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Best Ball Pitcher Values for Fantasy Baseball Drafts (2024)

Freddy Peralta - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Draft Sleepers, MLB Injury News

The fantasy baseball season is right around the corner. While some of you have been drafting for months, others are about to get started. For either party, fantasy baseball best ball formats are an excellent way to get your feet wet and dig deeper into the player pool. Best ball can help you get an early look at where players are being drafted in terms of ADP and where you can find pockets of value. 

One of the best parts of the best ball format is you can draft more teams because after the draft it requires no management at all. Each week, your best lineup is set by the computer, meaning no work on your part. This does change the strategy a bit as you need guaranteed plate appearances and innings, as you can't replace injured players with healthy options on the waiver wire. In case you're looking to join a contest, Rival Fantasy's best ball drafts are going on right now for as low as $3 to enter!

It is also important to know your league scoring depending on which site you are playing best ball on. Pay attention to your league settings and scoring format and nearly every website scores differently for best ball. Here’s a list of fantasy baseball draft targets for best ball this season.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball lineup tools and weekly lineup resources:

 

Pitcher Value Picks for Best Ball Drafts

For this article, we are going to focus on Fantrax's best ball scoring, as it is one of the more popular platforms to play on. The table below shows you how it is scored.

Scoring Group Category Points
H H 1
H HR 3
H R 1
H RBI 1
H SB 3
H BB 1
P ER -1.5
P IP 1.5
P QS 3
P SV 6
P K 1.5
P W 3
P H+BB -0.5

*ADP is reflective of Fantrax

 

Freddy Peralta, Milwaukee Brewers

ADP: 55

Peralta looked like one of the best pitchers in baseball in the second half, posting a 2.81 ERA across 73.2 innings with 103 strikeouts and just 16 walks. The ratios were elite, with the ERA below three and his WHIP at 0.88.

First half Peralta had some bumps in the road, but I firmly believe he is closer to the second half Peralta than the first half. If his fastball had a 0.8 percent point higher whiff rate, all four of Peralta's pitches would have had a whiff rate north of 30 percent, which is huge. All three secondaries are excellent whiff pitches, and his fastball misses bats at a high clip as well. The velocity was up a tick last year, and it seems like Peralta is poised to build on his strong second half and could likely finish the year as a top 5-10 arm in 2024.

 

Chris Bassitt, Toronto Blue Jays

ADP: 120

Bassitt flies under the radar year after year and has consistently built up his innings, throwing over 200 last year for the first time in his career. Over the last three seasons, Bassitt has tossed 539 innings with a combined 3.41 ERA and 512 strikeouts.

Being 34, it seems like Bassitt is due for regression each year, but he continues to perform, and the skillset plays extremely well in a points league format like best ball. Last year, he scored 453 points and finished as the 13th-best pitcher based on Fantrax scoring. There is no reason to think he can't finish as a top 20 arm again in 2024, and you don't have to pay that cost.

 

Dylan Cease, San Diego Padres

ADP: 76

Yes, Dylan Cease is highly volatile and has starts where he absolutely destroys your ratios, but that is why he fits a best ball format perfectly. With the computer choosing your best lineup each week, Cease's bad starts won't hurt you at all.

Last season, just nine starting pitchers that tossed qualified innings averaged 15 points per start in Fantrax scoring settings. Cease made 14 starts in which he scored more than 15 points and five in which he scored more than 20 points. Some negative point outings dragged his overall points total down, but at the end of the day, Cease is best suited for best ball, given that his bad starts won't hurt you.

 

Mitch Keller, Pittsburgh Pirates

ADP: 124

Keller reminds me quite a bit of Cease in the sense that his volatility won't kill you in a best ball format. He finished as the 17th-best pitcher based on Fantrax's scoring last season. Keller had eight starts in which he scored more than 20 points and 19 where he scored 15 points. If not for four negative point starts, Keller would have easily finished the year as a top-10 pitcher.

He has continually refined his arsenal, and that is why I don't love the volatility for roto leagues. Keller is a great buy in best ball and is going off the board as the 43rd pitcher based on Fantrax ADP. Buy Mitch Keller in all best ball formats.

 

Bailey Ober, Minnesota Twins

ADP: 161

Ober is boring but as safe as they come, pitching to a 3.43 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP in 2023 with 164 strikeouts in 144 innings. Ober likely sees an innings increase this year, and the volume will only help his case when it comes to points output for best ball formats. He is the kind of rotation stabilizer that is important to have on a roster.

Outside of a stretch of five starts where he did not reach 10 points in any of them, Ober scored 13 or more points in 16 of his 26 starts and only scored negative points once, and it was just a negative one. While Ober is not going to put up huge points totals, if he keeps his pace from 2023 and handles a full season workload will be a top-25 arm who is going 60th off the board among pitchers.



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