The newfound dominance of starting pitchers in fantasy baseball

This is a guest post from our friends at FanDuel.com.

Clayton Kershaw. Hopefully he is on your fantasy team.

Clayton Kershaw. Hopefully he is on your fantasy team.

There used to be a time in fantasy baseball when taking a pitcher in the first round was a huge risk. There were just too many variables from year to year that could prevent a pitcher from performing at a high level. Now that the Steroid Era is for the most part over, the shift towards pitching and defense is underway.

Defense is still widely ignored in fantasy baseball, but pitching isn’t. Gone are the days where you could find quality hitters on the waiver wire if you needed a fix. Now, the top hitters are more valuable than ever. Likewise, pitchers are becoming more and more valuable as true carriers of a fantasy squad.

According to Yahoo!, right now half of the top 10 overall players in fantasy are pitchers. This list includes Matt Harvey, Jordan Zimmermann, Felix Henandez, Yu Darvish and Hisashi Iwakuma. Besides possibly Hernandez, none of these pitchers were considered in any legitimate league as a top three pick. In fact, prior to the start of the season, only five pitchers total were considered locks for the first three rounds of a draft (most leagues consist of 8-12 teams).

All of a sudden, guys like Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander and Hernandez are just as important as all-around hitters like Ryan Braun, Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout and more. This really should be how fantasy baseball is in the first place. Before, pitchers almost had the same status as defenses and kickers in fantasy football. Since pitching is an integral part of baseball, it makes sense that they are now making up closer to half of the equation.

If you haven’t adjusted yet, you need to consider sooner rather than later. Getting a solid ace or even two on your fantasy baseball team can help a person dominate those categories. That would leave you only needing to win a few hitting categories to win the week. The Steroid Era is over, and pitchers are finally becoming as valuable in fantasy as they are in real life.

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