I hope everyone had a great 4th of July Week (day) and still found a way to find time to pick up some spot starters. Those midweek holidays can mess up the most astute and organized fantasy players. Not to mention that it ruins a chance to have a three or four-day weekend unless you have some PTO stored up to use and make it a five-day weekend. I had to work, unfortunately.
Several of the Starting Pitchers I’ve been writing about weekly finally graduated to over 50% owned, so it seemed like a good time to shuffle the deck and go deeper into some pitchers you might not be so familiar with. People are finally believing in Kyle Freeland whose ownership jumped 10 points or more to 55% in ESPN. So, I won’t be boring you writing about him anymore.
We are also getting some help from some other pitchers who are back from recent injury. Some of these guys have dropped to under 50% owned and that will rise fast once they prove healthy and effective. I’d grab and stash even if I was not ready to start them as once they pitch a good game they will be gone. I’m talking about Julio Teheran,ATL who is now 49.2 % owned. He pitches against the Jays and in Arizona next week which are not horrible match-ups, but he’s unlikely to be on your wire if you play in a competitive league. Another is Jeff Samardzija of the Giants who is only 12.8% owned. I didn’t write about him either in this article as he doesn’t have a great matchup next week, playing against the rival A’s at home in SF where they have a league leading .348 wOBA on the road and .268 batting average against Righties. Masahiro Tanaka should be back next week as well but not many teams dropped him while he was out. Hopefully they keep him off the bases for the rest of the season until they are in the World Series.
So, lets see what players we found for good match ups next week who should still be available in most leagues. Good Luck.
***Two Start Pitcher***Chase Anderson, RHSP, MIL (49.8% owned in ESPN) @ MIA MON & @ PIT SAT (1st game of doubleheader): Anderson has really come on of late, pitching a Quality Start (QS) in four of his last five games. They have been against some of the easier offensive match ups of late, but that is why we use guys like him when we do. In his last five starts Anderson has gone 2-1 with a 2.77 ERA and .80 WHIP with 30K’s in 29.2 IP against only 10 walks and 13 hits. Miami is one of the worst teams in 2018 facing righties at home, with a .300 wOBA and .253 BA. Pittsburgh is hitting to a wOBA of .314 with a .258 BA against righties at home in 2018, and while the Pirates may stack the lineup with lefties, he’ll be facing less than the full group as it is a doubleheader. He will likely get the first game. I must admit his ownership crept up to 51.2% over night since I wrote this. But they are my rules, so I can break them. The kid looks a bit angry now, but it looks like he’ll have some good genes.
***Two Start Pitcher***Danny Duffy, LHSP, KCR (24.8% owned in ESPN) @ MIN MON & @ CWS, FRI: I’ll admit there is a scary aspect to counting on Duffy for two starts next week. He did give up six runs twice in his past five starts, but both times to a hot offense in both Cleveland and Houston. In the other three starts he gave up a total of one run to Milwaukee, Oakland and Houston again. Over his last 8 starts, Duffy has a 41/23 K/BB and has given up 40 hits and 19 earned runs over 49.2 IP. He won two of those starts and lost two for the lowly Royals. So, while the walks are a bit high he has a 3.48 ERA over that stretch dating back to May 24th. Minnesota has a .287 wOBA and .234 BA against lefties at home in 2018. The White Sox are playing to a .266 wOBA and .218 BA at home vs lefties. These are both must-start fantasy match ups for the talented lefty.
***Two Start Pitcher***Jhoulys Chacin, RHSP, MIL (39.1% owned in ESPN) @ MIA TUE & @ PIT SUN: Chacin has not exactly been consistent this season and is mixing very good starts with some very bad ones. His last two start have been gems though, going 12 innings and giving up only 7 hits and 4 walks against 3 earned runs and adding 12 K’s and a W. His 83 K’s in 104 IP are tied for 2nd on the Brewers squad. Next week he gets two must-start fantasy starts, facing the same two teams his team mate and fellow righty, Chase Anderson is seeing as well. Miami is one of the worst teams in 2018 facing righties at home, with a .300 wOBA and .253 BA. Pittsburgh is hitting to a wOBA of .314 with a .258 BA against righties at home in 2018.
