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Anyone ever employ a steals focused strategy?

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Anyone ever employ a steals focused strategy?

Postby gravenewworld » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:17 am

For this season I was going to try a completely unorthodox strategy that my league has never seen before just to see if it would work. I figured I would try to build an almost unbeatable pitching staff (I'm almost there Lee, Oswalt, Liriano, JJ, Latos, Anderson, Kuroda kept and will probably draft Felix or Lincecum) and then for my offense I would just build it around steals and OBP (my league uses OBP over BA) studs only. My reasoning is this: With an incredible pitching staff many weeks I'll win 5 out of the 5 pitching categories, at worst I may only win 3 categories. If I focus my offense on just SB and OBP I can win 2 out of the 5 categories a reasonable amount of the time, maybe even 3 out of the 5 categories if I win R since I'll have a lot of speed. That means I have a high chance most weeks of going 5-5, 6-4, or 7-3. When I lose, at worst, I'll probably lose 4-6. Going 5-5 isn't as bad as you may think. After 5 years I've noticed that most of the teams that make the playoffs almost always hover around the .500 mark with maybe only 1 or 2 teams about 20-30 wins above the .500 mark. That means if I just go 5-5 or 6-4 most of the weeks, I should be good to make it to the playoffs. The fact that many times the teams entering the playoffs hover near .500 seems to indicate that this is almost a zero sum game when employing the traditional strategy of trying to create the best overall team in order to try to win 10 out of the 10 categories since every manager tries to do it. By employing a more unorthodox strategy during draft day you might be able to break away from the norm, hopefully ahead. Has anyone here tried the stolen base/pitching strategy? How well did it work?
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Re: Anyone ever employ a steals focused strategy?

Postby Pogotheostrich » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:31 am

Bad idea IMO. Even with the elite SP you assembled I would only count on winning ERA and WHIP most weeks. Wins and K's are still going to be hit and miss depending on how many starts you and your opponent have that week. And I'm not sure how you would go about assembling an offense that will be competitive in anything but steals if you don't draft a hitter until the 10th round
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Re: Anyone ever employ a steals focused strategy?

Postby gravenewworld » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:39 am

Let me clarify some more: My list of keepers also include McCutchen and Choo on offense, two OF who will steal bases and have good OBP. As for draft day, I would probably target Juan Pierre, Bourne, and Brett Gardner to fill out another OF spot and UTIL. In terms of infield I could draft solid OBP contributors only like Daric Barton and John Jaso in the last two rounds, and maybe figgins or Eric Young Jr late. I also have 2nd overall pick and will probably draft Hanley Ramirez. My league has transaction limits per week so people can't stream in order to catch up. Hey look at that, hardball times wrote an article on what I'm trying to do:

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/fanta ... -strategy/



I also wouldn't even need to start a 3b since it is thin and all the good ones will be taken early and my league doesn't have any limits on the number ABs you need per week. I would also assemble a good squad of relievers in order to try to have SV on lockdown. Even if I don't win W and K, I can still win SV, ERA, WHIP, OBP, and SB. Again 5 categories, which is all I really need to make the playoffs.
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Re: Anyone ever employ a steals focused strategy?

Postby Pogotheostrich » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:57 am

Streaming or no streaming Wins and to a lesser extent K's are going to depend on how many starts you have. If your opponent has a bunch of 2 start pitchers that week and a good offense you are going to be in a lot of trouble. I think if your draft goes as planned you will win ERA, WHIP, K's and SB most weeks. Lose HR, RBI and SV most weeks. W, R and OBP will be a toss-up.
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Re: Anyone ever employ a steals focused strategy?

Postby Neato Torpedo » Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:05 am

A lot of the good SB guys are small contact hitters who swing a lot and don't take a lot of walks. Thus, low OBP.
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Re: Anyone ever employ a steals focused strategy?

Postby gravenewworld » Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:17 am

We'll see. It might surprise you, but Pierre and Bourne both had OBPs higher than players like Kemp, Reyes, and Phillips--all players who are going to be drafted way earlier because everyone will still be using traditional strategies. Well if it works it works, if it doesn't it doesn't. I'm just going to experiment this year and see what happens.
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Re: Anyone ever employ a steals focused strategy?

Postby dmbjeff » Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:53 am

gravenewworld wrote:We'll see. It might surprise you, but Pierre and Bourne both had OBPs higher than players like Kemp, Reyes, and Phillips--all players who are going to be drafted way earlier because everyone will still be using traditional strategies. Well if it works it works, if it doesn't it doesn't. I'm just going to experiment this year and see what happens.


I would experiment in the preseason by doing some stats research and applying what should happen more often than not. My thoughts are that while you have good pitching it it quite volitile. I would rather invest in a heavy dose of power and speed guys and put together an effective pitching staff that has upside and a few proven guys. Pitching can be so up and down from year to year, I wouldn't rely on them when most hitters have better track records overall.
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Re: Anyone ever employ a steals focused strategy?

Postby Neato Torpedo » Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:17 am

gravenewworld wrote:We'll see. It might surprise you, but Pierre and Bourne both had OBPs higher than players like Kemp, Reyes, and Phillips--all players who are going to be drafted way earlier because everyone will still be using traditional strategies. Well if it works it works, if it doesn't it doesn't. I'm just going to experiment this year and see what happens.

OK, just from a cursory, unrefined look at the data, it looks like that OBP is associated with HR a lot more than with SB:
Image
Also, just go to the leaderboards and take a look at who's leading in OBP. There's a lot more cheap power up near the top than there is cheap speed. The top 60 has guys like Barton, Scott, Ortiz, Matsui, Swisher, Rolen, Ike Davis, who are all power-oriented players with little to no speed. Meanwhile, there are zero SB-oriented players in the top 60 that you can confidently wait for in the 10th round, except maybe Gardner but he'll probably be snatched up earlier. Think of it like this:

Luke Scott + Nick Swisher + David Ortiz = win OBP, HR, RBI, R
Juan Pierre + Michael Bourn + Nyjer Morgan = win SB
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Re: Anyone ever employ a steals focused strategy?

Postby wrveres » Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:06 am

a guy has tried this a couple of times in the H2HWS, and he always fails miserably. He has never even comes close to the playoffs.
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Re: Anyone ever employ a steals focused strategy?

Postby swyck » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:17 pm

How are those SP going to win 5 cats when they don't get any saves? You didn't mention any closers in your strategy.

I agree that this is an iffy proposition not just because of the SP volatility but the SB volatility as well. Punting SB and going for HR\OBP guys makes more sense to me as you'd have shots at more cats. I wonder how well a double punt would work - SB and saves?
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