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Can you punt BA and still win your league?

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Re: Can you punt BA and still win your league?

Postby americanleagueroto » Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:59 pm

Thanks for the updates thru-out the season. Impressive work putting together so many championship level squads.

I've used an approach like this before in mixed roto leagues but was unable to finish first. As an owner who primarily plays AL only now the strategy needs to be amended some, but I agree with the overall thought of targeting power/speed type players.
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Re: Can you punt BA and still win your league?

Postby Izenhart » Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:27 pm

Final standings for my low BA project:

Roto:
1st place: 4.5 points ahead - http://baseball.fantasysports.yahoo.com/b1/152729/5 This is the first team I drafted and the one I used to start this thread. It was a fairly active league, I got a bit lucky with pickups here and I had an amazing last day of the season, gaining points in ERA, WHIP, Ks, SBs and Runs to jump from 2 points back to 4.5 up. Streaming pitchers on the final day I made all the right calls (click the link and look lol)

2nd place: 5.5 points behind leader - http://baseball.fantasysports.yahoo.com/b1/13050/standings This was a tough league. Many teams were very active and I could never get the closer I needed off the FA wire. I'm happy with finishing 2nd here, this was a solid team overall that got beat by a very well rounded team.

1st place: 1.5 points ahead - http://baseball.fantasysports.yahoo.com/b1/185973/standings This was not a very active league and I barely won, edging out a logjam of mediocre teams at the top. I think this was my worst team of the bunch - I spent almost my entire budget on pitching and I needed every pitching point to win.

.....

H2H:
1st place: 124-77-9, #1 seed - http://baseball.fantasysports.yahoo.com/b1/126093 3 runs, 1 hr, 5 rbi, 1 win, 0 saves. That's all it would have taken to swing those categories in the final week. Kershaw was dominating and Medlen carried me in the playoffs too. Deep pitching and timely hitting won, much like real life baseball.

1st place: 117-76-17, #3 seed - http://baseball.fantasysports.yahoo.com/b1/175326 I made some trades here that worked out favorably, especially in H2H when you consider Robinson Cano was the hottest bat on the planet for the finals - 11 runs, 15 RBI, 3HR and an eye-popping .558 average. That didn't stop this team from hitting .233 though, but the counting category production was there and pitching was just enough to eek by 5-4-1, 6-4, and 6-4 in the playoffs after finishing 3rd during the season.

1st place: 114-86-10, #3 seed - http://baseball.fantasysports.yahoo.com/b1/187759 More of the same, my team hit .198 in the finals (and lost BA) but I won 7-3.

Winning a public Yahoo league proves nothing to be honest, but I think what this strategy shows is that if played correctly, it can work. It's not as simple as punting Saves or Steals, so if you are looking for a challenge and think it may be fun, and I had more fun with this than I expected to, give it a shot and see how it works for you. ;-D
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Re: Can you punt BA and still win your league?

Postby Quackman » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:55 pm

Cool that you did all this, nice job. BUT, i think this is a really small sample size and a few of the guys you relied on basically had amazing production and terrible BA. For instance you had Adam Dunn on like every team. It happened to work out bc he had great production. Saying that you can rely on the idea that you will get high production with low BA is a little out there. They are like opposites, its like trying to be positive and negative at the same time.

as a general rule id say: Higher batting average = higher production

I think you found some of the exceptions to this general rule and put them on your teams. They did great, but i wouldnt rely on it. Low batting average = crap production is a rule id more likely subscribe too.

Gratz on your leagues though, it is pretty impressive that you drafted some of those teams with a low BA strat in mind. Im betting that your fantasy skill played a big part in you winning, not just the low BA/high production players.
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Re: Can you punt BA and still win your league?

Postby Izenhart » Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:43 am

I think I actually got the idea when I saw Dunn going for a buck - he was my primary 1B target. You're right though it's probably not a strat that *will* work every year, but I'm going to see if I can do this again next season too.

Sample size was a concern after my first draft, which is why I chose to do 6 teams, which was a lot, and I don't see myself extending the number of teams next year. Another reason this worked is because my starting pitchers for the most part all did very well. I didn't load up on Harens and Lincecums and instead got Verlanders and Kershaws, who both pitched excellent down the stretch.

Doing well in SB was key, since HR was easily locked up, but I couldn't afford to use many leadoff types with no power and risk hurting RBI, so I had to stick with middle of the batting order hitters. The easy locks for my team were Arencibia (wasn't going to spend more than $5 at C using this strat) Dunn, Uggla, and Reynolds. It looked a lot better on paper before the season, only Dunn performed at or above what I was expecting. Uggla still finished 6th amongst 2B in runs scored and 5th in RBI, so assuming his BA didn't matter to me, he was still a very useful play here.

OF is where things got tricky, I needed to find players who steal bases and get a decent number of RBI, and that severely limits what is left, so this is where I decided to spend the better part of my hitting budget. BJ Upton was a fairly inexpensive option, and from there I got to choose between guys like Granderson, Stanton, Stubbs etc.

It's important to know as you said, with low BA comes low production as a general rule. The trick is finding the exceptions. Curtis Granderson scored 136 runs while batting only .262 in 2011. Lineup and batting order position have a lot to do with that. #2 hitters with speed/pop will score runs if they have guys to drive them in.

Finding replacements for underachieving hitters was easy too, in a 12 team mixed format there will be many low avg options on the WW who produce well. Guys like Chris Davis, Wilin Rosario, Carlos Gomez and Pedro Alvarez went unclaimed in many leagues until mid or even late in the season.

Next year I'm not sure what to do with SS, Rollins was gold and he is sure to be more expensive and I'd also expect a decline from this year's numbers. I'm also going to have to be much better at keeping up with the closers, I want to finish no less than 3rd place in any category except BA. To get 100 league points I'll need nine 11's and a 1. That'll be next year's goal.
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Re: Can you punt BA and still win your league?

