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Early Pitching Dominance


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#1 2ndCitySox

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 06:22 PM

So I was mulling through my league's roster looking for potential deals, and noticed that everyone's pitchers seemed exceptional. I took a look at the current rankings in CBS based on stats, and I would venture to say almost 70 of the top 100 are SP.

Is this normal early in the year because of cold weather games? K'S seem way high too
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#2 mjk356

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 06:26 PM

So I was mulling through my league's roster looking for potential deals, and noticed that everyone's pitchers seemed exceptional. I took a look at the current rankings in CBS based on stats, and I would venture to say almost 70 of the top 100 are SP.

Is this normal early in the year because of cold weather games? K'S seem way high too


We're in the inverse of the steroid era right now. In the 'roid era, a hitter was basically complete garbage if he had an OPS under .800-.820. Today, with the advent of defensive shifts, massive K rates, etc, a SP is basically complete garbage, fantasy-wise, if he can't post an ERA under 3.75-4.00 with a WHIP under 1.25.

#3 MeisterT

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 07:05 PM

Could see this trend building in the final rankings last year, Yahoo and Fangraphs both had an unusual number of pitchers in their top 36 overall and ESPN wasn't far behind. The cold weather has probably exasperated all the trends mjk mentioned (I think the K crisis is the biggest offensive killer) and hitters will start to even things out as it gets warmer but it'll be interesting going forward how the pitching-centric trend effects fantasy rankings, draft strategies, etc.

As a game fantasy baseball blossomed during the combined rise of the internet and 'roids, and a hitter-oriented mindset has become ingrained. But when the most valuable performers increasingly become pitchers, the competition for the top performers will rise accordingly. Even this year the number of pitchers drafted in the top 3-4 rounds was mind blowing compared to 10 years ago when the "never pay for pitching" adage was practically a religion
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#4 dmb3684

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 07:06 PM

Probably because of the pine tar.
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#5 BxBOMBERs28

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 07:31 PM

^^ Yupp.. welcome to the pine tar era!

#6 Von Hayes

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 07:05 AM

But doesn't this suggest that the top hitters should be even more valuable now? It's whole lot easier to find serviceable fantasy pitching in the middle/late rounds and off the waiver wire. It seems to me that you could come out of your first 7 rounds with only one or two pitchers and still end up with a mean staff. The true fantasy gold are the hitters who can still produce big numbers even in this era.
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#7 Dr. Whom

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 07:38 AM

True...This is why I am loading up on every struggling hitter I can trade for...Guys like Peralta, Eovaldi, etc...can be found on the wire in shallow leagues
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#8 Dr. Whom

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 07:42 AM

Might I also add that this plays well into my adage "All pitchers are garbage and get blown up or hurt"

Will gladly trade pitching for your slumping/sleeping top 100 bats
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#9 beerman0303

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 07:44 AM

But you really have to redefine what "servicable" is. In the boom of the steriod era, if your team ERA & WHIP was 3.75 & 1.25, you were in good shape. Now those numbers will put you in the low-middle of the pack at best.

Same with batting average today. Now .265 nowadays isnt't terrible. 10-15 years ago, that would have been a major drag on your team's average.
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WR/TE: (start 3) Megatron, Jeffery, Cooks, Quick, Holmes
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#10 Abradix

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 07:46 AM

Yea, the only pitchers I drafted early were Kershaw and Gio. Really, once the top 7 or 8 pitchers are off the board, I consider it a wash. Upper middle class pitchers can get rocked while waiver wire pitchers can be gold and it's preeeetty hard to predict which will be which.
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10 Team Roto Keeper (R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, W, K, ERA, SV, WHIP) - 5 Keepers

C  : Salvador Perez ----   SP: Clayton Kershaw
1B: Paul Goldschmidt   ----   SP: Hyun-jin Ryu
2B: Dee Gordon    ---- SP: Tim Hudson
3B: Anthony Rendon    ---- SP: Cole Hamels
SS: Troy Tulowitzki ---- SP: Josh Beckett
OF: Nelson Cruz    ---- SP: Gio Gonzalez
OF: Corey Dickerson               ---- RP: Francisco Rodriguez
OF: Carlos Gomez    ----   RP: Sean Doolittle
Util: Albert Pujols                       ---- RP: Wade Davis
Util: Ian Kinsler    ---- RP: Dellin Betances
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#11 beerman0303

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 07:50 AM

Yea, the only pitchers I drafted early were Kershaw and Gio. Really, once the top 7 or 8 pitchers are off the board, I consider it a wash. Upper middle class pitchers can get rocked while waiver wire pitchers can be gold and it's preeeetty hard to predict which will be which.


