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What It Takes To Win: Strikeouts

Next up in our What It Takes To Win series, strikeouts.  The goal here is to determine the stats needed to achieve fourth place in each of the ten common roto categories.  The league type: 12-team mixed with 14 hitters, 9 pitchers, 3 bench spots, 2 DL spots.

In the first league I looked at, 1279 Ks was good for fourth place.  In the second, 1268 was enough.  Reader data sent in showed more variance, but typically showed a lower benchmark than my leagues.  We'll go with 1270 strikeouts this year to be safe.

Technically you are looking for 141 Ks from each of the nine pitching spots.  But your typical closer whiffs about 65, and you should have three of those.  So you're looking for about 179 Ks from each of your six starters.

In 2008, 20 pitchers reached 179 Ks. In '07 it was 17 and in '06 it was 14.  I'm only projecting 12 to pull it off in '09, but there are always surprises.  You really can't beat Javier Vazquez for 198 Ks in the 13th round.   You can also draft Rich Harden, Joba Chamberlain, Max Scherzer, Jonathan Sanchez, Erik Bedard, Chris Young, and John Smoltz based on their strong K/9s, combining them with replacement level pitchers to reach a strong strikeout total for the roster spot.

By the way, four closers are projected to top 80 Ks: Brad Lidge, Francisco Rodriguez, Carlos Marmol, and Jonathan Broxton.

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