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Punting Saves

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Punting Saves

Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Sun Jan 30, 2005 9:45 am

So, I set up mock draft and have been running it based on my league's 16 teams and ten keepers. One thing I dois let the computer draft for me, so I can see what strategies develop. In almost every case, the computer punts on saves and I usually finish in the top 3. I have no closer in my ten keepers. The best on the board will be Cordero, though I seriously doubt he will drop to me. After that it's Graves, Looper, Percival, Baez, etc. I had thought that I would wait a little and then draft 2-3 closers in those later rounds, but when I do that I usually finish around 7th or 8th.

Now, one difference is that my league counts holds and those aren't in the 5x5 valuation. But, what do you think. Given that set up would you punt saves and try to make it up elsewhere.
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Postby Amazinz » Sun Jan 30, 2005 12:16 pm

Is this a Roto or H2H league?

If this is Roto, I wouldn't punt. IMO the better (reliable) relievers become more valuable the larger the league due to scarcity. In a large league I'd be willing to start the closer run because of the high value the top tier closers have.

You say that the computer is "punting" saves? Or is just choosing not to draft a closer based on your values? If that's the case I think the values for closers are too low in a 16-team league or the program you're using is not inflating the closer values appropriately as the draft goes on.

Where have you placed when you drafted manually and selected a #1 closer during the run?
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Postby stumpak » Sun Jan 30, 2005 12:24 pm

A complete punt is a bad strategy in my opinion--it guarantees you only get a point in that category. A better way to do it is to draft one good closer who will get you 35-40 saves. This puts you in posiition to eke more points out of the save category if that is what you need at the end of the season. For example, if it is Agusut and you have 25 saves from your one closer and the three guys in the category in front of you have 35-45, it is relatively easy to catch all them and gain 3 points. This can be by trade or by picking up one of several of the crappy closers that inevitably emerge late in the season as guys get hurt or traded.

Same thing could be said for SBs, another category people sometimes want to punt. Instead of punting, it is better to make a minimal investment to give the flexibility to make an adjustment to pick points in the latter half of the season if low-hanging fruit emerges in that category.
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Postby The Jury » Sun Jan 30, 2005 12:29 pm

stumpak wrote:A complete punt is a bad strategy in my opinion--it guarantees you only get a point in that category. A better way to do it is to draft one good closer who will get you 35-40 saves. This puts you in posiition to eke more points out of the save category if that is what you need at the end of the season. For example, if it is Agusut and you have 25 saves from your one closer and the three guys in the category in front of you have 35-45, it is relatively easy to catch all them and gain 3 points. This can be by trade or by picking up one of several of the crappy closers that inevitably emerge late in the season as guys get hurt or traded.

Same thing could be said for SBs, another category people sometimes want to punt. Instead of punting, it is better to make a minimal investment to give the flexibility to make an adjustment to pick points in the latter half of the season if low-hanging fruit emerges in that category.


It wouldn't be "relatively easy" but it could be done.
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Postby Secret Avatar » Sun Jan 30, 2005 12:43 pm

In a roto league, it's unlikely you can punt an entire category and still be competitive to finish in the money. Certainly, it's possible if you're totally dominant in most other categories, or if most of the other teams suck, but otherwise it's a very bad strategy.

That being said, you should be okay if you at least remain competitive in the saves category. In a 12-team league, you don't need 10 to 12 points in every category to win. If you are strong in all the other categories, you can afford to finish mid-pack in saves (maybe 6 to 8 points) and still have a good shot at winning.

One way to get good save totals is to draft a decent closer, and then try to grab up new closers from the pool as closers get hurt, lose their jobs, etc. Also, while their are not many "lights-out" closers available in the draft, there are quite a few mid-pack guys who should post 20+ saves next year (Kolb, Hoffman, Chad Cordero, etc.) that you should be able to pick up pretty cheaply at auction or late in the draft.

