Fantasy Baseball

2019 Fantasy Baseball Week 18 Pitching Planner: Nat King Cole


Welcome to Week 18 of the fantasy baseball season!

Wow!  Some very impactful moves at the trade deadline this year in what made for a very exciting end of July. The Houston Astros’ acquisition of Zack Greinke seems to solidify their position at the top of the AL, while the amount of relief pitching moved seemed to help some more than others (I am especially high on what the Atlanta Braves did to bolster their bullpen).

Around the League

  • The New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins, and the Houston Astros all remain atop their respective divisions, while each division has its own team making a convincing run for the top.
  • The Cleveland Indians are three games behind the Twins and totally rebuilt their outfield with the addition of Yasiel Puig and Franmil Reyes, who will provide a lot of extra pop in the middle of the order
  • The Tampa Bay Rays have a four-game win streak while scoring six or more runs in each of their last five games
  • The Oakland A’s are 5-5 over their last ten and are within 8 games of the Astros and right in the mix of the AL Wild Card.
  • The Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, and Los Angeles Dodgers are all division leaders, as the Dodgers still hold the top spot in baseball.
  • The NL Central is still the most competitive division, with all teams separated by 11 games or fewer. The Pirates had a massive suspension-inducing brawl with the Cincinnati Reds, finding themselves amidst a 1-9 record over the last 10.
  • At the moment, the New York Mets have the longest winning streak in baseball at seven games. Their newest addition, Marcus Stroman, is set to make his debut this weekend at the recently awful Pirates.

Teams On A Roll (8-2 or better over their last 10)

New York Mets

Teams Off The Roll (2-8 or worse over their last 10)

Pittsburgh Pirates

Chicago White Sox

Golden Rosin Bag

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This week’s award goes to Gerrit Cole of the Houston Astros.

I feel like I keep giving this award to the same players, but this is well deserved. Cole is 3-0 over his last three starts, improving his record to 13-5 with a 2.87 ERA and 1.00 WHIP through 24 starts. He leads the majors with 216 strikeouts in 150 2/3 innings.

2019 Fantasy Baseball Week 18 Pitching Planner

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Two Start Pitchers

PitcherStart 1 Start 2
Gerrit Cole, HOUvs COL@ BAL
Jacob deGrom, NYMvs MIAvs WAS
Charlie Morton, TBvs TOR@ SEA
Jose Berrios, MINvs ATLvs CLE
Luis Castillo, CINvs LAAvs CHC
Hyun-Jin Ryu, LADvs STLvs ARI
Jon Lester, CHCvs OAK@ CIN
Lucas Giolito, CHW@ DETvs OAK
Kyle Hendricks, CHCvs OAK@ CIN
Mike Soroka, ATL@ MIN@ MIA
Zack Wheeler, NYMvs MIAvs WAS
James Paxton, NYY@ BAL@ TOR
Masahiro Tanaka, NYY@ BAL @ TOR
German Marquez, COL@ HOU@ SD
Michael Pineda, MINvs ATLvs CLE
Max Fried, ATL@ MIN@ MIA
Rick Porcello, BOSvs KCvs LAA
Joe Musgrove, PITvs MIL@ STL
Jake Arrieta, PHI@ ARI@ SF
Jeff Samardzija, SFvs WASvs PHI
Zach Plesac, CLEvs TEX@ MIN
Andrew Cashner, WASvs KCvs LAA
Anibal Sanchez, WAS@ SF@ NYM
Jordan Yamamoto, MIA@ NYMvs ATL
Dinelson Lamet, SD@ SEAvs COL
Griffin Canning, LAA@ CIN@ BOS
Chris Bassitt, OAK@ CHC@ CHW
Vince Velasquez, PHI@ ARI@ SF
Jake Junis, KC@ BOS@ DET
Jordan Lyles, MIL@ PITvs TEX
Dylan Cease, CHW@ DETvs OAK
Sandy Alcantara, MIA@ NYMvs ATL
Ariel Jurado, TEX@ CLE@ MIL
Michael Wacha, STL@ LAD vs PIT
Mike Montgomery, KC@ BOS@ DET
Taylor Clarke, ARIvs PHI@ LAD
Dereck Rodriguez, SFvs WASvs PHI
Jacob Waguespack, TOR@ TBvs NYY
David Hess, BALvs NYYvs HOU

At a glance, I like the matchups for both Yankee starters and Charlie Morton. I’m staring all of them with ease in Week 18.

Pitchers To Stream

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Anibal Sanchez, Washington Nationals

Another set of good matchups for the 35-year-old. Over his last two starts, he has allowed just two walks and one home run while striking out 12. I am rolling with him in both games in hopes of Anthony Rendon and, in my opinion, the best one through four hitters in baseball.

Jordan Lyles, Milwaukee Brewers

Slated to take on the Pirates on the road and home against the Rangers in Week 18. Both teams have been struggling of late and Lyles is coming off a win in Oakland. He is not a flashy starter, but his command has been improving (four walks total in his last three starts) and the Brewers will surely give him a lead to work with.

Andrew Cashner, Boston Red Sox

Acquired on July 13th from the Orioles for Elio Prado and Noelberth Romero, Cashner has not been good. I do think that his next two opponents are beatable and that this will be the week for him to get back on track.  This is a shot in the dark, but I think the Red Sox go on a tear in Week 18 and Cashner will benefit.

Julio Urias, Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers are awesome.  From their run support to their bullpen, the starting staff is spoiled. Urias hasn’t gone more than three innings since mid-April, but the Dodgers seem to be trying to find a rotation spot for him, given their injuries and rotation changes. This is a speculative add, but one that will pay dividends down the stretch.

Pitchers To Avoid

Mike Minor, Texas Rangers

It’s odd that I own all of these pitchers, but hear me out.

Minor is set to take on the Cleveland Indians, a team who has been on a roll lately.  He has given up five runs in each of his last two starts, both of which came against the Mariners.  He has seen his ERA rise since his complete game on June 26 at Detroit (now at 3.24), giving up at least three earned runs in his last five starts.  I’m avoiding.

Michael Pineda, Minnesota Twins

The Twins are in a bad division, there’s no question.  They seem to beat the bad teams, but lose their series against good teams.  In Week 18 they take on the Braves and Indians at home.  Both teams are making a playoff push and have been mashing the ball lately.  I don’t have confidence here at all and I’m leaving Pineda on the bench for these matchups.

German Marquez, Colorado Rockies

Ten strikeouts in his start against the Dodgers after firing six scoreless innings is impressive.

However, Marquez left the game with general discomfort and “full-body cramping”.  What?  I guess that happens…  He is on the road in his next two starts but they come against the Houston Astros (G Cole) and the Padres (D Lamet).  I’m not sure what “full-body cramping” leaves you with besides a fridge full of Gatorade and bananas, but I’m waiting to see how his next couple of starts look before considering him in Week 19.

A Little Relief

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This week look for Seth Lugo of the New York Mets and Michael Lorenzen of the Cincinnati Reds.  They both have three saves + holds over the past week and have been pitching well lately.  They have dual SP/RP eligibility and can spruce up your stat line in spots that might not be utilized on a day to day basis.  Don’t forget about the value of these long relief pitchers in saves + holds leagues going forward.

That’s all for this week. Thank you for the read.  Follow me @LuftCT.

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About Christopher T. Luft

Christopher Luft is from Connecticut and graduated from Providence College with a BS degree in Biology. He went to Optometry school at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry and completed an ocular disease residency at the Wilmington, Delaware VA. Chris loves to cook, spend time with his wife, practice and study jiu-jitsu, and of course, fantasy sports.

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