Everyone knows they should be drafting Max Scherzer or Aroldis Chapman, but what are the benchmarks you should be using to select the hurlers on your staff?

We talk a lot about drafting skills with regard to pitchers in the fantasy game, but that talk rarely moves to the level of dissecting the numbers we’re actually looking at and for. In what follows, I will lay out the baseline targets in a number of pitching categories. The overall results may or may not have been there in 2016 for these arms, but the skills they displayed are suggestive of success if they are to be replicated in 2017.

THE STRIKEOUT

Starters: At least a K/9 of 7.75
Relievers: At least a K/9 of 8.50

2016 Starters Average: 7.76 per nine
2016 Relievers Average: 8.86 per nine

2016 Major League average: 8.10 per nine

The strikeout is a sign of a pitcher’s ability to dominate hitters. It's also one of the five main categories in 5x5 fantasy leagues. The fewer balls that are put in play, the less...

With the Playbook PRO you’ll be using the full version of this feature within seconds. Click the button below to unlock your Playbook to victory!