Fantasy Baseball Strategy:
The Advantage Of The RP/SP (2013)
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This strategy is more for weekly Rotisserie lineup leagues, than daily H-2-H leagues with unlimited Free Agent Moves. But this is still a strategy worth knowing regardless of your situation.
Every season there are a few starting pitchers that made a few appearances as a Relief Pitcher the year before to earn the coveted qualification. The qualification you ask, is to be eligible at the RP as well as the SP position on your fantasy roster. You may not think of this as anything more than a nice little bonus, but these type of pitchers can change the entire dynamic of your pitching staff.
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The Advantage of The RP/SP
This season there are two starting pitchers that qualify at Relief who standout from the pack. Kris Medlen, and Lance Lynn. Both of these pitchers should win at least 15 games, both of these pitchers should give you exceptional numbers in the K department as well as the ERA/WHIP categories with plenty of consistency throughout the 2013 season.
If you are in a Rotisserie League with only Weekly Lineup moves, or even H-2-H categories. Using one of these pitchers as a Relif Pitcher should help you more than it hurts you.
1) You will get more Strikeouts.
2) You have the potential of getting more Wins.
With pros, there are definitely cons. But the Cons are things that could easily be replaced.
1) You will get less saves.
2) Your WHIP/ERA will likely take a hit in the wrong direction.
But lets be realistic. A great closer such as Mariano Rivera could get as many as 2-4 Saves in a Week, if they have an amazing week. The Strikeout Range in that is about 3-7 Ks. The chances of getting a win is very slim. The chances of a 0.00 ERA is pretty great.
If you have a pitcher like Lance Lynn pitching 2x in a week, which should be considered a potential for an amazing week. The Strikeout Range should be within the 10-15 K Range. The chance of getting 1 win is pretty high, getting 2 Wins is semi-okay. The chances of a good ERA at 3.00 with 12 INN is more effective than a 0.00 ERA in 3 INN, what a closer may be looking at. The closer would only have to give up 3 ER in next 9 INN to equivalent to that category if he threw 3 shutdown INN. Last thing I checked, there are not many Eric Gagne’s left in the Fantasy Baseball world.
So the real question remains..
Does it make sense to take a Pitcher like Kris Medlen/Lance Lynn as a RP, instead of drafting a solid closer such as Mariano Rivera or Fernando Rodney. The answer is probably not.
However if you can stack up with mediocre RP/SP’s such as, Carlos Villanueva who could throw together a string of QS’s for the Cubs. Or even grab Alexi Ogando who should be good for 10+ Wins easily if he can stay healthy. Or the BEAST/BUST selections in Marco Estrada, Andrew Cashner who could throw 6 Ks in 2 INN, or sometimes give up 6 ER in 2 INN. Those are the guys you want to target late. The reason for this is simple.
If any of those pitchers get 2 Starts in a Week. And your closing situation has you left with Jason Grilli facing two championship caliber teams in that week. It makes sense to stack up with the K’s and the possible chance of getting a Win.
So Why Take Kris Medlen and Lance Lynn..
Because if there is ever a situation where you need to make up wins in Rotisserie leagues, or you need to rack up some extra Ks or Wins. These two guys are in a class of their own. They are going to be the favorite in their matchup 8/10 times. Just keep in mind. If you do take any of these guys, it is important to draft closers you can plug-n-play throughout the season at the RP position. Maybe grab Sergio Romo late, or Brandon League who are both automatic Top 10 Closers as long as they pitch well enough to keep their job. There are always going to be rotating closers, and there is definitely a closer on your waiver wire now who will save 25+ Games that nobody has on their radar. Vinnie Pestano can easily be that guy.
If you are in a Weekly Rotoiserre lineup leagues, taking pitchers in Kris Medlen/Lance Lynn do give you an advantage. However it is important to have quality RP’s that you can plug-n-play when their matchups on paper look like they have plenty of Save Potential.
The best way about going with the RP/SP is drafting the low risk, high reward players such as Marco Estrada and Carlos Villanueva. These pitchers are players you can use when they have 2x starts in a week, and they can give you a Huge boost in the K Range, as well as give you the potential of picking up an extra Win or Two.
Still, having pitchers like Lance Lynn and Kris Medlen as your RP/SP option should give you a nice boost in the Win Categories in your Roto Leagues without hurting your ERA or WHIP and giving you some extra Ks.
If you can draft both, that is a Monopoly. And with a Monopoly, you can essentially Punt the Save Category and go all out with a dominant Starting Pitching Staff.
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Muntradamus is a Fantasy Sports Expert who specializes in Fantasy Football/Baseball/Basketball. He is currently in his second season as a Pro on FantasyPros coming off of an impressive Rookie Campaign where he landed the #10 Overall In-Season Fantasy Football Rankings Expert. Which also included #1 WR of all Expert Sites. He is also one of two people to qualify for all DRAFTSTREET CHAMPIONSHIPS in 2012. Most Historically, Muntradamus was the #1 Fantasy Football Expert of IDP & Overall Rankings in One Week, first time in Fantasy Sports History.