Fantasy Baseball: 5 Pitchers Primed to Improve Their Strikeout Rates

These five hurlers have some poor numbers at first glance, but their ability to get whiffs could have them rising up the fantasy ranks before long.

Season-long fantasy baseball leagues can be a tough bird to predict. We are blessed with a multitude of awesome metrics and supporting data to help drive decisions, but sometimes the more traditional metrics don't lead to real-life or even fantasy success.

Now that we've arrived at the quarter-pole of the MLB season, you may be looking to upgrade your squad in the pitching department. And swinging-strike rate is one metric you should be using to find trade targets.

Swinging-strike rate is a rather simple metric that takes a pitcher's total number of swings-and-misses divided by their total number of pitches thrown. It's not as advanced as something like weighted pitch values or xFIP, but it is a really good indicator of pitching success.

In looking at the 58 qualified starting pitchers from 2017, you may see some familiar faces atop the ERA leaderboard. But they were also among the best in swinging-strike rate.

NameTeamERARankSw Strk %Rank
Corey KluberIndians2.25115.60%1
Clayton KershawDodgers2.31214.10%6
Max ScherzerNationals2.51315.50%2
Stephen StrasburgNationals2.52413.00%10
Robbie RayDiamondbacks2.89514.20%5
Chris SaleRed Sox2.90614.90%4

Many folks may not be as savvy or up to speed on this metric, so we can use it to our advantage and buy low.

Of this year's 95 qualified starting pitchers, let's highlight five arms that rank in the bottom third in ERA but rank in the top 25 in terms of swinging-strike rate. And, naturally, the goal is for them to help you and your fantasy squad rise to glory.