For these pitcher pairings, I’m going to be using our (my) 2018 fantasy baseball rankings. Notably, the top 20 starters for 2018 fantasy baseball, top 40 starters for 2018, top 60 starters for 2018, the top 80 starters for 2018 and top 100 starters. You can also just go to our Fantasy Baseball War Room. Okay, formalities out of the way. *rolls up sleeves, makes farting noise with hand under armpit, rolls down sleeve* Let’s get busy! Now, what is a pitcher pairing? It’s your plan for putting together a fantasy staff. A course 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 Josh Hader or take whoever you want. I suggest an upside pick. Hader comes to mind. Or Mike Montgomery. Sean Newcomb also comes to mind. Luiz Gohara anyone? 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 signups will 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 Ed Kemper stood up and read this at the next prison Meet N’ Greet, no one would blink an eye.) Anyway, here’s pitcher pairings for pitching staffs for 2018 fantasy baseball drafts:
If your first pitcher is from the tiers: “La Croix bacon-avocado cheeseburger flavor,” or “Skunked can of La Croix bacon-avocado cheeseburger flavor”
These tiers are from Scherzer to Carrasco. If you draft someone from these tiers, you’ll probably lose your league or get lucky with your hitters. If you do draft one, I wouldn’t take another pitcher until the tiers, “Their intellectual property is a lack of IP” and “Keds or banana peels crafted into slippers.” Take one pitcher from one of those two tier, then grab another starter from one of those two tiers or, “Candice Huffine.” Then grab another starter from, “Candice Huffine,” or one from “Stunod or in a mirror it’s donuts” or “Dollar Store condoms.” Then one starter from Dollar Store Condoms or “Imagine a St. Bernard with his head out the window, his name is Caution.” Finally, draft one more starter from “Imagine a St. Bernard with his head out the window, his name is Caution.” So, you’d have a rotation something like Corey Kluber, Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, Dinelson Lamet, Miles Mikolas and Luiz Gohara. Or you could have Chris Sale, Lance McCullers, Rich Hill, Tanner Roark, Mike Montgomery and Jerad Eickhoff. Either of those staffs will probably have 13’s in every pitching category in a 12 team league.
If your first pitcher is from the tiers: “Draft, but don’t be a Panty Mouth”
This tier goes from Severino to Verlander. I’d pair any of them with anyone in their same tier or in the tier, “The shruggle is real,” “Their intellectual property is a lack of IP,” or “Keds or banana peels crafted into slippers,” but it’s not mandatory you grab two in the first two tiers. In other words, if I drafted Luis Severino, I could see taking Robbie Ray or Carlos Martinez or Archer or anyone from any of those tiers, but I wouldn’t reach either. If you do take two guys from those first two tiers, then move to “Their intellectual property is a lack of IP” or “Keds or banana peels crafted into slippers,” and take one guy. You will also be fine taking Severino and moving right to “Their intellectual property is a lack of IP,” or “Keds or banana peels crafted into slippers.” If you skip a 2nd starter in Panty Mouth and Shruggle, then draft two guys from “Their intellectual property is a lack of IP,” or “Keds or banana peels crafted into slippers.” So, you could have either something like Severino, Verlander and Godley or Archer, Sonny Gray and Godley. Either way, you then move along to Candice and Stunods/donuts and grab a guy, then a Dollar Store condom or St. Bernard. Finally, one guy from the St. Bernard. So, you’ll have something like Severino, Verlander, Godley, Faria, Cobb and Foltywirewitz. Don’t mind if I do! Or you could have something like Severino, McCullers, Wacha, Trevor Williams, Mikolas and Gohara. That’s straight gorge. As in engorged.
If your first pitcher is from the tiers: “The shruggle is real”
These tiers go from Archer to Bauer. This is likely the way I’m going in 12-team leagues and shallower. This would be ideal (and just as convoluted. Anyone that actually reads AND understands this post deserves a gold star and a head exam. “You, sir, are fit for the looney bin.”) My first pitcher will be from the Shruggle, then two starters from “Their intellectual property is a lack of IP,” or “Keds or banana peels crafted into slippers,” then one starter from “Candice” and “Stunods/donuts,” and one starter from Condoms or St. Bernard. Finally, a St. Bernard. So, you could have something like Greinke, Sonny Gray, Alex Wood, Snell, Mikolas and Josh Hader. You just won your league and games haven’t even started. You’re welcome. Could this post become more confusing? Short answer: no. Long answer: nooooooooooo. But let’s try…
You can’t go wrong with a lot of different sets of pitchers. Shoot (not you, deranged white man), you probably could do fine with drafting only 3 starters and 3 great relievers and streaming. If you stick to the pitchers I like, then you’ll do well matching them up any way you see fit. For unstints, I could see a lot of people saying Wacha is being drafted close to Hader, so is it okay if he’s my St. Bernard? Yeah, of course. If you draft only pitchers that I like, then I have no quarrel with you.
WHIP Issues – For every pitcher who is projected over a 1.23 WHIP, take one below. The quicker you do this, the better off you’ll be. For unstints, if you take Kevin Gausman, who I have projected for 1.25, you need to pair him with someone I have projected below a 1.23. Don’t pair Gausman with Pomeranz. Pair him with someone like Morton. Remember, the further you get into the rankings, the harder it becomes to find lower WHIPs. Side note: WHIP can be helped by closers and MRs… Or hurt by them.
What about the tier “Ultimate frisbee out the window,” or any starter listed in the top 100 starters who are in tiers not listed above. They are 7th starters or DL-bound or minor league-bound who you’re stashing. I wouldn’t count on any of them for anything. I like me some Jose De Leon or a bunch of those guys, but are you really starting any of them every time out in April and risking a huge blow up, which would lead to a crushing April that leaves you in your fantasy baseball basement and a chance to start trading for keepers in May? You take a flyer on someone like De Leon, hope he works out and if he doesn’t, you decide whether to drop him in redraft leagues. He’s not your 6th starter.
K ISSUES – For drafters who follow my lead, this shouldn’t be much of an issue. You’re shooting for around 150/starter.
Overall Pitching Issues – Just about everyone, including yours truly, drops at least one of their starters by May 1st. Obviously, you want the best team coming out the draft, but it’s a marathon not a sprint. Starters always come out of nowhere on waivers to become productive. Always. Even in deep leagues.
Because we both know everything above this point was the gibberish of a mad mind, here’s an easy to use shortcut. Just click the pitcher you draft, then you’ll get a short list of the next pitcher you’re supposed to draft. Frank Voila, snitches! Now, have at it: