Fantasy Baseball

2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 12 Pitching Planner: One Giant Leap


This week in the pitching planner, we will be discussing why streaming some Giants is a good idea. Also, we do the weekly recap and visit some injured pitchers in the fantasy hospital.

First, I would like to share a special event upcoming in my schedule. With my Arkansas Razorbacks qualifying for the College World Series, so too will I be going to Omaha for their opening game! It’s always been a bucket list item of mine to attend a College World Series game and, as an alum, I’ll be proud to say that I witnessed a game there in which they played. Exciting times!

Furthermore, I started drooling over being able to see some already drafted players like Blaine Knight and future ones like Kody Clemens and Casey Martin. That got me to thinking – I don’t do enough work for the readers that are in intense dynasty leagues. Therefore, I plan to do a first-year player ranking for the 2018 amateur draft. I’ll include my top 20 to 30 players with future values/roles and ETA. So, look for that sometime during the All-Star Break!

Now, back to business! Let’s look back at the first half of Week 11 and praise some performances.


  • After poopooing Dylan Bundy during the early parts of the season, I’ve come around to him now. He’s done better each time he’s faced the Red Sox and that’s impressive to me. His latest eight-inning gem finally sold me on his turnaround, which likely made me late to the party. I was fashionably late, though! I brought with me a keg of Blue Moon and some dancin’ shoes!
  • It’s the Jack Flaherty show in St. Louis and there’s nothing the Cardinals‘ front office can do about it now. With Alex Reyes done and Adam Wainwright still ailing, Flaherty is going to keep chucking up gems like he did in Week 11.
  • Remember a couple of weeks ago when you should’ve picked up Joe Musgrove? Oh, you did? Good, I thought I was going to have to get onto you. He’s been performing well and against good offenses too. While not many started him against the Cubs, he should have your trust in Week 12 against the D-Backs.
  • The homie Carlos Carrasco was a monster last week. See below for more details!


  • Whoa, this came out of nowhere, Chase Anderson! Well, it wouldn’t have been so surprising in his 2017 campaign, but he’s been quite awful this year. Nonetheless, throwing seven innings and just allowing three baserunners is definitely positive. Could this propel him back on the right track? I wouldn’t go that far and would certainly sit him this week versus the Cardinals. He’s a name to monitor though considering his history.
  • Do I really have to say anything more about Aaron Nola? My longest readers know that I was on him before the breakout in 2017 and I’m just running out of things to say. Nola is pretty good, so keep starting him.

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  • Ugh, can we get Tyler Anderson out of Colorado? I believe in this guy and he’s just getting the Coors Field effect, big time. His most recent road start was hot fire, going seven innings and allowing just one run while striking out seven. This week, I’m rolling the dice and starting him at home in both instances. The Mets and Marlins own two of the worst offenses in the league, so let’s make this happen, Anderson!
  • I appreciate Jhoulys Chacin for his unique name, which makes for an easy path to his FanGraphs page. However, I’m not buying into his latest act here in 2018. After throwing a six-inning gem in Week 11, his fantasy stats are looking externally sexy. As we all know, you can’t just judge someone on their looks. His GB% is down ~ 10% from 2016-2017 and his HR/FB% was also cut in half this season compared to his last two. So, he’s allowing more fly balls, but allowing fewer home runs while sporting a nasty 40% hard-hit rate? This is going to come crashing down hard! Like the K’NEX roller coasters I used to build back in the day without the directions – not all of the supports were in place. I was my own person, dammit! Ten-year-old me will not be confined to the rules of a silly building guide.
  • We will call Wednesday the ‘Ace Day’ for Week 11, as Jacob deGromChris Sale, and Jose Berrios all had monster outings in addition to the first two.


  • Anibal Sanchez, as surprising as it is to this Braves’ fan, is killing it this year. In fact, he’s doing so well that he may just be forcing the hand of the Braves. More on that later!
  • While it was against the White Sox, Mike Clevinger showed out on Thursday. 11 strikeouts and one run allowed over seven innings are glorious and shouldn’t be discredited because of the (lack of )strength of opposition. June was starting to go sour for Clev, so it’s really nice to see this outing bring his monthly numbers back down to normal.
  • The weird thing about David Price is that he is older than people think. Well, relative to baseball players, that is. After a dominant start against a hot Mariners squad, he has me optimistic about his future. As seen with Justin Verlander, sometimes it takes some downs to get back to the ups and Price could be trending in the right direction here.

Time for some rankings!

2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 12 Pitching Planner

Get customized Fantasy Baseball advice for your team using MyPlaybook from FantasyPros.


