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RotoAuthority League Update: So Who's Going to Win?

The RotoAuthority League is a highly competitive 12-team fantasy baseball league run by Tim Dierkes. The settings consist of standard 5 X 5 Rotisserie scoring and 23-man lineups along with 3 bench spots. In an effort to keep owners interested as well as to infuse new blood into the league, the teams that finish below 8th place are kicked out of the league each year. The author of this column just hopes he’s not one of them.

When I projected the final standings a couple of weeks ago, it became clear that the RotoAuthority League has become a two-horse race between Smell the Glove and Yu at the Animal Zoo. Since we all know you play to win the game, let's analyze the current standings to see which team is more likely to take home the title.

For each squad I've provided the categories of greatest strength and weakness. Then, I've included the current score as well as a series of possible point totals for each team at the end of the season. First, I've gone through each category and determined realistically the highest possible score if everything went right for each team down the stretch. Then, I've accounted for the opposite scenario and listed the lowest possible score if things fell apart. Lastly, I've used rest-of-season projections to come up with a point total that I feel is the most likely end result.

Smell the Glove

Surplus: HR, RBI

Deficit: ERA, WHIP

Current Point Total: 104

Highest Possible Point Total: 112

Lowest Possible Point Total: 90

Most Likely Point Total: 98

First of all, Tim Dierkes's Smell the Glove has already locked up first-place finishes in HR and RBI; based on projections, this team should also run away with SB. Then again, Dierkes can only go down in runs, wins, saves, and strikeouts. Ultimately, though, it's going to be pitching that will decide the fate of Smell the Glove, as wins and the ratio categories offer the greatest potential movement in the standings.

Despite currently standing atop the league, Smell the Glove may actually find it quite challenging to win the league. Dierkes should pick up a point in SB and then maybe another in AVG. On the pitching side, moreover, this team has the potential to gain as many as three points in ERA and four more in WHIP. Accordingly, the ceiling for this club is sky-high at around 112 points.

Unfortunately for Dierkes, however, there's more downside than upside to how this team may finish. Smell the Glove could lose two points each in runs, ERA, and WHIP; another one in AVG; and as many as six in wins. As an aside, it's a shame that wins -- the category over which a fantasy owner seems to have the least control -- may significantly influence who ends up as the league's champion. At any rate, the floor for this squad is about 90 points, significantly lower than that for Yu at the Animal Zoo, as you'll see below.

The projections do foresee a better outlook than that, though, and I have Smell the Glove pegged for 98 points at season's end.

Yu at the Animal Zoo

Surplus: W, ERA, WHIP

Deficit: HR, RBI

Current Point Total: 101.5

Highest Possible Point Total: 109

Lowest Possible Point Total: 96

Most Likely Point Total: 103

It's a tad ironic that the two squads who are running away from the pack would actually make for excellent trading partners. Yu at the Animal Zoo has dominated ERA and WHIP all season long; those are the make-or-break categories for Smell the Glove. Along those same lines, Yu at the Animal Zoo could use some power, which Smell the Glove has in excess. Of course, at this stage in the game the last thing each owner wants to do here is anything that would directly improve the other roster, so I can guarantee that these clubs won't be trading with one another.

In my draft recap I noted that Yu at the Animal Zoo could do well in the pitching categories. Well, I certainly sold this owner short. This pitching staff has been nothing short of fantastic. Believe it or not, Yu at the Animal Zoo has actually locked up four of the five pitching categories. In fact, the only pitching category this staff isn't leading is saves, and it's in second. What's more, the rest-of-season projections actually see this club passing up Smell the Glove in saves and winning that category, too. That's right: Yu at the Animal Zoo has a very good chance to win all five pitching categories.

Naturally then, it's the offense that will determine if Yu at the Animal Zoo takes home the title. This team has the chance to gain a point each in runs, RBI, AVG, and saves and then up to three in HR. Thus, the high water mark for Yu at the Animal Zoo seems to be about 109 points. While that may appear great, remember that Smell the Glove actually has a higher ceiling.

With the pitching categories locked up, however, the floor for Yu at the Animal Zoo is quite high. This team can really only lose a point each in runs, HR, RBI, and SB and then possibly two in AVG. All of that adds up to a floor of 96 points, really putting the pressure on Smell the Glove.

Finally, as I pointed out a couple weeks ago, the projections love this squad. I actually see Yu at the Animal Zoo gaining one point as the most likely scenario. If that proves to be the case, this team would finish at 103. The highest point total all-time in the RotoAuthority League is 103.5 by Men With Wood in 2011, so we're clearly looking at one of the most dominant performances in this league's history.

Overall then, while Smell the Glove has a higher ceiling, Yu at the Animal Zoo has a higher floor. Indeed, Dierkes has his work cut out if he's going to become the league's first two-time champion. 

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