If you are anything like me, pitching is a revolving door of worry and angst regardless of format. In the daily game – I feel extra pressure to get the pitcher right every night, and on the nights I don’t blow it, I don’t seldom get it perfectly right either. In season long, I struggle with how many starters I need to roster, how I need to balance with RPs and then who to start from day to day. Currently I have three starters that are matchup proof and will start regardless of venue and opponent. I play exclusively in the 3-5 space range with sure-fire starters and keep 6-7 total. I currently have six starters total meaning three of them I’m playing matchups on and trying to get premium innings out of them. I have 5 relief pitchers on my roster with three closers and two potentials.
I like my current mix, but because I’m disturbed by the fact I have only three “must-start” pitchers I am constantly tweaking and scouring the waiver wire. You have to monitor your stats and where you are in the standings as well if you want to eek out a couple of games before season’s end. Currently my ratio stats are horrific, but wins, Ks and saves are great. My innings cap is under, but not so far under that I’ll be making that up with substandard pitching just to fill innings.
All of this has to be monitored if you want to be in the money at the end.
Here’s who I’m watching like a hawk.
Madison Bumgarner – after a sluggish first two starts he’ll be back, so good for you if you held him, which you should’ve. If you’re wondering what to do with him, it’s easy…hold because you can’t get value. Unless you’re getting a top 20 bat in return he shouldn’t be going anywhere.
Justin Verlander – he has haunted your dreams enough. The Tigers are sellers so if he doesn’t move there is nothing that can redeem his season. I could see him being worth a hold if he get’s traded to a National League contender. You can do better on the wire than a 4.54 ERA and 1.47 WHIP. Waaaay better.
Kyle Hendricks – raise your hand if you overpaid for Hendricks this year?? It happens to the best of us (not me with Hendricks) so don’t hang your head. I fully expect the Cubs to make an epic run down the stretch and for Hendricks to be a big part of that. He’ll be back next week, so expect great things.
Masahiro Tanaka – his numbers are gross right now, but he does have a lower rate, more wins and a better K-rate then Verlander. I just picked up Tanaka whom someone rightfully gave up on, but I like his upside down the stretch. Tanaka wins games behind that offense, and is on a better than a K/9 rate. He still gives up runs in every start, but as long as that K rate stays up, I believe he should be kept on a your roster. I expect the ratio stats to shrink making Tanaka someone you should hold on. I’m almost certain you could get him dirt cheap in a trade too, if you’re the risk taking type.
Don’t be ashamed to put in the work on your pitching staff. Once the stats get away from you especially in ROTO leagues it’s hare and time consuming to make them back up. Good luck gamers.