Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances may not make the cut for the top 15 fantasy baseball relief pitchers, but they still have value on fantasy rosters.
For one thing, Aroldis Chapman still could be suspended by Major League Baseball for the domestic incident he was involved in last October (charges were dropped), Miller likely would slide back into the closer’s role after recording 36 saves for the Yankees last season.
But even if neither Miller nor Betances get save opportunities, their consistency in other fantasy categories makes them the best non-closer options.
Chapman, Miller and Betances were the only three relievers to record at least 100 strikeouts last season, and it wasn’t the first time. Chapman did it the last four years, while Miller and Betances have reached 100 Ks in back-to-back seasons. By comparison, 21 pitchers who pitched at least 60 innings over 20 or more starts last season had fewer than 100 strikeouts.
The lowest strikeouts-per-nine rate among them last season was Betances at 14.0. At that rate, he only would need to log a minimum of 64 innings to reach 100 strikeouts again. He’s pitched at least 84 innings in each of the past two seasons. Though he and Miller will be in different roles this season, both should reach upwards of 60 innings, barring injuries.
Yankees starters averaged 5 2/3 innings per outing last season, so the 7-8-9 combination of Betances, Miller and Chapman will get plenty of use.
Among pitchers with at least 60 innings pitched last season, Betances and Miller both finished in the top 15 in ERA and top 30 in WHIP, with Betances at No. 2 in ERA and Miller at No. 4 in WHIP.
The major pitching categories for most rotisserie and head-to-head leagues are wins, saves, ERA, WHIP and Ks. Betances and Miller will be among the best in at least three of those categories.