2019 COMC Pack League Fantasy Baseball Team Results

Earlier this year we introduced you to our latest iteration of fantasy sports meets trading card collecting concept when we presented our 2019 Topps Opening Day Fantasy Pack Team. If you missed that blog, you can check it out here and learn about this fun and unique way to play fantasy sports using packs of trading cards! Today we want to share with you how our team did now that the 2019 MLB regular season has concluded.

If you remembered how scoring works, or read the blog linked above, you’d know that points are calculated as WINS. The ultimate goal of the game is to have more wins than the other players in your league if you’re playing with friends. If you’re playing alone, the goal is to have more wins than any team in the Major Leagues this season.

Scoring System:

Hitting Scoring 
Every 40 runs = +1 win
Every 15 Home Runs = +1 win
Every 15 Stolen Bases = +1 win
Every 30 RBI’s = +1 win
Every 50 walks = +1 win

Pitching Scoring:
 Every 5 Wins = +3 Wins
Every 5 losses = -1 Win
Every 5 Saves = +1 Win
Every 75 Strikeouts = +1 Win

The 2019 COMC Fantasy Baseball Team & Results

Designated Hitter: Mark Trumbo (Missed 2/3rds of the season, replaced by bench player Max Muncy)
Catcher: J.T. Realmuto (5 Wins)
First Base: Anthony Rizzo  (7 Wins)
Second Base: Gleyber Torres  (8 Wins)
Short Stop: Francisco Lindor (6 Wins)
Third Base: Rafael Devers  (9 Wins)
Outfield: Ronald Acuna (11 Wins)
Outfield: Mike Trout (10 Wins)
Outfield: Mitch Haniger  (Missed 2/3rds of the season, replaced by bench player Juan Soto)

Pitching Staff

SP: Justin Verlander (14 Wins)
SP: Gerrit Cole (12 Wins)
SP: Trevor Bauer (7 Wins)
SP: Blake Snell (3 Wins)
SP: Jacob Degrom (8 Wins)
Closer: Edwin Diaz  (5 Wins)

Bench:

Hitter: Juan Soto (9 points)
Hitter: Max Muncy  (8 points)
Hitter: Whit Merrifield
Pitcher: Dereck Rodriguez
Pitcher: German Marquez

All in all, our team put up a total of 122 wins, which is six wins above the all-time record of 116 set by the 2001 Seattle Mariners. Our win total is a little bit inflated thanks to the stellar performances of Verlander and Cole, as well as our team being stacked with top-tier talent on rookie contracts. For that reason, in future years, we’ll propose a rule to the salary cap where all players on a rookie contract will automatically be bumped to $5 million.

We know that some readers of the COMC Blog were  also playing along at home. How did your teams do this season? Did you beat us? If you weren’t playing along, have you found a different way  to turn your trading card collecting experience into a game? We want to hear about it! Drop a comment below and let us know!

“It Sold for WHAT?!?” – Six Ronald Acuna Cards That You’ll Never Be Able to Find at These Prices!

Over the course of our 12 plus year existence, we’ve seen A LOT of cards. In many cases, we first saw a superstar’s cards long before they became a household name. As a result, this lends itself to some pretty hilarious completed sales in our historical sales history. Whether these buyers are cardboard Nostradamus’s, or simply happened to pick up a card before it’s value skyrocketed into oblivion, one thing is for sure: they got a crazy good deal!

In our previous installments we’ve shown you Mike Trout Trading Cards that now the grace the nose-bleed section of the high-end of our hobby, Giannis Antetokounmpo rookie cards that sold for just a fraction of their present day value, and Christian Yelich cards that sold for prices that would make you as sad as Miami Marlins fan.

We’ve scoured our sales data and are ready to unleash our next wave of cards that make for some pretty good laughs. We don’t need to talk up the greatness of Ronald Acuna Jr. If you’ve been following baseball at all, you know that the 21 year old is on a meteoric rise to super stardom. At this point the only question is whether or not his rookie cards will reach Trout-esque levels in the next 2-3 years!

