Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy: Streaming Starting Pitchers

Pool

Ray discusses the draft strategy of focusing on offense on draft day and streaming starting pitchers during the season.

Last season, I provided readers with starting pitcher streaming options on a daily basis during the regular season, but what I failed to do during the season was to provide with weekly or monthly results of how my streaming options performed over terms longer than a day.

That will change in 2014, as I will provide a weekly and monthly summary of how my streaming picks performed.

I didn't start tracking my streaming selections in a spreadsheet till some time in August, and it would take a lot of work and time to capture the results in a spreadsheet, so I won't go back and do that. With that said, here is a look at how my streaming picks performed in September 2014, including my picks for every day where I offered streaming selections. I limited my streaming picks to starting pitchers who were owned in less than 50% of ESPN leagues.

Date

Name

Opp.

IP

H

ER

BB

K

ERA

WHIP

1-Sep

Felix Doubront

CHW

3.67

7

4

1

4

9.81

2.18

Joe Kelly

PIT

6

4

1

2

5

1.50

1.00

Nathan Eovaldi

ATL

8

7

0

2

6

0.00

1.13

Totals

17.67

18

5

5

15

2.55

1.30

Date

Name

Opp.

IP

H

ER

BB

K

ERA

WHIP

2-Sep

Jose Quintana

NYY

1

2

1

0

1

9.00

2.00

Danny Duffy

SEA

3.67

5

1

4

4

2.45

2.45

Charlie Morton

MIL

7

7

1

2

6

1.29

1.29

Totals

11.67

14

3

6

11

2.31

1.71

Date

Name

Opp.

IP

H

ER

BB

K

ERA

WHIP

3-Sep

Jhoulys Chacin

LAD

7

9

4

2

3

5.14

1.57

Martin Perez

OAK

7

8

1

0

5

1.29

1.14

Ubaldo Jimenez

BAL

6

4

0

2

4

0.00

1.00

Totals

20

21

5

4

12

2.25

1.25

Date

Name

Opp.

IP

H

ER

BB

K

ERA

WHIP

4-Sep

Dillon Gee

ATL

7

4

1

1

5

1.29

0.71

Roy Halladay

WAS

6

3

1

5

5

1.50

1.33

Eric Stults

SFG

4.67

9

7

0

4

13.49

1.93

Totals

17.67

16

9

6

14

4.58

1.25

Date

Name

Opp.

IP

H

ER

BB

K

ERA

WHIP

5-Sep

Ryan Vogelsong

ARI

4.67

8

4

3

3

7.71

2.36

Sonny Gray

HOU

8

7

3

1

7

3.38

1.00

Jeremy Guthrie

SEA

6

7

5

2

1

7.50

1.50

Totals

18.67

22

12

6

11

5.78

1.50

Date

Name

Opp.

IP

H

ER

BB

K

ERA

WHIP

6-Sep

Joe Kelly

PIT

6

8

1

3

4

1.50

1.83

Juan Nicasio

SD

6

4

1

2

7

1.50

1.00

Totals

12

12

2

5

11

1.50

1.42

Date

Name

Opp.

IP

H

ER

BB

K

ERA

WHIP

7-Sep

Wei-Yin Chen

CHW

6

6

2

0

8

3.00

1.00

Dan Straily

HOU

7

2

0

1

7

0.00

0.43

Jake Arrieta

MIL

5

3

4

3

4

7.20

1.20

Totals

18

11

6

4

19

3.00

0.83

Date

Name

Opp.

IP

H

ER

BB

K

ERA

WHIP

8-Sep

Danny Salazar

NYM

4

4

1

2

8

2.25

1.50

Michael Wacha

PIT

7

2

0

2

2

0.00

0.57

Jason Vargas

TEX

6

6

2

1

8

3.00

1.17

Totals

17

12

3

5

18

1.59

1.00

Date

Name

Opp.

