Lost password?

Don't have an account?
Gain Access Now


Receive free daily analysis


Already have an account? Log In


Forgot Password


Expert Advice
Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Daily Stats & Leaders
All Pitcher Matchups
Compare Any Players
Player Comparisons
Rookies & Call-Ups
24x7 News and Alerts

Using K-BB% to Win Your Fantasy Baseball League

We’ve talked about how a pitcher’s SIERA is greatly influenced by their strikeout and walk rates, with the idea being that creating your own outs deserves more value while allowing batters to reach base for free is the devil. Perhaps you enjoy seeing more focused metrics, or would simply rather see the strikeouts and walks dimension alone.

Here’s where a pitcher’s K-BB% can help you. This percentage is derived from taking a pitcher’s strikeout rate per plate appearance and subtracting their walk rate per plate appearance. If a pitcher strikes out 20% of batters faced and walks 10%, then his K-BB rate will be 10%. All stats presented will be as of May 16.

Why You Should Care About K-BB%

Prescribing that one targets those who lead the league in strikeouts isn’t providing any groundbreaking insight, and the same goes for saying “avoid pitchers who walk a lot”. Perhaps you’ve heard of K/9 and BB/9, which is the amount of strikeouts and walks over nine innings. The idea being that every pitcher is graded on a per-inning basis that can be easily compared with one another. These rates have their place, but we can do better.

Using K% and BB% compared to those aforementioned metrics may not seem like much, but it does make a difference. Utilizing “per-inning” metrics invites extraneous wrinkles into the equation when we’re just concerned with strikeouts and walks. Analyzing strikeouts and walks per plate appearance gives the best look at the talent of the pitcher in correlation with how efficient they are. Let’s illustrate this with three scenarios:

Pitcher A strikes out the side in order, a 1-2-3 inning.

K/9: 27.00 (three strikeouts in one inning, multiplied by nine innings, gives 27).

K%: 100%.

K-BB%: 100%.

Pitcher B strikes out the first two batters, then allows consecutive singles before getting a strikeout to end the inning.

K/9: 27.00.

K%: 60%.

K-BB%: 60%.

Pitcher C also strikes out the first two batters and then allows consecutive singles, but then walks a batter before striking out the next guy to end the inning.

K/9: 27.00.

K%: 50%.

K-BB%: 33.3%.

As you can see, Pitcher A performed the best out of all three. Pitcher B did pretty well, but did allow two hits, making his appearance not as strong as Pitcher A’s. Pitcher C was the “worst” of the bunch, allowing half of the batters he faced to reach base. Let’s look at how each metric frames their performances though, and you’ll see why K-BB% deserves your attention.

K/9 says all three of those pitchers performed equally and would be tied on a leaderboard with a perfect 27.00 mark. The metric isn’t wrong, they all struck out three batters for their three outs, but you can plainly see that A > B > C should be visible.

K% does reflect the A > B > C hierarchy at least, with 100%, 60% and 50% rates, respectively. That means we’re on the right path, but that walk surrendered loaded the bases, extended the inning, and will force the pitcher out of the game earlier, so we'd like to account for it.

K-BB% shows the A > B > C gap, reading at 100 > 60 > 33.3. We now have a clean and concise figure that can speak to pitcher effectiveness and efficiency. Don’t get anchored by the lofty numbers, as the current league average for all starting pitchers’ K-BB% is 12.2% (it was 12.3% in both 2014 and 2015, so this seems rather steady for this era). Additionally, the average strikeout rate is 20.3% with an 8.2% walk rate in case you're exploring yourself.

Now that we’ve established the legitimacy of K-BB%, let’s get some actionable intel going.

2016 K-BB Leaderboard

  1. Clayton Kershaw – 32.4% (!)
  2. Drew Smyly – 25.4%
  3. Noah Syndergaard – 25.3%
  4. David Price – 24.8%
  5. Aaron Nola – 24.1%
  6. Max Scherzer – 23.9%
  7. Jose Fernandez – 23.5%
  8. Stephen Strasburg – 22.9%
  9. Vincent Velasquez – 21.1%
  10. Taijuan Walker – 20.5%

Most names aren’t surprising, but Smyly, Nola, Velasquez and Walker might raise some eyebrows. Smyly’s done well before, but his injury history has always pushed him down in rankings. Nola and Velasquez are both youngsters with promise, but many dismiss them due to pitching for Philadelphia. Walker was decent last season, but his 4.56 ERA raised questions.

Needless to say, these pitchers are riding healthy strikeouts along with fantastic control to success in 2016. Owning any one of these pitchers is a good thing and their performances should be respected. Let’s look at another dimension illustrated by the list, shall we?

