March 2008

Scrambling for Saves

I missed my draft and came away with Kevin Gregg and Brian Wilson as my only closers.  I’ve got some offense to deal with, but I don’t know who I should be looking to deal.  I’ve got Willingham and Garko on my bench with Berkman at first, with an outfield of Ichiro, Chris Young, and Andruw Jones.  Who are the one or two guys I should look to deal for a closer of a better caliber, like Jenks, Hoffman, etc…

Thanks,
Andrew

Andrew,

My first piece of advice would be to not miss any more drafts!  It’s tough to answer this without knowing about your starting pitching, but of the hitters I’d try moving Jones.  Can Andruw have a bounce back year?  Sure.  30 homers and 90 RBI is a reasonable expectation.  But the average will always be mediocre, and unlike Young, Jones doesn’t run.  The chances of you getting Jenks in return for Jones are about as little as that of Kyle Lohse winning the Cy Young this year (Oh, I forgot he doesn’t even have a job right now!)  But Jones for Hoffman is a legitimate starting point.  There’s no question the 40 year old Hoffman is nearing the end, but he still finds ways to get the job done.  If there are no takers for Jones, you’ll likely be forced to shop Young.  In that case, demand nothing less than Jenks.  You just might be able to pull that one off!

Zach Steinhorn, MLB.com 

Johnny Archive’s Blog

Check it out!  On today’s show, Sterno took exception to some of the comments made on here:

J.A.’s Blog

Working the Wheel

Good afternoon gentlemen,

I am in a 3-keeper, 10-team, 6×6 Roto w/OBP & L as the extra categories. I have the snake pick for my draft on Sunday. My three keepers are Pujols, Rollins, and Holliday. Which two would you pick with the 10th & 11th picks out of these possibilities?

Lance Berkman
Adam Dunn
Aramis Ramirez
Russell Martin
Justin Verlander
Hunter Pence
Alex Rios
BJ Upton
Robinson Cano
Brian Roberts

Thanks for the info. Keep up the great work guys.

Dale A. Sensenig

Dale,

These are all pretty solid options to choose from.  With the exception of Pence and Verlander, every name on this list is a clear top five rounder, even in a 10 team league.  Martin should definitely be one of the two, as the catcher pool drops off dramatically after the first five or six.  The fantasy staff here at MLB.com would surely agree with this decision, as they’ve got Martin ranked #43 overall, awfully close to your draft spot, equivalent the 40th and 41st selections!  As for the other pick, I’d say Upton with Rios close behind.  Upton’s 2B eligibility is what does it for me, further enhancing his status as an elite power/speed threat.  I always like to fill second base as early as possible with a player who has an excellent shot at 30+ steals.  Upton’s HR and RBI potential is the added bonus here, separating him from Roberts.  Add Martin and Upton to the fearsome trio of Pujols, Rollins, and Holliday, and only one thought pops into my mind.  I’m glad I’m not in your league!

Zach Steinhorn, MLB.com   

Reverse Psychology

Hey guys, Quick question for you if you have the time to give me your thoughts. 

I have been a competitive force in FBB using a very unorthodox method and I wanted your ideas about my strategy. 

I have been in a 5×5 12-team Plus league for three years now (we started as a public league but decided to hang together the next year).  Anyway, I digress. 

I go for SPs and CLs in the early rounds and try to utterly dominate the 5 Pitching categories week in and week out.  It works very well.  Seeing as there are only 10 competitive categories if I win four or five of them each week in pitching I only need one or two batting categories to grab a win or draw for the week.  While everyone else goes for the A-Rod and Ryan Howards of the world (they can’t help it) I grab Santana, K-Rod, Peavy, Nathan etc.  I dominate in pitching although my weekly wins are usually close (6-4, 5-4 etc) since I don’t have many of the big name batters..  Last year at the end of the season I had the most wins, saves, Ks, lowest ERA, lowest WHIP etc of any team in the league and never lost a pitching matchup. 

Our league will be a keeper league this year with each team keeping five from last year. Mine will be Santana, Peavy, B. Webb, K-Rod and Nathan (I’m having to put the likes of Kazmir, Harang, F. Carmona, T. Hoffman and Izzy back into the draft pool). 

The last piece of my strategy is to get the best of the remaining batters during the draft and carefully study the waiver wire and free agents to pick up solid day in day out players to fill my offense (There are usually one or two diamonds in the rough available during the year).  All I have to do then is remain competitive on that side and 7-10 times I get a win for the week. 

As experts in FBB I just wondered what you thought of my "bush-league" strategy. 

Stan
Augusta, GA

Stan,

Although your strategy seems to be working out well, it’s a very risky one, and I wouldn’t fall in love with it too quickly.  The key factor helping you out here is that everyone else is doing just the opposite, greatly increasing your chances of sweeping the pitching stats on a weekly basis.  But even if the other teams continue their hitter heavy approach, you’re walking a very thin line between domination and devastation, especially in a weekly H2H league, where a bad start or two by one or more of your top pitchers would result in an almost certain ERA and/or WHIP loss.  Wins are also very fluky.  Even the best starters at times struggle to pick up wins despite pitching well.  Relying on a consistent week to week dosage of wins is asking too much.  Strikeouts are easily attainable without investing in the top-tier names.  Guys like Rich Hill, Matt Cain, or Javy Vazquez provide solid strikeout rates, and can all be had in the middle rounds.  It’s OK to try to stack up on closers, as saves are scarce.  But all in all, I’d much rather assemble a more balanced team, one that will contend in each and every category each and every week.

Zach Steinhorn, MLB.com 

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