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#10 - Strikeout and win chasing, throw all caution to the wind. Daily leagues with an innings or start cap, cross reference available pitchers with when you project you will pass the innings limit. i.e. I have 6 innings left in one league, but only a one save lead too, so I have benched everyone except for 3 closers. Once I get under 4 innings I will bench everyone but one (Rafael Soriano) and then if I get under 1 2/3 innings before Tuesday I will bench him too. We can start 10 pitchers/day so I have added 10 pitchers slated for Tuesday. ERA and WHIP volatility? Absolutely, but in my case I cannot win the league unless I lock down 41 K's and 6 W's. I may not get either, but throwing all those guys out there gives me a fighter's chance, whereas if I stuck with who I had and maintained my ratios I would fall far short of the K's and W's I need to have a chance.
#9 - Chasing pitching stats for weekly leagues. I'm in a situation in which I cannot be caught in saves, but if I get lucky I can add a point or two in K's. I am dropping every single one of my closers and finding the best available starting arms Monday-Wednesday next week. Like the above league, I probably cannot win if I don't gain a K point, and while it may come at the expense of my ratios, I have to roll the dice to have a shot at a title. The last week of this game is not supposed to be pretty.
#8 - Ratio chasing, be sure to carefully analyze anyone that can catch you in other categories. Assuming no one can catch you dump all of your plus ratio and plus matchup starters left and load up on low ratio middle relievers. As your starters pitch their last games, dump them for those same middle relievers too. Again, it probably will not work, but it gives you a chance.
#7 - Steals chasing, Gorkys Hernandez has value to you if you're chasing after stolen bases. If you're set at all other categories dumping Nick Swisher for a Hernandez type makes perfect sense. Every steal counts and it doesn't matter if he goes 2-20 over the last 6 days if he steals bases both times he's on base.
#6 - Blocking your opponents, look at what they need, then look at waivers to see players that would make sense for them as they chase in the final few days. Do not churn, that is a fantasy no-no, but dump all of your expendable players and pick all of them up. Expendable players include closers if you're set at saves, they have no use to your team since you cannot be caught and you cannot gain a point either.
#5 - The balancing act. In many cases you may be able to catch someone or someone may be able to catch you. This is when things get a lot trickier to analyze. A longer waiver period certainly helps as anyone you drop won't be available until the final 2-3 game, but many leagues aren't setup to allow that. In the end, think about your team, and your team alone. What do you need to win? Someone may catch you if you go all-in after another category, but if you need to go all-in to give yourself a shot then you have to hope you don't get caught. Whatever gives you the best chance to win. In that league in which I'm watching my innings until Tuesday, I'm only one save up on another team. If I go all-in today I will probably get caught and lose a point I gained by win chasing. By waiting until Tuesday, I'm giving myself another 3-4 save opportunities, which may be the difference.
#4 - Be careful of teams that have already clinched their spot in the playoffs. Their starters will be rested and those stud arms that have carried you thus far? Good chance they get a glorified bullpen sessions in their last start. These guys cannot be trusted, get plan B's in place whatever the format.
#3 - One note of caution with streaming pitchers though, be careful of pitchers that could be pulled early. Jeremy Guthrie will get his innings, Steve Johnson might not. A rough first couple of innings from Guthrie and he goes out there for the third, if Johnson does that he's done. Something to make note of for strikeout chasers.
#2 - Make note of players about to hit a certain threshhold. i.e. Jason Kipnis is sitting on 14 home runs and 29 stolen bases. 15/30 looks a whole lot better to future employers than 14/29, he's going to go deep and steal at least one bag this weekend. Look for others on the cusp of a similar threshhold, odds are they know about it too and will do whatever they can to get to it.
#1 - Lastly, go Tigers! It's been 25 weeks of consistently inconsistent and mediocre baseball, but you have given some hope for October as the sleep-walking through the season routine seems a thing of the past.
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