In the latest pitching planner, we will talk Seattle starters in strong situations, review the rankings in our regular routine, and attempt to apply alliteration to the whole article.
Okay, I can't possibly keep that up. The first part of that sentence was accidentally alliterated. Moving on.
First, let's go back to the first half of Week 12 and note the outstanding performances. Allow me to take a deep breath because it was a stellar week for starters leaguewide. (Extended gasp...) Alright, I am ready to roll.
- Tricky Trevor Williams - fooling Milwaukee hitters for a week and fantasy owners for a month. I don't understand how his ERA sits at an even 4.00. What I do know is that I'm not rostering him unless I'm in like a 15-team league with a rotating streamer spot.
- After three consecutive rough starts, I was worried that I should've sold high on Nick Pivetta in all of my leagues. After this start against the Cardinals, I'm feeling a lot better. He posted 13 punchouts to just one walk and two solo homers in a winning outing. He threw his highest curveball percentage of the year in this game and that gives me hope that we will start seeing a more complete repertoire from Pivetta moving into the second half of the season.
- I mentioned him last week as a viable two-start streamer and he has delivered on the front end. Andrew Suarez is enjoying a week where the Giants face the Padres and Marlins at home. Don't allow the fantasy momentum to carry over into Week 13 though because he's very matchup-dependent for me. Stay tuned to see where he gets ranked.
- We got ho-hum performances from Trevor Bauer and Jacob deGrom. It would be the funniest thing for this Braves fan if the Mets somehow traded deGrom before August. I would cry out of laughter and joy.
- Alright, let's get this out of the way - don't believe what you saw from Eric Lauer or Sal Romano on Tuesday. You're going to see them on the waiver wire with their 'past seven days' section looking all pretty. Just do yourself a favor and don't do it.
- Look, you're taking what you're getting from Cole Hamels and running with it this year if you own him. Most recently, he shut down the hapless Royals with seven strikeouts in as many innings. If you don't own him, don't plan on owning him the rest of the way. Outside of the strikeout rate, Hamels is actually doing much worse than last year in almost every underlying statistic. Remember how erratic he was last year? Remember how everyone told you not to draft him? Yeah.
- You know, on my way up to Omaha last week for the College World Series, I passed by a city that made me laugh. Rich Hill. That's the city name in Southwest Missouri. As I squinted my eyes at the welcome sign, the city slogan read: "The disabled list of Missouri!" Jokes aside, Hill had a beautiful six-inning start off the DL. It's probably worth checking your waiver wire to see if he was dropped a month ago. (I know I dropped his sorry butt in one of my 12-teamers.)
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) June 20, 2018
- So, this is the major leagues, right? How can all of these dudes keep striking out on a Freddy Peralta fastball when they know it's coming?! He's throwing it 84% of the time in his short tenure in the big leagues and I suppose, if it's working, you just keep going with it. When you play that video above, you'll only see one strikeout on a breaking ball. That's just crazy to me. I'm going to ride the hot hand here and throw him in the streamer mix, but there's got to be a league-wide reaction at some point.
- Mike Clevinger has been a nightmare for the White Sox in his last two starts, striking out 21 and walking just three. Clev will have to face teams other than the lite-Chicago, but it's not like he's been a slouch for the season. In fact, if he starts showing more consistency, he's rather close to cracking the Auto-Stream tier.
- Where are the Yankees getting all of these pitchers? Take Domingo German, who has filled in for guys like Jordan Montgomery and Masahiro Tanaka who can't stay healthy. He's more than proved his place, especially after providing starts like last week. He went seven innings of two-hit, no-walk ball with nine strikeouts. Mr. Quality Start (as I've deemed him) deserves a safe roster spot in 12-team leagues and maybe even 10-teamers.
- I mean, do you need any more evidence that Tuesday was a cruise-day for starting pitchers? Justin Verlander, Chris Sale, and Jose Berrios also had big performances. I have no words to say about Auto-Start stalwarts Verlander and Sale. However, with his recent performance, I have some exciting news concerning Berrios later on...
- Wednesday was a pretty uneventful day for starting pitchers. Corey Kluber and Charlie Morton had nice outings, but everyone else was a hot pile of steamy garbage.