I agree that there seems to be a ton a pitchers who all have similar skill sets and potentional. I think the best way to maiximize this is to roster several of them and play the matchups that are favorable, and more importantly, avoid the disaster matchups at all costs.
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DEF: (start 1) NE, GB
K: (start 1) Zuerlein, Bullock

#12 oswald737

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 07:59 AM

You can't give away pitching (minus the top 12 or so guys) for hitting at this stage in most 12 or smaller team leagues because of how easy it is to find guys on the waiver wire.

Just for illustrative purposes (not bragging as this is a lot of luck), but in a 12-team mixed roto league, I'm winning ERA (2.24), WHIP (1.006!), second in Ks, and third in Wins with a staff of pitchers that features Jose Fernandez and an army of guys selected AFTER pick 150 of the draft or on the waiver wire (Cueto, Ventura, Kazmir, Peralta, Kluber, Niese). You're hard-pressed to find that many hitters of similar caliber that late anywhere.

My sense is that no matter how deep you think your hitting is or how thin you feel like your pitching is, I would always err on the side of giving the pitcher for the hitter.
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#13 archibjd

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 08:51 AM

In Yahoo 18 of the top 25 hitters are in the top 25 overall R-Rank.

Therefore only 7 of the top 25 pitchers are in the top 25 overall R-Rank.

For Yahoo, the O-Rank is more subjective but the R-Rank is relative to other players. There are more batters than pitchers b/c a batter can have a direct impact on every category whereas SP and Closers can only impact 4 of the 5 standard categories at most.

#14 pbjfb

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 10:24 AM

http://grantland.com...fensive-shifts/

"Through Monday,* major leaguers were hitting just .248. The MLB-wide batting average hasn’t been below .250 once this millennium. In fact, over a full season, that mark would rank as the sixth-lowest over the last 50 years:"

#15 IlliniGuy76

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 10:32 AM

^^ Yupp.. welcome to the pine tar era!


There is no pine tar era. Pine tar and other substances have been used for a century for pitchers to get a better grip - this isn't anything remotely new.

Saying that - this thread points back to a H2H thread that was here. Grab elite hitters early and fill in your roster with pitchers early in the year - this only solidifies that argument.
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12 Team, PPR, Start: 2 QB's, 2 RB's, 2WR, 1 FLEX, 1K, 1 TE. Keep 6.
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#16 The Czar

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 10:39 AM


^^ Yupp.. welcome to the pine tar era!


There is no pine tar era. Pine tar and other substances have been used for a century for pitchers to get a better grip - this isn't anything remotely new.

Saying that - this thread points back to a H2H thread that was here. Grab elite hitters early and fill in your roster with pitchers early in the year - this only solidifies that argument.


I think you are reading way too much into his comment. It was clearly a jab at Pineda and the fact that pine tar likely doesn't give you any kind of competitive advantage, which makes the whole episode kind of ridiculous, including a 10 game suspension. Message was sent though.
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#17 The Czar

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 10:45 AM

In Yahoo 18 of the top 25 hitters are in the top 25 overall R-Rank.

Therefore only 7 of the top 25 pitchers are in the top 25 overall R-Rank.

For Yahoo, the O-Rank is more subjective but the R-Rank is relative to other players. There are more batters than pitchers b/c a batter can have a direct impact on every category whereas SP and Closers can only impact 4 of the 5 standard categories at most.


I've always liked Yahoo's ranking system better. It seems to take into account a players numbers vs. what others are doing in the whole system. So, if there is all of the sudden a spike in SB in a season, their system seems to account for that and it is devalued more than in past years.

CBS is weird. They have always overvalued pitchers and don't seem to adjust their numbers to account for the early pitching dominance. Thus, pitchers are being wildly ranked higher than hitters in value, while that isn't happening in yahoo's system.

A pitcher with a 3.00 ERA and 8 K/9 isn't as valuable if there are way more of them, yet would likely be ranked way higher on CBS.