Drew Pomeranz is 11th, just missing the cut, but he joins Fernandez, Danny Salazar and Rich Hill as the only ones in the top-25 with a walk rate over 10%. This means that they’re striking out a ridiculous amount of batters, enough to compensate for walks surrendered. This raises the “efficiency” point, as these guys still have value but are hard-pressed to regularly work deep into games. There’s a reason they only make for four out of 25 though, as it’s difficult to strike out as many as they do and the relative value of their strong strikeout totals is worth noting.

Using the K-BB% Diving Board to Launch Investigations

In conclusion, K-BB is a nice metric for those who enjoy analyzing a pitcher for outcomes that they can control (umpires play a part of course), but want something a little more tangible than SIERA’s complex formula. The idea here is that K-BB works beneath more fluke-influenced stats (like ERA) and speaks to a pitcher’s true talent. David Price has a 6.00 ERA despite being fourth in K-BB. Corey Kluber is 19th in K-BB but has a 4.30 ERA. They’re still good.

As always, no one statistic makes for an answer. Pitchers can still get lucky/unlucky on balls in play, allow an abnormal amount of homers, work with different pitch velocity, and so on. K-BB is a wonderful starting point for those seeking a focused metric regarding pitcher effectiveness and efficiency that correlates to true performance. Use these tools, investigate, ask questions, follow threads and win.

Live Expert Q&A Chats - Every Weekday @ 1 PM and 6 PM EST (DFS)

Fantasy Baseball Chat Room

[iflychat_embed id="c-55" hide_user_list="yes" hide_popup_chat="no" height="400px"]



Expert Advice
Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Daily Stats & Leaders
All Pitcher Matchups
Compare Any Players
Player Comparisons
Rookies & Call-Ups
24x7 News and Alerts


Pablo López37 mins ago

Pablo Lopez Notches 14 Strikeouts
Max Scherzer46 mins ago

Tosses Five Shutout Innings
Sonny Gray51 mins ago

Posts Stellar Performance
Oshae Brissett2 hours ago

Declining Player Option
Malik Beasley2 hours ago

Unlikely To Return To Milwaukee
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope2 hours ago

76ers, Magic Could Target Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Starling Marte4 hours ago

Not In Sunday's Lineup
David Fry4 hours ago

Exits Early With Elbow Inflammation
William Contreras6 hours ago

Sitting Out On Sunday
6 hours ago

J.D. Davis Acquired By Yankees
Josh Jung6 hours ago

Taking Live Batting Practice Tuesday
David Bednar7 hours ago

Placed On Injured List Sunday
Jesús Luzardo7 hours ago

Jesus Luzardo Moved To 60-Day Injured List
Vlatko Cancar7 hours ago

Nuggets Decline Team Option Of Vlatko Cancar
Jerami Grant7 hours ago

Teams Have "Checked In" On Jerami Grant
Max Kepler7 hours ago

Remains Out On Sunday
Braxton Garrett7 hours ago

Headed To Injured List
Nolan Arenado7 hours ago

Sitting On Sunday
Eloy Jiménez8 hours ago

Eloy Jimenez Reinstated And Starting On Sunday
Tyler Stephenson8 hours ago

Back In Action For Reds
Jazz Chisholm Jr.8 hours ago

Playing On Sunday
Taijuan Walker8 hours ago

Lands On 15-Day Injured List
Orelvis Martinez8 hours ago

Suspended 80 Games For PEDs
Giancarlo Stanton8 hours ago

Yankees Put Giancarlo Stanton On 10-Day Injured List
Daniel Suarez9 hours ago

Is A DFS Risk For New Hampshire Lineups
Tyler Reddick9 hours ago

Should Tyler Reddick Be Rostered For New Hampshire Lineups?
Michael McDowell9 hours ago

Is A Top DFS Value For New Hampshire
Denny Hamlin9 hours ago

Will Compete As A Top DFS Pick For New Hampshire
Ty Gibbs9 hours ago

Could Be A Solid DFS Option for New Hampshire
Chase Elliott10 hours ago

Could Chase Elliott Win From The Pole At New Hampshire?
Ross Chastain10 hours ago

Will Start Eighth At New Hampshire
Ryan Blaney10 hours ago

Is Ryan Blaney An Overlooked Favorite To Win At New Hampshire?
Ryan Preece11 hours ago

Will Start 31st At His Home Track, New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Daniel Hemric12 hours ago

Begins Sunday 33rd At USA Today 301
Carson Hocevar12 hours ago

Rookie Carson Hocevar Finishes With The Top Speed In Saturday's Practice At Loudon
Corey Lajoie12 hours ago

