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Sit non-elite closers against terrible matchups?

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Postby hot4tx » Tue Apr 24, 2007 5:10 pm

MissingOakley wrote: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.

First the original question mentioned closers, one's you feel comfortable with. So unless there's some reason you need that slot in your lineup (in daily lineup changes) you shouldn't bench him... again unless there were odd circumstances like you were definitely going to win Saves, etc. In your example you theoretically say there's only a 20% chance of a save... so why bench him and waste that chance even at 20%? At that rate what's the chance that he gets in a game in a non-save situation??? 5%?

And more than half the time closers you feel comfortable with won't get lit... so we're looking at what a 2% chance of him getting blown up in a non-save situation? Maybe a 5% chance of him blowing a save and and 15-20% chance of him getting a save???? I think those are all reasonable theoretical odds and ones I would take every time.

And again part of the reason it's easier to bench starters is because the big blow up by a starter is almost always more damaging to an ERA... plus the safe closers we're talking about have a MUCH BETTER chance of success against a top team than do the mid to lower-tier starters that you play matchups with. You don't bench Santana when he plays the Yankees..
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