Fantasy Baseball

2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 22 Pitching Planner: The Catch-Up Piece



Man, I really wish I had time to do one of my cheesy introductions referencing an obscure song and tying it into a theme this week.

There’s just too much going on, though.

I mean most of this catching up is my fault. I took a week off of the pitching planner last week to undergo and recover from PRK eye surgery. When I returned to my favorite fantasy sport to see the happenings this week, it was like a new world was bestowed upon me with my newfound vision. You know, you open your eyes and see that somehow Doug Fister can look like an All-Star caliber pitcher.

I was worried that the surgery was a failure when I saw that.

Okay so we have a lot to get to this week and I’m ready to tackle it head on! So many pitchers coming and going from the disabled list. Some guys are having breakout second halves. Others are stinking up the joint. Whatever the case may be, let this week’s pitching planner be the all-encompassing piece to help you reach a fantasy title.

2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 22 Pitching Planner


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

Chris SaleRed Sox@TOR@NYY
Corey KluberIndians@NYY@DET


  • No one was promoted this week. Maybe next time, field!


  • Why does this tier look so abandoned? First off, there were three pitchers that hit the disabled list while I was away. Max Scherzer, James Paxton, and Alex Wood all got hurt and it does not look great for any of them the rest of the way.
  • Secondly, Luis Severino and Zack Greinke got sent down a tier. When I did my skill-based rankings, losing the three names above was critical in the decision. I can’t have Severino and Greinke in a tier with just Chris Sale and Corey Kluber – it just looks wrong.


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.

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Dallas KeuchelAstrosTEX
Stephen StrasburgNationalsMIA@MIL
Chris ArcherRays@CWS
Zack GreinkeDodgersLAD
Jeff SamardzijaGiants@SDSTL
Luis SeverinoYankeesCLEBOS
Zack GodleyDiamondbacksLAD@COL
Jacob deGromMets@CIN
Jimmy NelsonBrewersWSH
Carlos CarrascoIndians@DET
Aaron NolaPhillies@MIA
Madison BumgarnerGiantsSTL


  • While I was away, Stephen Strasburg returned from the disabled list and looked pretty solid in his first start. It was the Padres though. As of this writing, he has not faced the juggernaut that is the Astros so I’ll be curious to see how he does there. Nonetheless, he’s an automatic plug-in for a two start week.
  • If Zack Godley survives his two starts this week without a blowup, we can’t start talking about him as the waiver wire pickup of the season. He was a guy I was on early and I will be very interested to see where ADP falls for 2018.

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  • Jimmy Nelson has had a rough August, but let’s not count the guy out just yet. He’s allowing more walks this month, which has never been an issue for him in his career. Hold strong!
  • Something just seems a little bit off with Madison Bumgarner. Most of his stats fall in line with his career norms, but the strikeout rate is still lower than expected. The fact that he hasn’t found that part post-injury and still has a 2.87 ERA is a testament to how good pitcher this guy really is.

Dream Stream

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

Rich HillDodgers@ARI@SD
Chad BettisRockiesDET
Luke WeaverCardinals@MIL@SF
Brad PeacockAstrosNYM
Carlos MartinezCardinals@MIL
Edwin JacksonNationalsMIA@MIL
Gio GonzalezNationals@MIL
Dan StrailyMarlinsPHI
Kenta MaedaDodgers@ARI
Luis CastilloReds@PIT
Sonny GrayYankeesBOS
Chase AndersonBrewersSTL
Michael WachaCardinals@SF
Drew PomeranzRed Sox@TOR@NYY
Marcus StromanBlue JaysBOS@BAL
Hyun-Jin RyuDodgers@ARI
Masahiro TanakaYankeesBOS
Robbie RayDiamondbacksLAD
Jake ArrietaCubsPITATL
Charlie MortonAstrosNYM
Jon GrayRockiesARI
Danny DuffyRoyals@MIN
Jose BerriosTwinsCWS
Michael FulmerTigers@COL
Gerrit ColePiratesCIN
Austin PruittRays@KC@CWS
Jose QuintanaCubsPIT
Dinelson LametPadresLAD
Patrick CorbinDiamondbacks@COL
Eduardo RodriguezRed Sox@NYY
Tyler SkaggsAngels@TEX
Ervin SantanaTwinsCWSKC
Carlos RodonWhite SoxTB
Rick PorcelloRed Sox@TOR
J.A. HappBlue JaysBOS@BAL
Kyle HendricksCubsATL
Collin McHughAstrosTEX
Mike LeakeCardinals@SF
German MarquezRockiesARI
Trevor BauerIndians@DET
Lance LynnCardinals@SF
Jason VargasRoyalsTB
Ivan NovaPirates@CHC
Mike ClevingerIndians@DET
Jameson TaillonPiratesCIN
Alex CobbRays@CWS
Tanner RoarkNationals@MIL
Ty BlachGiants@SD
Cole HamelsRangersLAA