Corey LaJoie Gets Metrics Bump For New Hampshire
Kaz Grala12 hours ago

Near The Rear Again At New Hampshire
Christopher Bell12 hours ago

the Favorite to Win at New Hampshire
Ty Dillon12 hours ago

Begins From The Back At USA Today 301
Austin Cindric12 hours ago

Inconsistencies Make Him A Risky Play At New Hampshire
Zane Smith12 hours ago

Starts 34th At New Hampshire
Kyle Busch12 hours ago

Why You Should Target Kyle Busch In DFS This Weekend
Chris Buescher12 hours ago

Should You Roster Chris Buescher In DFS At New Hampshire?
Chase Briscoe12 hours ago

Why Chase Briscoe Is A Top Value Play At Loudon
Alex Bowman12 hours ago

What To Do With Alex Bowman This Weekend At New Hampshire?
Klay Thompson22 hours ago

Talks Between Klay Thompson, Warriors "Frozen"
Tim Hardaway Jr.22 hours ago

Could Be Moved This Offseason
Jeremy Sochan22 hours ago

Preparing For The Olympics
Victor Wembanyama22 hours ago

Working On Dribbling
Ja Morant22 hours ago

To Resume Basketball Activities Soon
Giancarlo Stanton23 hours ago

Exits Saturday's Game Early With Hamstring Tightness
Johnny Walker24 hours ago

Gets KO'd At UFC Saudi Arabia
Volkan Oezdemir24 hours ago

Gets KO Win At UFC Saudi Arabia
Antonio Trocoli24 hours ago

Suffers Third-Round Stoppage Loss At UFC Saudi Arabia
Ikram Aliskerov24 hours ago

Gets Knocked Out At UFC Saudi Arabia
Robert Whittaker24 hours ago

Makes Quick Work At UFC Saudi Arabia
Breece Hall1 day ago

Raising The Bar This Season
Mark Giordano1 day ago

Plans To Continue Playing
Tyler Toffoli1 day ago

Linked With Return To Vancouver
Logan Couture1 day ago

Sharks Plan To Keep Logan Couture
Anthony Mantha1 day ago

Will Leave Vegas In Free Agency
Cam Atkinson1 day ago

Sharks Interested In Adding Cam Atkinson
NHL1 day ago

Alex Turcotte Inks New Contract With Kings
Braxton Garrett1 day ago

Won't Make Sunday's Start
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope1 day ago

Drawing Interest From Multiple Teams
Tobias Harris1 day ago

To Draw "Ample Interest" In Free Agency
Mitchell Robinson2 days ago

Reportedly Involved In Trade Talks
Brook Lopez2 days ago

Potentially On The Trade Block
Paul George2 days ago

Philadelphia Reportedly Losing Interest In Paul George
Drew Eubanks2 days ago

Declining His Player Option
Malik Monk2 days ago

Agrees To New Contract With Kings
Viktor Arvidsson2 days ago

Heading To Free Agency
Dylan Larkin2 days ago

Expected To Be Ready For Training Camp Following Surgery
2 days ago

Andrew Cogliano Retires From Playing, Joins Avalanche's Front Office
Yegor Chinakhov2 days ago

Re-Signs With Blue Jackets For Two Years
Evander Kane2 days ago

A Game-Time Decision On Friday
Nick Cousins2 days ago

Draws Back Into Panthers Lineup
Tim Patrick2 days ago

Feels Back To Full Strength
Michael Penix Jr.2 days ago

Falcons, Michael Penix Jr. Agree To Terms On Rookie Deal
Ricky Pearsall2 days ago

49ers Sign Ricky Pearsall To Rookie Deal
Alexander Volkov2 days ago

Looks To Extend His Win Streak
Sergei Pavlovich2 days ago

A Favorite At UFC Saudi Arabia
Kelvin Gastelum2 days ago

In Dire Need Of Victory
Daniel Rodriguez2 days ago

Looks To Get Back In The Win Column
Shara Magomedov2 days ago

Looks To Remain Undefeated
Xavier Gipson3 days ago

Takes Leap Forward Ahead Of Year 2
Malachi Corley3 days ago

Still Adjusting To NFL Speed
Los Angeles Lakers3 days ago

JJ Redick Named Head Coach Of The Lakers
Alex Caruso3 days ago

OKC Acquires Alex Caruso From The Bulls
Josh Giddey3 days ago

Traded To Chicago
Rhamondre Stevenson3 days ago

Reaches Four-Year Extension With Patriots
PGA3 days ago

Byeong Hun An Withdraws From Travelers Championship
Jerry Jeudy3 days ago

To Open The Year In The Slot?
George Kittle3 days ago

Loses Significant Weight This Offseason
Johnny Walker3 days ago

A Slight Favorite At UFC Saudi Arabia
Volkan Oezdemir3 days ago

Looks To Extend Win Streak At UFC Saudi Arabia
Antonio Trocoli3 days ago

Takes Fight On Three Days Of Notice At UFC Saudi Arabia
Ikram Aliskerov3 days ago

