It is getting tough out there. In my 16 team league I can’t find a pitcher I wrote about on my wire. I still manage to snag a good spot, usually, but still it is tough. I also play with guys who will hold a player just long enough before they drop him so he is still on waivers when his next start comes. So, my wire in that league is full of crap and guys on waivers. I’ll waste a waiver claim on a good spotter, but not when he’d hit my roster the day after his start. On we press.
A couple of pitchers from last week’s “Pick Your Spots” made me look good and also crossed the line into over 50% owned status. Luke Weaver pitched a good 6 innings against the Marlins and now gets the Royals, (today, Sunday) to complete his two-start week. Zack Wheeler is now up to 64.1% owned in ESPN after he won his 5th start in a row last week at Miami as well. Mike Montgomery of Chicago looks to be staying in the rotation into the playoffs albeit he may get skipped a few times by pitching out of the pen. I’d own him either way.
I do have to apologize to the FBB World though for two pitchers. I’ve over recommended Ervin Santana right since he came off the DL. I tend to err on the side of caution with recently injured pitchers, but had a hunch Ervin would come right back. He’ll probably be fine, so I’m not saying to drop him unless it is a shallow league. (I dropped him in a 12 team) but he is hard to recommend right now. I also need to apologize for Homer Bailey. Hopefully you ignored me there anyway. Enough said on him?
Let’s see what we can find on the scrap heap for Week 19. Our playoff spots, or at least seedings may depend on it. In Roto, we probably need more than just a decent start if we are trying to catch up in a cat or two.
Let’s “Pick Some Spots” for Week 19:
Kyle Gibson, RHSP MIN (44.2% owned in ESPN) Vs DET FRI: We already know Gibson is having a pretty good season, perhaps a career year for the veteran righty. In his last start, against the Tigers he pitched seven innings of one run ball with only seven hits and a couple of walks with four K’s for a W. Five of his last seven starts are Quality Starts. This week he gets those same Tigers at home on Friday. The Tigers are hitting a dead last in the MLB .268 wOBA and .219 BA against righties on the road with a .113 ISO and 24% K rate setting Gibson up for a chance to look brilliant. This is a fantasy Must-Start.
CC Sabathia, LHSP, NYY(40.8% Owned in ESPN) VS TOR FRI: In his last start, the big lefty hurled 5.2 innings of 4 hit ball against the White Sox, allowing one run on three walks. The 12 K’s were easily a season high and the 5.2 IP were his most since the 4th of July. The Jays are hitting to a middle of the pack .306 wOBA against lefties on the road and a .234 BA against. They also have a 21% K rate so CC should have his way with them….at least for 5 innings anyway.
Joey Lucchesi, LHSP, SDP (14.2% owned in ESPN) Vs AZ FRI: What do we have here? A lefty flame thrower with a 9.5 K/BB who is not walking batters, and pitches his home games in San Diego. Lecchesi has 1 or fewer walks in four of his last 5 starts, and has walked 2 or fewer in eight of his last 10 starts. In his last start, he gave up two runs, going 5.2 IP against the Cubs, with seven hits and no walks against nine K’s. It may have been his most dominant start yet. The D’Backs are hitting to a middle-of-the-pack wOBA of .309 with a .229 BA against lefties on the road. They also have a 24% K-Rate against lefties giving Lucchesi a Must-Start fantasy start on Friday.
***Two-Start Pitcher***Reynaldo Lopez, RHSP, CHW (11.2% owned in ESPN) @ DET MON & Vs KCR SUN: In his last two starts, Lopez is starting to show what he can do. Both those starts were dominant. First, he torched the Royals for seven innings of two run ball on five hits and two walks with four K’s, then, he topped the Yanks for seven innings, giving up only one run on four hits and two walks with six K’s. Neither ended up as a W because the Sox can’t score him any runs, but he is finally hitting his stride in 2018. He gets the Tigers on Monday. The Tigers are hitting to a wOBA of .297 wth a .241 BA against righties at home, and also have a .151 ISO and 21% K rate. Then he gets the Royals again. The Royals have a nearly identical set of stats against righties on the road, with a .296 wOBA, .243 BA and .141 ISO. They too have a 21.5% K Rate against righties making both of these starts fantasy Must-Starts.
From the Abyss: Players less than 10% owned in ESPN Leagues who could help you in Week 19:
Matt Boyd, LHSP, DET (18.3% owned in ESPN) @ MIN FRI: Boyd stumbled a bit in his last start, giving up four runs to the halos after a pretty good run in which he allowed just three runs while posting a 20:3 K:BB over 19 innings (three starts). In one of those starts he pitched 8 shutout innings against the Reds giving up 4 hits and a walk and adding 7 K’s and a W. That followed two starts against KC and Boston where he gave up a total of 3 runs on 10 hits, only 2 walks and 13 K’s in 11 IP, going 2-1 in that stretch. Next week he gets the Twins in Minnesota on Friday. He gets those same Twins today (Sunday @ home in DET) so we can reserve judgement until after that game. The Twins are batting to a wOBA of .309 with a .261 BA against lefties at home. But, their real issue is a putrid .118 ISO and a 25.5% K Rate against Lefties.
