MLB Week 15: 2-Start Pitchers

  • CC Sabathia (yankees) @ BAL, @ CLE
  • Masahiro Tanaka (yankees) @ BAL, @ CLE
  • Andrew Cashner (orioles) v NYY, v TEX
  • Zach Eflin (phillies) @ NYM, @ MIA
  • Aaron Nola (phillies) @ NYM, @ MIA
  • Zack Wheeler (mets) v PHI, v WAS
  • Corey Oswalt (mets) v PHI, v WAS
  • Jefry Rodriguez (nationals) @ PIT, @ NYM
  • Jeremy Hellisckson (nationals) @ PIT, @ NYM
  • Ivan Nova (pirates) v WAS, v MIL
  • Trevor Williams (pirates) v WAS, v MIL
  • Mike Minor (rangers) @ BOS, @ BAL
  • Eduardo Rodriguez (red sox) v TEX, v TOR
  • Hector Velazquez (red sox) v TEX, v TOR
  • Mike Clevinger (indians) v CIN, v NYY
  • Trevor Bauer (indians) v CIN, v NYY
  • Chase Anderson (brewers) @ MIA, @ PIT
  • Jhoulys Chacin (brewers) @ MIA, @ PIT
  • Jose Urena (marlins) v MIL, v PHI
  • Francisco Liriano (tigers) @ TB, @ HOU
  • Chris Archer (rays) v DET, @ MIN
  • Matt Andriese (rays) v DET, @ MIN
  • Danny Duffy (royals) @ MIN, @ CWS
  • Jose Berrios (twins) v KC, v TB
  • Aaron Slegers (twins) v KC, v TB
  • Frankie Montas (athletics) @ HOU, @ SF
  • Sean Manaea (athletics) @ HOU, @ SF
  • Gerrit Cole (astros) v OAK, v DET
  • Justin Verlander (astros) v OAK, v DET
  • Clayton Kershaw (dodgers) @ SD, v LAA
  • Rich Hill (dodgers) @ SD, v LAA
  • Luis Perdomo (padres) v LAD, v CHC
  • Eric Lauer (padres) v LAD, v CHC
  • Kyle Hendricks (cubs) @ SF, @ SD
  • Andrew Suarez (giants) v CHC, v OAK
  • Marcus Stroman (blue jays) @ ATL, @ BOS
  • Patrick Corbin (diamondbacks) @ COL, @ ATL
  • Tyler Anderson (rockies) v ARI, v SEA
  • Mike Leake (mariners) @ LAA, @ COL
  • Garrett Richards (angels) v SEA, @ LAD

Who to Stream:

Zach Eflin (phillies) @ NYM, @ MIA

Eflin has two juicy matchups this week, first, against the Mets, then, against the Marlins. Both of these teams have had putrid offenses for much of the season. In addition, Eflin has been phenomenal in his 11 starts in 2018. In 63.2 innings, he’s pitched to a 2.97 ERA with 63 Ks to just 14 walks. The reason for his success has a lot to do with his HR rate. In his first 2 seasons, he allowed 1.7 and 2.2 HR/9 respectively. This year, however, that number is just 0.7 HR/9. The Mets and Marlins are both in the bottom third of MLB in home runs (Mets 23rd, Marlins 29th) so look for that success to continue this week.

Jeremy Hellickson (nationals) @ PIT, @ NYM

Hellickson has had excellent success against the Pirates over the years. In 6 starts, he’s amassed a 3-1 record with a 2.38 ERA. The reason being is he simply does not let the bases fill up with Pirates; he has a 0.89 WHIP in those 6 starts. He’s even better when in PNC Park; 2-0 in 2 starts with a 1.59 ERA, 0.62 WHIP in 11.1 innings. The Mets have been one of the worst offensive teams in baseball, ranking 29th in team average, 28th in runs scored, 23rd in HRs, and dead last in hits. Hellickson should be chomping at the bit for a chance to face the Mets this week.

