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Q&A: Who Should my 3rd Keeper Be: Dickey, Motte, Altuve or Rosario?

Question Submitted to RotoBaller >>

Name: Charly

Fantasy Baseball Question:  I am in a keeper league with 16 teams and 20 rounds of drafting. 2 of my keepers will be Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout; I am debating on the third keeper... My best options (I think) are R.A. Dickey, who would be a 5th round pick, Jason Motte (7th round), or Jose Altuve, Willin Rosario, Wei-Yin Chen, Wade Miley or Tommy Milone (all would be 18th round picks). I am leaning toward Altuve. Our league used to be stacked favoring pitchers but now is more even. From what I've been reading Altuve is a solid mid-round guy so at 18 out of 20 rounds would be a great value, even though he will not get much lineup support and will be in a new league. What do you recommend?

Player Pool: Mixed

# of Teams: 14+

League Info and Categories: Weekly H2H points league where points can get you in the playoffs. Point breakdowns:

  • Batting Points: Single  (2); Double  (3); Triple  (4); Base on Balls  (1); Hit By Pitch  (1); Home Run  (6); K's  (-1); Run  (3); RBI  (4); SB  (3)
  • Pitching Points: Base on Balls (-1); Earned Run (-3 ); Hit Allowed (-1); HBP (-1); Hold  (4); IP   (6); Inherited Runners Scored (-2)  K's  (1); QS (8); Save (15);

Roster Positions: C 1 1B 1 2B 1 3B 1 SS 1 OF 3 U 1 SP 5 RP 2

League Host: CBS


RotoBaller Detailed Analysis >>

Hi Charly,

Thanks for your question. Love the points league questions.  No one really caters to points leagues anywhere else, and understandably so, since each league is unique in its scoring system.  That's one of the reasons RotoBaller started this customized Q&A, so that we could tackle tough questions like these.  You've come to the right place

Our first thought on initially glancing at your scoring system was that there are a ton of ways for pitchers to lose points, so there's no way would we'd recommend keeping Motte or Dickey.  But after running the points for these players, here's what we came up with for 2012: Altuve: 516, Motte: 854, Dickey: 958, Rosario 428. Chen: 798, Milone: 829, Miley: 807. What we quickly realized is that the points a pitcher gets for IP are HUGE, and they basically easily outweigh all the ways that a pitcher might negatively impact your point total. On the other side, hitters don't have as easy a time accruing points, and even some of the better positional players (Altuve and Rosario) didn't come close to mid-tier pitchers (Milone, Miley and Chen).

So, the quick and irresponsible answer is keep Motte or Dickey, because they clearly dominated the points.  But that would completely disregard positional context.  That is, does it really matter if Dickey destroys Altuve in points since they play different positions?  There are two sides to the answer.  On one hand, no it doesn't matter: Altuve's performance is much more important relative to other 2B than it is to Dickey.   Altuve's 516 points might have been the best point total for any 2B. In fact, they could've been so good that the next-best 2B might've finished 50 points behind him, and by owning Altuve you would have put a significant gap between yourself and your competitors at the 2B position.  Meanwhile, Dickey's 958 points might have been middle-of-the-road for pitchers, meaning he didn't help your team that much by owning him relative to other managers' pitchers.   While these are all hypotheticals and not necessarily the way we see the season shaking out, the key thing to take away is that positional context matters a lot-- i.e., how did a guy perform at his position relative to his peers, and how much of a leg up over your competition did that performance afford you as a fantasy baseball owner?

Now, on the other hand, yes, it certainly does matter that Dickey dominated Altuve in points.  You are in a points league where total points can get you into the playoffs.  That means that all other things being equal, you'll always want the higher scoring player.  In this regard, Dickey destroyed Altuve and would have contributed to your team's playoff push than Altuve could have.

And then what about Motte and the other pitchers, who can be kept for cheaper draft prices?  As good as Motte is, closers are just too replaceable and too unreliable for us to recommend that you keep Motte.  It's clear that top-notch closers who rack up the saves are very valuable in your league, so make sure that you grab a couple of solid ones on draft day, but don't keep Motte.  As for your other pitchers, Chen, Miley and Milone all had nice years, but I wouldn't be surprised to see all of them regress this coming year and put up mediocre numbers.  None of them is as good a bet as Dickey to throw 220 IP, which is what will allow him to rack up the gaudy point total we quoted above.



In summary, while Altuve and Rosario had nice years relative to other 2B and C, respectively, Dickey's ability to score almost 1000 points makes him the clear winner for your league's format.  Dickey has the best chance of helping you put a big gap between yourself and other managers' pitchers, while also contributing the most of any of the options to your bottom line point total. On both of our tests-- positional context and total point potential-- Dickey is the winner.  Keep him with confidence and hope that he can repeat his Cy Young year.


Hope this was helpful and thanks for your submission!

- The RotoBaller Staff

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