I was discussing the viability of a no-power, all speed and pitching strategy with another owner in one of my NL-only leagues. This strategy will only work in 5x5 leagues where you get the benefit of runs scored for the speed/leadoff hitters, and the strikeouts for the starting pitchers. This strategy would not work in a 4x4 league where you do not have the strikeout and runs scored categories.
This owner is currently in first place in the league, but the difference between first and fifth place is only 6 points. He is emplying this strategy with success, but it was not by choice. His draft was like any other owners with the balance of power, speed and pitching, but his team was hit by injuries and sub-par performance, so he traded his power for pitching and speed. He was originally ridiculed by a few other owners in the league for a few trades he made, but he is currently having the last laugh.
Whether he finishes in first place, time will tell. But, can this strategy work if you drafted that way? This is an NL-only league, so to make this strategy work, you must draft a few stud starting pitchers and the top SB guys earlier than usual-think Michael Bourn and Nyjer Morgan. You would have to round off your roster with a few other leadoff hitters, or hitters on teams that score runs.
The objective of this strategy is to win, or place high, in all five pitching categories (wins, saves, K's, ERA and WHIP), and in runs scored and stolen bases.
Can this strategy be successful in a 5x5 league?