Fantasy Baseball

2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 24 Pitching Planner: Hear Me Roark

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Busiest. Time. Of. The. Year.

Between the new job, family events, bachelor parties, and much more, this author has been occupied for 110% of the time the last month or so. Unfortunately, this has meant a brief hiatus from the pitching planner for the past few weeks. In fact, I almost missed this one too. I was able to stay in this weekend, but it’s been just as busy of a weekend anyway. It never stops!

I thought it would be unfair to leave my followers in the cold down the fantasy baseball stretch, though. Although I didn’t have enough time to do a full pitching planner, I figured I could at least give a shortened version. This edition will feature seven starters that I believe have streaming value here in mid-September. These should be familiar names by now, but some of them are still floating around on waiver wires out there.


Let’s hop to it! All ownership percentages below are from ESPN leagues.

2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 24 Pitching Planner

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Two-Start Streamers

Tanner Roark, Washington Nationals (@PHI/@ATL, 40%)

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No one really wants to win the NL East. As a Braves fan, it’s been incredibly frustrating to watch them just go 0.500 in the second half when they could be pulling away. The Phillies have been particularly bad, but are still in the hunt thanks to mediocre play elsewhere.

Enter Roark and the Nationals. They have one last chance to make the NL East race more insane this week with series against the two teams ahead of them. Roark will face each of them and I’m prepared to give him a green light for the two-start week.

He’s been decent in the second half with a 2.91 ERA and a 3.80 FIP. I’m extremely interested in the Phillies matchup here and their 93 wRC+ in the second half. The Braves do hit righties really well, so you can sit Roark (if your league allows it) for that start. However, if it’s a weekly lineup lock, I’m comfortable rolling out Roark in that second start as well.

For the overall week, you’ll have decent ratios and a chance at a couple of wins. Can’t beat that!

Wade LeBlanc, Seattle Mariners (SD/@LAA, 40%)

He’s been LeBlanc-ing his opponents as of late. Amidst the boos for the terrible dad joke, I want to express my love for Wade in his projected two-start week here. That’s right, we’re on a first-name basis… We aren’t.

The strikeout upside isn’t great, but his ratios haven’t wavered much over the course of the season. The blowup potential is pretty low here with the crafty southpaw, which is lovely given the matchups that he has this week.

The Angels have been decent over the second half, but it hasn’t been anything special. On the other hand, the Padres have been horrendous all year and, despite some call-ups, they still aren’t scaring anyone. Start LeBlanc for the volume and you will be rewarded here. You’ll get enough cumulative strikeouts to go along with his usual nice ratios.

Mike Minor, Texas Rangers (@LAA/@SD, 26%)

This is my favorite stream of the week! If he’s out there floating around on waivers, praise your whoevers and snag him up.

Acquiring Minor and starting him was the best thing the Rangers did in their pitching staff this season. Well, it was the only thing, really. He hasn’t had a spectacular season, but he’s really been rocking it lately. Despite a tough schedule in the second half, he’s posted a 2.88 ERA and a 21% K-BB%. By the way, included in that schedule was the A’s (twice), Astros, Yankees, and Dodgers. I don’t think you could write in a worse draw, but Minor has really shown some life in spite of it.

He gets a bit of a break this week! I could basically rewrite the section on the Angels and Padres that I wrote above for LeBlanc. However, I think you will get a few more strikeouts relative to LeBlanc and still attain similar ratios. A Minor pickup could lead to a major result in Week 24. Boy, I’m just chockful of terrible puns today.

One-Start Streamers

Vince Velasquez, Philadelphia Phillies (MIA, 33%)

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We are starting almost anyone with a pulse against the Marlins. Miami has been terrible all year offensively and it’s not going to change here.

In a week that Philly really needs some big wins, Velasquez should be ready to step up to the task here. He hasn’t been great lately, but I’m really banking on the Marlins-factor to kick in here. Trust what’s been working here!

Worst case, you get five innings and six or seven strikeouts. Best case, you get a week-winning performance.

Jakob Junis, Kansas City Royals (MIN, 29%)

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Junis will likely most be remembered for hitting Aaron Judge and knocking him out for half the season. Shoot, he’s been hitting guys left and right on the mound in 2018.

Maybe the ‘fear factor’ is playing into his hand in the second half. Whatever it is, it’s been working as he’s worked a 2.75/2.90/3.40 ERA/FIP/xFIP triple-slash since the All-Star Break.

In a home start against a struggling Twins offense that sold all of its best hitters before the deadline, he is absolutely worth a stream here. The Royals offense has actually been giving some run support lately too, which is surprising and helpful in this argument!

Steven Matz, New York Mets (MIA, 25%)

No one’s saying that Matz is the next Johan Santana now, but that’s an impressive stat-line!

Especially around this time of year, you’ve got to ride the hot hand. In his last four starts, Matz has had an average of six innings thrown with eight-ish punchouts and 1.5 runs allowed. Can’t hate anything there! Granted, they may not have been against the best offenses (SF, WSH, @SF, & PHI). However…

Remember that thing about starting pitchers against the Marlins? That applies here, too. With Matz’s performance lately and a bad offense, don’t overthink it.

Joey Lucchesi, San Diego Padres (@SEA, 19%)

Okay, that GIF may be a bit of an exaggeration, but I do love me some Lucchesi windups!

All things considered, Lucchesi’s had a great rookie season for having won a rotation spot in Spring Training. 22 starts and a healthy 18% K-BB% is certainly nothing to sneeze at. I imagine he will be a popular mid-round grab in 2019 fantasy drafts.

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As for the matchup, the Mariners have fallen flat on their face since the All-Star Break. Baseball Reference has their Pythagorean Luck Factor (cool stat) at 13, which is incredibly higher than any other team. It’s been catching up to them here lately and Lucchesi should have a chance to exploit that.

Seattle’s 91 wRC+ in the second half is 7th worst in the majors. Use that to your advantage.

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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1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Monday, September 10, 2018 – Fantasy Baseball Links | FantasyRundown.com

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