Fantasy Baseball Links
FSTA Experts League
Buttons and Banners
Four rounds deep and you have both of your corner infield spots manned (Joey Votto and Pablo Sandoval) as well as two outfield spots (Andrew McCutchen and Giancarlo Stanton). You’re way ahead in four offensive categories and not falling too far behind in the fifth (stolen bases). Over the next half-dozen rounds it is critical that you create as much balance as possible with both bats and pitchers. You don’t want to fill up your entire outfield, nor do you want to fill up your entire infield, nor do you want to fall further behind in stolen bases. You’re looking for as many guys that both hit for power and run as possible. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of them – they’re below.
Rounds 4 and 5 – Pablo Sandoval, Ryan Zimmerman, Jay Bruce, Starlin Castro, Hunter Pence, Nelson Cruz.
Rounds 6 and 7 – Howie Kendrick, Brandon Phillips, Shane Victorino, Adam Jones, Shin-Soo Choo, Desmond Jennings, Michael Young, (two catcher leagues only) any of the Top 5 that slip.
Rounds 8, 9 and 10 – B.J. Upton, Jason Heyward, Chris Young.
I didn’t forget about pitching either, that’s why the list of players is so light above. If your tier runs out before your pick, get a starting arm. It’s important that you do not leave the first 10 rounds with more than two pitchers though (and absolutely no closers). You’ll see why later on as you’ll be chasing offensive categories. It is much easier to find cheap pitching than it is cheap hitting. If you have two starters before you leave Round 10 and the above list is exhausted, I would look at Paul Goldschmidt, Brett Gardner, Erick Aybar, Dee Gordon and Jason Kipnis. Who you take depends on your team needs. As far as pitching, see below. Get one arm from Tier 1 and another from Tier 2. There is no need to get two pitchers from Tier 1; again, you’ll see why later. You don’t get bonus points for getting 50 more strikeouts than second place than you would with just five more.
Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee (all are worth fourth-round picks).
Tim Lincecum, Felix Hernandez, C.C. Sabathia, Cole Hamels (all are worth fifth-round picks).
Zach Greinke, Madison Bumgarner, Jon Lester, and David Price (all are worth sixth-round picks).
Yovani Gallardo, Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, C.J. Wilson, Matt Cain, James Shields (all are worth seventh-round picks).
Stephen Strasburg, Matt Moore, Mat Latos (all are worth eighth-round picks).
Josh Johnson, Adam Wainwright, Jordan Zimmermann, Matt Garza, Brandon Beachy, Gio Gonzalez, Daniel Hudson (all are worth ninth-round picks).
Ian Kennedy, Anibal Sanchez, Ricky Romero, Max Scherzer, Tommy Hanson, Cory Luebke, and Yu Darvish (all are worth 10th-round picks).
Note: If you get Lester from Tier 1, you will want to target pitchers with lower expected walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP). Lester is the only pitcher in tier one that probably won’t break a 1.2 WHIP) Those guys would be Weaver, Haren, Cain, Strasburg, Johnson, Zimmermann, Hudson, Luebke and Darvish. It’s difficult to get lower WHIP pitchers later, so you want to be careful early on to not be in a WHIP deficit while building your core.
Remember the key words when it comes to building your pitching staff – balance and patience. You may not get your favorite pitchers, but follow the above guidelines and you will have a good start to your staff.
If all goes to plan, below is your perfect team:
1 – Joey Votto
2 – Andrew McCutchen
3 – Giancarlo Stanton
4 – Pablo Sandoval
5 – Starlin Castro
6 – David Price
7 – Howie Kendrick
8 – Adam Jones
9 – Jason Heyward
10 – Jordan Zimmermann
This team has their entire infield covered (sans catcher, middle infielder and corner infielder), four outfield spots and two starting pitchers. I’m sure you’re apprehensive about your pitchers right now, but don’t fret – at least half of your next 10 picks will be pitchers. The deficit you had at stolen base was decreased with Castro, Kendrick, Jones and Heyward, as all should be good for a minimum of 10 stolen bases a piece. But more importantly, they are not empty category producers at other positions as you’re still well ahead at every other offensive category. If you’re going to be playing from behind in any offensive category you want it to be steals because there’s plenty of cheap ones available. As far as your pitching, history shows you need roughly a 3.50 earned run average, 1.23 walks plus hits per inning pitched , and about 7.5 strikeouts per inning pitched to finish in the Top 3 in each category. With Price and Zimmermann in tow you’re looking at a 3.20 earned run average, 1.17 walks plus hits per inning pitched , and more than 8 strikeouts per inning pitched. This, as well as what you will see in the next part of the series, is why you don’t focus on pitching early.
Remember – balance and patience.
Copyright © 2011 by FantasySharks.com & BaseballSharks.com