Archive for Strategy

Two-Start Pitchers 2017: April 24-30: Are There Any Gambles Worth Taking?

by Ray Kuhn

It is is still too early to take unnecessary risks, but there are some values to be had among the two-start pitchers for the coming week. While there are some differences in approach based on league setup (i.e. taking on Clayton Kershaw in a head-to-head league), that doesn’t eliminate the potential value.

Let’s take a look at all of our options this week, and how they rank:

Tier One:

  1. Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers – at San Francisco; vs. Philadelphia
  2. Chris Archer – Tampa Bay Rays – at Baltimore; at Toronto
  3. Dallas Keuchel – Houston Astros – at Cleveland; vs. Oakland
  4. Stephen Strasburg – Washington Nationals – at Colorado; vs. New York Mets

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The Trade Counsel: Putting Our Trade Theories Into Action (Part 2)

by Simon Jones

In the last column, I broke down the deals that I’ve made in three of my leagues. I’ll continue my analysis of my early season trades by looking at the last of my leagues.


League 4: 12 team H2H redraft, 6×6 (OBP, SLG, IP, QS and K/9)

April 11th: Trade away Kyle Schwarber for Chris Archer
One thing that I never massively concern myself with early in the season is roster balance, either in terms of player positions or categories. In the draft the way the players fell meant that I’d drafted an awful lot of starting pitching – Noah Syndergaard, Yu Darvish, Cole Hamels and Kenta Maeda in the first 10 rounds. Ordinarily I wouldn’t be looking to get another SP, but I’ll never turn down value at this point of the season. Looking through the rosters and trade blocks I noticed that this owner had drafted quite a lot of pitching too, and was looking for OF as JD Martinez was on the DL.  Read more

The Trade Counsel: Putting Our Trade Theories Into Action (Part 1)

by Simon Jones

I’m aware that many of my columns deal with trading theory and different tactics behind trading, but I also spend a fair amount of time discussing and negotiating actual deals too. Often, I’m chatting to other guys in the leagues I play in about why I’m made a particular trade, or how trade talks culminated in a particular offer, so this week I’m devoting the column to the deals I’ve made since the start of the season as a way to show how I put the theories we discuss into action. It will break down how the trade came to be, what was driving my thinking and my thoughts in retrospect.

As background, I play in 4 leagues, most of which drafted a week before the season began. I’ll break down all the deals by league, and give a brief background to each league.

League 1: 12 team Roto redraft, 5×5 (QS instead of W)

April 7th: Trade away Zack Greinke for Jose Bautista
At the time of this deal it was nearly 2 weeks since my drafts, and I have to admit I was going a bit crazy due to lack of trade activity. I’ve been known to execute trades during a draft, so a 2 week barren spell post-draft is unheard of. This was a trade I was more than happy with at the time. Greinke fell at the right place in the draft, but I had no real trust in him. Bautista was a guy that I thought was undervalued, plus the other owner hadn’t drafted much pitching. This was just a simple offer and accept – no chat or counters. I’m still relatively confident in this deal, though Bautista hasn’t performed as I’d like after a strong spring. Read more

The Trade Counsel – Exploiting “Skewed” Early Season Pitching Lines

by Simon Jones

At the time of writing we’ve had 10 days of Major League play and the season is slowly starting to take shape. The first few weeks of a season are always difficult as you wait for players roles to be defined and to get a clear indication of a player’s true form against small sample sizes.

One thing that has jumped out at me thus far has been a host of strange starting pitching performances. There have been a few starts where there were few or no earned runs, but the pitching line looked ugly in pretty much every other way. There were some others where the starter was racking up strikeouts with very few walks, yet they were getting hit hard and conceding runs. It raised a few questions on how we perceive pitchers’ performances, and how we can use that to our advantage when trying to put together fantasy trade offers.

When we look at hitting in our fantasy leagues, or indeed within a real life box score, I think we’re all pretty good at sifting out the value from a player’s stat line. So we can look at a player and take note of the relative value of him getting 2 SB but going 0 for 4, and compare it to another who hits 2 HR or another who just goes 4-4. However when we look at a starting pitcher’s line, everything turns a bit muddy. Read more

Two-Start Pitchers 2017: April 17-23: Are There Any Gambles Worth Taking?

by Ray Kuhn

Just like that we are halfway through the first month of the season, but don’t fret as we still have five and half months to go. Keep in mind that with Patriot’s Day on Monday in Boston, we have an earlier deadline than usual for lineup submission.

Let’s take a look at the pitchers who will be taking the mound twice this week and where the peaks and valleys can be found. With some teams playing five games, and a lot of aces pitching this past weekend, you will see a dip in quality pretty quickly. However that doesn’t mean there isn’t value to be found, just know the risk and tread carefully.

Tier One:

  1. Max Scherzer – Washington Nationals – at Atlanta; at New York Mets
  2. Yu Darvish – Texas Rangers – at Oakland; vs. Kansas City

Tier Two:

  1. Marcus Stroman – Toronto Blue Jays – vs. Boston; at LA Angels
  2. Michael Fulmer – Detroit Tigers – at Tampa Bay; at Minnesota

Read more

The Trade Counsel: It’s Never Too Early To Trade!

by Simon Jones

Whatever your thoughts on the World Baseball Classic, this spring seemed to go on for ever. Thankfully (and finally) Major League Baseball is back. Your fantasy drafts and auctions have come and gone and your rosters are set. So now is the time to sit back, take stock and watch the stats roll in for the next few weeks… My question would be, why so passive?

Fantasy baseball is all about controlling what you can, and exploiting the opportunities when they come along. Rest assured those opportunities exist right now.

First consider your own draft. No matter how well executed, unless you are in the shallowest of leagues then you’ll always have holes. Maybe you have a questionable middle-infielder or your starting pitchers aren’t quite as reliable as you’d hoped to grab. Then think that if you went into the draft pretty well prepped, imagine how some of the other owners must be feeling. I always advise owners not to second guess their own drafts too much, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t exploit someone else’s doubts. If you watched your draft chat then we’ve all seen that guy that had all his choices stolen two picks before him, and then reached for a player two rounds too early. Play on those doubts and explore the opportunities. Read more