- Is the real Madison Bumgarner back? MadBum went eight innings and struck out seven while allowing five baserunners. Additionally, he had a sacrifice fly that helped lead his team to a 3-0 victory. I need to see a string of starts to feel comfortable saying that he's fully back, but this is certainly a needle-mover.
- Well, Max Scherzer had another dominant outing to add to his amazing 2018. However, this start did give us one for the blooper reel, which helps us remember that we are all human. Even MadMax.
Time to RANK 'EM UP!
2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 13 Pitching Planner
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The Auto-Start tier strictly includes pitchers that should be started every week regardless of league size and matchup.
|Chris Sale||Red Sox||@NYY|
- While there were no performance-related promotions, we do get Clayton Kershaw back from the disabled list. Woo!
- There have been no relegations this week. Nice work, gents!
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.
|Lance McCullers Jr.||Astros||@TB|
- The recent stretch from James Paxton is an unfortunate one due to schedule. He allowed nine earned runs to the Red Sox and Yankees, which is somewhat understandable for 95% of pitchers out there. However, the scheduling gods are on his side this week with a beautiful two-start week against the Orioles and Royals. Glorious!
- I feel like I do a monthly checkup on the pitch velocities of Patrick Corbin after everyone was worrying about it early in the season. Well, to update, the fastball velocity has been steady since early May. His breaking ball velocities have been the same all season. Additionally, his production has not dipped, so no worrying is necessary here.
- Welcome to the Auto-Stream tier, Jose Berrios! He had a long stretch in this group during the 2017 season before a mediocre second half. Now, he's looking every bit like the elite prospect he came up as, which is a lesson to learn in itself for fantasy owners. You have to be patient with top pitching prospects in your dynasty leagues, people!
- Well, Blake Snell gets the short straw this week. Facing the hottest team in baseball is not a fun venture for any pitcher at the moment. I would still start him based on what he's done over the course of the season. Hence the placement in this tier. Why do I even talk sometimes?
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.
|Marcus Stroman||Blue Jays||DET|
|Eduardo Rodriguez||Red Sox||@NYY|
|David Price||Red Sox||LAA||@NYY|
|J.A. Happ||Blue Jays||@HOU||DET|
|Rick Porcello||Red Sox||LAA|
|Carlos Rodon||White Sox||@TEX|
- You name that Seattle starter and he's likely to be higher in the rankings than usual. The red-hot Mariners are facing the Orioles and Royals this week, so yeah. Honestly, Marco Gonzales is probably the one I want most from this section. Felix Hernandez gets the two-start week and is actually doing well lately. Although Wade LeBlanc got blown up on Friday, I wouldn't mind rolling him out in 12-teamers.
- Fear not, owners of Jon Gray. I traded him in my dynasty league after being patient with his K/BB ratios for too long. He immediately goes and has a beautiful outing consisting of 12 strikeouts in seven innings. Let's settle down though - it was the Marlins. Next, he is projected to face the Giants twice in a row before matching up with the Diamondbacks and Mariners. Talk to me if he performs well in three of those starts.
(Thanks to @ncklm for the tip!) pic.twitter.com/dH1SJlKWxy
— Pitcher List (@PitcherList) May 13, 2018
- After two straight seasons of 5.07 ERA, Kyle Gibson has turned things around in 2018. His changeup has always been a solid pitch for him, but he's throwing the sinker more effectively this year by the numbers. Especially against lefties, he's using that combination of pitches very well along with the fastball out of a similar tunnel. I don't quite believe the 3.25 ERA, but I think he can stay under 4.00 for the season. In today's world of streaming, you take that and run with it.
- The system I use was mistaken when it threw Felix Pena into the streaming tier. He's an interesting arm at the least, but nowhere near trustworthy in Week 13. The Cubs were disappointed in his work as a starter in the minors and tried to groom him as a reliever. He was horrid last year in that role and ended up going out to Los Angeles. Now, the Angels are trying to convert the 28-year-old back to a starter. I don't know - like I said, it's at the least an interesting case.
