Starters Relief Eligibility Relievers Starting Pitchers

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Starters With Relief Eligibility

Starters Relief EligibilityWhen you are scouting your fantasy baseball team, one important list that you should create is a list of Starters with Relief Eligibility.

The reality is, that finding closers to fill your fantasy roster is a gamble to begin with, let alone the fact that one 1/3 of them usually lose their jobs and only about 40% of all closers are actually worth owning on your fantasy team.

Many owners start to look at the setup men for each team and many fantasy baseball leagues have adapted to this as well by creating a "Holds" category to make setup men more valuable.

If your fantasy baseball league is full of purists that don’t believe that the "Hold" is a true fantasy baseball stat category, then the next best strategy is to find starting pitchers with relief eligibility.

Many rotisserie baseball fantasy pools require 5 starters and 4 relievers and the reality is, that depending on how big your league is, you will be scraping the bottom of the barrel looking for the last starter or the last reliever.

Why not take a reliever that is being converted into a starter as your final relief pitcher?

While your buddies are picking scrubs as their 4th reliever they will have missed out on a guy that isn’t listed in their starters list because last season he was a relief pitcher. This player could be a valuable source of fantasy points for your team!


Advantages of having Starters with Relief Eligibility

  • increase your chances for wins - If he remains a reliever, he will likely come in when the game is tied and your chance for extra wins exists. Also, if he continues to remain a starting pitcher, he will rack up innings and other valuable fantasy stats.
  • Innings and K/9 - If he can strike people out, your "strikeouts per 9 innings" number will increase as he will pitch more innings than the typical reliever would.
  • Depth on your bench – If one of your 5 other starters go down to injury or just plain suck, you can plug the reliever into your starting lineup and pick up the best pitcher available on the waiver wire.
  • Trade Bait – If you’re pitching is solid all around, why not trade one of your starters (since you now have at least 6 of them) and fix some of the other holes on your fantasy team?


With Yahoo and CBS Sports fantasy baseball, using this strategy is pretty simple because once they are deemed eligible at the start of the season then you are set. You may have to check with the fantasy rules of your own league as to what the parameters are for starting pitchers with relief pitching eligibility. Some will need a minimum number of starts and some will simply deem the reliever to be a starter at the beginning of the season and you lose the flexibility of being able to move him into one or both positions.


This fantasy strategy has its negatives as well...

  • Chance of a Disaster - Some relief pitchers fail miserably when they become starters thus killing your fantasy team.
  • Players are returned to the bullpen – Injuries or poor performance put them back to their former role or, even worse, they may become a middle reliever which could hurt your team even more.
  • Online leagues may change the rules of eligibility – If a relief pitcher starts a certain number of games at the beginning of the baseball season, the online league may simply change his status to a starter and that could mess up your lineup based on how your league is structured.


Scouting out Starters with Relief Eligibility can be a great tool for accumulating additional fantasy points if you scout out well. Not every player with this eligibility is worth drafting.


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