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Strategy: Platooning Hitters??

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Strategy: Platooning Hitters??

Postby mm92280 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:56 pm

I'm in a deep league (20 team H2H keeper) with the following categories for hitters/positional players: AVG, R, HR, RBI, SB, OPS and AST (yes, a defensive stat). We start all of the usual positions while also starting 2 players at Utility every day and have 5 bench spots between our hitters and pitchers. We are able to make daily lineup changes in this league. In a league this deep, sometimes creativity has to come into play and reaching late in the draft is common. One strategy that I've employed to a certain extent is platooning hitters based on matchups. It is a lot of work, as it means checking & setting your lineup daily and watching pitching matchups (for the most part) and ballpark matchups (to a lesser degree).

If an owner has the bench spots and is willing to invest the time, I tend to believe that this strategy can pay off and give quality production at a fairly cheap price. For example, if I want to platoon this year, I might take Justin Morneau and Cody Ross somewhere in the 200-250 pick range, as both are likely to still be available during that part of the draft. With one of my utility spots, I would start Morneau when he is facing a right-hander and Cody Ross when he is facing a left-hander. On the days when Morneau is facing a righty and Ross is facing a lefty, I might find room for starting both in my lineup.

Both players are likely to be cheap enough, as Ross is an average outfielder who batted a decent .267 with 22 HR and 81 RBI last year, while Morneau was still not recovered from his concussion issues, as he batted only .267 with 19 homers and 77 RBI. Not too many owners will be jumping at the chance to grab either one of them. However, looking closer at the numbers, there is room for production and profit here - Ross was a .295 hitter with 12 HR 35 RBI and a 1.010 OPS in 132 at bats against lefties in 2012. He has a career .928 OPS against lefties, so it isn't a fluke. Morneau hit righties to the tune of .290 AVG 17 HR 56 RBI and a .902 OPS in 307 at bats. Morneau also has a career .904 OPS against righties, so his 2012 numbers weren't a fluke. Owners probably look at his overall stats and will avoid him, whereas a more savy owner will identify the splits and realize that he still crushes righties but has absolutely tanked against lefties since his concussion issues. If platooned appropriately, they could provide very good production without having cost an arm and a leg in the draft.

So, getting on track - how many of you guys employ a platoon strategy like this? For the guys that don't, do you not do it because of the time necessary to make lineup adjustments (since it does require a good bit of time) or do you not do it because of limited roster size (not much of a bench) and not wanting platoon players like up spots on your roster?
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Re: Strategy: Platooning Hitters??

Postby Ender » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:06 pm

I wouldn't say I do a platoon but I will usually target at least one player with a big platoon split and start him on his good matchups over my next weakest hitter. In daily roto I tend to leave my Util and 2 P slots for my last 3 picks and many times will pick bench guys ahead of those slots. The pitchers because I know that those spots will likely be rotating doors for me anyway and the Util slot because I know I'll be using some sort of platoon and/or high risk player in it. I also like to get a big speed guy and use him in this type of situation. Start him against bad catchers and sit him against good ones and just try to get 15 steals from good matchups off the bench.
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Re: Strategy: Platooning Hitters??

Postby SpecialFNK » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:18 pm

I love platooning players. I don't think enough people look at splits.
I play in a 16 team keeper league, and I do it with hitters and pitchers.
there are certain batters that don't hit well against RH or LH pitchers.
there are also certain pitchers that do better at home. places like San Diego and Oakland.

Jonny Gomes for example. over his carer he hits much better against LHP. Gomes could go undrafted in even deep leagues.
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Re: Strategy: Platooning Hitters??

Postby Ender » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:23 pm

To be fair though guys who crush righties are much better targets than those who crush lefties just because they are useful more often. Someone like Travis Hafner isn't a bad target this year since that park is so good for lefties and to start the season he'll likely bat in the middle of the order. I used Ibanez like this off and on last year and he put up some really nice numbers for me. Ryan Ludwick is another good target going undrafted as is Will Venable.
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Re: Strategy: Platooning Hitters??

Postby buffalobillsrul2002 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:57 am

I think this is an awesome strategy. I actually don't mind doing this with 3-4 spots, depending on what my team looks like. I'll platoon maybe one spot (OF/Util) off my roster. But if I'm really struggling, I'll even dip to the waiver wire at spots like C or 2B, if my sleeper draft pick fails and I can't find anything really worth picking up off the waiver wire. You can get pretty good stats as on any given day, there is usually at least one Johnny Gomes type who isn't really useful over a long period of time, but is useful with the right matchup.
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Re: Strategy: Platooning Hitters??

Postby Bloody Sox » Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:12 am

If you have enough bench spots, this is a great strategy - but only for left handed hitters. One, they tend to have more extreme splits, and two, the majority of pitchers are righties.

Obviously it needs to be a daily moves league.

You don't want to platoon two guys for one spot... much better to use 3 guys for 2 spots or 4 guys for 3 spots.
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Re: Strategy: Platooning Hitters??

Postby AHF » Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:14 pm

Does anyone have a list of the extreme split hitters (particularly lefty hitters) people might want to target?

This is a good topic! ;-D
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Re: Strategy: Platooning Hitters??

Postby jeffmerk » Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:43 pm

My only daily moves league has a 10 day rule(just like MLB) and when a player is reserved he can't be activated for 10 days unless there is a natural opening(An active roster player DLed or sent to the minors).
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Re: Strategy: Platooning Hitters??

Postby jackie hayes » Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:10 pm

I'll use this strategy in roto, when there's no one good solution for a lineup spot. In h2h leagues, I've always found that the value of an extra pitcher outweighs the hitting benefits.
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Re: Strategy: Platooning Hitters??

Postby DC310 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:41 am

This is a great strategy. I used it a couple of years ago with much success. I second the previous poster asking for a list of extreme splits that could be of value.
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