Faces Former Champ In UFC Saudi Arabia Main Event
Robert Whittaker3 days ago

Faces Replacement Opponent In UFC Saudi Arabia Main Event
Khalil Herbert4 days ago

Could Be On Roster Bubble
Barclay Goodrow4 days ago

Moves Back To San Jose
Ty Dellandrea4 days ago

Sharks Acquire Ty Dellandrea
Darcy Kuemper4 days ago

Dealt To Kings
Pierre-Luc Dubois4 days ago

Traded To Washington
Bruce Brown4 days ago

Raptors Still Expected To Pick Up Bruce Brown's Option
Kevin Bahl4 days ago

Moves To Calgary
Jacob Markstrom4 days ago

Devils Acquire Jacob Markstrom
Wyndham Clark4 days ago

Looking To Stop The Bleeding At Travelers Championship
Matt Fitzpatrick4 days ago

Looking For Consistency In Connecticut
George Kittle5 days ago

Recovered, Back On Field
Gardner Minshew II5 days ago

No Front-Runner Yet Between Aidan O'Connell, Gardner Minshew II
Brandin Cooks5 days ago

Dak Prescott, Brandin Cooks Elevate Their Rapport
Sepp Straka5 days ago

In Excellent Form For Travelers Championship
Brian Harman5 days ago

Finding Consistency Before Travelers Championship
Sahith Theegala5 days ago

Playing Well Heading To Travelers Championship
Matthew Stafford5 days ago

Wants More Guaranteed Money
Viktor Hovland5 days ago

Looks To Right The Ship At Travelers Championship
Scottie Scheffler5 days ago

Looking To Bounce Back At Travelers Championship
Justin Thomas5 days ago

Looking To Bounce Back At Travelers Championship
Scott Perunovich5 days ago

Earns One-Year Extension From Blues
Sam Burns5 days ago

A Flighty Pick For Travelers Championship
Filip Hronek5 days ago

Signs $58 Million Deal With Canucks
Barclay Goodrow5 days ago

Waived By Rangers
Collin Morikawa5 days ago

Looks To Improve On History At Travelers Championship
PGA5 days ago

Sungjae Im Has Been Thriving At Non-Major Events
Corey Conners5 days ago

Finding His Short Game
Tony Finau5 days ago

Brings Great Form To Travelers
Patrick Cantlay5 days ago

Looks For Ninth Career Win In Connecticut
Kirk Cousins5 days ago

Confident He'll Be Full-Go For Training Camp
Tom Kim5 days ago

Striking The Ball Well Ahead Of Travelers
Ludvig Aberg5 days ago

Seeks Second Tour Victory At Travelers
Tommy Fleetwood5 days ago

Lacks Upside At TPC River Highlands
Russell Henley5 days ago

An Intriguing Option At Travelers
Shane Lowry5 days ago

Be Wary Of Shane Lowry At Travelers Championship
Si Woo Kim5 days ago

Still Trying To Putt Consistently
Amari Cooper6 days ago

Andrew Berry: Amari Cooper "A Big Part Of Our Team"
Deshaun Watson6 days ago

"Really Actually Ahead Of Schedule"
Ladd McConkey6 days ago

Signs Rookie Deal





2024 All-Breakout Team: Fantasy Football Sleepers and Risers

It's never too early to start thinking about fantasy football, and it's never too early to also think about which players could potentially break out this upcoming season. Last year, we saw several young players take their game to the next level, including Jordan Love, Kyren Williams, Nico Collins, and Trey McBride.  All four of... Read More

Sam Howell - Fantasy Football Rankings, DFS Lineup Picks, NFL Injury News

Fantasy Football Quarterback Sleepers in Superflex Dynasty Leagues

Rookie draft season is in full swing for fantasy football dynasty leagues as minicamps begin across the league. In Superflex dynasty leagues, no position is more important than quarterback. If your team is anywhere close to competing, you should always aim to have three capable quarterbacks ready to roll. Acquiring a quarterback is not an... Read More

