State of the grind: All-Star break 2013

In what has become a bit of a tradition anytime there is downtime in the baseball world, I am going to make some changes to the column. I welcome feedback and while I won’t promise that I’ll use your ideas, I can guarantee I will read and consider them.

First, we have talked about moving to a one day format that focuses on the next day. That change will be instituted. I am uncertain how to handle weekends at this time. Coverage may drop to five days a week as a result or I may have a separate format for Friday that covers Saturday, Sunday and Monday. I will have to experiment.

For each of my categories—pitcher to start, pitcher to exploit, power hitter, and speed hitter—I will select one player as my “pick” for the day. That will make the job of tracking my performance a bit easier. My picks will retain the under-50 percent owned rule, but I will comment on players up to 70 percent owned from time to time. I may also add some related categories.

In summary, changes to expect include:
{exp:list_maker}Single day coverage per column (next day)
Picks of the day for different categories with additional recommendations
Performance tracking of top picks {/exp:list_maker}

In other words, the second half will be much like the first except with some minor feature tweaks. The purpose of the column is still to point out pitchers and hitters whose value is temporarily increased by a favorable match-up.

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  1. Tom said...

    Thanks for your help all season. Feedback:

    I really wonder if performance tracking offers the reader much value especially if it is that much trouble. My take is…streaming is a crap shoot going in. Everyone who streams knows that. I wouldn’t spend much time evaluating your success in detail. Maybe you could choose a simple standard of performance, maybe something like if your pick is either equal to or better than X% of the pitchers that are owned in X% or less of leagues WHO ARE PITCHING THAT DAY (i.e. that is the only pool of pitchers that would be fair to compare to) you would consider it a success, otherwise not. Then just report your record each week—we don’t need to know the details.

    Also, I guarantee you the majority of your readers mostly use the pitching picks vs the running/hitting picks. Pitching is much, much less of a crap shoot and has a much larger game by game impact on your overall fantasy results I would really spend most of your focus on pitching. If you want to throw out an obvious hitter/runner do so, but I wouldn’t miss it much if you didn’t.

    The time that you save with the above suggestions could be put toward the following:

    Single next day coverage is fine. I do hope you choose to do Sat, Sun, Mon on Friday. I also would love to see an additional category of “Pitcher to start 50-75% owned” because there would be a 25-50% chance that pitcher would be available in one of our leagues.

    Following the concept of throwing a bunch of spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks…I’d love to see your next 3 days of pitching streamer picks with a 1-10 rating next to their name. In many leagues you have a limited number of WW pick ups and it’s Monday and there is a 9 that is coming on Thursday after 6’s on Tuesday and Wednesday, I’d wait for the 9.

    I’ll still be back no matter what you choose to do. Thanks again for your help.

  2. Doug said...

    Brad…Like the sound of the 2nd half plan. Keep up the great content! I’m in a highly competitive money league. Any chance you can jump ahead to Friday, for a speculative assessment of streamer options, and sequence the following: Saunders@HOU;Chen@TEX or Gaudin v AZ? Any help would be highly appreciated.

  3. Brad Johnson said...

    Saunders at Houston is the top dog. He’s by far the best of that trio and Houston is the worst opponent listed. That might even be a match-up that I recommend despite that I tend to avoid Saunders for fantasy.

    I expect Gaudin to implode at any minute, but I’m more comfortable with him against AZ’s solid offense than Chen vs Tex. Both match-ups give me the shudders though…

  4. Brad Johnson said...

    And Tom, I’m not ignoring you, just a lot to absorb.

    I’m not likely to do away with the hitting streamers because that’s where I spend most of my time streaming. I also observe more top owners tend to micro hitters more than pitchers. I only really stream pitchers in leagues where I need to expand my bench to get the extra 5% out of my lineup.

    Here’s some useless trivia. My average transaction count is 65. My high is 85 and my low is 42. The 42 league is the one where I don’t stream starters since we have a 1400 IP cap, 5SP/5RP, 6 BN, and 5 DL. The 85 league is a weekly H2H where innings volume is essential.

  5. Tom said...

    I’m in a league where I a limit have 7 pickups per weekly matchups. If I had unlimited pickups (I’m not sure of the stats on leagues with different rules) I suppose I would probably stream 1 hitter and 1 pitcher every day, but I still say streaming pitchers is far more common and certainly have more impact—streaming one hitter/day can only have a 1/13th 7% (less if you assume your comparing impact above replacement) impact on your offensive categories (assuming 13 starters) whereas streaming 1 pitcher/day could have 50-100% impact (assuming innings w/o streaming/week = 60 and 7 * 6 innings/start = 42 additional innings).

    I know….different leagues=different settings and different players = different approaches. Rather than depend on a few comments from those of us who go through the trouble to write….why don’t you take a simple poll?

  6. ABSkippers said...

    First off, I appreciate the column and read it every day.  Especially appreciate your wllingness to answer random questions in the comments.

    I am a dedicated hitting grinder (78 transactions at the break, and only 7 of those are spot starters, although some others are relievers).

    My only comment/suggestion would be the occasional inclusion, especially on Mondays and Thursdays) of C’s or MI’s who might stand out for good matchups those days.  I’m on pace to hit or exceed my max starts at 1B, 3B, CI, and OF, b/c obviously on any given day 1B/OF types are going to stand out on the wire as the best options in a single game sense, but I have room to catch up at C and MI.

    The other related thing that would be great is when a C or MI type has a doubleheader that might be fruitful.

    Thanks again for all your work on the column.

  7. Tom said...

    ABSkippers … good point about hitter streaming to fill in for days off. Again, if I had unlimited pickups, I would do the same. I still think a poll would be more useful to determining which direction the column should go.

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