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Crazy Talk or Exploiting an Edge?

PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:58 pm
by The Loveable Losers
League is a 14-team 5x5 h2h league with k/9 replacing k's and a 30ip minimum. We keep 6 players per year as well as minor league rosters.

Rosters are 21 players, c,1b,2b,3b,ss,3of,util,2sp,2rp,3p,5bench. Typically teams are running with 6-8sp's, 2-5rp's, and 9-12 hitters depending on the team and their strategies. Keeping in mind that there is only really 1 counting stat for each type of pitcher (wins for starters and saves for relievers) and 3 ratio categories (era, whip, and k/9) I went fairly aggressive last year toward top-end starting pitching, gathering up Kershaw (paid a king's ransom to get him), MadBum, Jose Fernandez, and then drafting Kyle Hendricks. I typically only held those 4 starting pitchers on my team and tried to keep 5 closers...and if I couldn't keep 5 closers I filled in with quality MR arms. The goal was to maximize the ratio impact of Kershaw, MadBum, Fernandez, Hendricks, and my relief arms. Those 4 starting pitchers gave me a non-negligible chance at winning the wins category on a week-to-week basis. I was behind the 8-ball a bit with such few opportunities for wins but they probably grabbed me the category about a third of the time. Figuring 7-8ip a week from each of those pitchers though put me either at or close to the 30ip minimum with them alone and then an inning or two per closer guaranteed hitting the cut-off.

The strategy worked perfectly last year...I won the league despite having Eric Hosmer and Jason Heyward as my only offensive keepers (Kershaw, MadBum, Fernandez, and Kenley Jansen were my other 4). The strangle-hold on the ratios was just too much and when all 4 pitchers were healthy I simply couldn't be beaten. Even when Kershaw was out I still put up about a 500 winning percentage and then won a bunch of 5-4 victories to take the title with Kershaw back.

I'm thinking that the edge here is that while pitching isn't necessarily more valuable in this context, GREAT pitching is more valuable than anything else. A team can put pitching close to lockdown status with 6 keepers - preferably 3 SP's and 3 RP's - while you can't come close to the same effect on the hitting side because no matter how you approach it your guys you pick are at best 1/9th of your offensive opportunities - and that's assuming guys that play 162 games and short offensive bench where you don't get more than 162 games a year from certain positions. Meanwhile, a healthy Kershaw or MadBum likely makes up about 25% of my pitching ratios each.

I'm considering doing just that - keeping 6 pitchers. I've collected some closers on the cheap in the offseason and still have Kershaw, MadBum, and Hendricks available to keep. Closer options right now are Jansen, Wade Davis, Oh, and Kimbrel and I could probably add Melancon and/or Britton reasonably as well. That said, keeping Kershaw, MadBum, Jansen, Davis, Oh, and Kimbrel seems like it could work, isn't that far off ADP-wise, and doesn't cost me any further resources. I would love to find a taker for Christian Yelich if I do that but on the other hand I could let him fall into the draft as well - I've got 4 of the first 15 picks in the upcoming draft.

Re: Crazy Talk or Exploiting an Edge?

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:20 pm
by tms298
My league has the same categories. You are explointing an edge. This scoring system places a premium on high end pitchers.

Re: Crazy Talk or Exploiting an Edge?

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:47 pm
by The Loveable Losers
tms298 wrote:My league has the same categories. You are explointing an edge. This scoring system places a premium on high end pitchers.

That's what I was thinking. Some people are starting to get a feel for this but I was just blown away with this last year and I didn't even go all-in on it. If you keep 3 SP's and 3 closers for example and say the SP's get 208ip and the closers 52ip each each on the season then that averages out to 8ip per starter and 2ip per closer. In theory, and on average, those are the only pitchers you'd need to pitch for your team. If those SP's you keep are all #1's and the closers are also all #1's...well, you've pretty much wrapped up 3 of the 5 pitching categories, possibly locked up saves (assuming you don't ignore closers in the draft and get 5 total), and with another solid SP or two you have a good shot at wins every week as well if you spot start those extra guys.

Unfortunately I may end up being stuck on 2SP, 3CL, and Christian Yelich unless I can find a taker on Yelich. :(