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Did a little fishing.  Here’s what I hooked.  Arrayed all 576 RCL teams from last year, sorted by each pitching category, assigned a rank, 1 to 576 (just like your RCL league, 1 to 12) then totaled the ranks for the five cats. The result was a ranking from top to bottom for the best pitching managers.

The #1 ranked manager produced (followed by the average for each cat):

IP

ERA

WHIP

SO

W

SV

GS

1481.33

3.20

1.13

1407

101

162

185

(1314 3.72   1.24  1186   83                          91 174)

The DRAFT—SPs:

#1 manager’s drafted SP:

rnd

pick

PLAYER TEAM

   IP

    K

    W

   SV

  ERA

 WHIP

3

34

Zack Greinke LAA

212.33

200

15

0

3.48

1.20

5

58

Jon Lester BOS

172.33

140

8

0

4.96

1.42

9

106

Brandon Beachy ATL

81

68

5

0

2.00

0.96

15

178

Brandon Morrow TOR

61.67

54

5

0

2.77

0.97

19

226

Colby Lewis TEX

98.33

88

6

0

3.48

1.10

21

250

Ricky Nolasco MIA

50.33

30

5

0

3.93

1.29

Total/mean:

676.0

580

44

0

3.44

1.16

 

Just for fun, someone who ‘drafted’ a ‘pitching-first’ team:

Rnd

pick

Name Team

IP

K

W

SV

ERA

WHIP

1

9

Roy Halladay PHI

156.33

132

11

0

4.49

1.22

2

19

Justin Verlander DET

238.33

239

17

0

2.64

1.06

3

25

Felix Hernandez SEA

232

223

13

0

3.06

1.14

4

39

Zack Greinke LAA

212.33

200

15

0

3.48

1.2

5

51

Jered Weaver LAA

188.67

142

20

0

2.81

1.02

6

69

Stephen Strasburg NATS

159.33

197

15

0

3.16

1.15

Total/mean:

1187.0

1133

91

0

3.27

1.13

The Fredsies:

6

69

Stephen Strasburg WAS

32

34

2

0

1.13

0.88

14

165

Vance Worley PHI

19

21

1

0

2.37

1.32

Total/mean:

51.0

55

3

0

1.59

1.08

Oh yeah, #1, guru of all gurus…wait for it….wait for it…drum rolllll…

Razzball’s own, Rudy Gamble!

STREAMING–Here we are aligned:

#players

   IP

    K

    W

   SV

  ERA

 WHIP

K/9

SP

Razzball Rudy Gamble

35

1170.66

1006

85

0

3.41

1.17

7.7

SP

The Fredsies

79

1118.69

898

83

0

3.14

1.21

7.2

CL

Razzball Rudy Gamble

7

283.34

383

15

161

2.60

1.00

12.2

CL

The Fredsies

13

211.99

247

8

108

2.42

1.06

10.5

SP&CL Razzball Rudy Gamble

35

1454

1389

100

161

3.25

1.14

8.6

SP&CL The Fredsies

92

1330.68

1145

91

108

3.02

1.19

7.7

 

Razzball Rudy Gamble used 35 SP and 7 CL. His ERA + WHIP was 4.39.

The Fredsies used 79 SP and 13 CL (min 2 SV).  ERA + WHIP was 4.21.

Rudy gets two, and ONLY two, more W from his SP.

The clear edge for drafting SP high is in K. Rudy a resounding +245K!

MR

Razzball Rudy Gamble

10

27.34

18

1

1

0.66

0.99

5.9

MR

The Fredsies

111

329.7

314

13

13

4.61

1.39

8.6

With a solid stable of SP and CL, not many available slots/ops for Rudy to stream MR. The Fredsies, however, due to not carrying SP, streamed 111 MR, garnering a +12 in both vulture W and vulture SV, and +296 K.

The ‘hole’ in my streamers was chasing saves.  Here’s the breakdown for MR who got W and SV:

cnt

   IP

    K

    W

   SV

  ERA

 WHIP

MR–vulture W:

11

67

70

13

2

2.15

1.00

MR–vulture SV:

9

55

53

1

13

4.58

1.56

Noticing that BABIP appears to be a pretty good indicator for the MR (better than FIP, xFIP, etc.). Try to target MR with less than .300 BABIP. Have to believe that not chasing saves will keep overall ERA and WHIP at stellar levels.

