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The Kershaw Effect

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Re: The Kershaw Effect

Postby wingman3110 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:17 am

NikkiSixx wrote:I guess I disagree with most of the above. If you take Kershaw then there is no need to double down. Why do you need to have a team sub 3 ERA when second place is 3.40ish. Same goes for K's and WHIP.... You don't get extra points for completely blowing the rest of the league out in a couple of categories. Doubling down and overspending on pitching will lead to wasted stats and weaker hitting and will force you to make a trade down the stretch. Does anybody care to say why if you take Kershaw it only makes sense to grab another elite arm as well as a Gerrit Cole? So far I haven't seen anyone elaborate on this.


To make sure that you definitely do win the pitching categories. That would be my guess. Some other owner could grab 3 pitchers in rounds 2-6 and then you are out of luck, and basically wasted 1st round pick on Kershaw.
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Re: The Kershaw Effect

Postby NikkiSixx » Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:34 am

wingman3110 wrote:
NikkiSixx wrote:I guess I disagree with most of the above. If you take Kershaw then there is no need to double down. Why do you need to have a team sub 3 ERA when second place is 3.40ish. Same goes for K's and WHIP.... You don't get extra points for completely blowing the rest of the league out in a couple of categories. Doubling down and overspending on pitching will lead to wasted stats and weaker hitting and will force you to make a trade down the stretch. Does anybody care to say why if you take Kershaw it only makes sense to grab another elite arm as well as a Gerrit Cole? So far I haven't seen anyone elaborate on this.


To make sure that you definitely do win the pitching categories. That would be my guess. Some other owner could grab 3 pitchers in rounds 2-6 and then you are out of luck, and basically wasted 1st round pick on Kershaw.

Wasted first round pick? Do Kershaw's stats not count if you don't win every pitching category or something? I haven't read that rule, it must be new.

Is it REALLY worth overloading on pitching just to beat one guy? Why not just take 11's in the categories instead of 12's and then beef up on hitting.... and you could still end up getting 12's in the categories even if the other guy takes 3 pitchers early on, you won't know that for sure. And if some other guy is taking 3 pitchers in the first 6 rounds, then he is putting himself at a disadvantage in hitting. Take 11's in the pitching categories, and then kick his ass in all the hitting categories.

If one guy single handedly gives you dozens of points, he is worth the first round pick.
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Re: The Kershaw Effect

Postby wingman3110 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:39 am

NikkiSixx wrote:
wingman3110 wrote:
NikkiSixx wrote:I guess I disagree with most of the above. If you take Kershaw then there is no need to double down. Why do you need to have a team sub 3 ERA when second place is 3.40ish. Same goes for K's and WHIP.... You don't get extra points for completely blowing the rest of the league out in a couple of categories. Doubling down and overspending on pitching will lead to wasted stats and weaker hitting and will force you to make a trade down the stretch. Does anybody care to say why if you take Kershaw it only makes sense to grab another elite arm as well as a Gerrit Cole? So far I haven't seen anyone elaborate on this.


To make sure that you definitely do win the pitching categories. That would be my guess. Some other owner could grab 3 pitchers in rounds 2-6 and then you are out of luck, and basically wasted 1st round pick on Kershaw.

Wasted first round pick? Do Kershaw's stats not count if you don't win every pitching category or something? I haven't read that rule, it must be new.

Is it REALLY worth overloading on pitching just to beat one guy? Why not just take 11's in the categories instead of 12's and then beef up on hitting.... and you could still end up getting 12's in the categories even if the other guy takes 3 pitchers early on, you won't know that for sure. And if some other guy is taking 3 pitchers in the first 6 rounds, then he is putting himself at a disadvantage in hitting. Take 11's in the pitching categories, and then kick his ass in all the hitting categories.

If one guy single handedly gives you dozens of points, he is worth the first round pick.


Yeah, fairly new rule. Began being implemented in 2011 I believe.
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Re: The Kershaw Effect

Postby hot4tx » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:47 am

If I took Kershaw I'd definitely take a hitter in rounds 2 and 3 and at least 1 hitter in rounds 4 or 5 (maybe even 2 hitters). That way your offense isn't decimated but you'd still boast by far the best #1 SP and could end up with a Greinke, Hamels, Cole type as your #2. That still gives you a big jump on a large majority of your league in pitching.

