M as in Mancy: A Fantasy Baseball Experiment (Week 7)

Wondering what all this M-business is about? Catch up here:

Hello everybody! The Mancies are cruising along at a successful--but uninteresting--clip, so we're condensing Week 6 and Week 7 into one post. First, the thing about which we care the most: STANDINGS!

Holding strong in 4th. Which is alright, but could have gone better, because in Week 6 I was narrowly defeated in a potato-load of categories. Week 7 was better, but still hard-fought for every point I could grab.

What a dick!

What a dick!

Dinger derby all day erry day

Dinger derby all day erry day

But hey. When you've got a gimmick team, simply keeping your head above water is a victory. And we're treading water with floaties the size of Mark Trumbo's guns. 


  • Michael "Good for the Mancies" Conforto is hitting .341 over the past two weeks with 5 HR and 35 TB. If he loses any at-bats when Cespy comes back from the DL I'm going to smash my monitor against the wall and ragequit this entire thing. 
  • Matt Kemp is back and open for business, hitting .340 since returning from his own DL stint. 
  • Mark Trumbo remembered how to play baseball and is making up for lost time, batting .373 with 3 HR and 31 TB over the last two weeks. 
  • Unlike your every day, run-of-the-mill Sicilian cobbler, Matt Shoemaker has 3 Wins and a 1.45 ERA over that period. 


  • Everything about Manuel Margot. 1 SB in the last two weeks? That's, like, literally the only reason I have you on my roster, Manny. 
  • Matt Harvey has an ERA approaching the number of hot dogs I ate at Dollar Dog Night at the Rangers game last Wednesday (6). 


  • Not to be outdone by his New York comrade, Tanaka has a 27.00 ERA over 4.2 innings in his last two starts. Yes, that's bad. No, it's not a typo. Yes, he needs to get it together. No, I'm too proud to drop him. 
  • Mitch Haniger is still on the DL. When is Mitch Haniger coming off the DL? I need Mitch Haniger to come off the DL. 

Here's how the Mancies look today, with their total 2017 stats. Got any criticism? Ridicule? Think this gimmick is stupid? Well you can just keep it to yourself. Jerk.

M as in Mancy: A Fantasy Baseball Experiment (Week 5)

Wondering what all this M-business is about? Catch up here:

The Mancies are hitting on all cylinders. They're a well oiled machine. They're [insert other cliche metaphor or scrappy underdog analogy]. We won our matchup last week 9-2...

...which puts us firmly into 4th place.

That 5.42 ERA from my pitchers isn't the best, but you know who has two thumbs and doesn't care? This guy. The Mancies are all about quantity of pitching over quality, and last week the strategy worked as designed. 


  • Machado/Trumbo finally woke up and started justifying their high draft spots. 
  • Matt Carpenter? 4 HR and 20 TB last week. 
  • Mike Moustakas isn't on my team, but I've been trying to trade for him for three weeks and have been rejected each time. He was on my opponent's team last week and hit .174 with 1 RBI. You bet your ass that goes in THE GOOD column. 


  • While I was fighting for Wins/QS, Matt Harvey lost his start on Saturday, which was almost the first--and hopefully only--time I was ever screwed over by a big black dildo
  • Marcus Stroman shit the bed against the Yankees before leaving with an arm injury. All signs point to him being fine, but it's not as if I have much depth, here. 


  • Matt Albers was poised to grab some vulture saves for the Nats, so I picked him up for a few days. He rewarded my diligence by giving up a walk, a hit, and a HR in 0.1 IP of work. Thanks for your contribution to the Mancies, Matt. 
  • Manuel Margot is on my team to get me steals. Manuel Margot has not gotten me very many steals. Manuel Margot will not be on my team much longer if he does not start getting me steals. 

Here's how the Mancies look on the season, for my fellow statistics nerds.

The guys that smack the ball

The guys that smack the ball

The guys that toss the ball

The guys that toss the ball

In tangential news, I was in St Louis last weekend and visited Busch Stadium for the first time. It's a gorgeous stadium, and I had great seats... but the beer was seriously lacking. I think I walked probably 270 degrees around the concourse and never saw anything other than Budweiser or Bud Lite. Was I not looking in the right place? Is there some hidden Craft Beer Paradise in the only corner of the outfield I failed to check? 

M as in Mancy: A Fantasy Baseball Experiment (Week 4)

(Wondering what all this M-business is?)

Good news everybody! We're finally performing at the level deserving of a top shelf gimmick team, almost running the table on our opponent. 

Look at those stats! A 2.13 ERA from a team going for quantity instead of quality pitching? 18 dingers? Winning the Saves category with only one closer? We've reached our peak, folks. And by "peak" I mean "one game over .500". 


  • Miguel Sano hit a videogame-like .524 last week with 21 TB. 
  • My 4th round pick Matt Kemp is back from the DL and mashing like it's 2011.
  • Matt Wieters? Good at baseball again.
  • Pretty much the entire pitching staff. Fulmer had the worst outing this week and it was still a Quality Start.