Let’s get right into how silly the trading card industry can be with just a little bit of hindsight:

2017 Bowman – Chrome Prospects – Gold Shimmer Refractor #BCP127

A great debate in our hobby will always rage about non-original Bowman Chrome parallels. Whether you like ‘Shimmers’ or hate them, we can all agree that for $145 this Gold Shimmer numbered to 50 copies of Acuna’s first Bowman Chrome would be an absolute steal present day. BGS 9.5 copies of this card have sold for around $500, and that’s before the huge September bump the Acuna market saw.

2017 Bowman – Chrome Prospect Autographs #CPA-RA

Were you one of the five lucky collectors who were able to snag this card for under $160 on the COMC Marketplace? How about the collector who bought the very first one to hit our marketplace for $53.07? It’s very likely that we’ll never see a $50 Ronald Acuna Jr. autograph of any kind on the COMC Marketplace in a very long time, if ever again. BGS 9.5 copies of this base auto are now selling for around $1500. While they still have a long way to go to reach the levels of Mike Trout’s 1st Bowman Auto, they’re still up 10x from the last copy to sell on the COMC Marketplace!

2017 Bowman – Chrome Prospect Autographs – Blue Refractor /150

Oh, you thought we were done with Acuna’s 1st Bowman Autos? Not yet! Had you been able to predict the future, and had $500.99 to spend on COMC on 7-7-2017, you could have been the lucky (notice all of those 7’s!) owner of this beautiful tried-and-true blue gem! This card recently fetched nearly $11,000 earlier this month at auction. We can’t imagine where this card will be if Acuna and the young Atlanta Braves team is able to bring a championship back to Georgia.

2018 Panini Flawless – Rookie Dual Patch Autographs #RDP-22

Similar to the argument about non-traditional Bowman Chrome parallels, another argument in the hobby rages on about unlicensed cards. With Topps having an exclusivity agreement with the MLB, Panini and other manufacturers are relegated to creating cards that do not infringe on MLB copyrights such as team logos. Even without the logos, Acuna’s Panini cards are still trending upwards, with this encased Flawless auto numbered to 25 being sold for nearly double what the COMC buyer originally paid for it just three months ago.

2018 Topps #698.2 – Back Behind Back Variation

Without question this is one of the hottest trading cards on the planet today, and probably will be for a very long time. With Acuna posed in a follow through swing, and it being an extremely tough pull out of a Topps Series 2 product, it has all the makings of an iconic trading card. While the card is a short print, we have seen significant volume of the card bought and sold, with over 50 total copies changing hands. One thing is for sure, nobody is acquiring this card for under $50 anymore, and the two lucky individuals who were able to get their hands on one for under $25.00 certainly have a story to tell around the hobby!

2018 Topps Update #US250.3 – SSP White Jersey Variation

As rare as the 2018 Topps Series 2 Bat Behind Back SP Variation is, there is an even more elusive Acuna Jr. rookie card – the super short printed white jersey variation from 2018 Update! This is a card that is rarely seen in the wild that most collectors aren’t even aware it exists! The card has already found it’s home in the high-end section of the hobby, where raw copies have recently sold at auction for nearly $2,000! Not a bad come-up for the two COMC buyers who were able to snap this card up for 1/3rd of that price just three months ago!

Now we want to hear from you! What Ronald Acuna Jr. trading cards did you not hold onto just quite long enough? Do you have a stash worth the equivalent of a new sports car that you’re hoping will one day be worth a new house or boat? Share your best investment and #collectfail stories with us!

“It Sold for WHAT?!?” – Six Christian Yelich Trading Cards That Sold for Far Too Little!

Over the course of our 12 plus year existence, we’ve seen A LOT of cards. In many cases, we first saw a superstar’s cards long before they became a household name. As a result, this lends itself to some pretty hilarious completed sales in our historical sales history. Whether these buyers are cardboard Nostradamus’s, or simply happened to pick up a card before it’s value skyrocketed into oblivion, one thing is for sure: they got a crazy good deal!

