Friday, February 29, 2008

My Latest Pitching Staff via Auction Draft

Let me tell you, there is nothing better than a four and a half hour fantasy baseball auction draft! In my snake drafts, I really try to grab 2-3 top notch starting piters and two top 10 closers. However, in an auction league, I can use a LIMA plan type of strategy and walk away with a pitching staff just as good or potentially better than every team in the draft itself.

Now, I don't need to go into to much detail because as you will see, the values I got some of these pitchers for is ridiculously undervalued compared to my Top 300 Auction Values posted in the draft guide and other auction values posted on various sites and magazines. But, if you just sit and wait a bit and be patient, this is a rotation you can potentially end up with for $93. I know the LIMA Plan calls for only $60 but there were some bargains here in the top 20 I just couldn't pass up. Here is what I got...

My Pitching Staff

1. Aaron Harang $17.00
2. John Smoltz $13.00
3. Roy Oswalt $14.00
4. John Maine $6.00
5. Rich Hill $9.00
6. Matt Cain $8.00

7. Rich Harden $3.00

8. Brad Lidge $10.00
9. Francisco Cordero $13.00

My only real risk is Harden who is actually feeling good and throwing great in camp at this time, but I'll take that with a grain of salt. This is a fantastic staff with the bottom four SP's to all potentially have huge breakout years. Even if they match what they did last year, I'll be in great shape. Harden is obviously the wild card here.

With the closers, Papelbon flew of the board for $27 and with most of the other top 10 going for $15 or more, I felt like Lidge and Cordero were decent values for their potential. And yes, I think Lidge will be fine this year despite his recent injury set back. Actually, I am thankful because that lowered his valued for this draft as he'd probably go for $15 with the way these guys were bidding.

Point is, with some patience, if everyone goes crazy for the star players, just like everyone did in this auction draft, there will be bargains along the way about halfway through the auction. I blew my wad on A-Rod and Ryan Howard, who were the first two thrown out, so I just sat back after that and picked up bargains. You can see the Auction Results Here and you'll see my team is highlighted.

Take a look at the draft results and look at the prices of the top 20 Starting Pitchers (Not in any particular order)....
Johan Santana

Jake Peavy
Brandon Webb
Erik Bedard
Josh Beckett
Justin Verlander
Scott Kazmir* $16

C.C. Sabathia
Cole Hamels

Carlos Zambrano
Dan Haren

John Lackey
Felix Hernandez* $17
Aaron Harang* $17
Chris Young* $9
John Smoltz* $13

Roy Oswalt* $14
Roy Halladay* $17
Daisuke Matsuzaka* $17
Fausto Carmona*$19
Javier Vazquez ..... who could arguably be in this top 20.... $9

So look, if everyone is going nuts spending $25+ on guys like Beckett, Bedard, Webb and Sabathia and most of the top 20 Goes between $15-$ should expect some nice bargains from the middle tier guys.....
Matt Cain

Rich Hill
Yovani Gallardo
Tim Lincecum
Chad Billingsley
James Shields

.....just to name a few who you can probably steal at $8-$11 which in some cases end up being normal prices, and they are normal because people always tend to go nuts for the top notch guys..... so I just wanted to point this out.

For $30-$40 you can get two-three top notch guys using this example (Harang, Smoltz, Young) and fill out the rest with good young talent with upside at the end of the draft.

So try it. Get the hitting you want but wait on some of these top 20 pitchers who come out later in the auction. Save $40 for 3 bargain guys, spend $20 on closers (opt for Soria who was $1 for example) and maybe another $10-$15 for cheapies with upside and you can still come out with a killer staff. Save maybe $90 for pitching and you can steal some real bargains like I did with runining hitting. I still ended up drafting over 300+ HR and well over 170+ SB potentially with $ $167 and $83 of that was spent on two players... A-Rod and Howard! That's being savvy. Here is what I ended up with. Potentially great but a lot of upside I am depending on.....

My Offense

C- Ryan Doumit
C- Chris Snyder
1B - Ryan Howard

2B - Felipe Lopez
3B - Alex Rodriguez
SS - Carlos Guillen
MI - Julio Lugo
CI - Justin Morneau
OF - Jacoby Ellsbury
OF - Josh Hamilton

OF - Shane Victorino
OF - Matt Kemp
OF - Josh Fields
UT - Edwin Encarnacion

We still have a slow reserve draft and so far I have Carlos Gomez on the bench.

What do you guys think? Good strategy? Decent team?


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