Should pitcher inning limits be treated the same as game limits?

Any interest in applying a similar rule for pitching limits? Maybe next year?

1 Like

Maybe - I don’t think it is quite the same, since there is just a lot more risk to the strategy of trying to stream a bunch of pitchers on the last day of your cap. I think that kind of strategy can backfire, where as going a game or two over in a batting position is almost always a positive across all formats.

But, still, maybe?

I think the IP cap should stay as is because there’s a lot of risk to doing it that you don’t have with hitters. If you had Faria and E-Rod with three SPs not named Carrasco yesterday, for example, you very well could have gotten almost no benefit.

1 Like

Is it true that the strategy is riskier with pitchers? We know pitchers and hitters have similar points per inning and points per game, so unless the standard deviation of PPI is MUCH higher than PPG, the chances of (for example) three extra SP throwing 15 extra innings and going negative should be much lower than four extra OF going four extra games and going negative. I think pitchers have more variation on a per inning basis, but not sure it’s enough that I think 15 innings is higher risk than 4 GP, let alone 25 extra innings vs 1 extra game played at C.

Not to say the rule is bad or wrong, but I don’t buy that there’s more risk going over with pitchers than bats, just due to what amounts to a larger sample size.

If there’s higher variance, that by definition makes it riskier.

Higher variance over one inning, but I can get 15-40 extra innings but only 1-5 extra games between OF and C. Each of those innings are risky but I’m way more likely to get roughly expected PPI over 30 innings than expected PPG over five games

1 Like

That’s kind of true, but also it’s an outing for a pitcher vs an outing for a hitter, and pitcher outings have more variance than hitter outings. If you’re able to string together 40 IP across your team on the last day, then fine, but also that would require some interesting roster finagling.

Comparing innings to games is kind of weird (which is a recurring theme for some reason…)

Yes pitcher outings have more variance but are they more likely to be negative? A -4 to 30ish point range for hitters is smaller than -30 to 80 for pitchers, but I’d guess (though I could be wrong) that you’re way more likely to get a negative game from a hitter (0-4) than a negative game from a SP. A 5 inning, 7 point start sucks and in most cases hurts more than a four PA,-4 point game…but in this context that crap start is way more valuable

1 Like

The broader range of consequences in a high leverage situation is exactly the definition of risky. It doesn’t mean it won’t work out, and it doesn’t mean that the expected points value will be lower. It just means it is riskier.

Oh also I broke this out to a new topic!

Oh also there are roto formats where this adherence to PPI/PPG is less relevant.

Ignoring the potential outcomes of a hitter or pitcher outing, I think an important distinction to make is that when a hitter is starting and in your lineup you know you are loosing 1 game of eligibility. However, with pitchers, you do not know. Even if they are starting a game, they may only last 1 IP.

For me, it’s that unknown when setting lineups that makes a soft cap at 1500 innings fair. Every owner has the same chance to get as many innings over 1500 as they can in a single day on the last day they start under the 1500 threshold.


There are a lot good arguments on either side here, but I come down on the side of having a hard limit on innings pitched. For me, the ability to stack starters on the day of exceeding the cap violates the spirit of ON, which is all about the long-term and making roster decisions that at least somewhat mimic the real thing (at least more than other fantasy baseball formats).

The stacking of lots of starters for that one day – which almost invariably involves overpaying for very questionable hurlers – really just feels wildly inconsistent with the rest of the game. I’ll admit that it can be fun, and perhaps it’s a skill, but it’s a very different kindof skill than for the rest of the season. I’d like the winner or loser to be based on who built the best long-term roster and made the reasonable / realistic moves, not on who manages to guess right on streaming several crappy starters the last weekend of the season.

I’m the commish of the league with the five teams all within 100 points of first as of yesterday, and clearly the title is going to be decided on whoever gamed the soft cap system the best in these final days. There’s drama in that, but it also feels like the winner of such an incredibly hard-fought race shouldn’t be determined by that. So I’m all for a hard-cap.


There are a couple of relevant threads that should be reviewed before going deeper on this conversation:

And this post from 2014:

The only way a “hard” IP cap could work is for the site to check occasionally if a team is over IP limits and remove their most recent pitcher’s stats until they are under IP limits. It would NOT be taking the “first 1500 IP” or anything near that, where as for position players we can easily take the first 162/810 games played. Again, comparing IP and G is where this all falls apart.

