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For these pairings, I’m going to be using our 2010 fantasy baseball rankings.  Notably, the top 20 starters for 2010 fantasy baseball, top 40 starters for 2010, top 60 starters for 2010 and the top 80 starters for 2010.  Okay, now that we have our links and shizz done.  What is a pitcher pairing?  It’s how you plan on putting together a fantasy staff.  It’s a plan of action.  If you have A pitcher, which B, C and D pitcher goes with him?  You should have six starters.  The sixth starter is Jonathan Sanchez or take whoever you want.  I suggest an upside pick.  Jonathan Sanchez comes to mind.  Sanchez, Sanchez, Sanchez… The fifth starter will be covered below.  I’m going to assume you’re in a 12 team, 5×5 and some variation of 9 Pitchers league.  (NOTE:  What you are about to read is massively confusing.  If it were found scribbled in a notebook, the FBI would be watching me.  But to add more confusion, every time I say Wandy/Bills tier, you can also include Matt Cain’s tier in there.)  Anyway, here’s some pairings for pitching staffs for 2010 fantasy baseball drafts:

TIERS

Tim Lincecum – There’s very little chance I have Lincecum on any of my teams, but if I do have him, I wouldn’t take another pitcher until around Wandy tier of the top 40 starters.  Then I’d grab two guys from the flier tier of Cueto/Buchholz.  Finally, I’d finish my staff off with — that just sounded like a phone sex operator — a total flier in the Homer Bailey tier.  So Lincecum, Billingsley, Cueto, Anderson, Bailey and Sanchez.  This is a pretty wonky staff, but Lincecum gives you that flexibility.

“F-Her vs. Greinke,” “Don’t hate them because they’ve done it many times before.” and “These guys have a legitimate chance of being on my team.” — With the pitchers from these tiers, you don’t have the same luxury of Lincecum.  I’d pair any of the top 20 starters that come before Hamels with anyone in the Hamels tier, but it’s not mandatory.  In other words, if I have Haren I wouldn’t ignore Hamels (or anyone in his tier) if he fell to me, but I wouldn’t reach either. So you could start your staff Hamels and Haren.  Then I’d take one guy from the Bills/Wandy tier.  So Hamels, Haren and Baker, for instance.  Then I’d take one guy from the Slowey/Cueto tier.  So Haren, Hamels, Baker and Ervin, possibly.  Then I’d skip below for the fifth starter.

If you get a pitcher from above Hamels on the rankings and don’t get someone from the Hamels tier as well, I would pair that pitcher with two guys from the Wandy/Bills tier.  So you’re looking at, possibly, Haren, Cain and Baker.  Or Verlander, Wandy, Bills.  Or Johan, Bills and Baker.  If you can’t get two guys from the Wandy/Bills tier, I’d go for one and two guys from the Cueto/Buchholz flier tier.  So, something like Haren, Bills, Cueto and Anderson.  If you do get two guys from the Wandy/Bills tier, then I’d take one from the flier tier.  So you’re looking at Haren, Wandy, Cain and Cueto.  I’ll get to the fifth starter in a second.  Remember, every team needs a sixth starter — Jonathan Sanchez.

“If I don’t get a pitcher from the previous tier, I’ll need someone from this tier.” — This tier starts with Hamels.  I would team Hamels with anyone in this tier, but then I’d skip to the Slowey/Cueto tier.  You draft Hamels and Johnson?  Then skip to Slowey/Cueto.  This is like a fantasy baseball Choose Your Own Adventure.  Hamels and Nolasco?  Skip to Slowey/Cueto.  In the Slowey/Cueto tier, I’d take two.  Hamels, Nolasco, de la Rosa and Slowey, for instance.

If you only get one from the Hamels tier, then I’d take two from the Bills/Wandy tier.  So Hamels, Bills and Wandy, for instance.  I’d then take one guy from the Cueto/Slowey tier.  So, possibly, Hamels, Bills, Burnett and Slowey.  See below for the fifth starter.

“I’m on board.” – If you were able to actually follow along in the last two sections, two points for you.  Now let’s assume you don’t take any starter until the Wandy/Bills tier.  Then I’d take two starters from the Wandy tier.  So let’s say Bills and Baker.  Then I’d take one from the Cueto/Buchholz flier tier.  So you now have Bills, Baker and Anderson.  This staff is five times wonky with a side of ulcer, so to finish it off I’d take Tim Hudson, Ted Lilly, Correia or Penny, or some kind of vet stability.  So you’re hopefully looking at Bills, Baker, Anderson, Hudson, fifth starter to come and Filthy Sanchez.

