Roster Doctor: 4/27/09

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Player Pool: Mixed
No. of Teams: 12
Categories: Traditional 5×5
Scoring Type: Head-to-Head

C-Dioner Navarro
1B-Carlos Delgado
2B-Chase Utley
SS-Alexei Ramirez
3B-Aramis Ramirez
OF-Hunter Pence
OF-Josh Hamilton
OF-Nelson Cruz
UT-Jacoby Ellsbury
BN-Matt Wieters
BN-Billy Butler
BN-Rickie Weeks
BN-Khalil Greene
BN-Kevin Kouzmanoff
BN-Milton Bradley
BN-Colby Rasmus
BN-Travis Snider

SP-Matt Cain
SP-Aaron Harang
SP-Ubaldo Jimenez
SP-Johnny Cueto
SP-Tommy Hanson
RP-Brad Lidge
RP-Kerry Woods
RP-Carlos Villanueva
DL-Trevor Hoffman

Let’s start out with team positives. The outfield on this team is very strong, with a nice balance of power, speed and average. The two aces of the relief staff, Lidge and Wood, are top-tier closers who will provide a little bit of a boost in strikeouts. The team figures to do well in RBIs. Finally, with two of the top prospects in fantasy baseball (Wieters and Hanson) this team will likely get better even if the owner doesn’t do much.

How about the negatives? Not withstanding Ellsbury, a shortage of top-of-the-order players who will produce runs. A bunch of players (Delgado, Alexei Ramirez, Pence, Cruz) who figure to be a bit streaky and may sink batting average in many scoring periods. Some decent National League starters, but a fickle starting pitching staff who may struggle with consistency and wins.

I like Rickie Weeks in a H2H format like this. Unfortunately, he’s a bit injury prone and blocked from much playing time with Chase Utley in front of him and Ellsbury at utility. Other teams in the league probably need a second baseman, and Weeks is off to a hot start, so it may worth putting trade feelers about him.

Same goes for Hoffman. Having three closers in a H2H league is a real luxury, as in most scoring periods, it probably won’t be necessary. Package one to any team short a reliever.

The other trade chips are all the hyped rookies like Rasmus, Snider, and Hanson, whose press may overshadow true value.

A good target for this team might be Jimmy Rollins, off to a slow start, and a candidate to buy low. On the pitching side, try John Lackey, a solid, consistent pitcher on a strong team, whose value may be low because he’s coming off of injury. But in a H2H league, who cares what a player did last scoring period, right?

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Jacob Rothberg
Jacob Rothberg

Can you explain why having more than two closers in an H2H league is a luxury? It seems to me that most closers provide you with saves and good ratios and k’s, so why not have as many good ones as you can get?

Eriq Gardner
Eriq Gardner
In a 12-team league, most teams will have an average of 2 closers. Having 2 will likely mean that a team will win the category of saves roughly 50% of the time. Having 2 stud closers like Lidge and Woods may up that percentage. Having a third closer may mean winning the category about 80% of the time. Remember we’re talking about a H2H league with short scoring periods. The distribution of saves over a course of a season tends to be non-even. In addition, though you are right that relievers can provide good ratios and Ks, the influence of… Read more »
Jacob Rothberg
Jacob Rothberg

Thanks for getting back to me. Here is why i disagree, for two reasons, mainly:
1- every good closer you have is one less closer for an opposing team to have, and while this is true of all players/positions, the closer pool is especially shallow and defined giving you a clear advantage.
2 – the success rate for an average closer appearance is greater than an average appearance by a starting pitcher or hitter. While a good starter or hitter can give you more over a weekly H2H matchup, they can also hurt you far more.

Eric Hinz
Eric Hinz

Is this a daily H2H or weekly?  Either way, the lack of pitching options eliminates the match-up plays.  I think there are way too many hitters of the fringy mixed league variety to maximize this roster.

FWIW, I’d have three closers and another 8th inning guy on my roster.  Being able to win a category is a good start to any H2H especially given the SP and Hitting are often just a coin flip’s worth of difference apart.


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