Lost password?

Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!


Receive free daily analysis


Already have an account? Log In


Forgot Password


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Draft Rankings
Draft Simulator
Enter League Settings
Player Comparisons
Rookies & Call-Ups
24x7 News and Alerts

Diving Into Pitch Counts For a Shortened Season

Pitchers who produce a ton of innings are a rare commodity in today’s game, with those who consistently put up 200 or more innings becoming increasingly valuable. However, with a potential shortened 2020 season and no innings limits, will this playing field be leveled?

At first thought, one might think that pitchers with assumed limits like Julio Urias, Chris Paddack, Lance McCullers Jr., and Jesus Luzardo should be moved up your rankings. That may not always be the case, however, as pitch count limits will still be a factor. Someone like Urias may see a maximum of five innings per start, whereas a pitcher like Lance Lynn will be pitching into the seventh and beyond. 

Pitchers who are more efficient in their pitches per inning and those allowed to go deeper in games have more chances to accumulate counting stats, translating to more fantasy value. Shane Bieber and James Paxton may have had similar K-rates in the second-half of 2019 but Bieber gave you 118 K in 102 innings, while Paxton had only 91 K in 74.1 IP. With that in mind, let's dive into the pitchers most likely to go deeper and whether they should move on your draft board.

Featured Promo: Get your 2023 MLB Premium Pass for 50% off. Exclusive access to our preseason Draft Kit, #1 accuracy rankings, #1 ATC projections, Team Sync platform, Live Draft Assistant, 15 in-season lineup tools, customized rankings and much more! Sign Up Now!


Pitch Count Leaderboards

First, let's look at the top-12 pitchers in 2019 that averaged the most pitches per game:

Player Pitches/Game
Trevor Bauer 108.4
Lance Lynn 107.7
Mike Minor 104.9
Jacob deGrom 103.0
Eduardo Rodriguez 102.8
Max Scherzer 102.6
Stephen Strasburg 102.5
Zack Wheeler 101.9
Gerrit Cole 101.9
Justin Verlander 101.4
Shane Bieber 101.0
Patrick Corbin 100.0

Notably, all of the above - save Scherzer and Wheeler - pitched at least 200 innings in 2019. The most efficient of this bunch were Verlander and Bieber, respectively averaging 15.5 and 15.6 pitches-per-innings. In terms of efficiency, here are the rest of the leaders in the category:

Player Pitches/Inning
Mike Soroka 14.6
Hyun-Jin Ryu 14.8
Zack Greinke 14.9
Clayton Kershaw 15.0
German Marquez 15.0
Mike Leake 15.1
Brett Anderson 15.2
Kyle Hendricks 15.3
Masahiro Tanaka 15.5
Justin Verlander 15.5
Shane Bieber 15.6

Out of this bunch, only Kershaw, Verlander, and Bieber averaged 95 or more pitches per start. This begs the question, who becomes more valuable in a shortened season based on efficiency per inning and pitch count per start? With that in mind, let's look at some of the pitchers above and decide whether they should rise in your rankings, or stay the same. 


Top 100 Players in NFBC ADP

Shane Bieber, 26.7 ADP

Shane Bieber was the breakout of all breakouts last year, easily surpassing everyone’s expectations. As you can see from the tables above he was also extremely efficient and consequentially,  the Cleveland Indians let him go deep into games. The biggest issue to worry about is whether Bieber’s elite control (with a career 4.7 BB% in 328 IP) takes a step back. His numbers could also suffer if a 1.3 HR/9 that was tied for 40th among 61 qualified pitchers, becomes more of an issue. With that said, Bieber still has elite talent and should see another great campaign in 2020.

Verdict: Raise

Justin Verlander, 20.4 ADP

Justin Verlander had an amazing 2019 season, edging out his teammates Gerrit Cole for the AL CY Young award. Just like Beiber, Verlander was extremely efficient and the Houston Astros let him pitch deep into games. Now 37-years-old, some may worry he could start to fall off an age-induced cliff but Verlander has yet to show any signs of slowing down. 

Verdict: Raise

Trevor Bauer, 82 ADP

After an amazing 2018 campaign, Bauer turned in an extremely disappointing year for both his MLB and fantasy owners and was traded to the Cincinnati Reds mid-season. As he tinkers a lot with his pitches, Bauer can be hard to figure out, both for batters and fantasy owners trying to predict his production. While he wasn’t remarkably efficient, he did pitch deep into games and finished with a career-high 213 IP, his most since having 190 IP in 2016.

