Yeah, you—the one looking at me in your rearview mirror. I’m talking to YOU. Well, actually, I want to LISTEN to YOU! Am interested in the trade secrets that helped you to make the big, bold, and successful moves that helped you to climb the ranks mid-to-late season. (Not so interested in the lucky circumstances, more the planned strategy that worked to perfection!)
Am looking for material that will help each of us to put together a managerial portfolio for the start of 2011 as well as to have moves at the ready for when the start-of-season stuff isn’t going to plan.
I’ll start the ball rolling with one aspect of my strategy: I drafted FIVE solid closers rounds eight through fourteen. Didn’t draft an SP until R15. Strategy was to sacrifice Ks and Ws for “iron-clad” ERA, WHIP, and SVs. The War Room projected similar.
Interesting results (through end of May):
I was near the top in Ks, Ws, SVs—dead last in ERA and WHIP. I swear that my daily lineup always had a combined list of guys who, to that date, had sub-3.00 ERA and sub-1.20 WHIP. Time after time guys blew up. Ouchhhhh! I disdained SP the entire season, choosing to stream all the way. At the end-of-season, I ranked near the top with 10 pts in Ks, 11 in Ws, 11 in SVs, 5 in ERA, and 2 in WHIP. I was fearful of losing ground in Ks and Ws as others caught up in GS. However, I was careful to maintain a full list of NINE available pitchers everyday. Where I didn’t have a SP in a starting position, I was sure to have the rest of the spots filled with either closers or MRs. I found myself keeping up in Ws with the pretty frequent vulture Ws and the small, but steady daily accumulation of Ks. (TIP: my small sample size projects that one has a two-to-one advantage for Saves on the road; so if you have two MRs who have been performing about the same, pick the one with upcoming away games over the guy at home. There are normally enough MR available on the waiver wire to make this distinction and move them in and out as need be.)
Think about it: I am almost at the top in Ks and Ws without ever rostering a single preseason, high-ranking SP (that wasn’t available on the wire). I will definitely consider a similar approach next year. However, I may eschew early season IP until pitchers settle in to more solid routines.
BTW: The Schmohawks won league Razzball Original Recipe not drafting a SP until Round…drumroll…16!
BTW2: On the four days a week that
Jim Johnson: 11W/186K/2.30ERA/1.11WHIP
Cliff Lee: 12W/185K/3.18ERA/1.00WHIP
were NOT starting, the following MRs filled those empty slots and amassed almost identical stats—without using up a single, valuable, GS:
Jonny Venters: 4W/93K/1.95ERA/1.20WHIP
Matt Belisle: 7W/91K/2.93ERA/1.09WHIP
Sean Marshall: 7W/90K/2.65ERA/1.11WHIP
Rafael Betancourt: 5W/89K/3.61ERA/0.96WHIP
Bonus Trial: Reached number 179 GS (180 the season limit) with about a week to go. Began filling my pitching roster (bench) a bit at a time with SP for Friday, Oct. 1 (two days before the end of the season, thinking this my best shot at getting my best group of guys; remember, I’m having to get what I can from the waiver wire.). Wood, Norris, De La Rosa, Beachy, Chen, Matsuzaka (rained out), Zimmerman, Carmona, Guthrie. Note: this was written with only the “after” numbers (bad or good) to be filled.
Last pitching day, 8 pitchers combined: 40 K, 3 W, 2.17 ERA, 0.87 WHIP
Stunning! Frankly, I was going to be happy taking a hit in ERA and WHIP (since they were weak already) just for the Ks and Ws.
Roto Points: K/W/SV/ERA/WHIP
Start of Day: 8.5/11/11/3/1
End of Day: 10/11/11/5/2
One day gain (this late in the season): +4.5 pts.
Not only do I get the gain, now other managers must deal with, “Do I take the risk?” If they resort to last minute pickups, maybe they don’t do quite so well. Then maybe I can move up more. Here’s what the rest of the league did:
Sat: Worldwide Suicide (#5):
6 SP: 41 K, 4 W, 3.16 ERA, 1.24 WHIP. +1 point, moved from #5 overall to #4 (in the money).
Su: Retro Vertigo (#1), with +5.5 edge over #2, runs 9 SP–steel cojones!:
9 SP: 48K, 5 W, 3.20 ERA, 1.13 WHIP. 0 point change.
Su: Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers (#3):
6 SP: 18 K, 2.27 ERA, 1.01WHIP. -1 point.
Su: Lebron James (#5):
5 SP: 26 K, 2.38 ERA, 0.97 WHIP. +1.5 points. Overall, from #5 to #4 (dropped Saturday’s gainer back to #5).
AVERAGES FOR THE 5 MANAGERS WHO RAN ‘EM OUT THERE THE LAST DAY:
2.64 ERA, 1.04 WHIP
So, next year HAVE NO FEAR!
Okay, time to share the one, or two, strategies that worked for you…