Get these 5 pitching stats down and you’ll always choose the right arm.
Most MLB Daily Fantasy Players will agree, properly selecting pitchers is the most important aspect of MLB DFS. Here’s our list of the 5 most important pitching stats for your MLB DFS pitching selections:
1. WHIP – Walks Plus Hits per Innings Pitched accounts for the two most common of the four stats where pitchers can lose fantasy points on DraftKings (on FanDuel pitchers only lose points to Earned Runs). Pitchers can lose fantasy points from Earned Runs Allowed, Hits Against, Base on Balls Against (Walks), and Hit Basemen, Hits and Walks being the most common. You can use WHIP as a basic way to evaluate pitchers as a whole, specifically to evaluate the stats that will lose them fantasy points.
2. xFIP – Expected Fielding Independent Pitching attempts to improve upon ERA. xFIP is ERA assuming league average results on balls put into play and league average results on home run to fly ball ratio. Like BABIP for batters, xFIP attempts to take out the ‘luck’ aspect of pitching. xFIP can give you a more accurate look into how a pitcher has been pitching with the more high variance variables estimated out of the equation. Differences between ERA and xFIP can lead you to find overvalued or undervalued pitchers. If a pitchers xFIP is higher than his ERA, it’s likely his DFS salaries are inflated and he’s overvalued. If a pitchers xFIP is lower than his ERA, his DFS salaries are likely depressed and he’s undervalued.
3. SIERA – Skill Interactive ERA attempts to go even further than xFIP to take out the ‘luck’ aspects of pitcher performances. It goes more in depth by accounting for the differences in batted balls against pitchers. SIERA has been the most accurate ERA estimator, yet some people don’t agree entirely about the way it views the differences in batted balls. It can be used the same way as xFIP for identifying value in pitchers and we’d recommend using a combination of the two pitching stats.
4. K/9 – Strikeouts per 9 Innings is what you think it is. While I’d prefer a K/G (Strikeouts per Game) statistic for DFS, that stat is less easy to find. K/9 gives you a good idea of how effective a pitcher is at striking out batters. Strikeouts are very important as they’re the only stat where a pitcher can gain Fantasy Points within the course of an inning. This is true on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Targeting elite strikeout pitchers is of paramount importance, especially in cash games.
5. IP/G – Average Innings Pitched per Game is important because it shows you how many opportunities to score fantasy points a pitcher gets on a consistent basis. Just as we like to target batters early in the batting order due to their increased opportunities we aim to target the pitchers who have the most opportunities. This is even more important for pitchers as they get points just for showing up. Both DraftKings and FanDuel award fantasy points for every inning a pitcher plays. A lower IP/G can also sometimes be an indication of a pitcher prone to ‘blowing up’ and getting pulled.