For all the longtime Razzballers out there, you may remember a post just like this a few years ago. If so, you have a great memory and should consider a field in Jeopardy attempts or keeping track of how many times Trump mentions Hillary. If not, this particular strategy piece has staying power. Even with some dated examples, the main overarching theme is a sound one for Deep Leagues and can be an additive for your related strategies. So without further ado, A Deep Impact series post is now upon you! (Where I’m from, they call that Immediate Impact. HURRRR.)
So… I’m not sure what format you play in. But if your league has a constitution longer than a college thesis on the European textile industry and its effect on the French bourgeoisie, well then, you’re probably in the right place. We’re here to take a short ‘n sweet look at some uncommon scoring categories that dynasty/deep leagues might use commonly. The fantasy laymen might ask why we would create such devilish inventions… and that’d be fine, because we seriously have no clue.
Note: Fantasy Football may be over, but keep Razzball in mind for next season!
On-base Percentage or On-base plus Slugging (OBP/OPS)
On-base percentage, and, as an accessory, OPS have become commonplace now and both are finding a wide-birth in the MLB mainstream and fantasy spectrums. I won’t spend too much time on the analysis, since the stat itself is pretty easy to find on player pages, and all of you know exactly what they mean and how to utilize them. The one thing I will say is to always make sure and use OBP to your advantage. In that, create a balance.
Total Bases (TB)
I’ve come to love this scoring category, because on face value, good players are still good. I mean, you’re still going to want to draft your Trouts and Betts and Arenado’s in their usual spots. But as you move away from the elite, you’d be surprised at how this category, moreso than any other, can reward a perceptive eye. Or eyes, if you’re not a pirate. Especially if there isn’t a Home Run or SLG cat, which is quite normal if your league uses TB. To illuminate my point, take a look at the table below, describing certain elements from certain players from the certain 2013 season. So much certainty! You should probably do it with a lamp on or something as well, to actually create the ‘illuminate’ effect. Full immersion folks.
Note: I know this is old school data, but there’s a reason for it, and that’s because I took a championship back in 2013 because of delving deeper into the cat’s like we’re doing now!
So, there we are. First, let me reveal who the two elite hitters were of this group several years back. Obviously, Player B wasn’t, but then it gets a little iffy. Player A was none other than Robinson Cano. Player C was one of the top corners of the game for quite a while, and that’s Evan Longoria. Not to be confused with Eva Longoria, because, why would you? Cano, there’s no argument, he was a top-25 player in any format around this time. Evan Longoria, you could make the argument that he was a 1st Round talent “some years”, but I’m more comfortable slotting him in the 2nd or 3rd round tier for this exercise. Still, pretty valuable. You look at those two guys, and yeah, they were some of the best at their position, and we’d all be happy to have them on our teams. And this is where the Total Bases category can be taken advantage of.
Player B was Matt Carpenter. Now, Carpenter is a mighty fine player, and we might have already seen his peak in 2015, but look at those numbers again from 2013. If your league counts TB instead of HR and SLG, he was basically only 11 TB’s from matching the best keystone player in the game. Yes, this doesn’t include Runs and RBI’s, etc., but that’s not the point here. Look at the price difference around this time, and you’ll start realizing that if you research mid-tier guys, you can literally study your competition into the ground. Lest we forget that Hunter Pence is Player D. A fine player himself, but certainly no Evan Longoria. I would estimate that there would be at least a three-five round difference in their draft positions.
Stolen Bases minus Caught Stealing (SB – CS)
This cat is a bit harder than the others, simply because there’s so much probability involved as speed is usually dictated by lineup designs and a team’s coaching philosophy. I personally like to sprinkling my team with speed all around… think of the Brett Gardner’s or Gregory Poloanco’s of the world. Don’t forget about speed, but get something else with it. In this case, a little bit of power or OBP (in Gardner’s case).
Win’s plus Quality Starts (W+QS)
Another category that’s tough to peg (that’s what she said), you not only have to find pitchers that throw more than six innings on a regular basis, but ones that also have a chance of actually putting up six quality innings. I don’t pretend to have a secret formula here, but I do take into my process pitchers whose teams have a solid chance at being at least somewhat win positive, and/or have a pretty solid offense. Wins are a useless stat in any format, at least in terms of projections, so the lesson here is just keep doing what you were doing during the draft, but keep your targets painted on pitchers that show a tendency to go deep into games and a team that can score more than three runs a game. (RIP Padres.)
Two times Saves plus Holds (2*S+HLD)
I’m sure Roto-Wan has nothing but positive things to say about this cat, and you’ll find me right behind him on the hype train. I’m not the biggest fan of saves in fantasy baseball, but adding value to middle relievers is a great concept to include a more robust strategy to gain points. In that regard, target high-K/high-leverage relievers. My personal combination are to get two middle-tier closers, and a near bottom-tier closer… someone who falls a bit in the draft and just provides saves, and then I balance that out (remember the balance!) with whatever value setup relievers I can find.
This is obviously a post that could go on forever with so many variations of how leagues are set up, but the overall point here is to look deeper in your deep leagues. Hey, sometimes the most obvious things should be reexamined. Just like your mother.
I have no idea what that means.
Want more of the Jay? Don’t we all folks? Don’t. We. All. Well, you, in fact, can have more. AMAZING. I know. You can find Jay enjoying his dig’s over at the Football side of Razz.