Taking a leaf out of Billy Beane’s Moneyball playbook, Melbourne dad Chris Baker dominated KFC SuperCoach BBL this summer and took home a prize booty including $25,000.
KFC SuperCoach has always been a numbers game.
So when you deal in numbers for a living like Chris Baker, it certainly helps.
The father-of-two from Melbourne’s east is an accountant by day and a KFC SuperCoach BBL champion by night.
Baker’s team — Chrispy’s Critters — finished a whopping 280 points clear of his nearest rival to take out the $25,000 KFC SuperCoach BBL prize for BBL10.
It was the second time in the past four seasons he has finished top-10 in KFC SuperCoach, having achieved a high finish in SuperCoach AFL in 2018.
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Baker said selecting the right cash cows had been crucial to his success.
“I think it was adapting (tactics) from the AFL and the whole concept of increasing team value that was the key,” he said.
“I started off with only one loop player in the WKP-BAT position.
“So I actually used all my bench spots to try and get cash cows going. The likes of (Daniel) Worrall, (Xavier) Bartlett, (Jack) Wildermuth and (Tanveer) Sangha were early trades to try and get the team value up.
“At one stage, about halfway through the season, I had about $2.7 million as a salary cap.
“I think that gave me considerable flexibility for the second half of the season to be able to consolidate my position in that top-10.”
Chrispy’s Critters cracked the top-five in Round 8, were second from rounds 9-12 and were ranked No. 1 from rounds 13-17.
“When I got up into the top-two and I had a look at my team value compared to other teams I thought I just needed to play it smart,” he said.
“Pick the popular players and go with the safe captaincy options and I thought time would be on my side. Certainly during the finals that was my approach, picking the players I thought would be popular picks.”
Baker said he capped double game week players at seven, although his best move was trading in Marnus Labuschagne as a loophole two rounds before he rejoined Brisbane Heat.
From a starting price of $64,400, Labuschagne averaged 88.2 points and finished BBL10 at $250,700.
“I actually traded in Labuschagne for (a loophole) two weeks before he started playing and that saved me a trade,” he said.
“That was a big pick, having him, after that first week pretty much as a permanent captain or vice-captain.”
Baker will pick up a KFC prize booty including a personalised beach towel, cricket set, an eski, 11 $11 KFC vouchers, a $30 KFC voucher, a key ring, socks and a bucket hat, although the bragging rights of being Australia’s top KFC SuperCoach mean just as much to him.
With thanks to KFC SuperCoach, our top-111 will coaches will receive a key ring, socks, a bucket hat and a $30 KFC voucher.
He wants other KFC SuperCoaches to know it doesn’t take a perfect season to be crowned Australia’s top KFC SuperCoach either.
Baker twice traded in Daniel Sams only for the Thunder all-rounder to be concussed and injured, while he had Josh Philippe (nine points) as captain for the BBL final.