Alright, I didn't know where to post this so I figured Analyze my team is the best place for it. I've been tweaking a fantasy baseball strategy for two years now because one of my friends is so adamant about "Hitting First" as a draft rule. First off, I play in H2H with my friends and this strategy only works in H2H. Why? Because roto is all about filling out every stat and punting stats just doesn't work for roto. So here's my "Pitching Focused" strategy to prove my friend wrong.
Draft Day - When it was finally time to draft I was greeted by the 2nd pick in a 14 team draft. Pujols went number 1 much to my delight, Hanley Ramirez is my 2nd favorite player in baseball, so guess who I picked? I like filling the thin positions first so getting a SS in the 1st is pretty ideal, but this is also dangerous because BPA is almost everyone's motto. 2nd round turned into Brandon Phillips although I flirted with Carl Crawford pretty hard at this position, but I had my sights set on my favorite player aka Ichiro for next round. After CC and Crawford went off the board I took Ichiro filling out my hitting with two MI and a solid leadoff type OF. I have great speed, decent power, and good position coverage after 3 rounds so I'm happy.
Now my eyes were completely on one player and his name was Joe Mauer. Unfortunately for me Mauer went two spots ahead of me to my rival. I decided to take my first SP of my pitching focused team with: Lincecum, Hamels, Sabathia, and Santana gone I turned to Dan Haren. That pick turned out pretty well for me so McLouth and Hart go back to back it's my pick again. Then disaster struck and my internet died on me, which led to Troy Tulowitzki getting autodrafted for me. This threw a wrench into my plans because I was going to snag Halladay for an awesome 1-2 pitching punch.
After taking Tulo my team was in a very awkward position and I was pretty puzzled. The round went by quick and one name stood out from the rest. That name was Chone Figgins who was the best possible solution for me at 3B with Alex Gordon as my backup plan. Lucky for me Figgins fell otherwise Gordon would have ruined me. With Figgins on board I needed my number 2 pitcher and I was stuck on two names: Cliff Lee and Felix Hernandez. Lee had a great year in 2008 but King Felix was my pick for that upside, and so far I haven't regretted that decision.
In the next few rounds I rounded out my offense and pitching with Edinson Volquez, Jose Valverde, James Loney, Pablo Sandoval, Brian Wilson, and Erik Bedard in that order. Volquez and Bedard have been injured so those hurt especially when I could have nabbed Matt Cain instead of Volquez. Loney was always going to be my 1B because despite modest HR totals he gets you solid RBIs and hits for Avg, but Sandoval was one of my steals. The guy plays 3B but has C eligibility which is lethal and reminds me of when I had Colston his rookie season and played him at TE.
My other notable picks were Heath Bell in the 15th and Wandy Rodriguez in the 18th which are both total steals that late in a draft. Over the course of the season I managed to pick up Kendry Morales, Michael Cuddyer, Mark Teahen, Ricky Nolasco, Gavin Floyd, and Gordon Beckham. I'm currently in 1st place with a 27.5 game lead and I haven't lost since week 2 when my team had the worst hitting week ever. Now obviously this isn't a surefire way to win every league, but I just wanted to show that hitting first isn't the only way to win especially in H2H leagues.