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Radical strategy shift - Need advice

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Radical strategy shift - Need advice

Postby mak1277 » Fri Jun 30, 2006 10:18 am

I won't bore you all with too much background on how I got here. Let me share some details though. I'm in a 9-team NL-only keeper league. My offense is pretty dominant (40 pts as of today). My pitching, however, is atrocious. I'm currently dead last in wins and strikeouts, 8th out of 9 in ERA and 6th in saves and WHIP. All of this puts me squarely in 4th place, 6 points behind the guys tied for second (top 2 spots get paid).

Here's my question...should I make the decision to punt wins and strikeouts, and try to acquire a slew of closers to move up in the other three categories? I have listed my pitching roster below, and I will give some color around the ground I have to make up in the cats:

Wins - I have 26. League leader has 40, 5th place has 30.
Saves - I have 25. Leader has 39. If I were to start 4 or 5 closers, though, I could make up ground quickly I think.
Strikeouts - I have 343. 7th place is 40 K's ahead of me. I don't think I have much room to move here (especially given my staff).
ERA - 4.85. Fifth place is at 4.55.
WHIP - 1.37. Second place is at 1.32.

Basically, this strategy is a complete departure from my normal way of doing things (I'm the guy who never drafts a stud closer). My starting pitching has just been a nightmare all year though. I need to keep two starters to fill out my rotation, obviously, and I'd probably keep Olsen and Smoltz at this point. I don't really see any of my starters as being keeper-worthy at this stage (max of 5 keepers). I think if I can pick up 9 or 10 points I could squeeze into 2nd place overall.

I know this has been a long post, but I really appreciate any thoughts on this strategy shift.

NL-only keeper league (first year), 9 teams, 5x5

SP - J. Smoltz
SP - R. Clemens
RP - M. Gonzalez
RP - T. Saito
P - J. Julio
P - S. Olsen
P - A. Soler

B - T. Coffey, N. Lowry

DL - B. Sheets, J. Lieber
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Postby The Loveable Losers » Fri Jun 30, 2006 11:31 am

Before answering this we need to know one or two more things about the league....

1) Is there an IP maximum for the year?
2) If there is how do your W/IP, SV/IP and K/IP rank in the league...don't worry about your win, save and k rankings - look at the actual ratios for each team of the wins, saves and k's to their innings pitched since as long as everyone hits the max innings before the end of the year the ratios are what's going to matter.
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Postby swyck » Fri Jun 30, 2006 11:59 am

If your hitting is so dominant, have you looked at moving a bat for an SP? Easier said then done I know, but there's always someone with a slew of SPs.
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Postby mak1277 » Fri Jun 30, 2006 12:10 pm

The Loveable Losers wrote:Before answering this we need to know one or two more things about the league....

1) Is there an IP maximum for the year?
2) If there is how do your W/IP, SV/IP and K/IP rank in the league...don't worry about your win, save and k rankings - look at the actual ratios for each team of the wins, saves and k's to their innings pitched since as long as everyone hits the max innings before the end of the year the ratios are what's going to matter.


Good questions. No there are no IP min's or max's for this league. We set line-ups weekly, so there is no ability to stream starters.
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Postby mak1277 » Fri Jun 30, 2006 12:12 pm

swyck wrote:If your hitting is so dominant, have you looked at moving a bat for an SP? Easier said then done I know, but there's always someone with a slew of SPs.


I have definitely tried. I acquired Smoltz through a trade for C. Tracy earlier in the year. I also have Phillips/Sanchez/Kent, so I'm trying desperately to trade one of them for a starter. Nobody has offered anything close to fair value yet (best offer I got, no kidding, was Cory Lidle for Kent).

I'm to the point where I'm contemplating overpaying for a starter, but then I looked at the standings and came up with this possible strategy where I could keep my offense primarily intact and load up on closers.
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Postby The Loveable Losers » Fri Jun 30, 2006 12:20 pm

If you think you can get the closers to make this work then I'd do it. And you really aren't completely punting wins with this strategy. Click into the article list in my sig and there's an article in there titled Projecting Wins. It's a good read and it also shows that while they're not going to give you the same number of wins a starting pitcher will give you a closer will give you about the same number of wins per ip as a starter (meaning you'll get about 25-30% of the wins a starter would give you out of each closer). The only category you're really punting at that point is K's.
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Postby mak1277 » Fri Jun 30, 2006 12:24 pm

The Loveable Losers wrote:a closer will give you about the same number of wins per ip as a starter (meaning you'll get about 25-30% of the wins a starter would give you out of each closer). The only category you're really punting at that point is K's.


I don't dispute the idea that, per IP, a closer will win roughly the same number of games. Big difference though if I use this strategy. I will be going from 4 SPs and 3 RPs to (ideally) 2 SP's and 5 RPs. My total IP are going to go way down for the rest of the year, so even if my wins per IP stays the same, my total wins will go down proportionally (thus keeping me in last).
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Postby The Loveable Losers » Fri Jun 30, 2006 12:28 pm

mak1277 wrote:
The Loveable Losers wrote:a closer will give you about the same number of wins per ip as a starter (meaning you'll get about 25-30% of the wins a starter would give you out of each closer). The only category you're really punting at that point is K's.


I don't dispute the idea that, per IP, a closer will win roughly the same number of games. Big difference though if I use this strategy. I will be going from 4 SPs and 3 RPs to (ideally) 2 SP's and 5 RPs. My total IP are going to go way down for the rest of the year, so even if my wins per IP stays the same, my total wins will go down proportionally (thus keeping me in last).


Yeah...like I said you're going to be getting 25-30% of the wins of a starter on average. That may be enough to catch someone that runs into some issues but you're not going to dominate or even move up more than a spot or two, that's for sure.
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Postby WittyC » Fri Jun 30, 2006 12:33 pm

Honestly, I don't think you're in bad shape at all. I probably wouldn't make a move until after Sheets comes back. If he's in good form, you're going to have an excellent staff for a 9-team NL only league.

Keep in mind that you just got Roger back, and when Sheets comes off the DL you're going to make up ground in every pitching category at a fantastic rate. This is especially true if Smoltz gets dealt to a contender.

I think you'll be in good shape in the second half with that staff. I'd just stay put and enjoy the ride. ;-D
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Postby jake_harv88 » Fri Jun 30, 2006 3:16 pm

i was just wondering how you ended up with a staff like that, surely you didn't draft that...
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