2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 7 Pitching Planner: Edge of Darkness

by Tyler Thompson
2018 fantasy baseball week 7 pitching planner

Every day's a new day
Every way's a new way
On the edge of darkness

-- 'Edge of Darkness', Greta Van Fleet

Okay, I'm disappointed in all of my readers. You guys know I'm a music junkie and let me be unknowing of Greta Van Fleet for over a year? For shame.

Any well, thy ears have been blessed now (if not late), so no harm was done. This song, in particular, makes any day seem a little more bearable. The lyrics simply warn people of what this day and age can bring. We can choose to follow positive news rather than fall into the darkness. We are right there on the edge!

Similarly, we can wallow in all the injuries and disappointments of the early 2018 season. However, why not fill your fantasy life/roster with more positivity? This is the time that you really need to evaluate your pitchers and decide if you want to continue to roll with them. Especially with players that just anger you every week - why are you still holding onto him? This game is meant to be fun and a relief from your negative things in life.

This week, I will be covering pitchers that have been noticeably positive or negative in the fantasy community thus far. Then, by context clues, you should be able to realize whether or not I like them moving forward. Time to get some good mojo going on your team rather than fall on the wrong side of the edge of darkness.

(Also, just, dude. That GVF album is just so good. If you like 1970's classic rock, mainly Led Zeppelin, don't miss out. I had to make something up here in the intro just to be able to mention them. You won't be disappointed!)

2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 7 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.

Max ScherzerNationalsLAD
Chris SaleRed SoxOAK
Jacob deGromMetsARZ
Luis SeverinoYankees@KC
Noah SyndergaardMetsARZ
Gerrit ColeAstros@LAA
Corey KluberIndians@HOU
Justin VerlanderAstros@LAA


  • Jacob deGrom has been promoted due to his stellar play in April and historically. However, the injury potential does concern me here. Let me rephrase that - the Mets history with injuries concerns me here.
  • Against top five offenses in the Angels, Astros, and Red Sox, Luis Severino was absolutely dominant in his last three starts. There was no reason to exclude him from the top tier.

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  • 35.6% K-BB%. 1.43 ERA. 1.56 FIP. 2.24 xFIP. 2.03 SIERA. Can anyone hit Gerrit Cole? I honestly just have nothing else to say here because he's taken my breath away. Celine Dion would be proud.
  • Rotation-mate Justin Verlander also makes the cut in Week 7. The Astros have now turned into the team that gets the most out of their pitchers. And, please, don't come at me with that 'cheating' BS. You just sound silly and jealous.


  • The reason for this crazy influx of promotions is basically the doing of Clayton Kershaw. Once he was sent to the disabled list, I realized that I needed to give props where it was due and include the four pitchers above. While it doesn't sound like a sound argument, I really just got bored with my top tier and wanted to spice it up a bit. BAM!


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.

Walker BuehlerDodgers@MIA
Patrick CorbinDiamondbacksMIL@NYM
James PaxtonMarinersDET
Aaron NolaPhillies@STL
Zack GreinkeDiamondbacksMIL
Stephen StrasburgNationalsLAD
Charlie MortonAstrosCLE
Carlos CarrascoIndians@DET
Shohei OhtaniAngelsTB


  • I know it's aggressive to put Walker Buehler in this tier, but I'm getting a strong vibe from him. I truly believe he can put up a season like author-favorite Brad Peacock did in 2017. That's extremely valuable and Buehler even has a chance to accomplish even more if the other Dodgers starters keep sustaining injuries. I am totally buying if you can snag him at an SP4 value in a trade.
  • Well, I'm not a doctor and won't pretend to be. In fact, I spurned that career after graduating with a biomedical engineering degree because it did not seem like something I would be good at long-term. Regardless, I just want to say that I'm going to trust Patrick Corbin and the team doctors in Arizona. He says he's fine and the doctors are on board. This isn't the Mets we are talking about (the blows keep coming from this Braves fan).

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  • I love how Zack Greinke has bounced back in his last three starts after a rough beginning to the 2018 campaign. I'm more than happy to return him to the Auto Stream tier where he belongs after a brief stint in the next tier down. He's gained my trust for the near future regardless of opponent, especially against the Brewers in Week 7.
  • I don't have anything forward-related to say about Carlos Carrasco. I just wanted to bask in his complete game glow from last week. What a beauty! We forget that Carrasco has that in his system sometimes. Or is that just me? Okay, maybe so.

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.

