Good Morning and Happy Memorial Day. Welcome to Week Nine. Last week we went deep into the Abyss to find lesser owned pitchers to spot start. We’re going even deeper this week, Deeper into the Abyss. This week there is actually some fantasy gold down there under 25% owned.
Pete the Groundhog will be placed on the IL this week if he keeps it up. I barricaded the hell out of my seedlings and he still got some and tried to get the rest. I’ll have to plant them all again next week. I try to trick him into thinking he has eaten everything worth eating in my garden and then he moves on. At least that is how I justify planting them all again. But this week, I see I’m in for a battle. I don’t plant the garden for him, so I get a little hostile sometimes.
Last week, I had another pretty good week for spotters. My picks went 6-3 last week as far as quality starts and wins go, and none of the non quality starts were blowouts. This week, there are not a lot of good starts in the top end of the 50% and under group, but I found a few. I still found plenty of lesser owned players in the Abyss, so hopefully you’ll have luck finding one of them if the others are already gone.
Most of the near 50% or less owned starters from last week’s article are either more universally owned now or finally hit the inevitable wall. So I’m going to change it up this week and get rid of some of the pitchers who have worn out their welcomes. I do want to mention one pitcher you should look for on your wire. Top prospect Casey Mize, currently in the Tigers minor leagues is ready to contribute now, and will likely be called up sooner rather than later. He is already up to 45% ownership in the Fantrax Leagues which may mean he is still sitting on your wire. He’s a must-own grab and stash for now. Another pitcher that may have been forgotten about is Andrew Haney, due back today from his injury.
All ownership figures are from Fantrax. All wOBA match-ups data is courtesy of Fangraphs.
Danny Duffy, LHSP, KCR (56% owned) @ TEX SAT: 30 years old. I’m wondering how this guy is not owned in more leagues considering his ilk. Sure he has hit some bumps and is now 30 years old, but still has the skill-set needed for the MLB. Bundy has won his last three starts and three of his last four starts are QS. Someone in one of my leagues offered me him for Carlos Santana yesterday. No I did not accept, but that is where Duffy is being valued now. His next start is today against the Yankees so we’ll skip that one but next week he gets the Rangers in Texas. The Rangers have a .337 wOBA and .243 BA agains tlefties at home, so this is not a must star teither, but I’d consider picking him up and not looking back.
Dylan Bundy, RHP, BAL (54% owned) Vs DET TUE: Still only 26 years old, Bundy allowed three earned runs on five hits and two walks while striking out five across 5.2 innings Thursday against the Yankees. He did not factor into the decision. While still a passable outing, Bundy had allowed just three hits through five innings. Things unraveled a bit for him in the sixth frame as he allowed two walks and two hits that accounted for two of his three earned runs. Home runs remain an issue for him, as he yielded a solo shot to Clint Frazier in the fifth inning and has now been tagged for 2.1 HR/9 across 52 innings. On the other hand, he’s surrendered only six earned runs across his last 23.2 innings, spanning four starts. He’ll look to maintain the improved results in his next start, currently scheduled at home Tuesday against Detroit.
Chase Anderson, RHSP, MIL (41% owned) @ PIT THU:
As he has been eased back into the rotation, Anderson has only cracked 5 innings once, although in those four starts he has pitched pretty well. While facing a limited pitch count in his return from the 10-day injured list last weekend in Atlanta, Anderson limited the Braves to one unearned run over four frames but issued four free passes. Even with a better showing versus the Phillies (no walks), Anderson gave up 3 earned runs in four innings. Anderson won’t be assured a rotation spot with Jimmy Nelson (shoulder) potentially returning from the IL, but I’ll take my chances vs the Pirates. The Pirates are hitting to a wOBA of .307 and a .243 batting average against righties at home. He better get it straight, he has a child to put through college now.
***Two Start Pitcher***Jose Urena RHSP, MIA (38% owned) @ WAS MON & @ SD SAT: In his last three starts, vs the Tigers, Cubs and Rays, Urena has gone 19 innings, giving up only 18 hits , 3 ER and no HR. He only has a 10/6 K/BB in that stretch so you are not looking to him for Ks. He did finally get a win in the Detroit start, but that shows how bad his run support is given that he has pitched at least six innings in his past six starts. And, has pitched quality starts in six of his last seven starts. The Nats are hitting to a .313 wOBA and a .244 BA against righties at home, and the Padres are hitting to a .277 wOBA and .219 BA against righties at home. Both are good starts, the Padres game is a fantasy must-start.
Trent Thornton RHSP, TOR (32% owned) @ TB WED: Thornton pitched a QS against the Padres his last time out, giving him a QS in four of his last five games. When he is on, Thornton is a high SO pitcher (He K’ed 10 in six innings vs SD) who also tends to issue a few too many walks. Next week, Thornton faces the Rays in Tampa where they are hitting to a .328 wOBA and .254 BA against rightes at home.
Drew Pomeranz, LHSP, SF (24% owned) @ MIA THU: The Giants are trying to get Pomeranz innings up to keep him in the rotation. That would normally make me shy away for now except that Thursday he gets the horrendous Miami offense. Miami is hitting to a .256 wOBA and .226 BA against lefties at home, nearly last in the league. Pomerantz has been pitching pretty well of late, but the Miami game is a Must-Start in fantasy.
