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Combating mass spot starting

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Postby ramble2 » Tue Sep 13, 2005 2:08 am

mweir145 wrote:
Mercer Boy wrote:I'm going to bet that fantasy purists are going to tell you this is not right. I'm one of those people.

If this is a public Yahoo leauge, then it is against the rules...and I pull these up all the time to answer these questions:

Yahoo ! Fantasy Baseball Rules wrote:No owner will make any roster moves (including waiver claims, trade proposals, etc.) whose sole purpose is to hamper the play of other owners.


Now, if it's a Private league, then it says all things are controlled by the commissioner...but if you have a good one, they wouldn't allow this stuff to happen either. The problem is that if they didn't set a move limit or state that cycling pitchers was wrong, then I suppose you could do it.

The only thing that comes from doing this is animosty among your leaguemates and the possible "bad feeling" you may get for doing something like that. If no one cares, that's fine...but if you have some people that don't condone that action, they may not play in your league next year.

I know this will start a firestorm, and I'm not going to say anything more on the subject. I'm just giving the purist's side of the story.

But what if you have no innings limit, and you are picking up 4 pitchers a day in an attempt to better your team?


I agree with Mercer. The Yahoo rules are pretty straight forward to my mind. If it's a private league, then it's up to the league whether to allow this sort of thing or not.

If you have no innings limit and pick up 4 pitchers a day, then you may better your team Ks and (maybe) wins, but your ERA and WHIP are going to take a serious hit.

I had a competitor use a churning strategy against me in a H2H championship matchup one year. He told me ahead of time he was going to try it, because that was his only hope. If you know that someone will employ that strategy against you there is a counter-strategy: do a mini-churn.

A mini-churn is best employed when you have the better pitching staff and know that your opponent is going to throw every FA pitcher he can grab at you. Dedicate one (maybe two) roster spots to grabbing FA pitchers for spot starts. Odds are your opponent won't be expecting YOU to churn, as he's doing it out of desperation. Don't start as many pitchers as he does, but grab the best spot starts of the week a day or two before he can. He's going to throw 4 pitchers at you on Monday? Grab the best spot start for Tuesday. Stay one day ahead. You'll still win ERA and WHIP, and if you grab the right guys you may even stay ahead in wins and K. You'll be effectively depleting the free agent pool that much more.

Another strategy is to make more use of middle relievers that have high K/9 ratios. Odds are that two good MR will do more for your team than your opponents crappy spot start pitcher.
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Postby AKhomebrewer » Tue Sep 13, 2005 2:28 am

Age-old argument that appears here several times a season. Spot-starting pitchers that you play is legal. Grabbing guys to hold a day, without playing them, so as to tie them up in waivers, is churning and is unethical (despite the tired canard that 'it's improving my team').

The best solution is prevention, and there are several methods (but they must be put in place in the form of rules before the season).
The most draconian are transaction limits or fees for transactions.
Next worse is adding negative categories that cancel out the potential gains in W and K (such as L and BB allowed).
Best is the good ol' max innings limit. Season limits work best in roto, but a weekly max can be applied for H2H. Guy can mass spot-start all he wants — until he hits the limit on, say, Wednesday.
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Postby baseballnewb » Tue Sep 13, 2005 3:37 pm

Its unfortunate that your league didn't do something to stop mass sport starting to begin with, I would never play in a league that didn't address it. I would say there is nothing wrong with what you plan, what he is doing is worse than you trying to block him.
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Postby prhood » Tue Sep 13, 2005 4:23 pm

Question from a relative neophyte in fantasy baseball but would not putting a limit on the number of waiver moves/FA pickups accomplish the purpose.
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Re: Combating mass spot starting

Postby swyck » Tue Sep 13, 2005 4:48 pm

theclefe wrote:Playoff time in my head to head league and one owner employed four spot starters last week to push him past his opponent. Assuming I meet him in the championships, my pitching staff should easily beat out his, unless he uses 8+ spot starters in the two weeks to take wins and K's. I personally dissapprove of spot starting on such a large scale, but we have nothing that limits it, so it is legal.

My plan is to block his spot starting by periodically picking up and dropping all the upcoming starters on the FA list so they are locked in on waivers.

Nothing limits me from doing it, but do you think it is ethical? And, do you think it will be an effective tool to combat him?

12 team, H2H 5x5, 20-keeper

How many FA SP can you realistically pick up without decimating your own pitching staff?

I guess when an SP is done with his last start of the year, you can drop him for an FA. You can also drop your marginal P and bench hitters. Not sure how you are going to work this or how it will help. You can't pick up ALL the SP's for a day, although you could block him by fighting for the best spot starts.
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Postby MashinSpuds » Tue Sep 13, 2005 5:26 pm

If you don't want to do the waiver prevention idea (add/dropping potential FA for your opponent.. which in playoffs I don't think is a bad strategy against a churner) you could spot start some yourself. Maybe not go for the next day, but plan ahead and earmark some pitchers w/ good starts.

For example, if your opp. is picking up Tuesday starters, find a good Wednesday or Thursday starter. Not only does this stifle some lucky grab by your opp, but you get the better odds when it comes to wins. Or at least, that's what you hope anyway. With a solid pitching staff already in place, this strategy hopefully will combat the other person's mass churning to a degree.
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Postby The Jury » Tue Sep 13, 2005 5:33 pm

Big Pimpin wrote:I thought there was a discussion like this once before. If you pick up a guy and drop him w/o using him, I don't think he hits waivers, I think he's just a FA. :-?


I think he does hit waivers... I've done this with true intentions of adding the player, but then finding a better player moments later.
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Postby chadlincoln » Tue Sep 13, 2005 5:47 pm

Our league got rid of it. In the championship game last year, the guy who won had 3 times the amount of IP than the other guy. Made a lot of us mad so we limited the moves this year. In Yahoo, I can't put in an IP limit because it's head to head.
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Postby demondemon » Tue Sep 13, 2005 5:59 pm

to combat this we locked our rosters for the playoffs. We can only do roster moves due to injury.

It has it's good and bad points.

Good : no spot starting
Bad: Starting player in the doghouse/sucking cant be replaced
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