Go to Strat-O-Matic Baseball: 2008 season Rankings and sort by winning percentage. Keep Scrolling down the list until you find a manager with at least 10 teams. At the time of this writing, one manager has a .573 winning percentage! Of the 10 teams, I found 5 seasons where he won at least 94 games 4 out of 5 times. One team won 108 games!
I thought it would be interesting to analyze these teams to see what kind of formula this manager has put together. These teams played in primarily pitcher parks and Fenway Park was a favorite.
The one thing that stood out was the team on base percentage. Two teams had a .380 OBP. Of the five teams, the lowest team OBP was .358. The average slugging percentage was .446.
So far, Milton Bradley at DH and Mike Fontenot at 2B have been favorites. Both of these players have been on every single team. Pablo Sandoval is used at 1B and Brian McCann is the catcher. All outfielders have excellent OBP percentage and/or high double chances. Matt Holliday or Ryan Spilborghs play in left field, Nyler Morgan in Center field, and Brian Giles in right field. This appears to make a pretty solid lineup so far. The only position left is shortstop and no player has really been a fixture here. Orlando Cabrera has been used a couple times.
Luis Rodriguez was found on every team. He can play SS, 2B, 1B, and 3B. He has 28 single chances against right-handed pitchers and also has a good OBP against right handers. Against left handed pitchers Blake Dewitt and Jeff Keppinger were taken most of the time. Milton Bradley has an injury on a 3 so any of these bench guys can fill in for Bradley at DH.
For this manager, only one team had a * (Needs only 3 days of rest between starts.) starting rotation. All of the other teams used non * starting pitchers. For an $80M salary cap, an average of $26.38M was used for these pitching staffs.
For the starting rotation the following pitchers were used on a total of 5 teams:
With the exception of Harden being drafted a couple times, the highest paid SP was always usually around the 3.5M-3.7M range.
For the bullpen, Dan Giese was the setup man four times and Hong-Chih Kuo was on the team three times. Both of these pitchers have a relief endurance of R3. If you browse the Strat-O-Matic 2008 card-set these two pitchers are probably the only quality non-starting relievers that have an R3 rating. Having an R3 reliever in your pitching staff appears to be essential for success.
For the closer Bobby Jenks was primarily taken. He’s affordable at $3.55M and has a C6 rating.
For pitching, the strategy appears to be to use a starting rotation of non * pitchers with endurance ratings of S6 or lower and then have a setup man with an R3 rating pitch around 200-250 innings in relief. A closer with a C5 or C6 closer rating is also a prerequisite for success.