The Fifth Starter – Before everyone takes Jonathan Sanchez, we need a fifth starter.  My suggestion is to take someone to complement your first pick’s risk.  If you went less risky by taking someone in the top 17 of the top 20 starters, then take a flier like, say, Mat Latos.  If you didn’t take anyone in the top 20, then take someone a little safer with your fifth starter, like, Harang or Penny.  If someone — anyone! — falls in the draft and becomes a value pick, take them.  If Oswalt falls for whatever reason, take him.  If Peavy falls, take him.  If Bedard’s sitting around in the 330s, take him.  The fifth starter is your wild card.

TROUBLE AREAS

WHIP Issues – For every pitcher who is projected over a 1.26 WHIP, take one below.  The quicker you do this, the better off you’ll be.  For instance, if you take Bills, who I have projected for a 1.32, you need to pair him with someone I have projected for below a 1.26.  Don’t pair Bills with Wandy.  Don’t pair Bills with Price.  Pair Bills with Baker.  Pair him with Oswalt.  Pair him with Cliff Lee.  If you take Ubaldo (projected 1.27 WHIP) and Bills (projected 1.32 WHIP) where are you going to balance these guys?  Slowey and Wells?  Okay, but if you don’t get them, then you might need to scramble.  Remember, the further you get into the rankings, the harder it becomes to find lower WHIPs.  In the top 60 starters, there’s only two starters below a 1.26 WHIP and one of them might be a reliever this year (Hughes) and one is Randy Wolf.  There’s four pitchers in the top 80 and one of them is out a month to start the season (Lilly), one is Jurrjens and two of them will hurt you on Ks (Wells and Buehrle).  Sidenote:  WHIP can be helped by closers and MRs… Or hurt by them.

K ISSUES – For drafters who follow my lead, this shouldn’t be as much of an issue.  You’re shooting for around 150/starter.

Overall Pitching Issues – Just about everyone, including yours truly, drops at least one of their starters by May 1st.  Obviously, you want the best team coming out the draft, but it’s a marathon not a sprint.  Starters always come out of nowhere on waivers to become productive.

From Around The Web

  1. Quintero says:
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    If a guy reads Razzball regularly and only, he could win nearly every 12 team 5×5 Roto league he played.

    If a guy reads Y! regularly and only, he could finish in dead middle in every 12 team 5×5 Roto league he played.

    If a guy reads FanGraphs regularly and only, he could finish anywhere between top and bottom depending how many time this guy has to read all those articles.

    If a guy reads ESPN regularly and only, he should just watch Disney plus ABC, and leave fantasybaseballing alone.

  2. Steve says:
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    Thanks Grey, great stuff.
    I’m glad it’s evening here when you push these as, having read that, I need to go and lie down.

  3. Schlitzy says:
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    This will be my bible for staff construction. Thanks!

  4. brett says:
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    So what’s the over/under on where Jonathan Sanchez gets drafted in RCLs? Round 13?

  5. Good this it’s not complicated! Hell, I just threw up in my shoe.

  6. Dingo says:
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    This is awesome. It confirms my own instincts for the most part, but it also provides guidance for those crucial middle rounds where I often lose track of my overall draft plan. Also, it’s a lot easier to follow if you have the Gigantic Tiers Table in front of you.

  7. Mikey boy324 says:
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    Nice article grey I’m just hoping my league mates in espn follow there rankings they got Ervin Santana ranked 300 I’n mocks I’ve been getting him as my sixth starter everytime so far same goes with Stewart at 199 do these people who make these rankings even play fantasy baseball lol

  8. Dingo says:
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    @Dingo: Actually, on that subject, would it be possible to extent your Top 20 Closers list to a full ranking of 30+ closers or closer candidates? When it gets down to the Capps/Dotel/Lindstrom level of closers, it’d be nice to have a handy Razzball guide. They’re already in the Razzball Top 300 (I think), but it’d be helpful to have them in the closers-only list as well.

    Thanks for providing so many fantastic draft tools!

  9. giantJJ says:
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    20 team mixed
    i took lincecum, then jon sanchez (9th), liriano (13), harang (15th), volstad (19). i took 2 closers and their handcuffs. i always make sure my closers have good peripherals and so do their handcuffs (wilson/affeldt jenks/thorton). i think i did alright. i stuck with my plan anyway.

