected, but they have at least seven other high-ceiling youngsters coming through their system ready to step in for anyone who falters.  It would take an epic collapse and absurd string of bad luck for this not to pan out well for KC.  There are no guarantees of pennants and World Series appearances, but a rise from the depths of the AL Central is very likely for this once proud organization.

I will be appearing on Joel Henard’s (@joelhenard) Baseball Daily Digest Fantasy February podcast Wednesday evening at 6 PM Central.   There will be plenty of starting pitcher talk as we preview the book and discuss some second and third level options for you to look at as you prepare for your drafts.

I referenced a couple of tweets about Indians stars Grady Sizemore and Carlos Santana last week, but here is a piece by their MLB.com beat reporter Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) covering things in much greater detail.

FanGraphs has purchased a fantasy game that they are rolling out for a special $9.99 price for the rest of this month.  I met the creators of the game at BaseballHQ.com’s First Pitch Forums in Arizona back in November and I was definitely intrigued by it.  I’m going to see if I can get a league together as I would prefer to play with friends as opposed to be part of a league of strangers.  If you’re looking for a more detailed, intense fantasy baseball experience, this could be right up your alley.

ESPN unveiled their 2011 Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit recently.  It’s a little light on analytical content, especially compared to what seemed to be a robust fantasy basketball guide, but I think they will be adding to it throughout Spring Training.

If you enjoy good baseball analysis on a wide variety of topics delivered straight to your inbox, I recommend Joe Sheehan’s Newsletter. He hasn’t asked me to or paid me to promote the Newsletter, but on the heels of his fantastic breakdown of the Albert Pujols contract negotiations, I figured I would let y’all know about it just in case you’re not already subscribing.  It’s $29.95 for a minimum of 180 editions (more if his time permits) and after subscribing last year, I can honestly say it’s well worth the price.

CBS Sports hosted a 12-team AL-Only Auction among industry insiders and posted the results for our viewing pleasure.  With the deep rosters (7 reserves), things got pretty thin with that many teams drawing from a 14-team pool.  If this were a league being played out, I think I’d have a problem with the league size, but as an instructional device, I think it works just fine.

A host of different strategies employed and some very interesting player costs , too.  I liked Jamey Eisenberg’s stars & scrubs approach on its face, though I think he may have incurred too much risk with his particular set of stars as Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis are both coming off of injury-shortened seasons and Alex Rodriguez may be descending into the twilight of his career.  I really liked Scott Pianowski’s (@scott_pianowski) team as a whole as he mixed quality stars (Shin-Soo Choo, Jon Lester, Dan Haren, Joakim Soria and Derek Jeter) with high upside cheap guys (Derek Holland, Marc Rzepczynski, Johnny Damon and Juan Rivera to name a few).

Finally, having watched IBM’s computer Watson positively destroy two of Jeopardy’s best players ever, Eriq Gardner at Fantasy Ball Junkie wonders aloud if a computer could compete in a fantasy baseball league.  It certainly wouldn’t surprise me if a computer held its own given how amazing technology is these days and getting better by the second.

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