Overall:

players

   IP

    K

    W

   SV

  ERA

 WHIP

K/9

TOTAL

Razzball Rudy Gamble

52

1481.33

1407

101

162

3.20

1.13

8.5

TOTAL

The Fredsies

203

1660.33

1459

104

121

3.34

1.23

7.9

The 121 SV ranked 2nd in my league.

Since I lost ground chasing closers, I might lean to grabbing one or two stellar closers (Kimbrel) where another manager might ordinarily go for a strong starter.

The top four leagues overall had the top four IP.

Rudy ranked #91 in moves with 128.  (BTW: the top four overall ranked leagues (of the 48) were the top four ranking leagues in moves…hmmm.)

The Fredsies streaming was a tailored fit for ESPN and a 180 GS limit. You have to evaluate/flex for appropriate application to your league’s rules.

Honorable mention:  Razzball’s own, Grey Albright was #4 overall in pitching out of 576 teams!

These are Rudy’s thoughts on streaming:

“I think finishing in the top 6% for pitching (37/~576) without disproportionately investing in pitching at the draft is an impressive feat that will not be easy to duplicate – let alone improve upon.

I think your strategy of maximizing innings by frequent use of MRs makes a lot of sense based on ESPN’s 180 GS constraint (not as useful in IP-capped leagues).  That should help for Ks and should help for Wins (although it looks like your MR win rate is due for some regression).

I think you are realizing one thing that is baked into our Point Shares when it comes to relievers – Saves are nice but ERA/WHIP/Ks are, as well.  I did well in Saves last year but never really sold out (e.g., having awful pitchers who happen to get Saves) to do it.  Invested a 6th round pick in Kimbrel, got unlucky with Marmol (great K’s…but dropped him when he lost the job), did okay with Putz, and had some nice pickups with Clippard and Cook.  In a different league, I could’ve been middle of the pack in saves.  But the broader point I’m trying to make is that the ‘market’ undervalues reliever ERA/WHIP/K.  I Point Shares had Aroldis Chapman at $7 BEFORE he got the closer job because of his K potential.  The only tough thing is just realizing that relievers probably have a little higher disappointment rate than hitters – so you can invest in good relievers and get screwed based on injury, regressed performance, or losing Save opportunities.

My POV is that you can’t have a single plan for a league because you never know how the league will over/under-value players.  I felt Kimbrel was undervalued and won out.  But if someone drafted him in the prior round, I might’ve have punted CL1 a few rounds until I felt the value was right.  My strategy started with building a dominant K/9 staff and ended with a lot more streaming than I’d planned given injuries.  Still worked out okay – and while it’s given me confidence in using streaming/SON – I still might draft a strong SP staff if I think players are being undervalued too much.  Grey didn’t draft a top closer and didn’t draft his 2nd starter until after the top 100 and he had the 4th best pitching staff, so there’s no one way to skin this cat.”

Thank you, Rudy, for The Stream-o-Nator!  And here’s its genesis.

From Around The Web

  1. Steve says:
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    Hmmmm. I love me some MRs, but with injuries, needing to grab a hot hitter, I never seem to be have enough roster spots for them.

    Draft less starting pitching is the answer there I guess…

  2. Nelson Santovenia says:
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    This doesnt work as well in leagues with a limit on waiver moves or a Waiver budget, but I loved the Streaming pitcher rater last year. Any tweaks to it this year?

    • Simply Fred

      simply fred says:
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      @Nelson Santovenia: Rudy has been testing some stuff but not sure what, if any changes. It worked pretty well as it was.

    • Simply Fred

      simply fred says:
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      @Nelson Santovenia:
      Rudy:”For 2013 Stream-o-nator, my goal is to provide an IP/ERA/WHIP/K estimate and then a W %. I’ll look into adding a QS % as well.”

  3. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    Wrote this article a month ago. Recommend fill with as many closers as possible. Right now I have a targeted team leading off with 8 hitters and also gets 9 closers (at current mock levels). Wouldn’t expect to get all 9 closers on draft day.

