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VEB Fantasy League: Midseason Update #1

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Featuring a fan-favorite guest that you won’t want to miss

John drafted two Cardinals: Carlos Martinez and Greg Holland.
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

When I introduced the 2018 Viva El Birdos fantasy baseball league last week, I essentially had the championship in the bag.

I leave you with Yahoo’s projections, which actually predict me to win the championship. What this means is that I’ve basically clinched the title already and I have no idea why anybody else in this league even bothers to play anymore.

As the old proverb goes: Never question the projections, for it is the projections that never lie.

So, did the projections lie? Take a look at the current standings, which are determined by a points system. For example, the team with the most home runs scores 12 points, the team with the second most home runs scores 11 points, and so on for all 10 statistical categories. (R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, W, SV, K, ERA, WHIP)

VEB Fantasy League Standings Update

Rank Team Name Total Points R HR RBI SB AVG W SV K ERA WHIP
Rank Team Name Total Points R HR RBI SB AVG W SV K ERA WHIP
1 Big City Bat Flips 79.5 10 4 10 5 9 10 11.5 12 4 4
2 Bob LOB Law 78.5 2 8.5 7 8 6 12 7.5 10.5 9 8
3 Abominable Bowman 73.5 12 11 12 9 11 5 7.5 3 2 1
4 Josey's Team 72 6 4 3.5 12 8 5 3.5 8 12 10
5 Hakuna Moncada 68.5 8.5 1.5 1 10 10 8.5 2 8 8 11
6 Wacha This Way 67.5 8.5 4 2 2.5 3 5 10 10.5 10 12
7 ebo 66.5 11 1.5 6 11 12 5 5.5 4.5 5 5
8 Rolen Dirty 63 4 8.5 8.5 5 2 2 11.5 4.5 11 6
9 Howl's Owls 60.5 3 10 5 2.5 4 11 1 8 7 9
10 Da Bustas 60 7 12 11 5 1 8.5 3.5 6 3 3
11 The Nye Mets 56 5 6.5 3.5 7 5 5 9 2 6 7
12 the lil scooters 34.5 1 6.5 8.5 1 7 1 5.5 1 1 2

And if you forgot whose team is whose:

Bustacard: Da Bustas

cards web: Wacha This Way

cullerz29: Abominable Bowman

ebo: ebo

G.M. Bowles: Howl’s Owls

John J. Fleming: The Nye Mets

Josey Curtis: Josey’s Team

jpb3215: Hakuna Moncada

lil_scooter93: the lil scooters

Salti Cracker: Rolen Dirty

stlcardsfan4: Bob LOB Law

Tyler Kinzy: Big City Bat Flips

Yes, the guy who admittedly forgot to set his lineup a couple days ago is currently in first place. And if Yahoo’s preseason projections weren’t enough for you, I am still in the pole position as of [checks calendar] April 12th. On April 12th in...uh...1997, the Florida Marlins held the best record in all of baseball at 8-2. Do you know what the Marlins did that year? They won the World Series. Folks, this data is infallible.

But enough of my gloating. I am open to any suggestions you may have regarding what these fantasy posts should look like, but for right now the format will probably consist of a standings update, any notable roster transactions or trades that occurred, and an interview with a fellow league member.

I am joined this week by self-described “local man” John Fleming, who frequents VEB under the alias “John J. Fleming”. Prior to last Sunday, almost nine months had passed without a comment to his name, leading me to deduce that Mr. Fleming is a VEB lurker who my sources tell me has, indeed, watched a baseball game before. Either way, he was generous enough to give me some of his time for the inaugural team owner spotlight segment.

TK: As of this writing, you are currently in 11th place out of 12. You targeted players who wouldn’t be active on Opening Day by design, but is there any concern that you have dug yourself into an insurmountable hole?

JF: Insurmountable, no, but I can’t’ pretend it isn’t a disadvantage. As with Major League Baseball, if you have the same level of true talent as your rival and you fall a couple games behind early on, you’re suddenly the underdog. I expected that I wouldn’t exactly hit the ground running, though I think my team’s performance has been a bit disappointing anyway.

TK: What does your team need to do to climb back up the standings?

JF: Ian Happ and Corey Seager need to start hitting better. Ronald Acuna Jr. needs to start hitting in the Majors. And Aroldis Chapman needs to quit baseball (this is just a general comment, not a reflection on my fantasy team, as Chapman is not on it).

TK: You identified pitching, in specific the bullpen, as your greatest weakness going into the season, but your pitchers have outscored your batters in the standings thus far. Have the first few weeks of the seasons changed your personal assessment of your roster?

Not really. I don’t see Sean Manaea nor Alex Wood actually having sub-2 ERAs this season, and eventually, Anthony Rizzo will jump back into the lineup and get me his standard 250 HBP per year, eight of which happen on pitches outside the strike zone.

TK: As a team owner, how much patience do you have with players who struggle early in the season?

JF: I try to be patient. You love the positive early results when you can get them, but I suspect most players will be closer to their 2018 projections than their 2018 results, especially this early on. Maybe you see a Corey Seager struggle and think “Okay, well maybe he’s not as good as Carlos Correa or Francisco Lindor”, but you aren’t going to suddenly think he’s worse than Freddy Galvis, even if Galvis has better numbers so far.

TK: Besides having a few unavailable players to begin with, you were hit by the injury bug as both Rizzo and Cueto landed on the DL. How much faith do you have in your depth to hold down the fort in the meantime?

JF: It’s fine. Everything is fine. This season is going fine. I’m not mad about how the season is going. I’m laughing, actually. I find it humorous that I’m in 11th.

TK: You predicted a third place finish for yourself when the season began. Are you sticking with that pick?

JF: I predict that either my team will catch fire and sail to a championship or we’ll struggle near the trade deadline and I will trade away veterans for prospects and international spending money.