Fantasy Baseball

2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 25 Pitching Planner: Tired Legs

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So I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage comparing the fantasy baseball season to a marathon. Each week that goes by represents the mile marker in the historical race to the finish.

Well, my legs are really freaking tired.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a wild and fun season! However, I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t ready for a little break from the Pitching Planner to regroup and figure out what to make of all the statistics in 2017.

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With this, I want to alert you to a couple of aspects of this article:

  1. Although I did my best, there will undoubtedly be starts for pitchers I got wrong. Usually managers get lazier as the season wears on too, meaning that they fail to mention that they want to rest certain guys or start a six man rotation to the media. Please double check the matchups for each pitcher I have listed before making any final decisions!
  2. These rankings are 99% statistically driven this week. I didn’t use too many human adjustments in the charts, so the rankings could be a little technical. I made sure to point out the guys that stood out to me and/or the starters I moved based on hunches.

All this being said, I will in fact run the final mile of the marathon next week. However, you should look for a little different formatting. I will go through a few streamers for the final week in the first section. Following that, I will also point out a few pitchers that I would target in the offseason for dynasty leagues. It’ll be a fun and (hopefully) helpful article to write and I hope you’ll join me in closing out a fantastic 2017 season.

2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 25 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 KershawDodgers@PHISF
Corey KluberIndians@SEA
Chris SaleRed Sox@BAL
Max ScherzerNationals@ATL

Promoted

  • No one was promoted this week. There’s no one really close to these four guys either!

Relegated

  • No one was relegated this week. I don’t imagine any of these four ever will be in the final two weeks.

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 PaxtonMarinersTEX
Robbie RayDiamondbacks@SD
Stephen StrasburgNationals@NYM
Luis SeverinoYankees@TOR
Zack GodleyDiamondbacks@SD
Brad PeacockAstrosCWS
Carlos CarrascoIndians@SEA
Alex WoodDodgers@PHI
Lance McCullersAstrosCWS
Zack GreinkeDodgersMIA
Chris ArcherRaysCHC
Jacob deGromMetsWSH

Notables

  • A strained pectoral muscle had James Paxton sidelined for awhile, but he’s back and ready for action! He’s had an injury riddled season and his 2018 draft position will intrigue this author.
  • Both Robbie Ray and Zack Godley were lucky enough to bypass a tough start in the Arizona rotation this week and pitch against the Padres instead. As predicted, the Padres have struggled against pitchers of all types in 2017 so these two starters should be popular on DFS.

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  • The most-written about pitcher this season goes to Brad Peacock who dominated both the bullpen and rotation in 2017. He should continue his awesome season with a start against the lowly White Sox.
  • Another Astro, Lance McCullers was scratched from his start last week with the dreaded ‘arm fatigue’. If he returns, he should be inserted right back into your fantasy lineup with a matchup against the White Sox.

Dream Stream

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

PlayerTeamOpp1Opp2
Dillon PetersMarlins@ARI
Luke WeaverCardinals@CIN
Jon LesterCubs@TB@MIL
Yu DarvishRangers@PHISF
Dallas KeuchelAstrosLAA
Rich HillDodgers@PHI
Kenta MaedaDodgersSF
Jon GrayRockies@SD
Aaron NolaPhilliesLAD@ATL
German MarquezRockies@SF@SD
Masahiro TanakaYankeesMIN
Charlie MortonAstrosLAA
Jeff SamardzijaGiants@LAD
Dinelson LametPadresARI
Jake ArrietaCubs@MIL
Patrick CorbinDiamondbacks@SDMIA
Carlos MartinezCardinals@CIN
Jose QuintanaCubs@MIL
Kyle HendricksCubs@MIL
Garrett RichardsAngels@HOU
Sonny GrayYankeesMIN
Chase AndersonBrewers@PITCHC
Gio GonzalezNationals@NYM
Gerrit ColePiratesSTL
Michael WachaCardinals@PIT
Madison BumgarnerGiants@LAD
Drew PomeranzRed Sox@BAL
Sean ManaeaAthleticsTEX
Marcus StromanBlue JaysKCNYY
Felix HernandezMarinersTEX
Jakob JunisRoyals@TOR
Jameson TaillonPiratesMIL
J.A. HappBlue JaysKC
Eduardo RodriguezRed Sox@CIN
Jordan MontgomeryYankees@TOR
Brandon WoodruffBrewersCHC
Trevor BauerIndians@LAA
Mike ClevingerIndians@LAA@SEA
Justin VerlanderTigersLAA
Luis PerdomoPadresARICOL
Johnny CuetoGiantsCOL
Tanner RoarkNationals@ATL@NYM
Brent SuterBrewers@PITCHC
Dylan BundyOriolesBOSTB
Jhoulys ChacinPadresCOL
Trevor WilliamsPiratesMIL
Jason HammelRoyals@CWS
Chad BettisRockies@SF
Jose BerriosTwins@NYY@DET
CC SabathiaYankees@TOR
John LackeyCubs@TB
Collin McHughAstrosCWS
Dan StrailyMarlinsNYM@ARI
Josh TomlinIndians@LAA
Edwin JacksonNationals@ATL
Lance LynnCardinals@PIT
Rick PorcelloRed Sox@CIN
Taijuan WalkerDiamondbacksMIA
Ervin SantanaTwins@NYY@DET
Zach DaviesBrewersCHC

Notables

  • Someone who came out of nowhere, Dillon Peters is turning heads in Miami. I would try to sum up his style, but this article does him better justice. Regardless, I still would avoid using him against the Diamondbacks this week. However, I definitely could buy into picking him up where available and streaming him next week.
  • My favorite two-start week goes to German Marquez who gets lovely chances at San Diego and at San Francisco.  Both offenses are in the bottom five during the second half and against righties. Check your waiver wire to make sure no one dropped Marquez prematurely.
  • A hamstring injury shouldn’t keep Jake Arrieta out any longer and I’m anticipating him to return to a great matchup against the Brew Crew. The strikeout upside is substantial for Arrieta in this one, as Milwaukee has struck out an embarrassing 27.5% of their at-bats in the second half.