    When I add up the stats projected by James or Fans for those 9 closers and add them to what I got from the streaming SP I had last year I get:
    119W/306SV/2.99ERA/1.17WHIP/1492K;
    Rudy’s last year:
    101W/162SV/3.2ERA/1.13WHIP/1407K
    That’s just committing the nine pitching slots to closers. If one has to fill in 2 or 3 MR, all he loses is the excessive saves. You have sterling pitching–without streaming any pitching other than the starters. That leaves those bench slots for hitting. :-)

    • Simply Fred

      simply fred says:
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      @simply fred: Note: the total stats only count 8 closer stats, which leaves one slot for streaming SP. (some days you stream 2 or 3 starters but then have a lag before streaming again)

  4. Drafted Kendrick says:
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    How would you apply this strategy to H2H leagues? Is it any different? If so how? What if there’s a 40 inning min?

    • Simply Fred

      simply fred says:
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      @Drafted Kendrick: Sorry, never played H2H. Maybe somebody else can weigh in. Again, the strategy is really about not locking up slots with SP that otherwise might be used to stream in daily production if the slot were free.

    • Wallpaper Paterson says:
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      @Drafted Kendrick: Get three really good starting pitchers and stream after that. Use extra P slots on middle relievers or get more closers. In other words, don’t lock yourself into a situation where you have 4+ good SPs. Load up elsewhere.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Drafted Kendrick: I’ll do my best to chime in here. Streaming in H2H still takes strategy but the reality is one bad start could really bomb you for the week. The difference is this: H2H is to day-trading as roto is to investing strategy over the course of the year. They are both involved with making little moves but the outlook of taking an investment strategy persective is you get to see the results over time and in totality. In H2H, you’re relegated to viewing things on one bad move for one week and one good one for the next.

      My keeper league with friends is H2H (…sigh) and my plan for pitching is still to wait and occasionally stream but not to the extent Fred suggests to deploy. It’s more strategic and needs based and we also have a 40 IP minimum. I typically avoid ‘top end’ aces in the draft and content myself with a collection of SP2 and SP3s with potential for breakout to the next level. I also always have a deeper pitching bench than hitting bench so I can rotate through bad stretches with good arms but in all honesty, your staff can/will/should be fairly different at the end of the year than it is at the beginning. Every year, some Capuano or Samardjzia comes along that bouys you if you’re paying enough attention.

      Hope that helped and didn’t sound like drunken rambling. Namely cuz I’m not drunk.

      • Steve says:
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        @Sky: Sky – be interested in your thoughts on what I’m planning to do in my H2H league this year. It’s 12-teams, where we count Holds and OBP in addition to the traditional 5×5.

        We also have weekly *minimum* of 9 IP.

        I’m planning on ignoring SPs completely and going relievers only. Looking to win Saves and Holds each week, along with ERA/WHIP, and letting Wins and Ks fall where they may.

        If I get a reliever meltdown early in the week, I may mix in a starter or two, or stream hard depending on the damage done, and what my opponent is up to.

        The idea being, of course, I can load up on hitting early in the draft – indeed, my league is so shallow that I could pretty much have my entire offense done before I start looking at relievers.

        I used this strategy once before, and got to the playoffs, but I think I can be a little bit smarter about it this time…

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          @Steve: And you bring up exactly why I don’t like holds as it’s own cat…so I’m on the fence. I definitely get where you’re going with this but holds are too easier to come by and that role isn’t usually hyper-defined but for on a few times. I think I’d rather do a bit of a hybrid and see what I get but not taking a pitcher until, say, maybe the 8th or 10th? I’d take 3 or 4 up to the 13th in that with that range. Then go closer crazy and see how the start of the season pans out. You should still get your ratios and you can keep your eyes on holds guys who give you better ratios compared to crappy SP or relieving. Either way, I’m not a guy who really thinks targeting holds in the draft is a need.

          PS, I’ve been in and out on convo here so sorry if this doesn’t make sense. Wife wants keeps wanting to talk to me and stuff. Weird lady.

      • Drafted Kendrick says:
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        @Sky: thanks all!

  5. duder says:
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    Many leagues counter this skulduggery by getting rid of P spots altogether, which is how I think all leagues should do it. For example. 5 SP spots and 4 RP spots. In a 12 team league that limits the # of MR you can start without sacrificing saves.

    • Drafted Kendrick says:
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      @duder: I totally agree that this kind if stuff is against the “spirit” of the game but sometimes it takes an owner exploiting loopholes to force a change. Why not be that guy who forces the change because you beat that @$$ and took names?

