Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Innings Limits & Platooning

I got the following questions in an email from a reader yesterday:

1. Do you run into problems with the max innings pitched and max games played?
I'm having problems with my fantasy basketball team cause I've maxed out the games played at various positions already.

2. Do you run platoons?
I've loaded my team with lefties and I plan to utilize my bench spots by platooning a lot of positions (3b, OF, 1b, util). Unfortunately, if you platoon like this you'll have less roster spots available for waiver wire transactions, which I'm supposing is the basis of your whole strategy.

These are great questions, and I'll try to answer both of them. Obviously the answers are going to depend on the type of league you're in. But assuming that there is an innings pitched limit, then that plays a large factor in my strategy. In a daily transactions league (which I assume is what the reader was asking about) I'm going to be rotating middle relievers and starters in and out of my lineup on a daily basis. The middle relievers are in there to allow me to lower my ERA and WHIP. The starters are basically just innings eaters, in their to make sure I get enough innings pitched to be competitive in strikeouts and wins. If I'm able to draft enough good starters, then I might not rotate any starters during the season, but I generally am going to focus on hitting during the draft, so typically one or more of the starters I draft aren't good enough to outperform rotated starters I get off the waiver wire when they're in good pitchers parks and facing weak lineups.

I typically don't run lefty/righty platoons, although there's definitely some merit to doing so. If I rotate hitters at all (which I do a lot less than with pitchers) I'm typically looking for players going in good hitters parks and against pitchers with low strikeout rates. Either way, the key here is that I'm mostly doing this with the players at the 'bottom' of my roster, so I just drop whoever I'm not using. Unless you have a very large bench in your league, you're going to sometimes have to drop some pretty decent players to maximize the advantages you can get from rotating players.

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