The Z Files: Building an Aceless Staff
The Z Files: Building an Aceless Staff

This article is part of our The Z Files series.

For the last couple of weeks, I've explored what a team might look like without elite pitching. In short, the idea is to crush hitting while competing in pitching via shrewd in-season roster management. However, in order to be in position to manage pitching, the pitchers can't be drafted willy-nilly. There's method to the madness. Today's focus will be on the construction of a pitching staff designed to make up for the paucity of ace anchors.

What follows are 100 starting pitchers, sorted into specific groups. Please note, these aren't tiers, though the pitchers are listed in order of preference within each group. Each group carries a trait necessary for a competitive staff. A mix of all these traits is needed. Please keep in mind the intent of this plan is for use in draft and hold leagues, though it can be adapted to standard leagues – you just don't have as deep a set of reserves available to make it work.

At least one arm from the first two groups is obligatory. A mix from the next pair is also necessary, though it doesn't matter which group is selected first, so let draft flow dictate the order. Ideally, you'll leave with at least five, hopefully six pitchers from the first four groups. After that, it doesn't matter which group is targeted, so long as someone from each is on the staff.

Included in the table is the National Fantasy Baseball Championship Average Draft Position (NFBC ADP) for all 15-team

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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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