Out% For Fantasy Baseball Week 7

Taylor Tarter breaks down the Out% leaderboard for Week 7

This week, the top out pitch in baseball belongs to JoJo Romero, whose 31.8% Out rate on his slider is over 13% higher than the league average. He has taken over the top spot from Nick Lodolo’s curveball from last week.

Bailey Ober’s changeup, Lodolo’s and Ryan Yarbrough’s curveballs, Michael Kelly’s and Joe Ryan’s sweepers, Yimi Garcia’s and Colin Rea’s fastballs, Derek Law’s slider, and Fernando Cruz’s splitter all round out the top-10 out pitches in the league. (I did not include Merrill Kelly’s changeup because he has been out.)

Below, you will find some results from our Out% Google Sheet, helping us track the best out pitches in the league.

Average Out%

Here are the average Out Rates for each pitch. We will use this to measure how well a pitcher has performed versus league average. They will likely fluctuate slightly from week to week.

Fastball (FF) – 16.3%

Slider (SL) – 18.1%

Curveball (CU) – 17.8%

Changeup (CH) – 20%

Sweeper (ST) – 18.2%

Sinker (SI) – 17.6%

Cutter (FC) – 16.3%

Splitter (FS) – 20.3%

Fastball Out% Leaders

As I review the Out% leaderboard for each pitch, please note that they are based on pitchers who have thrown a league-average amount of pitches for each pitch. This helps separate starters from most relievers.

It should come as no surprise that of the 15 pitchers on the Fastball Out% leaderboard, just three have an ERA that is worse than league average. Bailey Falter, Frankie Montas, and Brandon Pfaadt all have ERAs above 4.00, and Pfaadt’s xFIP is actually better than league average. When a pitcher can rely not just on breaking and offspeed pitches to get batters out, but also their fastballs, they should experience some success, as many of the pitchers do below.

Fastball Out% Leaders (16.3% League Average)

Here are some noteworthy pitchers whose fastballs have not been effective this season.

Cutter, Sinker, and Splitter Out% Leaders

Some of the pitchers below toss these pitches in addition to their fastball. Others use these pitches in lieu of a fastball. Pitchers who have above average Out% on these pitches and fastballs are definitely pitchers to target.

Cutter Leaders (16.3% League Average)
Sinker Leaders (17.6% League Average)
Splitter Leaders (20.3% League Average)

Cole Irvin’s cutter does not induce many whiffs – just 8% this season – and has just a 16% putaway rate. Despite that, it has a .245 expected batting average against, and ranks as one of the better cutters in terms of getting batters out.

Irvin lost about 60 RPMs on his cutter, but that should not cause a drop from its 26% whiff and 22% putaway rates a season ago. We should see some positive regression for that pitch this season. Irvin has nearly a 50% groundball rate, and has some good luck with fly balls not turning into home runs, with his cutter likely contributing to the latter.

A major contributing factor to Tarik Skubal’s success this season has been his sinker. It has a .177 BAA, 23% whiff, and 26% putaway rate. Among pitchers who have thrown their sinker in at least 30 plate appearances, his ranks in the top-12 of each of those categories. He gets swings and misses and strikeouts with his sinker, but it also induces a great deal of weak contact and has contributed to his 43% GB rate.

Splitters have the highest Out%, making them the most effective out pitches in baseball when they are used effectively. Bryce Miller’s splitter checks both of those boxes. He replaced his changeup with the splitter and it has worked wonders for him. He went from 8.1 K/9 last season to 9.9 K/9 this season, and his groundball rate has increased to 36%. Batters have had a tough time making contact with his splitter, as it carries just a .156 BAA, a 31% whiff rate, and a 20% putaway rate. Just look at this:


For pitchers without a four-seamer, this is also a good place to look for how well pitchers are doing. Here are a few pitchers whose cutters, sinkers, and splitters have been lacking.

Slider, Curveball, and Sweeper Out% Leaders

Below, you will find pitchers with some of the best breaking pitches in the league. These pitchers are using their breaking pitches to induce whiffs, strikeouts, and grounders on weak contact. The data from the offseason showed that the more a pitcher throws an elite breaking pitch, the better, so these are pitchers who have thrown an above-league-average amount of each pitch.

Slider Leaders (18.1% League Average)
Curveball Leaders (17.8% League Average)
Sweeper Leaders (18.2% League Average)

Here’s Reid Detmers with a filthy, hard slider:

Charlie Morton’s signature curveball:

And a sweeper from Michael Kelly:

Noteworthy pitchers struggling with breaking pitches:

Changeup Out% Leaders – % League Average

Similar to breaking pitches, pitchers that can throw an offspeed offering with a high Out% will often find success. Even better are pitchers with an offspeed pitch and a breaking pitch that can induce outs. Here is the changeup leaderboard:

Changeup Leaders (20% League Average)

Changeups are a close second to splitters in terms of the most effective out pitches in baseball. And one of the best belongs to Bailey Ober. The first pitch in the clip below is his changeup:


Changeups work great for pitchers to attack batters of the opposite hand. And Ober’s changeup has been extremely effective – 39% whiff rate, 30% putaway rate, .114 BAA. Ober’s cutter and slider also possess above league average Out rates. His 4.55 ERA and 7.9 K/9 rate should experience some positive regression as long as he can maintain these high Out percentages.

Here are some pitchers whose changeups have not performed well:

Pitchers to Target Based on Out%

Here are a few pitchers that I would try to acquire based on their Out% data. These are pitchers who are successful at getting outs in multiple ways with multiple pitches.

  1. Shota Imanaga
  2. Tyler Glasnow
  3. Ranger Suarez
  4. Zack Wheeler
  5. Zach Eflin
  6. Dean Kremer
  7. Cole Irvin

Taylor Tarter

Taylor is a fantasy baseball champion that has been playing for over a decade. Tune into his podcast, Fastball Fantasy Baseball, every Wednesday for in depth analysis making sabermetrics friendly to the everyday fantasy player.

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