IP

H

ER

BB

K

ERA

WHIP

9-Sep

Ubaldo Jimenez

KC

7

7

0

0

10

0.00

1.00

Carlos Torres

WAS

4

5

6

2

4

13.50

1.75

Jhoulys Chacin

SFG

7

4

1

1

5

1.29

0.71

Totals

18

16

7

3

19

3.50

1.06

Date

Name

Opp.

IP

H

ER

BB

K

ERA

WHIP

10-Sep

Ivan Nova

BAL

6

6

4

2

2

6.00

1.33

Andrew Cashner

PHI

7.67

4

2

1

7

2.35

0.65

Mark Buehrle

LAA

4

12

8

1

2

18.00

3.25

Totals

17.67

22

14

4

11

7.13

1.47

Date

Name

Opp.

IP

H

ER

BB

K

ERA

WHIP

11-Sep

Yusmeiro Petit

COL

5.67

6

3

2

7

4.76

1.41

Scott Kazmir

KC

4

9

3

0

4

6.75

2.25

Totals

9.67

15

6

2

11

5.58

1.76

Date

Name

Opp.

IP

H

ER

BB

K

ERA

WHIP

12-Sep

Roy Halladay

SD

4.33

4

4

5

6

8.31

2.08

Joe Kelly

MIL

5

7

3

1

4

5.40

1.60

Tanner Roark

NYM

6

6

2

1

3

3.00

1.17

Totals

15.33

17

9

7

13

5.28

1.57

Date

Name

Opp.

IP

H

ER

BB

K

ERA

WHIP

13-Sep

Hector Santiago

CLE

4

6

3

3

3

6.75

2.25

Jon Niese

MIA

6.33

6

3

0

7

4.27

0.95

Charlie Morton

CHC

5

4

3

2

5

5.40

1.20

Dan Straily

TEX

5.67

2

2

4

4

3.17

1.06

Totals

21

18

11

9

19

4.71

1.29

Date

Name

Opp.

IP

H

ER

BB

K

ERA

WHIP

14-Sep

Carlos Torres

MIA

6

3

2

2

8

3.00

0.83

Brett Oberholtzer

LAA

6

6

4

2

4

6.00

1.33

Michael Wacha

SEA

5

4

2

4

7

3.60

1.60

Totals

17

13

8

8

19

4.24

1.24

Date

Name

Opp.

IP

H

ER

BB

K

ERA

WHIP

15-Sep

Dillon Gee

MIA

7.33

6

0

2

8

0.00

1.09

Martin Perez

OAK

6.33

7

3

2

3

4.27

1.42

Totals

13.66

13

3

4

11

1.98

1.24

Date

Name

Opp.

IP

H

ER

BB

K

ERA

WHIP

16-Sep

Andrew Cashner

PIT

9

1

0

0

7

0.00

0.11

Rick Porcello

SEA

6

5

1

2

10

1.50

1.17

Wily Peralta

CHC

6

5

0

2

7

0.00

1.17

Totals

21

11

1

4

24

0.43

0.71

Date

Name

Opp.

IP

H

ER

BB

K

ERA

WHIP

17-Sep

Yusmeiro Petit

NYM

6

7

4

3

1

6.00

1.67

Jose Quintana

MIN

6

8

1

2

5

1.50

1.67

Tanner Roark

ATL

7

2

1

5

0.00

0.43

Totals

19

17

5

6

11

2.37

1.21

Date

Name

Opp.

IP

H

ER

BB

K

ERA

WHIP

18-Sep

Tyson Ross

PIT

7

3

2

0

7

2.57

0.43

Bruce Chen

CLE

5

4

2

1

1

3.60

1.00

Chris Rusin

MIL

4

4

6

2

3

13.50

1.50

Totals

16

11

10

3

11

5.63

0.88

Date

Name

Opp.

IP

H

ER

BB

K

ERA

WHIP

19-Sep

Dan Straily

MIN

5.67

3

2

3

6

3.17

1.06

Jon Niese

SFG

7

7

2

2

4

2.57

1.29

Totals

12.67

10

4

5

10

2.84

1.18

Date

Name

Opp.

