Fantasy Baseball

2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 2 Pitching Planner: There, There

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“The strikeouts are there.” “The wins are there.” “All of the pitches are there.”

Do you ever just read (or write) enough fantasy sports articles to where you just overlook certain phrases? I was reading an article the other day (I’m no name-dropper, so don’t push me) and it was no different than normal. However, after the tenth time I read that something was simply ‘there’, I began wondering. I wondered just who started this nonsensical idiom in the fantasy community.

In the broad sense, it’s sort of a lazy phrase that means nothing and doesn’t help readers. I thought back to why I previously used that phrase so often and could only come up with one conclusion. Saying that something is ‘there’ (for me) usually implies an obvious attribute that a player has. For example, if we are looking at a pitcher like Dinelson Lamet, I would say something along the lines of:


“The strikeouts are there. However, he needs to find a third pitch in order to really take the next step.”

When I reread this, it seems like I am either reassuring myself or the reader that I know my stuff. After thinking about it for a bit, it’s a phrase that I will halt in my articles from here on out. I encourage other writers to quit using this lazy saying and to write some words that will more directly benefit our readers. In fact, for every time a reader points out a time in which I write this phrase, I want them to make note of it to me on Twitter. I’ll do a shot of tequila.


If you are new to my Pitching Planner, you will find that I enjoy using the introductions as a rambling opportunity. It’s going to be a long year if you don’t enjoy these, but don’t let this one deter you. I will usually attempt to make these statistically-relevant and learning points for everyone. With it being Week 3, I’m trying to avoid all of that mess until we get larger sample sizes.

Secondly, it’ll always be based on song titles of bands I like. “There, There” by Radiohead was a perfect choice because A) I’m rebelling against some sort of system and B) the title speaks for itself. Look out for some more random song choices. If you have any suggestions for bands as title-worthy, tweet at me, homie. I got you (unless your band sucks – don’t come at me with your U2 or Bon Jovi bilge.)

Alright, now that I’ve warmed up my opinionations, let’s dive into this thing!

2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 2 Pitching Planner

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Auto-Start

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



PlayerTeamOpp1Opp2
Corey KluberIndians@MIAMIL
Clayton KershawDodgersARI
Max ScherzerNationalsATLCOL
Chris SaleRed SoxNYYBAL

Promoted

  • Come on, Noah Syndergaard – I’m calling you out! I want badly to put you in this tier, but I need one more elite start.

Relegated

  • It would take a couple more starts like Max Scherzer had against the Braves last week for me to be worried about any of these guys. On to the next…

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
Noah SyndergaardMets@MIAMIL
Stephen StrasburgNationalsATL
Jacob deGromMets@MIA
Chris ArcherRays@CWSPHI
Carlos CarrascoIndiansDET
Yu DarvishCubsATL
James PaxtonMariners@KC
Luis SeverinoYankees@BOS@DET
Aaron NolaPhilliesCIN
Robbie RayDiamondbacks@SF
Justin VerlanderAstros@MINTEX
Zack GreinkeDodgers@LAD
Carlos MartinezCardinalsMIL@CIN
Rich HillDodgersARI
Alex WoodDodgersARI
Masahiro TanakaYankees@BOS
Lance McCullersAstros@MIN
Dallas KeuchelAstros@MIN

Notables

  • With a two-start week on the docket, Chris Archer makes a jump in this tier. We are pretty much witnessing what we see every year from Archer through two weeks. According to plan, he’s underperforming by ERA-FIP with lots of strikeouts and homers. Luckily, the way that baseball works, he won’t face the Red Sox and Yankees every week.

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  • Okay, Carlos Martinez, I see you. I talked poorly about him in the Week 1 Pitching Planner and he’s been killing it ever since. Most recently, he almost threw a complete game shutout against the Brewers at Miller Park. I was very impressed by his composure and rhythm in this outing and my expectations have changed immensely.
  • Just an FYI, the three guys at the bottom are in danger of moving to the next tier. You have been warned!

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.

