2024 Fantasy Baseball Late Round Targets: Wins

Who will provide some late round wins?

Wins have lost some of their luster over the years as they are no longer the most important pitching statistic in baseball.

Part of this is simple math – times have changed and pitchers don’t pitch as long into games, which means fewer chances at wins. Last season, pitchers averaged only 5.1 innings per start; ten years ago, it was almost an inning more at 5.9 innings.

In addition, other statistics (including Pitcher List’s PLV) have become better indicators of a pitcher’s individual talent and performance and have gained greater relevance.

Look at Jacob deGrom, who won consecutive National League Cy Young Awards while recording only 10 wins in 2018 and 11 wins in 2019. Despite the low win total in 2018, deGrom beat out Max Scherzer’s 18-7 record. In 2019, deGrom went back-to-back, beating among others, Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg led the National League in wins with 18, but finished just 5th in Cy Young voting, getting beat by three 11-game winners and a 14-game winner.

In the fantasy world, traditional leagues still count wins as a statistic and therefore they are still important to consider as you are planning your draft. You may place a higher value on your ratios and strikeouts early in the draft, but knowing where to look for the wins late could make the difference.

Before we dive in, let’s look at the top 10 leaders in wins last season in MLB, along with their average NFBC ADP from the last month (2/1/24 – 3/3/24).

2023 MLB Wins Leaders

You can see a wild variance between the first pitcher off the board, Spencer Strider, winner of 20 games last season, and Kyle Gibson, the 163rd pitcher off the board and winner of 15 games last season. Predicting the list of wins leaders is actually probably harder than picking the Cy Young candidates or strikeout leaders.

However, the common theme that emerges is not a surprise – pitchers who pitch for good teams tend to win more games. And there are always a few unexpected names that rise to the top every single year. For this column’s purpose, let’s mine for gold specifically among pitchers with an ADP after pick 250. All of these picks carry some risk, but that is why you are waiting to draft them until the later rounds.


Marcus Stroman
276.64 ADP
2023 season statistics: 136.2 IP | 10-9 | 3.95 ERA | 1.26 WHIP | 119 strikeouts


Stroman was named an All-Star for the second time in his career in 2023 after an excellent first half of the season during which he went 9-6 with a 2.96 ERA. He cranked out 14 quality starts before the break, including one of the best starts of his career, a complete game shutout win over the Rays. Stroman only needed 105 pitches in the 1-0 victory and surrendered only one hit and one walk while striking out eight.

Unfortunately, he only pitched 24 innings after the All-Star break struggling as he battled inflammation in his hip before hitting the injured list with a rib fracture. After the season, Stroman left Chicago and signed a two-year deal with the Yankees, returning to the AL East where he spent his first six seasons with the Blue Jays. He slots in as the number three starter behind ace Gerrit Cole and Carlos Rodón.

Stroman doesn’t allow many home runs, which bodes well for pitching at Yankee Stadium. Last season, he allowed only 0.59 home-runs-per-nine, which placed him in the 96th percentile of all pitchers, and his career average of 0.84 home-runs-per-nine is well below the league average of 1.37.

He most commonly attacks hitters with his sinker, throwing the pitch 46.4% of the time in 2023. At 91.4 MPH, it doesn’t overpower hitters but instead tends to induce a lot of ground balls. His sinker ground-ball rate last season was 67.5%, good for the 80th percentile in MLB.

The Yankees had a forgettable season last year but should be better in 2024. If he can stay healthy, Stroman will have plenty of opportunities at wins with the big bats of Juan Soto, Aaron Judge, and Giancarlo Stanton producing runs.


Lance Lynn
307.22 ADP
2023 season statistics: 183.2 IP | 13-11 | 5.73 ERA | 1.39 WHIP | 191 strikeouts


Lance Lynn has been a consistent starter throughout his career, making two All-Star teams and twice finishing in the top five of Cy Young voting. He is a reliable arm with nine double-digit win seasons to his name and a career record of 136-95 in his 12 big league seasons. However, there’s no way around it – Lynn had a terrible season last year.

