This is the seventh article in the series examining the current 2011 fantasy baseball ADP (average draft position) for starting pitchers. The data used for this article is from Mock Draft Central using the NFBC scoring system which has 15 teams per league in a mixed format with two catchers needed per team.
The grid below has the players listed based on my 2011 fantasy baseball rankings with the current ADP shown for where a player would fall in either a 12 or 15 team mixed league. The rounds for a 12 team league may vary slightly as starting pitchers may slide a little bit later with fewer teams in the league, but it will still give you a good ballpark range for what round you should be looking to take that certain player that you have an eye on.
Looking at the list of the top 40 pitchers and then at my next group of 20 or so, it seems like there is some good depth at pitching this season. Last year we saw starting pitching going very high in fantasy baseball mixed drafts and this year I would it expect to be no different. Look at how tightly bunched so many of the pitchers are in the top 20 or so. If you are playing in say a 15 team league snake draft and are picking toward one of the ends, if there is a mini pitcher run that starts, chances are most owners are going to feel the need to grab one so they don’t miss out on one of the top starters. So what starts as a mini run then turns into several rounds of pitchers going for a good portion of the picks.
Some people may feel like they can let pitchers slide and grab some pitchers in the middle rounds but that becomes a little bit more difficult with each passing year. For one, with pitchers going a bit earlier than normal, it pushes that middle tier up a round or two, so guys that may be showing an ADP of rounds 9 -13 end up going one or two rounds earlier which can squeeze you out on those pitchers depending where in the draft you are picking.
While it is hard to focus on wins as a category because there is so much variance, strikeouts are one category that some fantasy baseball owners will focus on. If you are playing in the NFBC or some other high stakes fantasy baseball league, you should have a good idea of what the target goal is for each category. So let’s say your goal for strikeouts is 1,300 strikeouts. That means if you have nine pitchers on your staff, you need three guys with 200 strikeouts, three guys with 150 strikeouts, then three relief pitchers with 60 strikeouts leaves you based on this team, 70 strikeouts short of your goal. This means you are likely to rotate two start pitchers into the seventh spot in your rotation with closers, so half the year you go with three closers and six starters and then the other half of the year you end up with seven starters and two closers.
Of course this assumes that your pitchers are healthy all season and do not miss any starts. Last year year there were 45 pitchers that threw 200 innings or more, so in a 15 team league, that equates to three starters per team roughly if each team took a pitcher consecutive picks. In terms of strikeouts there were only 15 pitchers that had 200 or more strikeouts, so one per team. For pitchers that struck out 175 to 199 hitters, there were 16 pitchers, so again, one per team.
So if we go back to look at our goals for strikeouts, and then at how many strikeout pitchers there really are in the league, you can quickly see that there are teams that are going to miss their goals because there is not enough pitching to go around as one might think. Now, I realize strikeouts are just one category and we know that wins are fickle from year to year, so when a team is short on strikeouts and if you start falling behind on wins, then teams need to start inserting two start pitchers into their lineup more and more to catch up.
You might gain some strikeouts and wins, put you are then putting your ERA and WHIP at risk because the two start pitchers you are using are at the lower end of the scale. What you will often find is that a pitcher will have one okay start and one start where they get blown up leaving you with a mixed bag for the week that gets you no advantage in the categories you are trying to make up ground in.
Having two start pitchers that you need to rotate into your lineup also affects the makeup of your reserve / bench for your team, so you end up carrying an extra pitcher or two which gives you less room for injured players, prospects or hitters. So in a nutshell, waiting on pitchers impacts your team in many different ways. It can still be done, but just know it is harder than ever to accomplish and you may find yourself facing an uphill battle most of the season in may categories.
|12 Teams||15 Teams|