Bauer is most dependant on his four-seamer but the pitch took a big step back in 2019, with a .430 wOBAcon against it, after the pitch garnered a .316 wOBACon in 2018. And his slider performance also slid back, with a .410 wOBAcon that was 150-points higher than the year before, and an 18.3% SwStr% that was a three-point drop. 

He's been a relative workhouse these past few years but a drop in pitch performance and a move to a more hitter-friendly park is enough reason to leave him where he is.

Verdict: Keep


Pitchers Going After 100 ADP

Mike Soroka, 108 ADP

Mike Soroka had a glorious rookie campaign and finished as the most efficient pitcher in baseball. His 14.6 pitches per inning are extremely low but not surprising as he was masterful on the mound in 2019. While his K% is rather low and he seems like a Kyle Hendricks he is still young and could potentially grow into more of a strikeout pitcher. With that potential and no reason for the Braves to hold him back, you should be raising Soroka in your rankings.

Verdict: Raise

Lance Lynn, 118.9 ADP

Lynn became the master of fastballs in 2019, increasing his four-seam usage from 46% in the first half to 59% in the second half, while his average velocity rose from 94.2 mph to 94.9 mph. With great command and by hitting the top of the zone frequently, Lynn was able to continually go deep into games in 2019. It is hard to find a hole in Lynn’s game and since he should keep racking up the innings, raising him in your rankings might be a good idea.

Verdict: Raise

Eduardo Rodriguez, 135.6 ADP

Eduardo Rodriguez enjoyed himself a little breakout campaign in 2019, finishing with 19 wins in 203.1 innings while inducing 67.2% weak-contact. The Red Sox really let him off the leash as Rodriguez had one of the highest pitch counts in baseball. But with previous health issues holding him to just 267 IP in 2017 and 2018 combined, the advantage might not be there in 2020.

Verdict: Keep

Hyun-Jin Ryu, 147.5 ADP

Ryu was the second most efficient pitcher in baseball last year which isn’t surprising since he led the league with a 2.32 ERA. Much like Soroka, Ryu pitches for weak contact and whenever he is on the mound he seems to always be a quality pitcher. The downside is Ryu has only had two healthy years in his career, which could really hurt owners in a shortened season. He also has a brick wall of a defender in Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at third base, with the rest of the infield also needing improvement. Based on health and a shaky defense, Ryu should be kept where he is. 

Verdict: Keep

Mike Minor, 174.9 ADP

A teammate of Lynn, Minor also threw a ton of fastballs, with his 1,497 four-seamers the 11th-most thrown in 2019. Paired with an effective changeup, Minor rode the deadly combo to success. Batters managed only a .178 AVG against the changeup with a 24.8% K-rate.

Minor seemed to really take advantage of volume, needing 208.1 IP to rack up 200 K. While he did go deep into games, a shortened season might not be long enough for him to provide an advantage. There is also the question of how good his fastball and changeup really are, given that 2019 was his most successful year to date with the pitches. This leads to a verdict of keeping him where he is in your rankings. 

Verdict: Keep

More 2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Draft Rankings
Draft Simulator
Enter League Settings
Player Comparisons
Rookies & Call-Ups
24x7 News and Alerts


