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What It Takes To Win 2012

Our annual What It Takes To Win series attempts to estimate the stats you will need to place fourth in each of the ten roto categories in a 12-team mixed league with 14 hitters (2 catchers), 9 pitchers, 3 bench spots, and 2 DL spots.  Aiming for fourth in each category might seem like a lame strategy, but if you pull it off you'll have 90 points and a good shot at winning.

Looking at info from various 2011 leagues that followed the above format, here are my estimates for 2012:


  • .270 AVG
  • 271 HR (19 per hitter)
  • 1071 RBI (77 per hitter)
  • 1092 R (78 per hitter)
  • 187 SB (14 per hitter)


  • 3.54 ERA
  • 1.21 WHIP
  • 1328 K (190 per starter, assuming 62 Ks per closer)
  • 99 W (15  per six starters, assuming 4 W per closer)   
  • 101 SV (33 per three closers)

Offense is similar to last year, but pitching continues to improve.  It wasn't long ago that a bunch of  3.75 ERA and 1.25 WHIP starters would result in a strong pitching staff.  These days, a staff of Jordan Zimmermann, Colby Lewis, Shaun Marcum, Gavin Floyd, Brandon McCarthy, and Scott Baker probably isn't going to cut it.  Of course, good relievers help pull your ratios down.

In my projections, about 21 starters meet filters of an ERA below 3.60 and WHIP below 1.23.  Of those, only five are typically drafted after the seventh round: Tommy Hanson, Josh Johnson, Adam Wainwright, Yu Darvish, and Cory Luebke.  Three pitchers coming off injuries, one coming from Japan, and one who made 17 big league starts in 2011.  If you sit out the first seven rounds on starting pitching, you will probably have issues.

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