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In my 2013 review of Fantasy Baseball Rankings, I noted how the majority of a team’s success (in 12-team mixed roto leagues) can be tied to the end-of-season value of their team.  Those stats are:

  • Drafted Hitter+Pitcher End of Season Value – 66.9% correlation with Team Total Standings Points (2013)
  • Drafted Hitter End of Season Value = 70.5% correlation with Team Hitter Standings Points (2013)
  • Drafted Pitcher End of Season Value = 60.0% correlation with Team Pitcher Standings Points (2013)

In my review of Hit/Pitch Splits in Fantasy Baseball Snake Drafts, I showed the impact of how a team’s investment in hitting vs starting pitching vs relief pitching correlated with Razzball Commenter League team success (note:  leagues now open – commishes welcome!).

This post will provide some insights on the cumulative round-by-round impact of how a team’s draft drives a fantasy team owner’s success (or lack thereof).

The below graph is based on the 64 12-team mixed Razzball Commenter Leagues in 2013.  If you focus on ‘Round 4′, the graph shows that the end of season value of a team’s 1st-4th round hitters explains about 53% of a team’s hitting standing points (red line), 1st-4th round pitchers explains about 9% of a team’s pitching standing points, and the sum of all 1st-4th round picks explain 40% of a team’s total standings points)

Fantasy Baseball Impact of Draft By Round

Conclusions/Comments

  • The end-of-season value of a team’s 1st round predicts nearly 40% of a team’s hitting points and nearly 30% of a team’s total standings points.  No pressure, right?
  • The hitter curve plateaus about mid-way through the draft.  This suggests to me that the quantity and/or impact of drafted “sleepers” is minimal (for shallow mixed leagues at least).
  • The pitching curve starts really slow as, even by the 4th round (at 9%), only 60% of teams have drafted a pitcher.  But if taking pitchers in those first 4 rounds was an overwhelming advantage, those 60% should see higher standings points than the 40% who hadn’t drafted.  I interpret this as drafting 0-1 pitchers in the first 4 rounds is fine but there is no proof that drafting 2 or more pays dividends.
  • The pitching curve has a huge spike from the 4th to 8th rounds, jumping from 9% to 39%.  By this time, the average team has drafted 2.3 pitchers.   But the hitter curve hits 39% after the first round alone.  So while getting your top 2 SPs right is very important, its importance on team success is about equivalent to your first pick.
  • The plateauing hitter curve (after about the 12th round) plus the consistently rising pitcher curve is making me consider punting more hitting positions in the late ‘teen’ rounds in favor of grabbing up whatever’s left on my SP/RP wish list.

From Around The Web

  1. Anthony says:
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    In a H2H league..Mauer or Donaldson, how close? I really am a big fan of Mauer, but am in love with Donaldson..

    • @Anthony: I prefer Donaldson. Not very close on my rankings right now assuming it’s a one catcher league. Too much FA depth in C and Mauer is only projecting in the .290’s. according to Steamer.

  2. Big Al says:
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    Interesting post. I just joined one of your commenter leagues and I was looking at Rotisserie strategy sites last night. I’ve only played H2H for the last 3 years and you need to change how you draft. Good timing and great information. I like that you take advantage of all of the stats available in your leagues. Does that alter your thinking at all on hitter pitching splits % ? I’ve been thinking 15 hitters, 10 pitchers, in a 12 team, 25 round Commenter league ?

    • @href=”#comment-2137170″>Big Al:@Big Al: I did this analysis before the hit/pitch split post (http://razzball.com/fantasy-baseball-snake-drafts-hitpitch-ratio/) so any ideas from this were incorporated into that post.

      I’m all out 13 hitters/12 pitchers. Bench hitters are pretty worthless IMO unless there’s a massive prospect worth stashing like Trout or you draft a DL-ed hitter.

      • Men-in-Cleats says:
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        @Rudy Gamble:

        I’ve never understood this logic fully as with players getting a rest day, sitting a day or two due to an injury, rainouts, etc. that if you don’t have any bench bats you end up losing a large number of games started over the length of a season and this can definitely have an effect on your counting stats. I would agree that for certain positions like catcher where you start one of them and the bench options would be crap, that it doesn’t make sense, but to have a bench bat that could fill in one of the OF spots while having 1B eligibility makes for a perfect bench bat who can fill in for 6 potential guys getting a day off (or just facing a tough matchup or split). It worked well for me last year in my RCL and it works even better in my main league which is a lot deeper (forcing you to consider more platoon players, etc.). Having a ton of bench bats doesn’t make much sense but it doesn’t make much sense for me to have none either.