    • Simply Fred

      simply fred says:
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      @duder: ‘Skulduggery’ intimates ‘unscrupulous’ or ‘underhanded’ ‘trickery’. No such thing when one is playing, OPENLY, by the RULES. As long as the rules prescribe P slots, those are parameters of the game.

      There are any number of formats for those to choose the type of challenge they want to tackle. Managers that want the 5P/4MR settings have leagues available for them to do so.

      Clearly, you give the personna that everyone should think ‘how I think’, and that those who don’t are ‘skulduggerous’. Is that really you?

      When streaming sits atop the RCL at end of season, many will tip their caps, give credit for superlative strategy, and graciously say “well-played!”

      • duder says:
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        @simply fred: Completely agree that it’s not against the rules, and have no problem with it if your league settings allow it. Just pointing out that many leagues take measures to stop the streaming of MR, which I think makes sense. I do personally look for leagues that don’t allow it, but am not telling you what to play.

        Streaming SP, in my opinion, doesn’t need to be curtailed as long as there is an innings cap. In a 5 SP 4 MR league you can still stream SP to your heart’s content, but are better off drafting a few good MR and sticking with them.

        • Simply Fred

          simply fred says:
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          @duder: That’s the Dood-er I was hoping was behind the curtain! Well-stated. I welcome and respect your info and opinion!

  6. Paulie Allnuts

    Paulie Allnuts says:
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    Fodder for the upcoming draft. Great post, Fred. But I wouldn’t expect anything less!

  7. Bourne says:
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    Do you have the complete list indexed somewhere? I want to see how close I was to the bottom!

  8. Cherry Blossom Picking!!!!

    • Simply Fred

      simply fred says:
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      @t moore: annual spring event!

  9. Blushing Pansy says:
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    I appreciate the well-conceived strategy, and plan on utilizing it (with tweaks) in a league or two this spring. Couple of quick questions…

    How does this work in a standard $260 12 team auction? I was thinking about budgeting $35 for two solid starters and streamers, $30 on MR/CL…

    Isn’t the 8-9 closer target mentioned in your comments unnecessary? That many closers would either cost you too much money/mid-round draft picks, or if you’re going bottom of the barrel closers, it would negatively affect ERA?WHIP. There is no cost/benefit advantage to winner Saves by 100.

    Finally, for those 2-3 “keeper” SP’s, are you looking for high risk or predictability. Does the strategy work with Cain/CJ Wilson? Or am I drafting Halladay/M Moore and praying for the best?

    • Simply Fred

      simply fred says:
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      @Blushing Pansy: I personally have no auction experience. Maybe others can weigh in.

      I recommend as many closers as possible because they are usually better than MR. For example, I am seeing Street mocking at around 220+, presumably due to injury risk. (In regular roto, the ‘cost’ is just a later round pick.) Yet, he is projected by B.James for 44 SV, 4 W, 2.53 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and 59 K. If one dries up the pool on draft day, managers MAY see the advantage (around ASB time) of trading for one, or a package of two. Managers can make up a lot of ground at the muddy end of the pool. So, there IS cost/benefit advantage in holding excess CL At that point, one can package a couple of closers together, since he is waaaay ahead on saves.

      I won’t be keeping ANY SP. For every SP you hold on your roster, they are holding down counting stats either by 1) being in a P slot and sitting, or 2) taking up a bench slot that could be used to rotate in hitters for off-days for your hitters.

      BTW: it’s fun on draft day to hear the shoutout: “Hey, he’s taking all the closers!” There are only 30 closers available for 36 slots (3 CL per each team in a 12-team roto). If you take double your share, that puts even more in a bind.

      • Steve says:
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        @simply fred: All sound enough reasoning, but I will throw this into the ring. There has been a bit of closer-hoarding at draft time in the RCL Original Recipe league. However when the mid-season trade offers come out mid-season that include one of those hoarded closers as part of the deal, it’s easy enough to refuse those offers and thus leave that guy ‘stuck’ with all his closers. I’ve turned offers down for this reason, and so have others.

        Every league is different, of course, but cust kayin’…

  10. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    Agree totally. Sagnof. Still, if a closer with good periphs is available later rounds, why pass him over for an MR with similar? Nobody wanted my extra closers early in the season.

Comments are closed.