Updated: Oct 14, 2021
It's obviously too late address this in your league in 2021, but it is time to move away from quality starts. Ten years ago, I was a big proponent of switching wins to quality starts as a rotisserie scoring category. My home dynasty league in its ninth season uses quality starts, and I pushed hard for that in the beginning. After all, wins are dumb, right? Your starter pitches a great game and he gets Jacob deGrom'd. In the alternative, the starter goes five innings, gives up six runs, and still gets the win because his team's offense carried him. These are gripes I carried around for a decade before quality starts became a thing, so I was a happy convert, but times have changed.
It was easy to miss, but after a peak in 2014, quality starts began to gradually decline, and they have declined even faster in the last three years. I mapped it out for you:
From the quality start peak of 2,623 in 2014, quality starts have declined to 1,404 in 2020. That's a decline of nearly 47%, or nearly half of the 2014 total! You can take issue with the prorated 2020 season, but the trend is the same no matter how you look at 2020. Where is the bottom?
Want to know what has not declined at all? Wins!
The increased utilization of bullpens probably means that starters are getting fewer wins than they were before, but that win has to fall somewhere. Given that saves are being spread out across multiple relievers at an increasing rate, and that relievers are being utilized more in general, fantasy players should be pleased when a reliever gets a win. Don't you remember how awesome junk wins are?
I asked before, where is the bottom? Your guess is as good as mine, but I'll take a shot and predict that 2021 is not the bottom and quality starts will continue to decline. If that occurs, I'll lead the charge on abandoning quality starts for 2022. Don't chase a dying rainbow.
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