        • @Men-in-Cleats: My logic is for the draft in shallower leagues. I want relievers before the season in hopes i luck into an extra closer. I use our Hitter-tron to target hitters to pick up for platooning/bench spots.

          So during the season, i’d say my bench spots are 1 hitter, 1 pitcher, and 1 wildcard (depending upon injuries and my team strength).

  3. Shake N Bacon says:
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    Nice post Rudy!

    Good to know how important the first round is and how important it is to get two quality starting pitchers by round 8.

    Interesting on the late teen offensive picks not really panning out. Looking back at my keeper league draft last year, I didn’t hold onto any of my picks after round 14 for too long. So it makes sense to me.

    • @Shake N Bacon: Yup, a lot of discussion about hitting ‘sleepers’ but the majority of them go bust. I’d rather hoard up on potential closers :)

      • Shake N Bacon says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: Yeah, I agree!

        • James says:
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          @Shake N Bacon:

          shh, i have been doing this for years. In 2 of the dynasty leagues i am in, i grab elite set up guys with expiring contracts, or a closer in front of them about to become a FA/retire. Everyone else is grabbing 5th teir prospects hoping they get a chance in spring training, while i grab 3-4 of these guys to fill out guys that i am cutting bait with (streaming SP or old guys about to retire). This year robertson took a big jump, but cook fizzled out.

          In drafts, I take my first closer in round 15, and then grab another 5-6 before the end of the draft. The 3-5 guys are guys like Feliz with a chance but not a sure job. No one else wants them that late, but they have a chance of paying bigger dividends than the backup 1b ever will.

          • Shake N Bacon says:
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            @James: Word.

  4. Dani says:
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    Don’t you also have your own rankings Rudy? I remember last year looking at top 400 from Grey, but you had your own rankings in a sortable page. Am I just not seeing it for this year?

    • @Dani: Yup, should be up in the next couple of days.

      • RandomItalicizedVoice says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: I’d love to see a composite of yours and Greys rankings as well. Although that would be easy enough for me to do on my own. Thanks for the outside-the-box analysis, as per usual Rudy.

        Cheers.

  5. Yescheese says:
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    Awesome work Rudy! Very interesting story the data tells here.

    Case In point: So my 2013 2nd rd pick of Starlin Castro really sunk my championship chances? :)

    • @Yescheese: You can survive a bad pick or so. I think I’ve got another post going up that showed that the difference between a Miggy/Trout/Cano/McCutchen and a 1st round bust like Braun and Kemp was like 20 standings points on average. Crazy.

    • @Yescheese: You can survive a bad pick or so. I think I’ve got another post going up that showed that the difference between a Miggy/Trout/Cano/McCutchen and a 1st round bust like Braun and Kemp was like 20 standings points on average. Crazy.

    • Men-in-Cleats says:
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      @Yescheese:

      Main league: Castro in the third after Votto/Longoria equalled 4th place.
      RCL: Castro in the third after Cano/Goldy equals 1st place.

      Can get a bad pick or so but not too many of them early in the draft.

  6. HWY68 says:
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    Awesome post, Rudy.

    Nailing early hitting picks is crucial — easier said than done, considering many first round picks fail to return first round value. If anything, your study further confirms the importance of player projections. The question fantasy players must ask is whose player projections do I trust?

    • RandomItalicizedVoice says:
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      @HWY68: I don’t think they need to return first round value, as long as they don’t return say 10th round value. If you get 2nd or even 3rd round value from your first pick, as long as you do get good returns from your next few picks, you are still fine IMO. That’s why going for someone safe like Cano, who might not return 1st round value, but is highly unlikely to return anything lower than 2nd round value (and at a premium position to boot) over someone like CarGo who could easily give you half a season through injury, makes a lot of sense.

    • @HWY68: i only use steamer projections and then make some adjustments based on playing time. i’ll have those up on the site in the next couple of days. various sites did projection tests of 2013 data and the steamer/razzball projections did really well.

      • HWY68 says:
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        @Rudy Gamble:

        Absolutely. I dig your projections. Thanks for the in-depth articles too.

