horatio wrote:Whatever makes you happy, my last holds league was 16 teams as well and I never had a problem picking up middle relievers for holds. Personally I'd try to keep my eye out for guys who can get you saves long before looking for holds considering that you'll get basically 1 guy per MLB team that will get saves and possibly up to 3 per team capable of getting a hold on any given night. There were so many candidates for holds (h2h league) that often times when I needed to try to scrap for a few extra holds I'd drop one guy who got a hold one night and look for a different middle reliever on the same team the next night under the logic that if a guy pitched one night the coach was likely to use an alternative middle reliever the next night if a similar situation arose, you'd be surprised how often it worked.
Yes, there's no doubt that you can stay competitive in holds picking guys up off the waiver wire. The question is how much value is provided in other cats.
I was curious about this, and decided to do a little test. Last year, I drafted three holders between round 14 and 20 (pick 225 and 320). I compared the performance of those three holders to the average of holders who ended up ranked in the top 30 of holds who were not drafted in my league--these were guys who were available on waivers in our league. I did throw out MacDougal since I think any rational owner would not have kept him. The comparison group included Bell, Lyon, Sherril, etc. so some quality relievers for sure. My drafted players were Howry, Rauch, and Shields.
Here's how they compared:
ERA: 1.17 versus 1.22
Wins: 18 versus 10
Holds: 86 versus 73
Saves: 14 versus 7
ERA: 3.60 versus 2.94
Ks: 220 versus 164
On a standings gain basis, the drafted players provided between 8 and 9 SGPs over and above the other group, very equivalent to what you get from players typically drafted in those rounds. The difference in WHIP and ERA was smaller, and in the case of ERA the reverse, of what I expected. At least for this one test case, the advantage of the drafted players---other than getting more holds-- seem to the be following :
1. They are more likely to pick up wins. Don't underestimate this. That win difference is worth 5-10 SGPs in many leagues. I think the difference here is that when the gold drafted holders blow the hold, they limit the damage and stay in the game. When their team comes back to score in a later inning, they get the win. The waiver holders get yanked (their IP per game is smaller), so they get fewer win opportunities.
2. Similarly, the drafted holders are more likely to get save opportunities.
3. Finally, the drafted holders are much more likely to have high K rates. Those extra Ks are worth 2-3 SGPs.
"I don't want to play golf. When I hit a ball, I want someone else to chase it."