Aaron Slegers (twins) v KC, v TB

Now, this is my super sleeper for the week. He’s only made 1 big league start in 2018, and it was a good one. Against Baltimore, he went 6 innings allowing just 1 run to earn his first big league win. He doesn’t miss many bats, striking out just 6.6 hitters per 9 innings. But, he has already shown success against KC this season. Coming in relief on May 30th, he hurled 5.1 innings of 2 run ball in Kansas City. This week, both games will be at home, and against a pair of the worst run scoring offenses in baseball. Kansas City and Tampa Bay rank last and 26th respectively in runs scored this season. I personally guarantee that Slegers is available in your league and he’s worth the add this week.

Who to Avoid:

Trevor Bauer (indians) v CIN, v NYY

Cincinnati has been very good as of late. They’ve won 16 of their past 20 games and have been quietly outstanding on offense. The Reds are 6th in team average, 8th in runs scored, 7th in hits, 1st in walks, and in the bottom half (18th) in team strikeouts. This will be a tougher matchup for Bauer than it appears. This Reds’ team is a gritty bunch and could wear Bauer down by taking pitches and fouling balls off, driving up the pitch count up and causing an early Bauer exit. Then he will face the Yankees, with one of the most prolific offenses in the sport. Now, they will be without Gary Sanchez and Gleyber Torres, but the offense is still daunting, nevertheless. The Yankees beat Bauer in his only start against them this year, going 6 innings allowing 2 earned runs. However, over his career, Bauer’s really struggled against New York. Against teams in which Bauer has started more than 5 games, only one has struck out less. A guy that relies on the strikeout really struggles to punch out Yankees’ hitters. In 9 career starts against the Bronx Bombers, he’s 3-5 with a 4.06 ERA and just 44 Ks in 51.0 innings.

Patrick Corbin (diamondbacks) @ COL, @ ATL

Corbin is a tough guy to sit as he’s one of the premiere pitchers in Major League Baseball. I simply do not like these matchups for him. Colorado is a team that he has really struggled with throughout his career to the tune of a 4.68 ERA in 17 starts. While his record (8-3) looks good, the underlying numbers are not. He has accumulated a WHIP of 1.35 and 16 HRs over the course of those starts. When you look at his numbers while inside the confines of Coors Field, it’s even worse. In 8 starts, he has a 7.11 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP over 44.1 innings. It’s a tough place to pitch for anyone, but Corbin seems to really have a hard time there. Now, Atlanta has been a different story. Corbin has been very successful against the Braves; he has yet to allow an earned run at Turner Field in 16.2 innings. However, this year’s Braves are not the Braves we’ve seen in recent memory, and over the course of Corbin’s tenure. The 2018 rendition of the Atlanta Braves rank 5th in team average, 6th in runs scored, 2nd in doubles, and 4th in hits. The have been outstanding behind the emergence of Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna, and the resurgence of Nick Markakis. Corbin has yet to face this version of the Braves, and I don’t like his chances.

Mike Clevinger (indians) v CIN, v NYY

Sticking with my “avoid Indians’ pitchers” theme, Clevinger is also a guy I’d avoid this week. Similar to Bauer, it’s a matter of one streaking offense and one prolific offense. On top of that, Clevinger has also struggled in his previous appearances against both the Reds and the Yankees. In 3 appearances against the two teams, he’s allowed 9 earned runs over 13.2 innings; with only 1 of the 3 appearances coming this season. Previous versions of the Reds and Yankees are not as offensively gifted as the two teams are this season. That does not bode well for the Indians’ righty. Similar to Bauer, Clevinger is generally a strikeout pitcher, notching 1 strikeout per inning over his career. I don’t see him continuing that trend in either start he will make this week. Both the Reds and Yankees see a lot of pitches and extend at-bats while drawing a ton of walks. Free baserunners will be the demise of Clevinger this week.

The weekly 2-start pitchers could be essential to picking up victories in some pitching categories. We all know the win category is a fluke, and I’m sure 99% of fantasy baseball leagues use the win stat for pitching. The only way to accumulate wins is in sheer volume of starts. We’ve seen pitchers this year go 7-8 scoreless innings and manage to not get a “win” so the key is to start as many *quality* pitchers as possible. Weekly 2-start pitchers help; I’ll begin a weekly post every Monday that includes all the 2-start pitchers for the week and which ones I like most and which ones I like least.

Give us a follow on Twitter for news and updates, @thefantasynerdz / @joebuttgereit !

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