Streaming Pitchers: Yes or No? Part 2

Posted: July 7, 2011 in Articles

By David Kerr

Streaming Pitchers: Yes or No? Part 2

By this time next week the All-Star game will be in the rear view mirror and baseball will be marching towards October and the postseason. In fantasy baseball teams will be trying to set their rosters up for a two month push towards a championship. So when would the correct time be to start streaming pitchers?

Obviously the better your starters pitch between April and July, the more leeway you have to stream pitchers later in the season. I believe the key to being able to do this in August, and September especially, is to not worry about wins early and focus on ERA and WHIP. Wins are a “counting” statistic and can come in bunches or on the flip side you could go weeks without getting one. ERA and WHIP are taken into account in every single inning your pitchers will throw. It is imperative to keep them low throughout the early and middle parts of the season to use this strategy effectively. It’s nice when wins come with the good ERA and WHIP stats, but we all know that isn’t always the case. There are a lot of pitchers with bad bullpens behind them and just flat out bad luck. For example, Paul Maholm of the Pirates has a 3.08 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP to go along with his 5-9 record. His average run support? 3.79 runs per game. If I owned Maholm, I would be happy with his “counting” statistics because come September I can chase those wins without taking a huge hit in ERA and WHIP.

As you accumulate innings pitched throughout the season, the harder it becomes to move the needle either way for your ERA and WHIP. So the question remains, when do you start adding and dropping pitchers on a daily basis? I say September 1st if you feel as though you’re realistically within 10 win or strikeout points of first place. Keep in mind you can’t chase ERA and WHIP. It’s a lost cause. If you stream your pitchers, you’re only doing it for two categories. There is no real recommendation on what pitchers to pick up. If I were to use this strategy I would look at home and away splits, recent outings by the particular pitcher you’re thinking about using, and a gut instinct. You’re not going to get a 7 inning shut out with 8 strikeouts that garners a win very often from a number 5 starter or a spot starter, so you have to pick and choose wisely.

The key to streaming pitching is building up good ERA and WHIP statistics throughout the season and really just making good calls when it’s time to put the strategy in motion. Streaming pitching has won plenty of fantasy championship throughout the years, but it’s also been a lost cause. Evaluating your team and keeping close tabs of each category on a daily basis is the best way to determine if it’s right for you. I think it can be effective, but I stress to you: DO YOUR RESEARCH!

Be sure to follow me on twitter by hitting the follow button below. I will answer any and all fantasy baseball questions you have. Also, you can e-mail me at askROTObaseball.com for any long form question’s. If you need an answer quick though, definitely use twitter!

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