Finally, a straightforward post about fantasy baseball strategy for a 60-game season. I gave you fantasy baseball strategy for batting average in 60 games and basically shrugged, gave you fantasy baseball strategy for wins in 60 games, which I wrote like a high schooler who had to write 1,000 words on what I did this summer, and wrote a couple hundred really’s. None of this is going to be easy, which I think is why it will be fun. But will this be like your usual fantasy baseball season? No, not at all. Starters will be like following fantasy football advice if guys you drafted were only to play once every fifth game, and 12 times all year. It’s a bit ludicrous, if I’m being honest. Fun when compared to real life? You’re crazy if you don’t think so right now, or have tunneled your ostrich head so far into the sand you can’t see daylight. So, with a 60-game season, what is a fantasy baseball strategy for strikeouts?
1. Innings – Been putting these strategies in order, so I strongly considered placing K/9 first here, and innings second, but K/9 isn’t it this year in 60 games, is it? Chad Green has a lux K/9, but if he’s projected for 26 2/3 IP and 36 Ks, as he in our Steamer projections, are you carrying that or, say, Kyle Gibson, who is projected for 60 Ks? I guess if you have an innings or games started limit, then K/9 might matter, but what kind of crazy league are you in that has an IP limit this year? This year is going to be so nuts no one is reaching their innings limit, unless it’s absurdly low. That top starter is projected for 74 IP, and that feels like it might be high. Think of it like this, most starters throw ~30 IP per month, and there’s two months. One missed start and it all goes out the window. One bad start and that pitcher goes out the window. It’s going to be your number one job this year to max your innings. Everything else is out of your control.
2. K/9 – Well, yeah, dur. Need me to explain it to you? Hopefully not. It’s strikeouts per nine. As I said in the innings blurb, and why I put that first, I don’t know how advantageous it will be to carry, say, Chad Green in a 60-game season. If you’re able to, say, drop Kyle Gibson and grab Green for four games, then pick up Gibson for his next start, then great, but your league is shallow and can I get an invite? In daily leagues, I imagine it’s going to be all about the Streamonator every day. If you can grab a high-end middle reliever to fill your lineup, then drop him for a good starter matchup, then drop that starter for another middle reliever, well, I’m basically telling you how to win the strikeouts category in an RCL, and prolly any league this year. Of course, this is daily leagues. In weekly, it’s back to innings. Two-start starters will be king, but also hard to pin down with guys getting bumped.
3. Rotation Safety – This is sorta innings, but I felt it needed a highlighting. Rotation safety means those 4th and 5th starters who are so yummy with upside and… *pulls out George Costanza wallet, flips through pictures* “Look at this pic of me and Jose Urquidy.” Talking to the picture, “No, ur-a-cutie.” Yeah, good stuff, my dude, but upside your head with upside when the 5th starter gets skipped. Not saying I don’t currently own some of these guys, but 4th and 5th starters might be waiver wire fodder in all leagues by week two, even deep ones. The teams winning their roto leagues this year will have starters who go every fifth day without fail, and for 5+ innings.
In summation: Streamonator is going to be my very special friend this year, as I stream as many guys as possible, and try to secure every two-start starter. Two-start starters this year are going to be as freeing as sweatpants with no Underoos. In a Saves+Holds league? Pretty much streaming all relievers to make room for innings. Have to lose Edwin Diaz? Bummer! No, I’m not sad; I mean I’d just grab Aaron Bummer. In a straight Saves league? Will be harder to juggle out closers, but it might come down to owning one closer, hoping you finish in the middle of the pack with 15-20 saves, while streaming all other spots. Excited about Tyler Glasnow? Me too, but if he starts getting skipped, then sayonara, my young friend. It’s going to be frantic FAABs and waiver wire moves, and nothing like how it is the first month of fantasy baseball season when I try to preach patience. It’s going to be like getting thrust into August when everyone is droppable, and you need to just find the best stats vs. the sexiest name.