Fantasy Baseball

2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 17 Pitching Planner: Lickety-Splits

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A couple of things wrong here:

  1. I won’t be rambling as much as usual. It is very late and I am quite tired.
  2. I am refraining from the song-related introduction this week. Like I said, I am very late writing this piece for you, the readers!

If you really want something music-related here, I will use songs to describe how late I stayed up writing today. I listened to that one song by a one-hit wonder chick at 2 AM. I don’t care to look up the artist’s name – too much work.

Next up, a timeless classic by Matchbox Twenty found it’s way to my earholes at around 3 AM. I then spend about 12 minutes researching Rob Thomas and his career trajectory. Where was this effort on finding that last artist’s name?

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Finally, to pump myself up for the stretch run, I started up the ‘Rap Caviar’ playlist on Spotify and was pleasantly surprised to see that 2 Chainz came out with a new album this year. Needless to say, once I stumbled across the song ‘4 AM’, I knew I didn’t want to stay up that late.

Consequently, I didn’t come up with an elaborate intro like normal. So what, it will be back in due time. The main focus of my pitching studies this week came in the field of splits. More specifically, how certain teams produce against handedness of pitcher. I was shocked to see some of the results:

  • The White Sox are a top six team against lefties according to wOBA and wRC+.
  • Holding the top spot in that category is Detroit. However, the Tigers just lost their best hitter to trade and are 20th in wRC+ against righties already for the season.
  • The Rays are no longer lefty-mashers (19th) like in 2016, but they destroy righties now.
  • The Red Sox and Cubs are very similar in that they dominate lefties but struggle against righties.

The rest of the leaderboard can be found at FanGraphs here. Now onto the good stuff…

2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 17 Pitching Planner

Auto-Start

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

PlayerTeamOpp1Opp2
Clayton KershawDodgersSF
Chris SaleRed Sox@SEA
Zack GreinkeDiamondbacksATL@STL
Carlos CarrascoIndiansLAA@CWS
Max ScherzerNationalsMIL
Corey KluberIndians@CWS
Yu DarvishRangersMIA
Alex WoodDodgersMIN
Lance McCullersAstros@DET
Stephen StrasburgNationalsCOL
Carlos MartinezCardinalsCOL
James PaxtonMarinersBOSNYM
Luis SeverinoYankeesCIN

Promoted

  • Luis Severino is just your typical post-hype pitching prospect making his way back into fantasy relevance. He did it in a big way, becoming the ace of the Yankees staff. Hey, you deserve this promotion!

Relegated

  • No one needed to be relegated this week. Good job, top 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.

RkPlayerTeamOpp1Opp2
1Jacob deGromMets@SD@SEA
2Madison BumgarnerGiantsPIT
3Marcus StromanBlue JaysOAK
4Robbie RayDiamondbacks@STL
5Jameson TaillonPirates@SF
6Sonny GrayAthletics@TORMIN
7David PriceRed SoxKC
8Jon LesterCubs@CWS
9Jake ArrietaCubs@CWS
10Aaron NolaPhilliesHOU
11Michael FulmerTigersKC
12Chris ArcherRays@NYY
13Jose BerriosTwins@LAD

Notables

  • For those of you who get scared when a pitcher faces a team that shelled him twice in a row, don’t worry. Play Michael Fulmer with tons of confidence this week. There’s no hard evidence out there that votes for or against pitchers facing the same team in consecutive starts.
  • Dare I say that David Price looks back to his All-Star self? His last three starts have been straight fire and he’s slowly moving up the ranks as the weeks progress.
  • Jose Berrios has been in a little bit of a slump lately. He bounced back nicely last week against the Yankees though and continues to have my trust. Bad luck with team defense and BABIP in his last four or five starts should reverse fortune soon.