Kenta MaedaDodgers@MIA
Alex WoodDodgers@MIA@WSH
Sean NewcombBravesMIA
Nick KinghamPiratesSD
Rick PorcelloRed SoxOAKBAL
Nick PivettaPhillies@BAL@STL
Joey LucchesiPadresCOL@PIT
Mike FoltynewiczBravesCHCMIA
Trevor BauerIndians@DET
Eduardo RodriguezRed SoxOAKBAL
David PriceRed SoxBAL
Jon GrayRockies@SF
Andrew SuarezGiantsCIN
Fernando RomeroTwinsMIL
Vince VelasquezPhillies@BAL
Tyler AndersonRockies@SD@SF
Chris StrattonGiantsCINCOL
Caleb SmithMarlinsLAD
J.A. HappBlue Jays@NYM
Jeff SamardzijaGiantsCOL
Kyle GibsonTwinsMIL
Miles MikolasCardinals@MINPHI
Jake ArrietaPhillies@STL
Kyle HendricksCubs@CIN
Zack GodleyDiamondbacks@NYM
Blake SnellRays@LAA
Tyler SkaggsAngelsTB
Chad KuhlPiratesSD
Domingo GermanYankees@KC
Garrett RichardsAngelsHOU
Zack EflinPhillies@STL
Masahiro TanakaYankees@WSH
Julio TeheranBraves@CHCMIA
Lance McCullers Jr.Astros@LAACLE
Ivan NovaPiratesSD
Jose BerriosTwinsSTL
Steven MatzMetsTOR
Luke WeaverCardinals@MIN
Dallas KeuchelAstrosCLE
Jameson TaillonPiratesCWS
Rich HillDodgers@WSH
German MarquezRockies@SD
Chris ArcherRays@LAA
Tyler MahleReds@SF
Mike ClevingerIndians@HOU
Jose QuintanaCubsATL@CIN
Jake FariaRays@KC
Gio GonzalezNationalsNYY
Jack FlahertyCardinalsPHI
Tyson RossPadres@PIT
Sean ManaeaAthletics@BOS@TOR
Jon LesterCubs@ATL


  • Public service announcement - Nick Kingham should be back for a start against the Padres next weekend (May 19th, I believe). Hopefully, you didn't freak out and drop him. If someone did that in your league, make them pay!
  • Rockies southpaw Tyler Anderson gets a glorious two-start week. Not only does he get both games on the road, but they are in pitcher-friendly parks against pitcher-friendly offenses. This is certainly Stream of the Week material and I'm loving the opportunity for strikeouts against the Padres, specifically.

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  • With a name like Caleb Smith, I imagine he goes unnoticed in deep-ish leagues. Unfortunately, we can't all have cool names like 'Samardzija' or 'Manaea'! I tell you what - if I put Smith's stats with Kevin Gausman's name, fantasy writers everywhere would be jumping up-and-down and hitting their own head with one of those cartoon gavels. I love the strikeout upside here and the Dodgers have statistically been one of the worst offenses against southpaws this season.
  • I've played and won the 'reckless speculation' game before with Mike Soroka. However, I feel that I'm going to lose this one with Jack Flaherty. He could be called up this week to take the spot vacated by Carlos Martinez, but something tells me that Mike Matheny is going to do Mike Matheny things. No bueno. Stay tuned to that situation.

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.

Marco GonzalesMarinersTEX
Drew PomeranzRed SoxBAL
Junior GuerraBrewers@ARZ@MIN
Derek HollandGiantsCOL
Matt KochDiamondbacksMIL
Andrew TriggsAthletics@TOR
Michael WachaCardinalsPHI
Zack WheelerMetsTOR
Reynaldo LopezWhite SoxTEX
Kyle FreelandRockies@SF
Brandon WoodruffBrewers@ARZ
Trevor WilliamsPiratesCWSSD
CC SabathiaYankees@WSH
Jeremy HellicksonNationalsLAD
Sonny GrayYankees@KC
Cole HamelsRangers@CWS
Andrew HeaneyAngelsHOUTB
Chad BettisRockies@SF
Eric LauerPadres@PIT
Michael FulmerTigers@SEA
Tanner RoarkNationalsNYY
Ryan YarbroughRays@KC@LAA
Matt BoydTigersCLE
Brent SuterBrewers@MIN
Felix HernandezMarinersDET
Adam WainwrightCardinalsPHI
Jakob JunisRoyalsNYY
Mike SorokaBravesCHC
Clayton RichardPadres@PIT
Luis CastilloRedsCHC
Ian KennedyRoyalsTB
Jake OdorizziTwinsSEAMIL
Chase AndersonBrewers@MIN
Dan StrailyMarlinsLAD
Danny DuffyRoyalsNYY
Kevin GausmanOrioles@BOS
Sal RomanoReds@SFCHC
Tyler ChatwoodCubs@ATL
Francisco LirianoTigersCLE@SEA
Brandon McCarthyBravesCHC
Daniel MengdenAthletics@BOS@TOR
Mike MinorRangers@SEA@CWS
Jarlin GarciaMarlins@ATL
Bartolo ColonRangers@SEA
Dylan BundyOrioles@BOS
Jose UrenaMarlins@ATL
Eric SkoglundRoyalsTBNYY