In our previous installments we’ve shown you Mike Trout Trading Cards that now the grace the nose-bleed section of the high-end of our hobby, and Giannis Antetokounmpo rookie cards that sold for just a fraction of their present day value. We’ve scoured our sales data and are ready to unleash our next wave of cards that make for some pretty good laughs.

The Miami Marlins have two World Series Championships in their brief but memorable franchise history. While the current state of the Marlins may leave plenty to be desired, there is no doubting that the organization has a proven track record for manufacturing homegrown talent. Unfortunately, some of those players full potential never comes to fruition in a Marlins uniform. Such is the case with Christian Yelich, who’s star grew brighter following a trade to the Milwaukee Brewers.

The 2018 National League MVP winner and Silver Slugger posted career highs in home runs, RBI’s, stolen bases, batting average, slugging percentage, and OPS last year, leading the Brew Crew to a playoff run. He picked up right where he left off to start the 2019 campaign, and appears to be on pace to shatter most of those career highs once again. The 27 year old outfielder quickly became one of the faces of the MLB once he arrived in Milwaukee, and his trading cards have never been more sought after. Christian Yelich rookie autographs and rookie trading cards continue to see new top sale prices on a monthly basis.

Without further ado, the six Christian Yelich Trading Cards you can no longer find at these prices:

2010 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects – Chrome Draft Picks – Gold Refractor #BDPP78 – Christian Yelich /50

The buyer of this card managed to sneak in their purchase on August 28th, 2018, just before the Christian Yelich trading card market really started to skyrocket. This card has since sold for $300+. Not a bad return on investment.

2010 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects – Chrome Prospects Autographs #BDPP78 – Christian Yelich [BGS 9.5 GEM MINT] 

Whenever pricing data is this skewed, you have to assume that a player’s career trajectory took a massive turn upward. In this case, we saw a BGS 9.5 Christian Yelich 1st Bowman Chrome auto sell for $52.69 in March 2015. Raw copies of this card routinely sell for a price tag of several times that.

2012 Bowman Platinum – Prospects – Red Refractor #BPP49 – Christian Yelich /25 [BGS 9.5 GEM MINT] 

The 2012 Bowman Platinum set and it’s parallels are truly beautiful cards in person with their orange-peel like textured backgrounds. This BGS 9.5 Christian Yelich red refractor sold for just $18 back in July 2013.

Flash forward almost six years later and this exact same card (which is a pop-2) sold elsewhere for over 4-times the original purchase price:

2013 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects – [Base] – Purple Ice #40 – Christian Yelich /10 

It goes without saying that Bowman purists have a wide arrange of opinions on non-original color parallels (Ref, X-Fractor, Blue, Gold, Orange, Red, Superfractor) and also about the ice parallel. Regardless, you would be hard-pressed to find any collector who wouldn’t want to add this /10 Purple Ice Christian Yelich card to their collection for about $40. Recently completed sales put this card in the $275-300 range now.

2013 Topps Chrome – Rookie Autographs – Red Refractor #CY – Christian Yelich /25

Alright, now we start to get into the comical historical sales data. This Christian Yelich Red Refractor true rookie autograph numbered to just 25 copies sold for just $87 on April 3rd of last year, just months before he was traded to the Brewers and his rise to greatness began. Could this buyer predict the future? Was it just a case of right place at the right time? Are they a Marlins fan who was crushed when he was traded?

We’ll never know, but we’d like to believe that they weren’t at all upset just a year later when a gold /50 version of this card sold for $1250. It’s hard to imagine what the even more elusive red refractor autograph may fetch….