Dream Stream

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

PlayerTeamOpp1Opp2
Gerrit ColePirates@SF@SD
Jeff SamardzijaGiantsPIT
Brad PeacockAstros@PHI@DET
Kenta MaedaDodgersMINSF
Ivan NovaPirates@SD
Charlie MortonAstros@PHI
Rick PorcelloRed SoxKC
J.A. HappBlue JaysLAA
Sean ManaeaAthletics@TOR
Zack GodleyDiamondbacks@STL
Rich HillDodgersSF
Mike FiersAstros@PHI
Trevor WilliamsPirates@SF
Eduardo RodriguezRed Sox@SEAKC
Trevor CahillPadresNYM
Felix HernandezMarinersBOS
Taijuan WalkerDiamondbacksATL
Steven MatzMets@SD
Zack WheelerMets@SD
Dinelson LametPadresPIT
Danny SalazarIndiansLAA
Chad KuhlPirates@SD
Mike ClevingerIndiansCIN@CWS
Jordan MontgomeryYankeesCINTB
Jacob FariaRaysBAL@NYY
Dan StrailyMarlins@TEXCIN
Jimmy NelsonBrewers@WSH
Drew PomeranzRed Sox@SEA
Sean NewcombBraves@PHI
Brandon McCarthyDodgersMIN
Jeff HoffmanRockies@STL
Alex CobbRaysBAL
Trevor BauerIndiansLAA
Seth LugoMets@SD@SEA
Luis CastilloReds@NYY@MIA
Jason VargasRoyals@BOS
Marco EstradaBlue JaysOAK
Masahiro TanakaYankeesTB
Michael WachaCardinalsARI
Jose QuintanaCubs@MIL
Gio GonzalezNationalsMIL
Jerad EickhoffPhilliesATL
Brent SuterBrewersCHC
Justin VerlanderTigersKCHOU
Jhoulys ChacinPadresNYMPIT
Danny DuffyRoyals@DET
Cole HamelsRangersMIA
Jon GrayRockies@STL
Mike MontgomeryCubsCWS@MIL

Notables

  • Do not hesitate to pick up and stream Trevor Williams against the Giants this week if he is available. He’s been pitching great over the past month and has low blowup potential. He’s not a long term solution like some tout him to be, but he should certainly be auto-streamed this week.
  • One of the higher upside starts off the waiver wire this week has to be Dinelson Lamet. The Pirates have not had a great season and Lamet can realy take advantage of a lackluster offense. For the DFS lovers out there, Lamet’s high strikeout upside and low cost could give you options an offense.
  • Similarly to his teammate Williams, Chad Kuhl needs to go from waiver wire to streamer for hire. He too has been pitching very well over the last month and the opportunity here against the Padres at Petco Park is outstanding. No brainer move.
  • While it’s certainly a leap of faith, I’m willing to roll the virtual dice on Trevor Bauer this week. If you are scared to use him in a weekly format, that’s understandable. However, I am eager to use him as a low owned option in the DFS world against the Angels.
  • If you are looking for an off-the-wall two start week, look no further than Seth Lugo. The Padres start will be good enough to overcome a potential downfall against the Mariners. However, I think he performs well in both starts.
  • Now, I’m not as high on Luis Castillo as most are in the community. I certainly believe he projects more as a bullpen threat than a starter. Nevertheless, you can’t ignore his talent and I really don’t mind rolling him out for two starts this week. They are semi-tough matchups, but he will rack up strikeouts.