  10. sean says:
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    @Dingo: put “closer look” into the search bar in the top left

  11. Eddy says:
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    GREAT start to a Monday Grey, this is an extremely helpful post!

    I want to ask you something though. My league (12 team H2H) values pitching and wouldn’t hesistate making a somewhat desperate trade midseason if their staff isn’t so hot. With that in mind, I’m usually able to draft three guys from the Hamels tier, but you look down upon this. Can you explain to me why? I ALWAYS have my three OF spots set as well as my corner spots by the time I draft a pitcher in the 6th. So it’s not a matter of missing out on good value because i have it by then. Not to mention that it’d be too early for a catcher or my 2B and SS. I ALSO fill up my bench with nothing but pitching (save for maybe a rookie bench flyer), meaning I have 7 SP and about 4-5 RP. You recommend 6 SP, so with that extra SP I usually draft I can also cover that late flier like Bailey you suggest.

    So once again, why not go for a JJ, Hamels, Ubaldo, Ervin, Cueto, J.Sanchez and hell, a Strasburg rotation?

  12. brett says:
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    @Eddy: Not to speak for Grey, but that’s probably reasonable in a standard Yahoo draft with less offensive spots. I might try to do something similar if i play in a league like that. It’s the extra 2 OF, CI, MI that have buried me in mock drafts when i take too many pitchers early.

  13. Tony says:
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    grey and anyone else i posted a Question in the forum about my H2H league if anyone can help I appreciate it, its a wild 10×10 H2H league, so if you have experience or insite let me kow…. its under the mock section i think…

  14. Dingo says:
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    @sean: Cool, thanks!

  15. Eddy says:
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    @brett:
    Good point, it is in fact a Yahoo league with simply two util. spots (In which I plan on throwing Bruce and Borbon in).

    All right, I can see why it’s dangerous to draft 3 consecutive SP in the RCL for example.

    Thanks!

  16. sean says:
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    @Grey: appreciate the page out of your playbook here. Ideally, how many starters should I draft in a standard 10-team CBS league with 9P and 6BN spots?

  17. FredayCouples says:
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    Keeper question for the masses. 12 team 6×6 H2H league (OPS instead of hits). I’m keeping Utley, Lincecum, and Zimmerman. I need to keep Morneau or Votto. There is no limit on the # of years we can hold anyone. I go back and forth on this but I have to decide today. Votto seems more exciting and Morneau may have back issues, but the Twins line-up looks better and I’m probably discounting Morneau’s consisiting (though I would prefer if he didn’t suck in August)

    What is your vote, keep Morneau or Votto knowing the other 3 keepers. Thanks in advance fellow razzballers.

  18. Jackie says:
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    I’m in a $260 auction (12-team mixed keeper) and can keep three of the following:

    Weiters: $1
    BJ Upton $1
    Hanson $1
    Arod $37

    Because lot of poeple are keeping good players, we will see tons of inflation driving Arod’s draft value to ~$57.

    The question then becomes: Do I keep Weiters for a $1 and make a reasonable run at Arod or do I keep Arod and make a $10 run at Weiters (I think he goes for $20) and settle on a $1 catcher.

    Another way to ask: Is Arod ($37) + $1 Catcher better than Weiters ($1) + some $40 stud?

    Thanks as always!

  19. brett says:
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    @Tony: Gave it a shot.

  20. brett says:
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    @FredayCouples: Tough call. The “smart” play is probably to take the more proven Morneau, but something about a guy with nagging injuries moving to a new outdoor-in-a-cold-state ballpark makes me slightly weary. I’d keep Votto, but i’m partial to upside to the point that it often hurts me. I also love hitters parks and avoiding injuries like the plague.

  21. Mo says:
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    Grey,

    In the top 300, you have Bedard ranked 292, why would that make him a good value at the 230s?

  22. majortommy says:
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    Spent many a bus rides home from school reading choose your own adventure books, then spent many afternoons after school pulling my wedgied underwear from my crack for being a geek! HUH Shane Espolita, huh, yeah. Look at me know!!!! Making anonymous posts on a fantasy baseball message board that will probably be read by dozens of people!!! Who’s the loser now?!

  23. Mr. Trivia says:
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    @giantJJ: Interesting pick with Volstad. He went undrafted in my dynasty league and I have been thinking of picking him off the waiver wire (would have to drop RZE). Thoughts?

