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Help Me Help You: Two Start Methodology

As many RotoGraphs readers are keenly aware, I commandeered the “Two Start Starters” pieces for pretty much the entire season in 2012. Today, I’m going to give a bit of my methodology out, and at the end ask if there’s any way I can better serve you, the readers.

Around 9am Friday — a mere four-and-a-quarter hours before deadline — I’ll get started by pulling up the ESPN list of ‘probables’ for the next week (note: if you know of a more reliable place, I’m really all ears). The only guys who can start twice in a week, technically speaking, are those who start on Monday and Tuesday. From there, I grab the list, and omit those I am positive have ownership over 50% (and if you feel that mark is too high-low, please say so in the comments).

Then, I cull those who aren’t immediately obvious regarding over the 50% threshold in Yahoo! and ESPN leagues. After that, I check team schedules. Players who start on Mondays are afforded one off day in the week if they’re going to make both starts, whereas Tuesday’s starters need to not have any time off.

Once I’m down to a list of guys I’m who will start twice and are under 50% ownership, I dig into the stats. I don’t have a real strong formula for exactly what I do, as I’m a big ‘gut-feel’ guy when it comes to fantasy. Sure, I use a lot of stats, but in a lot of cases we are talking about two of a guys potential 30ish starts. Anything can happen.

So I look for teams who haven’t hit well all season. I’ll dig deeper to find teams who haven’t hit well in the past week or two. Maybe a key superstar went down recently, leaving a team shorthanded. Finally, maybe the guy pitching is a hot-shot rookie and he’s getting his first two starts in. A lot of things come into play.

I’ll say this: First and foremost, I’m a strikeout guy. I flat out love them, not only because strikeouts typically play into fantasy, but they’ll often help you find someone on the cusp of a breakout (SwStr% helps too). But I’ll also look into how a guy has pitched that season, or of late. I’m also a big fan of groundball rates, as I find guys like Jake Westbrook to be particularly useful patches if things get dicey late in the season, like they did on my Ottoneu Staff II league team.

But eventually, I’ll narrow the list down to maybe three or four guys, and break them down for you. If there are a few guys that are virtually unowned, I might break them down in a secondary piece for really deep sleepers, or guys who are better candidates in leagues largely occupied by vultures.

This season, I’m thinking of incorporating a ticker. I’m not entirely sure what just yet; maybe just W-L, ERA, and strikeouts or something. But if that’s something that readers would like, feel free to help me develop the idea more.

Finally, I’d like to know what else you all would like to see. Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments section, and I’ll address them to the best of my limited ability.

Above all, and I can’t say this enough, thank you for reading!