  • I respect the hell out of Chad Bettis for obvious reasons. Before this gets posted, I will be on my way to a Braves game and he will be starting for the opposition. I will be sure to give the old tip of the cap as I hope the entire stadium does.
  • Welcome back, Luke Weaver! Almost like he never left! And he walks into two plus matchups this week so make sure this guy isn’t still in the free agent pool.
  • That was an awesome return for Robbie Ray after a scary situation his last time out. Five strong innings, three baserunners, and nine strikeouts is a great first start back, I don’t care what anyone says! He could quickly make his way back up to the Auto-Stream tier.

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  • Also in the ‘strong first start back’ conversation, Chase Anderson worked well through a start at Coors Field. He’s also a candidate to move up to the Auto-Stream tier after a good start or two. Looking at his pitch graphs, the velocity looks good and he should be ready to roll.
  • Anyone noticing the second half that Patrick Corbin is having? He’s got a 2.84 ERA backed by a 17.9 K-BB% since the All-Star Break. More impressively, he stymied Houston a couple of starts ago, almost throwing a complete game shutout. It’s not exactly the greatest matchup this week, but if he’s available on waivers I would stash him for sure.
  • Another second half surger, Carlos Rodon has been a man possessed recently. In his last five starts, he’s sporting a cool 2.25 ERA and 3.35 FIP with a 20% K-BB%. The biggest change in August has been a spike in GB%, which has brought his season average to his career norm.

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.

Justin VerlanderTigers@COL
Taijuan WalkerDiamondbacks@COL
Parker BridwellAngelsOAK
Sean ManaeaAthletics@SEA
Trevor WilliamsPirates@CHCCIN
Andrew AlbersMarinersOAK
Jhoulys ChacinPadresSFLAD
Mike MontgomeryCubsPITATL
Dylan BundyOriolesSEA
Luis PerdomoPadresSF
R.A. DickeyBraves@PHI@CHC
Chad KuhlPirates@CHC
Kyle FreelandRockiesARI
Marco EstradaBlue Jays@BAL
Mike FiersAstrosTEXNYM
CC SabathiaYankeesCLE
Ariel MirandaMariners@BAL
Jason HammelRoyals@MIN
Adam ConleyMarlinsPHI
Ryan MerrittIndians@NYY
Chris StrattonGiantsSTL
Clayton RichardPadresLAD
Erasmo RamirezMariners@BAL
Jaime GarciaYankeesCLEBOS
Blake SnellRays@CWS
Kendall GravemanAthletics@LAA
Jerad EickhoffPhilliesATL
Jose UrenaMarlins@WSHPHI
Kevin GausmanOriolesTOR
John LackeyCubsATL
Jakob JunisRoyalsTB
Julio TeheranBraves@PHI
Mike FoltynewiczBraves@CHC
Antonio SenzatelaRockiesDETARI
Daniel GossettAthletics@LAA
Zach DaviesBrewersWSH
Paul BlackburnAthletics@LAA@SEA
Ian KennedyRoyalsTB@MIN
Lucas SimsBraves@PHI@CHC
Sean NewcombBraves@CHC
Ben LivelyPhillies@MIA
Lucas GiolitoWhite SoxTB
Jake OdorizziRays@KC
Doug FisterRed Sox@NYY
Mark Leiter Jr.PhilliesATL@MIA
Vance WorleyMarlins@WSH
Andrew CashnerRangers@HOULAA


  • Something is up with Sean Manaea lately. He’s averaging just three innings and one strikeout over his last four starts. That’s Jered Weaver stuff right there and I am legitimately concerned. I think you hold for another start, but in redraft leagues he’s cuttable.
  • While a start against Oakland will look enticing, do not give Andrew Albers a chance after just a 10 IP sample size. The skill set is just not good enough to take advantage of the matchup.
  • Those brave enough to give Ryan Merritt a spot start at Yankees Stadium and be successful shoot me a screenshot on Twitter. I will post an embarrassing photo of myself or something, I don’t know. Just don’t get cute here is all I’m saying.

