Last year I took a look at the catchers and pitchers who were the worst at preventing stolen bases. The idea was that you could pick good base stealers when someone in the opposing battery was friendly to steals. Recently a reader asked me to update that study to include 2013’s stats. I was planning on doing just that, but the more I think about it, the more I realize it’s not a strategy you should employ on Draftstreet.
On a quick side note, if I had updated that study, it would have been more beneficial to just look at pitchers. As Blake Murphy pointed out on Thursday, Max Weinstein has recently done some research showing that the pitcher bears more of the responsibility of preventing stolen bases.
But the bigger reason the study isn’t worth updating is because of what I discussed last Monday, lineup stacking. Research has shown that upside increases the bigger your stack, and Draftstreet only allows you to use four players from the same team in a lineup. Research has also shown that downside decreases with each step down from no stacking to four man stacks before it starts to rise. That makes four man stacks an obvious strategy.
In a Draftstreet lineup that has nine slots for hitters, it makes the most sense to use two four-man stacks or three three-man stacks. If you use the three-man stacks, there’s not an extra slot in your lineup into which you can slot a speedster with a good matchup. And if you’re using two four-man stacks, you usually don’t have the flexibility for that last hitter slot to get a speedster into it. You should be picking your two stacks, picking your three pitchers, and then filling your last slot with the most expensive guy that fits in your remaining budget and has the platoon advantage.
The Daily Five
Below is a chart with projections (courtesy of Steamer projections broken down to a per-game basis) and the cost per projected point for each starting pitcher today. If I could afford any three, I’d prefer to go with Tony Cingrani, Michael Wacha, and Ubaldo Jimenez. But the three I ended up with in the most lineups today are Cingrani, Wacha and Jordan Lyles. I always start my lineups by filling up my lineup with my three and four man stacks and then going with the best pitchers I have money left over for.
Angels Stack – Vegas has this game being one of the four highest scoring of the day and the Angels favored to be on the better side of things. The Angels are also a good stack because it’s easy to get four players who hit right in a row. Because they’ll be facing a right-handed pitcher in Jarred Cosart, you can use the first four of their lineup with left-handers Kole Calhoun and Josh Hamilton along with Mike Trout and Albert Pujols who can handle right-handed pitching. Or to save a little coin you could use their nine-hole guy, Erick Aybar, with Calhoun, Trout and Pujols.
White Sox Stack – The ChiSox are visiting Colorado where virtually every game played is projected to be the highest scoring game of the day by Vegas. Today is no different as subpar starters Lyles and Felipe Paulino take the hill. Lyles is projected in the chart above to be the third lowest scoring starter of the day. But as mentioned above, I still ended up using him in a few leagues because he only has to get three and a half points or so to be worth it at a price of just $6,434. He could get to 3.5 points even if the White Sox do a little damage. It’s not a perfect four hitters in a row, but you can get four of their first five with Adam Eaton, Conor Gillaspie, Jose Abreu and Adam Dunn. That’s three of four with the platoon advantage.
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