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March 29, 2013

Fantasy Mailbag

Much Ado About Pitching

by BP Fantasy Staff

Every Friday, we are going to publish questions from our unofficial mailbag. We find that some of you email multiple members of the staff with the same question, while others hit us up at fantasyhour@baseballprospectus.com. We have decided to share the knowledge, anonymously, with the populous, and allow you to ask additional questions in the comments for the fantasy staff to address.

Greetings, I have Rafael Betancourt in a new dynasty. Should I try to get Huston Street to replace him? Thinking of offering Chris Nelson along with Betancourt. Or is it not set in stone that Betancourt will leave?

It's not set in stone, but I don't mind acquiring Street. Street has his own issues, though. Health is always a concern and he could reasonably be dealt if the Padres don't contend.

I came away with Hanley Ramirez from my 12-team mixed keeper-league auction about two days before he hurt his thumb. I actually have Jean Segura on the bench, so I have someone to plug in and could stash Hanley on the DL, but I wonder whether I should cut bait anyway. I'm not sure whether to be confident in Segura, and the waiver wire has Cliff Pennington as the top SS.  Should I trade for a lesser but healthier SS, or just trade for the best overall player I can get at this point? I got Hanley at $30; should I target roughly a $15 player? Or should I just suck it up and stash him?  If I'm out of it late in the season but he has returned to form, he could be decent bait for a keeper trade. But I'd prefer not to be out of it to begin with.

It's a long season. I would just stick it out. Segura will get you by for now.

My first time listening to podcast (today), I found it informative and entertaining. I am looking forward to this weekend’s mixed draft on Tout Wars. In my league, a 12-team head-to-head, I have been offered a trade for my fourth-overall pick. What type of deal could I expect? He has the 11th pick. I was thinking his second- and third-rounders for my first- and fifth-rounders. Or should I keep the fourth-overall pick? 

I'd keep it, because the first four picks are locks. After that, I can make a case for five different guys at fifth-overall.

Hey guys, I just wanted to say this is my favorite site by far for fantasy purposes. I have a quick question for the masterminds. I play in an NL-only, 4x4 auction keeper league. The cap is $260 and you can keep up to 15 players. Also, we don’t count strikeouts for pitching or runs for hitting. I have two players in contract years—Paul Goldschmidt at $5 and Todd Frazier at $2.  I can add a year or multiple years to each contract at the price of $5 real cash and $5 in player salary increase per year. I’m thinking of adding two years to Goldschmidt to make him $15 and one year to Frazier to make him $7. Is that a good assessment of each player’s value? Should I add more years or fewer? I want to make sure I’m making the right call on these contracts so any advice would be appreciated. 

Answer 1: I'd make the same moves you are making if I owned your team. I don't like going more than two years on any player unless I have them for $1 or $2. 

Answer 2: I agree with these moves as well. I'm more willing to give hitters deals than pitchers, so I like these two at those prices for some extra years.

I'm in a 20-team league with 4x4 scoring. Without strikeouts, starting pitchers are undervalued and closers overvalued. Of my nine pitchers, I'm going into the draft with Brandon Morrow, Alex Cobb, Betancourt and Kenley Jansen. I was targeting Jon Lester at $20, but heard your support for Roy Halladay this morning.  Which of the two would you prefer? What about Ian Kennedy versus those two? Or should I go cheaper and grab Lance Lynn in the $12-15 range and put the extra money toward a solid closer like Jonathan Papelbon or Joe Nathan? For my other four pitching spots, would you consider the Carlos Marmol/Kyuji Fujikawa tandem for two of them, or just go $18-20 for a closer like J.J. Putz, Jason Grilli, or Steve Cishek? Or get Brandon League and lock up the Dodgers pen with KJ and BL? The starters I'm looking to add on the cheap are Jason Hammel, Edwin Jackson, Erasmo Ramirez, and Dan Straily.  Obviously going for both Cubs relievers will cause me to draft one fewer starter. 

I'd prefer Lester and Kennedy to Halladay right now. Basically a coinflip between Lester and Kennedy. And I prefer Lynn to the whole bunch, since he'll come cheaper, and then you can invest elsewhere. So take that route if possible. 

I'd avoid the Cubs tandem. I'd rather lock up the Dodgers’ pen if you go that route. That said, Putz is a cut above all the closers you've mentioned, so he is probably your best bet. Erasmo Ramirez isn't getting a gig out of spring training, so lean toward Hammel and Jackson.

I took over the last-place team in a 16-team mixed roto keeper league, 7x7 (standard with added categories being doubles, OPS, losses, K:BB). The offense was in really bad shape and four of the best five keepers were starting pitchers. I spent so much of the draft repairing the offense that by the time I was ready to take another starting pitcher, the best available pitchers were all relievers. I took Erasmo Ramirez with my last pick but had to drop him, obviously. 

So my pitching staff now looks like this:

  • Starters: R. Halladay, J. Zimmermann, B. Morrow, J. Johnson
  • Closers: T. Wilhelmsen, S. Cishek, J. Veras
  • Other relievers: D. Robertson, D. Hernandez, K. Herrera
  • DL: Daniel Hudson

I've never played in a roto league before, because all of my friends are dumb and think head-to-head is awesome, so I was wondering if I would need to grab another starter (to add some strikeouts/wins) off of the waiver wire or if you think I would be okay going at it with the above listed staff.

The best options on the wire are currently Wandy Rodriguez, Patrick Corbin, Ricky Nolasco, Bud Norris, Travis Wood, Ted Lilly, Mike Leake, Ivan Novaand Luke Hochevar (JK). It seems like a few of those guys should probably be owned. What do you think?

I think you can sit tight on starting pitchers right now. I know Halladay's issues are a concern, but instead of piling up some losses and poor K:BB with one of these guys, just enjoy the studly numbers that your three middle relievers will give you. They'll basically be another ace, when combined. Now, that will cost you three roster spots, but it’s still better than taking negatives.

BP Fantasy Staff is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
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4 comments have been left for this article.

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