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On 6/27/2017 at 7:17 AM, LJJr said:

 

 

Interesting...I deploy this strategy in H2H leagues but didn't think it would work in roto punting 2 cats entirely..   he's fortunate his offense worked out that well.

 

 

On a seperate note...there has been so much closer volatility this strategy has been difficult for me this year after working very well the last couple.  I have one team that is 11th out of 12th employing it where almost nothing has gone right (on offense drafted Odor, Freeman, Pollock and Marte, on the pitching side Melancon, Ramos, Bedrosian and Britton have all been issues) so i'm just gonna chalk this one up to unfortunate luck.  I'm close enough to 6th place that if a switch gets flipped and enough players get back I have an outside shot.

 

In general this strategy has been very effective for me in h2h in years past though.

I hope you are still around to discuss this. 

 

I did this in Yahoo Pro Leagues this past season (H2H). It immediately went wrong. First though, I should mention that I had played in 20 YPL ($50-$100) before this most recent season. I joined 6 leagues this past season, and I had never missed the playoffs, until this past season. The strategy, as you know, is to win Saves, WHIP, and ERA along with most of the hitting cats (because you are drafting no SP enabling you to have a stacked offense). Well, I was never winning ERA and WHIP due to constant blow ups. The "closer volatility," as you mentioned, killed me.

 

Now, I didn't lock down Jansen, Chapman, and Britton, for instance, even though that wouldn't have mattered much (with the second two), and just furthers my belief that this idea isn't as great as it sounded. I drafted all 6 teams this way, and four/five weeks in I was under .500 in all of them and abandoned ship. It wasn't easy, but I managed to make the playoffs in 4 of 6 leagues. Anyway, I won't be trying it again, and I don't think anyone who is a solid owner should waste their time with the gimmick. Most of us that are here know enough that we are hamstringing ourselves by taking ourselves entirely out of the SP game. There are so many good, young arms I didn't own because I hadn't planned on owning any starting arms. I managed to start snagging them and traded closers as I could for arms, but it really put me behind the eight ball. 

 

I had heard it was a solid strategy, and it made a lot of sense, due to the Yahoo Pro League settings (only needing 7 innings pitched on the week to qualify). But, if you are here in the Rotoworld forums, you are doing more research than most, and you don't need to use this method, imho. Good riddance.

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5 hours ago, Flyman75 said:

 

My perspective on this...if a stud pitcher goes down, you're screwed. But because bats are more plentiful, if a stud bat goes down, it's easier to try to come close to replacing his production. It's a whole lot easier to try to replace SP2s and SP3s than a stud like Kershaw/Sale/Scherzer/etc. I've found more fortune in going after bats and carefully building a pitching staff with a mix of SP2/3s, closers, and stud MRs. 

 

Of course if you get 450 stud innings out of a pair of stud SPs, then my argument doesn't work so much. Lol. 

 

Someone here on the forums mentioned the Fantasy Baseball Black Book, and I had never heard of it (I say that with great shame :( ). So I decided to look it up and found it on Amazon. Great thing is you can read a few of the opening pages, so I started reading. They have 5 burning questions for 2018, and No2 is asking if we should devalue pitching. I found it interesting that the author said virtually the same thing I did...gotta admit, made me feel pretty good, LOL. 

 

He said this about H2H and season-long roto: "The approach should be quality arms instead of high priced ones. The reason being, if you make a major investment in a big time arm and they get hurt, there's no replacing that production. Instead, a staff full of #2 and #3 type starters will keep you afloat and create volume in categories like wins and strikeouts."

 

A few sentences later he said, "It means, in season long roto leagues, that high end relievers with plus peripherals need to be studied and acquired more than ever before. They can impact most categories similarly to a starting pitcher who ends up throwing just 130 innings; sometimes more positively than the starter who bombs before going on the DL with an injury. I witnessed Ron Shandler use this strategy in Tout Wars and pass me for second place last season in our league, so trust me it works." 

 

I've been using the strategy he lays out here for several seasons. I generally acquire SPs are are not aces or considered "elite", and I follow that up by picking up MRs who are elite and put up great peripherals and high Ks. My primary league uses 2 SP, 2 RP, and 4 P slots. With the 2 RP and 4 P slots, I utilize closers and elite MRs and rotate my starters through those 2 SP slots. When it comes to Saves, Ks, ERA, and WHIP, it generally works very well. Wins are so volatile and unpredictable, that I just hope for the best there. 

 

Btw, I hope I'm not out-of-line by quoting part of that book. If I am, I greatly apologize. 

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15 hours ago, MugsyBogues said:

I hope you are still around to discuss this. 

