When do you bench your one start pitchers in weekly leagues?
When should you bench your studs in order to get an extra start out of a questionable pitcher?
Should you go for quantity over quality when it comes to pitching in weekly leagues? With (the real) opening day almost here, it's a question I'm struggling to grasp. If you play in a league where lineups are set on a weekly basis, you know exactly what I'm talking about. There are going to be instances where you're faced with either starting a solid pitcher with one start, or gambling on a questionable two-start guy. How should you handle this situation?
Honestly, I'm not sure, so I'm open to your strategies/opinions on the matter. Here's how I think I'll approach things this year, though. I'll never bench an elite stud, even if they have one start against a bad matchup. So, if you drafted Clayton Kershaw, Adam Wainwright or Jose Fernandez (among others), you should keep those guys in your lineup all season.
Things get a bit more difficult when your better pitcher is in the second or third tier. I'm currently trying to figure out whether I should start Homer Bailey or Nate Eovaldi Week 1. For reference, Scott White ranks Bailey in his third tier of starters, while Eovaldi falls into the "Leftovers" tier. Bailey is clearly the better option, and my second best starter. And, yet, he only has one start, and it's coming against the Cardinals. I hate the matchup, which is why I'm considering Eovaldi. My thinking here is that Eovaldi has two decent matchups (against Colorado and San Diego), and he's at home. I've gone back and forth a million times, and currently have Eovaldi in the lineup. Don't hold me to that, though. (I should add that if your commissioners aren't allowing you to adjust non-Dodgers and D-Backs in your lineup before Sunday, they are monsters.)
Anyhow, the point wasn't to talk about my team, but more to talk about the thinking behind benching a clearly better option in order to maximize starts. Since I don't know how often this works out, I'm going to try and keep track of it in my leagues this season. Hopefully, I'll have some interesting data by midseason, and can share that in an upcoming blog.
For now, I'm looking for your thoughts. How often do you find yourself going with the extra start over the better pitcher? How often do you think it works out? Why am I watching one of Eovaldi's spring starts right now? Do I have a problem?
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