Saturday, March 03, 2007

When to spend more (or less) on pitching

Conventional wisdom tells us that it's a good idea to spend somewhere between 65-70% of your $260 budget on hitting and 30-35% of your budget on pitching.

But what happens in keeper leagues? Should you stick to the same budget?

It depends on your roster composition.

I'm going to go back to the post I wrote on
February 21. I looked at my American League last year and included the table below:

2006 Projected Standings, My A.L.

TeamSalaryValue$ to SpendAuction ValueTotal $
Team 1$128$256$132$100$356
Team 2$187$227$73$56$283
Team 3 $73$135$187$142$277
Team 4$88$146$172$131$277
Team 5$59$121$201$153$274
Team 6$92$125$168$128$253
Team 7$104$127$156$119$246
Team 8$82$109$178$136$245
Team 9$129$138$131$100$238
Team 10$122$130$138$105$235
Team 11$154$139$106$81$220
Team 12$155$137$105$80$217

This table looked at all freezes across all teams, listing the salaries of those freezes and my projected value for those freezes. Then, using the 31.35% inflation rate I was assuming for my league, I took the money that each team would spend in the auction and projected how each team would do.

Now I'll delve a little further into one of these freeze lists to show an example of where a team might spend differently on hitting or pitching.

Team 3 had $73 frozen going into the 2006 auction. Of those $73, $51 was spent on 8 hitters and $22 on 2 pitchers. The 8 hitters were projected to earn $98 and the two pitchers were projected to earn $37.

Now, using the inflation rate of 31.35%, even more focus comes into the picture. If Team 3 spends $175 on hitting and $85 on pitching, it will come out of the auction with a $192 offense and an $85 pitching staff. The $192 offense will put this team at or near the top of the offensive categories, but the $85 pitching staff will leave him in the middle of the pack.

Another way of looking at this is that $260 will produce an average team. In this league, a $260 team would "finish" 6th. A $192 offense gives Team 3 an offense that is $17 "above" average and a pitching staff that is completely "average" at $85. Team 3 should consider spending more than $85 on pitching.

How much more?

Well, this is where knowing your own league and your own roster comes into play. One caveat about ranking teams using dollar values and inflation is that it doesn't take into account specific categories, both in the auction and on all freeze lists. Later on this month, I'll talk more about how to review your league and decide the best way to allocate your dollars if you decide to move away from a $175/$85 split. For now, it's enough to know that $175/$85 isn't required by some sort of Rotisserie Law. If you want to spend more, or less, on hitting, that's fine. Just be aware that even a few dollars in one direction or the other can impact your team dramatically.

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