For these pairings, I’m going to be using our 2012 fantasy baseball rankings. Notably, the top 20 starters for 2012 fantasy baseball, top 40 starters for 2012, top 60 starters for 2012 and the top 80 starters for 2012. Okay, now that we have our links and shizz done. What is a pitcher pairing? It’s how you plan on putting together a fantasy staff. It’s a plan of action. If you have A pitcher, which B, C and D pitcher goes with him? You should have six starters. The sixth starter is Brad Peacock or take whoever you want. I suggest an upside pick. Brad Peacock comes to mind. Or Mike Minor. Mike Minor also comes to mind. I’m going to assume you’re in a 12 team, 5×5 and some variation of 9 Pitchers league. (NOTE: What you are about to read is massively confusing. If it were found scribbled in a notebook, the FBI would be watching me.) Anyway, here’s some pairings for pitching staffs for 2012 fantasy baseball drafts:
If your first pitcher is from the tiers: “The top tier. Didn’t I already say that?” and “The aces that once were.” — These tiers are from Halladay to Greinke. There’s very little chance I have anyone in any of these tiers. If I do have one, I wouldn’t take another pitcher until the Gio tier that goes into the top 40 starters. Then I’d grab one guy from the tier of Moore/Scherzer and one guy from the flyer tier of Sanchez. Finally, I’d finish my staff off with — that just sounded like a phone sex operator — an out there flyer from the top 80 starter post (a pitcher in the top 80 post that I like, preferably), then I’d grab Peacock or Minor. So Greinke, Daniel Hudson, Beachy, Minor, Peavy and Peacock. That staff will probably have 13′s in every pitching category in a 12 team league.
If your first pitcher is from the tier: “If I don’t have one starter already, here’s where I’m drafting and I’m fine with that.” – This tier goes from Hamels to Lester. I’d pair any of the top 20 starters that come between Hamels and Lester with anyone in the Wim Wenders tier, but it’s not mandatory. In other words, if I have Hamels, I wouldn’t ignore Wim Wenders’s tier if they fell to me, but I wouldn’t reach either. You’ll be fine taking Hamels and moving right into the Gio tier. But let’s say you start your staff with Hamels and Haren because he falls to you, you should skip right to the Moore tier. Again, if someone from Wim Wenders’s tier drops, then you can grab him, but you’re loading up too much on pitching at this point. So if you have Hamels, Haren, Moore, you jump to Sanchez’s tier and grab two pitchers. (Yes, this is like a Choose Your Own Adventure.) So that leaves you with Hamels, Haren, Ubaldo, Worley, McCarthy and Brad Peacock. That’s one great looking staff, or so says Gosh Johnson, Josh’s porn star brother.
Now if you grab Hamels, but you skip Wim Wenders’s tier and go straight to Gio’s tier, then you grab one or two guys in that tier and one or two guys from the Yummo! tier. If you grab one from the “Crazy like a fox” tier, then grab two from the Yummo! tier and vice versa. At this point, you should have four starters. Then grab anyone after Sanchez then Brad Peacock. That leaves you with a staff of Hamels, Latos, Anibal, Garza, Marcum, Wandy and Peacock. That’s probably the best staff I’ve ever seen in the entire universe.
If your first pitcher is from the tier: “Wim Wenders’s favorite tier.” — This is similar to grabbing Hamels through Lester. Wim Wenders’s pitchers are all number one fantasy starters. I’d go ahead and grab three starters between the “crazy like a fox” and Yummo! tiers and another one later on while saving room for Peacock. So you’d have Weaver, Latos, Moore, Marcum, Peavy and Peacock. You just won your league and games haven’t even started. You’re welcome.
If your first pitcher is from the tier: “Am I crazy with these rankings? Yeah, crazy like a fox!” — You’re fighting an uphill battle if you haven’t grabbed a starter until this tier. So you need to make up for that by grabbing two guys in this tier and two guys in the Moore tier then a flyer then Peacock. For instance, Gio, Daniel Hudson, Ubaldo, Luebke, Lilly and Peacock. Honestly, that staff looks pretty good to me; go buy yourself an ice cream cone and celebrate.
WHIP Issues – For every pitcher who is projected over a 1.25 WHIP, take one below. The quicker you do this, the better off you’ll be. For instance, if you take Gio Gonzalez, who I have projected for a 1.28, you need to pair him with someone I have projected below a 1.25. Don’t pair Gio with Scherzer. Don’t pair Gio with Morrow. Pair Gio with Zimmermann. Pair him with Daniel Hudson. Pair him with Cain. Remember, the further you get into the rankings, the harder it becomes to find lower WHIPs. In the top 60 starters, there’s only six starters below a 1.25 WHIP. There’s 11 pitchers in the top 80 (which is actually 29 pitchers), four of them are Johan, Baker, Peavy and Stauffer. Three of those are injury risks and the other one you can’t start in away games. Then there’s Kuroda, who is a Yankee risk, Lilly, who’s old, Collmenter, who only gives you a good WHIP, and Chris Sale and Daniel Bard, who could be good but are risks in their own right. Basically, there’s McCarthy to totally trust for WHIP help in the last 29 pitchers. Sidenote: WHIP can be helped by closers and MRs… Or hurt by them.
K ISSUES – For drafters who follow my lead, this shouldn’t be as much of an issue. You’re shooting for around 150/starter.
Overall Pitching Issues – Just about everyone, including yours truly, drops at least one of their starters by May 1st. Obviously, you want the best team coming out the draft, but it’s a marathon not a sprint. Starters always come out of nowhere on waivers to become productive. Always. Even in deep leagues.