You’ve seen Grey’s PEDS, you’ve seen his iOS, you’ve seen his Pitcher Pairings, you’ve seen his rankings, you’ve seen his mustache… doode’s an open book (and actually, he’s got one of them, too). He’s fantasy baseball’s equivalent of Jenna Jameson; he’s willing to show you everything, but he’s not quite as easy as he seems.
This is where I come in. I can’t help you with Jenna (I can’t even get within 500 yards of her, technically), but I can help you with Grey. Specifically, I can help you navigate through his Pitcher Pairings in the midst of a heated draft.
Let’s say it’s the beginning of the 3rd round and you see Clayton Kershaw is still on the board. Your draft strategy never accounted for having an elite SP, but you’re not gonna’ let this value slip by. Now you need to know who to pair him with. You can jump over to Grey’s article, find the paragraph that deals with this scenario, find the sentence that tells you what tier your next SP should be from, find that tier in the SP rankings, and then cross-reference those SPs with the ones still on the board and prepare for your next pick.
Except now it’s the middle of the 5th round and you’ve been auto-drafted Brian McCann and Buster Posey. You don’t need to prepare for the rest of your picks, you need to change your team name to “Catcher Me If You McCann” and prepare for a season of endless mocking.
If only there was a web tool where you could have just clicked on Kershaw’s name and it would have brought you straight to a list of players which your next SP should be selected from… a list which also shows Grey’s Top 300 ranking for each of them (and auction draft value, if you’re into that sort of thing). Guess what? Really, that’s your guess? That’s worst guess I’ve ever heard. Stop guessing.
I’ve created such a web tool, and it’s called APPLES (Albright’s Pitcher Pairing Listing Examination System, anagram courtesy of frequent commenter Steve). You start on the home page where you simply click on the name of the pitcher you’ve selected first. You will be magically transported to a new page where you will see a list of pitchers which Grey feels you should make your next SP. When you make that pick, click on the SPs name and you’ll get a new list… and so on. This goes on for six picks total (again, based on Grey’s recommendation).
There are a few things I should point out:
1. As I’ve already mentioned, this is all based on Grey’s recommendations. I’m not the strategist here, just the guy who made the strategy easier to follow.
2. The lists do not update dynamically, so just because you’ve clicked on a pitcher’s name on one page, his name may still show up on the next page if he’s in the group of recommended pitchers. You’ll just have to remember who you’ve already drafted… shouldn’t be too hard.
3. Depending on what path you take through the Pitcher Pairings, some of the pages you see may look similar. And I don’t mean the way these two look similar, but more like the way Sibel Kekilli from Game of Thrones looks similar to former porn actress Dilara. This is because sometimes your best strategy is to take two SPs from the same group.
4. Which brings me to my final point. Since you may need to take two SPs from the same group, I recommend that you jump ahead a pick (if you have the time) to check if that’s the case. If so, you’ll want to plan accordingly. You don’t want to end up selecting one of the last remaining pitchers from a group only to find out that your next pick should have been from that group, too.
And just one side note to any iPad users out there: I have been working on my own “Draft Bible” of sorts (mine is secular, aside from a brief mention of Jesus Montero and St. Rasburg). I’ve got a color-coded Top 300 with Grey’s ranking and auction value, as well as a check box, next to every player’s name. When you tick the box to indicate a player has been taken, their names are automatically removed from that tab and all other tabs (Players By Position, Pitcher Pairings, Closers, and All SPs). I’ve found it invaluable in my auction and (limited) snake drafts. If you have an iPad and the Numbers app, and you’d like to try it out (it’s free), download the iPad Fantasy Baseball Draft Tool.
Any questions? Please post in the comments below… and here’s that link to APPLES again.