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Ottoneu Leagues - Reader Trade Analysis and Grades

Hey RotoBallers and Ottoneu fans. I've decided to help grow the presence of Ottoneu content on RotoBaller by dissecting some trades at least once a month. I'll look to you, the people, on Twitter for some real-life examples of trades from FanGraphs' Ottoneu format, and I'll let you know what I think of them.

On top of quickly breaking down the pros and cons of each side of the deal, I'll let you know who I think won the deal, and I'll give that owner a grade: C being neutral and A+ being an absolute steal. Let me know if you have any feedback on if you think the grading process should be adjusted, but for now I think this gets the point across.

Feel free to send me any trade questions or examples you have on Twitter @BellRoto. I can give quick advice there, and I can also put your trade in the mix for a future article. Let's get to it.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off. Exclusive access to our Draft Kit, premium rankings, projections, player outlooks, top prospects, dynasty rankings, 15 in-season lineup tools, and over 200 days of expert DFS research. Sign Up Now!


Ottoneu MLB Trade Analysis

League: H2H FanGraphs Points

Team 1's: Alex Bregman ($34) and Trevor Bauer ($17) 

for Team 2's: Jose Altuve ($47) and Reynaldo Lopez ($2)

If we look at the batters first, it's easy to say right off the bat that Altuve is the better player than Bregman and deserves the higher price tag, especially in a format that rewards steals. However, a deeper look provokes an interesting question: Is Altuve really better than Bregman in anything other than batting average and runs? We've seen Altuve's home runs dip a little in the first quarter of this season, and while it's still early, it seems like he's hitting more line drives while pulling the ball less.

There's merit to thinking the home runs will be more like 15 per season going forward rather than 25. Of course, Altuve's always consistent BABIP and better batting order position will provide him a higher average and amount of runs scored, but Bregman may steal just as much if not more than Altuve. After all, you'd rather take the bat out of the 6th or 7th hitter's hands than the 4th or 5th hitter. I still think Altuve is the better player long term in this format, but if Bregman can increase his average 20 points or so, he may be more keep-able at these prices.

As for the pitchers, Bauer is worlds ahead of Lopez in terms of fantasy production at this point in their careers. The Indians starter clearly has the strikeout stuff that Lopez is still searching for. Both players have actually gotten somewhat lucky this year with BABIPs below .240, but Lopez may be due for even more regression than Bauer, which scares me immensely. Lopez provides flashes of brilliance, but Bauer clearly continues to put everything together more and more, year after year. Even with the price discrepancy, I'll take Bauer over Lopez any day.

Verdict: C+ for Team 1 - I'll take the slight batting discount for a clear upgrade in pitching.


League: H2H FanGraphs Points

Team 1's: Trevor Story ($11) and Odubel Herrera ($8)

for Team 2's: Jose Abreu ($25) and Lourdes Gurriel ($2)

I don't like this trade at all for Team 1. I get that Jose Abreu is the best player in this deal, and usually I will give up more than I should to ensure that I get the best player, but this seems like a trade that was accepted on a whim from someone's phone at 1:30 AM on a Saturday night.

Herrera has been one of the most impressive hitters in the league so far this year, continually getting on base any way he can, stealing a few bases, and absolutely demolishing some homers in the process. At this $8 price tag, he's someone you could potentially control for a handful of years. Story is quite the consolation prize too, as he has continued to show impressive power and surprising speed numbers into early 2018. His batting average might never eclipse .250 in the majors again, but Herrera will help even that out and then some.

Again, Abreu is a great piece, and he's about as consistent as they come. You're likely looking at a .300 batting average with 30-35 bombs when all is said and done, plus the White Sox lineup is getting a little better around him. However, I don't have the feeling that Gurriel is going to become a player you'll want to keep for next year, and you just gave up two really, really nicely priced players for this decent combo. You simply gave up too much for Abreu and an expendable piece.

Verdict: B+ for Team 2 - Great work turning a stud and a flavor of the week into two potential studs.


League: Old School 5x5

Team 1's: Noah Syndergaard (34) and Wilson Ramos (10)

for Team 2's: Brendan Rodgers (2) and Juan Soto (1)

Here's your old school "Take my talent now for young guys down the road." These trades are very difficult to grade, especially without context. If this deal is going to leave Team 1 struggling in the pitching department and without a serviceable catcher, it makes much less sense than if the team is already riddled with injuries and re-grouping for next season. Or, I suppose, it would make sense if Team 1 is loaded and looking to capture upside for next year too. Either way, tough to grade.

I will say that Rodgers and Soto are awesome targets to look at if you're gearing up for 2019. It's unlikely that either one will hit the big leagues this year, so their prices should remain the same (at least I think that's how Ottoneu pricing works). However, Rodgers should be able to take over second base when D.J. LeMahieu hits the free agent market after this season. As for Soto, he could be next year's Ronald Acuna Jr. in the sense that the Nationals will have no choice but to bring him up. Both prospects have loads of power and should have no problem finding places to play. They are very exciting stashes if you can afford to go get them or if you're ready to re-group for next season already.

Verdict: C for both teams - As I mentioned above, I need some context to say who wins this trade for sure. However, I do like the benefit for both teams if Team 1 is preparing for the future and Team 2 is ready to win now.


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