Predraft I didn't spend a significant amount of time scouting or replaying, compared to years past. Suffice to say, I didn't have a great idea about the dearth of runs that would be expected in SL 2015. If I knew then what I knew now, probably would have followed Ken and Greg and Matt with a take-offense-early-and-often-then-switch-to-pitching-middraft approach.
Of course, I love to talk about balance in a team and in a draft, so that above approach is hard for me to execute. But while I did try to better balance things, this is not a balanced team. As some would say, it's definitely a bottom-half offense. To date, though, my runs per game are 2nd best. The reason for the success so far? A lot of different guys are performing within a range of expected results. Too often, offenses get derailed by having 2 of 3 regulars who relatively-speaking stink. On the whole, that isn't an issue with this offense.
What should improve offensively in the FFA and beyond? I don't have much power, but that HR total should improve. And Yan Gomes should come around offensively, or at least be better than a 324 OPS.
Would should decline offensively in the FFA and beyond? Probably can sustain a decent amount of my success, but I don't have a 2nd in runs per game kind of offense. Encarnacion wasn't consistently good in the first 35, but his numbers are good at this point, and when the league is hitting .211 and he is hitting .243, I expect some measure of decline from him going forward.
This wasn't the staff I drew up in my plans before draft day, but I coveted Fister and thought pretty highly about Arrieta and Iwakuma, as well as Melancon and Holland and Herrerra. Hard to get exactly what you want, I know, especially on a swing, but the only uneven piece was the backend of the pen, and maybe also the feeling that my 3rd best starter might be an 11 in a year of great pitching.
Lo and behold, every series so far the staff has been pretty strong. To date, only Arrieta among my pitchers has an ERA above the league average. I expect Jim's staff to dominate Hits Allowed per 9, but, again, am flabbergasted to see I have 6.34 H/9.
What should improve pitching-wise in the FFA and beyond? Melancon and Holland likely should be my two best relievers, but they are giving up my pen's highest H/9, have the pen's highest ERAs, and have combined for 4 blown saves. The big improvement stat I expect to see is most likely Fister's BB/9, which is a pedestrian 3.27, and includes a 7 walk game against an otherwise walk-challenged team.
What should decline pitching-wise in the FFA and beyond? Beimel / Duke / Howell again are far-exceeded expectations, and I see no reason for them to sustain there success. To that same end, Duffy / Richards / Iwakuma are unlikely to sustain what has been a tremendous start to the season. Ken also shared an XB Hits Allowed per Game stat, where my staff's success was a definite outlier. This probably should decline going forward.
Not too much to say about this defense. It should be bottom 2, and it will be at the end of the year, I'm sure. But other than a couple games where some big errors at bad times cost me, the defense hasn't seemed horrible. Have allowed 10 unearned runs to date, the same as Jim and his elite defense. Of course if my pitching starts declining, this poor defense could start to look a lot worse.
My 1-run record is pretty unremarkable so far. Do I have a team roster that will allow that to improve? I feel like I have been fortunate with the elusive luck-factor ... things like clutch-hitting, throwing baserunners or basestealers out in situations where it isn't expected, or that ultra-tell-tale give up a bases-loaded, no outs situation, yet I can strand all 3 baserunners. Praying to the APBA Gods that my luck doesn't decline.