Pitching: MLB Versus Fantasy Baseball
In many instances, avid fantasy baseball players intertwine fantasy baseball and Major League baseball valuations. The free agent period is a great time to recalibrate as inflated big league salaries are thrown at $1 waiver wire pickups.
Last night, Ervin Santana and 100 million were reported in the same sentence over at MLB Trade Rumors. Really? He was a great $1 dumpster pitcher this season for me, but one who was coming off a 2012 where he threw batting practice for six months.
As difficult as it is, fantasy baseball players have to avoid intermingling values to be successful. The same can be said for prospects. Taking it a step further, identify owners in your leagues who do mix up values and work to become their trade partner.
30 Major League teams carry staffs of five starters. That’s 150 big league starters at any one time. Fantasy baseball leagues carry 5-7 starting pitchers across 12 teams on average. At any time, 60-84 starters will be on rosters (not including stashed pitching prospects). In essence, the top two-to-three starters on every team should have fantasy value.
Ricky Nolasco and Ervin Santana, two pitchers teeter-tottering on 3/4 Major League status expect to make many millions in the free agent market. Some fantasy baseball owner will look at the dollars and think they have considerable value. Don’t be that guy.
Theoretically, if you have $100 to spend on pitching, spend $80 of it on Clayton Kershaw and Felix Hernandez/Justin Verlander. Round out the rest of your staff by dumpster diving — or Dempster diving. Teams who sign five, Ervin Santana’s at $15 apiece thinking balance will win pitching categories are dead wrong. Smack the league across the face with 450 innings of baseball’s best pitchers and play match ups with the John Lackey‘s of the world. You’ll win pitching categories, and it won’t even be that close.
Speaking of fantasy vs. reality, BJ Upton will be demonized — and rightfully so — for a disastrous 2012. However, he still hit 9 home runs and stole 12 bases in 3/4 of a season (446 PA). Yes, he hit below the Mendoza Line, but Upton is a $25 player as a .240 hitter. His value is at rock bottom, but the fact he signed a big free agent contract (which has nothing to do with your fantasy baseball team) makes him a true albatross. Use this to your advantage and add the outfielder on the extreme cheap.
4 Feb 2014 / Mike Newman /
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