Daily Moves: Two Relievers Are Better Than One Starter

It’s crunch time.  The fantasy season is half way over, and if you’re not cruising along in first place, you’re looking for ways to improve your team.  As I continue my focus on leagues with daily moves, let’s look at some players who can help you in the ERA and WHIP categories that are widely available in most Yahoo leagues.  Get a few of them and you can even get a boost in strikeouts too.

Be strategic and look at your standings closely.  Are you better off dumping a middling starter or two and picking up 3 or 4 relievers that can get you better numbers in those three categories?  If pitching is where you can gain some ground, consider shortening your offensive bench so that you can keep 5 or 6 relievers in your lineup at all times while rotating in your starters.

Ryan Pressley of Houston (48% ownership) had his consecutive scoreless streak come to an end earlier this season but continues to dominate the 8th and sometimes the 9th inning.  Not only does he contribute in the categories mentioned earlier, but he’ll pick you up a few saves along the way.  Sometimes cashing in a league comes down to a save or two.

With Blake Treinen going down in Oakland, Liam Hendriks is someone who has been hot waiver add.  I had picked him up in my daily moves league a few weeks ago before his “promotion” solely based upon his peripherals as I try to pick up some points in ERA and WHIP.

To give you an example of what a combination of players like these two can do for you let’s look at their combined numbers.

Player Innings ERA RATIO Ks Saves Wins
Pressley 34.1 1.31 0.76 39 3 1
Hendriks 43.1 1.45 1.08 53 1 3
Combined 77.2 1.39 0.94 92 4 4

Now let’s compare that to some pitchers with similar innings pitched so far this year.

Player Innings ERA RATIO Ks Saves Wins
Snell 79 5.01 1.34 105 0 4
Soroka 78.1 2.07 0.97 63 0 8
Matz 78 4.85 1.46 75 0 5
Odorizzi 80.1 2.58 1.07 87 0 10
Gray 76 4.03 1.28 85 0 3

The combination of Pressley and Hendriks beats all of these pitchers in every category except wins, which we expect, and only trails Snell in strikeouts.  I included Soroka and Odorizzi to show that this holds true even against pitchers who are having exceptional seasons.  This is a strategy that works.  Imagine adding a pitcher better than Soroka in all categories except wins.  You can just add these two by getting rid of two offensive bench players which will add counting stats and improve your ERA and WHIP.  By replacing a struggling starter and one offensive bench player you will actually improve your ERA and WHIP even more by getting rid of future innings with higher numbers, but you will not make gains in the counting categories which is fine if you don’t need to.

There are going to be many pitchers and combinations to choose from.  Just do the simple exercise like I did and you will be able to calculate the benefit to your team.  The following is a list of some other low ownership relievers you should consider adding this week.

Player Ownership ERA WHIP Ks Saves Wins
S. Oberg Col 23% 2.15 1.04 38 5 3
J. Urias LA 31% 2.66 0.99 47 3 4
G. Gallegos STL 4% 2.60 0.81 49 0 1
M. Walden Bos 22% 2.57 1.00 48 1 6
S. Lugo NYM 14% 2.87 1.06 48 0 3
R. Stanek TB 5% 2.47 1.12 47 0 0

Oberg is a good speculative add for saves as Wade Davis has been struggling since his return from the IL.  Urias may end up starting in place of the injured Rich Hill if Ross Stripling struggles.  Gallegos and Walden are quietly having excellent seasons with high strikeout rates.  Lugo has been lights out except for his appearance this past weekend when Mickey Callaway left him in too long.  Stanek is the Rays opener and is averaging a strikeout per inning.

Continue to grind away as we enter the second half.  Daily move leagues are difficult and a constant struggle to stay ahead of the game.  As always I’m available via twitter for questions @gasdoc_spit. Stats courtesy of Fangraphs as of 6/26/19.


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Playing fantasy sports since 1991 when you got your stats in the mail on Thursdays...Husband and father of two. I put people to sleep for a living. Mets, NY Rangers and Eagles/Jets (a product of being born in NYC but living in Bucks County PA for 20 years) fan. Home league baseball auction is top 5 day of the year!