Whether or not you agree with drafting pitchers late, (whether or not you want to win or lose) there is a simple pitching strategy that every winning manager should use. Two start pitchers. Whether you have an entire team full of aces or you waited to get pitchers late and found out they have the same value, adding two start pitchers each week will allow you to have more starters than our opponent.
A good fantasy league will have a move cap where you can only use a certain number of moves for the season, or will charge you money for each move that you make. If your league does not do any of these I suggest you pick up and drop pitchers daily who will start the next day. You will almost be guaranteed to win K’s and wins, and will still have a chance to win ERA and/or WHIP.
If you have a 6th pitching category such as Quality Starts then you should definitely add pitchers because Wins/K’s/QS outweigh ERA/WHIP 3-2. If you do have a move limit then you should designate at least one spot on your roster each week to add a two start pitcher. One move a week limits your total number of moves used for the season.
Before each week begins add up the number of pitchers that both you and your opponent have pitching on Monday/Saturday and Tuesday/Sunday. Watch out for off days because they will force Tuesday pitchers to not pitch again until the Monday of the following week. There are plenty of websites out there that give a detailed list of the top two start pitchers for each week.
If you trail your opponent by a few starts in a given week then add some pitchers who pitch twice to either give yourself the same amount of starts as your opponent or to give yourself more starts than your opponent. Giving yourself the pitching advantage each week by having more starts than your opponent can help your staff beat any staff.
If I’m facing a team with Halladay/Lincecum/Verlander but none of those guys pitch twice and my team has 3 or 4 pitchers that pitch twice then I have a legitimate chance of taking down that top rotation. In my last blog I preached about drafting pitching late and this is why. I will have a good late round rotation, and my guys will compete with a team that drafted 6 pitchers in the first 10 rounds as long as I have the most starts that week. Because a team with Halladay/Lincecum/Verlander and only 10 total starts in one week will fall to a team anchored by Josh Johnson/Matusz/Hellickson with 15 total starts.
If your setting yourself up to win K’s and wins then all you have to do is either pull out ERA or WHIP to win pitching for the week. If you tie pitching for the week then chances are you will still win based on the strength of your offense.
If you drafted pitching late then your offense is much more stacked than a team who only took 4 offensive players in the first 10 rounds. So make a move or two each week to get guys who are on nice streaks like a Joe Blanton or Brad Bergesen to pitch twice for you in one week. They will each give you two chances to get a win, and they will increase your K’s. If they had good splits prior to the pickup they should keep your ERA and WHIP low as well.
Now I know some of you will say, what happens when your facing Halladay/Lincecum/Verlander and they are all pitching twice against you? Well, every three weeks a pitcher will be a two starter. So if you fall in that unlucky week where you have to face all these guys more than once then take comfort in knowing that your probably going to win offense and the matchup will still be close even if you lose pitching.
Nobody wins every week, and with this strategy I typically only lose when this situation happens. But for the majority of the weeks in the season you will have more starts than your opponents and that gives you more of an opportunity to put up winning numbers. Trust me, this one works very well. And it especially supports the idea of drafting pitchers late and stacking up on offense. And it doesn’t work both ways. You don’t want to try to match the offensive starts that your opponent has each week because hitters are much more streakier than pitchers. A hitter can easily go 1/5 in those two extra starts, damage your average, and blow moves. Even if a pitcher doesn’t perform they will still increase your K’s and have another chance at the end of the week for redemption. Wait on pitching and add two starters each week. It will win you championships easier than any strategy you can come up with.