PlayerTeamOpp1Opp2
Jose QuintanaCubsATL
Shohei OhtaniAngels@KC
Jameson TaillonPirates@MIA
Luke WeaverCardinals@CIN
Luis CastilloReds@PHI
Kenta MaedaDodgersOAK
Jon LesterCubsPIT
Johnny CuetoGiantsARI@SD
David PriceRed SoxNYY
Jake ArrietaPhillies@TB
Kyle HendricksCubsPIT
Gerrit ColeAstrosTEX
Miles MikolasCardinalsMIL@CIN
Jon GrayRockiesSD@WSH
Trevor BauerIndiansDET
Michael WachaCardinals@CIN
Garrett RichardsAngels@TEX@KC
Charlie MortonAstrosTEX
Sonny GrayYankees@DET
Yonny ChirinosRays@CWS
Rick PorcelloRed SoxBAL
Blake SnellRays@CWS
Danny DuffyRoyalsSEA
Ivan NovaPirates@CHC@MIA
Marcus StromanBlue Jays@CLE
Jose BerriosTwinsCWS
Steven MatzMetsMIL
Tyler SkaggsAngels@TEX@KC
Seth LugoMets@MIA
Vince VelasquezPhillies@TB
German MarquezRockiesSD
Jake FariaRaysPHI
Hyun-Jin RyuDodgersOAK
Joey LucchesiPadres@COLSF
Zack GodleyDiamondbacks@SF@LAD
Felix HernandezMariners@KCOAK
J.A. HappBlue Jays@BAL@CLE
Jordan MontgomeryYankees@DET
Patrick CorbinDiamondbacks@SF
Nick PivettaPhilliesCIN
Mike LeakeMarinersOAK
Michael FulmerTigers@CLE
Gio GonzalezNationalsCOL
Steven BraultPirates@MIA
Sean ManaeaAthletics@LAD
Chase AndersonBrewers@NYM
Taijuan WalkerDiamondbacks@LAD
Zach DaviesBrewers@NYM
Jakob JunisRoyalsSEALAA
Tyler ChatwoodCubsPITATL
Aaron SanchezBlue Jays@BAL
Ty BlachGiants@SD
Chris StrattonGiants@SD
Mike ClevingerIndiansTOR

Notables

  • My Stream of the Week goes to Yonny Chirinos, who I had not heard of before this season started. Leave it to the Rays to come up with some random starter that becomes fantasy-relevant. Anyway, I like the opportunity for him moving forward if he can take control of that fourth starter’s spot in the rotation.
  • I want to do a quick humble brag – I snagged Nick Pivetta super late in my dynasty league and got ridiculed for it. How about that last start, league-mates? Put some respect in my name! Pivetta was striking fools left and right against Miami last week. I know it was Miami, but it’s not like the Reds have been doing well offensively thus far. Give Pivetta another shot this week.

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  • Another guy I was wanting to have as my weekly streamer choice, Steven Brault is coming off a nice spot start. He should see another chance this week, but the Pirates have been weird to this point in their rotation. Against the aforementioned Marlins, Brault should have a great chance at a quality start.
  • Although I’m not the largest fan of either Ty Blach or Chris Stratton, there’s no denying the matchup. Facing the Padres in Petco Park without Wil Myers, they should fare fairly well.

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
Josh TomlinIndiansDETTOR
Trevor RichardsMarlinsPIT
Bryan MitchellPadres@COL
Tyler AndersonRockiesSD@WSH
Tanner RoarkNationalsCOL
Adam WainwrightCardinalsMIL
Kevin GausmanOriolesTOR
Tyler MahleRedsSTL
Clayton RichardPadres@COLSF
Mike MinorRangers@HOU
Brandon WoodruffBrewers@STL
Andrew TriggsAthletics@SEA
Marco EstradaBlue Jays@BAL
Dillon PetersMarlinsPIT
Brent SuterBrewers@STL
Brandon McCarthyBraves@WSH
Ben LivelyPhilliesCIN@TB
Lance LynnTwinsCWS
Sal RomanoRedsSTL
JC RamirezAngels@KC
Matt HarveyMetsMIL
Marco GonzalesMarinersOAK
Julio TeheranBraves@CHC
Jason HammelRoyalsLAA
Kendall GravemanAthletics@SEA
Dylan BundyOriolesTOR@BOS
Eric SkoglundRoyalsSEALAA
Jaime GarciaBlue Jays@CLE
Luis PerdomoPadres@COL
Caleb SmithMarlinsNYM
Chad KuhlPirates@CHC
Cole HamelsRangers@HOU
Jake OdorizziTwinsHOUCWS
Mike FoltynewiczBraves@WSH@CHC
Trevor WilliamsPirates@CHC
Jhoulys ChacinBrewers@STL@NYM
Kyle GibsonTwinsHOUCWS
Daniel GossettAthletics@SEA
A.J. ColeNationalsATLCOL
Daniel MengdenAthletics@LAD
Lucas GiolitoWhite Sox@MIN
Ian KennedyRoyalsLAA
Hector VelazquezRed SoxBAL
Jose UrenaMarlinsNYMPIT
Derek HollandGiantsARI@SD
Jordan ZimmermannTigers@CLE
Sean NewcombBraves@CHC
Reynaldo LopezWhite Sox@MIN
Mike FiersTigersNYY
Doug FisterRangersLAA
Martin PerezRangersLAA
Miguel GonzalezWhite SoxTB@MIN
Homer BaileyReds@PHISTL
Cody ReedReds@PHISTL
Matt BoydTigers@CLENYY
James ShieldsWhite SoxTB

