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Intermediate MLB DFS: K/9

We continue our breakdown of the basics for MLB DFS. In this section, we look at K/9, with definitions and some basic strategy.

Gerrit Cole #45 of the New York Yankees delivers a pitch in the first inning during the spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Steinbrenner Field on February 24, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

In daily fantasy baseball, like in most things, getting the fundamentals down is integral toward laying a foundation of knowledge to build from as you progress as a player. For DFS, that means understanding how the K/9 statistic can help you build your lineups.



K/9 is how many strikeouts a pitcher has per nine innings pitched. It is a straightforward statistic, but one of the best due to its ability to stay consistent. If you have a pitcher who has a high K/9 rate through a large sample size, you can count on that pitcher to put up similar numbers.



Due to their consistency and the +2 DraftKings points given for each one, strikeouts are a huge part of winning in MLB DFS. You can’t count on a pitcher getting a win, even if they have a good game, but you can count on strikeouts from a strikeout pitcher, which is why K/9 is one of the biggest factors in selecting your pitchers.

GPP vs. Cash

Strikeout numbers are needed in both GPPs and cash games, but you can get away with a strong number of innings and a win in cash games, whereas in tournaments or GPPs, you need that strikeout upside to hit so you can take down the big prizes.

Strikeout upside comes at a cost, but it is one worth taking on as long as the matchup is advantageous. Paying up for consistent statistics like strikeouts in GPPs seems contradictory to the act of picking players that won’t be heavily rostered to set your lineup apart, but the benefits often outweigh the losses.


Checking splits on any statistic is a step you should take in evaluation. As a basic rule, right handed hitters see the ball better against left handed pitchers and end up putting up better statistics against them and vice versa. If the pitcher you are evaluating has a big difference in K/9 numbers vs lefties or righties, you’ll want to know if he is facing a better right-handed or left-handed hitting lineup, depending on the splits.