MLB Week 17: 2-Start Pitchers

  •  Tyler Skaggs (angels) @ TB, @ CLE
  • Gerrit Cole (astros) @ SEA, @ LAD
  • Edwin Jackson (athletics) v TOR, v DET
  • Marco Estrada (blue jays) @ OAK, @ SEA
  • Sam Gaviglio (blue jays) @ OAK, @ SEA
  • Julio Teheran (braves) v MIA, @ NYM
  • Anibal Sanchez (braves) v MIA, @ NYM
  • Freddy Peralta (brewers) @ LAD, v COL
  • Wade Miley (brewers) @ LAD, v COL
  • Carlos Martinez (cardinals) v COL, @ PIT
  • Jack Flaherty (cardinals) v COL, @ PIT
  • Jon Lester (cubs) @ PIT, v SD
  • Robbie Ray (diamondbacks) v TEX, v SF
  • Kenta Maeda (dodgers) v MIL, v HOU
  • Derek Holland (giants) @ SD, @ ARI
  • Shane Bieber (indians) @ MIN, v LAA
  • James Paxton (mariners) v HOU, v TOR
  • Mike Leake (mariners) v HOU, v TOR
  • Wei-Yin Chen (marlins) @ ATL, @ PHI
  • Dan Straily (marlins) @ATL, @ PHI
  • Steven Matz (mets) @ WAS, v ATL
  • Tanner Roark (nationals) v NYM, v CIN
  • Yefry Ramirez (orioles) @ NYY, @ TEX
  • Eric Lauer (padres) v SF, @ CHC
  • Aaron Nola (phillies) @ BOS, v MIA
  • Martin Perez (rangers) @ ARI, v BAL
  • David Price (red sox) v PHI, v NYY
  • Tyler Anderson (rockies) @ STL, @ MIL
  • Jon Gray (rockies) @ STL, @ MIL
  • Danny Duffy (royals) @ CWS, @ MIN
  • Matthew Boyd (tigers) v CIN, @ OAK
  • Ervin Santana (twins) v CLE, v KC
  • James Shields (white sox) v KC, @ TB
  • Masahiro Tanaka (yankees) v BAL, @ BOS

Who to Start:

Tanner Roark (nationals) v NYM, v CIN

As with many players on this year’s Nationals team, Tanner Roark has been quite the disappointment thus far. He’s pitched to a 4.55 ERA in 122.2 innings over 20 starts, hardly impressive. However, I can see him putting his season struggles behind him, at least for this week. His last outing was an excellent one, going 8.0 innings allowing no runs on 3 hits, with 11 strikeouts in a win over the Brewers. On top of that, he has two pretty solid matchups, with two home games against the Mets and the Reds. The Mets have been a bad offense for most of the year, and their most consistent player, Asdrubal Cabrera, is now a Phillie, making them likely even worse on offense. The Reds have been a surprise to many sitting 9th in the majors in runs scored. However, Roark has had success against both teams over the course of his career, going a combined 9-5 with a 3.43 ERA over 20 starts against both teams.

James Shields (white sox) v KC, @ TB

Shields has been unable to find success since leaving the Royals after the 2015 season. In the 2.5 years since, he’s 15-38 with a 5.27 ERA over 435.2 innings. He greatly benefited from the Joe Maddon led Rays’ years as many young pitchers did. See Jeremy Hellickson, Matt Moore, Chris Archer, etc. This year has actually been an improvement over the previous two. Outside of the 4-12 record, he has a 4.53 ERA and 1.30 WHIP over 137.0 innings; much improved from the 5.60 ERA and 11-26 record he had in 2016-2017. He also has two matchups against teams he’s had great success against over his career. Against Kansas City, he’s 9-2 with a 4.08 ERA over 15 starts; and against Tampa Bay, he’s 3-0 with a 1.37 ERA over 4 starts. He apparently enjoys pitching against teams he’s played for in the past, and I expect him to have a pair of good outings this week.