2013 Topps Update Series – [Base] – Black #US290 – Christian Yelich /62 

Which brings us to this LOL-worthy historical sales data. Were you one of the 11 lucky individuals who managed to scoop up this card from COMC for $25 or less? Probably not. Numbered to just 62 copies, COMC has seen 1/6th of the entire print run of these now coveted Christian Yelich black parallels of his True RC out of 2013 Topps Update. Recent sales have seen this card fetch $695 via Buy it Now.

Now we want to hear from you! What Christian Yelich trading cards slipped through your hands over the years? Do you still have a coveted Yelich card that you won’t sell for all the money in the world? Share your best investment and #collectfail stories with us!

‘Living 200’: Ranking Our Favorite Baseball Cards from Topps Living Set #101-200

Shop Topps Living Set Trading Cards on COMC

Last year Topps surprised the trading card industry with a unique one-of-a-kind set like no other produced before. The baseball card set was called ‘The Living Set‘, and each week three new trading cards would be released and sold only online for a seven day span. Once that window was over, the cards would never again be printed. Players could only be featured in the set one time per team they’ve played for, and the set would feature rookies, veterans, and legends. Produced entirely using the artwork of legendary sports card artist Mayumi Seto, the set is stylized after the iconic 1953 Topps baseball design.

The set started off extremely strong with Aaron Judge (Print Run 13,256) earning the coveted first card in the set. The set was overall met with optimism and speculation, as many of the key rookie cards in the set produced huge print runs, such as Ronald Acuna Jr. (PR: 46,809) and Gleyber Torres (PR: 28,550). While superstars, rookies, and hall of fame players still generate large numbers (such as #200 Mike Trout with a print run of 22,017), the set has come back to earth in weeks, with most print runs hovering in the 3000 range.

COMC Communications Manager James Good and Senior Business Analyst Grant Wescott each own a copy of the full set from #1 to #200 and counting. Some 30 plus weeks ago, we asked them to talk about the set and give their 10 favorite cards from the first 100 in the set. You can read that blog here. With the set now surpassing 200 cards, we’ve asked them to chime in with their 10 favorite cards from #101 – 200. 

Grant Wescott (In no particular order)

Topps Living Set Card #200 – Mike Trout – Print Run: 22017

Topps has historically saved round numbers on many of their checklists for the very best in the game. Remember Babe Ruth at #100? I don’t think there was much doubt leading into the card #200 release day who would be featured on it.

Topps Living Set Card #193 – Ken Griffey Jr. – Print Run: 8369

Beautiful card of my all-time favorite player. That swing never gets old.

Topps Living Set Card #180 – Nelson Cruz – Print Run: 3581

The Nellie you see on this card is the Nellie you see in every game he plays, defying multiple laws of nature while wearing a grin.

Topps Living Set Card #173 – Fernando Tatis Jr – Print Run: 10099

One milestone for any young professional baseball player is when they get to see their first Topps card. There has to be a little extra appreciation from this 20 year old star when that card happens to be such an amazing hand-drawn portrait.

Topps Living Set Card #154 – Stan Musial – Print Run: 4575

One of baseball’s good guys, Stan the Man was famous for making people happy both on and off the field.

Topps Living Set Card #132 – Daniel Mengden – Print Run: 3250

Topps Living Set has seen a few errors along the way, but none so blatant as the Rollie Fingers wrong name error (I kid).

Topps Living Set Card #127 – Kris Bryant – Print Run: 5361

A striking image of Kris Bryant, who appears is now back to his 2016 MVP form.

Topps Living Set Card #192 – Wade Davis – Print Run: 2605

Nick Markakis famously held the long-standing record for low print run since week 2 of TLS with 2,678 copies. That is, until Howie Kendrick came along at card #183 with 2,633 copies. That is, until just a few weeks later when Wade Davis set the new low with this card. As someone who plans to buy the set forever, it’s kind of fun to watch my complete set become even rarer.

Topps Living Set Card #109 – Nolan Arenado – Print Run: 4065

Artist Mayumi Seto captured some big emotion on this one. Arenado is one of the elite players in the game today, yet for some reason still a bit overlooked in the hobby. I love this card.