 

I did this in Yahoo Pro Leagues this past season (H2H). It immediately went wrong. First though, I should mention that I had played in 20 YPL ($50-$100) before this most recent season. I joined 6 leagues this past season, and I had never missed the playoffs, until this past season. The strategy, as you know, is to win Saves, WHIP, and ERA along with most of the hitting cats (because you are drafting no SP enabling you to have a stacked offense). Well, I was never winning ERA and WHIP due to constant blow ups. The "closer volatility," as you mentioned, killed me.

 

Now, I didn't lock down Jansen, Chapman, and Britton, for instance, even though that wouldn't have mattered much (with the second two), and just furthers my belief that this idea isn't as great as it sounded. I drafted all 6 teams this way, and four/five weeks in I was under .500 in all of them and abandoned ship. It wasn't easy, but I managed to make the playoffs in 4 of 6 leagues. Anyway, I won't be trying it again, and I don't think anyone who is a solid owner should waste their time with the gimmick. Most of us that are here know enough that we are hamstringing ourselves by taking ourselves entirely out of the SP game. There are so many good, young arms I didn't own because I hadn't planned on owning any starting arms. I managed to start snagging them and traded closers as I could for arms, but it really put me behind the eight ball. 

 

I had heard it was a solid strategy, and it made a lot of sense, due to the Yahoo Pro League settings (only needing 7 innings pitched on the week to qualify). But, if you are here in the Rotoworld forums, you are doing more research than most, and you don't need to use this method, imho. Good riddance.

Part of the problem also has become more managers started using the strategy last year. It worked as long as you were the only one punting SP but getting 3/4 doing it created to much competition on available closers and you started reaching for them. And then you needed to start reaching for the Devinskis and so forth.

 

Time to zag this year

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5 hours ago, Low and Away said:

Part of the problem also has become more managers started using the strategy last year. It worked as long as you were the only one punting SP but getting 3/4 doing it created to much competition on available closers and you started reaching for them. And then you needed to start reaching for the Devinskis and so forth.

 

Time to zag this year

yep every ypro league i was in last 2 years have had atleast 2 owners in each league going no SP which created a nice trade market for those that wanted to punt saves and trade away any closers they drafted/added from fa and also devalued sp because only 10-9 teams were drafting/adding sp

 

will be interesting to see what happens in drafts this year and if owners will still pay a top dollar for rp (you will know by 3rd/4th rd which is when the top tier closers get drafted)

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On 1/27/2018 at 11:04 PM, MugsyBogues said:

I hope you are still around to discuss this. 

 

I did this in Yahoo Pro Leagues this past season (H2H). It immediately went wrong. First though, I should mention that I had played in 20 YPL ($50-$100) before this most recent season. I joined 6 leagues this past season, and I had never missed the playoffs, until this past season. The strategy, as you know, is to win Saves, WHIP, and ERA along with most of the hitting cats (because you are drafting no SP enabling you to have a stacked offense). Well, I was never winning ERA and WHIP due to constant blow ups. The "closer volatility," as you mentioned, killed me.

 

Now, I didn't lock down Jansen, Chapman, and Britton, for instance, even though that wouldn't have mattered much (with the second two), and just furthers my belief that this idea isn't as great as it sounded. I drafted all 6 teams this way, and four/five weeks in I was under .500 in all of them and abandoned ship. It wasn't easy, but I managed to make the playoffs in 4 of 6 leagues. Anyway, I won't be trying it again, and I don't think anyone who is a solid owner should waste their time with the gimmick. Most of us that are here know enough that we are hamstringing ourselves by taking ourselves entirely out of the SP game. There are so many good, young arms I didn't own because I hadn't planned on owning any starting arms. I managed to start snagging them and traded closers as I could for arms, but it really put me behind the eight ball. 

 

I had heard it was a solid strategy, and it made a lot of sense, due to the Yahoo Pro League settings (only needing 7 innings pitched on the week to qualify). But, if you are here in the Rotoworld forums, you are doing more research than most, and you don't need to use this method, imho. Good riddance.

 

Yep I'm still around, will be happy to discuss it.

 

I honestly haven't decided if I will attempt it again this year.   Last year was terrible for me mainly due to closer volatility.  The prior 2 years I got 6/6 teams in the playoffs and finished in the money on 5/6.  Last year I was 1/3 on playoffs and that one team I converted away from closer only mid season.  

 

I had a team 2 years ago that never blew anyone out but also only lost *two* weeks out of the entire season using this strategy.  Usually winning 6-4 or 7-3.  

 

I think that I will probably attempt it again this year but on a smaller scale (1-2 teams). 

