Pitching trends are frustrating fantasy baseball managers

·Yahoo Fantasy Contributor
·3-min read

Frustrated with your pitching staff? You aren’t alone. Runs are on the rise across the Majors, and many fantasy baseball managers have been slow to adjust to the trend. Check out these stats for each full week of the season:

Weekly MLB ERA

April 11-17: 3.93

April 18-24: 3.43

April 25-May 1: 3.83

May 2-8: 3.66

May 9-15: 4.25

May 16-22: 3.88

May 23-29: 4.40

May 30-June 5: 4.24

Overall ERA: 3.96

Weekly MLB ERA by starters

April 11-17: 4.13

April 18-24: 3.83

April 25-May 1: 3.63

May 2-8: 3.68

May 9-15: 4.16

May 16-22: 3.86

May 23-29: 4.60

May 30-June 5: 4.18

Overall ERA by starters: 4.04

Weekly MLB ERA by relievers

April 11-17: 3.70

April 18-24: 2.92

April 25-May 1: 4.10

May 2-8: 3.64

May 9-15: 4.40

May 16-22: 3.91

May 23-29: 4.10

May 30-June 5: 4.33

Overall ERA by relievers: 3.85

As you can see, the league-wide ERA made a large leap near the middle of May and has not come back down. The overall mark has not yet reached 2021 levels (4.26), but we have pretty much been at that level for the past month, which means that the overall 2022 ERA will likely finish close to the 2021 mark (unless the league changes the baseball again, but that is a topic for a different article).

Hidden within this data are some interesting trends. The biggest one is that relievers are struggling of late, producing a higher ERA than starters in four of the past six weeks. Fantasy managers typically think of using relievers as a way to help their ratios, but that is not automatically the case right now. For example, among the 10 relievers with more than 10 saves, seven have an ERA over 3.00 and three of those seven have a mark above 4.00. Also, half of those 10 relievers have a WHIP of 1.18 or higher, meaning that they have hurt many fantasy teams in that category. The fantasy value of Josh Hader has been incredible thus far, as he has allowed no runs and just 10 baserunners across 17 innings while also leading the Majors in saves.

Milwaukee Brewers closer Josh Hader has been even more value in fantasy baseball this season because of inflated ratios across MLB. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Milwaukee Brewers closer Josh Hader has been even more value in fantasy baseball this season because of inflated ratios across MLB. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

If you remember one part of this article, this is it: you need to be careful with your use of pitchers in the next few weeks. Luckily, some fantasy squads have managed to mostly maintain the low ratios they established during the initial weeks of the season. To keep your ratios at the same level, marginal starters need to be avoided.

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