  • I was oh-so-close to placing Marco Gonzales in the Dream Stream section. Alas, I was too much of a wimp. A real man plays Gonzales against a lefty-heavy Rangers lineup at home. I'M NOT REAL. I'm just a faceless writer without a clue. Stream Gonzales in your strikeout-dependent leagues and use him on DFS. It's mostly a trust issue.
  • Look, the matchups don't get any better for a pitcher than they do for Trevor Williams. Hosting the Padres and White Sox at home in the same week will scream 'pickup' in your home league. Contrarily, I'm going to fade here. His 1.45 K/BB is very subpar and that's gotta catch up with him sooner or later. People will talk about 'upside' with Williams, but I don't see upside from a guy who doesn't get K's. What happens when you don't get consistent strikeouts? That's right - you give up more batted balls. What happens after that? Do I have to spell it out? I'm not a good teacher, so someone please help.

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  • It's been a drastic fall for Michael Fulmer in the pitching planner. There was a time last year when Fulmer cracked the Auto-Stream tier due to his consistently great outings. Now, he's just an average pitcher in my eyes. A K/9 under 7.5 is just uninspiring and, while he has decent run-ratios, I'm uneasy about it. That schedule has been mighty friendly to him and won't continue to bounce that way.
  • The newest Rays fourth starter in their terrible idea of 'bullpenning' the rotation is Ryan Yarbrough. Don't fall for either of these starts, especially the Kansas City start. There's no way I'm comfortable throwing a guy who probably only goes four innings in my fantasy staff.

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.

Yu DarvishCubsFluLate May
Carlos MartinezCardinalsRight lat strainLate May
Robbie RayDiamondbacksOblique strainLate May
Hyun-Jin RyuDodgersGroin strainLate May
Trevor CahillAthleticsElbow impingementLate May
Nathan EovaldiRaysElbow issuesLate May
Joe MusgrovePiratesStrained shoulderLate May
Jerad EickhoffPhilliesStrained latLate May
Clayton KershawDodgersBiceps tendinitisEarly June
Alex ReyesCardinalsTommy John surgeryEarly June
Ervin SantanaTwinsFinger surgeryEarly June
Carlos RodonWhite SoxShoulder surgeryEarly June
Yonny ChirinosRaysForearm strainEarly June
Marcus StromanBlue JaysShoulder fatigueEarly June
Zack DaviesBrewersRotator cuff inflammationEarly June
Anthony DeSclafaniRedsStrained obliqueEarly June
Madison BumgarnerGiantsFractured fingerMid June
Johnny CuetoGiantsElbow inflammationLate June
Danny SalazarIndiansShoulder inflammationLate June
Jordan MontgomeryYankeesElbow strainLate June
Erasmo RamirezMarinersShoulder strainLate June
Jimmy NelsonBrewersShoulder surgeryAll-Star Break
Shelby MillerDiamondbacksTommy John surgeryAll-Star Break
Matt ShoemakerAngelsStrained forearmAll-Star Break


  • Sure, shoulder fatigue is what's bogging Marcus Stroman down. Actually, I have no clue and don't want to be quoted as an unbeliever. It does seem conveniently timed though with his incredible struggles to start the year. Just drop him if you are in a 12-team or less redraft league. You'll thank me later.
  • I'm seeing conflicting reports on Zack Davies. Some sites say he is only expected to miss one start. On the other hand, I have seen reports of a two-week rest. Keep an eye on this situation, please!

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  • Although it felt a little worse than their making it, Carlos Martinez is in line to return in short order. The Cardinals are saying he will miss 'one start because of the schedule', but that's just coach speak. He's out for Week 7 with an expected Week 8 comeback.
  • Innocently enough, Yu Darvish is just getting some rest because of flu-like symptoms. We wish him a speedy recovery and hope he can return in Week 8 as well.

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

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