Checklist Card 1-100 & 101-200 – Print Run: 4393

I’m going a little off script here because 1) these are two cards, not one, and 2) they aren’t technically part of the set. Doesn’t matter. I was more excited than I had reason to be when these were released. I’ve never checked a single box on a checklist. I’m not about to start now. Why does this make me happy?

James Good (Ranked in order of favorites)

Topps Living Set Card #193 – Ken Griffey Jr. – Print Run: 8369

There was no other pick for me. Griffey was an unexpected surprise at #193, and tops my list as my favorite TLS card in the entire set, surpassing Babe Ruth (#100) and Mitch Haniger (#54) in my top 3. That iconic Jr. smile is infectious.

Topps Living Set Card #179 – Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – Print Run: 27749

This was clearly a landmark card for Topps and Seto, so I’m guessing that she had plenty of time to work on this portrait. It clearly shows in the photo-realism of Vladdy Jr.’s first true Topps RC. The level of detail of this card, especially when it’s in-hand, is unreal. The hat logo, the hair, the Nike swoosh logo. I’ll take this card all day long over his first flagship Topps RC in series 2.

Topps Living Set Card #200 – Mike Trout – Print Run: 22017

We all knew that Mike Trout was going to be #200, and the card delivered exactly what we wanted, and what the set needed. The huge print run was a shot in the arm to TLS at the right time.

Topps Living Set Card #127 – Kris Bryant – Print Run: 5361

I love the sideways glance of Bryant in this card. The Cubbies deep blue jersey is among my favorite jerseys of all-time, so I might be a bit partial here.

Topps Living Set Card #156 – Ryon Healy – Print Run: 2765

Healy has a lot of critics here in Seattle, but I’ve been a big support since the day we traded for him. This card that broke a 102 card drought for the Mariners in Topps Living Set and also captured Healy’s positive personality and his professed enjoyment for the game the baseball so very well. It’s a shame he’s dealing with spinal stenosis, the same ailment that shortened the career of fellow 3B David Wright.

Topps Living Set Card #136 – Mariano Rivera – Print Run: 8945

The timing of this card was impeccable – right after Mariano became the first player to unanimously be voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in the first year eligible.

Topps Living Set Card #118 – Nolan Ryan – Print Run: 6745

Ryan’s career spanned the course of 4 different decades. Ask 10 different fans about Ryan, and you might get 10 different memories. My earliest memories as a fan of the game were of ‘The Ryan Express’ as a non-nonsense 40-something fireballin’ Texan. This card brings me back to all those early 90’s junk wax cards of him that helped kick start my passion for the hobby.

Topps Living Set Card #178 – Xander Bogaerts – Print Run: 3776

I’m not much of a Red Sox fan. Correction, I slightly despise most Boston-area teams (Ya’ll aren’t the underdogs, ever, just stop). But I love this card of Bogaerts. Again, the artwork on this card when it’s in-hand truly makes me appreciate the card so much more.

Topps Living Set Card #106 – Cal Ripken Jr. – Print Run: 6423

Similar to my memories of Nolan Ryan, I best remember Cal Ripken Jr. during his iron man stretch, with the gray hairs on the sides of his head becoming more prominent each year. That said, I love the throwback artwork on this card, and the white Orioles cap really seals the deal.

Topps Living Set Card #121 – Buster Posey – Print Run: 3990

Catchers get the short end of the baseball bat when it comes to trading cards, often depicted wearing their full gear. This card steps away from that, giving us an excellent portrait of Buster that shows a side of him that few cards have. Now let me get on my soapbox…

Buster Posey is one of the most underappreciated players of this era. Even Giants fans will credit the team’s three World Series in six years to their stellar pitching, pointing to Madison Bumgarner, and I don’t disagree. But who do you think called all those games behind the plate? Three Rings, Four Silver Sluggers, 2010 ROY, a Gold Glove, and a Batting Title later, I can’t wait until Cooperstown calls for Buster Posey.

