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Draft strategy - need advice

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Draft strategy - need advice

Postby darwin1971 » Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:15 am

Hi folks, first time poster here.

I'm co-managing a team this year in a 12 team Yahoo H2H point league. The strategy I see is not one i'm comfortable with, so I was hoping to get some direction. :-)

Here are the nuts and bolts:

Roster Positions: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, OF, OF, OF, Util, Util, SP, SP, SP, RP, RP, P, P, BN, BN, BN, BN, BN, DL

Stat Categories: R, 1B, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI, SB, BB, IP, W, CG, SV, H, ER, BB, K

Stat Modifiers: R (1), 1B (1), 2B (2), 3B (3), HR (4), RBI (1), SB (2), BB (1), IP (1), W (10), CG (5), SV (10), H (-.5), ER (-.5), BB (-.5), K (1)


So I did a little number crunching from last years stats.

According to my league cats, the top hitter scored about 150 more than the top pitcher. Probably no surprise there.

On the hitting side, the difference between the top batter and the 50th ranked one was about 180 points.

I broke it down a bit more, (compared 12 at a time) and found the biggest difference between players came in between 1 and 12, and then the gaps got smaller as they went down in rank. Probably no surprise there either.

The pitching side is where it got interesting. The first thing I noticed was that 9 out of the first 10 ranked were RP. They pretty much dominated the top 25.

The point difference was also much larger - between 1 and 50 was a whopping gap of 280 points. The gaps as they went down in rank was also larger, as you can probably guess.

Now I know that pitchers are not as reliable as hitters, and not being a stat guy, I don't know if last years numbers were an abberation - but I'm wonding why I shouldn't draft 4 RP studs right off the bat, save my hitters till later.

They can laugh at me all they want on draft day, but if they come in anywhere near projections, I'd take my much larger advantage on the pitching side to their advantage on the hitting side and laugh every week. :-b

I've plugged my cats into a few draft-helper sites, and they all pretty much agree with each other, giving me normal looking drafts. Hitting studs first, maybe a few pitchers in the first few rounds, but not many.

I just can't agree with that looking at these numbers. I'm hoping someone here can knock some sense into me and tell me what I'm not seeing.

Thanks in advance!

Cheers,

Darwin
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Postby Old_Style » Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:46 am

First off, welcome to the cafe Darwin. ;-D

For the first few rounds, I'd go after offense. After that, try to pick up four stud closers that will probably get you 30 saves or more. It might not be wise to skip out on the top bats in the league and start taking closers right away.

I'd be tempted to not have a single starting pitcher on my team with the way this league is set up and it being a h2h league. The way I see it, you'll most likely win saves, hits, walks, and earned runs. You'd lose innings pitched, and strikeouts for sure, but complete games aren't a common occurrence and wins is an arbitrary stat that you might be able to win if you pick up the right relievers.

I don't think the idea is crazy but I wouldn't start taking closers right off the bat.
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Postby dooz » Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:47 am

It is a points league, not h2h.
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Postby Old_Style » Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:51 am

dooz wrote:It is a points league, not h2h.


He said it was a h2h points league.
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Postby darwin1971 » Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:57 am

Thanks for the welcome Old_Style!

dooz is correct -it's head to head in that I go up against a different manager each week, but it's a points scoring system. Total up all the points from every player on your team, whichever team has the higher score gets the win for the week. No individual cats are counted, you either get a W or a L.

It's my first time playing in a points league, which is probably why I'm so confused. :-B

I guess my thinking is since I don't have to worry about winning a specific category, I want to draft where I have the biggest positional/numerical advantage. That seems to be the RP's to me.

Thanks for the reply!
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Postby Old_Style » Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:22 am

Hmm....I didn't even know those kind of leagues existed. !+)

I think I'd still go with a heavy dose of closers and middle relief.
Carry a few starting pitchers on your team and pick up some favorable waiver wire starting pitcher match ups here and there.
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Postby darwin1971 » Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:26 am

Yeah that's what I'm thinking. We do have a cap on moves, so I wouldn't do adds for weekly matchups, but I should be able to find an SP diamond in the rough or two during the season, to help out my numbers.

