The fantasy baseball industry is lucky to have many analysts with interesting strategies up their sleeves to target players on draft day or throughout the season via FAAB. One particular strategy I’ve enjoyed using over the years is K%+IFFB%-BB% to target pitchers. Strikeouts and the ability to induce easy pop ups is a recipe for fantasy success. In a perfect world, I’m trying to pair two of the top 25 hurlers along with a few of the middle relievers found atop of the K%+IFFB%-BB% list and some upside arms late in drafts.
I’m definitely not the first to use this, I’ve tweeted about my use of this strategy back in 2016, Jeff Zimmermann wrote about it here and per his discussion, I believe Rob Silver has been using this for a significant period of time (he may be the first!). Zimmermann expands on this strategy and probably makes the math more sound by placing PAs in the denominator. I encourage you to read more of his discussion and reasoning in the previous link. Additionally, I posted last year’s version of this research on the site as well (same topic/parameters, different data leading us to a few different names to target).
I kept this data close during the recent Mixed LABR, Tout Wars Draft & Hold, TGFBI and RazzSlam drafts. Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander are the top two starting pitchers according to this strategy (obviously) while many interesting middle-round arms can be found quite high on this list among names with significantly higher average draft positions. I put my money where my mouth is and selected a mixed bag of the arms atop this list in each of the aforementioned drafts.
Following the publishing of this chart, I will run separate pieces on pitchers to target and avoid that reflect this strategy and their current NFBC ADP.
Side note: I set a 50 inning minimum for innings pitched as a starter. You may create a similar sheet and adjust your innings minimums and toggle between starters and relievers, should you choose.
Here’s a direct link to the chart, but it should also be embedded below. If you have any questions, pop them in the comments and I’ll gladly respond.