September 15, 2017
Fantasy Starting Pitcher Planner
It's time to preview the hurlers scheduled for two starts in the upcoming week. As the old wrestling promoters would always say: “Card Subject to Change,” because injuries and tinkering managers can make this less than a science. Should new information present itself, we can go over it in the comments.
Yeah, these guys are good.
In six starts off the DL, Anderson picked up right where he left off, continuing his solid 2017 campaign. The 29-year-old has chucked more fastballs since his return, making his changeup (his best pitch for whiffs) even more potent. The matchups are only OK this week, but Anderson has shown a knack for out-pitching his peripherals this season en route to a sparkly 2.88 ERA.
Corbin was enjoying an incredible second-half run, fanning 63 batters in 63 innings with a 2.43 ERA before getting roughed up by (squints) the Padres. The Padres? The southpaw seems to have fixed the control problems that plagued him a season ago and in the first half of 2017, which will help this week as he seeks to redeem himself against that vaunted Padres offense.
Facing the Giants and Padres in back-to-back starts is the dream week for most pitchers. This is especially true for Marquez, with both matchups coming away from Coors Field.
Gohara outdueled Scherzer once. He’ll get the opportunity to do it again.
There’s a lot to like about Mahle’s future. In a small big-league sample, he’s shown the ability to induce plenty of ground balls, and outside of his first professional season, he has never had a minor-league DRA above 3.00. This might not be the best week for the 22-year-old, however, as his pristine 0.0 percent HR/FB rate could get tested with two starts at the launching pad that is Great American Ball Park.
Welcome to the 326th consecutive week that Wainwright is projected to come off the DL and get two starts. This is the song that never ends, it just goes on and on, my friends. Should the veteran not return in time (gasp) for these two starts, they would likely go to Jack Flaherty, who, coincidentally would also be a “Consider.”
Harvey has been back for three starts and has been lit up for 14 runs in 10 1/3 innings, striking out a measly six batters. His fastball velocity is down, yet again. While there’s too much talent in there to write him off completely, for the rest of this season it might be good night for the Dark Knight.
There are some decent options this week, but the AL is lacking in no-doubters, which is fine, because, you know, it’s not like we’re trying to win championships this week or anything. C’mon, American League, get it together.
In early August, the Orioles decided to give Bundy a little extra rest between starts, when possible, in order to conserve innings and help the 24-year-old finish the season strong. Since Aug. 1, Bundy has been spitting hot fire with a 2.74 ERA while averaging 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings. This week, he gets two starts, both with extra rest. Say his name: DYLAN, DYLAN, DYLAN.
Clevinger has given up one earned run in his past four starts, and boasts a 3.25 ERA since June 6, complete with 95 strikeouts in 83 innings. Also, I’m not sure if you’ve been paying attention to Cleveland lately, but there’s a strong chance he could be a source for wins.
After dominating the first two months of the season, Santana went into a tailspin during the dog days, only to pull out of it momentarily with a 2.95 ERA in August. He might not be ultra-reliable right now, but somebody needs to start these games, and a matchup in Detroit could be just the thing for Santana to make a safe landing.
The strikeouts haven’t always been there for Stroman, but everything else is near ace level, with a ground-ball rate over 60 percent and an ERA a tick above 3.00. A late-season surge of strikeouts could be near, however, as Stroman has been throwing his slider in over 30 percent of his offerings over the past two months, getting whiffs over 20 percent of the time. During that span, Stroman’s swinging-strike rate increased to a little above league average, leading to the possibility that more strikeouts could be on the horizon.
Somehow, somehow, in the year 2017, Fister had only given up five runs in four starts, logging at least seven innings in each outing. Then he got shellacked by the A’s, looking a little more like the recent Fister we remember. Still, he uncharacteristically hasn’t been a complete zero in the strikeouts category, averaging eight strikeouts per nine innings this season for the Red Sox.
Since venturing to the Pacific Northwest, Leake has made three starts for the Mariners, tossing 18 2/3 innings with a 2.41 ERA. It’s extremely Mike Leake-ish. Well, early season Leake, not, you know. He’s gets two starts at Safeco Park this week, which is good, but the Rangers and Indians have been two of the better offenses in the second half, so be careful.
It looked like we were headed for a Snell-aissance (ok, that was a stretch, even for me), before the lefty was rocked by the Twins for six runs in four innings earlier this month. Despite that hiccup, Snell has been solid in his past seven starts, averaging six innings per outing with a 3.00 ERA and fewer than 2.5 walks per nine innings. Both the Cubs and Orioles fare well against southpaws, so Snell is a risky play this week, but he seems to be headed in the right direction.
I don’t want to pick on the Tigers. They’re very clearly doing the right thing by rebuilding their roster and giving some of their young players some big league exposure. Having said that, this week they’re facing the two best offenses in the second half (according to wRC+), so I’m not too interested in starting the Farmer and the Bell.
Skaggs has provided some reasons to get excited about his recovery from injury, but this week he’ll carry an 8.8 percent swinging-strike rate against the two best offenses in baseball when it comes to limiting strikeouts. Death by BABIP is in play.