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

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:


Already have an account? Log in here.


Forgot Password


Strikeout Rate Risers and Fallers - Buy or Sell for Week 25

Welcome back to the strikeout rate risers and fallers series for Week 25! Each week we will take a look at two K% risers and two fallers, analyze what is behind those changes, and then decide if they are actionable. A pitcher can best control their fate by generating swings and misses, so this exercise holds particular importance for fantasy value. Understanding strikeout trends and the stats behind them can help you sort through all the noise and determine which pitchers are legit and which pitchers should be avoided.

The players in this article were chosen using RotoBaller’s K% Risers and Fallers premium Tool. This tool identifies players who are surging and falling in strikeout percentage over the last 30 days. The goal of this tool is to help you find pitchers who are showing improving or declining K%.

The fantasy playoffs are well underway with only a few weeks left! As you all know, picking and choosing your pitching matchups carefully is essential at this time. I will discuss two interesting strikeout rate risers and two fallers to hopefully help you with your tough decisions this week. Some of these names are repeats from recent weeks because they still raise questions around whether they should be started.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our season-long articles, 15 in-season lineup tools and over 200 days of expert DFS research/tools. Sign Up Now!

Strikeout Rate Risers

All stats current as of Sunday, September 15


Yu Darvish - Chicago Cubs

Season K%: 30.3%, Last 30 Days: 38.3%

Our first K rate riser had a slow start to the season but has been providing more of what fantasy owners have expected lately. The one constant for Yu Darvish this season, however, has been his K rate; his season mark is at 30.3% and that number has been an insane 38.3% over the last 30 days. Darvish's season ERA is now just below 4.00 (3.97), so do owners have anything to worry about for the final few weeks? 

The bottom line is that Darvish has pitched extremely well lately. His 2.01 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, and 2.52 SIERA over his last five starts indicate that everything is clicking. Consequently, he has racked up at least seven strikeouts in each of those starts, including 14 in his last start at the Padres.   

Darvish has always been a strikeout pitcher, but his batted-ball profile and command were questionable at times earlier in the season. Those issues seem to have figured themselves out and Darvish looks like a higher-end fantasy asset once again. He has a two-start week, taking on the Reds in a decent matchup and the Cardinals in a tougher one. Regardless, I would not hesitate to use Darvish this week.

Eric Lauer - San Diego Padres

Season K%: 20.0%, Last 30 Days: 25.9%

Our second K rate riser has been a subpar starter this season but has offered higher strikeout upside lately. Eric Lauer hasn't offered a ton of strikeout upside this season but has a respectable 25.9% K rate over the last 30 days. He is currently available in 81% of leagues, so could Lauer be a useful streamer for the fantasy playoffs?

Unfortunately, Lauer hasn't done enough to make him a trustworthy add. His strikeout numbers over his last five starts were bolstered by an eight-strikeout and a nine-strikeout performance; he only had 11 strikeouts in his other three starts. Aside from that, Lauer posted a 4.81 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, and a 4.59 SIERA over those starts, which don't inspire confidence.

Lauer hasn't pitched well for most of the season and his matchup against the Diamondbacks isn't great. He should not be trusted in the fantasy playoffs with just a couple weeks left.    



Strikeout Rate Fallers

All stats current as of Sunday, September 15


Zack Wheeler - New York Mets

Season K%: 22.9%, Last 30 Days: 14.7%

Well, here we are again. This is Zack Wheeler's fourth straight week on this list. He has pitched better lately overall, but the K rate is still quite low. What's the verdict on Wheeler for this week?

The good news is that Wheeler's woes seem to be behind him. The strikeout numbers of late may still be low, but Wheeler has now strung together four straight starts with just one run allowed. His most recent start was a seven-inning gem against a tough Dodgers matchup with nine strikeouts. We all know Wheeler's upside, so, given his recent performance, it seems like the worries have subsided. Wheeler is on a hot streak at the right time.

Wheeler will be at the Reds this week, a decent matchup. I feel confident in starting him this week, the first time in a while. He seems to be finding his rhythm and fantasy owners should play the hot hand (or arm in this case).


Mike Minor - Texas Rangers

Season K%: 23.6%, Last 30 Days: 16.8%

Our second K rate dud is a veteran who is putting forth an excellent season to this point. Mike Minor has performed extremely well in 2019 despite pitching his home games in hitter-friendly Globe Life Park, posting a 13-9 record with a 3.33 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and a 23.6% K rate through 189 2/3 IP. However, he has struggled lately, posting a 4.99 ERA and a poor 16.8% K rate over the last 30 days. He has been a huge asset for owners this season, but should they leave him on their benches now?

Minor has not been able to find his command lately (1.34 WHIP) and it has affected his ERA and his batted-ball profile (5.15 SIERA). He has been inconsistent, allowing five combined earned runs in three starts and 17 in his other three. His strikeout numbers have of course suffered, but the more worrisome thing is his diminished performance overall.

Minor has a tough matchup at Oakland this week, a team that scored seven runs off him in his last start. While Minor has been great for most of the season, I would not be willing to rely on him in his next start with a fantasy title on the line.


