ive been thinking of a few ways to handle my SPs this year. I usually just go in w a list and draft the best available at the time if the value is good compared to available hitting. but thsi year i would like to try and have a strategy. the pitching cats in teh leagues i play in are different than 5X5, so usually rankings may not apply, and that may be why i always dont do good w my SPs...they are...W, L, ERA, WHIP, HR allowed, K, SV, Holds. i also do not like taking pitchers early at all, usually not until the 6th rd, so it makes it hard to dominate when you dont start getting SP until a lot of the studs are gone
10 and 12 team, H2H, 8X8, daily change, no max transaction limit(no i wont be streaming, as ive seen it tear apart leagues)
someone let the cat out of the bag last year(our 3rd year in most of teh leagues) and drafted no closers and loaded up on holds, punting saves. so i think this year everyone will either go for saves or holds and punt the other. a development i dont like at all, bc it devalues closers so much that they are equal now to middle relief guys...but no one wants to change this..so oh well.
my pitching strategy options ive been thinking about are the following
draft all good K/9 SPs and closers(since they seem to get more Ks than set up men), and the middle relief guys w the best K/9.. if i do this, i will only have 2 or 3 SPs that i can get a a discount bc they dont get W or have good ERA/WHIP. this way ill win K, L, HR allowed, SV, and try to stay competitive in ERA/WHIP by minimizing the amount of starts per week. and obviously losing W & holds
draft all low ERA & WHIP SPs and holds guys in doing this, i will draft more SPs, probably 6 or more, no closers, and keep middle relief guys on my roster that can hold down low ratios. during teh draft, i might be able to get some good value on SP bc they dont have the sexy K, W numbers. i figure if i start enough of them i can stay competitive in W, ERA, WHIP, Holds. plus i wont have to use any high draft pick at all on RP, since there are so many of them around you can always get some through FA or at the end of the draft. i have read this strategy on another thread about getting low ratio guys later to hold down the rotation...and it seems safe enough
draft some good K men and some low ratio guys this is what usually ends up happening in my drafts, as i never have looked much into the stats, just a rank. i feel this would be a must for ROTO, but dont feel it is as major a concern in H2H.
thoughts? or am i just overthinking it and should draft best value?
1) With your pitching categories W, L, ERA, WHIP, HR allowed, K, SV, Holds, you've got 2 positive categories and 2 negative categories controlled by your SPs - W & K vs L & HR allowed. So that makes streaming not worth it. In fact I think it devalues having a great, deep staff. I'd concentrate on offense, get a couple 1a or 2nd tier pitchers and then fill in with some low ratio, low HR allowed guys.
2) Also with your categories you have to put more emphasis on hitters. Think about it - normally in a 5x5 league a top SP will contribute in 4 categories vs a top hitter contributing in 5. Well in your league a top SP will contribute in 4 categories while a top hitter could contribute in 8. Worst case scenario - if while you're getting your offense first you miss out on all the top pitchers you can always try to pitch a minimum number of innings using your pitchers only with good matchups and still come out ok. Basically you should absolutely OWN 8 hitting categories, punt W and K, but win L and HR allowed while being as competitive in ERA, WHIP, SVs and Holds as most teams would be. That's not too bad of a worst case scenario there.
3) In past experiences Holds seem to fluctuate a ridiculous amount from year to year. We talk about how much Saves fluctuate from year to year with the closer jobs changing often and because it's a situational stat, and bullpens usually have 1 closer. Bullpens have several MRPs, and that makes holds even more of a random stat. So on draft day I still don't think MRPs have the same value as closers, because you're even less likely to find a guy you're confident in to give you holds. So depending on your bench size and the amount of pitchers you can start each day, I don't think there's any need to punt holds. You can just wait and pick up enough "holds guys" at the end of the draft. Also don't draft guys based solely on last year's holds numbers, as that's likely to fluctuate alot.
I would stay away from top closers (as I usually do) but maybe take advantage of the lowered value of closers and get some guys a few rounds later than normal. You might try to get 3-4 closers and a few of the solid ratio and K/9 type setup men for holds and as closers to be. Then if you play a team punting saves you could drop a couple lower-tier SPs or bench players to pick up some additional holds guys that week, get your closers after 1 or 2 saves that week, and still reasonably compete in holds.
In a league like that take all hitters with your first 9 picks or so and then just take best available pitchers. Like most leagues that go past 5x5 your league had devalued pitching completely.
SP are giving you 4 stats, giving you nothing at all in 2 stats and hurting you in 2 stats RP are giving you 3 stats, giving you nothing at all in 1 stat, not hurting you in 2 stats and helping less than SP in 2 stats.
Hitters are giving you 6-7 stats each most likely (you didn't list the extra stats).
With that setup I'd probably go with mostly RP's and mostly punt K's and W's. Load up on heavy hitters early and then take closers/setup men with good K's. Anyone who actually goes heavy SP will lose L's and HR allowed against you and will have a good chance of losing ERA/WHIP.
Like I said in another thread, I go in most/all drafts with no strategy but to go top-heavy in hitting and hunt for mid-tier pitchers with good enough upside to hold the fort down. I think in your league format, you have more incentive to load up on hitters, especially power hitters if your league has OBP and OPS categories. The whole point in drafting hitting is not just because hitting tends to be more predictable/reliable than pitching, but also because you're in greater control of your categories in hitting than in pitching, in general.
Remember there is little/no control what kind of W-L record that pitcher you drafted will have, same goes for HR allowed. So, what I'd concentrate most on is K, ERA, and WHIP. If you take care of 6 of 8 of your hitting categories and go in with position to take half of your pitching, you're in fairly good shape going in week to week. If you happen to lose out on a few top aces, try salvaging for MR's with good K rate (no matter if they fetch you holds frequently or not) and a couple of undervalued closers. It'll help things if you have a few mid-tier SP's as support.
Just find relievers who have starter eligibility (last year I think Hennessey and Marmol come to mind) and put them in your starter slots. Draft other relievers with low ERA/WHIP and try to avoid the high risk closers (Jones, Borowski, etc.).
If you use this strategy you should get a superior offense (while they're wasting picks on starters), be able to win L, HR allowed, ERA, and WHIP (assuming you draft good middle relievers and closers), lose W and K, and have a shot at SV and HLD. I would make sure you get one elite closer and one elite hold guy, or just like you said punt one category and go for the other. Then just pay attention early in the season to whoever the new Hispanic middle reliever with filthy stuff is and add him asap.