This is part of a four-part series using Rudy and Grey’s Razzball Commenter League experience as well as some modeling (the dorky kind) to quantify the effectiveness of streaming and how it should inform one’s draft strategy in shallow mixed leagues (10-12 teams).  The first three posts will focus on quantifying the value of streaming starting pitchers, relief pitchers, and hitters.  The fourth will synthesize the learnings from the three and how they impact draft strategy.  The streaming decisions made by Grey and I were HIGHLY influenced by our free, daily updated tools for streaming starting pitchers (Stream-o-nator) and hitters (Hitter-tron).

If you are reading this article (or this site for that matter), I assume you are familiar with streaming starting pitchers.  This is an essential strategy in all daily league formats whether one plays standard Roto or H2H.  While my beloved Stream-o-nator aims to make sure all our readers make the most informed decisions on which pitchers to stream over the next 7 days (and possibly more in 2014), I have yet to read any analysis that quantifies the value of the average streaming pitcher to inform draft strategy.  So this post is going to focus on quantifying the value of a streaming SP and, once I’ve completed quantifying the value of streaming relievers and hitters, I will figure out how this impacts draft strategy.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In recent posts, I used the results of our 2013 Razzball Commenter Leagues (based on 64 12-team mixed leagues with daily roster changes and unlimited pickups) to show:

So this leaves 30% of Hitting Standings Points that could be attributed to a manager’s in-season moves.

Inspired by one of our commenters (initials SF), I thought of a way to reduce the size of that 30% black box.  While estimating the quality of a manager’s in-season moves is very complicated, estimate the quantity of a manager’s moves is EZPZ.  That would be interesting…..but what kind of guidance would that provide?  Making roster moves just for the sake of it is a waste of time and if you, our loyal readers, are going to waste your time, we prefer you do it on our site vs. your league site.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Rudy’s been dropping a bunch of fantasy baseball strategy posts lately. Here’s one on how to split up your hitting and pitching. And here’s one looking at the consequences of showing up to your draft ten minutes late. As for my strategy posts, they’re timeless — so I recycle ‘em. For most of you, been here, read this shizz already, but there’s Razzball newbies (Razzbabies?) that need some coddling occasionally. If you know PEDS, skip ahead into the comments and discuss innovative uses for my mustache. I’ll start, “If you get really close to me, you can use my mustache as an umbrella.” For the Razzbabies, come here and let Uncle Grey burp you. Maybe I can get you to spit up everything you learned at ESPN. Fantasy baseball strategies are as old as the earth, if the earth were ten or so years old. There’s a LIMA Plan (Low Investment Mound Aces) by Ron Shandler. There’s been a ZIMA Plan by Matthew Berry; it involves a lot of stumbling around, groping and the hiccups. There’s been a Punt One Category draft strategy. There’s been a Punt Two Categories draft strategy, which was conceived by a leaguemate of Punt One Category who just couldn’t stand being upstaged. And there’s the Forget When Your Draft Is So Your Team Is Autodrafted strategy. I love when my leaguemates use that one. Then there’s my fantasy baseball snake draft strategy, Performance Enhancing Draft Strategy or PEDS. (You might even want to use this strategy for our Razzball leagues. Join now. Thank you.)

PEDS has five basic steps. If you follow these steps, you will place near the top in all of your leagues. No plan is foolproof because, unfortunately, they still have to play the games, but PEDS puts you in the best position possible to win coming out of your draft. Actually, this plan is foolproof and you should ignore the previous sentence that said no plan is foolproof. No sentence is foolproof, that’s more accurate. Okay, onto the steps:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

For these pitcher pairings, I’m going to be using our 2014 fantasy baseball rankings. Notably, the top 20 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball, top 40 starters for 2014, top 60 starters for 2014 and the top 80 starters for 2014. You can also just go to our Fantasy Baseball War Room once it’s ready, which should be by Tuesday. Or the fantasy baseball tiers. 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, D, E and F pitcher goes with him? Which is different than ‘F this pitcher,’ that’s what you say in May. You should have six starters. The sixth starter is Wily Peralta or take whoever you want. I suggest an upside pick. Jeff Samardzija comes to mind. Or Brandon Beachy. Zack Wheeler also comes to mind. I’m going to assume you’re in a 12 team, 5×5 and some variation of 9 pitcher leagues like the Razzball Commenter Leagues. Speaking of which, the RCL league sign-ups begin on Monday. (NOTE: What you are about to read is massively confusing. If it were found scribbled in a notebook, the FBI would be watching me. If Charles Manson stood up and read this at the next prison Meet N’ Greet, no one would blink an eye.) Anyway, here’s some pairings for pitching staffs for 2014 fantasy baseball drafts:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

First off, you can thank Keanu Reeves for the idea of this post.  I somehow watched the entirety of Little Buddha a long time ago and one line truly comes back to me from that movie over and over again when I begin ranking players for myself or trying to find value in drafts or in trade targets: The path is in the middle way

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yes, that’s a fantastic neck curtain I’m rockin’. Besides the point. Don’t stare. What this IS is (who you callin’ stutterer?) an attempt to translate some nerd speak into some useful fantasy baseball draft strategy.

More statistically-inclined minds than my own (mainly a guy with the handle “matthan” at DRaysBay) have figured out a pretty reliable way to calculate expected Ks from pitchers.

Please, blog, may I have some more?