Fantasy Baseball

2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 14 Pitching Planner: Double Vision

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Ooh, when it gets through to me, it’s always new to me
My double vision gets the best of me

— ‘Double Vision’, Foreigner

The popular classic rock song from the late 1970’s was a fun song about dealings with drugs and alcohol on a late night. Or was it?!

The idea for this song actually arose from a game of hockey. The band members watched a New York Rangers game and saw the goalie undergo a concussion. They announced over the loud speakers that he was experiencing ‘double vision’ and that’s where they came up with the idea.

Okay, come on, you may have gotten the idea for the song from hockey, but it’s totally about substance abuse. The narrator is looking to get smashed to free himself from the stresses of life. Pretty simple theory, but at what point does this double vision take over and ruin the evening?

I feel like the same can be said in fantasy baseball with two-start pitchers. An owner sees that one pitcher has two starts instead of just basing the pickup or bidding on the quality of the pitcher and/or start. Volume gets overstated in the streaming world, no matter how hard we try to be unbiased.

This week in particular, two-start options need to be discussed. Only three of the top 30 pitchers according to my rankings have two-start weeks. This means that they are spread out within the rest of the mediocre pitching community. I expect the amount of pickups and bids on pitchers this week to be the most in any week of the season. Let’s separate the good volume from the bad in this week’s pitching planner!

2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 14 Pitching Planner

Auto-Start

The Auto-Start tier strictly includes pitchers that should be started every week regardless of league size and matchup.

PlayerTeamOpp1Opp2
Stephen StrasburgNationalsNYMATL
Corey KluberIndiansSD
Max ScherzerNationalsATL
Clayton KershawDodgersARI
Yu DarvishRangersBOSLAA
Carlos MartinezCardinalsNYM
Lance McCullersAstros@TOR
Chris SaleRed Sox@TB
Zack GreinkeDiamondbacksCIN
Carlos CarrascoIndiansDET
Chris ArcherRays@CHC
Alex WoodDodgersARI

Promoted

  • I talked about him last week and he delivered once again. Alex Wood deserves to be in this tier considering the way he has pitched this season. To give you a quick perspective with a terrible stat, Wood is ahead of Clayton Kershaw in WAR despite having pitched 42 less innings. Wowza!

Relegated

  • There is no relegation to report this week. Neither are there any pitchers who are very close to being demoted. Nice work, elite tier!

Auto-Stream

This tier consists of pitchers who don’t quite reach the trust level of the Auto-Starts. However, due to matchup or recent performance, they are capable of having elite level production in a given week.

PlayerTeamOpp1Opp2
James PaxtonMarinersOAK
Luis SeverinoYankeesMIL
Michael FulmerTigersSF
Robbie RayDiamondbacks@LAD
Marcus StromanBlue Jays@NYYHOU
Jon LesterCubsTB
Sonny GrayAthleticsCWS
Michael PinedaYankeesTOR
Jose BerriosTwinsBAL
Jacob deGromMets@WSH
Gerrit ColePirates@PHI
Jake ArrietaCubsPIT
Johnny CuetoGiants@DET

Notables

  • The Dodgers have been remarkably better against lefties in 2017 compared to 2016, making a bottom third to top third jump in all the important categories. Don’t let this scare you away from Robbie Ray this week though! He’s going to be an incredibly underowned option in DFS because of the matchup, which makes him an intriguing tournament play.
  • Welcome to the second class, Jose Berrios! He’s been too good to ignore to this point and is living up to his incredible minor league career. While the BABIP is expected to increase 40 points or so, I believe there is potential to hone down his control even more. Berrios surely looks like he will be an every week starting option for the rest of 2017.

Dream Stream

The Dream Stream group more closely reflects the pitchers that you might find on the waiver wire depending on league size.