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.
|Jaime Garcia||Blue Jays||DET|
|Steven Wright||Red Sox||LAA|
|Reynaldo Lopez||White Sox||MIN||@TEX|
|Marco Estrada||Blue Jays||@HOU|
|Aaron Sanchez||Blue Jays||@HOU|
|James Shields||White Sox||MIN|
|Dylan Covey||White Sox||@TEX|
- I know it's a two-start week and he's been pitching better, but I'm straying from Kevin Gausman. It's more about the Seattle start than anything. If you want to start him against the ice-cold Angels, go for it! Can we call them the 'Snow Angels' when they are on a cold streak? Or is that a reach? I think if I have to ask, then it's a reach.
- Danny Duffy isn't my favorite streamer this week, but I get it in DFS tournaments. The Brewers have been terrible against southpaws this season (78 wRC+). With Duffy's ERA, FIP, and xFIP all above 5.00, I'm still staying far away.
- Nathan Eovaldi is going to be remembered for giving up three consecutive homers to Houston hitters. I mean, how crazy was that?! However, it hasn't been all bad for the TJS returner. He's got a 7.00 K/BB and a 0.89 WHIP. The dude just needs to quit giving up the damn long ball. You can't allow eight homers in your last four starts and expect to be a consistent streamer.
- I have John Gant slated to take the rotation spot of Wacha, but he is uninspiring. The Cardinals always have an out-of-nowhere starter that becomes fantasy-relevant. Who will it be this year? Don't ask me - he comes out of nowhere.
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.
|Robbie Ray||Diamondbacks||Oblique strain||Rehab start - Triple A||Soon!|
|Jeff Samardzija||Giants||Shoulder tightness||Rehab start - Triple A||Soon!|
|Carlos Carrasco||Indians||Elbow contusion||Early July|
|Yu Darvish||Cubs||Triceps tendinitis||Rehab start - Single A||Early July|
|Johnny Cueto||Giants||Elbow inflammation||Rehab start - Triple A||Early July|
|Garrett Richards||Angels||Strained hamstring||Flat ground||Early July|
|Jeremy Hellickson||Nationals||Hamstring strain||Rehab start - Single A||Early July|
|Noah Syndergaard||Mets||Strained finger ligament||Flat ground||Mid July|
|Walker Buehler||Dodgers||Rib microfracture||Bullpen work||Mid July|
|Chris Archer||Rays||Left abdominal strain||Bullpen work||Mid July|
|Masahiro Tanaka||Yankees||Strained hamstrings||Bullpen work||Mid July|
|Andrew Triggs||Athletics||Forearm discomfort||Extended spring training||Mid July|
|Zach Davies||Brewers||Shoulder inflammation||Rehab start - Triple A||Mid July|
|Stephen Strasburg||Nationals||Shoulder inflammation||Flat ground||Late July|
|Jake Faria||Rays||Left oblique strain||Flat ground||Late July|
|Mike Soroka||Braves||Shoulder tightness||Late July|
|Drew Pomeranz||Red Sox||BIceps tendinitis||Bullpen work||Late July|
|Jose Urena||Marlins||Shoulder impingement||Late July|
|Ervin Santana||Twins||Finger surgery||Live batting practice||Late July|
|Shohei Ohtani||Angels||UCL sprain||August|
|Hyun-Jin Ryu||Dodgers||Groin strain||August|
|Jimmy Nelson||Brewers||Shoulder surgery||Flat ground||August|
|Trevor Cahill||Athletics||Strained right Achilles||August|
|Michael Wacha||Cardinals||Oblique strain||September|
- Oh no, it's the dreaded oblique strain for Michael Wacha. We've seen oblique issues knock guys like Robbie Ray for multiple weeks. That seems like the future for Wacha. If you are hurting for pitching and don't have the DL space, I say drop him in your 12-teamers and less.
- It seems like Carlos Carrasco is always unlucky with comebackers. He got smacked by a line drive off the elbow in his last start and got thrown on the disabled list last Monday. They're saying he'll miss two starts, but I'm thinking we don't see him until after the All-Star Break. Cleveland knows it has to be patient with Cookie in order to be successful in the important months of the season.
— Amy Gutierrez (@AmyGGiants) June 21, 2018
- Johnny Cueto will throw his first rehab start with the Sacramento River Cats on Saturday. I expect him to throw three or four rehab starts before returning to the rotation, but this is a great sign. He could return before the All-Star Break, but with the Giants' replacement starters performing well, they can be patient with Cueto. Stay tuned.
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