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

Max ScherzerNationalsBAL
Corey KluberIndiansCWS
Chris SaleRed Sox@MINSEA
Jacob deGromMets@COLLAD
Luis SeverinoYankeesSEA
Justin VerlanderAstrosTB
Gerrit ColeAstrosTBKC


  • There have been no promotions within the Auto-Start tier.


  • We lost Stephen Strasburg in this tier just as we gained him. However, it’s due to a DL stint rather than performance. He’s still shut down from baseball activities, so don’t expect him back in Week 12.


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.

Carlos CarrascoIndiansDET
Aaron NolaPhillies@WSH
Trevor BauerIndiansCWSDET
James PaxtonMariners@NYY
Madison BumgarnerGiantsSD
Lance McCullers Jr.AstrosKC
Charlie MortonAstrosTB
Zack GreinkeDiamondbacks@LAA@PIT
Blake SnellRays@HOU
Patrick CorbinDiamondbacks@PIT


  • Charlie Morton has to be on a ton of first-place teams this year. For what you paid for him in drafts, he’s given you an ace return just about. However, in his last few starts, he’s been a little off relative to the rest of his season. He was even removed a little early from his last start against the Rangers. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a nagging injury here, but keep rolling him out as long as he’s slated to start.
  • His last five starts haven’t been fantastic, but Zack Greinke will remain in this tier for now. I’m still not quite understanding the elevated HR/FB rate compared to his last two seasons in Arizona. If that comes down and we keep getting that 21% K-BB%, he will deserve to be in this grouping.

  • Carlos Carrasco, the man they call Cookie, has been giving Indians’ fans treats in his last two starts. With 21 strikeouts to just two walks and one earned run, Carrasco has dominated his last two opponents. He’s going to have no problems against a Miggy-less Tigers’ offense next week. Check out that video though – how late those two pitches break into separate entities. Wowza!
  • Where have all the strikeouts gone, Lance McCullers Jr.? Unfortunately, he’s only gotten 15 punchouts in his last four starts. That’s a far cry from his previous efforts this season. I’m confident that the K’s will return in short order and, even without them, he’s giving passable starts.

Dream Stream

The Dream Stream group more closely reflects the pitchers that you are contemplating starting or sitting. These are all worthy starters in a typical 12-team mixed league.

Jon GrayRockiesMIA
Alex WoodDodgers@NYM
Kenta MaedaDodgers@CHC@NYM
Jose QuintanaCubs@CIN
Andrew SuarezGiantsMIASD
David PriceRed Sox@MIN
Dallas KeuchelAstrosKC
Jameson TaillonPiratesMILARZ
Gio GonzalezNationalsBAL
Luke WeaverCardinals@PHI@MIL
Joe MusgrovePiratesARZ
Miles MikolasCardinals@PHI@MIL
Carlos MartinezCardinals@MIL
Vince VelasquezPhilliesSTL
German MarquezRockiesNYMMIA
Ross StriplingDodgers@CHC
Nick PivettaPhilliesSTL@WSH
Seth LugoMets@COL
Sean NewcombBravesBAL
Jake ArrietaPhilliesSTL
Tyler AndersonRockiesNYMMIA
Tyler SkaggsAngelsTOR
Michael WachaCardinals@PHI
Kyle HendricksCubs@CIN
Jack FlahertyCardinals@MIL
J.A. HappBlue JaysATL
Anibal SanchezBravesBAL
Jon LesterCubsLAD
Mike FoltynewiczBraves@TOR
Rick PorcelloRed Sox@MIN
Mike ClevingerIndiansCWS
Jose BerriosTwinsBOSTEX
Frankie MontasAthletics@SD
Steven MatzMets@COL
Eduardo RodriguezRed SoxSEA
Caleb SmithMarlins@SF@COL
Sonny GrayYankees@WSH@TB
Ivan NovaPiratesARZ
Andrew HeaneyAngelsTOR
Trevor RichardsMarlins@COL
Cole HamelsRangers@KC@MIN
Mike MinorRangers@MIN
Kevin GausmanOrioles@WSH
Luis CastilloRedsCHC
Carlos RodonWhite Sox@CLEOAK
Michael FulmerTigers@CIN
Tanner RoarkNationalsPHI
Michael SorokaBraves@TOR
Zack GodleyDiamondbacks@PIT
Sean ManaeaAthletics@CWS
Jakob JunisRoyalsTEX
Freddy PeraltaBrewers@PITSTL
Caleb FergusonDodgers@NYM
Dylan BundyOrioles@ATL
Dereck RodriguezGiantsMIASD
Chris StrattonGiantsSD
Tyler MahleRedsDET
Derek HollandGiantsMIA
Julio TeheranBravesBAL
Tyson RossPadresOAK
Jake OdorizziTwinsTEX
Junior GuerraBrewersSTL
Zach EflinPhillies@WSH
Fernando RomeroTwinsTEX


