Hey what's up guys? As you may remember, the league I'm in has the usual Ks, Ws, SVs, ERA, Whip as pitching cats plus Losses and IPs. It also has a relatively low 1250 IP cap.
As i discussed earlier, this had originally led me to believe that the best chance for me to do well across the board was to go for a great bullpen for Saves and peripheral stats, and get pretty good K/9 starters.
This has worked out fairly well so far, I'm on pace in IPs to reach the max, and my K/9 is the highest in the league so I'll likely finish in the top two in Ks (as well as Saves of course). The problem comes in when you consider the possibility of a Strike in August.
This would devastate my strategy b/c I need those last weeks of the season to reach the innings cap, and obviously to compete in Ks, Ws, etc, whereas a couple of the other owners have been pitching a number of pitchers right out of the gate in anticipation of reaching the cap early and trading for hitting then.
I'm unsure if I should move towards playing a lot more of my bench SP b/c if there is a work stoppage obviously i want to be as high as possible in IPs (the easiest category to catch up in), but also in Ks and Ws.
Here is my current staff
Matt Morris, Ishii, Halladay, Sabathia, Lawrence, Tankersly, Ismael Valdez, and Robert Person on the DL
Gagne, Urbina, Percival, Irabu, Dotel
I'm already pitching the first five SP everytime they start as a sort of in between route to start me on getting caught up, but what i really need to know is should i start Tank and Valdez on a regular basis, and should i try to trade Morris and a hitter for two good SP to help me catch up in IPs. Just so you know, the leader in IPs has 575 and I am in 4th currently with 425
The looming strike/lockout/whatever is really throwing a spanner into the works of lots of teams... In a nutshell, yes - I'd start using Tankersley and Valdes, but only when you like their matchups (Tankersley at home vs. a reasonable opponent, for instance). I'd certainly start considering a trade for an additional sp, but only if the terms of the deal make sense to you. Perhaps you can convince the team with 575 ip that he needs to cut down a bit on starts...
I wouldn't perform a major overhaul. If your strategy is working well, stick with it, but nudge it a bit toward raising your ip pace. It might be easier to reserve a roster slot for free agent spot starters (at least if you have free and unlimited acquisitions). You should be able to get pretty decent numbers by exploiting good-looking matchups. Keep an eye on starters heading into Detroit, San Diego, etc. or facing teams like the Rays. One or two spot starts a week should do the trick, while leaving your overall strategy intact.
Another point of view is to stick with what you're doing. If you're among the leaders in some of the pitching categories already, yet you're burning through fewer innings, you have a nice stockpile in the bank. Once the other players max out, they're pitchers will be worthless to them. You'll be negotiating from strength in any trade. If you have 200 innings left and they're all wiped out, you'll clean up in the pitching categories because they'll start dropping quality pitchers to gain hitting points, or they'll be forced to trade to you.
If there are some quality hitters on the waiver wire, perhaps you could stockpile some on your bench in anticipation of desperate owners coming to you when they run out of innings. We're not even a third of the way through the season and the leader in innings is almost half way done. I'd say he'll very much regret that later on.
This is a decision that could make or break you. What do you gain from following the herd and burning up all of your innings so early? If everyone else is doing it, you won't gain an advantage, but you won't fall behind. If you take a different strategy, as you are right now, you may lose if a strike happens, but you'll likely clean up if it doesn't! I like the risk/reward of keeping the innings low, especially if you could potentially win two categories anyway.
In leagues I've played in, it's usually been the inexperience guys who burned up innings. They always find themselves desperate in the end. I doubt the leader in innings is playing a hunch that there will be a strike. He's most likely not paying attention to how many he has left!
Just another way to think about it. I like Arlo's thinking, too, but the point is, you should never make a decision about your team in order to follow the rest of your league. The winner is usually the one who goes against the grain! Think about how you think the season will play out and form a strategy in line with it.