Fantasy Baseball

2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 26 Pitching Planner: Wrap It Up

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If you didn’t watch Chapelle’s Show back in the day, let me fill you in on a product that used to sweep the nation – the ‘Wrap It Up’ Box.

It was a simple device really. If ever you were in a situation that was causing you great boredom, you whip out your WIU box and presto! The box would blink red, alerting the person creating boredom to stop doing that. Sure, it was a little rude, but it’s a much better alternative than to sit there and fake that you are interested in a conversation, right?

I imagine that, had I decided to write this ridiculous introduction that meant nothing to the article, you would have contemplated utilizing the WIU box. Hell, maybe you are even using it at this moment! However, I’m trying to help you here – I want to make a short and sweet article (something not usual for me) that helps those in fantasy championships reach their goal of winning it all.

Actually, this reminds me of the story of a dollar I once found on the ground of a mall parking lot. It was a warm summer day, but overcasting clouds shielded the sun from my sensitive eyes. The smell of the Mexican restaurant down the street was inviting, but my stomach was already full from…

WRAP IT UP!

Oh, right, so I didn’t actually find the dollar – I stole it from my friend who was busy talking to someone he knew on the phone.

Alright, on to the final Pitching Planner of the season! The formatting is a little different than last time so pay attention!

2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 26 Pitching Planner

Streamers

Using statistics mostly deriving from second-half performance, I created matchup ratings for pitchers with a 40% ownership or less. I narrowed down the list by those who had positive matchup ratings and came up with this list of 13 pitchers. Good news: there are a few pitchers that could be available in your league and have two-start weeks to end this season!

PlayerTeamMatchup(s)RatingOwn
Garrett RichardsAngels@CWS24.6231.9%
CC SabathiaYankeesTB9.5937.6%
Chris StrattonGiantsSD9.459.7%
Daniel MengdenAthleticsSEA/@TEX9.3513.6%
Parker BridwellAngels@CWS/SEA8.9628.7%
Seth LugoMetsATL/@PHI8.393.3%
Luiz GoharaBraves@MIA6.443.4%
Sal RomanoReds@MIL5.495.7%
Jaime GarciaYankeesKC/TOR5.029.4%
Blake SnellRays@NYY/BAL4.9518.5%
Matt BoydTigers@KC4.535.5%
Jason HammelRoyalsDET2.5811.4%
Jordan MontgomeryYankeesTOR2.2415.3%

The names here are all worth mentioning briefly, so let’s do just that!

Garrett Richards, Los Angeles Angels (31.9%)

This is really just a public service announcement for those in leagues that have been hiding under a rock since football season started. That is the only explanation I have for Richards’ availability in nearly 70% of leagues.

Now, the Angels are easing him into games again so he hasn’t gone longer than five innings yet. However, going five innings against Houston and Texas is more difficult than going six or seven against the White Sox. With that under consideration, you’re getting an elite matchup with a team that’s still fighting for a playoff spot. If Richards is throwing well, I don’t see how they would want to turn it over to a crappy bullpen.

All this said the matchup rating in the chart above is definitely verified by this author.

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CC Sabathia, New York Yankees (37.6%)

The Rays have imploded offensively in the second half of the 2017 season. They are third worst in BB/K, 2nd worst in wRC+, and dead last in wOBA since the All-Star Break. Streamers have had their way with this offense no matter the handedness.

Enter Sabathia, who has had a nice second half with just a couple of blow-ups here and there. Playing into CC’s favor, even more, is the fact that the Rays are a bottom five team against southpaws this year as well. All signs point up for the hefty lefty and he is still available in quite a few leagues.

Chris Stratton, San Francisco Giants (9.7%)

Overlooked because of team context, Stratton has actually looked decent this year! It’s nothing special, but he’s definitely an average pitcher who can provide plus games in the right matchup.

Hey, look, it’s a start versus the Padres! The Padres have been a nice opposing offense to stream against all season and that shouldn’t change now. Stratton had a terrible outing against them out of the bullpen earlier this year, so you know he’s champing at the bit to get them back. This is more of an ‘innings eater’ type of move, but that can be helpful sometimes!