Notables

  • In this week’s version of Tyler’s Simplistic Scouting Spotlight, we turn to a lesser known right-handed hurler in the Marlins rotation – Trevor Richards. He’s coming off a bad start by ERA standards against Boston but look a little closer. He had a nice strikeout-to-walk ratio in tune with a 3.10 xFIP. He’s dominated at every minor league level and should warrant your attention. He should be able to stabilize lefties with a great changeup and his curve definitely stifles righties. Keep a close eye on him moving forward, especially in 14-team mixed leagues.

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  • Another Marlins pitcher that is relatively unknown is lefty Caleb Smith. After coming over in a trade with the Yankees, the southpaw has found new life in the Miami rotation. That’s an opportunity he never would’ve seen in New York, so I’m sure that he will not take it for granted. He’s been extremely erratic in his first couple of starts (9.72 BB/9), so he needs to gain much more control to be effective moving forward. Ultimately, he can be a nice spot streamer in deeper fantasy leagues.
  • It’s been a weird career for Lucas Giolito to this point. From top prospect in 2016 to bust to revamp in 2017, now he’s starting to look more like his 2016 self. He’s got to show me something worth a crap before I start trusting him as a streamer.

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.



PlayerTeamInjuryReturn
Eduardo RodriguezRed SoxKnee surgeryApril 8th
Jason VargasMetsHand surgeryMid April
Brandon FinneganRedsStrained bicepsLate April
Andrew HeaneyAngelsElbow inflammationLate April
Erasmo RamirezMarinersStrained latLate April
Jeff SamardzijaGiantsStrained pectoralEarly May
Alex ReyesCardinalsTommy John surgeryEarly May
Drew PomeranzRed SoxForearm tightnessMid May
Luiz GoharaBravesSprained ankleMid May
Joe MusgrovePiratesStrained shoulderMid May
Ervin SantanaTwinsFinger surgeryLate May
Dan StrailyMarlinsForearm tightnessLate May
Jerad EickhoffPhilliesStrained latLate May
Dinelson LametPadresElbow discomfortLate May
Matt ShoemakerAngelsStrained forearmLate May
Madison BumgarnerGiantsFractured fingerJune
Carlos RodonWhite SoxShoulder surgeryJune
Anthony DeSclafaniRedsStrained obliqueJune
Danny SalazarIndiansShoulder inflammationJune
Nathan KarnsRoyalsElbow inflammationJune
Wei-Yen ChenMarlinsElbow discomfortJune
Nathan EovaldiRaysElbow issuesJune
Jimmy NelsonBrewersShoulder surgeryAll-Star Break
Shelby MillerDiamondbacksTommy John surgeryAll-Star Break
Julio UriasDodgersShoulder surgeryAll-Star Break

Notables

  • Eduardo Rodriguez is supposedly starting on Sunday, which was overlooked by this author. I’m too lazy to change my tiers now, so deal with it! Regardless, you’ve got to sit him for a couple of starts in shallow leagues. Playing Baltimore at home, it’s just not worth risking it yet.
  • With continuing shoulder concerns from Spring Training, Joe Musgrove worries me moving forward. Since the Pirates have a few options to replace him, don’t be surprised to see him take a week or so off before returning to the mound. Even then, he will need a few bullpens and scheduled days of rest before his eventual return. My ‘mid May’ label may be optimistic even.

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  • I may be underselling how quickly Dinelson Lamet could return. He’s already in a throwing routine and could start a rehab assignment in April. That would put him closer to an early May return to the rotation. Accordingly, I will revisit his status at this time next week.
  • Ervin Santana will be on a plane to New York this week to get an update on his surgically-repaired finger. With approval from the doctors, he should be back on a throwing program in a week or two. If that’s the case, he’s ahead of the schedule that I foresaw him having. If he’s on waivers and you’ve got an extra DL spot, go ahead and stash him.

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

About Tyler Thompson

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