  7. Hawk says:
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    @Rudy

    This is great analysis man, great work! I’m really keen on this piece:
    ————–
    The end-of-season value of a team’s 1st round predicts nearly 40% of a team’s hitting points and nearly 30% of a team’s total standings points. No pressure, right?
    ————–

    How do you interpret this in a draft?

    To me, this SHOUTS to me “It’s better to take an sure-fire healthy 2nd rounder than an injury risk superstars in the first round”

    Goodbye, Cargo, Tulowitzki, Harper, Longoria, Pujols..
    Hello Votto, Beltre etc..

    Your thoughts?

    • Jeff in Southern Indiana says:
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      @Hawk: I agree.

      But injuries are hard to predict.

      Even Votto missed half a year two years ago. And Pujols was hurt last year out of the blue when he seemed safe based off years of past history.

      Then guys like David Ortiz start the year hurt and end up winning me my home league.

      The whole issue of injuries is hard for me to create a philosophy around.

      • RandomItalicizedVoice says:
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        @Jeff in Southern Indiana: It is…but the best predictor of future injury is previous injury. Apart from that…yeah impossible to predict.

        • James says:
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          @RandomItalicizedVoice:

          I avoid guys with a long history (Elsbury, CarGo, Tulo, ect), but one injury is nothing to discount a player over. You have to also remember value is relative, tulo in the first is bad with the injury risk, but great in the 3rd.

          • RandomItalicizedVoice says:
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            @James: agree with all of this.

            • goodfold2 says:
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              @RandomItalicizedVoice: me too, except Pujols did in fact have big injury in his last STL season.

          • Hawk says:
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            @James:

            See this is exactly where I’m going. And what I have to say is all about the first round.

            Rudy’s analysis basically states that your 1st round pick better produce. At that level, only injury stops guys from producing. While anyone CAN get hurt, some guys (even first rounders) are more prone to injury.

            Given his analysis, wouldn’t it make more sense to avoid those guys entirely?

            • The below isn’t perfect (a few teams aren’t matching up for me right now) but here’s a glance at final standings points in 2013 based on 1st round pick.

              CarGo and Tulo didn’t really wreck teams – it was Braun and Kemp who were the biggest anchors. I don’t know if there really were any ‘safe’ picks towards the end of Round 1- it really felt like the shallowest 1st draft in memory (e.g., Fielder went top 8 usually where this year he went #15 in LABR).

              Player/# of Leagues/Avg St PTS
              Mike Trout 62 71.6
              Robinson Cano 60 67.7
              Albert Pujols 59 61.5
              Joey Votto 59 65.6
              Matt Kemp 58 54.8
              Miguel Cabrera 58 77.8
              Ryan Braun 58 56.6
              Andrew McCutchen 57 71.6
              Prince Fielder 55 69.0
              Carlos Gonzalez 50 66.0
              Giancarlo Stanton 44 65.8
              Justin Upton 34 62.4
              Troy Tulowitzki 23 63.3
              Justin Verlander 8 49.8
              Jose Bautista 6 49.9
              Bryce Harper 4 47.9
              Evan Longoria 4 73.2
              Clayton Kershaw 3 48.6
              Josh Hamilton 2 23.1
              Stephen Strasburg 2 68.7
              Adrian Beltre 1 76.2

  8. Blue says:
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    Just goes to show you want solid, safe hitting production from picks 1-4.

  9. Iceman says:
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    Hi Rudy,

    I know you and Grey have hammered all season long about how important hitting is early. But in a competitive league, I’m wondering if everyone is starting to think that way. In an effort to combat that, what if you go ALL pitching early.

    I propose that in a league that covets hitting, you could get 5 of the top 10 Starting pitchers and a few elite Relievers by Round 8. Then you could just forfeit power, and get cheap steals/runs/good average hitters the rest of the way. [This is for H2H league].

    I’m wondering if this a promising idea in your mind or a terrible idea? I think you would all but guarantee winning 5/5 pitching categories each week, and as long as you win a couple of the hitting categories, you could have quite a dominant team (in theory)

    Thoughts?

    • @Iceman: I looked at the RCL data to see if perhaps this strategy was successful (http://razzball.com/fantasy-baseball-snake-drafts-hitpitch-ratio/). Based on the data, teams that skewed heavier on pitching did worse than average.