Mike Montgomery, LHSP, CHC (9.2% owned in ESPN) @ PIT SAT: In his last four starts, Monty has three starts where he gave up one run or less in at least five innings pitched. Those starts were sandwitched around a clunker in St Louis, so Monty is still pitching far more good games than bad since taking the spot of Yu Darvish. The Cubs have committed to him for the rest of the season, but are limiting his innings by skipping some starts and pitching him out of the pen. Especially in Roto Leagues, I like to load up on guys like this when I’m getting closer to my starts limit as well. The Pirates are hitting to a .303 wOBA and .258 BA at home, good for 23rd in the MLB. But they also own a putrid .111 ISO and carry a 25.6% K Rate giving Monty all the tools he needs to have a good night on Tuesday. Monty is giving new meaning to the term Trophy Wife. He needed someone to help him hold it after the Cubs World Series Win. Right?
Lucas Giolito, RHSP, CWS (6.8% owned in ESPN) @ DET TUE: Once a prized prospect, the 24-year-old seemed to be turning a corner lately with quality starts in four of his last five starts, but he’s now been knocked around for at least five in two of his last three. In his defense, one of those starts was a seven run clunker to a hot loaded Yankees lineup that included a Giancarlo Stanton HR. So, he is this week’s dice roll for sure. His ERA & WHIP are back up to 6.23 and 1.50, to go along with just [84:71] K:BB over 125.2 innings. He gets the Tigers on Tuesday. The Tigers are hitting to a wOBA of .297 wth a .241 BA against righties at home, and also have a .151 ISO and 21% K rate making this a fantasy Must-Start. Giolito has a good match up and a good arm, but needs to get it together.
Anthony Desclafani, RHSP, CIN (5.0% owned in ESPN) Vs CLE WEDS: I’ve admittedly been waffling back and forth on Desclafani ever since he came off the DL. After his last two starts though, I’m back on board again. First, he did in the Nationals with 7 innings of 1 run ball, with only 1 walk, then was even more dominant vs the Diamondbacks, giving up no runs or walks on 3 hits with 9 K’s in 7 innings. He has the talent, and it was just a matter of getting his command back which it is starting to appear that he has. He gets the Indians in Cincinnati, where the Indians have a .310 wOBA and .235 BA against righties on the road in 2018. His wife is starting to like the sunsets over the Ohio River.
***Two-Start Pitcher***Pablo Lopez, RHSP, MIA (1.7% owned in ESPN) @ ATL MON & @ WAS SUN: Normally I am picking on the Marlins, but sometimes a Marlins pitcher has a couple good match-ups on tap and we will trot him out there. Lopez is 1-1 in his last four starts, giving up two or less runs in three of them, all three being Quality Starts. He only walked a total of two batters in those three starts as well, a must-have quality when facing an offense like the Nats. He may not get more than a strikeout per inning, so if you need big k numbers next week you may want to look elsewhere. The Braves are hitting to a mid-pack wOBA against righties at home of .312 with a .256 BA and .141 ISO against righties. The 20.3 whiff rate may help as well. This is game one of a doubleheader which may serve to water down the Brave’s lineup as well. The Nats are a lot tougher, hitting to a .332 wOBA and .260 BA against righties at home. I would not blame you if you sat him for the Washington game.
Touki Toussaint, RHSP, ATL (0% owned in ESPN) Vs MIA MON (2nd Game of Doubleheader): Want to wow your league mates, or at least make them scramble for their favorite baseball reference guide? Be the first guy in the league to pick up Touki Toussaint. He is not only getting the Miami Marlins for his 1st MLB start but it is the 2nd game of a doubleheader. The right-handed 22-year-old has impressed across five starts with Gwinnett since being called up to the Triple-A level in early July, logging a 2.01 ERA and 1.19 WHIP with 32 strikeouts in 31.1 innings. The Marlins are hitting to a .298 wOBA and .241 BA against righties on the road. They also have a .144 ISO and 25% K rate against righties making this an even more appealing major league debut than it was already.
That’s it for WEEK 19. 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 Football Radio Show: Join host Corey D Roberts live August 9th, 2018 from 8-9:30pm EST for episode #88 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 wrap up our divisional break downs with the NFC West!
My guest this week is Andy Macuga. He is the former Head Football and Baseball Coach for Borrego Springs H.S. out in the San Diego area. Andy is also a 6 year veteran of Major League Fantasy Sports leagues and a frequent radio guest.