  • Mitch Haniger is on the DL with an oblique strain because god hates the Mariners. 
  • My 6th round pick Mark Trumbo has probably been the biggest bust of the year. 
  • Manuel Margot has descended into the "fast outfielder with a small bat" category, and is dangerously close to being on THE UGLY list next week.


  • Mike Napoli has been so bad that I finally dropped him. Currently running Matt Holliday full-time at 1B, while keeping an eye on Mitch Moreland. 

I've been doing my best to trade Mark Melancon, but it's just not happening. I've tried packaging him with starting pitching in exchange for Miggy twice, but the other team rejects it without comment. The teams with Scherzer and Bumgarner won't even respond to my trade requests. But you know what? The Mancies don't give a fuuuuuck. I've added Michael Lorenzen to snag vulture saves and am going to chug along with what I currently have. 

Full team stats from last week below.



M as in Mancy: A Fantasy Baseball Experiment (Closer Edition!)

What's all this M-name business? Click here to catch up.

I was rocking. I swear I was. All week I was winning 10-1 or 9-2, until yesterday my opponent puts up these bullshit stats:

So even though my team crushed it last week, I got narrowly passed in 7 categories on the final day to lose 4-7. Life ain't fair, I tell ya.

This week we're going to talk about relief pitching. Namely, the league's lack of it.

Let's backup a bit. When I was deciding which letter-gimmick to play this year, relief pitcher was the only real gap. There's Mark Melancon and nobody else. Literally nobody who is an established closer. So my strategy was to pick up Matt Bush with the assumption that he would win the closing spot sometime this year. I live in DFW and have Rangers season tickets, so I was pretty confident Bush would be my huckleberry. And it was unfolding perfectly: Sam Dyson blew three consecutive saves this April, and Bush was looking more and more likely.

But then I did something stupid. Bush had shoulder fatigue, and was sent home to get some platelet injections in his arm. I made the mistake of listening to local sports radio, where everyone was doom-and-gloom. "His four years not playing in prison is biting him in the ass," they said. "He's not used to a real workload," they claimed. So with Bush looking like he was heading for a trip to the DL, I dropped him, confident that I could pick him up later.

He didn't get put on the DL. He was back pitching two days later. And someone in my league snagged him immediately.

Now I'm sitting here with one really good closer and not a lot of options. So let's take a look at all the available relief pitchers who have a chance at becoming closers, and the guys ahead of them in the bullpen. I'll be using Closer Monkey for all my rankings here. 

Mike Dunn, COL (7.2 IP, 10 K, 1.17 ERA, 0.91 WHIP)

Guys ahead of him:

  • Greg Holland (9.0 IP, 10 K, 2.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 9 SAVES)
  • Adam Ottavino (8.1 IP, 12 K, 2.16 ERA, 1.32 WHIP)

Odds of inheriting closer role: 75,000-to-1 (the odds of Greg Holland being hit by a meteorite thanks to the thin Coors Field air--though when park-adjusted the meteorite's size is actually below-average)

Mychal Givens, BAL (9.0 IP, 8 K, 1.00 ERA, 0.89 WHIP)

Guys ahead of him:

  • Zack Britton (7.0 IP, 6 K, 1.29 ERA, 1.86 WHIP, 5 SAVES)
  • Brad Brach (9.0 IP, 12 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.44 WHIP, 3 SAVES)
  • Darren O'Day (6.0 IP, 6 K, 7.50 ERA, 2.17 WHIP, 1 SAVE)

Odds of inheriting closer role: 10 million-to-1 (the odds of the Baltimore Orioles team plane crashing over the Appalachian Mountains on their May 12 trip to Kansas City; Mychal Givens walks away unscathed like the guy from Unbreakable and plays the rest of the season with the newly-promoted AL East Norfolk Tides)

Matt Bowman, STL (9.2 IP, 8 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.52 WHIP)

Guys ahead of him:

  • Seung-hwan Oh (9.2 IP, 8 K, 5.59 ERA, 1.66 WHIP, 5 SAVES)
  • Trevor Rosenthal (5.1 IP, 11 K, 3.38 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 1 SAVE)

Odds of inheriting closer role: 10,000-to-1 (Oh suffers a freak toilet-related injury; Rosenthal is subsequently injured while breaking down the stall door trying to save him)

Miguel Socolovich, STL (7.0 IP, 5 K, 7.71 ERA, 2.00 WHIP)

Guys ahead of him: the same guys as above (Oh, Rosenthal, and Bowman). Aren't you paying attention? 