Kyle Hendricks11 mins ago

Has Three Bullpen Sessions Lined Up
Caleb Martin18 mins ago

Available To Play Wednesday
Kyle Lowry23 mins ago

Will Play Versus Knicks
Torey Krug23 mins ago

Won't Play On Thursday
Filip Hronek28 mins ago

Set For Canucks Debut Thursday
Kyrie Irving28 mins ago

Remains Out Versus Golden State
Luka Doncic35 mins ago

Will Play Wednesday
Bradley Beal38 mins ago

Sitting Versus Nuggets
Elvis Merzlikins42 mins ago

Available For Selection Again
Connor Ingram54 mins ago

Faces Oilers Wednesday
Brandon Nimmo55 mins ago

Could Be Ready For Games This Weekend
Stuart Skinner1 hour ago

In Oilers Crease On Wednesday
Darren Helm1 hour ago

Returns To Action Wednesday
Cale Makar1 hour ago

Misses Another Game Wednesday
Colton Cowser2 hours ago

Orioles Reassign Colton Cowser
Heston Kjerstad2 hours ago

Gets Reassigned
Oswald Peraza2 hours ago

Continues To Struggle
Keldon Johnson3 hours ago

Could Miss Second Consecutive Game
Jalen McDaniels3 hours ago

Questionable With Hip Soreness
Karl-Anthony Towns3 hours ago

Expected To Return On Wednesday
Bradley Beal3 hours ago

Now Listed As Questionable On Wednesday
Jordan Clarkson3 hours ago

Remains Sidelined With Finger Sprain
Lauri Markkanen3 hours ago

Is Available On Wednesday
Zion Williamson3 hours ago

Cleared For On-Court Activities
Paul George3 hours ago

Will Miss At Least Two-To-Three Weeks
D'Ernest Johnson4 hours ago

Signs With Jaguars
C.J. Stroud5 hours ago

Panthers Meet With C.J. Stroud
Jaxon Smith-Njigba5 hours ago

Runs 4.53 Unofficial Forty
DeAndre Hopkins5 hours ago

Not On Browns' Radar
Russell Wilson5 hours ago

Expected To Be Fine For OTAs
Hunter Brown7 hours ago

Scratched On Wednesday
Brandon Ingram7 hours ago

Scores Game-High 32 Points In Easy Win
Donovan Mitchell7 hours ago

Scores At Will Against Brooklyn
Trae Young7 hours ago

Collects Another Double-Double In Win
Marvin Bagley7 hours ago

III Goes Off For 31 Points
Paolo Banchero8 hours ago

Falls Just Shy Of A Triple-Double
Kristaps Porzingis8 hours ago

Scores 30 Points In Losing Effort
Derrick White8 hours ago

Puts Together Well-Rounded Stat Line
Jayson Tatum8 hours ago

Picks Apart Sacramento On Tuesday
Miro Heiskanen8 hours ago

Matches Franchise Record Tuesday
Brett Baty8 hours ago

Survives Another Round Of Cuts
Wyatt Johnston8 hours ago

Pushes His Goal Streak To Five Games
Brandon Tanev8 hours ago

Produces A Big Performance Against Dallas
Francisco Alvarez8 hours ago

Mets Demote Francisco Alvarez
Luke Evangelista8 hours ago

Ties Franchise Record With Four-Point Period
Quinn Hughes8 hours ago

Continues Multi-Assist Streak
Troy Terry8 hours ago

Exits With Injury
Brock Nelson9 hours ago

Injured Versus Toronto
Josh Anderson9 hours ago

Gets Hurt Tuesday
Shintaro Fujinami18 hours ago

To Receive Extra Rest Between Regular Season Starts
Juan Soto18 hours ago

Oblique Strain Deemed "Minimal"
Clayton Kershaw18 hours ago

Pitches Well Tuesday
Byron Buxton18 hours ago

To Serve Primarily As DH
Lucas Giolito18 hours ago

Not Concerned With Velocity Dip Tuesday
Alex Ovechkin18 hours ago

Lights The Lamp In Capitals Loss
Shohei Ohtani18 hours ago

Wins World Baseball Classic MVP Award
Jack Roslovic18 hours ago

Scores Twice in Columbus Victory
Brandon Nimmo22 hours ago

Tests His Ankle/Knee
Noah Syndergaard22 hours ago

Pitches Through Blister Issue Tuesday
Drew Pomeranz22 hours ago

Unlikely To Be Ready For Opening Day
Julio Urías22 hours ago

Julio Urias Likely To Start Opening Day For Dodgers
Dakota Hudson22 hours ago

Matthew Liberatore, Dakota Hudson Optioned Tuesday
Zac Veen22 hours ago

Rockies Reassign Zac Veen To Minor-League Camp
Juan Soto22 hours ago

Getting An MRI On Tuesday
Taylor Montgomery23 hours ago

A Hard Fade In Austin
Sam Burns23 hours ago

Hard To Trust At WGC Dell Match Play
