Fantasy Baseball

2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 18 Pitching Planner: 0 to 100, Real Quick

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Maybe I keep movin’ forward and they just stagnant
They ain’t movin’ at all

— ‘0 to 100 / Catch-Up’, Drake

Song is NSFW at all and also quite reachy for my purposes. Does it look like I care? Just key in on the title…

One way or another, many pitchers are starting to surpass the 100 inning threshold. This is exciting for me because it’s such an easy reference point for sample size. If I’m worried about how believable a pitcher’s statistics are, I simply check out the quantity of innings thrown and differentiate from 100.

Consequentially, this has led to quite the shake up in the pitching tiers this week. As I was completing my research for the week, I continued to notice that I had been over- and underrating many pitchers in the rankings in recent weeks. I’m anxious to release my improved rankings this week and hope to unveil my point system that I have created in the near future.

For now, we focus on pitching options in Week 18. As football season nears, it’s important to be stealthy and mine the waivers for competent streamers. I wish to help you in that quest!

2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 18 Pitching Planner

Auto-Start

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

PlayerTeamOpp1Opp2
Chris SaleRed SoxCLECWS
Max ScherzerNationals@MIA
Corey KluberIndiansNYY
Zack GreinkeDiamondbacks@SF
Alex WoodDodgers@ATL
Luis SeverinoYankeesDET@CLE
Lance McCullersAstrosTOR
James PaxtonMariners@KC

Promoted

  • No one was promoted this week. I hope to be in a better mood next week. You will see what I mean in the ‘relegated’ section.

Relegated

  • It’s mass relegation time for Carlos MartinezYu Darvish, and Carlos Carrasco! These guys aren’t awful all of a sudden, but I just feel that they aren’t elite anymore like the eight pitchers listed above. The three pitchers here along with Jacob deGrom and Chris Archer could still wiggle their way back to the 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
Dallas KeuchelAstrosTB
Aaron NolaPhillies@LAA@COL
Madison BumgarnerGiants@OAKARI
Jeff SamardzijaGiants@OAKARI
Jimmy NelsonBrewersSTL@TB
Zack GodleyDiamondbacks@CHC
Chris ArcherRays@HOUMIL
Carlos MartinezCardinals@MIL@CIN
Jameson TaillonPiratesCINSD
Carlos CarrascoIndians@BOS
Jon LesterCubsARI
Marcus StromanBlue Jays@CWS
Yu DarvishRangersSEA@MIN
Sonny GrayAthletics@LAA
Jacob deGromMetsLAD
Michael FulmerTigers@NYY@BAL
Robbie RayDiamondbacks@CHC

Notables

  • Dallas Keuchel returns to the Houston rotation finally. This isn’t really about Keuchel though, as he will return to the top tier of starters if he can regain pre-injured form. I wanted to talk about the unfortunate demotion for Brad Peacock, who really came into his own in a starting role. However, if Collin McHugh continues to do Collin McHugh-type things, Peacock could find his way back into the starting staff.
  • Zack Godley is one of those guys that, while I am a big fan of his and jumped on him early, I didn’t believe could keep up this pace. However, with close to triple digit innings under his belt, there’s no reason to keep him out of this tier.
  • The enigma that is Jeff Samardzija continues here in 2017. Dude has only issued more than one walk in a game once since April. He’s had nine eight-strikeout outings in that same timeframe. If he can bring the home run rate and BABIP back down closer to his career rates, Shark could be smelling blood.

Dream Stream

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

PlayerTeamOpp1Opp2
Yusmeiro PetitAngelsOAK
Brock StewartDodgers@ATL
Jose BerriosTwins@SDTEX
Sean ManaeaAthleticsSF@LAA
Charlie MortonAstrosTBTOR
Jacob FariaRaysMIL
Kenta MaedaDodgers@ATL@NYM
Trevor CahillRoyalsSEA
Rich HillDodgers@NYM
Brent SuterBrewersSTL
Felix HernandezMariners@TEX@KC
Michael WachaCardinals@MIL
Gerrit ColePiratesSD
Danny DuffyRoyals@BALSEA
Jose QuintanaCubsARI
Mike FiersAstrosTBTOR
Drew PomeranzRed SoxCLECWS
Masahiro TanakaYankeesDET
Luis CastilloRedsSTL
Dan StrailyMarlins@ATL
Rick PorcelloRed SoxCWS
Patrick CorbinDiamondbacks@CHC@SF
Ivan NovaPiratesSD
Jaime GarciaTwinsTEX
Gio GonzalezNationals@MIA@CHC
Mike ClevingerIndians@BOSNYY
Mike FoltynewiczBraves@PHIMIA
Taijuan WalkerDiamondbacks@SF
Eduardo RodriguezRed SoxCWS
Dinelson LametPadres@PIT
Jason VargasRoyals@BAL
Marco EstradaBlue Jays@CWS@HOU
Jake ArrietaCubsARIWSH
JC RamirezAngelsPHI
Ervin SantanaTwins@SD
Jordan MontgomeryYankees@CLE
David PriceRed SoxCLE
Hyun-Jin RyuDodgers@NYM
Jon GrayRockiesPHI
Alex CobbRays@HOUMIL
Jhoulys ChacinPadresMIN
Lance LynnCardinals@CIN
Mike LeakeCardinals@CIN
Ariel MirandaMariners@TEX
Luke WeaverCardinals@MIL
J.A. HappBlue Jays@CWS
Trevor WilliamsPiratesCIN
Erick FeddeNationals@CHC