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
Jaime GarciaTwins@OAK
Patrick CorbinDiamondbacksATL@STL
Julio TeheranBraves@PHI
Rafael MonteroMets@SEA
Jeremy HellicksonPhilliesATL
Francisco LirianoBlue JaysOAKLAA
Alex MeyerAngels@CLE
Collin McHughAstros@DET
Ian KennedyRoyals@DET
JC RamirezAngels@TOR
Anibal SanchezTigersKC
CC SabathiaYankeesTB
Lance LynnCardinalsCOLARI
Mike LeakeCardinalsCOLARI
Dylan BundyOrioles@TEX
Vince VelasquezPhilliesHOUATL
Adam WainwrightCardinalsCOL
Chris SmithAthletics@TORMIN
Paul BlackburnAthletics@TOR
Parker BridwellAngels@TOR
Jason HammelRoyals@DET@BOS
Ervin SantanaTwins@LAD
Luis PerdomoPadresNYM
Aaron SanchezBlue JaysOAKLAA
Tanner RoarkNationalsCOL
John LackeyCubsCWS@MIL
Clayton RichardPadresNYMPIT
Chris O'GradyMarlinsCIN
Adalberto MejiaTwins@OAK
Jesse ChavezAngels@CLE@TOR
Blake SnellRaysBAL@NYY
Adam ConleyMarlins@TEXCIN
Matt GarzaBrewers@WSH
Zach DaviesBrewers@WSHCHC
Mike FoltynewiczBraves@ARI
Junior GuerraBrewersCHC
Ariel MirandaMarinersNYM
Antonio SenzatelaRockies@STL@WSH
Daniel GossettAthleticsMIN
Tim AdlemanReds@CLE@MIA
German MarquezRockies@WSH
Andrew CashnerRangersBAL
Ricky NolascoAngels@CLE
Ty BlachGiants@LAD
Wade MileyOrioles@TB
R.A. DickeyBraves@ARI@PHI
Bartolo ColonTwins@LAD@OAK
Martin PerezRangersMIABAL
Kyle FreelandRockies@WSH
Jake OdorizziRays@NYY
Miguel GonzalezWhite Sox@CHCCLE
Yovani GallardoMarinersNYM
Andrew MooreMarinersBOS
Jose UrenaMarlins@TEX
Kevin GausmanOrioles@TB@TEX
Carlos RodonWhite Sox@CHCCLE
Nick PivettaPhilliesHOU
Jordan ZimmermannTigersHOU
Matt MooreGiants@LAD
Edwin JacksonNationalsMILCOL
Ubaldo JimenezOrioles@TB

Notables

  • As of this writing, Jaime Garcia is in the process of being dealt to the Twins. If it happens soon, I peg Garcia for a start against Oakland to start off his Minnesota career. That’s not a bad draw.
  • It hasn’t been pretty for Mike Leake with just a 1.14 K/BB over the last month. The ERA hasn’t ballooned too bad considering how bad he’s pitched, but reports are that he’s pitching through injury. I wouldn’t blame anyone for dropping him in shallow redraft leagues, especially given the matchups this week.
  • Quietly, Rafael Montero has been performing well for the Mets as their fifth starter. No, he does not go deep into games so he is useless in quality start leagues. If he can change that and stretch his arm an inning or two more per game, we could have a sneaky waiver pickup here.
  • Do I have much of a clue as to who Chris Smith is? Nope. I haven’t done my due research on him as of now, but if he strings together a couple more decent starts it could be worth the effort. I don’t think he will be the next Rich Hill, but it’s a good story.
  • In deeper leagues, Francisco Liriano definitely comes into play as a two start pitcher. The matchups don’t get any better than the Angels and Athletics for a southpaw. Just don’t get too cute and start him in your 10-team league!

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
Dallas KeuchelAstrosNeck discomfortMid July
Chase AndersonBrewersOblique strainLate July
Kyle HendricksCubsVarious hand ailmentsLate July
Andrew TriggsAthleticsStrained left hipLate July
Matt ShoemakerAngelsForearm strainLate July
Garrett RichardsAngelsCutaneous nerve in bicepsAugust
Kendall GravemanAthleticsShoulder sorenessAugust
Anthony DeSclafaniRedsUCL sprainAugust
Noah SyndergaardMetsStrained latTBD
Johnny CuetoGiantsBlistersTBD
Joe RossNationalsTommy John surgeryLate 2018
Michael PinedaYankeesTommy John surgeryLate 2018

Notables

  • Johnny Cueto has been struggling this year and now it’s time to cap it off with an injury. What kind of injury is it? It is none other than the dreaded blister, which is just a volatile situation. I still think Stroman is onto something with the raised seams on the baseballs. Nonetheless, the Giants have no replacements.
  • Both Joe Ross and Michael Pineda will undergo Tommy John surgery. This news means little for fantasy purposes as these teams are not equipped to fill the fifth starter spot with quality. The Nationals traded every one of their potential pitching prospects to the White Sox for damaged goods. The Yankees don’t have any pitching prospects on the horizon. Look for both teams to try to make a splash in the trade market.

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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