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Winning with just pitching?

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Re: Winning with just pitching?

Postby Matthias » Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:54 am

RAmst23 wrote:Well I think the argument against this would be that the pitching market is not inefficient (Naturally). Some pitchers may be undervalued just as some hitters are, but the reason pitchers go much lower than hitters is due to the volatility of pitchers. Peavy is the 2nd highest rated pitcher, yet 2 years ago he had 11 Ws, a 4+ ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. Josh Beckket had a 5+ ERA last year, Haren had a 4+ ERA etc.

I think it's the better bet, as has been stated, to just find the best value in your round and not go either pitcher or hitter friendly. Stats such as HR, R, RBI, SB tend to be more stable than ERA, and W. I can better predict what a hitter's going to do than a pitcher, so this riskiness makes pitchers fall farther.

All this is true; the only question is if this manifests itself as people over-compensating: "What round do you draft your first SP?" type of things. Or that people allow the adage of the general (pitchers are volatile) to overshadow and taint the truth of the specific (some elite pitchers are remarkably consistent). There's always going to be an embedded injury risk for pitchers which will be greater than that of hitters as the human body wasn't built to withstand the stresses of pitching a round ball at 98mph, but it becomes a question if the market has overcorrected.

One thing that jumps out is, in the book Fantasyland, Sam Walker looked into the traditional dollar split of allocating your budget between hitters and pitchers and realized there was no systematic rationale for it: it simply was.
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Re: Winning with just pitching?

Postby Matthias » Fri Mar 07, 2008 10:24 am

RAmst23 wrote:Well I think the argument against this would be that the pitching market is not inefficient (Naturally). Some pitchers may be undervalued just as some hitters are, but the reason pitchers go much lower than hitters is due to the volatility of pitchers.

Also, FWIW, if a risk is properly priced and discounted, it's still efficient. Pricing risk and market efficiency are two very different concepts.
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Re: Winning with just pitching?

Postby hot4tx » Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:06 pm

The key to note here is that we aren't talking about just taking pitching when there is great value represented by folks weighing hitting so much over pitching. We're talking about going to the other extreme and weighing pitching over hitting, just to play the opposite game.

I understand that if Santana falls low enough to me that there's value. The same can be said for Peavy, Bedard, or any of the elite pitchers. Heck the same can be said for any pitcher. But if you go into a draft intent on only drafting pitching early and picking up your hitting later you are not drafting a well-rounded team and at the same time you aren't even necessarily drafting the best value.

People talk about how hard it is to when if you punt Saves or stolen bases, but we're talking about basically punting offensive categories. Again hitters you can't rotate in and out as much, like you can with SP. So whether you're in roto, points or 5x5HTH, you just can't win if you have the worst offense in the league. No matter what your SPs do. Teams can stream SPs or pickup lots of 2-start guys to combat you in points leagues, do the same or even use other low-IP strategies in 5x5HTH and have a consistent advantage over your offense-retarded team.

And in Roto even if you end up with 12s in all the pitching categories it won't make up for the 1s and 2s you'll get in the offensive categories. Just no way it works.
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Re: Winning with just pitching?

Postby Amazinz » Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:54 pm

Matthias wrote:One thing that jumps out is, in the book Fantasyland, Sam Walker looked into the traditional dollar split of allocating your budget between hitters and pitchers and realized there was no systematic rationale for it: it simply was.

The hitter/pitcher dollar spit is or is derived from the cap to roster ratio. In classic Rotisserie it is 61/39 (14/9).
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Re: Winning with just pitching?

Postby Russell James » Fri Mar 07, 2008 3:22 pm

Teams can stream SPs or pickup lots of 2-start guys to combat you in points leagues, do the same or even use other low-IP strategies in 5x5HTH and have a consistent advantage over your offense-retarded team.


Now I don't participate in cheese leagues such as these. All of my leagues are extremely competitive and difficult to win and have a 3 moves a week limit. I checked out of streamer leagues 2 years ago. When I did compete in streamer leagues then I would never even draft a pitcher. I create a ridiculous offense and assemble great closers and punt ERA and WHIP. I hate leagues like that though, it feels like you are playing the lotto and has nothing to do with skill.
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Re: Winning with just pitching?

Postby A Fleshner Fantasy » Fri Mar 07, 2008 4:48 pm

This is pretty much how I've drafted my teams for the last few years (although not nearly to this extreme). In the draft I'm currently participating in here at the cafe, I took 3 pitchers within the first 6 rounds. I have had years where in 12 team leagues I've gotten no better than an 8 in any hitting cat, yet won the league. So yes, it can be done.

That being said, you have to trust it. Pitchers go into slumps more so than hitters, and they sustain injuries a fair amount, so you have to do your research and make sure you get the right pitchers, or else you're in a lot of trouble. You need to be patient and not give up on somebody just because they struggle for a couple straight starts.

What you can do also is to dominate starters, and then get some random closers who get a lot of saves. If your starters are good enough, the slightly higher ERA/WHIP from your closers as compared to the top closers shouldn't make that much of a difference. I did this in my money league last year (5x5, cbs sportsline positions and rules). Although I ultimately lost, I was winning on the second to last day of the year, so this strategy clearly can win.

My money leagues pitching was: SP: Peavy, Sabathia, Bedard Gorzelanny, Halladay, Guthrie (picked up following an injury to someone else, I can't remember who)
Makeshift RP: Fuentes, Corpas (picked up following injury to Fuentes), Ray, C. Cordero (picked up immediately when he was dropped), Torres, Capps (picked up after winning job), Gregg, Accardo
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Re: Winning with just pitching?

Postby jcde7ago » Fri Mar 07, 2008 6:41 pm

A Fleshner Fantasy wrote:This is pretty much how I've drafted my teams for the last few years (although not nearly to this extreme). In the draft I'm currently participating in here at the cafe, I took 3 pitchers within the first 6 rounds. I have had years where in 12 team leagues I've gotten no better than an 8 in any hitting cat, yet won the league. So yes, it can be done.

That being said, you have to trust it. Pitchers go into slumps more so than hitters, and they sustain injuries a fair amount, so you have to do your research and make sure you get the right pitchers, or else you're in a lot of trouble. You need to be patient and not give up on somebody just because they struggle for a couple straight starts.

What you can do also is to dominate starters, and then get some random closers who get a lot of saves. If your starters are good enough, the slightly higher ERA/WHIP from your closers as compared to the top closers shouldn't make that much of a difference. I did this in my money league last year (5x5, cbs sportsline positions and rules). Although I ultimately lost, I was winning on the second to last day of the year, so this strategy clearly can win.

My money leagues pitching was: SP: Peavy, Sabathia, Bedard Gorzelanny, Halladay, Guthrie (picked up following an injury to someone else, I can't remember who)
Makeshift RP: Fuentes, Corpas (picked up following injury to Fuentes), Ray, C. Cordero (picked up immediately when he was dropped), Torres, Capps (picked up after winning job), Gregg, Accardo


Awesome, so at least from your personal experience it can be pulled off....interesting. I'll have to actually keep tabs on this ESPN league i have where this owner is implementing this strategy, and see what works and doesn't...since it's not one of my money leagues, iam going to try different approaches when i am facing him in certain weeks, from streaming starters to benching my own pitchers, etc.
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