Notables

  • Fair warning, the sample sizes on Brock Stewart and Yusmeiro Petit are far too small for my ranking system. Their matchups are nice enough to stream, but I wouldn’t go as far as rank them at the top of this table. I just wanted to be consistent with my point system.
  • Danny Salazar tossed a gem in his return to the Cleveland rotation against the anemic Jays. I won’t diminish Salazar’s return though, it was certainly encouraging for his rest of season value. I believe he can be a mid-rotation arm, but don’t expect him to just wreck shop like he did last week the rest of the way.
  • Just wanted to mention Trevor Cahill since he was traded to the Royals. Most everyone knows that I am a big Cahill-backer and his value won’t change much in Kansas City. He might gain a few more wins on a better team, but that’s not bankable. If this guy is available on your waiver wire though, I am envious and you should snag him in a heartbeat.
  • My streamer of the week is Ariel Miranda against the Rangers. Texas is one of the worst lefty-hitting squads in the majors. Miranda has shown the ability to toss straight up gems and this will be one of them.

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
Ricky NolascoAngelsPHIOAK
Paul BlackburnAthleticsSF@LAA
Nick PivettaPhilliesATL@COL
Jeff HoffmanRockiesNYMPHI
Dylan BundyOriolesKCDET
Caleb SmithYankees@CLE
Ty BlachGiantsOAK
Trevor BauerIndians@BOS
Parker BridwellAngelsPHI
Kyle HendricksCubsWSH
CC SabathiaYankeesDET@CLE
Luis PerdomoPadresMIN
Ian KennedyRoyals@BALSEA
Rafael MonteroMets@COL
Daniel GossettAthletics@SF
Adalberto MejiaTwinsTEX
Danny SalazarIndiansNYY
Jerad EickhoffPhillies@LAA
German MarquezRockiesNYM
Cole HamelsRangersSEA@MIN
Tanner RoarkNationals@MIA
Chris FlexinMets@COL
Steven MatzMets@COLLAD
Antonio SenzatelaRockiesPHI
Vince VelasquezPhillies@COL
Anibal SanchezTigers@NYY@BAL
Justin VerlanderTigers@BAL
Josh TomlinIndiansNYY
Mike PelfreyWhite SoxTOR@BOS
Chris SmithAthletics@SF
Matt MooreGiantsOAK
Chad KuhlPiratesCIN
Jose UrenaMarlinsWSH@ATL
Clayton RichardPadres@PIT
Kyle FreelandRockiesNYM
Jason HammelRoyalsSEA
Seth LugoMetsLAD
Sean NewcombBravesLAD
Tim AdlemanRedsSTL
Zach DaviesBrewers@TB
Yovani GallardoMariners@KC
Kevin GausmanOriolesDET
R.A. DickeyBravesMIA
Adam ConleyMarlins@ATL
John LackeyCubsWSH
Martin PerezRangers@MIN
Matt BoydTigers@BAL
Julio TeheranBravesLAD
Sal RomanoReds@PIT
Andrew CashnerRangersSEA
Miguel GonzalezWhite Sox@BOS
Blake SnellRays@HOU
Carlos RodonWhite Sox@BOS

Notables

  • Amidst all of the trade talk, Justin Verlander is starting to heat up a little bit. However, I’m just not buying a total rebound yet. The Orioles don’t scare me a ton right now on offense, but I’m still skeptical.
  • If you are the brave soul streaming Paul Blackburn or Nick Pivetta for both starts this week, tweet me a picture of your lineup. I must warn you – there are only two things that can happen after that. Either I shame you at the end of the week or give you major mad props! No in-between.
  • Finally, Kyle Hendricks has made his return to the rotation after odd hand injuries. I will be extremely curious to see if he can bounce back or if the hand injuries were a rouse. Meanwhile, Mike Montgomery hops on back to the bullpen.
  • Despite a nice debut, I don’t believe the Yankees want Caleb Smith in their rotation for long. A name to keep on your radar is Chance Adams, who is making quick work of the minor leagues in 2017.

Arms Amending

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
Kendall GravemanAthleticsShoulder sorenessEarly August
Chase AndersonBrewersOblique strainMid August
Stephen StrasburgNationalsElbow nerve impingementMid August
Garrett RichardsAngelsCutaneous nerve in bicepsAugust
Johnny CuetoGiantsBlistersTBD
Clayton KershawDodgersBack strainEarly September
Noah SyndergaardMetsStrained latTBD

Notables

  • The Dodgers’ rotation has gone from nearly perfect to patchy in just a week’s time. Clayton Kershaw and Brandon McCarthy have both hit the DL, leaving Hyun-Jin Ryu and Stewart to man the final spots. I believe each of them will be serviceable for fantasy purposes.
  • Another year, another Stephen Strasburg arm-related injury. Well, we got three and a half awesome months out of him so that’s a positive takeaway. The Nats have called up Erick Fedde while Stras heals. Fedde has a nice pedigree and could surprise the Cubs in his major league debut.

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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