Now a plug for the entire Twins rotation next week:
Kyle Gibson, RHSP, MIN (33 % Owned in ESPN) Vs TBR THU: Gibson is not an ace by any stretch and certainly not the ace of the underperforming Twins. But he is enjoying a career year, sporting the highest strikeout rate of his career by a whole two K’s per 9, and the lowest ERA of his career as well. On May 18, 2018, Gibby gave up five runs to the Brewers. Since then he has given up more than three only once. In those nine starts he has seven QS. On the season, he has a 3.59 ERA, 1.27 WIP and a 105/46 K/BB in 107.2 innings pitched. The Rays are a Must-Start matchup for Gibson and any other Twins pitcher facing him next week, as you will see below. The Rays are hitting to a woeful .295 wOBA with a .239 BA against righties on the road.
Lance Lynn, RHSP, MIN (24.3% owned in ESPN) Vs KCR, WED: Lynn has an even easier must-start matchup going against the Royals at home in Minnesota. The Royals are hitting to a wOBA of .280 with a .235 average against righties on the road. Other than a high ERA from a brutal April and the high walks rate, this is the same Lance Lynn who has 72 Wins over his prior five MLB seasons. He did have an awful start against the Cubs last week where he gave up seven runs while not making it out of the 2nd inning, but that has been the aberration of late. Since Since then he pitched a gem vs the Orioles giving up one run in six innings. He is 5-3 over his last nine starts, all but three being QS. He is sporting a brutal 5.21 ERA and 1.66 WHIP after a brutal April but has an ERA 2 points less than that on his nine-start run. I have not dropped him yet, though I did trade him in one league with a good hitter to get Thor.
Jake Odorizzi, RHSP, MIN (21% Owned in ESPN) Vs TBR FRI: Jake is another Twins righty with a primo matchup next week, facing the Rays at home in Minnesota. He has a start today, Sunday vs the O’s that would be worth a pick up if he is available and you need a start. He does have a 4.57 ERA and 1.44 WIP as he walks too many batters, and very few wins between the Twins offense and his inability to go much more than five innings. However, he does have 97 K’s in 90 IP, and a great match-up. You can’t do too much better at 20% owned. The Rays are hitting to a woeful .295 wOBA with a .239 BA against righties on the road. Come on Jake, if you are going to help your wife model clothing, the least you could do is dress as well as her.
***Two Start Pitcher***Anibal Sanchez, RHSP, ATL (18.2% owned in ESPN) Vs ARI SAT: Remember him? Anibal the Cannibal has resurfaced on the Atlanta Braves and is reviving what is left of his career. He has a 2.72 ERA and 1.04 WIP in the friendlier NL and has a 56/18 K/BB in 59.2 IP so far. Unlike some of the other pitchers in this article he is also finding some W’s as he has four in his 10 starts. In his last start the 34-year-old pitched very efficiently, striking out 8 and walking only one with 57 of his 82 pitches going for strikes in a 6.2 IP Win over the Brewers. Before that he gave up only three runs to the potent Yanks in a six inning no decision. The Diamondbacks are hitting to a wOBA of .295 with a .220 average on the road vs RHSP in 2018.
From the Abyss: Players less than 10% owned in ESPN Leagues who could help you in Week 15:
***Two Start Pitcher***Francisco Liriano, LHSP, DET (7.4% owned in ESPN) @ TB MON & @ HOU SUN: Liriano is no longer a big strikeout pitcher but has adapted well to the adjustments he has had to make. His 4.03 ERA is right around where we tend to expect him now. In his 10 starts since April 22 he has five QS but the wins have been elusive. I trust him not to get blown out and he has two good matchups next week if he is on your wire. Next week he gets the Tampa Rays on the road in Tampa. The Rays are hitting to a wOBA of .302 with a .239 average against lefties at home in 2018. Then he goes to Houston to face the Astros. The Stros may sound like a tall order for the lefty hurler but they are playing to a wOBA of .304 with a .248 BA against lefties at home.
