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Strategy for drafting pitchers

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Strategy for drafting pitchers

Postby st3v3k4hn » Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:44 pm

I'm in a 10 team, H2H categories league (standard 5x5 categories). I don't want to crush pitching but I would like to make sure that I am competitive. I've seen all sorts of strategies for drafting pitchers, including load up early, wait til late, use tiers based on expectations, etc. I'm wondering if a simpler strategy would work. Basically, I am thinking of using tiers but based solely on rank positions (10 teams so each tier has 10 guys). The idea is to always draft a slightly better than average guy in each tier. In other words, draft the 3rd or 4th best SP from "tier 1", then the 3rd or 4th from "tier 2" (which would be 13th or 14th overall), then the 23rd or 24th (3rd or 4th best from "tier 3"), etc. Same with RPs. Does that seem like it would work? Too rigid? Other problems? Thanks

Steve
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Re: Strategy for drafting pitchers

Postby J35J » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:17 pm

st3v3k4hn wrote:I'm in a 10 team, H2H categories league (standard 5x5 categories). I don't want to crush pitching but I would like to make sure that I am competitive. I've seen all sorts of strategies for drafting pitchers, including load up early, wait til late, use tiers based on expectations, etc. I'm wondering if a simpler strategy would work. Basically, I am thinking of using tiers but based solely on rank positions (10 teams so each tier has 10 guys). The idea is to always draft a slightly better than average guy in each tier. In other words, draft the 3rd or 4th best SP from "tier 1", then the 3rd or 4th from "tier 2" (which would be 13th or 14th overall), then the 23rd or 24th (3rd or 4th best from "tier 3"), etc. Same with RPs. Does that seem like it would work? Too rigid? Other problems? Thanks

Steve


Those wouldn't really be tiers...but why not use actual tiers and pick from those? It wouldn't be any harder and you'd have actual tiers to choose from instead of some arbitrary number that groups players together. Tiers aren't really a difficult thing to put together at all and most rankings these days already put the players in tiers for you if you are using someone elses rankings or just don't want to do it yourself.
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Re: Strategy for drafting pitchers

Postby BJSFAN123 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:28 pm

I usually pick one of the elite guys in the first 4 rounds or so and then I'll typically wait until at least the 7th round to draft another guy. I usually never draft a pitcher in the first 2 rounds unless one of the super elites drop. I like to gobble up pitchers starting around round 9 or so.
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Re: Strategy for drafting pitchers

Postby st3v3k4hn » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:38 pm

J35J wrote:Those wouldn't really be tiers...but why not use actual tiers and pick from those? It wouldn't be any harder and you'd have actual tiers to choose from instead of some arbitrary number that groups players together. Tiers aren't really a difficult thing to put together at all and most rankings these days already put the players in tiers for you if you are using someone elses rankings or just don't want to do it yourself.

Because everyone's tiers are so different, and because I don't really see the sharp cutoffs like other people seem to. And because you need to pick the guy that helps your team, not just the guy at the bottom of a tier. I'm saying somewhere near the beginning of each round of 10 you look for the guy that would most help you. So, in looking at my 3rd SP (the 23rd-25th ranked guys), for example, I have Kris Medlen, Yovani Gallardo and Jordan Zimmermann. If I need ratios I go Medlen. If I need Wins and/or Ks I go Gallardo. (If neither guy fit my needs I would go a bit lower on the list.) I don't care if Medlen is ranked a tier higher (or lower, as he is by CBS analyst Al Melchoir). This just gives me a timetable to take my pitchers that should leave me with an above-average staff. Does that make sense?
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Re: Strategy for drafting pitchers

Postby Ender » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:49 pm

I want 2 of the top 20 guys in that list, preferably the last 2. With only 10 teams pitching is incredibly deep so I would load up on hitting early and often and finally break down and take pitchers probably around the 7th round. Pitching is about depth, it isn't really about elite guys.
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Re: Strategy for drafting pitchers

Postby st3v3k4hn » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:06 pm

Ender wrote:I want 2 of the top 20 guys in that list, preferably the last 2. With only 10 teams pitching is incredibly deep so I would load up on hitting early and often and finally break down and take pitchers probably around the 7th round. Pitching is about depth, it isn't really about elite guys.

So Ender - you say you want the #19 & 20 ranked SPs? That's Cueto, Latos, Scherzer territory? So you get 2 of them in the 7th and then what? How do you decide when to draft the next guy?

I'm guessing that you aren't trying to win pitching? I often hear you should shoot for 3rd place in all categories and that gives you a good chance of winning (although I think that was originally a Points league thing, don't know how well that carries over to H2H categories or roto). I'd guess you're shooting for like 1st or 2nd in Hitting and 5th or 6th in Pitching? Do you think this is better than shooting for pretty good (like 3rd) in both Hitting and Pitching?

BTW, I'm not being snarky, I'm just trying to figure out how often you plan to grab pitching. I often see advice like "take an SP every 5 rounds or so" which seems suspect to me because you want to go with the flow more I think (why keep wasting picks on pitching if everyone is grabbing hitters, and why wait if pitchers are flying off the board?) My way signals you to grab a guy each time another 10 pitchers get taken.

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Re: Strategy for drafting pitchers

Postby Ender » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:15 pm

Well I would never draft Cueto. Gallardo and Scherzer would be a good top 2 starters or Wainwright if he is there etc. No reason you can't win pitching starting with 2 guys like that because they really aren't far behind the top pitchers. Certainly not so far behind that you can't make it up later.
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Re: Strategy for drafting pitchers

Postby Ender » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:48 am

Here are my top pitcher tiers. So in a 10 team league I'm looking at two guys from Tier 3 and 4 (probably avoiding guys like Cueto and Zimmerman) and then probably 1 or 2 more guys from tier 5 depending on where they are going. Then the tiers fall apart so much that you just have to be better at picking the unproven guys than others and that is the key to fantasy baseball pitching more than anything else imo. I do find myself drafting Hamels sometimes just because he drops farther than he should and I can't even begin to figure out why. 3ish ERA, strong WHIP and 200ish K every year and people still draft weaker SP over him all the time.

Tier 1 - The Total Studs

Justin Verlander
Clayton Kershaw

Tier 2 - True Aces

David Price
Cole Hamels
Stephen Strasburg
Felix Hernandez
Cliff Lee
Matt Cain

Tier 3 - Flawed Aces

Gio Gonzalez
Jered Weaver
Yu Darvish
Adam Wainwright
Madison Bumgarner
Zack Greinke

Tier 4 - Soft Aces

Max Scherzer
Mat Latos
Yovanni Gallardo
R. A. Dickey
Chris Sale
C.C. Sabathia
Matt Moore
James Shields
Johnny Cueto
Jordan Zimmermann
Kris Medlen

Tier 5 - Risky soft aces

Josh Johnson
Ian Kennedy
Tim Lincecum
Roy Halladay
Matt Garza
Homer Bailey
C.J. Wilson
Jeff Samardja
Brandon Morrow
Jon Lester
Dan Haren
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