The myth of pitching depth

Don't be fooled, there were just as many good pitchers 10 years ago

Updated: March 6, 2013, 3:40 PM ET
By Dan Szymborski | ESPN Insider
Yu DarvishRon Jenkins/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Getty ImagesAttention fantasy owners: Yu Darvish's 3.90 ERA in 2012 was barely better than league average.

Correctly predicting how players will do in a given season is (obviously) an important part of winning in fantasy baseball, but it's not the only important part. Knowing the distribution of talent at a position is also an extremely useful bit of knowledge as it will affect the decisions made by the other owners in the league. Whenever you play any kind of game, if you're only focused on your moves and not paying attention to your opponent's, you're well on your way to losing.

There's a school of thought that starting pitching in fantasy is deeper than it has been in a long time, and as a result, it's easier to fill out the back-end of a rotation. But is it true?

If you're reading this, it will come as no shock that overall league ERA and WHIP are considerably lower than they were just a few years ago. Over the last three years, the total ERA and WHIP in MLB was 4.01 and 1.324 respectively, numbers that are lower than anything we've seen since 1988-'92. If you're chasing a few starters to fill out your bench, their numbers will look considerably better than they did a few years ago.