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Sit non-elite closers against terrible matchups?

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Sit non-elite closers against terrible matchups?

Postby MissingOakley » Tue Apr 24, 2007 2:00 pm

I was curious if anyone benched their non-elite closers who also play for bad teams when they play against the likes of the Yanks or Red Sox. If the closer plays for a terrible, 60-win team, it seems relatively unlikely that he'll get a save opp. versus a far superior team. Which means it's more likely that he gets put in to a non-save opp., in which case the risk that he gets shelled isn't balanced by the potential reward of a save. People also seem to think (anecdotally) that closers do worse in non-save situations, which would seem to add to the risk/reward imbalance.

I'm NOT talking about the all-around awful closers (say Chacon that year he was closing with a 7+ ERA), who are a risk to play against anyone. I'm wondering about the closers you'd play normally, but might think about sitting some days. Or would this be overthinking things?
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Postby Xtreemes » Tue Apr 24, 2007 2:06 pm

Closers are only going to get 30-35 saves, you don't want to miss any. If you play matchups with closers and try to figure out when they'll get saves you'll miss out on some, and then there's no reason to have them.
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Postby zig zag daddy » Tue Apr 24, 2007 2:11 pm

They only have to make 3 outs. I wouldnt bench a closer.
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Postby hot4tx » Tue Apr 24, 2007 2:12 pm

Under normal circumstances, no I don't bench closers based on matchups for a few reasons:

1) Even most "blow ups" by closers are 2-3 runs allowed, which doesn't kill your ERA in the long run as much as a starter getting shelled for 6 runs or something.

2) The good but not great closers are still really good pitchers. Even against good hitters they've got a pretty good chance to succeed.

3) In most lineups only half, at most, of the hitters are really good hitters. So since the closer won't pitch more than an inning, he's got a decent chance that he gets to miss the meat of the lineup anyway.

4) Closers really only help you in one stat - Saves - which are based more on situation than most other fantasy stat. This makes them less predictable. If you bench closers when they play Boston, NYY, etc you'll miss a couple bad outtings but you'll miss a lot of saves too.
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Postby Chrisy Moltisanti » Tue Apr 24, 2007 2:13 pm

If you have 2 elite closers and are very concerned about ERA/WHIP, yes I can see sitting Ray/Todd Jones type vs NYY and Bos, provided they aren't recently posting good BB/K/HR numbers. Starting pitcher matchups factor in as well.
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Postby ChipperJonesFanatic » Tue Apr 24, 2007 3:16 pm

In roto, I don't think you can at all. In h2h however, I have been benching some closers. I play with holds so when I have a MR on my bench, and am up 5-2 in saves but tied up in holds I sit a CL (Usually CCordero) and put in a MR. I have seen this work in my favor.

Then again, saves are really not important in head to head anyway...
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Postby MissingOakley » Tue Apr 24, 2007 4:22 pm

Xtreemes' argument makes some sense to me -- essentially, even when the possibility of save is small, saves are so rare that you nonetheless just hope it happens.

Still, why don't we think of start/bench decisions for closers in a way similar to what we use for starters? Assess the likelihood of a good or bad result, and sometimes decide to bench?

For example: Tampa Bay was 5-13 against the Yankees last year, a .278 winning percentage. How does it make sense to start a closer whose team only has a 28% chance of winning? A save opp. can't be more than 20% likely, and a successful save somewhat less than that. And the likelihood of a hit to WHIP and ERA is higher than normal.
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Postby teddy ballgame » Tue Apr 24, 2007 4:24 pm

I would never bench a closer. If I don't want them to start in certain games I'd rather trade them.
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Postby Yoda » Tue Apr 24, 2007 4:41 pm

I would bench only if I knew that I would win SV.
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Postby great gretzky » Tue Apr 24, 2007 4:57 pm

seriosuly. I think sometimes one can get too cute with their lineup In roto, I simply don't think this is feasible. You can't afford to miss out on 2-4 saves per season, which is certainly possible if you do this. I think you have to roll with your closers and tweak your ratios through other middle relievers and starters if you get stuck with a closer who has bad ratios.
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