 

It is kind of a "gimmick" but it can be an effective one.  I would like to go back over the last several years and do an analysis on closers and see if anything datawise stands out from last year... I will post it on here once I can pull it off.

 

 

21 hours ago, Low and Away said:

Part of the problem also has become more managers started using the strategy last year. It worked as long as you were the only one punting SP but getting 3/4 doing it created to much competition on available closers and you started reaching for them. And then you needed to start reaching for the Devinskis and so forth.

 

Time to zag this year

 

^ yep this is a definite issue with this strat.

 

You have to be very aware during the draft and if you see even one other team trying (I've seen as many as 3 in the same league attempting it) you have to be willing and ready to pivot the second you don't see this working.  This may also be true if there is an early closer run and you can't nail down at least one of the elite guys.

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Why Invest in Pitching Volatility?

 

I generally will spend my first 5 picks on guys that hit for power AND average(and speed if I can get it). Guys that are rocksteady. This gives you a good base across 4 of the 5 standard categories. Nothing wrong with getting speed, but thats generally 3 categories, not 4.

Extra points if the player plays for teams like HOU, CLE, CHC, LAD, COL, BOS, NYY, WSH etc. (Stacked lineups)

 

Don't draft elite SP. Don't draft elite closers. Instead draft the pitchers who are good, not great. This way you at least have a solid base. So you don't necessarily have to pluck a rotation from scratch. You just need to hit on 1 or 2 of them and your staff all of a sudden looks great.

 

Generally speaking you should not have your #3 SP before you fill out your lineup card(unless value). Grab a couple good starters, and a good closer. This way you have a good base. Draft a bat or 2 for your bench and the rest on pitching.

 

There are so many pitchers. So many to choose from. Research them. Go down the ranks and google each individually. Pick several that you like(ranging from 130-200), and get them. The position is volatile as it is, why invest in guys more likely to get hurt? Why not invest a few rounds later and just fill your staff with a bunch of good starters and elite setup men... who in turn might end up with the closer's role anyway. Don't draft Rodney, draft the hot-shot behind him 3 rounds later, or even pick them up in free agency. Check out depth charts of the bullpens with a shaky closers(before and during season), get the best arm in that pen. Take advantage of the position volatility!!!

 

Concerning pitchers:

Chase K's and hope the BB's get better.

Chase Guys who were unlucky.

Chase Velocity.

 

Some stashes I like for your #5-#7 SP include: Jameson Taillon, Mike Leake, CC Sabathia, Mike Leake, Erasmo Ramirez, JC Ramirez. And that's a rotation on the super cheap. 

 

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1 hour ago, dkrocka said:

Why Invest in Pitching Volatility?

 

 

Generally speaking you should not have your #3 SP before you fill out your lineup card(unless value). Grab a couple good starters, and a good closer. This way you have a good base. Draft a bat or 2 for your bench and the rest on pitching.

 

 

 

if you dont take a sp in the first 4-5 rds then you need to get more than 2 sp before you fill out your lineup

keep at least  one position open c or 3b or w.e and 2 util

you wait 14-15 rds before you take you sp3 and alot/all of the high upside arms will be gone

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6 hours ago, colepenhagen said:

if you dont take a sp in the first 4-5 rds then you need to get more than 2 sp before you fill out your lineup

keep at least  one position open c or 3b or w.e and 2 util

you wait 14-15 rds before you take you sp3 and alot/all of the high upside arms will be gone

I tend to draft safe bats followed by risky pitchers. Where the risk is already inherent. There's plenty of guys in the 160 to 200 range I'll take a chance on. Nothing like filling a need in free agency with any sp, rather than a specific position player. Do what works for u. 

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My solution to the volatility of pitching is to go for quantity.  Drafting quality can pay off for the elites if they stay healthy, and if you're really good at picking the right horse among the SP2-3 with SP1 upside range, but that's really hard to do on a consistent basis.  Instead, I tend to devote a lot of my roster slots to starters in the draft, even if it means I go light on closers or bench bats.  Within the first month or two of the season, I thin the herd and swap relievers in for the starters that didn't make the cut (via waiver or trade.)  This approach won't win me the saves category, but it gives me more tickets in the starting pitching lottery, and that seems more valuable to me given that they throw more innings and contribute in more categories.

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35 minutes ago, dkrocka said:

I tend to draft safe bats followed by risky pitchers

Is there such a thing as a safe bat? Significant injuries happen to hitters too. I'm beginning to think the pitcher volatility is overstated and hitter inconsistency is largely ignored or relegated to case by case.  

