Fantasy Baseball Musings: Against Streaming, or In Defense of Averages

Click here to read Billy Bruce's latest piece, a missive against the paradigm of points-league pitcher streaming and in defense of averages.

Billy Bruce - RotoBaller

I don’t know if a tool to thwart this madness exists, but for the sake of parity I would love to see one implemented. If you know of one, especially on Yahoo!, please yell at me, pronto.

Otherwise, stand up and scream if you are in a points league and you detest pitcher “streaming.”

There’sClayton Kershaw 2010 (1) nothing worse than having a solid team that scores 400+ points in a  week and follows it up with 285 the next due to pitching rotations that are out of your control. Worse still is to lead the league in points scored, but find yourself two games behind the win/loss leader.

Fantasy geeks unite! We need to take a stand!  And that stand is manifest in the elegantly simple yet highly effective mathematical tool known as the Average. We play our game in a world that averages everything, so I can think of no reason why we can’t do this...

My proposition is simple: In points leagues, where some pitchers throw twice in one week, the average points earned for those pitcher should be the weekly harvest for his owner. Example: If Matt Harvey pitches on Monday and scores 24 points and then adds 26 on Saturday, under my suggestion his composite score for the week is 25 points. The team that owns Harvey doesn’t get to coast that week simply because he’s pitching twice while Clayton Kershaw and other ace-level guys only go once.

Two-start pitchers sift the fun and strategy out of points leagues. If I have a one-start Bud Norris on my roster and a two-start nobody who happens to be facing the Astros and Marlins is available, I’m likely to dump my pitcher-of-choice because the other dealer has a better shot at racking up points. In this scenario, which is where many of us currently live, strategy and planning fly out the window.  The new strategy becomes a very pedestrian “Who’s pitching twice next week?” decision. Any idiot can make that call. And, at times, you just have to accept that you are going to lose for the week due to the bevy of two-start pitchers your opponent has throwing. However, in a world where all pitchers are given points based on a single-game composite score (either on his sole start or on an average of both starts for the week), this gross disparity would cease to exist.

Suddenly, aces would be more in demand, as they are in real baseball and in the rotisserie game.  Pitcher values would improve dramatically in drafts, and in free agency, and the chess-like wisdom necessary to play our fake game would increase.

We’ve all been in leagues where the top overall scorer finished fourth in the standings, only to lose a playoff game to an inferior team that happened to have four more pitching starts that week.

None of us can alter MLB pitching rotations. And it takes a true geek with absolutely no life to look ahead two or three weeks to know when his pitchers are going twice. But that geek's hard work is thwarted in points leagues because other owners can simply plant a waiver-wire stiff on the mound who happens to have two starts….as long as they claim him first.

Does anybody else have a problem with this, or is it just me? Comments are open below; feel free to chime in if you have an opinion here.

Week 8 Waiver Wire & FAAB Bids