PlayerTeamOpp1Opp2
Felix HernandezMarinersKCOAK
Jameson TaillonPirates@PHI@CHC
Aaron NolaPhilliesPITSD
Ivan NovaPirates@PHI@CHC
Drew PomeranzRed Sox@TB
Sean ManaeaAthletics@SEA
Kenta MaedaDodgersKC
Brad PeacockAstros@ATL
J.A. HappBlue Jays@NYYHOU
Jason VargasRoyals@SEA
Zack GodleyDiamondbacks@LADCIN
Taijuan WalkerDiamondbacksCIN
Ervin SantanaTwinsLAA
Dan StrailyMarlins@SF
Jordan MontgomeryYankeesMIL
Mike MontgomeryCubsMIL
Mike LeakeCardinalsMIA
David PriceRed Sox@TEX@TB
Marco EstradaBlue Jays@NYY
Dylan BundyOrioles@MIL
Chase AndersonBrewersBAL@NYY
Jimmy NelsonBrewersBAL@NYY
Gio GonzalezNationalsATL
Cole HamelsRangersLAA
Jeff SamardzijaGiantsMIA
Michael WachaCardinalsMIA
Edinson VolquezMarlins@STL
Lance LynnCardinalsMIANYM
Masahiro TanakaYankeesTORMIL
Mike ClevingerIndians@DET
Rick PorcelloRed Sox@TEX@TB
Justin VerlanderTigers@CLE
Eddie ButlerCubsPIT
Rich HillDodgersKC
Joe RossNationalsNYMATL
Sean NewcombBravesHOU
Steven MatzMets@WSH@STL
Tanner RoarkNationalsNYM
Jesse HahnAthleticsCWS@SEA
Jeff HoffmanRockiesCINCWS
Joe BiaginiBlue JaysHOU
Alex CobbRaysBOS
Jacob FariaRaysBOS
Jhoulys ChacinPadres@PHI
Trevor BauerIndiansSDDET
Matt GarzaBrewersBAL
Daniel GossettAthleticsCWS@SEA
Jon GrayRockiesCIN
Luis PerdomoPadres@CLE@PHI

Notables

  • An author’s favorite, Aaron Nola should be in line for a spectacular week given his two starts. I’m very optimistic on Nola’s chances of becoming an SP2 or SP3 rest of season if he can limit the injuries.
  • An unheralded pitcher, J.A. Happ has been pitching very well for the Jays since his return about a month ago. He’s got a 22-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio over his last three starts and an xFIP that suggests he’ll get better. The two starts for him aren’t fantastic, but I only bring this up for those who get cute. Roll him out there with confidence for both matchups.
  • Chase Anderson and Jimmy Nelson are gonna be twinsies for me in the pitching planner this year. They pitch on consecutive days. They have similar pitching styles and mechanics, so on and so forth. Just an FYI!
  • Joe Ross is the ultimate Jekyl and Hyde pitcher. As of this writing, he’s had four starts with an ERA under 3.86 and five starts with an ERA over 7.94. Whoa! To further complicate things, he’s had one good and one bad start against both teams he faces in Week 14. Despite all of this, I’m willing to take the chance on Ross putting together a solid overall week.
  • Disappointing 2016 aces Masahiro Tanaka and Rick Porcello face tough competition this week. However, I like the strikeout upside in these starts. Blindly throw that trust their way for one more week before making a roster-breaking decision at the All-Star break.
  • An Oakland tandem that not many saw coming before the season make the cut. Jesse Hahn and Daniel Gossett receive two start weeks against the White Sox and Mariners before the break. Both have been pitching well enough to warrant a play.

Editor’s Note

Chase Anderson hits the disabled list with an oblique injury. This is upsetting news as he was pitching well, but at least the timing was good with the ASB upcoming!

Buyer Beware

These pitchers are better left on your bench for the week if not the waiver wire. Guys closer to the top could be on the brink of being promoted in the right matchup or with a continued hot streak. If a player is not listed in any tiers, that should be the cue to drop said player.

PlayerTeamOpp1Opp2
Alex MeyerAngels@MIN@TEX
Doug FisterRed Sox@TEX
Tyson RossRangersLAA
Clayton RichardPadres@CLE
Josh TomlinIndiansSD
Ariel MirandaMarinersOAK
Jeff LockeMarlins@STL@SF
Adam WainwrightCardinalsMIANYM
JC RamirezAngels@MIN
Mike FiersAstros@TOR
German MarquezRockiesCWS
Dinelson LametPadres@CLE
Carlos RodonWhite Sox@OAK@COL
Jose QuintanaWhite Sox@COL
Jose UrenaMarlins@STL@SF
Nick PivettaPhilliesSD
Derek HollandWhite Sox@OAK
Daniel NorrisTigersSF@CLE
Trevor WilliamsPirates@CHC
Sam GaviglioMarinersKC
Zach DaviesBrewers@CHC
John LackeyCubsTBPIT
Ian KennedyRoyals@SEA@LAD
James ShieldsWhite Sox@OAK
David PaulinoAstros@ATL@TOR
Hyun-Jin RyuDodgersARIKC
Patrick CorbinDiamondbacks@LAD
Jaime GarciaBraves@WSH
Mike FoltynewiczBraves@WSH
Matt MooreGiantsMIA
Scott FeldmanReds@COL
Jeremy HellicksonPhilliesPIT
Ben LivelyPhilliesPIT
Kyle FreelandRockiesCINCWS
Chad KuhlPirates@PHI
Jharel CottonAthletics@SEA
Francisco LirianoBlue JaysHOU
Ty BlachGiants@DET
Tim AdlemanReds@ARI
Jesse ChavezAngels@TEX
Jake OdorizziRaysBOS
Jason HammelRoyals@LAD
Ricky NolascoAngels@TEX
Seth LugoMets@WSH
Andrew CashnerRangersBOS
Tyler ChatwoodRockiesCIN
David HolmbergWhite Sox@COL
Wade MileyOrioles@MIL@MIN
Adalberto MejiaTwinsLAABAL
Parker BridwellAngels@MIN
Austin Bibens-DirksRangersBOS
Matt StrahmRoyals@LAD
Junior GuerraBrewers@NYY
Julio TeheranBraves@WSH
Luis CastilloReds@COL@ARI