  • The Braves have a decision to make early next week as to who their fifth starter will be with Julio Teheran and Mike Soroka returning. Anibal Sanchez has been excellent as of late and Brandon McCarthy has not. Therefore, I imagine that the Braves will ride the hot hand and roll with Anibal. I would stream either of them against a terrible Orioles’ lineup.
  • With Noah Syndergaard needing extra rest and a rehab start, Seth Lugo acquires another start or two at the least. His most recent start for this author was a magnificent outing against the Yankees in which he hurled six shutout innings and allowed just two hits. I know his start is at Coors Field, but the Rockies offense really has been struggling lately.

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  • Well, all of the backers of Andrew Suarez have me to thank for his extended success in the majors. I picked him up in my dynasty league and almost immediately traded him for an amateur draft pick. I didn’t believe in the stuff (and still mostly don’t), but he’s been pitching effectively enough to stick in the rotation. If this guy is available in your league, a two-start week at home against the Marlins and Padres is too juicy to pass up. As much as I hate it, I made a bad deal and believe Suarez can be a decent hold in a 14-teamer.
  • For the record, I really dislike both Dereck Rodriguez and Derek Holland in reality. For fantasy purposes in Week 12, I can dig the Dere(c)k brothers for their starts against the Marlins and Padres. Seriously though, who spells Derek with a ‘c’?
  • With some Brewers pitchers on the mend, Freddy Peralta is slated to start on Tuesday and should get a second start with the Brewers in the midst of a stretch of ten straight games. If you are worried about how he does in his first game back, sit out his start against the Pirates. Then, depending on how that goes, give him a start against a reeling Cardinals’ offense.

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.

Wei-Yin ChenMarlins@COL
Jonathan LoaisigaYankeesSEA
Zack WheelerMetsLAD
Domingo GermanYankeesSEA@TB
Clayton RichardPadres@SF
Chad KuhlPiratesMIL
Mike MontgomeryCubsLAD@CIN
Jason VargasMets@COLLAD
Brent SuterBrewers@PIT
Anthony DeSclafaniRedsCHC
Erick FeddeNationalsNYYPHI
Nathan EovaldiRays@HOU
Chris BassittAthletics@CWS
Danny DuffyRoyals@HOU
Kyle FreelandRockiesNYM
Brock StewartDodgers@CHC
Kyle GibsonTwinsBOS
Jason HammelRoyalsTEX
Nick TropeanoAngelsTOR
Daniel MengdenAthletics@CWS
Trevor WilliamsPiratesMILARZ
Jose UrenaMarlins@SF
Alex CobbOrioles@WSH
Blaine HardyTigers@CLE
Jhoulys ChacinBrewers@PITSTL
Chase AndersonBrewersSTL
CC SabathiaYankees@TB
Marco EstradaBlue Jays@LAA
Lance LynnTwinsBOS
Dan StrailyMarlins@SF
Felix HernandezMariners@NYY
Wade LeBlancMariners@BOS
Eric LauerPadresOAK@SF
Matt BoydTigers@CIN
Tyler ChatwoodCubsLAD@CIN
Aaron SanchezBlue Jays@LAA
Paul BlackburnAthletics@SD@CWS
Clay BuchholzDiamondbacks@PIT
Mike LeakeMariners@BOS
Steven WrightRed SoxSEA
Jordan LylesPadres@SF
Jaime BarriaAngelsARZTOR
Ian KennedyRoyalsTEX@HOU
Chad BettisRockiesNYM
Sam GaviglioBlue Jays@LAA
Sal RomanoRedsDETCHC
Reynaldo LopezWhite Sox@CLE
Jaime GarciaBlue JaysATL@LAA
Yohander MendezRangers@KC


  • Okay, Clay Buchholz, this has been cute and all, but it’s going to end soon. I’m seeing some analysts put him in the top 60 or 70 in their rankings and it’s just gotten out of hand. I mean, the dude had an 8.5% K-rate and 10.6% BB-rate in Triple-A for the Royals before they DFA’d him. You really think he just all of a sudden has it figured out?
  • With all of the injuries to the Dodgers’ pitching staff, it’s hard to keep up. This week, we have the dreaded ‘TBD’ for one of their games at Wrigley Field. I’m going to slot Brock Stewart in for the start, but I wouldn’t stream him.