But if I can get 2 or 3 stud closers, It seems like I'd have a huge advantage.

Thanks again!
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Postby AcidRock23 » Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:45 am

I would have to think that everyone would be on to the closer thing but that seems like a reasonable plan.

If the closers are overvalued, I would think that you'd be better off to get in at the start of a closer run than at the end of it. 4 top closers is a lot to shoot for though, given their seeming unreliability and the mathematical impossibility of lining up a KRod/ Mariano/ Hoffman sort of thing, since it seems likely that if the other owners have any sort of idea what's up, if you pick KRod, the other top guys will be flying off the board shortly thereafter.

I still think that you'd need to get a top bat for the first couple of rounds, hope to get a pick that will let you snag one of the elite closers in the 3rd or 4th round, depending on how they are going and then go immediately back to another closer w/ your fourth pick? That might even be a round too early but if closers are worth that much more, when you pick your second closer, that will likely inspire your leaguemates to clean out the rest of the better guys (the top 2 tiers...), leaving the third tier guys (eg Borowski) and guys waiting in the wings (eg Broxton, MGonz) and that it may be best to have a back up plan in case a move towards closers opens the floodgates in which case you will likely have 2 or 3 closers and will have to fill in w/ MR and hope that some closers (on other teams...) get knocked out somehow.

I guess the key question might be if you take KRod or Nathan right off the bat (I am also thinking that this idea might work best were you able to swing say a 10-12 pick...) do you think that your leaguemates are going to turn around and go after the other closers or will they think that you are such an idiot that they will let them sit for another round?
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Postby darwin1971 » Mon Mar 19, 2007 6:24 am

Thanks for the reply AcidRock!

Well, the point value has been discussed on the boards, but I think the commish is going to let it stand as is. So yes, it is out there - but I think in a more general way (i.e. pay a bit more attention to them this year) than in a "I need to draft RP's early" kind of way.

I think if I had an early pick (1-4) and I took an RP, then there might be a run on 1 or 2 more, but nothing serious, I could probably pick up a second quality one on my 2nd pick.

My hope is that I get a middle to late pick (7-12) where I can get two good ones, and maybe a 3rd on the return.

According to last years numbers, I see at least 11 quality closers out there which give a big advantage. I'm sure I can get two, and might be able to get three, depending on where I draft - but only if I draft them first.

Are closers overvalued? I thought so when I saw the settings, and thought so again when I saw their Yahoo points. But after doing a bit of research, I saw more than a few leagues use 10 for saves, so I'm not sure. That's one of the reasons I thought I might be overthinking this.

Even in the mock drafts of said leagues, there was never an early run on closers. I'm just having a hard time escaping these numbers!

I feel that I'll be kicking myself if I don't play the odds. But who wants to draft 3RP's with your first 3 picks? :-P

Thanks again,

Darwin
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Postby AcidRock23 » Mon Mar 19, 2007 6:42 am

I dunno if closers are overvalued but 10 points for a save seems pretty generous. Interesting though, perhaps a way of compensating for the usual undervaluing of a good pitching performance by having a W (or a save...) equal an HR.... :-?

I think that if the point value is on the boards, if there are 12 fantasy baseball players, at least 1/2 of them will go in w/ the plan of immediately hopping onto any closer run that materializes. A first round closer run might really throw things off ('I can't believe that I got Valverde in the third!!') compared to a straight 5x5 snake type of draft but that may be a good thing if you are the one who can get Travis Hafner or ARam or other studs who get pushed down. I would think that 3 closers would be about the limit of what you would want to get. Even the top two would get you maybe an extra 500 points over the next guy if he had the next two which seems very unlikely. I think that if you do go for a closer in the first and second rounds, you should plan on going for the biggest bats left in the third round.

That being said, I have not played a points league before (although I am doing one this year...) so you may want to get a second opinion or two... ;-D
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