Kirby Dach1 day ago

Returns To Action Tuesday
Evgeny Kuznetsov1 day ago

A Game-Time Call Tuesday
Ryan Lindgren1 day ago

Back For Rangers Tuesday
Jordan Greenway1 day ago

Won't Play Tuesday
Arizona Cardinals1 day ago

Cardinals Agree With L.J. Collier On One-Year Deal
Dallas Cowboys1 day ago

Cowboys To Re-Sign Dante Fowler To One-Year Deal
Pittsburgh Steelers1 day ago

Steelers Re-Sign Cornerback James Pierre
Max Homa1 day ago

A Strong Contender In Austin
Atlanta Falcons1 day ago

Falcons Planning To Host Calais Campbell
Denver Broncos1 day ago

Broncos Expected To Draft RB This Year
Ronald Jones1 day ago

Cowboys Agree To Deal With Ronald Jones
Austin Ekeler1 day ago

Would Like To Stay With Chargers
Lamar Jackson1 day ago

Ready To Move On From Ravens?
Minnesota Vikings1 day ago

Vikings Re-Sign Jonathan Bullard
Miami Dolphins1 day ago

Dolphins Re-Sign Andrew Van Ginkel
Miles Sanders1 day ago

Viewed As Three-Down Back In Carolina
New England Patriots1 day ago

Dont'a Hightower Announces His Retirement
Bijan Robinson1 day ago

Taking Pre-Draft Visit With Eagles
Isaiah McKenzie1 day ago

Signing With Colts
Philadelphia Eagles1 day ago

Nicholas Morrow Agrees With Eagles
DeAndre Hopkins1 day ago

Interest In DeAndre Hopkins Ramping Up
Tom Hoge1 day ago

A Bracket-Buster In Match Play
Hideki Matsuyama1 day ago

Doesn't Perform In Match Play
Kamaru Usman1 day ago

Unsuccessful In Bid To Recapture Title
Leon Edwards1 day ago

Defends Crown At UFC 286
Viktor Hovland1 day ago

Has Struggled In Match Play
Rafael Fiziev1 day ago

Has Strong Showing But Takes Loss
Justin Gaethje1 day ago

Puts On Another Highlight-Reel Performance
Tyrrell Hatton1 day ago

The Favorite In His Group
Bryan Barberena1 day ago

Suffers Second Straight Submission Loss
Gunnar Nelson1 day ago

Scores Impressive Finish At UFC 286
Will Zalatoris1 day ago

Needs Birdies At WGC Match Play
Jordan Spieth1 day ago

Can Advance At WGC Match Play
Matt Fitzpatrick1 day ago

May Struggle At WGC Match Play
Chris Kirk1 day ago

Draws A Bit Unlucky At WGC Match Play
Patrick Cantlay1 day ago

Has Good Chance At WGC Match Play
Brian Harman1 day ago

Has Putter's Chance To Contend At WGC
Tommy Fleetwood1 day ago

Has Challenge At WGC Match Play
Casey O'Neill2 days ago

Takes First Defeat Against Former Champion
Jennifer Maia2 days ago

Earns Decision Win Over Undefeated Opponent
Roman Dolidze2 days ago

Suffers Setback With Decision Loss
Marvin Vettori2 days ago

Picks Up Decision Win
Kyle Busch2 days ago

Finishes In Top 10 At Atlanta
Ty Gibbs2 days ago

Finishes Strong In Atlanta
Erik Jones2 days ago

Gets His First Top-10 Finish Of The Season
Ryan Blaney2 days ago

Bounces Back From Speeding Penalty
Denny Hamlin2 days ago

Has A Strong Showing
Tyler Reddick2 days ago

Hangs in For Fifth Place At Atlanta
Corey Lajoie3 days ago

Corey LaJoie Uses Course To Advantage On Sunday
Christopher Bell3 days ago

Ends Up With Another Top Five Result
Christopher Bell3 days ago

Brad Keselowski Noses Christopher Bell Out For Second
Joey Logano3 days ago

Goes From Pole To Win Sunday
Todd Gilliland4 days ago

Starts 23rd
Ryan Preece4 days ago

Starts 24th At The AmBetter Health 400
AJ Allmendinger4 days ago

Eyes Another Strong Finish
NASCAR4 days ago

Ricky Stenhouse Eyes Back-To-Back Superspeedway Wins
Tyler Reddick4 days ago

May Be Overlooked
Erik Jones4 days ago

Is A Value Play At Atlanta
Denny Hamlin4 days ago

Seeks Better Results
Noah Gragson4 days ago

Might Surprise At Atlanta Motor Speedway
Austin Dillon4 days ago

Looks To Bounce Back At Atlanta
Ty Dillon4 days ago

Hoping To Keep Car Running At Atlanta
NASCAR4 days ago

J.J. Yeley Starts 34th Sunday At Ambetter Health 400
Kamaru Usman5 days ago

Seeking Second Title Run
Leon Edwards5 days ago

Looks To Defend Crown On Saturday