I'm a hitting first type of guy, but I can see going after the person you think gives you the most points in the most categories. However I don't think that requires you to double-down. If you picked Trout I don't think that makes you target more SB-heavy guys just like picking MCab doens't make you target high-BA/high-HR guys.
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Re: The Kershaw Effect

Postby rjforlife » Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:43 pm

I don't think anyone is advocating punting offense by any means, taking Kershaw should shift your focus however. If you are hitting first guy who takes Kershaw this year, you might want to bump all pitchers up a notch in your rankings so that you lock up a top staff. Kershaw/Cole does not guarantee you an 11 or 12 in every category, it's more of a middle of the pack or slightly above average pair. Kershaw/Felix on the other hand puts you in a very firm position to be in the top third in W/K/WHIP/ERA PROVIDED that you dodge major pitching injuries from your other guys and even then you have a decent shot at overcoming that.
If you just take Kershaw and treat pitching like you normally do and wait until round 9 or something, then you are under-utilizing Kershaw because you don't end up with a dominant staff OR a great hitting squad. You may end up balanced and do fairly well, but you could also easily end up being mediocre. With a dominant staff and decent offense you can very easily win a league, just as Artful and countless others have done. You could also have a dominant hitting squad and decent pitching and win. The issue is that if you have a decent staff and decent offense, you are destined to have a decent team and finish accordingly, somewhere in the middle. Taking Kershaw gives you the best chance at having a dominant staff, but you have to commit to that style of drafting where pitchers have increased value for the first bunch of rounds.
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Re: The Kershaw Effect

Postby NikkiSixx » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:44 pm

rjforlife wrote:I don't think anyone is advocating punting offense by any means, taking Kershaw should shift your focus however. If you are hitting first guy who takes Kershaw this year, you might want to bump all pitchers up a notch in your rankings so that you lock up a top staff. Kershaw/Cole does not guarantee you an 11 or 12 in every category, it's more of a middle of the pack or slightly above average pair. Kershaw/Felix on the other hand puts you in a very firm position to be in the top third in W/K/WHIP/ERA PROVIDED that you dodge major pitching injuries from your other guys and even then you have a decent shot at overcoming that.
If you just take Kershaw and treat pitching like you normally do and wait until round 9 or something, then you are under-utilizing Kershaw because you don't end up with a dominant staff OR a great hitting squad. You may end up balanced and do fairly well, but you could also easily end up being mediocre. With a dominant staff and decent offense you can very easily win a league, just as Artful and countless others have done. You could also have a dominant hitting squad and decent pitching and win. The issue is that if you have a decent staff and decent offense, you are destined to have a decent team and finish accordingly, somewhere in the middle. Taking Kershaw gives you the best chance at having a dominant staff, but you have to commit to that style of drafting where pitchers have increased value for the first bunch of rounds.

If you have the best pitcher in baseball... He will single handedly give you tons of points no matter what you do with the rest of your picks. In the leftovers league last year I was top 3 in ERA/WHIP/K's by taking Lee and Bumgarner as my first 2 starters with Lincecum as my 3rd (round 10)... I also picked up Nolasco and had Haren in the 2nd half, and I also had solid relievers. Although I did struggle in wins (5 in the category). The point is though, you can have a great pitching staff with good in season management and only a couple top end starters. If you take Kershaw, there is no need to go overboard. It might make more sense to grab a guy like Price or Greinke in round 5 and a Cole/Shields/Cain in round 8 or so. That would probably assure you a top rotation if you have good in season management. But at the same time... It's not like you HAVE to go all in on pitching just because you drafted Kershaw. If you draft Kershaw and finish middle of the pack... Then not only did you do an awful job selecting other pitchers, but you also would have about 20-25 points you wouldn't have had if you didn't pick Kershaw.
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Re: The Kershaw Effect

Postby West » Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:52 pm

I haven't had time to respond to every comment but basically I completely agree with NikkiSix.

"If you take Kershaw then someone else could take Felix/Wainwright/Darvish and beat you!"

What an argument. That combined with one story about how a guy won last year with Chris Davis.
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Re: The Kershaw Effect

Postby rjforlife » Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:15 am

West wrote:I haven't had time to respond to every comment but basically I completely agree with NikkiSix.

"If you take Kershaw then someone else could take Felix/Wainwright/Darvish and beat you!"

What an argument. That combined with one story about how a guy won last year with Chris Davis.


Wow, what to make up some total BS, you are really contributing to this thread in such an informative and helpful way.



Nikki- I think when you say taking Price/Greinke and then Cole is the best strategy, I think that puts you in a hell of a good position to dominate pitching while not suiciding your offense. I think of anything said in this thread, that may be the best way to approach the pitching with Kershaw.

Kerhaw/Price/Cole in rounds 1/5/8 sounds damn good to me.
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Re: The Kershaw Effect

Postby bigh0rt » Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:11 am

I'm in the "if you draft Kershaw, take another SP early to shore up your staff" camp. We can grossly over-simplify this, as some have tried in this thread, and strip away all relevance. Or we can have a reasonable discussion, as others have tried (regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the strategy). The common strategy of drafting big/power bats early generally falls within the context of hitting being easier to predict, less prone to injury, and more consistent year to year, than pitching (a gross, one sentence under-developed explanation, but more or less). Now, if you choose to fore-go likely your best shot to obtain one of these bats (Round 1), and instead take Clayton Kershaw, who would largely be considered the closest thing to a "sure thing" that currently exists among pitchers, then you are, at least to some degree, abandoning that strategy.