Personally, I'm targetting Dotel as my top closer this year. He's a K monster and likely to get a ton of saves, but he's undervalued this year because he gave up some long balls in 2004 and his ERA suffered. In addition -- and this shows how silly people can be -- he was on two teams in 2004, and thus his total year stats (such as Ks) don't always come up on one line when listed on a stat page. You have to add the two lines together, which means some will overlook him. He's not gonna go dirt cheap or last too long in the draft, but he should be had much cheaper than what he's otherwise worth. In my league, his name didn't even come up in a discussion of the top closers for 2005, and I was happy not to mention him. :-)
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Re: Punting Saves

Postby Absolutely Adequate » Sun Jan 30, 2005 12:47 pm

What exactly are your league's categories? Because the more categories there are, the easier it is to punt saves.
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Postby Brendo » Sun Jan 30, 2005 12:50 pm

i guess it's a little different with holds in the mix, and with a bigger lead it's hard to pick them off waivers.....If you actually haven't drafted, you'll just have to see if the mocks pan out

some people might ignore holds, just because it's a different cat., and you could pick up points there

I guess it comes down to what your staff ends up looking like.....If era is an issue, why not pile on with chacon.....I'm not a big fan of the punt....like you said you COULD finish in the top-3.....but the object is to win, right?
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Postby stumpak » Sun Jan 30, 2005 12:52 pm

Has anyone ever seen someone win a league with 1 point in saves? I can't recall ever seeing anyone win league with 1 point in any category.

Last year I saw a guy punt saves. He did a great job everywhere else but still finished fourth. I was second overall with 13 points in saves. It was so close that if he had just had like 3 points in saves he would have finished a point ahead of me.
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Postby fan-addict » Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:05 pm

i haven't seen anyone intentionally punt saves and win, but in the first year(this will be the fourth) of my current n.l. only, 10 team, auction style, keeper league the winner drafted mantei and some guys who "might" end up their teams closers(can't remmeber specifics now) but he ended up w/ 1 point in saves and won. i finished second(i bought benitez and smoltz then traded benitez and leiber for shef and mesa. leiber and benny got hurt, shef and mesa went off. my best trade ever). he has finished w/ one point in saves every year and has finished in the money every year. he has a skill w/ buying undervalued players(derek lee, renteria, etc first year all under $10) and has followed that up w/ players like marcus giles 2 years ago for something like $4 or thereabouts). anyway i've seen one person be able to pull it off reguarly. unfortunately he has left our league because of our trading rules. very unfortunate.

now onto my situation. i bought benitez last year for $19 and can have him again this year for that price(last year went with the herges, f-rod thing and missed out on hermanson on the ww). the problem is, there aren't gonna be very many closers available in this years auction as they are mostly being kept(i'm assuming) so not wanting to overpay for people like mike adams/lehr/capellan or the hawkins/borowski/dumpata gambles, i was considering flipping benny off for a few low dollar value keepers as i will be well under the allotted 11 keepers this year. and when i say most closers will be kept, i mean most. even kolb @ $15, mota @ $10 and all the quality closers are under contract(wagner, lidge, looper, gagne, hoffy, izzy, etc even people like graves, mesa, etc will be kept. one guy is even considering keeping the arizona probables.

so ramble, ramble, babble. is trading benitez and spending that money trying to get as many w's, k's, era and whip as i can the thing to do here or should i keep him and throw money at the dumpsta's and adams' of the world? oh the cats are wins, saves, k's, era, whip, batting avg, runs, rbi's, hr's and stolen bases. 10 teams, 10 categories. can i get 80+ points in those other 9 categories?
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Postby Fireball Express » Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:14 pm

I never punt any category... Period! I don't like to give myself a disadvantage right off the bat from day 1.


The only thing close to absolute in a bullpen is the closer role. It's sometimes hard to predict Holds. Since this seems to be a Roto league, there is probably a IP max. This means that you don't want to draft any long MRP. Besides grabbing a defined setup man (like Gordon) draft MRPs who are lefty specialists that won't pitch more than 1 inning. Most times these guys will only go 1 or 2 batters. I find this assures me of getting Holds without burning too many IP.

Grab 1 or 2 decent Closers. Then wait to grab the "cheap" closers for your bench. You may need an extra save or two in order to grab that extra point in Saves down the stretch. I usually carry more RPs than SPs (only 5) so that I can have competitve totals in Saves and Holds by mixing and matching my Closers and MRPs throughout the season.



Even if your program values Closers so low, I'm sure your leaguemates won't.
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