  24. majortommy says:
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    please replace *know* with *now* in the last message.
    Hard to believe I was a journalism major. At least I spelled anonymous right.

  25. papasmurf says:
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    Grey, do these four look solid enough to you that I can afford to wait until pick 225 or after to take that flier on a fifth SP? (My league’s slow draft is still ongoing)

    Vazquez, Hamels, Oswalt, Dempster. (16 team keeper league)

    I kept the first two, and the last two I drafted back to back around pick 160.

    The elite SPs were all unavailable (kept by other teams)

  26. majortommy says:
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    @papasmurf: That looks like a nice well rounded staff for a 16 team league. Unless there was someone that fell and wasn’t going to be there at my pick again you could wait. But if there are any more Razzballers in your league you better grab Sanchez ASAP!!! hahahaha

  27. GopherDay says:
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    @Jackie: If I were you, I would go A-Rod, Upton, and Wieters.

  28. majortommy says:
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    @Jackie: I second that

  29. grandysdandy says:
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    grey…thinking about doing the following…

    keeping utley, miguel cab, longoria, arod, vmart and jonnie K. lester.

    thikning about drafting the best of the best hitters left before taking pitching.
    unfortunately, due a bad league rule, TONS of draft picks were traded/exchanged…and this one guy has 17 picks inside the top 50 (after keepers)…so i think hes going to hoard pitching…(and basically KILL our draft no matter what he does)

    that being said…i think if i draft abreu/carlos lee in the first couple picks i have…
    then focus on pitching…i can probably cobble together a lester/wandy/floyd/slowey/lilly/sanchez bunch…

    do you think that could work? be sufficient? (in addition to monitoriing the Waiver wire?)

  30. Tony says:
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    @FredayCouples: easy choice, votto…. younger, more upside, better in the future, steals bases, no real health issues….

    @brett: thank you gonna check in a sec

  31. Billy says:
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    is the 12th rd a good pick for Oswalt?

  32. spamcakes says:
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    In a keeper league I have Jurrjens. Since his recent arm problems I can’t decide if I should try to move him or keep him. You reference him in the article as still being in the “Regress but ownable” tier. I wonder if he shouldn’t be “moved up” into the “Guys I’m avoiding that I’m not entirely thrilled about avoiding” or dropped to a new lower tier called “Winter Olympics – pretty good for about two weeks but then easy to forget.”

  33. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Quintero: Ha!

    @Steve: Yeah, me too.

    @Schlitzy: Cool

    @brett: Hehe

    @Fman99: Ha!

    @Dingo: Yeah, true re: tier sheet.

    @Eddy: You can draft F-Her, Greinke and Johan if you like as long as you get some decent hitters. I’m just relaying a way to not be too strong on pitching and be able to get hitting. And Brett has a point too.

    @Tony: Okay, will look at it.

    @sean: re: CBS league, 6. 7, if you see value.

    @FredayCouples: Votto

    @Mo: Typo, my bad.

    @Jackie: I agree with GopherDay.

    @majortommy: Ha!

    @royce!: I won’t ask why you were at that site to begin with.

    @grandysdandy: Bit of a weak staff, but if one team hoards pitching then everyone’s fighting for 2nd and it could be you.

    @Billy: Depends on the draft.

    @spamcakes: I’d try to move him.

    EDIT: Word.

  34. polczek5 says:
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    Grey and Commenters

    Doing auction keeper for the first time, took over a team, looking for some guidance. Do you base your keeper values on *predicted* inflation? Or is this getting too far ahead myself? Example, I could keep Ellsbury at $27, which I don’t see as a huge value, but with inflation (keep up to 8), I would assume he’s going to go for a lot more. Same for Halladay at $32 (plus, top pitchers were heavily overvalued based on last years auction).

    Great article as always. Not confusing if you follow Razzball (which you should!)

  35. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @polczek5: Thanks for the kind words! I would keep both of them, depending on your other keepers, so, yeah, I do consider inflation. With 8 keepers, people will probably have “more” money.

  36. polczek5 says:
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    @Grey: Good to know. Follow up question: what about lower tiered players? Adam LaRoche (12), Jose Lopez (5), Hawpe (11). Seems like they are more “replaceable” and I might look for bargins during the auction. (I should note this is an OBS league, so Lopez takes a hit and Hawpe gets a little boost).

  37. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @polczek5: Nah, lower tiered players will go for cheap.

