Ottoneu, like most fantasy leagues, uses a soft innings cap. This is pretty standard. You have an innings limit of 1,500 IP, and the day that you go over that innings limit, you are able to exceed it by as many innings as possible. How can we use this rule in our pursuit of a league championship?
Looking at Ottoneu specifically, though easily adjustable to any league format, you would want to get as close as possible to your innings limit, then on the last day, fill out your pitching lineup with players who are pitching that day. For example, start the day you plan to go over with 1,499 IP and throw 5 starters that day, with 5 RP in your lineup as well. Practically, this could get you another ~25-40 innings. Even if these innings fell below replacement level, they are still valuable as they would not be points you would otherwise accrue. Even if your pitchers were terrible across the board you would be looking at a lower bound of around 50 points, with an upper limit in the 250 point range. That’s a big gain on competitors who may not deploy the same tactic.
This is the main reason I recommend pacing your innings at 1,550 to 1,600 all year. It allows the flexibility to wait a week or two to pick your last day to blow up your pitching totals.
While the natural jumping off point would be to get into probable patchups, the first thing I want to show is the number of MLB games per day as we move toward the rest of the season.
This is helpful, as you will likely have to pick up starters to play 5 in a day. The main implications are that 9/18, 9/21, 9/25, and 9/28 are short days. You will have a more difficult time getting 5 starters on those days than on others just due to the number of games played.
Below, I have also included the pitching matchups via MLB.com that are public through September 19. I’ll run an updated version next week. This will have to run in stints, as the probable pitchers after the 20th aren’t set at this point. However, you can speculate if trying to get a jump on the auctions that need to be started. (From MLB.com)
|Date||Away||Home||Time (ET)||Away Probable||Home Probable|
|9/15/2017||Cardinals||Cubs||2:20:00 PM||Martinez, Carlos (11-10)||Lackey, John (11-11)|
|9/15/2017||Orioles||Yankees||7:05:00 PM||Ynoa, Gabriel (1-1)||Severino, Luis (12-6)|
|9/15/2017||Dodgers||Nationals||7:05:00 PM||Wood, Alex (14-3)||Jackson, Edwin (5-5)|
|9/15/2017||Athletics||Phillies||7:05:00 PM||Mengden, Daniel (0-1)||Leiter, Mark (3-5)|
|9/15/2017||Red Sox||Rays||7:10:00 PM||Sale, Chris (16-7)||Andriese, Matt (5-3)|
|9/15/2017||White Sox||Tigers||7:10:00 PM||Fulmer, Carson (2-1)||Sanchez, Anibal (3-4)|
|9/15/2017||Royals||Indians||7:10:00 PM||Vargas, Jason (15-10)||Bauer, Trevor (16-8)|
|9/15/2017||Pirates||Reds||7:10:00 PM||Kuhl, Chad (7-10)||Bailey, Homer (4-8)|
|9/15/2017||Mets||Braves||7:35:00 PM||Montero, Rafael (5-9)||Newcomb, Sean (2-8)|
|9/15/2017||Brewers||Marlins||8:10:00 PM||TBD||Urena, Jose (13-6)|
|9/15/2017||Mariners||Astros||8:10:00 PM||Paxton, James (12-3)||Morton, Charlie (11-7)|
|9/15/2017||Blue Jays||Twins||8:10:00 PM||Happ, J.A. (8-10)||Colon, Bartolo (4-4)|
|9/15/2017||Padres||Rockies||8:40:00 PM||Richard, Clayton (7-13)||Chatwood, Tyler (7-12)|
|9/15/2017||Rangers||Angels||10:07:00 PM||Martinez, Nick (3-6)||Norris, Bud (2-5)|
|9/15/2017||D-backs||Giants||10:15:00 PM||Ray, Robbie (13-5)||Samardzija, Jeff (9-13)|
|9/16/2017||Dodgers||Nationals||1:05:00 PM||Hill, Rich (9-8)||Cole, A.J. (2-4)|
|9/16/2017||Mariners||Astros||1:05:00 PM||Ramirez, Erasmo (1-2)||Keuchel, Dallas (12-4)|
|9/16/2017||Orioles||Yankees||4:05:00 PM||Hellickson, Jeremy (2-4)||Montgomery, Jordan (7-7)|
|9/16/2017||Cardinals||Cubs||4:05:00 PM||Wacha, Michael (12-7)||Hendricks, Kyle (6-5)|
|9/16/2017||Royals||Indians||4:10:00 PM||Hammel, Jason (8-11)||Carrasco, Carlos (15-6)|