We’re 200+ cards into the set, and yet there are so many players who haven’t earned a spot into the coveted Living Set yet. Who do you want to see in the next 100 cards? Let us know in the comments below! 

2019 COMC Baseball Card Fantasy Pack Team Update

Members of the COMC Team are always looking to find new and unique ways to enjoy opening packs of trading cards. Sure, we could just rip through hobby boxes and packs looking for our big hits, but where is the fun in that? Earlier this year we introduced you to our fantasy baseball meets trading cards concept , which consisted of opening packs of 2019 Topps Opening Day Baseball Cards and creating a team based on the players found within.

To make it fun, we’re playing using a salary cap and the player’s real-life salaries, and the scoring system is based on how many wins your team is worth, rather than the individual stats found in traditional fantasy baseball. We’re now two months into the 2019 MLB season, which has been full of twists and surprises. With 1/3rd of the season under our belt, we felt this was a good time to check in and see how our picks are doing.

If you didn’t catch our first blog at the start of the season, we recommend that you check it out to get caught up all of the rules of the game. That being said, let’s recap the scoring format that we outlined in the original rules of the game:

Hitting Scoring 
Every 40 runs = +1 win
Every 15 Home Runs = +1 win
Every 15 Stolen Bases = +1 win
Every 30 RBI’s = +1 win
Every 50 walks = +1 win

Pitching Scoring:
 Every 5 Wins = +3 Wins
Every 5 losses = -1 Win
Every 5 Saves = +1 Win
Every 75 Strikeouts = +1 Win

The 2019 COMC Fantasy Baseball Team

No Surprise Here: Mike Trout Leads our team in offense!

DH: Mark Trumbo (0 points)
C: J.T. Realmuto (1 Point)
1B: Anthony Rizzo (2 points)
2B: Gleyber Torres (1 point)
SS: Francisco Lindor (0 points)
3B: Rafael Devers (2 points)
OF: Ronald Acuna (1 point)
OF: Mike Trout (4 points)
OF: Mitch Haniger (3 points)

SP: Justin Verlander (4 points)
SP: Gerrit Cole (3 points)
SP: Trevor Bauer (0 points)
SP: Blake Snell (0 points)
SP: Jacob Degrom (0 points)
Closer: Edwin Diaz (2 points)

23 Total Team Points

Bench Reserves:
Hitter: Juan Soto (1 point)
Hitter: Max Muncy (1 points)
Hitter: Whit Merrifield (1 point)
Pitcher: Dereck Rodriguez (-1 points)
Pitcher: German Marquez (2 points)

Analysis: We’re on pace to finish the season in the 70-80 point range, which is well under the 100-point threshold we predicted our team would finish at.

Designated Hitter Mark Trumbo isn’t expected to play until late June at best, which likely means that we’ll be replacing him with Juan Soto or Max Muncy off the bench due to not appearing in at least 108 games this season. Rafael Devers has been a pleasant surprise all over the stat sheet, and despite having what appears to be a slump season for him, Mitch Haniger has filled the right statistical categories (runs, HR, RBi’s) to notch three points.

Texas Heat: The career revival of Justin Verlander continues in 2019!

On the pitching side, our Astros one-two punch of Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole have accumulated the wealth of our pitching points. Justin Verlander has nine wins and counting as of this writing. Trevor Bauer and reigning American League Cy Young Winner Blake Snell have regressed in 2019.

We know that some readers of the COMC Blog are also playing along at home. How is your team doing so far? We want to hear from you! Have you found a way to turn your trading card collecting experience into a game? We want to hear about it! Drop a comment below and let us know!

The Official COMC Fantasy Pack Baseball Team of 2019!

When we’re not processing the millions of trading cards that come through the doors of COMC on a yearly basis, we like to embrace the hobby and have a little fun. Many members of our team have been fantasy sports enthusiasts for decades, and over the last few years we’ve tried to develop innovative and fun ways to incorporate sports card pack and box breaks with fantasy sports. You may remember our Fantasy Baseball Pack Battle League from last year.