  38. royce! says:
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    @Grey: Not sure if you meant that as a joke… if not, I was there because whomever runs that site has great taste in music and frequently posts amazing music, new and old. I jammed on this mix when I moved from NY to LA: http://www.aquariumdrunkard.com/2009/09/20/l-a-burnout-a-compilation/ . And when it gets sunny (today, for example), I’m still jamming on this: http://www.aquariumdrunkard.com/2009/08/25/ad-presents-weird-summer-a-mixtape/ .

    If you meant it as a joke, sorry for providing TMI.

    I am serious about putting that song into my draft soundtrack. I could screw up and auto draft Yuniesky and still be smiling. Might place some Morricone around it. Hopefully I’ll think more about players to draft than what to listen to while drafting…

    You listen to anything specific while drafting? Or anything at all?

  39. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: I’ll have to check it out, all I saw before was some Russian writing, didn’t actually listen to it. Usually listen to old school rap while drafting.

  40. CocoPoolies says:
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    Grey, in a ten team league with Lincecum as your keeper would you still wait for the Wandy tier?

  41. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @CocoPoolies: Nah, I’d grab someone in the Hamels tier.

  42. royce! says:
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    @Grey: Right on. I have a tape player in my car so I’ve been listening to as much old school rap I can get my hands on. It’s difficult to find tapes these days. Got a cassingle of “Follow the Leader” recently, though.

  43. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: Though my favorite non-rap group of all-time is probably Old 97s with Wilco close behind.

  44. Euroalien says:
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    Love this article! I will be using it on draft day for sure……. Thanks Grey!!

  45. Pirate Jesus says:
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    H2H 5×5 12-team keeper. Staff of Lincecum, Felix, Kershaw, Scherzer, Ervin, Harden, Broxton, Aardsma already…

    I’m looking at taking another pitcher this round. Which 2 or 3 of these guys do you like for this staff: Buehrle, Kuroda, Correia, Wolf, Tillman, Morrow, Wells, Masterson, Bedard.

  46. royce! says:
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    @Grey: Nice. I was recently given an Uncle Tupelo tape which I have also been enjoying in the car. I prefer the Tweedy songs though.

    Have you heard the Yankee Hotel Foxtrot outtakes?

  47. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: Outtakes are okay. I tend to think there was a reason they were originally left on the editing room floor. You should get the OLD 97s Satellite Rides album.

  48. Chris says:
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    Hey Grey,

    Quick question for you. I was offered Zimmerman, with a combo of either Dan Haren and Wandy/Garza or Josh Johnson and Wandy/Garza for Poo Holes. I am in need of some SPs and have youk and dunn to cover 1B. Do you think this is a good trade and which pitchers should I ask for? Thanks for your help!

  49. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Chris: Zimmerman and Haren is fair, I wouldn’t trade Pujols.

    *******THERE’S A NEW POST FOR FOLLOWUPS FOR ME.******

  50. Homer at the Bat says:
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    In a h2h points keeper league (12 teams, 6SP/4RP, 12 keepers per team), I’m entering the season with Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Carpenter, and Gallardo. Due to the size of the kept players pool, quality pitcher availability at the start of the draft is already pretty tough.

    Any suggestions for starters to match with the quartet above? Should I go risky/upside pitchers, or play it somewhat safe?

  51. mc serch says:
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    @Grey: This post was amazing! Since I usu. go heavy offense for the first part of the draft and then switch to pitching, I often find myself wondering whether I went one or two SP too many or too consecutively before turning back to offense or to closers. While obviously your humor and personality is a big plus on this site, this post shows the skills that pay the bills…truly some of your best, most informative work. Thanks.

  52. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Homer at the Bat: I’d start at the Slowey tier and go upside from there.

    @mc serch: Thanks, Serch. Now pray for the Guru.

  53. mc serch says:
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    @Grey: Gifted Unlimited Razzball Universal…does that make Rudy your DJ Premier? Love some of that Gang Starr stuff.

  54. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @mc serch: Sounds like I might be the one breaking the news to you… Guru’s in a coma after a heart attack. Rudy’s Eric B.

  55. Tom Reale says:
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    What about Jonathan Sanchez? I feel like he is someone with some upside. Good K/9 and so on…It seems you left him out???

