We all know the golden rule of baseball: pitching wins championships. Sadly, it’s not always true in fantasy. Remember, pitchers only produce once every five days and most fantasy league statistics cater more to hitting.
I’m not saying abandon pitching and go lights out for hitting. If this worked every Texas Rangers fan would have the greatest fantasy team in their league (Bigs won his league last year actually, so there might be some scary truth here). What I’m saying is to follow the second golden rule for today: learn from your mistakes. There’s no better example than my own personal failure. In my Yahoo league last year I had three 20 game winners (Webb, Lee, and Mussina) and it only got me 3rd place.
So here’s my new strategy: draft pitching and trade it for hitting. This only works if you have good pitching though…so try these picks on for size.
CALL ME CY
Tim Lincecum / Johan Santana / Carsten Charles Sabathia / Roy Halladay / Brandon Webb
My rule of thumb is to never draft a pitcher if you have a Top 5 pick, but Lincecum and Santana might be the exceptions. Lincecum is coming off a Cy Young winning season and he’s only 24. Santana is due for his best season yet as a Met. They’ve sured up the bullpen meaning Santana will hold on to more wins and worry less about carrying the staff on his shoulders. Sabathia, Halladay, and Webb are all candidates to win 20 games, throw several complete games, and rack up the K’s, but I would only take these guys if you have a late first round pick.
GET 'EM WHILE THEY’RE HOT
Cole Hamels / Jake Peavy / Dan Haren / Roy Oswalt / Felix Hernandez
If you drafted hitters with your first couple of picks then these are the guys you want to take before it gets too late. They all have the potential to win 20 games, post low 3.00 ERAs, and get you close to 200 K’s. But don’t get too hitter happy, these guys will go faster thank you think.
Yovani Gallardo / Joba Chamberlain / Edison Volquez / John Danks
This category has everything you need for trade bait: huge upsides and great consistency. Gallardo had a freak injury last year, but he has the stuff to be the Brewer’s #1. Chamberlain could post huge numbers if he settles in after transitioning from the bullpen. Volquez is coming off a breakout season and Danks is poised to be the White Sox’s newest stud. Buyer Beware: there’s also a strong chance for busts, so trade them while they’re hot.
Dave Bush / Josh Johnson / Pedro Martinez
Rule number one of sleepers: Don’t trade them. Why? Because if you do and they blow up like you thought then you’ll never get the credit you deserve and if they bust you’ll get nothing for them. These guys are your saving grace if you have a hitter heavy draft. Bush has great control and now the chance to step up in Milwaukee, so look for him to post double digit wins. Coming off Tommy John surgery, Josh Johnson finished out last year 7-1 with a 3.61 ERA and 77 K’s in 14 starts. Shocking, right? And I have to throw Pedro in the mix after his incredible WBC performance.
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