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MR Strategy revisited after one month.

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Postby Niffoc4 » Sun Sep 25, 2005 6:01 pm

Posted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 4:01 pm Post subject:

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RAmst23 wrote:
What is the best available pick at the time it is made? I think this is the basis of picking MRs later in the draft. Why take bad innings from a starter when you can have strong innings from a MR?

I agree with the "wait and see" approach to MRs though. Only draft a MR if you think he'll get save opportunities. What I try and do is use high risk picks later in the draft on pitchers and see if they start throwing well. If they don't, drop them for a good MR. You'll get about the same amount of innings from an MR as you would spot starting a SP.

The MR strategy provides more flexibility at the tail end of the draft. I picked up Myers late in the draft b/c I thought he could perform, and it worked (I also got Pineiro, yay!). Starting MRs works, you just need to be flexible and a little patience when picking one's pitchers.



And my argument is that I think people ought to re-think that strategy. I think most players would come out better doing the reverse. Pick up the top MR in those middle rounds, then grab SPs at the end of the draft and through waivers during the season. Here are some guys that were drafted in rounds 22+ in expert drafts or were ranked 265 or below in pre-season rankings: Haren, Doug Davis, Webb, Eaton, CLee, Lackey, Millwood, Contreras, Lowry, Patterson, Capuano, Harang, Chen.

I don't see that the typical SP picked in the middle rounds, on average, differs from the typical SP picked in the late rounds.

And the typical MR you can get in the middle rounds is better than the whole bunch of them.

That makes a lot of sense, the guy winning my 19-team keeper League right now didn't draft a starter until like the 17th or 18th round, and his pitching has done fine...I'm not even sure if he had a starter as a keeper from the previous year either...
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Postby bleach168 » Tue Sep 27, 2005 9:23 pm

GotowarMissAgnes wrote:
bleach168 wrote:Opportunity costs...

Team A drafts a top MR (Rincon), an mid MR(Otsuka), and a dud MR(Gonzalez). Ends up with 9 wins, 3 saves, 190 K's, 2.90 ERA, 1.30 WHIP. Good stuff you say.

Team B drafts a top SP (Lowe), an mid SP (Pineiro), and a dud SP (KBrown). Team B had a three chances to win the Dontrelle Willis lottery but missed it. Too bad. Also Team B would never touch Russ Ortiz or Al Leiter since no one at the Cafe was touting those bums.

Team B can't start all their SPs or would go over the limit so only starts them in good matchups (i.e. Lowe at home). After a few weeks, it's obvious Brown sucks so he is dropped. Not long before Pineiro gets to boot also. Team B is left with Derek Lowe so ends up with 11 Wins, 140 K's, 3.65 ERA, 1.25 WHIP.

The difference between the two teams now is Team B has two free roster spots to play with. Team B is the team that gets first crack at Morgan Ensberg, Cantu and Patterson any one of which would make Team B better than Team A.


So, the BEST possible case you can build in which team A makes no changes to its roster (they CAN drop underperforming offensive players to nab those others) and Team B makes the best possible decisions, you still lose 3 pitching cats and win 2.

And, of course, if you only start Lowe at home (where his ERA was 3.78) then you only get 7 wins and lose that, too. And, of course, once you add in the games where you did start Brown and Pineiro and you add in their numbers, you might end up losing WHIP, too.

And hopefully you get lucky enough to win 5 offensive categories with those lower opportunity costs.

I'll construct a more realistic scenario later today.


If Team A can drop underforming offensive players so can Team B. Except Team B can play with the free agent market with 2 additional roster spots because his team isn't heavily invested in the MR strategy.

As for what stats you'll get from Lowe, Pineiro and Brown, it does depend on who you start and when. But the key here is you are only looking for 190 IP to equal the MR strategy. Lowe alone has already 215 IP so you never needed to start Pineiro or Brown even once. In addition, the first month you don't even have to start Lowe on the road since he's still in that "trial period" (that's what I meant, sorry it wasn't clearer). In the end, you still get your 190 IP.
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Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Tue Sep 27, 2005 10:54 pm

bleach168 wrote:If Team A can drop underforming offensive players so can Team B. Except Team B can play with the free agent market with 2 additional roster spots because his team isn't heavily invested in the MR strategy.

As for what stats you'll get from Lowe, Pineiro and Brown, it does depend on who you start and when. But the key here is you are only looking for 190 IP to equal the MR strategy. Lowe alone has already 215 IP so you never needed to start Pineiro or Brown even once. In addition, the first month you don't even have to start Lowe on the road since he's still in that "trial period" (that's what I meant, sorry it wasn't clearer). In the end, you still get your 190 IP.


Both teams have the exact same number of roster slots and can abandon any strategy at any time. I agree that a mindless adoption of a MR strategy to the exclusion of all other goals limits the flexibility of the manager. But, that's not a realistic strategy.

Yes, you only need 190 IP, but no fantasy player has the crystal ball that gives him the ability to select the best IP by those three starters. Yes, you can try and maximize the odds that you'll pick the right games. But, you'll have to be a damn good picker to match what just any random selection of the top MRs will achieve. You picked just about the worst possible combination, and could barely match it, even with unrealistic assumptions. If you take the average of what the pre-season top 30 MR now have you don't get 9 wins, you get 14. You don't get 3 saves. You get 8 saves. You don't get a 1.30 WHIP. You get a 1.25 WHIP.

So, basically, if you think your crystal ball is good enough that you can pick the games that will turn Derek Lowe, Joel Pineiro, and Kevin Brown into Josh Beckett + 8 saves, then sure, the SP strategy works.

In fact, it's even harder than that, because you really don't get to pick Pineiro, Lowe, and Brown. Those guys all go in Round 15. You get one of them and two guys who are even less likely to succeed.

I think it's pretty clear that mid-round MR easily dominate SP for fantasy value. It's almost a guaranteed top 50 pitcher.
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