    @mc serch: @Grey: You are not making this fantasy title “Hard to Earn”
    with all of your “Dwyck” analysis

  56. Cain Fan says:
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    I am attempting to plan my upcoming draft in a keeper league. I currently have 7 bats and 1 SP (CC Sabathia). I plan on spending 3 of my first 4 picks on SP (#8/13/28/33 overall). I project that at #8/13 that peavy, nolasco, garza, wandy, burnett will be available and at #28/33 that oswalt, shields, scherzer, slowey, baker, anderson will be available. Which group (and who) would you take the 2 SPs from? Thanks!

  57. Cain Fan says:
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    @Grey, sorry i wasnt totally clear. I can take 3 SP total, but 2 from one group. Basically which 3rd SP would you take of the bunch. Thanks!

  58. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Cain Fan: Nolasco, Slowey and Oswalt.

  59. sean says:
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    @Grey: With 15 spots available (9P plus 6BN), and 6-7 starters, what should I be doing with the rest of the 8-9 spots? I usually draft 4 closers, a closer-in-waiting type MR, and a ratio-helper MR. Should I horde weaker closers?

  60. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @sean: 4 closers, a handcuff and a MR sounds fine. Can draft a hitter with that big of a bench. 7 starters, 4 closers, 2 MRs, hitter and a wild card.

  61. AdamH says:
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    With Nolasco and Wandy as my first two, would I be fine with Bills @ #3, or would I be better off with Garza/Baker?

  62. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @AdamH: Slightly better with Baker if you’re worried about WHIP. Either way, you should be good on other categories.

  63. Jaker says:
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    Hey Grey, I need some help. I’m drafting 12th in a 5×5 non keeper league. It looks like Lincecum will be available…should I take him and if so, who would be a good pairing? Or should I pass on him and go with Wright and Kinsler who I know will be around then? Thanks!

  64. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Jaker: Wright and Kinsler would be my route.

  65. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    I made a spreadsheet with the tiers on one side and the 4 different strategies to follow (with built in “if this, then” deviations). Starting up a mock draft right this minute, gonna’ see how well I can apply it in an Auction Room.

  66. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    Well, it’s tough to jump back and forth between a spreadsheet and an auction draft room (I like to be present to price enforce, drop red herring bids/nominations, and, of course, bid on players I want), but it worked out fairly well. The big boys (Pujols, Miggy, Hanley, A-Rod, etc.) all went for way more than I was comfortable paying, so it was clear that I wasn’t going to be spending more than $25 on any position player. That freed up some room for pitching, so I let Lincecum go and grabbed Halladay for $23 (I think people’s heads were spinning from all the big spending out of the box). From there I employed your “Strategy #2 – Sub-Strategy A” with an upgrade modification, since I was building off a Tier 3 SP with some extra cash. Instead of waiting for Tier 5, I grabbed Lester (Tier 4) for $15. Moved up from the suggested Tier 7 for the next pick to grab Lee for another $15 (Tier 5). After many position player fills, bait nominations and money bleeding, someone threw up Burnett (Tier 9) and I grabbed him for $9 instead of waiting on a slider. With $1.89 left per slot and 9 slots still open, I had to wait out the other managers and feed the bots for those who left. Ended up being able to auto-buy Dice-K and Sanchez for $1 each to finish up (Dustin Diamond’s not the only guy who finishes with a Sanchez). Also took Latos and Liriano for the bench, and Gonzalez, Lyon and Dotel for closers. I’m glad I did this little experiment. Overall, I think this was my best mock roster so far, due to (I believe) the fact that I didn’t bother wrestling for any of the big guns. I still ended up with names like Reynolds, Kinsler, Longoria, Andrus, Beckham, J-Up and Granderson to go with a solid pitching staff… not too shabby.

  67. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    BTW, this was a 10 team, 5×5, $260 auction draft.

  68. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Awesomus Maximus: “Dustin Diamond’s not the only guy who finishes with a Sanchez” — Ha! Sounds like you did well. Gotta love the price on those guys — Halladay for $23, Burnett for $9 and Lee/Lester for $15 are great prices.

  69. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    Alright, these “mock” results bugged me all night, and I woke today with two things… morning wood, and a burning desire to test this out in the real world in a real auction draft. I’ll spare you the details of the former, here’s how the latter worked out.

