The Z Files: Prepping For the Stretch Run, Part Two
The Z Files: Prepping For the Stretch Run, Part Two

This article is part of our The Z Files series.

Last week, some hitting data was investigated to help frame category management. I've been asked if I was going to repeat the study for pitching. The answer is, almost, but not quite.

It's cliché but the axiom, "bully hitting, manage pitching" holds true even as other aspects of the game change. When micro-managing the hitting categories, at-bats are paramount. If allowed by the rules, playing favorable matchups is important. However, especially once injuries kick in, thinning reserves and the available pool in general limits the upgrade between players for the fringe active roster spots. Perhaps better said, the weekly hitting upgrade incurred isn't as significant as managing the pitching side of the ledger where two-start weeks make a huge difference, along with the ability to use a dominant middle reliever in lieu of a one-start arm with a poor matchup.

So, instead of presenting quarterly stats like last week, today's discussion will focus on managing ratios, looking at what it takes to make a serious move in ERA and WHIP. Long-time readers know this is a personal crusade, as many feel the accumulation of innings stifles movement in the ratio categories.

We happen to be at the three-quarter pole, facilitating the math. I'll show my work with ERA, the same conclusion can be drawn doing the analogous exercise with WHIP.

Let's use a 0.05 difference in ERA. Regardless of what your current mark is, to drop it by .05, your pitching needs to be 0.2 better, assuming a similar pacing

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Todd Zola
Todd has been writing about fantasy baseball since 1997. He won NL Tout Wars and Mixed LABR in 2016 as well as a multi-time league winner in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. Todd is now setting his sights even higher: The Rotowire Staff League. Lord Zola, as he's known in the industry, won the 2013 FSWA Fantasy Baseball Article of the Year award and was named the 2017 FSWA Fantasy Baseball Writer of the Year. Todd is a five-time FSWA awards finalist.
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