Starters With Relief Eligibility
Whether playing in Daily Fantasy Baseball Leagues for big money or just participating in a full season fantasy baseball rotisserie draft, when drafting your fantasy baseball team pithchers, there are many fantasy baseball strategies to look at.
One popular strategy is not to pay big money for closers. Relief pitchers don't log enough innings to really make a difference on your team, and by spending money on closers the risk is that an injury or a poor start can force a loss of the player and a big hole in your lineup.
Here at Real Money, we have always been an advocate of looking for relief or starting pitchers with dual eligibility.
A relief pitcher that will be a starter in the upcoming season provides two advantages. First, having relievers that are starters provides depth on your team. It is always hard to find good starting pitchers, but relievers seem to pop up all the time. If you draft a reliever that is starting, it allows you to bump them up and pick up a simple relief pitcher. Secondly, if the reliever you draft that will be a starter has strength in a particular category (i.e. a high strike out ratio), it will bump up your overall numbers. Coupled with the fact that you will have a better chance for wins, you will eventually see a bump in your pitching numbers if you pick a great relief pitcher.
It is important to not just pick any pitcher that has dual eligibility. There are alot of set up guys that will improve your team much faster than a crappy 5th starter. Every year brings in a new crop of potential players.
list of Dual eligibility Pitchers To Draft
Aroldis Chapman (Cincinnati Reds)
The most popular 2013 Starter with Relief Eligibility pick in your fantasy baseball draft will be Chapman. He has lights out stuff but will it translate over 6-7 innings? Chapman lacks a good 3rd pitch which could leave him vulnerable on some nights. Chapman will be given every opportunity to succeed in 2013 and probably has the best odds of any starter to succeed in his new role.
Kris Medlen (Atlanta Braves)
Medlen pitched well last year both as a starter and as a reliever. His ERA and WHIP were phenomenal and his K/9 ratio was respectable. He qualifies as both a Starter and a Reliever and will be a benefit for your fantasy baseball team no matter where you put him in your lineup.
Hisashi Iwakuma (Seattle Mariners)
Iwakuma is currently projected to be the 2nd starter in Seattle. Having started in the bullpen last year and then moving on to a starter role, Iwakuma pitched well all year. Seattle is a very friendly pitcher's park, so Iwakuma should give you great returns whether you keep him as a starter, or plop him into your relief spot.
Alexi Ogando (Texas Rangers)
Ogando at least has history in this new role. He was a reliever in 2010, then made 29 starts in 2011 and went back to a relief role in 2012. Now he is being summoned again as a starter in 2013. As a starter in 2011 his strikeout ratio went down and came back up again when he went back to the pen. In the end he should be a good source of K’s and have a decent ERA with a good amount of wins for a good team.
Wade Davis (Kansas City Royals)
Previously as a starter in Tampa Bay, Davis had mediocre numbers. As a relief pitcher in 2012 he showed much better velocity and was a very good pitcher. Now in KC, Davis is coming back to his starting pitcher role and at least has the advantage of pitching in a friendlier pitcher’s ballpark. Davis won’t save your fantasy team but he will be a nice back up starter that may get you some extra wins.
Brett Myers (Cleveland Indians)
Although he has been a starter the majority of his career, he has had a few stints as a reliever. Now back as a starter, he has the disadvantage of being a starter in the American League with an ever decreasing K/9 ratio. He does qualify as a 2013 Starter with Relief Eligibility, but proceed with caution if you are drafting him for your fantasy baseball team.
Andrew Cashner (San Diego Padres)
Cashner is a risk/reward pitcher in 2013. Pitching in the friendly confines of Petco Park, Cashner could be a nice bonus for a fantasy manager if he can stay healthy. Pay attention to his spring training stats as he is coming off thumb surgery to begin the year.
Carlos Villanueva (Chicago Cubs)
Villanueva has a decent year in Toronto last year and now moves on to the National League to pitch for the Cubbies. He gets to now face a pitcher every nine hitters and he could be a nice sleeper pick who doubles as a Starter with Relief Eligibility.
Francisco Liriano (Pittsburgh Pirates)
A risky fantasy pick in 2013, Liriano is coming off an offseason injury hoping to only miss a start or two during the season. Liriano is looking to regain his old form and a move to the N.L. could be the chance he needs. He may not get a load of wins in Pittsburgh but his K’s/9 should help you out. His ERA has been brutal the last 2 years so proceed only if you believe he can become a fantasy stud again.
Lance Lynn (St. Louis Cardinals)
You may have to double check your fantasy league’s rules to see if Lynn qualifies as a reliever. He made 6 appearances in the bullpen and 29 starts, so in some leagues he may not qualify. If he does qualify as a reliever in your league you are in for some great fantasy numbers if Lynn can repeat his 2012 fantasy year.
List of Other Notables With Relief Eligibility
The following is a list of other starting pitchers that depending on your fantasy league’s rules may be eligible to be a reliever. These aren’t top fantasy choices but in a really deep league, they may be worth considering if you need a final pitcher to fill a spot. Some may also be battle for a spot in spring training and may end up in a long relief role so do your scouting if you are considering any of them.
J.A. Happ – Toronto Blue Jays
Dylan Axelrod – Chicago White Sox
Anthony Bass - San Diego Padres
Travis Blackley - Oakland Athletics
Marco Estrada – Milwaukee Brewers
Ross Detwiler – Washington Nationals
Kyle Kendrick – Philadelphia Phillies
Eric Stults - San Diego Padres
David Phelps – New York Yankees
Hector Santiago - Chicago White Sox
Erasmo Ramirez - Seattle Mariners
Drew Smyly - Detroit Tigers
Franklin Morales - Boston Red Sox
Steve Johnson - Baltimore Orioles
Joe Kelly - St Louis Cardinals
Although you can scour for more players, you would need an extremely deep mixed league to need any pitchers below the ranking of the ones in the list above.