There are various theories about when and where to draft your pitching in fantasy baseball.
I would avoid picking up too many big name hurlers at the high dollar or 4th round picks. Use those early rounds to draft big bats. Zack Greinke, Tim Lincecum, CC Sabathia, Jon Lester, Johan Santana, Chris Carpenter, Felix Hernandez, Justin Verlander, Josh Beckett, and Roy Halladay are your top tier starters. I suggest picking up just one of those rock stars.
Spend your cash on cheaper (but just as effective) names like John Lackey, Wandy Rodriguez, Ubaldo Jimenez, Josh Johnson, or Clayton Kershaw. In an auction league you could pick up two of the aforementioned players for the same cash as just one Roy Halladay.
Some guys will spend some cheddar on those magazine cover boys which leaves their batting order at a Kansas City Royals level. Stack your staff with Second Tier starters and pick up some sluggers to get those winning points.
If you are in an auction league, you can get Ted Lilly, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Ben Sheets, and Randy Wolf for dirt cheap. On a snake draft, those cats would not even be on page one for starters. Dice-K is going to start the season on the DL which makes some fantasy owners stay clear. You should pick him up and put him on the bench. When the season begins, place him on the DL and snatch up a replacement lower level starter from waivers like a Kawakami.
When Dice-K starts to pitch, he is going to put up at least 14 wins for you this season. Ben Sheets is coming back from injury and is on a new team. Sheets would be a nice number 9 pitcher on your roster who could pay off big time.
Ted Lilly and Randy Wolf are really cheap steadfast pitchers that you could place on your 7 or 8 slots. Some other pitchers you might want for later in the draft are John Maine, Jason Marquis, Hiroki Kuroda and Joel Pineiro.
Your top closers are Mariano Rivera, Jonathan Papelbon, Francisco Rodriguez, Heath Bell, and Jonathan Broxton. I would always snatch up one of those names to help out in the superhero saving. Some guys throw away the saves category which I believe to be a big mistake. If you can’t grab a top tier guy, you should pick up Jose Valverde and Frank Francisco.
With Joe Nathan out for the season, the Twins closing spot may be a revolving door so stay away from the flavor of the week. Brad Lidge will bounce back after a horrific 2009. He is listed for $1 on most auction drafts and nearly forgotten on snake drafts. He will start the season on the 15-day DL but he will return with championship thunder when he steps back on the mound. Lidge would be a great last pick for your team.
Everyone gets giddy like a school girl when talking about sleepers. All fantasy owners want to find that virtual unknown. You imagine putting him on the mound and giving you an unexpected 12 plus wins. It will be the talk of the town. You must take Brian Matusz of the Baltimore Orioles if you are in a keeper league.
Another sleeper pick to wow your opponents is Kyle Drabek of the Toronto Blue Jays. Kyle’s dad is CY Young winner Doug Drabek. Your pitching staff is now ready to fast ball your way to a fantasy baseball championship.
For fantasy baseball advice and MLB team previews, head over to MLB Soup.