Take Ryu for example. He is ranked at 180 on Yahoo and at 117 by CBS. That is a pretty large disparity. Given that there are a ton of guys that have pitched at a similar level, I'd tend to think the 180 ranking was more his true value ranking at this point given the early surplus of pitching.
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#18 S1mcity

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 10:51 AM


^^ Yupp.. welcome to the pine tar era!


There is no pine tar era. Pine tar and other substances have been used for a century for pitchers to get a better grip - this isn't anything remotely new.

Saying that - this thread points back to a H2H thread that was here. Grab elite hitters early and fill in your roster with pitchers early in the year - this only solidifies that argument.


I didn't punt pitchers, but I only spent about 60-70$ on a 290$ budget... possibly even less than that.

Now, from my WW pickups and grabs, I have the best ERA/WHIP/MOST W's in my league and my offense is starting to rake. Now, its only a ten team league so it might be a little different for deeper leagues - but this is for sure the way to go. I think anybody that is observant and saw the change in hitting and pitching went this way.

Edited by S1mcity, 06 May 2014 - 10:51 AM.

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5 Keepers &(6X5 + OBP)&(260$)
  • C - Jonthan LuCroy(10$) & Dioner Navarro (FA)
  • 1B - Albert Pujols(20$) & Brandon Moss(10$)
  • 2B - Aaron Hill(10$) & Dustin Ackley (FA)
  • SS - Troy Tulowitzki(37$)(K) & Jed Lowrie(2$)
  • 3B - Pedro Alvarez(1$) & Manny Machado(6$)
  • OF - Ryan Braun(46$) & Carlos Gonzalez(50$) & Michael Morse(FA)
  • UTI - Brandon Belt(1$) &
  • Bench - Dayan Viciedo(FA), Gregory Polanco (FA)
  • SP - Jose Fernandez(1$)(K), Scott Kazmir (FA), Clayton Kershaw(34$), Jesse Chavez(FA), CC Sabathia(7$), Alex Wood(FA)
  • RP - Tommy Hunter(FA), Steve Chisek(1$), Jim Johnson(5$)
  • DL - Anibal Sanchez(12$), Alex Cobb(10$), Devin Mesoraco(1$), Bryce Harper(29$)(K)

#19 merlin401

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 10:59 AM

The larger the league you play in, the more pitchers become valuable, even with how dominant they have been. In the 16 team league that I concentrate on, pitching is in short supply because there just aren't that many starters to go around while there are a lot more hitters in the league and little use for teams carrying more than 1 person per position.
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16 H2H $ 7x7 (OPS, K's // CG's, K:BB)

C - Carlos Santana
1B - Ortiz
2B - Dozier
SS - Zobrist
3B - Longoria
OF - Werth, Brantley, Dickerson
UTIL - Morneau

SP - Wainwright, Bumgarner, Kluber, Fiers, Lackey, Odorizzi, Wacha, E. Santana
RP - Britton, C. Allen, Storen, Papelbon,

DL - Harvey, Uehara
Minors - Bogaerts, Bryant, Buxton, Betts (the killer B's!)


#20 PPolanco

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 11:31 AM

The larger the league you play in, the more pitchers become valuable, even with how dominant they have been. In the 16 team league that I concentrate on, pitching is in short supply because there just aren't that many starters to go around while there are a lot more hitters in the league and little use for teams carrying more than 1 person per position.


Agree 100%!!! All these people saying pitching doesn't matter likely play in shallow leagues, in which case I would agree with them.

My deep league has pretty much every starter owned and SP has actually become quite scarce! It's impossible to find a starter on FA because all these SP ppl are bragging about picking up have been rostered since day1. What it does is give guys like tom koehler and Zach Macalister trade value - they are actually hot commodities because if you tried on FA the best starters are Colin McHugh and Eric stults. Seriously. Every starter gets rostered.

Meanwhile on offense I had no problem dropping serviceable guys like Garrett Jones and Jason kubel (remember: deep league lol) because the FA bats are comparable. Casey mcgehee, heisey, ludwick, even colabello can be grabbed and the difference between the FA bats and your bench bats isn't much. Comparatively, if I dropped Robbie erlin there would be a FAAB bidding war because there simply aren't any starters.

Point is every league is different. In general though, the deeper the league and as long as no IP limit, mid-tier pitching is the most difficult to find after the first few weeks. There will always be serviceable bats available; the player pool is simply larger
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