One of my base strategies that I have been using over the past few years in standard mixed league snake drafts is what I call the “7/10 Split”. I call it that because, well, it’s catchy, but it also represents the basic concept itself. Since there are always tons of pitchers to chose from on any given season and plenty that pop up out of nowhere to become waiver wire gems, I don’t value starters highly on draft day. That is to say that you won’t see me selecting Zack Greinke, CC Sabathia or anyone else that comes off the board early. Instead I try and target my first starter in round seven. The other half of the split is for closers. There aren’t as many closers around as starters, but the turnover rate is always high. Also, it seems like just about every season someone jumps up the charts and becomes a top closer the following season (i.e. Jonathan Broxton). So, I want to target my first closer in the tenth round.
It is important to note that this is more of a guideline than anything else. Not all (or rarely any) drafts go perfectly according to plan, so we need to be flexible. For instance, if starters are suddenly being swallowed up and my round seven targets don’t look like they will make it to round seven I would have to weigh my options in round six and decide whether to go ahead and take my ace then instead of another hitter. The same thing could happen if there is a tremendous run on closers before round ten.
Looking at current ADP data from Mock Draft Central, here are some of the names that could possibly be available using the 7/10 split strategy. I have highlighted specific players that I would target: Starters rounds seven through nine and then relievers in a different color. I’d be happy with any of these names as my ace or number one closer.