Fantasy Baseball: Choosing Pitchers in 2018

Playing Fantasy Baseball is an art, and at times a way to make some money.  Depending on the league you play with the winnings can add up, so can the losses.  Major League Baseball has long been a loved sport, even for the bystander. The vicarious thrills afforded those who indulge in this fantasy keep them hooked.

The past couple of seasons have been quite the adrenaline rush. With home runs racking up the points the offensive performance of most all of the teams have been outstanding.  The thing Fantasy Baseball players want to keep a sharp eye on is the pitching line up.  Perhaps you’ve been playing Fantasy Baseball for years and have your own methods for choosing players.  This year it would be wise to make some adjustments to your strategy.

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Trends to Be Aware of This Season:

One common method is to pick an all star pitcher.  One who plays in the game a lot scoring you points.  However, recently pitchers are being kept on the disabled list for longer periods of time.  There is a new regulation that can keep a pitcher on the bench for up to 10 days.  This 10 day disabled list effects the game time of these players.  Word has it that the Dodgers used this ordinance last year as part of their pitching order strategy, enabling a six-pitcher starting rotation.  More and more teams are favoring this method to protect their investments in key players.

Another consideration is the increasing strikeouts. This has been on the rise since 2014 and they are reaching higher number of strikeouts in less innings. Starters are pitching less innings as well. When you compare the 2015 season with the 2017 season, you can see that 27 out of 53 starting pitchers threw over 200 innings. In 2017 only 15 threw over 200 out of 34.

What Should You Do?

In the light of these changes, this season you should adjust your roster layout.  When drafting pitchers, make an effort to secure at least two top rated pitchers. This will add some stability to your team.  Look for a pitcher that plays around 150 innings or more.  They should have at least one strikeout per inning.  You can see the list below for some recommendations. Second, try to acquire pitchers that tend to throw high groundball rates.  When the batter can’t make hard contact, the ball tends to move along the ground.  The 2017 average for groundball, or no “hard-hit contact”, was 44 percent. You’ll want to draft players that will exceed that average.  Some good ones to look at are: Sonny Gray, Lance Lynn and Zach Davies.

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Be careful not to pick players that don’t meet these standards.  It would be better for you to fill your roster with middle rated relievers that deliver these results and then rotate them in at the right time. This will also benefit you in ratio categories such as the ERA and the WHIP. Here are some good middle rated relief pitchers to take a look at: Jerry Blevins, Matt Albers, Carl Edwards Jr. and Chad Green.

The days of choosing superstar players just because they’re your hero is over.  To be successful at Fantasy Baseball you need a methodical strategy that will achieve results. Meditate of the ideas presented in this article and customize your own method. Let’s “play ball”!


  • Dodgers – Clayton Kershaw
  • Nationals – Max Scherzer
  • Red Sox – Chris Sale
  • Indians – Corey Kluber
  • Mets – Noah Syndergaard
  • Nationals – Stephen Strasburg
  • Giants – Madison Bumgarner
  • Indians – Carlos Carrasco
  • Yankees – Luis Severino
  • Astros – Justin Verlander

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