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Building the Perfect Beast

Like everyone else, I'm looking for that edge in my leagues to skew the odds in my favor. Many fantasy players traditionally load up on the stud hitters and stream pitchers at the end of their staff to pick up those counting stats without killing the ratios. I'm one of those people, however, my pitching stream has been as weak as a 70 year old with a bad prostate.

Here are actual pitching lines from this year that have polluted my team's stats:
Waking up from a bad stream
Pitcher
Date
IP
ERA
Whip
SOs

What I was thinking

U. Jimenez

4/8
4.1
14.54
2.31
4

Coming off good outing and facing depleted NYY line-up

B. Maurer

4/9
0.2
81.00
12.00
2

Facing Houston that had scored 9 runs in 6 games to date (and Bernie liked him!)

B. Norris

4/17
0.2
81.00
12.00
0

Coming off good outing and facing depleted Oak line-up

E. Bedard

4/15
0.1
162.00
9.00
1

Coming off good outing and facing a depleted Oak line-up

B. Zito
4/16
2.2
30.37
3.75
5

Prior 2 starts 0 ERs  facing depleted Brewer line-up.

















Sure these aren't what I'd call stud pitchers, but the whole point of streaming is to use your early draft picks on hitters and use viable pitchers in favorable situations. How's that working? This particular league is a Yahoo daily move league that I have been in for six years. I know many players are in this type of league where this is a popular strategy, but it can be used in a NFBC league or head to head leagues.  While I'm sure this can work and has in the past, I think it is too random and luck is a fantasy player’s worst enemy. The way to win roto-style fantasy baseball is to use the weight of a whole year's statistics to work in your favor.  So like George Costanza I'm going to do the opposite. Here's how.

I'm now streaming hitters, especially outfielders. Trade your Choos and your Hollidays. See if you can get someone in your league to trade you a stud pitcher for them. Load up on the stud pitchers and stream your hitters. There is a great hitter on you wire or on someone's bench that you can pick up. What great hitter you ask? They have names like Seth Smith, Matt Joyce and Adam Lind, Raul Ibanez, Travis Hafner and Luke Scott. They are fantasy Hall of Famers and nobody knows it. Why? Because they can't hit lefties, but hit the crap out of righties. In daily move leagues or daily games, they are valuable. Instead of clogging your bench with third tier pitchers and prospects in the minors, load up on these guys.  Take a look:

Adam Lind hits .280 with 1 HR every 20 at bats lifetime against right handed pitchers. Against lefties he's a putrid .220 and  1/30 HR rate.  Seth Smith, .281 and 1 HR every 24.5 at bats. Against lefties .209 and 1 HR per 40 ABS. Matt Joyce has a .852 OPS and 1 HR per 20 ABs with a .585 OPS against lefties.

See a pattern here? If you get three of these scrubs for 2 of your OF or Utility spots, there is a great chance that two of them will be facing right handed pitching each night and you can have a solid offensive player manning that spot. Look up Mitch Moreland, Adam Dunn, Dave DeJesus, Andy Dirks, etc. There are players at other positions that are like this too, but these are thinner positions and harder to find enough to make this work. It is possible though. Another technique is to find guys on the waiver that are going to face a particularly bad pitcher. This takes more advanced planning and means you have to make a lot of transactions. If your league doesn’t have a transaction limit you can do it. With the stud pitchers you have picked up by trading a couple of hitters, you can sit back and enjoy the ride to the title.    

Follow me msarvi@leaguedom.com

Comments

By: Chris Liss
On: 5/16/2013 7:50:00 PM
good post. I've been doing that a bit in my league. Killing it with a new second baseman each night. Tonight I had Ryan Roberts (lefty killer) against Felix Dubront, and sure enough, Roberts homered.
 
By: Michael Sarvi
On: 5/17/2013 3:24:00 AM
Thanks Chris. That's great you can do that with second basemen. It is usually hard to do it with thin positions due to the lack of viable options. Strangly this year I think you can stream catchers also in one catcher leagues. I was able to trade Holliday for Shelby Miller in a league and have been streaming Brandon Moss and Dan Nava for some really nice numbers. Harvey has the hype but look at Miller this year. Very nicely Moreland, Scott & Dunn were all productive last night.
 
By: elsicilian
On: 5/19/2013 12:13:00 PM
Yep after drafting Jesus Montero with high hopes (and quickly realizing he's still more Montero than Jesus) I have been forced to stream catchers with surprisingly decent results.

I am still holding on to Pacheco (Helton's got to go down again soon, right?) but otherwise I am content to grab a new guy every day until somebody really distinguishes himself or the cows come home (whichever happens first).
 

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