    10 teams, 5×5, $260 (just like the mock last night). Started the same, with all the studs going for much more than they should. I even gave up on Kinsler (went to $29, I wasn’t going into the $30’s for him), so I figured I could employ the same “Strategy #2 – Sub-Strategy A” with the upgrade as last night. Took F-Her for $27. Got caught trying to push Santana’s price up… mine for $17. Placed a routine $10 bid on Ubaldo and didn’t even realize no one bid higher until a few picks later. So here I am with a Tier 2, Tier 3 and Tier 5 for $54. Got caught again pushing, this time Hamels… mine for $15. A routine $6 bid was a winner on Burnett, then again with Nolasco for $12.

    So my 6 main SP are Tier 2, Tier 3, Tier 5, Tier 5, Tier 5 and Tier 9. For closers, I took Francisco Cordero ($9), Brian Fuentes ($7), Rafael Soriano ($2), then filled out positions until the end… Jorge de la Soul ($5), Happ ($2) and Latos (2) went to the bench.

    Obviously this is a much stronger staff than last nights, but I think it may have come at the cost of a strong offense:

    C Matt Wieters $13
    1B Joey Votto $20
    2B Robinson Cano $23
    3B Mark Reynolds $17
    SS Yunel Escobar $4
    2B/SS Alcides Escobar $2
    1B/3B Chone Figgins $10
    OF Curtis Granderson $12
    OF Carlos Beltran $7
    OF Andrew McCutchen $10
    OF Michael Bourn $7
    OF Nyjer Morgan $7
    UTIL Gordon Beckham $12

    One dunce took (and paid out his ass for) Pujols, Hanley, and Mauer, while another did the same for A-Rod, Miggy, Braun, Utley, Longoria and V-Mart (you can imagine what the rest of their lineups look like). I can easily see trading with one or both of these guys to boost offense in the 2B/SS and 1B/3B slots without giving up a ton.

  70. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Awesomus Maximus: Glad you’re only sharing the auction results. Yeah, you misread the market a bit on the starters there. You got caught price enforcing on Johan, Hamels and Ubaldo. Not bad guys to have, obviously, but it’s a lot of arms, especially when Burnett and Nolasco go for that cheap. Your offense is hurting because of that staff. Your outfield is terrible. You have maybe 40 homers from five guys combined and you don’t have power at SS, MI or CI. You have probably 150 steals more than you need and maybe 100 less homers.

  71. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    Indeed. Perhaps worth noting that it’s a head-to-head league. I’m figuring, even if I change nothing, the odds are in my favor to take SB, AVG, K, and W with a pretty good shot at WHIP and ERA in the average matchup. HR and RBI are most likely lost every matchup, and taking R is still a possibility. So the odds of taking matchups are in my favor… slightly. But, obviously, I plan on making changes.

    My thinking late in the draft (once the real power was overpaid for and I was “stuck” with too many high quality arms) was to bulk up on SB. The way I see it, I need to make 2 (maybe 3) trades for HR/RBI guys to have a shot at those categories. With SB and/or AVG everywhere, I have flexibility to pair up almost any of my arms (I’m not married to anyone other than F-Her) with whatever position I’m trying to replace (OF Bourn/Morgan, MI either Escobar, CI Figgins) in trade offers and aim for either:

    A. a stud I wasn’t willing to wrestle over plus a waiver pitcher
    B. a HR/RBI machine and a replacement SP (value inversely proportional to the value of the hitter)

    Say, Johan/Bourn for Fielder (then grab Strasburg who is still on waivers). Or Hamels/Figgins for Longoria/Wandy. Possibly even Burnett/Figgins for Dunn/Wandy. Good plan? Faulty logic? What do you think?

    Anyway, as it relates to this article, the pitcher pairings (and the charts I made) will be invaluable for putting together the trade offers and/or waiver pickups. “Pitcher Pairing… it’s not just for draft day anymore!”

  72. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Awesomus Maximus: Yeah, and in October you can print it out and dust the house! In 10 team leagues, there will be a lot of pitchers on waivers. I’d trade Burnett/Chone for Dunn/Wandy, Johan/Bourn for Fielder or the Hamels trade. I’d do any of them, in that order.

  73. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    Alright, so I gave it another go… wanted some more experience before drafting my main league. BTW, if I’m beginning to annoy you, feel free to just ignore me. It’s what my wife does when I talk fantasy baseball, so I won’t take it personally.