      I have seen the pitchers + speed play in H2H. There’s a name for that gambit i can’t recall but I think it can work. I prefer to punt SB and SVs and focus on winning the other 8 categories.

  10. Marti says:
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    10 team nl auction keeper league guys go up by 5 each year…can keep as long as we want…root 260 budget CBS scoring 10 bench spots

    I have

    Ramos 8
    Goldy16
    Gyorko 11
    Frazier 11
    Rizzo 19
    Marte 11
    E young 6
    Yelich 8
    Schieholtz7

    So I need 1 more OF 1 ss 1 mi 2 until

    Strasburg 23
    Cingrani 6
    Cole 9
    Henderson 6

    So I need 5 more pitchers

    2 questions how much of remaining 119 do you spend on pitchers…there is going o be a lot of inflation in draft

    Would you keep a j Burnett for 11 if he signs w a national league team?

    One more question. Where do u see weakness on bats?

    • @Marti: i’d strive for about a 175/85 to 180/80 split for hitting and pitching so you’ve got $36-$41 left to spend on pitching. Burnett for $11 seems solid – better @PIT than @PHI though. I like your keepers. EYJ is expendable if you’ve got Marte.

  11. Tigres says:
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    Rudy -thanks, great post. What’s the average number of hitters vs pitchers taken in first four rounds? I’m wondering if the sheer quantity affects the correlation as much as quality and volatility:

    If I draft just one SP in first 4 rds, that’s around 30 starts or 1/6 of my 180 start limit, which is only 80% my total pitching outcome to begin with (SP = no saves); .17*.8 = .13. So logically, that one player shouldn’t correlate highly with my end of year performance – even if that one SP does great. Whereas if I draft 3 hitters, that’s already 3/13 or 23% of my hitting outcome – so I should expect a higher correlation, just as a baseline. Does this make sense?

    But… even if my caveat is right (which it might not be), your 9% for pitchers is a bit lower than 13%, and 40% for batters is much higher than 23%, in terms of correlations after four rounds. Suggesting the general conclusion stands. Just perhaps the gap is not be quite as wide those graphs suggest.

    • @Tigres: Here are the average players per position drafted in the first 4 rounds:

      1B 7.1
      2B 3.6
      3B 5.3
      C 1.0
      OF 16.8
      RP 0.5
      SP 9.5
      SS 4.2

      Yes, that makes sense. It’s true that the first 4 rounds are more predicative for hitting points vs pitching points given more hitters are drafted. My hit/pitch split analysis is more definitive proof that a heavy SP strategy hasn’t been successful in RCLs. But that articles makes the point that it’s all about balance. If you grab an SP or two early, you should wait longer for your next SPs.

  12. Jay_0321 says:
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    I have a question for you. I have become pretty susceptible to the rankings and the opinions around here so I inadvertently draft in the way of the rankings.

    I seem to consistently never burn a top two pick on any pitcher. Lately I have been passing on Kershaw with him available late in the first and sometimes on the turn. Can I survive on pitchers that are more hunch based like Bailey, Teheran, Cobb, Hisashi, Liriano, Gray, and the likes? I seem to always be grabbing my first SP around where Latos, Cain and Zimmerman are (roughly 7th rd +).

    Am I making the right choice on loading up on hitting? Most of my mocks look like this:

    C – Lucroy/Gattis/Santana 100%
    1B – Fielder 90% (mid to late first or later)
    2B – Pedroia/Gyorko 100%
    SS – Miller 90%
    3B – Longoria 100% (land in 3rd rd every mock)
    OF – Bruce 100%
    OF – Bautista 90%
    OF – Jones/Harper/Trumbo 100%
    UT – Pujols 100% (also land in 5th or 6th every mock)
    UT – Some other power bat

    Thanks,

    • Jeff in Southern Indiana says:
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      @Jay_0321: That’s a lot of faith in Miller. Too much for me. I’d rather have him on the bench or MI spot and have Andrus, Segura or E Cab.

        • Jay_0321 says:
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          @Jeff in Southern Indiana: Not punting anything, just mocking and seeing how things pan out. What are your thoughts on punting sb’s?

    • @Jay_0321: On first blush…I think your mock team looks like it has AVG issues. I would avoid having Bruce and Trumbo in the same OF.