IP

H

ER

BB

K

ERA

WHIP

20-Sep

Scott Baker

ATL

4

4

5

3

1

11.25

1.75

Martin Perez

KC

5.67

7

1

4

3

1.59

1.94

Edinson Volquez

SD

6.33

5

1

4

6

1.42

1.42

Totals

16

16

7

11

10

3.94

1.69

Date

Name

Opp.

IP

H

ER

BB

K

ERA

WHIP

21-Sep

Dillon Gee

PHI

6

7

4

0

3

6.00

1.17

Burch Smith

LAD

6

3

2

5

6

3.00

1.33

Rick Porcello

CHW

6.67

6

2

0

9

2.70

0.90

Totals

18.67

16

8

5

18

3.86

1.12

Date

Name

Opp.

IP

H

ER

BB

K

ERA

WHIP

22-Sep

Andrew Cashner

LAD

7

4

0

0

7

0.00

0.57

Dan Haren

MIA

6

8

3

1

5

4.50

1.50

Totals

13

12

3

1

12

2.08

1.00

Date

Name

Opp.

IP

H

ER

BB

K

ERA

WHIP

23-Sep

Nathan Eovaldi

PHI

7.67

3

0

2

5

0.00

0.65

Jose Quintana

TOR

7.33

5

2

1

6

2.46

0.82

Eric Stults

ARI

6.33

7

1

2

5

1.42

1.42

Totals

21.33

15

3

5

16

1.27

0.94

Date

Name

Opp.

IP

H

ER

BB

K

ERA

WHIP

24-Sep

Tyson Ross

ARI

8

3

1

3

6

1.13

0.75

Henderson Alvarez

PHI

7

5

2

3

5

2.57

1.14

Chris Rusin

PIT

2.33

6

4

1

1

15.45

3.00

Totals

17.33

14

7

7

12

3.64

1.21

Date

Name

Opp.

IP

H

ER

BB

K

ERA

WHIP

25-Sep

Martin Perez

HOU

7

6

3

1

8

3.86

1.00

Jake Arrieta

PIT

6

4

1

2

1

1.50

1.00

Danny Salazar

CHW

5.33

6

2

1

8

3.38

1.31

Totals

18.33

16

6

4

17

2.95

1.09

Date

Name

Opp.

IP

H

ER

BB

K

ERA

WHIP

26-Sep

Robbie Erlin

ARI

7

3

2

1

7

2.57

0.57

Ivan Nova

TB

7

8

2

1

5

2.57

1.29

Totals

14

11

4

2

12

2.57

0.93

TOTALS

432.34

389

161

131

367

3.35

1.20

A few stats from the above table:

  • I made 73 starting pitcher selections in September, where they produced an overall ERA of 3.35 and a 1.20 WHIP. That's close to ace level production over a one month period.
  • I made selections on 26 days in September, with 14 of those days producing an ERA of 3.00 or lower.
  • These streaming selections put up a 1.30 WHIP in 19 of the 26 days in September, and a WHIP of 1.20 or lower 11 times.
  • The 73 starting pitcher selections collectively put up a strikeouts per nine of 7.63, a walks per nine of 2.73 and a K/BB of 2.79.

As you can see, streaming starting pitchers is a viable strategy in fantasy leagues that allow unlimited number of transactions. In my home leagues, three of which are keeper leagues, we are restricted to six to ten optional moves for the season, so this strategy is not an option. But, in most fantasy leagues on Yahoo and ESPN, one can use this strategy to replace injured or ineffective pitchers, or as a strategy to use your bench more effectively. One can add a starting pitcher on the day one of their aces is pitching, activate that pitcher and bench your ace the day after his start and keep him on your bench until his next start. This strategy works if your league has a favorable innings cap.

One can use the streaming starting pitcher strategy as s draft day strategy as well. One can focus their early round picks to build a solid offense, then focus on starting pitchers later in the draft. Then during the season, one can pick up starting pitchers on a daily basis to build up your wins and strikeout totals, and possibly lowering your team ERA and WHIP.

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