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Daniel Mengden, Oakland Athletics (13.6%)

I mustache you a question: is Mengden on your waiver wire?

If so, you should go grab him for his two starts this week. He’s been dynamite for Oakland in his three September starts with a 0.82 ERA and 16.3 K-BB%. I’m absolutely on board for starting him against Seattle at home considering the Mariners haven’t been great in the second half.

As for the Texas start, you could probably sit him in shallower leagues, but I honestly don’t mind rolling him out there in deeper leagues. The start rating could change dramatically should Texas be out of the Wild Card hunt and roll out their B-lineup. If you are diligent in streaming, figuring out Texas’ WC status could mean the difference in a good and bad start for Mengden.

Parker Bridwell, Los Angeles Angels (28.7%)

Usually, I don’t condone streaming Bridwell because of his blow-up potential. He actually had two stinkers in a row a couple of weeks ago, which would explain his massive drop rate in ESPN leagues. In fact, he probably had those blow-ups in the fantasy playoffs, which led to a team rage dropping him.

Well, I’m here to advise you to pick up that same guy and reap the benefits. He attracts two plus matchups by the numbers in the final week on a team that is desperate for wins to reach a Wild Card spot. No brainer here – pick up and stream Bridwell if only for the volume and potential for multiple wins.

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Seth Lugo, New York Mets (3.3%)

I was hesitant to include Lugo on this list, as I don’t particularly enjoy the way he’s pitched over the last couple of weeks. However, the matchup rating doesn’t lie and any pitcher that gets a final start at Philly needs to be considered.

No, I wouldn’t start him against Atlanta. The lefty bats in that lineup worry me (well, one for certain). What I would do is pick up Lugo at the beginning of the week and wait to start him against the Phillies if possible. If you are in an early lineup lock league, the Braves’ start won’t be bad enough to where you have to miss out on the Philly start.

Luiz Gohara, Atlanta Braves (3.4%)

This is the type of high upside risk that could make or break your week. Gohara has been fantastic in the three major outcomes of strikeouts, walks, and homers. He’s been rather unlucky otherwise and could be due for a nice performance in the final week.

Sure, the Miami outfield trio of Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, and Christian Yelich have been red hot. However, they’ve never faced Gohara, which is a disadvantage. Behind them, who does Gohara really have to worry about wrecking him? Derek Dietrich? Get out of here with that noise.

Gohara can be the name that puts you over the pitching hump this week and, odds are, he’s floating out there on waivers.

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Sal Romano, Cincinnati Reds (5.7%)

I’m not the biggest Romano backer, but you can’t deny what he’s done over the last month and a half for the Reds. If he can take advantage of a free-swinging Brewers club, I expect him to perform well once again. Going against a team in the middle of a playoff race is scary, but Romano will be the one with no pressure on him while the Brew Crew could be pressing.

Side note, I feel like I should have done a Ray Romano joke here. No? Okay cool because I’m feeling extra lazy on this day.

Jaime Garcia, New York Yankees (9.4%)

Ol’ reliable has been rock solid in the second half for the Yankees. He’s on the healthy side of 4.00 in ERA, FIP, and xFIP in the second half despite not getting the necessary run support. I’m thinking he bucks that trend and gets at least one win in the last week of the season.

Neither the Royals nor the Blue Jays really scare me off of Garcia. Both teams are in the bottom half in wOBA and wRC+ against lefties. Neither team has been better than average in the second half of the season relative to the rest of the league as well. Don’t let the team names fool you, these offenses can be attacked with streaming options this week.

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Blake Snell, Tampa Bay Rays (18.5%)

I have been extremely impressed by the way Snell has rebranded himself in the second half. He cut his BB% in half with a 14.5%-7.5% first-second half split. Not surprisingly, with working the zone much better, he’s improved his K% as the season has progressed too.

If you are squeamish, you could convince me to sit him against the Yankees in that first start. However, Baltimore’s righties on offense generally have reverse splits and southpaws have been great against them. Don’t miss out on an opportunity for Snell to boost your strikeouts in the final week.

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The bottom three fellows are honorable mention guys at best. Jordan Montgomery intrigues me the most out of the trio as the aforementioned Toronto offense does not intimidate me.

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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