      I think you can definitely win with hitters in the first 6 rounds. It’s not my preferred strategy though – it’s closer to Grey’s.

      My first rankings are almost done and Kershaw right now is at #16 in the RCL format That’s with a 67/33 split which increases the value of hitters (59% unadjusted) vs. pitchers. I’d probably draft Kershaw in the late 2nd round b/c I couldn’t pass up the discount. But I’m predicting some really nice ‘ace’ discounts in rounds 3-6.

      One thing I won’t have a better feel for until early March is the relative bargains (or lack thereof) in Rounds 3-6. Last year, it didn’t love Round 5 hitters (reaches and players I didn’t want) so felt comfortable taking King Felix as a 2nd SP. I suspect something similar this year but we’ll see.

      • Jay_0321 says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: So you are legitimately thinking its ok to grab an ace or two in rounds 3-6?

  13. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    Very informative, Rudy. Looks like RDs 5,6,7 and 13-16 the clear wins for pitchers last year. Just to clarify, does this mean most managers ‘loaded up’ on pitching, or, that just the ‘smart managers’ did?
    Any breakdown of SP vs. RP those rounds?
    Also, is it preferred to miss the first run at closers (Kimbrel, etc. can be early picks) and wait until RDs 13-16 (they may be gone?)?

    • @simply fred: I don’t read it quite that rigidly. Per the hit/pitch split post, I think you can take pitching in any round but it’s just about balancing it throughout the draft. Taking a pitching in the top 4 round is my usual MO as long as the value is there.

      Here are the average standings points for teams that drafted these pitchers in the first 4 rounds. The average team scored 65 points and these seem to average about 65. Per the other analysis, it seems to be when people draft too much pitching is when they get in a bit of trouble.

      Felix Hernandez 55.3
      Justin Verlander 58.3
      David Price 61.1
      Stephen Strasburg 67.1
      Clayton Kershaw 68.8
      Cliff Lee 66
      Cole Hamels 63.4
      Jered Weaver 47.9
      Craig Kimbrel 66.5
      Madison Bumgarner 70.8
      Gio Gonzalez 62.8
      Zack Greinke 72.1
      Yu Darvish 60.3
      Adam Wainwright 73.2
      Aroldis Chapman 65.5

      I don’t have strict guidance on when to take closers. I take them when the value is there.

  14. Pdunk says:
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    Great great stuff. I play cbs h2h 10 team league with 2 keepers. This league is big on pitchers, top 6 will be keepers & I’ve got cargo, braun or Stanton. looking for Fielder, jones or Longo in rd 1. Cbs rankings are brutal. Thanks for shining the light for my draft strategy.

    • H2H = pitcher volume not necessarily aces. I’d just make sure u get about 8 starters u can tolerate in the majority of their matchups.

  15. Charles says:
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    Kind of upsetting that such a huge percentage is heavily weighted towards what pick you get in the draft. +1 for auctions.

    • I like auctions a little better but it’s not THAT different given everyone had a budget. Assuming you are in a league where people don’t go crazy in stars an scrubs, I imagine a similar curve when you rank ur players from most to least expensive

      • Charles says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: Good luck getting Trout or Miggy in a snake draft unless you have a top-2 pick. Auctions allow anyone to get any player.

        • @Charles: Good luck getting Trout or Miggy without paying $5+ more than they are worth. Grey and I have been in auctions where the stars are so overpriced that we can’t get guys in the top 20.

  16. J-FOH says:
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    Your article is bonerific, very well done

  17. MattH says:
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    Nice post, Rudy. Love your chart and graphs.

  18. Sange76 says:
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    Better late round opening picks in 12 team h2h points league

    Beltre and Freeman or
    Votto and Wright

    • @Sange76: I have Beltre/Freeman at about $42 and Votto/Wright at $37. So Door #1.

  19. letsgobravos says:
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    I’ve been watching the LABR live draft. A few questions for Rudy on picks. Its only halfway done but, a few questions so far…

    1. Why Chris Davis over Jones and Fielder in the first?

    2. Seemed like you really agonized over the 2nd round. Why Puig over Bautista?

    3. Why Jansen in the 5th?

    • I’ll be writing up a post on it but the quick answers..
      1) B/c Chris Davis was the most valuable player available according to my projections. Jones/Braun/Cano were considered but felt better about getting a good OF with my 2nd pick than one of the 1Bs lasting (was right to be concerned as EE, Votto, and Fielder were gone by my pick but could’ve had Freeman. Jones/Freeman or Braun/Freeman would’ve been comparable to Davis/Puig i think)

      2) I’m down on Bautista. He’s older. No speed. Injury prone. Puig is a better bet for all stats except HRs and not sure Bautista will beat him there.

