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Ask Nash: Building a Fantasy Pitching Staff


Nash,

Who do I drop with Hamels coming available off the DL?

I’ve been looking at my pitching and breaking it down by age:

Since I am presumably losing Paxton via trade. I am left with a rotation without much youth.

Dan Straily, Martin Perez, Corey Kluber, Matt Moore are available in FA. and Travis Wood and Wily Peralta are clearing waivers tomorrow.

Do you like any better than Wilson,Hudson and Lackey? Looking to get younger/more reliable in keeping consideration terms, without trading the farm for a stud SP in April.

My Initial Response: You might be a little older in pitching, but I would drop Quintana or Strop to activate Hamels for now.  You don’t really need a middle relief guy, and neither pitcher is hitting on all cylinders currently.

I also like some of those older arms a lot, Hudson has transitioned to a good old fashion grinder very well and Lackey just coming off a stellar outing might be a sell high candidate for the right trade partner.

 

Now, before going a little deeper, I need to say that I have an email thread going with this owner so I know his league situation a little more. So when you send your emails in, please give me as much info as possible for me to really dig in and help.

Back to building a fantasy pitching staff.  This guy really has a range of pitchers, old/young, reliable/riskier, and starters/closers/middle relievers. He has good balance and getting a guy like Hamels is a blessing. However it also forces some decisions.

Often times we can over think basic add-drop decisions, “what if so and so explodes after I drop them.”, “this guy is old, will he last?”  Dixon talked a lot about Hudson dropping because of his injury woes last year, but eventually realized that he is a reliable as they come.

I also suggested that Strop be dropped because this player doesn’t necessarily need a middle relief guy.

While on one hand I am a huge advocate of MRI strategy, I also only like to keep effective middle relief guys. Here is a short list of solid middle relief options: Cody Allen, Mark Melancon, and Adam Ottavino. Strop is more than expendable, especially since this owner has other solid middle relief guys.

He is also falling into a dangerous situation of having too many middle relief pitchers when good starters are readily available. MRI works, but it is not wise to employ it at the cost of quality starters like Straily or Kluber. Unless you have holds as a category only roll with 2-3 middle relievers max.

Ultimately building a good fantasy pitching staff comes down to diversity (and no, I do not mean an old wooden ship).

  1. Have pitchers of various ages, good pitchers of course. You don’t want a whole staff of very young guys especially ones who might be dealing with innings caps later in the season. You also don’t want all old pitchers even if they are reliable, because you just need a couple guys that might break out, and 35-year-old pitchers rarely find an extra gear.
  2. Have pitchers of various skill sets, not just by position (SP/RP/MRP), but high K guys, solid ERA/WHIP guys, and guys that will scrape out cheap wins when you need them. Cody Allen has more wins than 4 starters I am currently carrying in one league. Just saying.
  3. Have pitchers from various teams.  Statistically speaking it is unlikely you get enough consistency from a complete staff for fantasy purposes. You also should avoid rostering any 5th starters and 4th starters unless you are in a deeper league or they are a really good 4. Heck I’d take a lot of 4th starters over Minnesota’s 1-3 guys, although Kyle Gibson is making a case. But that is a post for another time.

Now go diversify your pitching!

If you have a question that you’d like to see me address in a future Ask Nash or just need a second opinion on something, please reach out in any of the following ways.

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