How Many Starters?

Dear Rotoman:

Currently 2nd place in my NFC league. Punting in Saves, but have been acquiring players for a run at stolen bases, thinking RBIs and HRs will improve in the second half. My question, I am about to embark on a strategy of employing seven starters, and only two relievers, believing my strikeouts will rise, at the risk of jeopardizing my ratios. Is this a reasonable strategy?

Starter Heaven

Hey SH,

The rules of fantasy baseball dictate some things. One important one is that the team with the most at bats will score well in runs and RBIs. Volume matters. Home runs too, in a lot of cases.

Pitching is odder. Consider wins random. Ratios are better for relievers than starters overall, but the best starters dominate the ratios. So finding a balance matters. Your question asks where does that balance happen and my answer is there is no answer.

I’ve had success in recent years finding cheap pitchers who did well, leading my leagues in innings and the ratio categories. But it can go the other way.

The one thing you can count on is that the more innings you post the more strikeouts you’ll put up. Will the ERA and Ratio go up too? Probably, but that isn’t certain. Part of fantasy baseball success is hitting the lucky pockets. Going for quantity and angling for quality is a pretty good strategy, even if it isn’t fool proof.

In other words, go for it. But no guarantees.