Taysom Hill - Fantasy Football Rankings, Waiver Wire Pickups, Draft Sleepers

Fantasy Football Late-Round Tight End Sleepers You Must Have in 2024

2024 may finally change course and the way we look at tight ends for fantasy football. In 2023, we saw 11 players average double-digit fantasy points at the position, compared to eight the year prior. Yes, we may no longer have WR1-level production from Travis Kelce, but an influx of talent and production has leveled... Read More

Drake Maye - Fantasy Football Rankings, College FB, QB, NFL Draft Sleepers

2024 FFPC Dynasty Startup Rookie ADP Analysis

Fantasy football season is gearing up, and it's never too early to dive into those Average Draft Position (ADP) reports. The sharks in high-stakes leagues are already circling in the Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC) waters, crafting their seasonal strategies. In this breakdown, I’m zeroing in on some fresh ADP trends for rookies in their... Read More

Devin Singletary - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

New York Giants RBs Fantasy Football Outlook For 2024

The New York Giants are one of many teams whose backfield will look much different when the 2024 season begins. Longtime starting back Saquon Barkley departed in free agency after signing a new deal with the division-rival Philadelphia Eagles. As a result, the Giants signed former Buffalo Bills’ and Houston Texans’ running back Devin Singletary... Read More

Video: The Worst Current Draft Values at Running Back and Wide Receiver

We're already busy prepping for the upcoming fantasy football season here at RotoBaller! With early best ball drafts underway, it's time to dive into the ADP of some notable fantasy football players for the 2024 campaign. RotoBaller's David Rispoli digs into two players that might be the worst values in early 2024 fantasy football drafts.... Read More

On The Hot Seat? Five NFL Head Coaches Facing Make-Or-Break Seasons In 2024

With big-name free agents signed and the NFL Draft in the rearview, it's time to start turning our attention to the upcoming 2024 NFL season. This offseason was a banner year for NFL head coaching hires, as the market was flooded with both openings and strong, intriguing candidates. With the dust finally settled, eight NFL... Read More

Nico Collins - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Dynasty Players To Sell for 2024 Fantasy Football (Premium Content)

Dynasty fantasy football managers are used to being engaged in their leagues all year long, but it can be easy to get tunnel vision when a player succeeded for you last year or is trending up the following season. The offseason is all about knowing who to buy and who to sell before "the results"... Read More

Kyler Murray - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

2024 Superflex Rankings for Fantasy Football Drafts: Kyler Murray, Jayden Daniels, Aaron Rodgers, D'Andre Swift, Zay Flowers, Dalton Kincaid

Hey, RotoBallers! We are back with more fantasy football rankings to help prepare you for your upcoming drafts! Today, we will review our NFL team's superflex rankings. For those unfamiliar with superflex leagues, they are a format that allows you to start a quarterback in the flex position but does not require you to. Quarterbacks... Read More

49ers Defense D/ST Streamers, Rankings, Waiver Wire - Nick Bosa Fantasy Football IDP

IDP Rankings for 2024 Fantasy Football Drafts (Individual Defensive Players) - Nick Bosa, Matthew Judon, Ivan Pace Jr., Laiatu Latu, more

Welcome back, RotoBallers, to more fantasy football rankings. It's an exciting time, as training camps for all NFL teams will kick off in 30 days. Today, we will review our NFL team's updated 2024 fantasy football IDP rankings (top 100) for IDP formats. IDP league formats have been gaining popularity recently and offer a different... Read More

Jacob Cowing - CFB DFS Lineup Picks, Daily Fantasy College Football, NFL Draft Rookie - icon rotoballer

Fantasy Football Rookie Spotlight: Jacob Cowing

The San Francisco 49ers used a fourth-round pick on wide receiver Jacob Cowing, who began his college career at UTEP before spending his final two seasons with the Arizona Wildcats. Can the 5-foot-8 wideout find a role with the 49ers? What kind of fantasy football value does Cowing have heading into his rookie season? Below,... Read More

Evan Engram - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

Undervalued Fantasy Football Tight Ends to Target in PPR Leagues

It is important to know the difference between PPR (points per reception) and standard scoring leagues (no points per reception) when deciding to take a tight end in your 2024 fantasy football drafts. While standard leagues concentrate primarily on yards and touchdowns, PPR leagues have an extra reward for receptions. Tight ends who are continually... Read More

Tua Tagovailoa - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

One-Hit Wonder? Recent Fantasy Football Breakouts to Sell in 2024 Dynasty Leagues

There’s nothing more fun than watching a player have a breakout season on your dynasty fantasy football team. It can be the ace in the hole needed to capture that elusive dynasty championship. While we have seen breakout performances launch players into superstardom, there are also times when they fizzle out after a banner year.... Read More