Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Baseball: How to Value Your Roster

Alright, folks, put your economist hats on for a second. Go to your wallet and grab a dollar bill. Then go to your spare change pile and grab four quarters. From a financial point of view, they’re identical. From a fantasy baseball point of view, they’re not. The tricky part is that when you’re proposing or evaluating a trade, there are times when each is more valuable.

 

When is four quarters better than a dollar bill?
If we’re talking about pitchers, then quantity takes precedence over quality. In any format of drafting or trading, pitchers tend to be highly overrated.

Clave wrote on how to acquire Clayton Kershaw’s production, without having to spend the money on Clayton Kershaw. In the case of a snake draft, you wouldn’t have to use an early pick on a pitcher.

The reason you don’t want to spend too much money or use an early pick on a pitcher is that they only play once every five days. It’s as simple as that. An A+ pitcher is no more valuable than a B hitter, because the hitters play everyday.

The key to success in pitching is racking up innings. I know that that means you’ll allow more runs, but those runs will mean less. Follow along with me here.

If a pitcher throws eight innings and allows four earned runs, his ERA for that day is 4.50. Conversely, if a pitcher throws six innings and allows three earned (both are needed for a quality start), his ERA is 4.50.

Go to baseballtips.com and extrapolate some numbers. More innings will give you a lower ERA and WHIP, especially as the season gets going. Of course, it would also get you more wins, strikeouts, and any other counted category you may use.

With pitchers, those four tiny quarters are far more valuable than that one dollar bill. Quantity beats quality on the hill, and it’s not even close.

 

When is a dollar bill better than four quarters?
You might have figured this out by now, but if quantity tops quality with pitchers, then quality is better with hitters. After all, that’s why we’re here, right.

Let’s take a look at Prince Fielder’s season in 2011. The reason I am choosing him is that I have always considered him a one-dimensional player.

Runs HR RBI SB AVG
Prince Fielder (2011) 95 38 120 1 .299
MLB Rank T-19 5 2 T-324 T-27

 

Okay, so we’re obviously not talking about a prolific base stealer, but in four of five categories, this was a Top 30 player. In three of five, he was a Top 20 player.

You plug him in there and you will get reliable production.

As for the steals and to a lesser extent batting average, there are other options to fill those needs. If you have a player or two like Fielder that will give you great production in power, then you can afford a guy like Ichiro Suzuki or Jemile Weeks. They will fill in the other areas.

So, go star hunting at the plate. Find the guys that will be some of the better players in the league in a few categories, even if they’re weak in another one. Then, fill those categories with other reliable stars. It all balances out.

With pitchers, you are constantly changing your active lineup. That is why I carry a lot of them, because I really don’t like having a day or two go by without having a starter.

With hitters, you’re not changing your lineup. So, you end up leaving stats on the bench, which is never successful in any format.

Use the flexibility that comes with pitchers changing every day to deepen your bench, going for more solid mid-round guys, not stars. Look beyond Kershaw, Roy Halladay, and Justin Verlander.

They may be great aces, but for four out of five games, they are bringing as much production to your fantasy team as the guy you buy your coffee from at Starbucks.

Tags: Bench Hitters Pitchers Value

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