K-Rate Risers and Fallers - Premium Tool

Identifying top strikeout rate risers and fallers for each week can help you spot the best pickups before your competition. RotoBaller's Premium K-Rate Risers and Fallers tool has you covered every day. As thoughtful fantasy baseball players, we won't lead you astray. This tool will soon be active once we have a large enough sample size in the season to be considered reliable.

This type of data is available as part of our Premium MLB Subscription. Don't settle for basic stats and surface-level advice from other sites. RotoBaller brings you advanced statistics and professional analysis that you need to win your fantasy leagues and DFS games, because we're ballers just like you. We are your secret weapon!

More 2019 Fantasy Baseball Advice

More Recent Articles


Fantasy Football News and Injuries - Running Updates

Below is a quick-hit list of running notes on relevant injuries and player news, including pre-game reports and live in-game updates. Stay tuned for updates all throughout the week and on Sunday morning game day:   Week 14 Le'Veon Bell (illness) is questionable to play this week. Marlon Mack is expected to be back on the... Read More

Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Matchups Analysis for Week 14

Welcome to our Week 14 matchup analysis and start/sit column for fantasy football. We'll be covering every single contest from the Sunday slate in one convenient location, helping you make the best decisions for your fantasy lineups. Be sure to check back regularly because this article will be updated as news comes in regarding injuries and other... Read More

Week 14 Fantasy Football Staff Rankings

Below you will find all of RotoBaller's fantasy football weekly rankings, tiers, player news and stats for the 2019 NFL season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Weekly PPR Rankings Weekly Half-PPR Rankings Weekly Standard Rankings Dynasty League Rankings     Fantasy... Read More

Fantasy Football IDP Rankings for Week 14 (Top 100)

The fantasy playoffs are here for most of us, so every position matters that much more. IDP spots often become an afterthought or a set-it-and-forget-it situation but it could be that linebacker who has a monster game or that key interception that makes the difference between winning or going home. Look to our streamer suggestions... Read More

Week 14-16 Playoff Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

The playoffs are here, and that means we're going to do things a little differently. I want to take a look at the playoffs as a whole (and in this case we are considering Weeks 14-16) and determine which DSTs you can ride all the way through and which ones you should stream this week.... Read More

Star Players Who Might Miss the Fantasy Playoffs

As we head into the playoff weeks of fantasy football, you'll hear many experts preach (correctly) the need to stash high-upside handcuffs or backups at quarterback or tight end. You'll inevitably hear about looking ahead three weeks for favorable playoff schedules and thinking less about what the player has done up until now or whether... Read More

Week 14 Busts? Players To Consider Avoiding

It's finally here... The fantasy playoffs for most leagues. Hopefully you have a chance to win a fantasy championship in the next few weeks. If you're lucky, you have a first-round bye and won't have to worry about anything this week except for picking out a Christmas tree and setting up all your holiday decorations.... Read More

Fantasy Football Booms, Busts - Zach Pascal, Jamaal Williams, Gardner Minshew

Whether this is the first week of your playoffs, the last week of your regular season, or the time to win a DFS league to pay for your holiday presents, this is the most crucial week of your fantasy football season. While my booms from last week (Robert Woods, Jack Doyle, Dede Westbrook, Kyle Allen)... Read More

Running Back Start/Sit Advice - Week 14

Pierre Camus and Chris Mangano break down the running back position to help with tough fantasy football lineup decisions for Week 14 of the 2019 NFL season. They decide who to start or sit among those in RB3 or flex consideration. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest... Read More

Wide Receiver Snap Counts and Target Trends - Week 13 Analysis

Wide receivers are essential components toward your ultimate goal of securing league championships. As many of you prepare for your Week 14 matchups, an expanding collection of tools are available that can provide you with an extensive level of knowledge. Those results provide the foundation for this weekly statistical breakdown of the wide receiver position, which... Read More

Week 14 Stream Team - Free Agent and Bye-Week Streamers

Now that the playoffs are beginning in most leagues and the final march for a championship has begun, streaming becomes a  necessary strategy. Knowing who to add and when to start them could be the ultimate difference-maker in a weekly matchup. Making the right streaming decisions could easily be the difference in winning a championship.... Read More

Wide Receiver Start/Sit Advice - Week 14

Pierre Camus and Chris Mangano break down the wide receiver position to help with tough fantasy football lineup decisions for Week 14 of the 2019 NFL season. They decide who to start or sit among those in WR3 or flex consideration. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest... Read More

The King's Week 14 Lineup Rankings and Analysis (Premium Content)

Welcome back, RotoBallers! Below you will find my Week 14 fantasy football lineup rankings for the first round of your playoffs. The ranks are available in PPR, Half PPR, and Standard formats. They will be updated as needed, so make sure to check back for the latest versions, especially on the weekends. Skill Position analysis versus... Read More

Fantasy Football Disaster Recovery: Playoff Panic

Welcome to Disaster Recovery, where each week I'll examine why your studs played like duds. This isn't a place to find out why you should have sat a player for somebody else on your bench. Disaster Recovery is here to examine the guys who you didn't think twice about starting and to help you decide if you should... Read More

Thursday Night Football Matchups Analysis - Week 14

It's that time of year again! While many will be caught up in the thrills of the holiday season, those lucky few who have risen to the top of their fantasy leagues will be sweating over lineup decisions in pursuit of a championship (in most league formats). To our fantasy owners who have managed to... Read More