Some here are arguing that, once you abandon the aforementioned strategy, go all the way. Build a stud staff. Shore up the pitching categories. In essence, don't burn a top pick on a pitcher and then, injuries not withstanding, find yourself in the middle of the pack in pitching categories -- something you could have done just as easily had you not taken Kershaw in Round 1. Others point out that, it doesn't matter if you win ERA by .02 or 1.02, 12 points is 12 points. I understand both of these arguments. That being said, I think that the latter are overstating the impact that Kershaw, on his own, has on their pitching category standings. I do think that pairing Kershaw with another legitimate potential Ace, and projecting 400 elite innings, which should be 1/4 to 1/3 of your allotted total depending on your league, seems a lot more likely to find yourself atop the pitching categories, than putting your eggs into the Kershaw and guys I think are good mid/late round value boat. But that's just me.

We can all sit here and argue how we're going to get all of the mid-round steals to justify whether we should take him or not, but that doesn't take us anywhere. It's just filler.

Something that I don't think has been brought up yet either is that, in my experience, strong starting pitchers, mid-season, tend to be the most sought after, valuable, and movable trade pieces. It could be just in the leagues I've played in, but a #1 or #2 pitcher seems to be better trade fodder than a strong bat. I see top arms move more frequently, and yield better returns. So let's say you've drafted your pitching early, gotten ahead of your innings pace, and have posted stud numbers. You can potentially earn more (again, in my experience) flipping your SP for bats, than vice versa.
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Re: The Kershaw Effect

Postby NikkiSixx » Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:45 am

bigh0rt wrote:I'm in the "if you draft Kershaw, take another SP early to shore up your staff" camp. We can grossly over-simplify this, as some have tried in this thread, and strip away all relevance. Or we can have a reasonable discussion, as others have tried (regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the strategy). The common strategy of drafting big/power bats early generally falls within the context of hitting being easier to predict, less prone to injury, and more consistent year to year, than pitching (a gross, one sentence under-developed explanation, but more or less). Now, if you choose to fore-go likely your best shot to obtain one of these bats (Round 1), and instead take Clayton Kershaw, who would largely be considered the closest thing to a "sure thing" that currently exists among pitchers, then you are, at least to some degree, abandoning that strategy.

Some here are arguing that, once you abandon the aforementioned strategy, go all the way. Build a stud staff. Shore up the pitching categories. In essence, don't burn a top pick on a pitcher and then, injuries not withstanding, find yourself in the middle of the pack in pitching categories -- something you could have done just as easily had you not taken Kershaw in Round 1. Others point out that, it doesn't matter if you win ERA by .02 or 1.02, 12 points is 12 points. I understand both of these arguments. That being said, I think that the latter are overstating the impact that Kershaw, on his own, has on their pitching category standings. I do think that pairing Kershaw with another legitimate potential Ace, and projecting 400 elite innings, which should be 1/4 to 1/3 of your allotted total depending on your league, seems a lot more likely to find yourself atop the pitching categories, than putting your eggs into the Kershaw and guys I think are good mid/late round value boat. But that's just me.

We can all sit here and argue how we're going to get all of the mid-round steals to justify whether we should take him or not, but that doesn't take us anywhere. It's just filler.

Something that I don't think has been brought up yet either is that, in my experience, strong starting pitchers, mid-season, tend to be the most sought after, valuable, and movable trade pieces. It could be just in the leagues I've played in, but a #1 or #2 pitcher seems to be better trade fodder than a strong bat. I see top arms move more frequently, and yield better returns. So let's say you've drafted your pitching early, gotten ahead of your innings pace, and have posted stud numbers. You can potentially earn more (again, in my experience) flipping your SP for bats, than vice versa.

I understand and agree with a lot of this.


I'm not saying take Kershaw and then abandon pitching... I'm saying don't take Kershaw and then draft 2 more elite pitchers within the first 5 or 6 rounds. And I MIGHT have exaggerated when I said 20-25 points in his own, but he definitely puts you in great position. For example... I know you can't necessarily expect Kershaw to repeat last seasons numbers, but if you combined him with CC Sabathia (who eas just awful last year), they would have combined for 445 innings, 30 wins, 3.24 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 407 K's (8.23 K/9). It's likely that you won't have a pitcher as bad as Sabathia was last year, so the numbers would be even better than that. That should speak volumes on how big of an impact Kershaw has on your team (if you combined him with Jose Fernandez last year you probably won ERA/WHIP/K's no matter who the rest of your staff was). And this is also why I don't think it's necessary to overspend on pitching unless you have no idea which pitchers will perform well in the 2nd half of your draft. I trust myself to take good pitchers late in the draft, and if I don't I can find a decent contributor on waivers. And again I'm not saying neglect pitching, but if my next 2 pitchers were Gerrit Cole and Gio Gonzalez instead of Wainwright and Cole... I think I would win pitching just fine.
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