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  • The Indians can do no wrong with their pitching staff right now. Josh Tomlin has been instrumental in Cleveland’s second half run and I suggest starting him this week. His second half 2.57 ERA and 0.79 WHIP travels to any environment.
  • The Yankees are back to a six man rotation, but this time it contains Jordan Montgomery. By monitoring his innings this year, the Yankees should have a fresh and ready to go Monty in a plus matchup against the Blue Jays.
  • Your top three pitchers by WAR in the second half of 2017 are Corey Kluber, Chris Sale, and… Zach Davies! The closest comparison to his game I can make right now is the 2016 version of Kyle Hendricks. With his incredible contact rates allowed, I will continue to ride the hot hand, even against the Cubs.

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 the said player.

PlayerTeamOpp1Opp2
Jordan LylesPadresCOL
Clayton RichardPadresCOL
R.A. DickeyBravesPHI
Mike LeakeMarinersTEXCLE
Buck FarmerTigersOAKMIN
Kyle FreelandRockies@SD
Seth LugoMets@MIA
Jaime GarciaYankeesMIN
Julio TeheranBravesPHI
Ivan NovaPiratesSTL
Jason VargasRoyals@CWS
Kendall GravemanAthleticsTEX
Doug FisterRed Sox@BAL@CIN
Alex CobbRays@BAL
Matt AndrieseRays@BAL
Rafael MonteroMets@MIA
Joe BiaginiBlue JaysNYY
Marco EstradaBlue JaysNYY
Tyler ChatwoodRockies@SD
Cole HamelsRangers@OAK
Mark Leiter Jr.PhilliesLAD
Tyler SkaggsAngelsCLE
Nick PivettaPhillies@ATL
Matt MooreGiantsCOL
Lucas GiolitoWhite Sox@HOUKC
Kevin GausmanOriolesBOS
Chad KuhlPiratesSTL
Anibal SanchezTigersOAK
Ben LivelyPhillies@ATL
Sean NewcombBravesWSHPHI
Gabriel YnoaOriolesTB
Daniel GossettAthletics@DET
Blake SnellRaysCHC@BAL
Brett AndersonBlue JaysKC
Sal RomanoRedsBOS
Mike FoltynewiczBravesWSH
Jharel CottonAthletics@DETTEX
Reynaldo LopezWhite SoxKC
Ariel MirandaMarinersCLE
Matt BoydTigersMIN
Martin PerezRangers@SEA@OAK
Max FriedBravesWSH
Ricky NolascoAngelsCLE
Travis WoodPadresARI
Jose UrenaMarlinsNYM
Jeremy HellicksonOriolesTB
Ian KennedyRoyals@TOR
Andrew CashnerRangers@SEA
Jake OdorizziRays@BAL
Chris StrattonGiants@LAD
Adam ConleyMarlinsNYM
Tyler MahleRedsSTLBOS
Sam GaviglioRoyals@CWS
Kyle GibsonTwins@DET
Robert StephensonRedsBOS
Miguel GonzalezRangers@OAK
A.J. GriffinRangers@SEA
Matt GarzaBrewers@PIT
Jack FlahertyCardinals@CIN@PIT
Robert GsellmanMetsWSH
Ubaldo JimenezOriolesTB
Jake ThompsonPhilliesLAD@ATL
Bartolo ColonTwins@NYY
Wade MileyOriolesBOS
Matt HarveyMets@MIAWSH
Parker BridwellAngels@HOU
James ShieldsWhite Sox@HOU
Andrew HeaneyAngels@HOUCLE

Notables

  • Don’t get wrapped in the recent performances from Jordan Lyles. The sample size is too small and he gets a matchup with his former team in Colorado.
  • No one has been better in their last four starts than Doug Fister. Then his most recent start happens. I have never been a fan and I’m benching him this week especially with the rating system not liking him.
  • Tyler Chatwood has been great since moving to the bullpen. He’s started a couple of times since then and they’ve been scoreless (albeit short) appearances. If you are looking for a high floor start from this tier, I will pick Chatwood to give you five solid innings or so against the Padres.

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  • Time for the last installment of Tyler’s Simplistic Scouting Spotlight – let’s take a look at Braves rookie southpaw Max Fried. A normal arm slot gives the fastball a nice downhill plane at 94. He’s got a tight curve that is virtually unhittable for a lefty. The offspeed command has been an issue and has led to elevated walk rates in the minors. The ground ball percentage is real though and if he can maintain a 3.50 BB/9 he could be a useful starter. Most predict him to attain LOOGY status down the road though.
  • I’m keeping a close eye on Lucas Giolito here at the end of 2017. I am not starting him in a tough two-start week, but these starts are vital in determining his ADP status for next season.
  • With a 5.72 K/9 and 1.41 HR/9, Parker Bridwell is shocking this writer with a 3.94 ERA. It’s been a ridiculous year for him considering how ordinary his minor league stats are, but hey I am not going to berate the guy.

Arms Amending

This is usually where I put the players that are on the disabled list or making rehab appearances. Since it’s so late in the season, I have opted not to do this section this week!


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

About Tyler Thompson

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