Postby Izenhart » Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:45 pm

After taking a month to mentally digest the 2012 season my homework for 2013 begins. I know its too early to put solid values on anyone, so these are my own projected values based on what I think I will have to pay at auction.

Using the same strategy, I am targeting many of the same players for 2013. According to my projections these are the players I feel will bring back the best value for this strategy if the dollar amounts remain accurate going forward.

??? means I'm iffy on picking that player. Closers will be determined later, for now they get a budget of $15-$20 for 4 spots.

C Napoli $13??? -- Rosario option #2. Option #3 is a $1 C.
1B Dunn $7 -- I'm rooting for him to hit .199 with 40 bombs
2B Uggla $7 -- Will he continue to bat cleanup?
3B H Ramirez $26??? -- Steals at 3B is sexy. May be overpriced.
SS Desmond $11 -- I predict Desmond bats #2 by May, with Harper in the 3 hole.
OF Upton $15 -- No idea where he ends up, but he's a power/speed bank.
OF Granderson $27 -- I'll take what he did last year.
OF Heyward $23??? -- Ditto.
DH D Ortiz $8??? -- R Howard option #2
DH OF Ruggiano $1 -- I really like this kid batting #2 all year.

2B R Weeks $3 -- Assuming he hits in the #2 hole
3B Alvarez $2 -- Finished strong, I have a feeling a career year is ahead
OF C Gomez $3??? -- Bench fodder unless he takes Weeks' batting spot

SP Verlander $40
SP Kershaw $36
RP Closer 1 $7
RP Closer 2 $5
P Beachy $8???
P Bailey $7???
P Closer 3 $3
P Closer 4 $1

P Luebke $6???
P Estrada $1

$260 total
146/114 split

The players that seem to be locks are Dunn, Uggla, Weeks, (One of Reynolds or Alvarez), BJ Upton, Ruggiano, and possibly depending on where he hits in the lineup, Carlos Gomez (hoping he hits #2). Also locked up is $20 to 4 relief slots, and a $1 SP, I'm going with Marco Estrada for now. Targeting low risk, low value, low avg, middle of the order hitters solidifies the bench and gives a base on which to build the rest of the team around. It allows for some big spending at SP and in the OF (Which aims to make up the small R/RBI deficiencies while also addressing steals).

More money is spent on the pitching budget for two reasons. The first one being I need to dominate all five pitching categories and it's very hard to do that without at least two big name pitchers. The other reason is because if I distribute my money wisely, I end up paying for 4 hitting categories instead of 5, so there is naturally more money left over in the budget for pitching if I target the correct hitters.

The average team allocates $180 to hitting, coming to $18 per hitter, or $3.6 per category per player. With this logic I should spend $14.4 per hitter since I won't pay for BA, which works out to $144.

On the pitching side, it looks like Medlen pitched much too well to go under any radars. Luebke and Beachy may be forgotten about, if they are under $10 and healthy I'll probably grab both and hope one has a big year. If not, H Bailey, Morrow, Scherzer, Harvey, Fister and Carpenter may come at good values too. The $10 pitching tier will have a lot of solid options to choose from, much like last year.

The potential $1 pitchers to keep an eye on are Marco Estrada, any Oakland A's SP, David Phelps, possibly Michael Pineda if he's looking good in the spring, and Steve Johnson.

I'll happily grab Verlander and Kershaw once again if their prices don't get too crazy. Strasburg will be my plan B if I lose a bid. After I land 2 top pitchers I'll dig for value and hope I make good choices again.

In a perfect world, every hitter on my team should be a fixture in the 2-5 spots of a team's lineup. The only exception would be a bench player used for a SB boost or lineup flexibility (E Cabrera, Bonifacio are good targets)

I try and leave about $10 of wiggle room and adjust as the draft progresses. If I find I have $35 left of target players and $45 left to spend, I may go for a guy like Harvey or Darvish instead of Bailey and use a few extra bucks to land a closer I am more comfortable with.

When Yahoo comes out with their default prices I'll see how far off I am with my projections.
Comments are welcome :-D
Last edited by Izenhart on Sun Nov 11, 2012 6:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Can you punt BA and still win your league?

Postby RufusJFox » Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:37 pm

"A bit lucky with pickups" - you got more than a bit lucky I think. Nicely done though.
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Re: Can you punt BA and still win your league?

Postby Quackman » Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:32 am

Shoot me an invite if you have spots open and its $ league. Ill go average/speed guys and we'll see how it ends up.
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Re: Can you punt BA and still win your league?

Postby Izenhart » Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:07 pm

Quackman wrote:Shoot me an invite if you have spots open and its $ league. Ill go average/speed guys and we'll see how it ends up.


Sounds like fun! I don't currently have any pay leagues that are 5x5. If you find one and there's a spot available let me know, and we can do our thing and see how it works out :-) ;-D
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Re: Can you punt BA and still win your league?

Postby Kimbos Beard » Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:02 am

RufusJFox wrote:"A bit lucky with pickups" - you got more than a bit lucky I think. Nicely done though.


This is what makes this sort of thing so hard to analyze. I like that the OP gave a running summary throughout the year and it is an interesting theory. BA is an extremely variable cat just ask Michael Young owners.

However, there are so many factors like how knowledgeable the other managers are, how active they are, who you grab off the waiver wires, trades etc., that its hard to say for sure that this could consistently work.

It was a good attempt though!
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Re: Can you punt BA and still win your league?

Postby americanleagueroto » Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:40 pm

I don't think you get Ortiz for anything less than $15, and I could see him going for $20-22, so you might have to look elsewhere there.
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