This year, we’ve come up with a fun concept to build a fantasy baseball team using packs of the 2019 Topps Opening Day Baseball Card product. Unlike other fantasy games, we’re not trying to score points,but rather trying to build a team that can ‘win’ the most games using a unique scoring system.

If you want to play along at home, it’s really simple! All you’ll need is to two $9.99 blaster boxes of Opening Day and a way to keep track of your team and stats!

How to play: 

  1. Open all of your packs. Separate your batters and pitchers into two piles, then separate your batters into piles sorted by player position.
  2. Build your offense. Your Offense should consist of 9 players (C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, 3 outfielders, and a Designated Hitter). Choose three reserve players (any position) as well for backups in case of injury. Duplicate players are allowed if a player is an outfielder or listed at multiple positions. (If you did not receive a position player from each position, you may play a player of any position to compensate)
  3. Build your pitching staff. Your pitching will consist of 5 Starting Pitchers, 1 Closer, and 2 reserve pitchers (SP or closer). Duplicate pitchers are allowed. (If you do not receive enough pitchers to field a full staff — each pitcher you received may be played up to two times to compensate.If you didn’t receive a closer, you may play a sixth SP.)
  4. (Optional) Hard Mode: Play with a salary cap and build your team using the league average of $132 million or less by utilizing salary information found on Sportstrac.
  5. (Optional) Ultra Hard Mode: Any player with an real life salary of under $1 million is automatically bumped to $3 million. Players on rookie contracts still provide tremendous value, but not nearly as much as they do under hard mode.

Scoring

The scoring system for this game involves converting your players on-field performance into ‘wins’, with a goal of building a team that can win as many games as possible. You can track your players performance throughout the year using Baseball-Reference.

Hitting Scoring 

Every 40 runs = +1 win
Every 15 Home Runs = +1 win
Every 15 Stolen Bases = +1 win
Every 30 RBI’s = +1 win
Every 50 walks = +1 win

Example: Mike Trout in 2018: 101 runs (2), 39 HR (2), 24 sb (1), 79 RBI (2), 122 walks (2) = 9 wins
A team with an offense comparable to nine 2018 Mike Trout would earn 81 wins.

Pitching Scoring

Every 5 Wins = +3 Wins
Every 5 losses = -1 Win
Every 5 Saves = +1 Win
Every 75 Strikeouts = +1 Win

Examples:
Justin Verlander (sp) in 2018: 16 wins (9), 9 losses (-1), 290 strikeouts(4),= 12 wins
Edwin Diaz (rp) in 2018: 0 wins (0), 4 losses (0), 57 saves (11), 124 strikeouts (1) = 12 wins

A team with a pitching staff comparable to five 2018 Justin Verlander and a 2018 Edwin Diaz would earn 72 wins. Combined with the hitting total, this team would win a total of 153 games.

Exception: Autographed cards pulled from your 2019 Topps Opening Day Blasters are worth 50% less points than their non-autographed counterparts. Why? Because you’re already a winner if you hit an auto out of an Opening Day Blaster, duh! Also, you should be submitting that card to COMC to sell ASAP!

Substitutions: If any of your hitters fail to appear in at least 108 games (2/3rds of the season) during the 2019 season, you may swap them for a reserve player from any position. If any of your starting pitchers fail to make 20 starts throughout the 2019 season, you may swap them for a reserve. If your closer fails to appear in at least 45 games in the 2019 season (save opportunity or not), you may swap them for another relief pitcher.

Our Team:

For this game, we’ll be using the hard mode of staying under the $132 million salary cap.Opening two blasters yielded enough position players and pitchers to field several teams, so you should have no trouble building a team or three to play along. A lot of good players got the snub due to our salary cap restriction. We passed on elite fantasy players like J.D. Martinez, Mookie Betts, Jose Altuve, Nolan Arenado, Clayton Kershaw, Corey Kluber, and Stephen Strasburg simply because we could not make the numbers work. Our strategy was to divide the money in half as close as possible to balance out hitting with pitching.