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In one of my 12-team roto leagues last year, someone deployed the strategy of stacking SP and power bats and essentially punting BA and SB. He basically drafted all SP for all of the earlier rounds, I can't remember how far but I believe his SP6 or 7 was Tanaka, with Kershaw and Scherzer and a couple other aces in between. After he built the all-star ace SP staff, he went on to draft reliable power guys, average-be-damned (Khris Davis, Adam Duvall, etc.). He drafted a low-level closer or two and competed in that category by filling in during the season via the annual MLB closer carousel. I thought it was an interesting strategy. As long as most of his starters stayed healthy, he was a pretty good bet to lead the league in Ks, ERA, WHIP, wins, HR and RBIs, probably pretty high in runs and competitive in saves. You'll be in the basement in AVG and SB though. I figure your ceiling is about 90-94 roto points if all goes well, but even falling a few shy of that is enough to win some leagues.

 

In this example, he wound up with something like 87 or 88 roto points and finished either second or third, I can't remember which. He was indeed at or near the top in all those categories he targeted, and was high in runs as well and competed in the middle of the pack in saves, while finishing last or near-last in AVG and SB. Someone with a great balanced team wound up with 100+ points and won the league, as this SP-stacked team's ceiling was too limited to make that kind of total. I guess it's a gamble that you'll be in a league where high-80s roto points will be enough to win, because all has to go right with this strategy to get into the low 90s. But I have to think your floor for total roto points is pretty high with this strategy, even if your ceiling is limited by pretty much punting two categories.

 

I don't think I'd have the guts to try it. I simply have more fun building a balanced team.

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One other thing I'd like to mention about the all closer strategy...

 

I feel like *every* year that the elite closers (and imo Yahoo is especially bad about this) keep creeping higher and higher up the draft boards.  If I have to take Kimbrel or Jansen in round 3 to have a shot at getting them at all it makes this strategy much less viable....

 

So if I'm feeling inclined to attempt an all closer team and all of Kimbrel/Jansen/Chapman (?) and W Davis (the names don't really matter just insert whatever the top 4-5 closers are projected to be preseason) are all off the board by the middle of the 4th round...  i tend to say "screw it"

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16 hours ago, AnonymousRob said:

Do hitters not get injured? 

not as often as pitchers

 

Seriously? They throw 70-100+ pitches every 5 days versus swinging a bat and running around a field. You're kidding right?

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The issue of ROI from hitters and pitchers is pretty much settled at this point.  Pitchers do get injured more, and that's a big factor in why they're not, on average, going to return as much per dollar spent.

 

This is a pretty comprehensive look at the data from a few years back.  TL;DR is that ROI for hitters was 65-80%, but only 35-50% for pitchers.  That overstates the situation a bit unless you're in a draft-and-hold league, since you're going to DL / drop pitchers who get hurt / don't perform well and replace them with someone who's returning value.  The piece notes that the ROI gap closes to ~10% or so when you factor this in by removing pitchers who returned no value, but that actually understates the problem, as nobody has a perfect ability to pitchers who won't get hurt or suck.  The actual gap is somewhere in the middle, which seems to vindicate the conventional wisdom that you devote ~65% of your budget to hitters, or spend more on them in the earlier rounds of drafts than pitchers.

 

Still, pitching stats are responsible for half of your roto points, so at some point, if everyone's fading pitching, there are buying opportunities for those who are willing to spend more on pitching than what the numbers say.  This means you need some good skill / fortune in getting the guys who return value (or really good instincts moving the ones who don't / trading for ones who do) but I think this is where I'm at -- knowing that pitching isn't as sound of an investment from a pure spreadsheet perspective, but knowing that you still need good ones to win your league, and being willing to outspend people who read too much into the 65/35 split thing.

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15 minutes ago, dkrocka said:

not as often as pitchers

 

I know this is regarded as conventional wisdom but is it actually supported by the data we have? Pitcher injuries often sideline them completely whereas hitters play with certain types of injuries usually to their (and our fantasy stat) detriment. Pitchers as a whole seem to be branded but positional players get the "injury prone" label individually. 

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7 minutes ago, tonycpsu said:

The actual gap is somewhere in the middle, which seems to vindicate the conventional wisdom that you devote ~65% of your budget to hitters, or spend more on them in the earlier rounds of drafts than pitchers.

 

My contention is that we are entering a new paradigm of pitching vs. hitting where power is much more widely available and pitching for 6 innings with a hr/9 under 1.25 has suddenly become incredibly rare. It might change again but this is the new trend and using that as an insight to inform your fantasy strategy might be the difference in a game of small margins. 