Notables

  • I have been wanting to get behind an Alex Meyer breakout, but I just can’t do it. FanGraphs says Meyer throws his changeup 1.6% of the time. That’s not going to cut it as a starter no matter how good your first two pitches are. I’m ready for him to either become a standout reliever or come up with new pitch in the offseason.
  • An overperforming Marlins duo,. Jeff Locke and Jose Urena have two decent starts coming up in St. Louis and San Francisco. In spite of the ERA of both, I just don’t trust them enough to waste innings on.
  • The first start back was not a welcoming one for Carlos Rodon against the Yankees. Yes, they were unearned runs, but they were definitely on Rodon. He threw wild pitch after wild pitch en route to a shortened outing. He’s usually not this wild, so he could just be rusty.
  • David Paulino is the epitome of unlucky in his first six starts. We are talking about an amazing 21.1% K-BB% and a 10.6% swinging strike percentage on one end. At the other end, a 19% HR/FB and a 10.7% soft hit percentage. So opponents are either hitting the ball extremely hard and in the air or not making contact at all? I am betting on him to improve closer to his 4.11 xFIP than his 6.52 ERA.
  • Just your weekly reminder that Wade Miley is terrible. I really hope I don’t have to include him in my list in the pitching planner for Week 15.
  • Don’t let the stat line fool you, Luis Castillo is not a good pitcher. I will boldly predict that his 3.38 ERA will at least double after his starts in Colorado and Arizona. Stack heavily against in DFS!

Editor’s Note

Charlie Morton could actually return to the rotation this Sunday, which would mess everything up. Paulino may not even get a start if this happens, but monitor the situation.

Arms Amending

A new addition to the pitching planner, this table will be updated each week to show which pitchers are on the mend. The mid-tier pitcher that gets injured is always the guy who goes unnoticed on waiver wires, so use this to your advantage.

PlayerTeamInjuryAnticipated Return
Charlie MortonAstrosStrained latSoon!
Brandon McCarthyDodgersRight knee inflammationSoon!
Jerad EickhoffPhilliesUpper back strainMid July
Matt ShoemakerAngelsForearm extensor strainMid July
Dallas KeuchelAstrosNeck discomfortMid July
Danny SalazarIndiansShoulder sorenessMid July
Aaron SanchezBlue JaysRich Hill syndrome (blisters)Mid July
Madison BumgarnerGiantsDirt-bike disfigurement (separated left shoulder)Post All-Star break
Kyle HendricksCubsRight hand tendinitis / middle finger inflammationPost All-Star break
Danny DuffyRoyalsOblique strainPost All-Star break
Drew SmylyRaysLeft flexor strainPost All-Star break
Andrew TriggsAthleticsStrained left hipPost All-Star break
CC SabathiaYankeesStrained hamstringPost All-Star break
Garrett RichardsAngelsCutaneous nerve in bicepsAugust
Collin McHughAstrosElbow impingementAugust
Kendall GravemanAthleticsShoulder sorenessAugust
Anthony DeSclafaniRedsUCL sprainAugust
Noah SyndergaardMetsStrained latTBD

Notables

  • Drew Smyly will be missing the 2017 season with a torn UCL in his elbow. The oft-injured pitcher was acquired by Seattle in the offseason and now they will have to wait another year to see what they have. The fantasy implications are that we will get extended looks at guys like Sam Gaviglio and Ariel Miranda.
  • Brandon McCarthy was placed on the disabled list this week with right knee inflammation. The Dodgers say he’s been battling it all year and should return in short order. This after a week where they lost Julio Urias for an extended period of time. Until then, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Kenta Maeda will man down the rotation. Not bad for your sixth and seventh options, am I right?

Check out the rest of our 2017 Fantasy Baseball content from our great team of writers.

About Tyler Thompson

Follow me on Twitter at @therealwody. For all the latest news and best advice out there, like us on Facebook, Google+ and Instagram.

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