Odds of inheriting closer role: 20,000-to-1 (Matt Bowman sprains finger dialing 911 after seeing what has befallen Oh and Rosenthal #NeverForget)

Michael Lorenzen, CIN (11.0 IP, 12 K, 5.73 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 1 SAVE)

Guys ahead of him: 

  • Raisel Iglesias (11.1 IP, 14 K, 1.59 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 3 SAVES)
  • Drew Storen (8.1 IP, 10 K, 1.08 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 1 SAVE)

Odds of inheriting closer role: 40-to-1 (Raisel Iglesias pitches lights out and gets moved back to the rotation; Storen re-breaks his thumb playing MLB The Show 17 will a little too much passion)

Marc Rzepczynski, SEA (5.2 IP, 2 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.53 WHIP)

Guys ahead of him:

  • Edwin Diaz (6.2 IP, 7 K, 5.40 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 2 SAVES)
  • Nick Vincent (9.1 IP, 9 K, 2.89 ERA, 0.86 WHIP)

Odds of inheriting closer role: 100-to-1 (manager Scott Servais decides that closers should be selected based on the Scrabble point value of their last name)

Matt Belisle, MIN (7.1 IP, 8 K, 2.45 ERA, 1.23 WHIP)

Guys ahead of him:

  • Brandon Kintzler (8.1 IP, 4 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 4 SAVES)
  • Ryan Pressly (6.2 IP, 6 K, 10.80 ERA, 1.50 WHIP)

Odds of inheriting closer role: 1,000-to-1 (Kintzler gets injured; Pressly quits baseball after learning he's the long lost heir to the Elvis Presley estate who was overlooked due to an unfortunate birth certificate typo)

Miguel Diaz, SD (8.1 IP, 4 K, 5.40 ERA, 0.84 WHIP)

Guys ahead of him: 

  • Brandon Maurer (7.2 IP, 10 K, 3.52 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 3 SAVES)
  • Ryan Buchter (7.2 IP, 8 K, 3.52 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 1 SAVE)
  • Brad Hand (9.0 IP, 11 K, 1.00 ERA, 0.67 WHIP)

Odds of inheriting closer role: whatever the odds are of Miguel Diaz not sucking at baseball, because that needs to happen before we even consider him as an option.

Matt Barnes (10.0 IP, 11 K, 3.60 ERA, 1.20 WHIP)

Guys ahead of him:

  • Craig Kimbrel (9.1 IP, 17 K, 1.93 ERA, 0.64 WHIP, 7 SAVES)

Odds of inheriting closer role: 1 million-to-1 (the odds of Craig Kimbrel being struck by lightning. Alternatively: the Orioles throw a high-and-tight fastball at Pablo Sandoval as revenge for Matt Barnes throwing at Machado, and Kimbrel is injured in the ensuing brawl. All part of Matt Barnes' evil plan.)

Mauricio Cabrera (injured)

Guys ahead of him:

  • Jim Johnson (7.2 IP, 10 K, 3.52 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 3 SAVES)
  • Arodys Vizcaino (9.0 IP, 11 K, 5.00 ERA, 1.33 WHIP)
  • Jose Ramirez (10.1 IP, 7 K, 1.74 ERA, 0.87 WHIP)

Odds of inheriting closer role: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Alright. Who'd I miss? Are there any hot up-and-coming prospects who might prove themselves in the bullpen that I missed? 

    M as in Mancy: A Fantasy Baseball Experiment (Week 2)

    Firstly, the important stuff:

    I won every pitching stat, lost every hitting stat. Mmm hmm. That's one way to do it.

    But you know what? I'll take it. After starting the year 3-9 I was desperate for a sign that a team of M-named players wasn't a stupid idea. I'm no longer in last place, and baby, that's good enough for me.


    • Mitch Haniger, bless his rookie heart, hit .391 with 14 TB last week, and is the 6th best fantasy player in my league. To the Redditor who suggested him to me at the beginning of the year: I owe ya a beer. 
    • Michael Pineda took a perfect game into the 7th last week before I jinxed it by turning the game on and texting my brother. Sorry, Mikey. 
    • All the rest of my pitching. Stroman? Shoemaker? Harvey, Perez, Estrada? All of them have M-names and all of them were terrific.


    • Small sample size be damned: Tanaka has been bad and he should feel bad.
    • Matt Holliday should be having a bounce-back year... but in a crazy Shyamalanesque twist he's not having a bounce-back year.
    • Mark Trumbo and Manny Machado are in last place on my team in just about every stat. Trumbo somehow has a stolen base, though. Where are the dingers, Mark? Where are the dingers?
    • Matt Kemp is on the DL because I still can't have nice things.


    • Marcus Semien, there's just no room for you. You're no longer in the running for becoming America's Next Top Model. At least until Machado goes down with an injury. 
    • One major problem with my fantasy gimmick: there's only one closer who fits the naming scheme (Mark Melancon). So I drafted him, and then I also drafted Matt Bush with the hope that he would steal the closer's role from Sam Dyson after a few weeks. Well, Dyson has blown four saves already, perfectly setting the table for Bush... who then came down with a shoulder injury and had to be injected with platelets. So I dropped Bush, and he was immediately picked up by another team. Why do bad things happen to good people, Batman? 

    That last bullet might prove to be more of a problem as time goes on. I somehow won Saves this week with just one save (wooooo!) but that's, uhh, not going to last. I may need to evaluate my potential options going forward and maybe punt on saves entirely by trading Melancon. I'll do a longer, more in-depth post about that in another week or so when things have shaken out more.

    So that's how things stand. What'd I miss? Any players I need to have on my radar right now? It takes a village to have success with a gimmicky fantasy team and, uhh, I don't know where I'm going with this metaphor. Current roster is below.