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Pitching strategy for 2008

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Pitching strategy for 2008

Postby bleach168 » Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:10 pm

Pedro Martinez (11)
Francisco Liriano (10)
Rich Harden (14)
Randy Johnson (16)
Ben Sheets (10)
Oliver Perez (15)

What do these guys have in common?

They are all excellent pitchers, but they are all huge question marks when it comes to health. Lots of fantasy players will shy away from these guys because the risks are too high. That's why these pitchers can be had in round 10 or even much later.

Yet, lots of fantasy players subscribe to the MR strategy by drafting a Broxton or Betancourt or both. These MRs will give you about 70 innings if they are healthy. The SPs I listed will give you at least that much even they are unhealthy!

The strategy, which I think is unique to this year, is to take 4 or more of the guys I listed. The goal is to get 100 innings from each guy. Some will give more, others less. Think of it as diversifying high risk/high return stocks. You know some of these guys will bust but you are banking on your net returns being positive. The key to maximising this strategy is to make sure your SPs are ready to go in April. That's why Carpenter isn't on the list. That's why this strategy wouldn't work in previous years with Wood and Prior as those guys are always injured before opening day.

Let's take a look at the advantages of injury-prone SPs over trendy MRs,

1. Injury-prone SPs tend to be easier to project. Even someone as young as Harden has 464 career innings to his name. There isn't a quality MR that can touch that.
2. Injury-prone SPs have tremendous upside if they can get you 200 innings. You should only expect about 100 innings, but the upside is there.
3. Injury-prone SPs are easier on roster space as they spend lots of time on the DL or just go kaput for the season. Going with MRs, you have to have them slotted the entire year to reap the benefits.
4. Injury-prone SPs will help you in Wins. Quality MRs tend to pitch in hold situations which don't often lead to Wins.
5. SPs have more trade value.
6. For those who believe pitchers are more injury-prone in general, what better way to protect yourself than by drafting 7+ starters? You're much better off expecting 2 of your 7 starters being injured than your opponent who expects none of his 5 starters being injured.

Disadvantages include,

1. Injury-prone SPs are a little more costly than MRs during draft day.
2. No chance of your SP being named closer. (unless his manager is Charlie Manuel)
3. Owning Harden and Sheets is not recommended for people with a pre-existing heart condition.

Now, if you decided to employ this strategy, it really helps if you plan for it before the draft. The number in parenthesis next to the names on my list is a guideline to where they should be drafted. You know your league better than me, so adjust them as you see fit.

Your final staff will be something like 3 regular SPs, 2-3 closers, and 4-5 injury-prone SPs. That's about the same number of slots you would use if you employed the MR strategy. I would recommend you draft 2 of your regular SPs before round 10. That way, if your injury-prone SPs get snatched up early, you won't be screwed.

Good luck!
Last edited by bleach168 on Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Pitching strategy for 2008

Postby hot4tx » Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:19 pm

...or why don't you pick some of these guys and then get some good MRP in the late teens and early 20's?


If you're even considering taking a MRP in round 10 or early teens (when you're saying these guys will go), you are missing the point entirely.
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Re: Pitching strategy for 2008

Postby ScrappyDoo » Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:19 pm

Thats funny I drafted the exact same way. I took Santana in the first and then took a bunch of injury risks that fell deep.

My staff is

Santana
Felix
Vazquez
Liriano
Sheets
Harden
R. Johnson

I feel like even if some of them do see DL stints, when they do pitch they will pitch at a very high level.
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Re: Pitching strategy for 2008

Postby horatio » Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:40 pm

crazy but intriguing, good luck with that.
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Re: Pitching strategy for 2008

Postby bleach168 » Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:47 pm

hot4tx wrote:...or why don't you pick some of these guys and then get some good MRP in the late teens and early 20's?


If you're even considering taking a MRP in round 10 or early teens (when you're saying these guys will go), you are missing the point entirely.


Broxton and Betancourt's ADP show that they are 18th round picks. My fault if I gave the impression that MRs are drafted earlier than that.
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Re: Pitching strategy for 2008

Postby bleach168 » Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:48 pm

ScrappyDoo wrote:Thats funny I drafted the exact same way. I took Santana in the first and then took a bunch of injury risks that fell deep.

My staff is

Santana
Felix
Vazquez
Liriano
Sheets
Harden
R. Johnson

I feel like even if some of them do see DL stints, when they do pitch they will pitch at a very high level.


I think that is an amazing staff. I would be very proud.
"And so he spoke, and so he spoke, that lord of Castamere. But now the rains weep o'er his hall, with no one there to hear." - The Rains of Castamere
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Re: Pitching strategy for 2008

Postby hot4tx » Thu Mar 20, 2008 5:41 pm

The point is that the starting pitchers you get in the 18th round or later usually don't have the upside that the MRPs do (if they become a closer) and they aren't likely to help your team as much. I was just pointing that out because none of the guys you were talking about would be available in the 18th rounds usually.

That said, I do agree that getting 2 "solid" SPs and then a ton of "upside" SPs for depth is the way to go. I don't even like to get "elite" pitchers when I can get a 1b SP, a couple #2s in the middle rounds and some high upside guys like Sheets, Harden, etc. If these guys stay healthy they could be aces. If they don't they could still easily give you ace numbers for half a season or more.

I just don't see a reason why you can't draft these early teens "upside" SPs and still draft MRPs 5-10 rounds later.
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Re: Pitching strategy for 2008

Postby AcidRock23 » Thu Mar 20, 2008 5:53 pm

I don't disagree that this idea has some potential (as a Kazmir owner, I would add him to the list... :~( ) but I think that rather than a solid strategy, it's a simple high-risk/ high reward proposition. If your injury cases work out, you will get performance on the cheap. If they don't you will be stuck w/o much in the pitching categories.

Still, you should have pretty awesome bats to back them up? :-D ;-D
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Re: Pitching strategy for 2008

Postby bleach168 » Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:09 pm

hot4tx wrote:
That said, I do agree that getting 2 "solid" SPs and then a ton of "upside" SPs for depth is the way to go. I don't even like to get "elite" pitchers when I can get a 1b SP, a couple #2s in the middle rounds and some high upside guys like Sheets, Harden, etc. If these guys stay healthy they could be aces. If they don't they could still easily give you ace numbers for half a season or more.

I just don't see a reason why you can't draft these early teens "upside" SPs and still draft MRPs 5-10 rounds later.


You're talking about the more traditional approach which is grabbing a couple SPs hoping they turn into gems. Nothing wrong with that. What I'm advocating is taking it a step further, overloading your team with players who have that upside potential hoping that the risk is reduced through diversification.
"And so he spoke, and so he spoke, that lord of Castamere. But now the rains weep o'er his hall, with no one there to hear." - The Rains of Castamere
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Re: Pitching strategy for 2008

Postby tgalv » Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:47 pm

this is a good strategy every year. you really only need to hit on a few studs. there are always pitchers and position players available throughout the year to fill in.

clogging up your rosters with a bunch of MRs and chien ming wangs is the dumbest thing to do in my opinion. not only will you get mediocrity, but if you're unwilling to dump those guys you'll end up missing out on emerging studs.
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