Hitting:

Designated Hitter: Mark Trumbo ($13.5 Million)
Catcher: J.T. Realmuto ($5.9 Million)
First Base: Anthony Rizzo ($11.28 Million)
Second Base: Gleyber Torres ($605,000)
Short Stop: Francisco Lindor ($10.55 million)
Third Base: Rafael Devers ($614,500)
Outfield: Ronald Acuna ($560,000)
Outfield: Mike Trout ($17.6 million)
Outfield: Mitch Haniger ($590,000)

2019 Hitting Payroll = $61.19 million

We ran into a salary cap problem after our initial team configuration, which meant that J.D. Martinez and his $28 million contract had to be downgraded to Mark Trumbo’s more manageable $13.5 million deal. Our second and third year players provide insane value for their price tag, allowing us to pay for Trout, Rizzo, Lindor , and Trumbo. We went with the hometown favorite Mitch Haniger as a sentimental pick over a certain player riding our bench. More on that later.

Pitching:

SP: Justin Verlander ($28 million)
SP: Gerrit Cole ($13.5 million)
SP: Trevor Bauer ($13.0 million)
SP: Blake Snell ($1.6 million)
SP: Jacob Degrom ($9.0 million)
Closer: Edwin Diaz ($607,000)

2019 Pitching Payroll = $65.7 million

We had way too many good pitchers to choose from, so we had to make some extremely tough decisions. In the end, we decided that the Houston Astros 1-2 combo of Verlander and Cole simply provided too much value to overlook. Trevor Bauer has in insane K/9 ratio, and reigning AL CY Young Winner Blake Snell is the best deal in the Opening Day set. We round out our pitching staff with the NL Cy Young Winner Jacob Degrom and his new teammate Edwin Diaz, who should still be capable of closing 50+ games for what should be a competitive New York Mets team.

Reserves

Hitter: Juan Soto ($578,000)
Hitter: Max Muncy ($575,000)
Hitter: Whit Merrifield ($1.0 Million)
Pitcher: Dereck Rodriguez ($561,000)
Pitcher: German Marquez ($565,000)

Bench Reserves Payroll = $3.279 million

Admittedly, spending $126.89 million of our $132 million before considering a bench probably wasn’t the best idea. Our team finds itself extremely thin in the event of a pitching injury, with us not having the cap room to add a veteran or top backup pitcher. All in all, we spent  $130.1 million of our $132 million, and it was extremely difficult to pass on some of the game’s best. If we had played uncapped, our team would have looked substantially different!

What do you think about our fantasy game and scoring system? Have you come up with any good ways to turn your trading cards into an interactive ‘fantasy sport’? If you decide to play along at home with us, let us know how your draft goes and who’s on your team! We’ll be checking in with an update blogs along the way throughout the season to track our progress!

COMC NCAA Tournament Challenge Bracket Group – Join Now and win COMC Credit!

Want to win $25 COMC Store Credit? Of course you do! We’ve created an ESPN Tournament Challenge Group for members of the COMC Nation to put their March Madness brackets up against COMC employees! The top two brackets will win COMC Store Credit!

Click here to join our Tournament Challenge Group on ESPN.com

The Password to join the group: Checkout2019

How to play:
1. Sign into (or create) an ESPN.com account, and click the join group button. Group password is Checkout2019.
2. Name your bracket the same as your COMC username.
3. Fill out your bracket prior to tip-off on Thursday, March 21st.

The top bracket in the group will win $25 COMC Store Credit, with the runner-up winning $10 COMC Store Credit. You must have a COMC account in order to claim a prize if you win. COMC employees will be participating as well, and are not eligible to win prizes. Please do not include ‘COMC’ in your bracket name, as that is how our employees brackets will be differentiated from members of the COMC Nation!

Stay tuned to to this post for future updates!