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17 hours ago, tonycpsu said:

My solution to the volatility of pitching is to go for quantity.  Drafting quality can pay off for the elites if they stay healthy, and if you're really good at picking the right horse among the SP2-3 with SP1 upside range, but that's really hard to do on a consistent basis.  Instead, I tend to devote a lot of my roster slots to starters in the draft, even if it means I go light on closers or bench bats.  Within the first month or two of the season, I thin the herd and swap relievers in for the starters that didn't make the cut (via waiver or trade.)  This approach won't win me the saves category, but it gives me more tickets in the starting pitching lottery, and that seems more valuable to me given that they throw more innings and contribute in more categories.

This approach is another reason why it helps for both draft discipline and roster construction to take two closers together either early or in the mid rounds so you aren't tempted to reach on another one at the cost of an upside arm.  Closer "value" in the draft is really a red herring because they are all very similar.  NFBC aside, I've found that people tend to eschew reaching for SPs in the mid-rounds (or picking a lot) at the cost of mid tier closers and/or spec hitters.  Spec starters combined with guys with multi position eligibility helps achieve this.

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1 minute ago, Chaco Chicken said:

My contention is that we are entering a new paradigm of pitching vs. hitting where power is much more widely available and pitching for 6 innings with a hr/9 under 1.25 has suddenly become incredibly rare. It might change again but this is the new trend and using that as an insight to inform your fantasy strategy might be the difference in a game of small margins. 

 

I think you're confusing two different things here.  In rotisserie leagues, there's a fixed amount of value in the player pool.  We don't know where it's going to come from before the season -- if we did, we'd win our leagues -- so we have to base our draft on something.  The goal of the study I linked to is to measure how we can predict (via projections) where the value is.  The conclusion is that hitter return on investment is easier to find than pitcher return on investment.

 

You're speaking about a specific category (power) that's more plentiful -- but it's plentiful throughout the player pool, for everyone who's drafting.  But that doesn't mean that it's easier to predict where that power is going to come from.  Nobody knew how much of it would come from Justin Smoak, Matt Olson, or Scooter Gennett, and nobody really knows if it'll come from those guys again this year.  But it turns out it's easier to predict (project) hitters, in aggregate, across the entire population, than it is pitchers.

 

So I think we need to be clear about what we're talking about.  Pitchers who throw 6 with under 1.25 hr/9 is an arbitrary benchmark that's kind of meaningless without knowing the home run environment of the league that year -- juiced balls, launch angle emphasis, whatever.  That doesn't tell us anything about how much easier/harder it is to identify who the elite pitchers will be -- which is what we're talking about when we talk about how sound an investment they are on draft day.

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28 minutes ago, tonycpsu said:

The conclusion is that hitter return on investment is easier to find than pitcher return on investment

I am conflating my topics a bit here. I was really more addressing the idea of pitcher vs. hitter volatility rather than net return on investment. 

 

30 minutes ago, tonycpsu said:

You're speaking about a specific category (power) that's more plentiful -- but it's plentiful throughout the player pool, for everyone who's drafting.  But that doesn't mean that it's easier to predict where that power is going to come from.

I'm not arguing this. In fact, the evidence that a power increase is across the board is beneficial to the drafter and later the waiver claimer. Whereas it was easier to find average pitching the same way. 

 

31 minutes ago, tonycpsu said:

Pitchers who throw 6 with under 1.25 hr/9 is an arbitrary benchmark that's kind of meaningless without knowing the home run environment of the league that year

I'm generalizing, sure. We seem to have about 2 seasons worth of data indicating that the home run increase is more or less uniform across baseball. I'm not suggesting that on average pitchers are a better investment than hitters I'm suggesting the greater specific value may now be found in pitchers particularly pitchers that limit home runs (countering the current trend) and meet the minimum qualifications for things like quality starts or wins. 

 

I'm not really arguing with your previous post, I was interested in citing the general rule that basically 90% of fantasy baseball managers are using now. I think there might really be a strategic advantage to challenging that data considering the differences, in general, between 2014 where 11 players hit 30 or more home runs and 2017 where 40 players hit 30 or more home runs. Yes, I'm singling out essentially one category but a few point swing here could be a significant fantasy difference. 

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1 hour ago, tonycpsu said:

This means you need some good skill / fortune in getting the guys who return value (or really good instincts moving the ones who don't / trading for ones who do) but I think this is where I'm at -- knowing that pitching isn't as sound of an investment from a pure spreadsheet perspective, but knowing that you still need good ones to win your league, and being willing to outspend people who read too much into the 65/35 split thing.

For practical matters, this is generally what I'm advocating. Another way for me say it would be allocating more of the power/middle tier hitter dollars towards a specific class of pitcher.

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