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  • Chris Stratton is a very average pitcher. Most people wouldn’t express this take after an incredible start against the Nationals a couple weeks ago, but I am sticking by this sentiment. The Cardinals should nickel-and-dime the hell out of him this week and I want no part of it.
  • Say it with me: Jose Urena is not a good pitcher. Repeat. Thank you. Now, that said, if you aren’t in a league with weekly lineup locks, I’m fine with streaming him versus the Phillies. I’m stacking heavily against him in DFS with Nationals though.
  • Remember when everyone and their mom was telling you to trust Kevin Gausman again? Well, those people probably moved on to fantasy football full-time after the garbage starts Gaus put up for you in the last couple of weeks. Let this be a lesson learned – anyone can have a good stretch in spite of their peripherals. You have to be careful to sift through the believable and the fool’s gold.

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
Max ScherzerNationalsNeck discomfortSoon!
Adalberto MejiaTwinsBiceps strainSoon!
Daniel NorrisTigersStrained groinSoon!
Matt HarveyMetsScapula injurySoon!
Seth LugoMetsShoulder impingementSoon!
Yu DarvishDodgersBack tightnessSoon!
Clayton KershawDodgersBack strainSoon!
James PaxtonMarinersStrained pectoral muscleEarly September
Brandon McCarthyDodgersBlisterEarly September
Jon LesterCubsStrained latEarly September
Johnny CuetoGiantsBlisterEarly September
Felix HernandezMarinersShoulder bursitisEarly September
Matt AndrieseRaysHip discomfortEarly September
Lance McCullersAstrosBack discomfortEarly September
Reynaldo LopezWhite SoxPulled backMid September
Alex WoodDodgersShoulder inflammationMid September
Noah SyndergaardMetsStrained latMid September
Adam WainwrightCardinalsElbow impingementMid September
Garrett RichardsAngelsCutaneous nerve in bicepsMid September
David PriceRed SoxElbow injuryMid September
Anthony DeScalafaniRedsStrained elbowMid September
Alex MeyerAngelsShoulder inflammationMid September
Trevor CahillRoyalsShoulder impingementMid September
Danny SalazarIndiansElbow inflammationMid September
Jacob FariaRaysStrained ab muscleMid September
Aaron SanchezBlue JaysBlisterUnlikely
JC RamirezAngelsStrained elbowUnlikely
Steven MatzMetsElbow discomfort2018
Vince VelasquezPhilliesVascular issue in right middle finger2018


  • Just as soon as he was called up, Reynaldo Lopez leaves us for an injury. As sad as this news is, at least we get to see Lucas Giolito get a few major league starts under his belt. Don’t go crazy on him in FAAB bidding.
  • As Strasburg returns, Max Scherzer takes a rest. However, he should return this week, which brings up a fifth starter controversy for the Nationals. He will either take the spot of Tanner Roark or a resurgent Edwin Jackson. I think Dusty Baker is just crazy enough to ride the hot hand with Jackson and convince Roark to move back to bolster the bullpen, a familiar place for him. Just a heads up for the Roark owners out there to be wary of using him in lineups that lock early!

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  • Boy, the Dodgers are winning almost all their games despite the injuries to their pitching staff. Wood, Yu Darvish, and Brandon McCarthy should be back in due time. Clayton Kershaw could return next week for a start against the Padres. Keep an eye on who spot starts the doubleheader with the Padres next Saturday; this pitcher could have sneaky streamer value.
  • With Jon Lester on the disabled list, Mike Montgomery once again jumps into the rotation to help. For those in deeper leagues, his two starts this week aren’t awful.
  • The Mets screw themselves again Steven Matz is the latest Mets pitcher to (once again) hit the DL with ulnar nerve surgery. Seth Lugo also hits the disabled list. If you are in a super deep league, Matt Harvey is on the rehab trail.

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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