The effectiveness of both his top pitches (four-seamer and cutter) dropped in 2023, leading to better outcomes for hitters. The batting average against his four seamer jumped from .202 in 2022 to .254 last year and against the cutter, it increased to .270 last season, a jump of 29 points. His issues were primarily caused by the home run ball, as he allowed a league-high 44 home runs. This equaled a rate of 2.2 home-runs-per-nine – by far the highest mark of this career (Lynn’s previous high was 1.4).

Lynn went 6-9 with the White Sox to start the season compiling an ugly 6.47 ERA and 1.46 WHIP, but still hit the double-digit win mark last season finishing 13-11 after being traded to the Dodgers for 11 starts down the stretch, where he went 7-2 with a 4.36 ERA.

Now Lynn has rejoined St. Louis where he began his career and seems motivated to not repeat his mistakes from last season. He appears to be in better shape and looks good as he embarks on his age-37 season.

I would expect his ERA and WHIP to drop back closer to his career averages (3.74 / 1.27) and his wins to jump accordingly.


Max Scherzer
320.87 ADP
2023 season statistics: 152.2 IP | 13-6 | 3.77 ERA | 1.12 WHIP | 174 strikeouts


Mad Max is no doubt the most talented and accomplished pitcher on this list, but the future Hall-of-Famer turns 40 years old this season and is still recovering from back surgery he underwent last December.

After being traded from the Mets to the Rangers, Scherzer made eight starts for Texas and looked good as he went 4-2 with a 3.20 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, and 53 strikeouts in 45 innings. Bruce Bochy also showed last season that he’ll allow Scherzer to pitch longer outings if he’s healthy. He cranked out three outings of 7.0 IP in the month of August.

The highlight was a masterful game against the Angels during which he threw a one-hitter over seven innings, striking out 11.

Bochy recently said the Rangers are hoping to get Scherzer back in sometime in June. With the defending champs’ offensive firepower and even with Scherzer at only 75% or 80%, it’s not unreasonable to think he could hit double-digit wins.  He’s also still going to be racking up strikeouts and will likely help with your ratios as well.


Tyler Wells
374.63 ADP
2023 season statistics: 118.2 IP | 7-6 | 3.64 ERA | 0.99 WHIP | 117 strikeouts


Baltimore’s Tyler Wells had a 2023 season similar to Marcus Stroman, excelling in the first half before a second half left fantasy owners hoping for more. Wells went 7-4 with a 3.18 ERA and 0.93 WHIP in 17 starts (eight quality starts) before the Midsummer Classic.

In his first start after the break, Wells only went two innings in a start against the Dodgers giving up six hits and five earned runs. The strike zone plot from that start is shown below.

As you can see Wells struggled with his pitch location, particularly on his slider (purple dots).

He followed that outing with poor starts of 4.1 innings and 2.2 innings, giving up three earned runs in each of these outings and again struggling with walks. The Orioles showed they had a relatively short leash with Wells, sending him to Double-A to work on his command.

He was recalled in September and moved to the bullpen, clinching a save during the last week of the season. Going into the 2024 season, it seemed he would continue to be a relief arm until Baltimore’s rotation was hit by elbow injuries to both John Means and Kyle Bradish.

Now Wells is likely to get another shot to start and if he can limit his control issues, he should be a nice source of wins on a talented young Orioles squad. The risk with Wells is his unclear role, but if he starts out the season pitching well, he could force his way into the rotation for the rest of the season.

Photo courtesy of Icon Sportswire
Adapted by Kurt Wasemiller (@KUWasemiller on Twitter / @kurt_player02 on Instagram

Nate Kosher

Nate Kosher is based in the Twin Cities and is a staff writer for Pitcher List. He grew up watching low-budget Twins teams at the Metrodome before eventually converting to the Arizona Diamondbacks (the power of teal and purple in the 1990s). His goal is to someday visit all 30 MLB ballparks and he believes Barry Bonds should be in the Hall of Fame. You can read more of Nate's writing in his newsletter, The Relief Pickle.

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