I was recently reading an article on how pitchers in fantasy baseball are severely undervalued. It says that fantasy experts suggest spending spending a minimum of 60% of your money on hitting, and a maximum of 40% of it on pitching even though pitching counts for exactly half of the scoring. (If your in a league that does not draft with dollars, but in a serpentine form then take this non-literally)
In most leagues 14 hitters and only 9 pitchers count towards the scoring but this is because you need 8 positions to fill and usually some utility. Simple math shows you have 55% more hitters to produce your offensive stats. The actual ratio of players who are hitters to players who are pitchers is 61:39, so perhaps this is why experts give more money to hitting, but why? This line of reasoning is completely wrong. Since there are fewer pitchers and 50% of the scoring comes from pitching, the average price of pitchers should be more than the average price of hitters.
Some common argument you hear for hitters over pitchers
•You need to draft more hitters than pitchers
So what? You can still divide your money fairly equally between them just spend a little less per hitter than per pitcher.
•Pitching performance is less predictable than hitter performance
This could be true if you were comparing the average pitcher to the average hitter, but if you draft a quality pitcher wouldn’t you be able to predict quite accurately how well they will perform. In addition some pitching categories are easier to predict than hitting categories. If he stays healthy, wouldn’t you expect Johan Santana to get alot of strikeouts?
•Pitchers get injured more than hitters do
Actually this is not true, in a study done in 2001 by Stan Conte, it states that an average pitcher has a 23.7% chance to go on the DL. A hitter on the other hand has a 27.9% chance of going on the DL. Of all those hitters the shortstop is the most likely to go on the DL with a whopping 38.4% chance!
Also when pitchers do go on the DL they tend to stay on it longer with an average of 16.6 days on the DL and conversely the hitter stays on it an average of 13.9 days.
The last thing I want to talk about strays a little bit off the topic of this page but when your trying to decide between a great starting pitcher or a great closer take the starting pitcher. For example if your staff needs a total of 7 pitchers, 4 starters, and 3 closers. If you have one great starter, 220 innings pitched and a 2.25 ERA and the rest of your staff are average, (average for starters being 220 innings pitched and a 4.00 ERA, and average for closers being 70 IP and a 3.50 ERA), then you will have a total of 430 ER, 1090 IP, and a 3.55 ERA. If you have a superior closer and the rest of your staff is average then you will have a total of 462 ER, 1090 IP, and a 3.81 ERA. Now obviously you realize the big difference in ERA but also notice the 32 ER difference, how will you make that up?
And just to highlight the importance of having a great starter even more, if you have 3 superior relievers and 4 average starters your totals will be 439 ER, 1090 IP, and 3.62 ERA. Now, superior starters can help more in wins, strikeouts, ERA, and WHIP but if your hurting in saves then choose the closer.