      3) Best player available. I thought there were 4 premium closers in Kimbrel/Chapman/Jansen/Holland. When Chapman went in the beginning of round 5, knew that likely both Jansen and Holland wouldn’t make it back. The SPs had been stripped clean so decided to wait another round before diving in. Jansen’s 100+ Ks also helped mitigate the K advantage of having an ‘ace’. I didn’t want to chase K’s with my SPs at the expense of WHIP.

      • Wake Up says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: Davis/Puig/Segura makes a lot of sense…
        Very nice, balanced team! Like the Arenado pick…

        Were you gonna go Cobb?

        Isn’t Pinto backing up?

        • @Wake Up: Thanks. Cobb was in the queue at one point. Liked Wacha better.

          • Wake Up says:
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            @Rudy Gamble: I was just curious…Cobb went before Wacha anyway…was just wondering if you were eyeing him there…I thought you were when I was following along…
            Davis- power
            Puig-balance
            Segura-speed
            Craig-avg

            the more I look at your first four vs others the more I like it…best of luck!

            • @Wake Up: I thought Cobb would stay on the board another round or two. Wacha had a lower NFBC ADP (as in he should’ve been picked first). Tweeted with Jeff Erickson of Rotowire on this and he had Wacha going in the 7th round but already had 2 SPs at that point. So liking my value on Wacha and would’ve been happy to get Cobb at a similar discount.

              Thanks re: the first four. I’m happy w/ it as the first three look like they are going to be in my top 20. Didn’t expect Segura to be there by the 3rd pick which just goes to show you can never fully script a draft. I was relieved to get him there because Speed went at a premium all draft – starting with Ellsbury going earlier than I expected and SAGNOFs like Everth Cabrera being taken in the top 75. (Interestingly enough, Billy Hamilton stayed on the board for a while. I think a lot of experts are thinking what Grey and I are….we like him but, man, it’s easy to picture a scenario where, by May, he’s hitting 8th or hitting 1st for the Louisville Bats.

      • Wake Up says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: What a marathon that was…

  20. troy says:
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    rudy where can i find your rankings? i only see greys, i really enjoy greys rankings but would like to get a good mix as well.

    • Will be up under ‘Player Rater/Pre Season Player Rater’ (top menu) in next day or two.

      • fantasyfriend says:
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        @Rudy Gamble:

        I’m really looking forward to your projections this season. 2 quick questions:

        1. Will the auction values based on your projections be customized for default 12 team yahoo leagues? and..

        2. I know that you mentioned you basically use Steamer and then customize playing time (at bats, innings pitched) .. but do you also customize the Runs & RBIs? I’ve heard that this is the area systematic projection systems have the most trouble with.

        Thanks for the great work you do here … this site has become my favorite fantasy resource … and you are a large part of the reason why.

        • Yes, will have a 12-team Yahoo rankings.

          I worked with steamer last year to build a more informed R/RBI formula that incorporates projected lineup position and team strength.

          Should be available in the next couple of days.

          • fantasyfriend says:
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            @Rudy Gamble:

            Awesome, thank you!

  21. Trollvolution says:
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    I play in a 16-team h2h cats league with 25-man rosters…C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, MI, CI, OF, OF, OF, U SP, SP, RP, RP, P, P, P, P, P B, B, B, B, B, B, B Streaming pitchers is virtually a no-go ( we do daily waivers, with $1 for every free agent picked up throughout the year) I personally think that pitching take on more value in a league with this type of setting? What do you think the hitting/pitching splits and strategies would be? I have virtually loaded my bench with 5-7 staring pitchers at any time throughout the year, and try to go quantity over quality, but would you suggest trying to get a top tier pitcher at all?

    • @Trollvolution: I think the strategy of loading up on SPs is the perfect strategy for that format. In my 15 team LABR league with limited free agency/waivers ($100 FAAB), I drafted 10 SPs (7 to start each week, 3 to swap in + insurance). An ace is fine – but not at the expense of quantity. If you got an ace, I’d just spend a little less for your other SPs.