Let me first just say wow. What an exciting finish to your guys’ season.

I can appreciate your wanting to reward a team for the long haul but I’d argue that even real world baseball experiences quirks and sometimes teams just get lucky.

I view those 5 teams vying for the championship as all having played the game right all year and are in the running becuase of it. Just like a 2nd WC team can upset a better team in the playoffs, I am personally OK with the soft cap.

1 Like

Niv – Thanks for the explanation. I guess I assumed there was a way to just stop accumulating stats once 1500 has been reached, and I get it that IPs and games are not created equal.

And I appreciate the comment from legendaryan – you are absolutely right that any of the top teams participating in my league’s crazy finish can be proud of having had an excellent season. Hell, I’ve been fully engaging in the soft-cap gaming myself and paying way too close attention to how Brett Sutter and Sal Romano were doing yesterday (and not well enough, I’m afraid I’m out of it!). So that’s fun and all, and part of the quirks of baseball and perhaps part of the quirks of all fantasy baseball formats the last week of the season, even ON. I totally agree that it’s a small thing in the scheme of how cool ON is, just something I would change if it were possible.


I’m one of the five in this hunt and I’ve also taken advantage of the soft cap by starting three guys I had on my roster today, Tanaka, Bauer and Quintana, and two more I grabbed by overpaying via auction, Lively ($13) and Perez ($11). That being said, I also would prefer either a hard cap or maybe instead of IP, an appearances cap with starters and relievers being handled separately, like games for hitters.

1 Like

I personally prefer it the way it is, but an appearance cap would definitely be an interesting change. A reliever with a 7 PPI who usually pitches more than one inning would be more valuable than a 9 PPI close because they may be a 14 PPA (points per appearance) pitcher instead of just 9.

1 Like

As I said in another comment, for a race to be that close, it means owners are attentive and have managed well over the course of a whole season. Additionally, I find the notion that tight races are incentivizing owners to overpay for players (simply because they are probable starters) a good thing. Just like the real world, teams in contention will sacrifice long term resources for a chance to win now.

For those that dislike the current situation, it seems like the proposed solutions are either a hard cap of IP or some sort of switch to pitching appearance instead of innings.

Even though I am fine with the current setup, I’ll propose another idea: No limit on pitching. The idea being that teams can chase innings if they prefer, but simply cycling pitchers on and off a roster will slowly eat away at team $$$ via the cut penalty.

The soft cap for IP is more of an issue in H2H leagues, where pitcher streaming becomes a viable strategy.

But a different approach to solving this problem – if it must be solved is a FA auction deadline. There is a trade deadline at the end of August to keep pennant races relatively honest in the final month. How about an auction freeze in the last week of the season. Any auctions started in the last week will run normally (48 hours), but will not be processed until after the end of the season.

1 Like

Wouldn’t an auction deadline just move back the date people try to approach the 1500 limit?

Also, changing the auction rules seems likely to more negatively impact teams out of contention. Not knowing if you won an auction until after the after season might make a team on the fence give up earlier to insure they get a certain player.

My heart says that overclocking IP is a fun little game-within-the-game that adds some drama and excitement to close races, so my first choice would be to stick with status quo.

However, since Niv is opposed to the practice, it seems to me that the most effective, least disruptive way eliminate it is to simply cap the points that any team can earn from IP. In FGPTS, where each IP is worth +7.4 points, this would mean each team would be capped at 11,100 points from that category. Nothing else needs to change.

The reason this would work is that except for a small handful of elite pitchers (who will almost never be available to acquire late in the season) if we disregard the points earned from IP, the aggregate of everything else pitchers do contributes negative points. This is apparent at a glance by observing how few pitchers earn more than 7.4 P/IP overall. (I don’t know how this looks in SABR Points, but I suspect it’s similar.) If the software deprives teams of the points for IP, but allows them to earn points (positive and negative) from K, HR, BB, etc., any team that goes past the soft cap of 1500 IP is more likely to lose points than gain them as a result of going over.

This wouldn’t remove the ability to blow past the soft cap. It would remove the incentive to do so.

1 Like