FROM THE ABYSS – Starting Pitchers owned in less than 20% of leagues: Between Global Warming and Climate Change, fish are rising to the top of the Abyss for us to feast on, and there are plenty of good two start match-ups to be had this week.
Cal Quantrill, RHSP, SD (20% owned) Vs MIA FRI: Quantrill was shipped to the minors before his last start when he gave up only two earned runs and nailed seven K’s in 4.1 innings The move was not to punish or demote Quantrill, but to let him play a minor league game before his next start, and at the same time allowing the Jays to add a fresh bullpen arm. He actually pitched a Quality Start Win vs the Jays with nine strikeouts and only two walks. The Marlins are hitting to a .272 wOBA and .227 BA against righties on the road. This is another fantasy Must-Start for Quantrill who I have on two of my teams.
Wade Leblanc, LHSP, SEA (19% owned) Vs TEX WED: Wade Leblanc has had a rough time getting his command back in 2019, giving up far too many HR which are not set off by Leblanc’s K rate. The good news is that he doesn’t walk anyone and normally keeps the ball on the ground. He should get that command back soon. He gets a Fantasy Must-Start next week as Texas is hitting to a .273 wOBA and .202 BA against lefties on the road in 2019.
***Two Start Pitcher***Tommy Milone, LHSP, SEA (4 % owned IN FANTRAX) Vs TEX MON & VS LAA SAT:I knew it was only a matter of time. If Tommy Milone was an active MLB’er at some point he would have a great match-up(s) that was too good to pass up. If you look up Spot Starter in the dictionary there is a picture of Milone. No one rosters him, but he can be gold when you use him right. I’m no more exited writing about him than you are reading about him. But if you need a QS and a few K’s and your wire is bare, here you go. He took the loss Tuesday, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk over five innings while striking out six in a loss to the Rangers. The 32 year old veteran left-hander gave Seattle a solid effort in his first big-league start of the season. The club hasn’t yet announced whether he’ll stick in the rotation, but this performance was likely good enough to earn him at least one more turn, and according to the schedule it looks like he has at least two, as he is a two-start pitcher in Week nine. First he gets the Rangers, again, this time at home in Seattle. The Rangers are hitting to a horrendous wOBA of .273 with a .202 BA against lefties on the road. Then he gets the Angels in Seattle on Saturday. The Angels are even worse than the Rangers, hitting to a league worst .252 wOBA and .182 BA against lefties on the road. These are both fantasy must-starts.
***Two Start Pitcher***Ryan Weber, RHSP, BOS (4 % owned IN FANTRAX) Vs CLE TUE & @ NYY SUNDAY: First, let me be clear: I am NOT recommending Weber for the 2nd start next week against the surging Yankees, but I will list the splits anyway. The Cleveland start, on the other hand, is a Fantasy Must-Start. Another pro veteran, at age 28, Weber (1-0) tossed six one-run innings while earning the win Thursday against the Blue Jays, allowing three hits with four strikeouts and no walks. He drew 21 called strikes, with the one damaging blow against him coming in a third-inning rally which he escaped and came away with a quality start. Weber seems poised to make at least one more start, which should come next week against Cleveland, and then may get a start against the Yanks after that which you don’t care about. First he gets the Indians Tuesday at home in Seattle. The Indians are hitting to a wOBA of .275 with a .207 BA against righties on the road. That mark is 28th in the MLB. Then he gets the Yanks at Yankee Stadium on Sunday. The Yanks are hitting to a .329 wOBA against righties at home, and as mentioned already are on fire right now scoring about six or seven runs per game with a patchwork lineup. If you start him for that game you are on your own.
That’s it for this week. Picking Your Spots has gotten a little tougher now. Most of the decent pitchers who had slipped under the radar are owned now and owners will try to gobble up all the new call ups trying to get an edge. Add to that the plethora of injured starting pitchers and there you have it. But, as always, there will still be some good spotters on the wire. We just have to find them. Hopefully this week’s edition will be helpful. See you next week, when we’ll pick some more spots for the season’s tenth week. Even better still, may your injured players return healthy. As always, I’ll be on Reddit today talking spot starts. If you ask about a starter, please save me some time and let me know who he is pitching against and where. If you want to speak to me directly, my Twitter and Email are below. Thanks for reading.
Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show Join host Cole Freel live on Sunday May 19th, 2019 from 8pm-9:30pm EST for episode #161 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. You can listen live on blogtalk, majorleaguefantasysports.com, or download the podcast on I-Tunes or any Android podcast app. We will discuss spot starters for the coming week, plus a weekend update, and look ahead to next week.
Our guests this week are Joe Iannone and Bryan Luhrs. Joe is a writer with majorleaguefantasysports.com and his articles publish every Sunday. Bryan is the owner of Real Deal Dynasty Sports and is also a league owner as well as a writer with majorleaguefantasysports.com.
Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join host Cole Freel, and Kyle Amore live on Thursday May 23rd, 2019 from 7:30-9pm EST for episode #162 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. You can listen live on blogtalk, majorleaguefantasysports.com, or download the podcast on I-Tunes or any Android podcast app. Cole and Kyle will discuss the latest happenings in the world of MLB and fantasy. They will take a look back on the previous few days and a preview of the coming weekend. Including spot starts, bullpens, offense, and minor league players.