    Drafted a 10 Team, 5×5, Rotisserie this time. I also added a few rules for me to follow. First, go stronger on pitching (since it’s 10 teams), but don’t turn green and bust through your cargo pants. Second, do NOT price enforce unless it’s on a guy you’re looking for on your “projected” team or you see something crazy (like Ryan Howard about to sell for $19… it happened). Third, look at the chat to see if anyone is saying something that would tip their hand, but don’t get involved in any conversations. I’ll skip the play-by-play, here were the results:

    C Mike Napoli
    1B Kendry Morales
    2B Brandon Phillips
    3B Pablo Sandoval
    SS Alexei Ramirez
    CI Gordon Beckham
    MI Elvis Andrus
    OF Grady Sizemore
    OF Curtis Granderson
    OF Carlos Lee
    OF Shin-Soo Choo
    OF Jay Bruce
    UTIL Ian Stewart

    SP Roy Halladay
    SP Josh Johnson
    SP Yovani Gallardo
    SP Ricky Nolasco
    SP James Shields
    RP Rafael Soriano
    RP David Aardsma
    RP Bobby Jenks
    RP Carlos Marmol

    BE J.A. Happ
    BE Jonathan Sanchez
    BE Cody Ross

    Two things worth noting. One: there was a massive diaper explosion from my 6 month in the early stages of the draft, so I had to leave for a short bit. Surprisingly, the bot only took one player in my absence (Yovani Gallardo), and though I probably wouldn’t have bought him there, it was far from the end of the world. The bot also didn’t miss any players I was after… great success! Two: I put Cody Ross up as a bait nomination and no one bit… ended up with him for $1. He will be replaced on Saturday when waivers open.

    If I’ve crunched the numbers correctly (I don’t have Excel and can’t use your “War Room”, so I’m doing this all by grabbing projections from the site and making my own spreadsheets), the projections are:

    R – 1070
    HR – 298
    RBI – 1108
    SB – 187
    AVG – 0.277-ish

    K – 1555
    W – 114
    S – 133
    ERA – 3.50-ish
    WHIP – 1.25-ish

    The only spot I’m seeing a large weakness is in Runs… a small weakness in RBI. You agree? My thinking is to replace Cody Ross with an SP (E-Santana, Cueto or Liriano) and team up a position player with Gallardo (before he has a chance to breakout or bust) and try to trade for more Runs and RBI. I think my K and W projections can afford to lose Gallardo.

  74. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Awesomus Maximus: Sucks about the diaper explosion. re: Cody — Yeah, he’s pretty borderline to be putting up for baiting. No one wants him. I wouldn’t bait with any player less than a Jay Bruce-type. Once you get past players that are around 150 overall, you might end up with them. Actually, you’re weak in all the power categories — Runs, RBIs and Homers. If you go by this:

    http://razzball.com/fantasy-baseball-draft-strategy-winning-it/

    For 10 team, I’d add 30 homers, 100 RBIs and 100 Runs. But you’re not terrible. Just a bit weak. Pitching looks fine.

  75. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    Meh… it’s all part of a SAD (stay-at-home dad) day. Say, that reminds me (<– said as Glen from "Raising Arizona")… I'm in need of a good sleeper pick. That is, something that will keep my daughter sleeping through an entire draft. Compare and contrast a belly full of food and warm milk vs. rubbing her gums liberally with scotch (to soothe the teething, of course). Keep in mind, she's one of my keepers.

    That link is actually what brought me to your site. I'm a strategist by trade (I author video game strategy guides, specifically) and I decided this year to invest a good amount of time into fantasy baseball strategies after years playing but just winging it. I had put together something similar to what's in your "Winning It" article based on data from past leagues, except mine is for head-to-head (trying to figure out what will win an "average" weekly matchup). I shared my strategy with someone who directed me to that page. Exciting stuff, right? Hey, wake up!

    Anyway, I came up with roughly 80/20/80 more than your numbers. What would you add for SB, K, W and S? Would you bother adjusting the average categories (AVG, ERA, WHIP) or just assume that those are going to… well, average out?

  76. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Awesomus Maximus: What position is she eligible at? I wouldn’t bother adjusting the ratio categories. But ERA and WHIP will probably be a bit lower because teams will have less junky pitchers to choose from. Steals, I’d add 15-20; Ks, I’d just get as many as I can; Wins, I’d add 5-10; Saves, I’d add 20.

  77. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:
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    Heh… she’s eligible at MI, Minor Inconvenience. Those numbers are also just a bit higher than what I found in my research. Guess it makes sense, since my research is based on “less-informed-buddy” leagues, while yours is based on RCLs. Your numbers are obviously doable, though, so if I shoot for those I should have a better shot at bragging rights. Mooch us grassy ass, seen your!

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