I’m so excited to draft the Yankees and Dodgers right out of the gate. The 6 Team League offers so much flexibility that I can afford to be top heavy with the two World Series favorites. I’ll ride the New York and Los Angeles bandwagons all year long as I shuffle my bottom four teams to try to inch closer to the top. The challenge is I cannot pick any $5 or $4 teams (uh oh), so I need my mid-level and lower level teams to perform so I can compete in this league.
SALARY CAP: $21
NYY, LAD, CLE, PHI, KC, and COL = $21
$6 Team: New York Yankees
The Yankees added Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon in the off-season, bolstering the best pitching staff in the big leagues. They join ace Gerrit Cole to round out a group of scary 1st, 2nd, and 3rd starters. Their bullpen is full of studs like Chapman and Britton. I don’t see many runs getting scored on New York in 2021 and that’s bad news for opponents facing an excellent batting lineup.
Gleyber Torres was all set to make the jump to MVP candidate last year, but took a step back in 2019. Look out for a breakout year, with protection in the lineup from Aaron Judge and DJ LeMahieu. Gary Sanchez is only a year removed from his 34 home run, All Star season of 2019.
The Yankees are a 100 win team this year, and my first of two wire to wire, fantastic teams.
Honorable Mention: New York Mets
I’d be remiss to mention the Yank’s neighbors in Queens with their splashy off-season moves. Sorry Mets fans, I’ve seen Lindor and Carrasco play too many games here in Cleveland. You were sold a bill of goods on those two.
$6 Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Another 100 win team, I see the Dodgers challenging the Yankees in the 2021 Fall Classic. Just imagine the ad revenue in those major markets! To continue on my note about the Mets trading for a couple of Cleveland retreads, I’ve also seen a ton of Trevor Bauer games. The dude’s a baller and he’s going to light it up in LA. Hey Trevor, nice contract by the way. When you throw him before Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, and Julio Urias, the NL just doesn’t have a chance.
Mookie Betts leads the way for LA, with stud after stud in Bellinger, Seager, Muncy, and Smith. It’s an extremely dangerous lineup that should be putting up crazy numbers all year. So there you have it, my power couple of Dodgers and Yankees.
Honorable Mention: San Diego Padres
I love the Padres this year and they are a solid World Series candidate. I’m definitely watching them closely. If the Dodgers or Yankees suffer some major injuries, I’m trading for the Padres.
$3 Team: Cleveland Indians
Yes, there’s a big drop off from $6 teams to $3 teams, but Cleveland makes this an easy pick for me. They might have the best hitter and the best pitcher in the bigs right now in Jose Ramirez and Shane Bieber. The lineup drops off a cliff after Ramirez, but as usual the starting pitching is very strong.
Not much to speak about on the offensive size outside of their perennial MVP candidate. Cesar Hernandez knows how to get on base and is a doubles machine. Franmil Reyes has a lot of pop in his bat. Eddie Rosario brings a little power from the outfield, but Cleveland won’t score many runs in 2021.
Following Shane Bieber are a stable of young studs, looking to continue the tradition of elite pitchers in Cleveland. Plesac, Civale, and McKenzie all could have breakout years. James Karinchak anchors the bullpen with a mixed bag of arms.
I like the Indians to contend for the Wild Card and I hope to use them to trade up the ladder to a $4 team, then a $5 team.
Honorable Mention: Los Angeles Angels
The Angels will probably finish 2nd in the AL East this year. They are a solid $3 pick that are a real contender for a Wild Card spot.
$3 Team: Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies might be a .500 team or they might shock the baseball world and take the NL East. A lot depends on their pitching. They have high end pitchers at the top of their rotation with Nola, Wheeler, and Eflin, but not much after that. Their best relievers are Archie Bradley and Hector Neris. It’s going to be bullpen by committee as they look for who is going to handle the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings.
Philadelphia’s lineup is filled with stars from Bryce Harper to Alec Bohm to J.T. Realmuto. J.T. projects to be an elite hitter this year, with very talented hitters throughout the lineup. I think the Phillies can win over 85 games this year and are a bargain at $3 pick.
Honorable Mention: Chicago Cubs
The Cubs lost a couple of key pieces in the off season, but they should still compete for the Wild Card this year. If they catch the injury bug, the bottom will drop out.
$2 Team: Kansas City Royals
The Royals are a rebuilding team that might end up with a respectable record this year. I like a couple of their hitters, like Jorge Soder and Adalberto Mondesi. Perez, Cordero, and Santana should all have pretty solid seasons for Kansas City’s very average offense.
Their pitching staff could use a little help, but hey, that’s why they’re rebuilding. Mike Minor and Brad Keller are at the front end of the staff and the bullpen isn’t much to speak of.
I hope that the Royals can start out strong and hold their own in a weak AL Central. Then trade up to a mid-level team.
Honorable Mention: Boston Red Sox
The Fenway Faithful hope to shock the world this year. If they catch a couple of breaks, they might just put up a nice season.
$1 Team: Colorado Rockies
The $1 teams available in the 6 Team League are the Rockies, Mariners, Orioles, Tigers, and Pirates. I printed out each team’s logo and stapled it to a dartboard. Then I let ‘er rip! My pick for the $1 team is the Colorado Rockies!
Honorable Mention: N/A
Bandwagon Fantasy Sports takes a lot of luck. I hope my game of darts was a lucky one.
I know that the Yankees and Dodgers will rack up a lot of wins for me. My strategy is for the other teams to climb up that ladder so I can trade them in for the White Sox, Twins, Cardinals, or Astros. I hope to secure four playoff teams by the end of the season. Here’s where I want to land:
1. New York Yankees
2. Los Angeles Dodgers
3. San Diego Padres
4. Chicago White Sox
5. Chicago Cubs
6. Arizona Diamondback
I should be able to take the Indians or Phillies to trade up for a $4 or $5 team, which I can later flip into the Padres. The White Sox will play .500 ball for half the season, then get hot and make the playoffs. Sometime after the All Star break, I hope to acquire them at a discount.