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Inning Limits: Time to Stretch the Rules

It is that time of the year when fantasy teams begin to reach their pitching limits. Limits are in place to to mimic the innings thrown by a MLB team’s pitching staff over a season. Owners should dive into the leagues rules to see if a team can get a late point rush by maxing out as many pitching innings as possible.

The basic strategy works like this. A fantasy team is within a few innings of the league maximum. On the day they look to go over, they get as many available starters from the waiver wire and use them that day. Instead of getting the allotted amount of innings, they get possibly 25 more. Depending on how close the league standings are at the time, these extra innings could be huge. Teams will usually try to make this push sometime during the last week of the season.

The first key to implementing or blocking the strategy is to know the league rules. With the IP max already being set, most major online fantasy websites will allow a team to over shoot their innings for the one day. Some league may add in bylaws that once the max is reached, no more points can be accumulated. The league rules need to be known before trying to implement the strategy.

Once an owner finds out that they can max out innings for one day, a day needs to get picked. In my experience, the sooner the better. Most teams, at least the good ones, have been trying to leverage as many IP by relievers (higher K/9, lower WHIP and ERA) and will be edging up IP slowly. These owners will likely try the same strategy of over shooting inning pitched, probably during the last few days of the season.

With several owners trying for the same pitchers over the last few days, it is best to pick a day a week or more before the end of the season. This strategy gives the owner a few advantages. First, they get a nice pick of the litter that day since they aren’t fighting other owners for the probable starters. Second, the first team that makes the push over the limit gets the attention of the other teams in the league and they all will get scrambling. It is best just have it over with instead of trying to find a good day among the rest of the owners. Finally, even though the owner can not accumulate any or innings, they can go ahead and pick up probable pitchers on the waiver wire preventing other from using them.

While this strategy may get some owners riled up and mad, too bad. They are probably not mad at the owner that first exceeded the limit, they are more mad they didn’t do it.