  • Yet another high-upside Yankees prospect, Jonathan Loaisiga was called up from Double-A (!) for a start against the Rays. For assistance, it’s pronounced similarly to ‘low-EYE seagull’ but without the L’s. Speaking of no L’s, he got his first major league win with some absolutely filthy stuff. The fastball ran mid to high 90’s. His curveball was disgusting. The changeup generated a few swings and misses with a sick tailing action. If he continues to get an opportunity with Tanaka out, he could be a nice streaming option.
  • Usually, prospect call-ups generate a ton of buzz. However, when you’re pitching for the lowly Rangers, you tend to go under the radar. Such is the case for Yohander Mendez, a fallen prospect in the Texas system. Back in 2016, he was all the rage after accumulating a 2.19 ERA and 3.17 FIP over 21 starts across three levels. In his 33 starts in Triple-A since then, it’s been a 4.14 ERA and 5.23 FIP. Yikes.

Arms Amending

This is usually where I put the players that are on the disabled list or making rehab appearances. Not only is it important to know where they are in their recovery, but knowing who will be replacing them is key as well.

Joey LucchesiPadresStrained right hipRehab start - High ASoon!
Marcus StromanBlue JaysShoulder fatigueRehab start - High ASoon!
Jeff SamardzijaGiantsShoulder tightnessRehab start - Triple ASoon!
Robbie RayDiamondbacksOblique strainRehab start - High ALate June
Rich HillDodgersBlisterRehab start - High ALate June
Shelby MillerDiamondbacksTommy John surgeryRehab start - High ALate June
Andrew TriggsAthleticsForearm discomfortLive batting practiceLate June
Walker BuehlerDodgersRib microfractureFlat groundEarly July
Johnny CuetoGiantsElbow inflammationBullpen workEarly July
Ervin SantanaTwinsFinger surgeryFlat groundEarly July
Jeremy HellicksonNationalsHamstring strainEarly July
Clayton KershawDodgersLower back strainBullpen workAll-Star Break
Noah SyndergaardMetsStrained finger ligamentAll-Star Break
Stephen StrasburgNationalsShoulder inflammationAll-Star Break
Yu DarvishCubsTriceps tendinitisBullpen workAll-Star Break
Shohei OhtaniAngelsUCL sprainAll-Star Break
Chris ArcherRaysLeft abdominal strainAll-Star Break
Garrett RichardsAngelsStrained hamstringAll-Star Break
Masahiro TanakaYankeesStrained hamstringsAll-Star Break
Hyun-Jin RyuDodgersGroin strainBullpen workAll-Star Break
Jimmy NelsonBrewersShoulder surgeryFlat groundAll-Star Break
Jake FariaRaysLeft oblique strainFlat groundAll-Star Break
Drew PomeranzRed SoxBIceps tendinitis, neck tightnessAll-Star Break
Trevor CahillAthleticsStrained right AchillesAll-Star Break
Zach DaviesBrewersShoulder inflammationBullpen workAll-Star Break


  • Garrett Richards was a late addition to this table as he was sent to the disabled list late Friday with a strained hamstring. This is the same injury that Jeremy Hellickson suffered a couple of weeks ago and, while not all injuries are created the same, Hellboy hasn’t started throwing yet. Given Richards’ injury track record, I will be cautious and slate him for a post-ASB return.
  • Jeff Samardzija looked great in his first rehab start with the Triple-A squad. According to Giants’ brass, he will need just one more rehab start before rejoining the big league club.

  • Okay, Marcus Stroman only gave up that one hit (and four walks!) to the Rays High-A team. However, I wanted to make two points here. One, Stroman is not ready and needs another rehab start or two. Two, Jesus Sanchez is going to be a stud and should be owned in most dynasty leagues.
  • Take the recent starts of Robbie Ray and Shelby Miller as an example of why final stat lines aren’t everything in rehab stints. Ray talked about minor league players attacking pitches in early counts against pitchers that are rehabbing and trying to throw strikes. The term he used was ‘ambushing’. He wasn’t making excuses – it’s just a lesson to be learned in not over-evaluating a pitcher’s health based on rehab starts. Both guys will be fine and up with the D-Backs soon.
  • That’s not a typo – Masahiro Tanaka has two strained hamstrings, which is also the number of total hamstrings he owns. That, my friends, does not sound like fun. How can you rehab one while resting the other? I’m guessing he’s going to have a chance to improve his Fortnite skills for a couple of weeks.

Check out the rest of our great 2018 Fantasy Baseball content.

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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