Martin Perez (rangers) @ ARI, v BAL

Now this is as deep a sleeper as I’ll give on these weekly 2-start pitcher posts. Perez should not be owned by anyone in fantasy baseball. He boasts a 7.08 ERA, 2.02 WHIP, and he’s only striking out 5.5 batters per 9 innings. He’s certainly not fantasy roster worthy. That’s exactly why I love putting him on this list, he’s surely available and if comes through like I think he will, he’s almost guaranteed to put your team over the top in this week’s matchup. Two of his last 3 starts have been excellent, one against a streaking team in the Athletics. In his last start against Oakland, he went 6.0 innings, allowing 1 run on seven hits with 4 strikeouts. The Athletics have been one of MLB’s hottest teams over the past 6 weeks. On July 14th, in Baltimore (his second matchup this week), he went 7.0 innings, allowing 1 run on five hits. Keep in mind, this was against Baltimore WITH Manny Machado. The start against Arizona looks daunting because of the team’s name value, however, the Diamondbacks this year haven’t the offensive beast they’ve been in recent years. They’re still hanging around in their divisional race but as far as fantasy stats are concerned, they’re just OK. The sit 14th in runs scored, 27th in team batting average, and 18th in home runs across MLB. I believe Perez will be a huge weapon this week as you try to steal a few categories to make a fantasy playoff push!

Who to Sit:

Aaron Nola (phillies) @ BOS, v MIA

Nola has been as consistent as they come this season, so naturally I had a hard time putting him on this list. However, his last two starts weren’t great, going 11.0 innings, allowing 5 runs on 9 hits. Not terrible but one of those was a loss to Miami, the team he’ll face this weekend. I just don’t like his matchups this week. He has never faced Boston, which is good for his career numbers. The Red Sox don’t need much of an offensive introduction; they lead MLB in runs scored, team average, and total hits, and are 3rd in OBP, and 4th in home runs. Put it this way, they have 2 players that could legitimately win the AL MVP and one that is the favorite for the AL Cy Young award. Not good for Nola. Miami is actually better than people were expecting this season. J.T. Realmuto has established himself as the best catcher in baseball and guys like Brian Anderson and Derek Dietrich are really performing well. He has a career ERA of 3.79 and is 3-4 against Miami in his career.

Carlos Martinez (cardinals) v COL, @ PIT

This is simply a recency effect choice. His last two starts have been bad, and he is coming off the 10-day DL to make today’s start after suffering an oblique strain in his last start. He’s 0-2 in his last two starts with an ERA just under 8.00, while allowing 17 base runners in just 10 innings. In addition, Martinez hasn’t had the greatest success against the two teams he’s slated to pitch against this week. In 9 appearances and 5 starts against Colorado, he has a 6.35 ERA in 34.0 innings. In 21 games and 12 starts against the Pirates, he has a 3.49 ERA over 87.2 innings; both above his career mark of 3.41.

Kenta Maeda (dodgers) v MIL, v HOU

Maeda was on this list last week, but was scratched from his Sunday start, which puts him in line for a 2-start week this week instead. I still don’t like the matchups. He’s had success against Milwaukee in his career going 2-1 with a 2.01 ERA over 4 starts. However, this Brewers offense is a bit different. They are a much better OBP team in 2018 with the addition of guys like Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich in the offseason. On top of that, the recent acquisition of Mike Moustakas also improves this offense greatly. He has never faced Houston before, but he’s in for a treat. Houston’s offense is top-10 in every major category; 4th in runs scored, 5th in team OBP, 6th in total bases, 8th in team average, and 10th in home runs. They are a scary bunch offensively, and certainly not a team you’d want to start one of your mid-tier fantasy starters against.

Last Week’s Results:
Start:

Masahiro Tanaka (yankees) – 1-0, 9.0/3H/9K/BB

Zack Wheeler (mets) – 2-0, 13.0/9H/2ER/10K/2BB

Junior Guerra (brewers) – 0-1, 10.0/9H/6ER/9K/5BB

Sit:

Jose Berrios (twins) – 1-1, 11.2/13H/3ER/15K/4BB

Mike Minor (rangers) – 2-0, 11.0/8H/4ER/13K/2BB

Kenta Maeda (dodgers) – 0-0, 7.0/6H/4ER/7K

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