Pedro Martinez (11)
Francisco Liriano (10)
Rich Harden (14)
Randy Johnson (16)
Ben Sheets (10)
Oliver Perez (15)
What do these guys have in common?
They are all excellent pitchers, but they are all huge question marks when it comes to health. Lots of fantasy players will shy away from these guys because the risks are too high. That's why these pitchers can be had in round 10 or even much later.
Yet, lots of fantasy players subscribe to the MR strategy by drafting a Broxton or Betancourt or both. These MRs will give you about 70 innings if they are healthy. The SPs I listed will give you at least that much even they are unhealthy!
The strategy, which I think is unique to this year, is to take 4 or more of the guys I listed. The goal is to get 100 innings from each guy. Some will give more, others less. Think of it as diversifying high risk/high return stocks. You know some of these guys will bust but you are banking on your net returns being positive. The key to maximising this strategy is to make sure your SPs are ready to go in April. That's why Carpenter isn't on the list. That's why this strategy wouldn't work in previous years with Wood and Prior as those guys are always injured before opening day.
Let's take a look at the advantages of injury-prone SPs over trendy MRs,
1. Injury-prone SPs tend to be easier to project. Even someone as young as Harden has 464 career innings to his name. There isn't a quality MR that can touch that.
2. Injury-prone SPs have tremendous upside if they can get you 200 innings. You should only expect about 100 innings, but the upside is there.
3. Injury-prone SPs are easier on roster space as they spend lots of time on the DL or just go kaput for the season. Going with MRs, you have to have them slotted the entire year to reap the benefits.
4. Injury-prone SPs will help you in Wins. Quality MRs tend to pitch in hold situations which don't often lead to Wins.
5. SPs have more trade value.
6. For those who believe pitchers are more injury-prone in general, what better way to protect yourself than by drafting 7+ starters? You're much better off expecting 2 of your 7 starters being injured than your opponent who expects none of his 5 starters being injured.
1. Injury-prone SPs are a little more costly than MRs during draft day.
2. No chance of your SP being named closer. (unless his manager is Charlie Manuel)
3. Owning Harden and Sheets is not recommended for people with a pre-existing heart condition.
Now, if you decided to employ this strategy, it really helps if you plan for it before the draft. The number in parenthesis next to the names on my list is a guideline to where they should be drafted. You know your league better than me, so adjust them as you see fit.
Your final staff will be something like 3 regular SPs, 2-3 closers, and 4-5 injury-prone SPs. That's about the same number of slots you would use if you employed the MR strategy. I would recommend you draft 2 of your regular SPs before round 10. That way, if your injury-prone SPs get snatched up early, you won't be screwed.
Last edited by bleach168 on Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"And so he spoke, and so he spoke, that lord of Castamere. But now the rains weep o'er his hall, with no one there to hear." - The Rains of Castamere