  22. JustJack says:
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    Rudy, I hope you are still reading this thread. Thanks for this post. Great work as always.

    What I want to know is where do the winners excel? Do they nail the early rounds? Do they find great value later? Or does the draft leave most teams in a position to compete (some a little ahead and some a little behind) and it really does come down to in-season moves (the other third left out by standing points vs draft round correlation)?

    I don’t think we (er, you unless you’re sharing data) can find that with the correlation curves. But a plot of end of season value for each draft pick by round for the first place teams plotted against the same for the average of the other teams might. Do you have a feel for what you might find or the interest/time to do it?

    Also, do you still do point shares? Is that part of the auction values? Love those.

    Thanks

    • @JustJack: Thanks. I have a few more posts analyzing and quantifying the data but there is no magic elixir. The two main variables I’ve found are: 1) their drafted team outperforms pre-season expectations and 2) they are active owners who are near their league leads in IP and ABs.

      What the grid above shows is that having an outperforming drafting is by far the most important (otherwise it wouldn’t correlate at such a high %).

      I don’t think there’s a single way to draft…pretty much the best way to ensure that you maximize your chances for a better than average draft is to get as much value as possible out of your draft. So having strong pre-season values (i’m partial to mine) and then analyzing ADP data to determine when to wait on a guy you love vs. pounce on someone.

  23. Ross says:
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    In my keeper league, I have Iwakuma being kept for a 10th round pick and Alex Cobb for a 12th. What tier of SP should I be looking to if I wanted to draft an ace? Or should I just roll with those two as SP1 and SP2?

    • @Ross: Sorry about Iwakuma. Not sure what you mean by tier of SP. I don’t think Iwakuma and Cobb are ‘aces’ but three SP2s can be the equivalent of an SP1/SP2/SP3. I’d just look for the best value within the SP1/SP2 range.

  24. Billy says:
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    Need some keeper advise. 15 team 5×5 roto, keep 8. *s are for guys i am keeping for sure. I need 3 more. I’ve been offered Eric Hosmer for Chapman. I need a 1b so I want to take it. He is an 8th rounder. Need two more keepers from Bailey, Zimmerman, Gray, Ryu. What do you think?

    Bailey, Homer P – CIN (10)
    Chapman, Aroldis P – CIN (6) or Hosmer (8)
    Choo, Shin-Soo OF – CIN (6) *
    Gray, Sonny (R) P – OAK (20)
    Gyorko, Jedd (R) 2B,3B,CI,MI – SD (16 )*
    Longoria, Evan 3B,CI – TB (2)*
    Jones, Adam OF – BAL (3)*
    McCutchen, Andrew OF – PIT (1)*
    Ryu, Hyun-jin (R) P – LAD (9)
    Zimmermann, Jordan P – WAS (5)

    • @Billy: I think Bailey and Gray since they have the best value. In a vacuum, it would be Zimmerman and probably Bailey over Ryu.

      • Billy says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: Bailey and Gray is what i was thinking. Thanks

  25. sean says:
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    rudy, this post is really, really interesting. do you think your findings are colored by the fact that, in 5×5, there are two pitching ratio stats compared to just one for hitters? to me, two ratio stats mean pitching is much more weighted to total staff performance as opposed to hitting, which is weighted heavily toward individual performance, especially at the top end (supported by your findings). it makes sense that pitching spikes from 4-8 because most teams have drafted all of the 180 IP+ starters by then and are, more or less, getting locked into a profile for ERA and WHIP.

    • @sean: Hmm, I don’t think ratio stats are driving this. I think – like an earlier commenter noted – it makes sense that it takes more rounds for the correlation to build for pitching since less pitchers are drafted in the early rounds. i think that’s the driving factor there as both counting and rate stat success are all ‘team’ efforts with only SB and SV as categories where certain players have overwhelming impact.

  26. I am in a 14 team league 9 hitting categories and 6 for pitching , we pick 5 pitchers and 10 position with a 10 player bench after we pick the first 15 players. It’s all points system high to low if you lead a category you get 14 points if you are last you get 1 point. We keep track all season long and we cannot pickup players on the waiver wire. We live with what we draft. What type of strategy would you suggest.

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