|9/16/2017||Pirates||Reds||4:10:00 PM||Nova, Ivan (11-13)||Romano, Sal (4-6)|
|9/16/2017||Red Sox||Rays||6:10:00 PM||Porcello, Rick (9-17)||Cobb, Alex (11-9)|
|9/16/2017||White Sox||Tigers||6:10:00 PM||Lopez, Reynaldo (1-3)||Jaye, Myles (1-1)|
|9/16/2017||Athletics||Phillies||7:05:00 PM||Graveman, Kendall (5-4)||Lively, Ben (3-6)|
|9/16/2017||Brewers||Marlins||7:10:00 PM||Davies, Zach (17-8)||Conley, Adam (6-7)|
|9/16/2017||Mets||Braves||7:10:00 PM||deGrom, Jacob (14-9)||Dickey, R.A. (9-9)|
|9/16/2017||Blue Jays||Twins||7:10:00 PM||Estrada, Marco (8-8)||Mejia, Adalberto (4-5)|
|9/16/2017||Padres||Rockies||8:10:00 PM||Lyles, Jordan (1-0)||Anderson, Tyler (4-5)|
|9/16/2017||D-backs||Giants||9:05:00 PM||Greinke, Zack (16-6)||Bumgarner, Madison (3-8)|
|9/16/2017||Rangers||Angels||9:07:00 PM||Hamels, Cole (10-3)||Bridwell, Parker (7-2)|
|9/17/2017||Orioles||Yankees||1:05:00 PM||TBD||Sabathia, CC (11-5)|
|9/17/2017||Red Sox||Rays||1:10:00 PM||Rodriguez, Eduardo (5-5)||Odorizzi, Jake (8-8)|
|9/17/2017||White Sox||Tigers||1:10:00 PM||TBD||Boyd, Matthew (5-10)|
|9/17/2017||Royals||Indians||1:10:00 PM||TBD||Kluber, Corey (16-4)|
|9/17/2017||Pirates||Reds||1:10:00 PM||Cole, Gerrit (11-10)||Stephenson, Robert (4-5)|
|9/17/2017||Mets||Braves||1:35:00 PM||Gsellman, Robert (6-7)||Teheran, Julio (11-11)|
|9/17/2017||Athletics||Phillies||1:35:00 PM||Manaea, Sean (10-10)||Alvarez, Henderson (0-0)|
|9/17/2017||Brewers||Marlins||2:10:00 PM||Woodruff, Brandon (1-2)||Peters, Dillon (0-1)|
|9/17/2017||Mariners||Astros||2:10:00 PM||Moore, Andrew (1-3)||Verlander, Justin (2-0)|
|9/17/2017||Blue Jays||Twins||2:10:00 PM||Biagini, Joe (3-10)||Gibson, Kyle (10-10)|
|9/17/2017||Cardinals||Cubs||2:20:00 PM||Lynn, Lance (11-7)||Quintana, Jose (6-3)|
|9/17/2017||Padres||Rockies||3:10:00 PM||Chacin, Jhoulys (12-10)||Gray, Jon (8-4)|
|9/17/2017||Rangers||Angels||3:37:00 PM||Gonzalez, Miguel (0-1)||Richards, Garrett (0-1)|
|9/17/2017||D-backs||Giants||4:05:00 PM||Walker, Taijuan (9-7)||Stratton, Chris (2-3)|
|9/17/2017||Dodgers||Nationals||8:08:00 PM||Ryu, Hyun-Jin (5-7)||Strasburg, Stephen (13-4)|
|9/18/2017||Red Sox||Orioles||7:05:00 PM||TBD||TBD|
|9/18/2017||Mets||Marlins||7:10:00 PM||Harvey, Matt (5-5)||TBD|
|9/19/2017||Red Sox||Orioles||7:05:00 PM||TBD||TBD|
|9/19/2017||Royals||Blue Jays||7:07:00 PM||TBD||TBD|
|9/19/2017||Cubs||Rays||7:10:00 PM||Lester, Jon (11-7)||TBD|
|9/19/2017||Mets||Marlins||7:10:00 PM||Lugo, Seth (6-5)||TBD|
|9/19/2017||White Sox||Astros||8:10:00 PM||TBD||TBD|
|9/19/2017||Rangers||Mariners||10:10:00 PM||Perez, Martin (12-11)||TBD|
MLB.com does not list a starter after 9/20/2017. What are the practical implications?
First, the last day to start auctions is 2 days before the final day of the season. September 30, 11:59 PM. Auctions cannot continue into the offseason.
Second, note the game times. Because of the 40-man rosters within Ottoneu, you probably have a couple players you could cut to pick up a pitcher. If you didn’t want to make a cut, you could start a pitcher at an earlier time slot. Next, schedule the pick up a pitcher with a game start time later in the day and cut the pitcher who has already started an earlier game. For example, I could start Joe Biagini on September 17 at 2:10 ET, while having an auction for Miguel Gonzalez ending at 3:00 ET the same day. I could pick up Gonzalez, and cut Biagini (who is already frozen into his lineup spot) and then start Gonzalez in his 3:37 ET game.
Good luck starting those auctions! The plan is to run an updated version of this with updated matchups next week.
Joe works at a consulting firm in Pittsburgh. When he isn't working or studying for actuarial exams, he focuses on baseball. He also writes @thepointofpgh. Follow him on twitter @Ottoneutrades