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I have over 100 saves, my strategy can work for you too

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I have over 100 saves, my strategy can work for you too

Postby ramble2 » Mon Jul 12, 2004 9:17 pm

Here's the deal. I'm a 12 team keeper 5x5 roto league. Each team has a 25 man roster, with 2 DL spots. Probably a little deeper than your average league, and about 60 roster spots deeper than the default Yahoo league. It's a competitive league, with active and aware owners. All closers are taken, as are most of the backup closers in MLB. When a FA moves into the closer role, he is grabbed within a day or so. The point being that saves are at a premium in my league, as they are every year.

Yet I am dominating saves this year. Check out the standings:

103
66
62
57
54
54
53
50
35
29
21
12

The following closers were kept from last season: Gagne, Rivera, Smoltz, Wagner, Nen and Koch (don't ask). For each player kept, you lose a draft pick. I decided against keeping Foulke, and instead decided to implement the following strategy:

Don't draft any closers until the 8th round at the earliest. Between the 8th and 12th round (roughly) take at least two of the best closers available. Prioritize filling other positions, and pick up out-of-favor and under-valued closers later in the draft. Stay on the ball with the closer watch here at the Cafe and be quick to pull the gun on potential closers. Use any big name closers you end up with to trade for other positions.

Here's who I drafted:

8th round: Isringhausen
11th round: F. Cordero
20th round: Herges
21st round: Graves
22nd round: Mesa

(I could have probably had Benitez in the 10th, but I talked him up to someone else in the league).

Very early in the season I picked up Valverde off of waivers and C. Cordero off of the FA after he was dropped.

I traded Mesa after the first week for Brian Roberts (great source of steals, saved me at 2B). I traded Isringhausen in a 3-way deal that landed me Dunn (who I've since packaged in a deal for Halladay). I will probably trade either Herges or Graves to fill in any other holes in my roster.
"The game has a cleanness. If you do a good job, the numbers say so. You don't have to ask anyone or play politics. You don't have to wait for the reviews." - Sandy Koufax
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Postby ramble2 » Mon Jul 12, 2004 9:17 pm

I admit that I got a bit lucky. But sometimes you make your own luck by being well prepared. I didn't want to waste early picks on closers, as I'd rather use them to bolster my offense. I targeted guys like Izzy, Benitez, F. Cordero, Dotel, Nathan, Rhodes, Guardado and others who I thought would be available in the 8th-12th rounds. My goal was to get at least two of them, and then pick up a bunch of lower-tier closers near the end of the draft. My hope was that one of Graves, Herges and Mesa would pan out. I figured that with three closers from the draft plus one off the FA (thanks to the Closer Watch here at the Cafe) I'd be able to land in the top 3 in saves.

It's not just luck. I'm up on 2nd place by almost 40 saves! Keep in mind, too, that I traded away Mesa after he gave me 2 saves, and I traded away Isringhausen after he gave me 7 saves. That's 34 saves that I traded away! I also was very strategic in who I traded saves to, trying to help teams pass my biggest competitors. It's worked great.

The strategy can work for you too next year. Let others grab Gagne in the 2nd, and Foulke, Rivera, Wagner by the 5th (or whatever). Identify a list of solid second-tier closers to draft in the 8th-12th rounds. Also identify a list of potential saves that will be available in the late rounds. Most importantly, pay attention to the Closer Watch here at the Cafe! This will help you ID the closers, and general talk around the Cafe will help you identify the right players. Keep on the ball throughout the season, and don't be afraid to jump on the Valverdes and C. Corderos when other owners have given up on them.

Thanks to the Cafe for all the help! I couldn't have done it without you!
"The game has a cleanness. If you do a good job, the numbers say so. You don't have to ask anyone or play politics. You don't have to wait for the reviews." - Sandy Koufax
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Postby ramble2 » Mon Jul 12, 2004 9:23 pm

Finally, the best part of this strategy is that it helps the rest of your roster. Keeping in mind that this is a keeper league (with my keepers labeled with a (k)), here's my roster:

C: C. Wilson
1B: D. Ortiz
2B: Roberts/Hairston Jr. platoon
3B: Blalock (k)
SS: Furcal
OF: Guerrero (k)
OF: Matsui
OF: Bay
UT: Delgado (k)
Bench: A. Berroa, Figgins
DL: Wells (k)

SP: Wood (k), Zito (k), Santana (k), Halladay (k - traded for), C. Lee, N. Robertson, C. Zambrano
P: Ram. Ortiz

And yes, I'm in first place! (Though I've got some strong competition.)
"The game has a cleanness. If you do a good job, the numbers say so. You don't have to ask anyone or play politics. You don't have to wait for the reviews." - Sandy Koufax
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Postby Pedantic » Mon Jul 12, 2004 9:57 pm

This is basically what I have done in all my leagues. My best reliever is Benitez (in a few). Well, I do have Smoltz in one league, but that doesn't count since it was a GM league and I was the Braves.

I didn't really do it on purpose, but the thought of taking a closer that early kinda sticks in my craw, so to speak, just like taking Pierre in the 5th. I have managed to stay high in saves by combing the wire and on the advice of the Cafe. ;-D
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Postby Ccodyman » Mon Jul 12, 2004 11:10 pm

Great post. I would say one of the better ones I have ever read
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Postby ocmusicjunkie » Mon Jul 12, 2004 11:21 pm

I don't think there is anything groundbreaking here... taking multiple closers late in the draft is a tactic used by many people. My question is, how is your ERA doing with Herges :-o

I do admit though, next year I doubt I'm taking any closers in the first half of the draft. This year I took Wagner early... and Lidge/Graves have both been much better for me.
Help please:
http://www.fantasybaseballcafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=1086524#1086524


Harden- 2.15 ERA, 7.61 K/9
Peavy - 2.89 ERA, 10.10 K/9

[b]Lets go Rich![/b]
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Postby Althalius » Mon Jul 12, 2004 11:31 pm

i think you got lucky with Herges, Graves, and Mesa, all of whom could have turned out badly. And it really isn't that amazing, basically you took it a step further by drafting five closers and picking up two mediocre closers. But whatever works
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Postby ramble2 » Tue Jul 13, 2004 1:22 am

ocmusicjunkie wrote:I don't think there is anything groundbreaking here... taking multiple closers late in the draft is a tactic used by many people. My question is, how is your ERA doing with Herges :-o


Oh I'm not claiming to have made any groundbreaking discovery! This is merely an extension of debates that were popping up around the Cafe in the pre-season. I think my season so far is a testament to the strategy advocated by myself (and many others here at the Cafe).

With regard to ERA, I'm in first place. Closers pitch so few innings relative to the rest of the staff that they don't make a substantial difference. All the more reason to wait until the later rounds ...

And yes, I did get lucky with Herges, Graves and Mesa (though I didn't keep Mesa). But all I needed was for one of them to pan out and I'd still have been in first place in saves. That's not the point. The point is that I think it's a mistake to burn a high draft pick on an elite closer. You can do very well at saves even if you wait until the 8th-12th round to start drafting saves.
"The game has a cleanness. If you do a good job, the numbers say so. You don't have to ask anyone or play politics. You don't have to wait for the reviews." - Sandy Koufax
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Postby bell » Tue Jul 13, 2004 2:49 am

Ummmm........but I really want to ask........Koch?
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Postby crip » Tue Jul 13, 2004 7:35 am

Uh...Why are saves so important again....It's just one category ????
Timmy!!!
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