Max Scherzer pitched 300 innings for the Nationals last season.
I used to be one of those guys that drafted a balanced team. Whether it be in a ten team league or a twelve team league, I would draft the best player on the board depending on where I picked.
Using that strategy helped as I was able to make the playoffs consistently and make deep playoff runs. I have gotten to the championship round in four different leagues the last two seasons and lost all four match ups. Why you ask? Because the guy I was playing loaded up on starting pitching early. Three of the four teams I have faced had two aces at the top of their rotation.
So, I have decided to adopt this draft strategy. I have decided to abandon my baseball morals and draft pitching early. Lots of pitching. My plan is to draft pitchers with my first two picks in both of my leagues this season regardless of who is on the board.
Last season there were only 13 starters that threw 200 innings or more. Max Scherzer led the way with 300 innings. Scherzer is a horse but given the way managers are handling their rotations these days, we are going to see less starters pitch 200 plus innings this season. My point, if you can land two starters early who can give 200 plus innings and win you 15 to 20 games, draft them!
I made the mistake of waiting on starting pitching in one of my leagues last season and I ended up with Nolan Arenado and Joey Votto with my first two picks. Not bad right? Expect Votto had an awful season hitting only 12 home runs. I won’t make that mistake again.
If you are in a 10 team league, you can be patient with hitters. There are plenty of quality offensive players available that you can draft in the middle rounds. In this era of launch angles and home runs, there are plenty of quality bats that will be on the board between rounds 3 and 10.
I have seen the light. I have become a pitcher first guy. I am hoping the strategy pays off. If it doesn’t, I’ll be bitching about next spring and telling you to avoid starting pitching early.