Youâ€™ve seen Greyâ€™s PEDS, youâ€™ve seen his auction strategy, youâ€™ve seen his Pitcher Pairings, youâ€™ve seen his rankings, you’ve seen his Fantasy Baseball War Room, youâ€™ve seen his mustache… doodeâ€™s an open book (and actually, heâ€™s got one of them, too). Heâ€™s fantasy baseballâ€™s equivalent of Anna Paquin, constantly naked but odd-looking, so who cares? Wait, he’s more like Helen Hunt, willing to do full frontal, but way past his expiration date. Hmm, maybe Anne Hathaway, baring it all but overrated in terms of talent and sexiness? Point is, he shows a lot, but he’s less accessible than he appears.
This is where I come in. I canâ€™t get you access to any of those actresses. Hell, I canâ€™t even get within 500 yards of them… except for Anna Paquin, but who cares? I can help you with Grey, though. Specifically, I can help you navigate his Pitcher Pairings, which reads like something scribbled in one of John Doe’s notebooks in Se7en.
Letâ€™s say itâ€™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 youâ€™re not gonna let this value slip by. Now you need to know who to pair him with. You can jump over to Greyâ€™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 to prepare for your next pick.
Except now itâ€™s the middle of the 5th round and youâ€™ve been auto-drafted Yadier Molina and Miguel Montero. You donâ€™t need to prepare for the rest of your picks, you need to prepare for a season of endless mocking.
If only there was a web tool where you could have just clicked on Kershawâ€™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 Greyâ€™s Top 400 ranking for each of them (and auction draft value, if youâ€™re into that sort of thing). Guess what? Really, thatâ€™s your guess? Thatâ€™s worst guess Iâ€™ve ever heard. Stop guessing.
Iâ€™ve created such a web tool, and itâ€™s called APPLESÂ (Albrightâ€™s Pitcher Pairing Listing Examination System). You start on the home pageÂ where you simply click on the name of the pitcher youâ€™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 youâ€™ll get a new list… and so on. This goes on for six picks total (again, based on Greyâ€™s recommendation).
There are a few things I should point out:
1. As Iâ€™ve already mentioned, this is all based on Greyâ€™s recommendations. He’s the one who scribbled in the notebooks, I’m just the guy who had to read them all and create a CliffsNotes version.
2. The lists do not update dynamically, so just because youâ€™ve clicked on a pitcherâ€™s name on one page, his name may still show up on the next page if heâ€™s in the group of recommended pitchers. Youâ€™ll just have to remember who youâ€™ve already drafted… I think you can manage. Yeah, even you.
3. Depending on what path you take through the Pitcher Pairings, some of the pages you see may look similar. And I donâ€™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 next 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 thatâ€™s the case. If so, youâ€™ll want to plan accordingly. You donâ€™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.
5. Finally, while APPLES isnâ€™t exclusively for use with snake drafts, it isnâ€™t terribly easy to use with an auction draft, since players from all over the map can be put on the block at any time. If you do want to use it during an auction draft, I recommend committing to one path, and then taking some time to go through that path before the draft starts. This will help you get acquainted with the SPs youâ€™re going to want to keep an eye out for, and it will also allow you to jump back and forth in your browser along your path (by using the Forward and Back commands).
Any questions? Please post in the comments below… and hereâ€™s that link to APPLESÂ again.