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When is it safe to punt a category you've all but won?

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When is it safe to punt a category you've all but won?

Postby Millhouse » Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:25 pm

So here's a somewhat personal scenario that, I'm hoping, is more of a general topic...

I'm currently in 2nd...3pts out of 1st place, 19pts ahead of 3rd place...and I have a seemingly insurmountable 27 save lead over the guy behind me in that category (74, next highest guy is 47). When, generally, do you deem it safe to "punt" a category to make up other stats down the stretch? i.e. I could probably drop some non-keeper closers (Mariano, Jim Johnson, Aroldis, Holland) for some starters (to gain much-needed K/W) and a few extra bats, and still finish first in Saves.

But is dropping an entire category -- that you've conceivably wrapped up -- a dumb thing to do even over last 3 weeks of season?
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Re: When is it safe to punt a category you've all but won?

Postby Skin Blues » Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:13 am

Depends who will likely claim the closers you drop. If the guys you're battling with are high in the waiver order, you might not want to drop the closers. However, if the closers are claimed by the teams that are battling for the saves category with the teams you're batting with overall, it might even help you.

Also, if there is an IP limit that you are on pace to reach, it won't help to drop elite RPs. They typically have the highest K/9 rates and high leverage relievers also have an identical W/9 rate (if not better) than the kind of SP you'd be able to pick up from waivers. With IP limits you always need to look at stats per IP rather than just the totals.

I'm in a league that for some reason places very little value on closers. I currently have 8 closers and it's a 12 team league. I have no use for their saves anymore (I'm 52 above 2nd place in the category) but it turns out Chapman/Jansen/Uehara/Street/Papelbon/etc are pretty good at other categories too! I will win K/SV/WHIP by a landslide. Nobody is even close. Overall, I'm in first with a comfortable 6 point lead. So... it still pays off to keep those closers even if you have the saves category wrapped up. That said, you can probably drop Jim Johnson and either pick up an ace middle reliever or a starter. But I see no reason to drop Holland/Rivera/Chapman. They are gold in all 5 categories, even having a better combined Win/IP ratio than any of Kershaw/Darvish/Lee.
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Re: When is it safe to punt a category you've all but won?

Postby wrveres » Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:52 am

Millhouse wrote:I have a seemingly insurmountable 27 save lead over the guy behind me in that category (74, next highest guy is 47). When, generally, do you deem it safe to "punt" a category to make up other stats down the stretch? i.e. I could probably drop some non-keeper closers (Mariano, Jim Johnson, Aroldis, Holland) for some starters (to gain much-needed K/W) and a few extra bats, and still finish first in Saves.
yes you could, and you should. second place has 47 saves. thats less than 10 total saves a month. he would have to triple his output over the next 2 weeks to catch you. If you can even make up one or two points in wins and k's, you gotta do it.The effect a reliever is going to have on your ratios for the next two weeks is barley negligible. I think ive dropped four closers across two leagues in the last week or so. Its now or never.
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Re: When is it safe to punt a category you've all but won?

Postby ayebatter » Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:18 am

Careful if the team you're chasing can gain points in saves by picking up your dropped closers that could put him further out in front, conversely if the team you're chasing can lose points by another team passing him in saves it could benefit you to drop the closers.
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Re: When is it safe to punt a category you've all but won?

Postby Millhouse » Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:49 am

Great input guys, thanks. ;-D
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Re: When is it safe to punt a category you've all but won?

Postby TheTrith » Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:12 pm

Unless all the others teams just stopped paying attention completely, any single team will only get one of the guys you drop.
And how many saves can any pitcher possibly get in the final 15 games?
Even 3 closers combined wont get anywhere near 27 saves.
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Re: When is it safe to punt a category you've all but won?

Postby fast dogs » Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:59 am

you probably should have done that long ago. the end of the season is the time to be category specific with your lineup. you wouldn't want to help the 1st place team by giving him good closers, but if thats a non factor you've likely cost yourself many wins & K's by not moving sooner. there is no sense winning saves by 15 or 20 and losing wins and K's by small margins.
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