Brad Keller, RHSP, KCR (7.5% owned in ESPN) @ CWS FRI: After three Quality Starts, Keller finally hit the wall vs the potent Red Sox, giving up more walks than his previous three starts combined. His 2.52 ERA and 1.25 WIP is buoyed by several relief outings early in the season. The problem is his 35 K’s in 60.2 IP do not show the kind of dominance that would keep him in the rotation long term. He is a ground ball pitcher, so if he keeps the walks down the Chisox should be a great spot start for him. The Chisox are batting to a wOBA of .316 with a .256 BA against righties at home.
Andrew Suarez, LHSP SFG (6.1% owned in ESPN) Vs CHC MON & Vs OAK SUN: Count me as a believer finally. In his last start, Suarez went seven innings in Colorado giving up only one run and inducing 10 ground ball outs among his efficient 89 pitches. He has not given up more than two runs in his past 5 starts and has accumulated 78 K’s in 72 IP so far in 2018. He now has a 3.92 ERA and 1.23 WIP on the season. I don’t see how the Giants remove him from the rotation. He gets the Cubs at home in San Fran, where the Cubbies have one of the lowest wOBA in baseball against lefties on the road at .285 with a .235 BA. Then the rival A’s come into town. The A’s are playing to a wOBA of .330 with a .250 BA against Lefties on the road in 2018 but have not been hitting well of late at all.
***Two Start Pitcher***Aaron Slegers RHSP, MIN (1.0% owned in ESPN) Vs KCR TUE & Vs TBR SUN: Like his Minnesota team mates above, Slegers gets two must-start fantasy starts next week. First, he gets the Royals at home in Minnesota. The Royals are hitting to a wOBA of .280 with a .235 BA against righties on the road in 2018. Then he gets the equally light hitting Tampa Rays Sunday also at home where the Rays are hitting a woeful .295 wOBA and .239 BA against righties on the road in 208. No, I was not familiar with him before this season either, but he has come on the scene in brilliant fashion, albeit against weak opponents. Good for us, right? He pitched 5.1 innings against these same Royals, giving up only 2 runs with three K’s and a walk and then Won a game against the Orioles going six innings for a QS with only one ER and two K’s against one walk. I’m not saying he is a must own, or even that he’ll still be in the rotation tomorrow, but he is tentatively scheduled for these two starts, and I’m going to ride the wave. Like the next guy below, if the cupboard is bare, Slegers will be there.
Aaron Wilkerson, RHSP, MIL (.2% owned in ESPN Leagues) @ PIT THU: If you are in a league where the cupboard is bare as far as spot starters whose name you have heard of then Wilkerson may be what the doctor ordered. The Pirates are hitting to a wOBA of .314 with a .258 BA against righties at home in 2018. Wilkerson (0-1) allowed two earned runs on four hits and three walks while striking out five across five innings to take the loss Saturday against the Braves. He only gave up one extra base hit, but his average fastball velocity was only 88.9%. He also has four pitches he throws with confidence. With several pitchers on the Brewers DL he could see extended action in the rotation if he continues to pitch well. If the other guys in this article are available, go with them, but I not Wilkerson is worth a try.
That’s it for WEEK 15. Thanks for reading, and as always, I’ll be on Reddit today talking spot starts and all things fantasy baseball. Or you can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet me at @joeiannone2
Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join host Brian Roach, Jr, and Cole Freel live on Sunday July 8th, 2018 from 8-9:30pm EST for episode #128 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. We will discss the latest information in the world of fantasy baseball.
Our guest this week is Kyle Klinker. Kyle has been an owner in MLFS baseball, and basketball leagues for over 5 years. He also has a couple of championships under his belt over that span in some tough leagues. We loving refer to him as “The Red Rocket.”
Major League Fantasy Football Radio Show: Join host Corey D Roberts, and Kyle Amore live June 21st, 2018 from 8-9:30pm EST for episode #83 of Major League Fantasy Football Radio. Call in number is 323-870-4395 press 1 to speak with the host. We will hit free agents, rookies, and fantasy football as a whole for each team for 2018. This week we will discuss everything AFC North!
Kyle is a writer with majorleaguefantasysports.com going on his 5 th year. He focuses primarily on baseball, but is a fantasy football fan and analyst as well.