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One of the important things in fantasy football is to make sure that your defense isn't starting against your high-scoring offensive players, especially your quarterback. For example, if you had Tom Brady and the Houston Texans' defense on your team, you wouldn't want to start the Houston defense because if Tom Brady is doing well there's a good chance Houston isn't.

I'm wondering if a similar principle applies in fantasy baseball. In my head-to-head points league, I noticed that I have multiple instances where one of my starting pitchers is pitching against one or more of my batters. I'm I going to net less points? Will the points gained by batters significantly impact the points my pitchers get, and vice versa? Ultimately, Is it wise for me to play my starting pitchers against my batters?

Edit: Below I've added the scoring system for my league, per Jacob G's request. I'd be happy with a more general answer, since this becomes pretty localized. But this would be my specific case.

Note that lineups get set on Monday and cannot be changed until the following week.

**Scoring for Batting**
Categories          Settings
Singles             1 point
Doubles             2 points
Triples             3 points
Walks (Batters)     1 point
Caught Stealing     -1 point
Hit by Pitch        1 point
Home Runs           4 points
Strikeouts (Batter) -0.5 points
Runs                1 point
Runs Batted In      1 point
Stolen Bases        2 points

**Scoring for Pitching**
Categories          Settings
Walks Issued (Pitchers) -0.75 points
Blown Saves         -3 points
Complete Games      10 points
Earned Runs         -1 point
Hits Allowed        -0.5 points
Hit Batsmen         -1 point
Innings             2 points
Strikeouts (Pitcher).5 points
Losses              -5 points
Perfect Games       50 points
Quality Starts      3 points
Saves               7 points
Shutouts            15 points
Wins                10 points
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What stats does your league count? –  Jacob G Mar 29 '13 at 13:52
    
@JacobG Good point. I'll edit them in. Although that makes me feel like the question would be too localized and subject to closing. I already feel like it may be a good candidate for closing, anyway. –  SocioMatt Mar 29 '13 at 13:54
1  
I think it's a valid strategy question worth answering that is only partially dependent on stats tracked. –  Jacob G Mar 29 '13 at 14:03

5 Answers 5

up vote 2 down vote accepted

It really depended to me. When I had Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling during their dominant period I would bench my starting batters. With some of my weaker pitchers I would rarely play them against teams that were known great hitters like the Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals. For the rest I just let them play. Worst case if your pitcher gets lit up by your batters you are probably better off having the batters in. Pitchers usually get yanked when they start struggling, this limits your exposure with the pitchers.

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I'm going with this one for the point about pitchers being pulled when they're struggling. –  SocioMatt Apr 8 '13 at 13:13

Unearned Runs doesn't count against ERA. The batters can steal bases, something that will not hurt the pitcher's stat that much (if they steal and fail to score). Sac fly doesn't count as a hit, so it may hurt pitcher's ERA but not whip. The opposite is true too, if your league isn't recording stats related to BB.

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I disagree with the philosophy that you don't start a defense against your starting QB or to bench hitters against your pitchers. In your example Houston D could do fine because they can still return punts/kick-off for TDs or return a fumble for a TD-- both occur without any direct input from the QB.

The same can be said for hitters v. pitchers. Your pitcher could still have a very good outing if, for example, he gives up two solo home runs to your player. In other words, both your players have quality days. It's not an either/or situation.

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This is moneyball. You have statistics for all these guys. Compute what is likely to happen and how many points that will score, and then pick the best lineup based on that.

In principle, it doesn't matter whether your guys are going against each other. It only matters whether you have an alternative for a particular position that you expect to score better.

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I think that you should start your starters against your batters. The impact of one batter's performance on your pitcher should be pretty minimal compared to the prospect of losing a point in a sparser stat like Wins.

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