Weekly Planner | Lock in Padres Jordan Lyles | Stream Marlins Caleb Smith
Your Fantasy Baseball Weekly Planner, with Streaming Recommendations and Waiver Tips
Offensive problems plaguing your Fantasy team? Not to worry, you’re not the only owner lamenting the dip in production. Entering Thursday’s play, the composite Major League Baseball batting average was .246, a sharp drop from last season’s .255 mark. Should this pace continue, it would be the lowest overall batting average since 1972 when the league hit a combined .244 (Holy Archie Bunker!).
Pitching For Two, Please (Recommended Two-Start Pitchers)
Jordan Lyles, Padres (at Nationals, Monday; at Dodgers, Sunday): If you followed my advice on Lyles last week, that one-hit, 10-K gem against the Rockies on Tuesday did wonders for your team. He’s averaging just 83 pitches in his first two starts, but I see that number walk toward 90 as he faces a Nats team ranked 20th in batting average (.240) before going to Chavez Ravine against a Dodgers lineup 21st in OPS (.705).
German Marquez, Rockies (at Dodgers, Monday; vs. Reds, Sunday): Outside of Coors Field, Colorado starters sported a 3.38 ERA entering Thursday. Marquez has a 2.22 ERA beyond Denver and while starting him on Sunday is dicey, you’ll take your chances knowing what he can do in LA.
Zack Wheeler, Mets (vs. Marlins, Monday; at Brewers, Saturday): A newfound love of giving gifts to those seated in the outfield has shot his ERA up nearly two points in three starts. An outing against the worst-scoring offense in the majors is a nice tonic before heading on the road, where Wheeler’s ERA is nearly three times lower (3.27) than it is at home (9.56).
Zack Wheeler says Adrian Gonzalez recently pulled him aside, encouraging him to watch video of Roger Clemens, Curt Schilling and others who relied on split-fingered fastballs as an out pitch. Wheeler began throwing a splitter earlier this year, and hopes to incorporate it more.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) May 16, 2018
Mike Leake, Mariners (at Athletics, Tuesday; vs. Twins, Sunday): Gotta throw a high wire act in here, right? Leake faces an Oakland team in a pitcher friendly park and the league’s fifth-worst scoring team in Minnesota.
Jameson Taillon, Pirates (at Reds, Tuesday; vs. Cardinals, Sunday): Since the Tigers tagged him for seven runs in 3.1 innings on April 25, Taillon has allowed five runs in his last four starts. He’s become reliant on his heater, throwing it nearly 69 percent of the time, but considering he averages less than 84 pitches per start, we’ll let that slide.
Jake Faria, Rays (vs. Red Sox, Tuesday; vs. Orioles, Sunday): They would name streets and bridges after Faria if he pitched every start at home. Even with the recent struggles, Faria has a 1.74 ERA and a .187 Batting Average Against when tossing in Tampa Bay. I’d have no qualms letting him deal it against Boston’s lumber.
Nick Pivetta, Phillies (vs. Braves, Monday; vs. Blue Jays, Sunday): “I don’t want a pitcher who strikes out batters at a 28.2 percent rate, sports a .98 HR/9 percentage and has allowed three runs or fewer in all but two of his starts,” said no one ever.
Jhoulys Chacin, Brewers (vs. Diamondbacks, Monday; vs. Mets, Saturday): He’s flying under the radar despite the fact Chacin has a 1.96 ERA and .148 BAA this month. Right-handers are neutered against Chacin, who has held them to a .202/.256/.339 slash line.
Trevor Cahill, Athletics (vs. Mariners, Tuesday; vs. Diamondbacks, Sunday): Take it for what it is, but Cahill has yet to allow a run in his first 13.1 innings at home. I like him on Sunday against an Arizona offense that averages just 3.95 runs per game, a piddling 27th overall.
Bartolo Colon, Rangers (vs. Yankees, Monday; vs. Royals, Saturday): Four of his nine homers allowed came against the Red Sox on May 4. Yeah, there’s caution putting him out there with the Pinstripes’ lumber, but I’ll counter by saying a Saturday against KC’s light-hitting offense balances life out.
Franmil Reyes, OF, Padres: This man is strong. The minor league home run leader’s recall to San Diego resulted in his ownership exploding from three percent to 41 percent in CBSSports.com leagues. Built like a tight end, the 6’5, 260-pound Reyes will need to prove he can hammer big league pitching before an already-crowded Pads outfield gets Wil Myers back from the disabled list.
Edubray Ramos, P, Phillies: Hector Neris’ 5.06 ERA and three blown saves is wearing thin in Philly. Enter Ramos, who recorded his first save on Sunday and sports an 11.88 K/9 rate, sending his ownership to 12 percent in CBSSports.com leagues. Manager Gabe Kapler isn’t ready to give Ramos the closer’s role on a full-time basis yet if you’re either a Neris owner or in a deeper league, now’s the time to add him considering the Phillies may have meaningful games to play as the season continues.
Niko Goodrum, 2B/OF, Tigers: The former Twins farmhand frequently sees his name in the Detroit lineup these days and could become a sneaky good source of stolen bases in deeper leagues. He’s shown some pop in his bat, which is part of the reason Goodrum is now owned in 12 percent of CBSSports.com leagues and merits keeping an eye on.
Mark Reynolds, 1B, Nationals: With Ryan Zimmerman on the DL, Reynolds will bounce between infield corners while occasionally yielding to Matt Adams at first base. Owned in 10 percent of CBSSports.com leagues, Reynolds still has plenty of pop and could see his ownership rise if Zimmerman’s stay on the DL becomes prolonged.
Dan Winkler, P, Braves: Arodys Vizcaino remains the closer for now, but Winkler is on the verge of getting a save opportunity or two. Winkler is whiffing batters at a 13.25 K/9 rate and has allowed just 12 total baserunners and two earned runs over 18.1 innings pitched. His ownership has doubled from five to 10 percent in CBSSports.com leagues, and while Winkler remains a great option in leagues that use holds as a category, he should be on the radar of Vizcaino owners should ninth inning change arrive in the ATL.
Matt Harvey, P, Reds: I’m on the optimistic side when it comes to Harvey, who is now owned in 37 percent of CBSSports.com leagues. Perhaps lowered expectations might be what Harvey needs now that he’s away from the overwhelming pressure in New York. One thing’s for sure: if the Harvey of 2013 and 2015 can return, he sure as hell had better dial down his 1.80 H/9 rate, especially now that Cincy is his new yard.
A Streaming We Will Go (Pitchers Edition)
Jeremy Hellickson, Nationals (vs. Padres, Tuesday): Adding Hellickson (0.52 ERA, 17:1 K:BB rate in May) to the Washington rotation is almost unfair.
Vince Velasquez, Phillies (vs. Braves, Tuesday): He’s breezing nearly 11 batters per nine innings and while he struggles at home, those Ks are too tempting to pass up.
Caleb Smith, Marlins (at Mets, Tuesday): Opponents are batting just .190 against Smith on the road. Keep that number in mind as he faces the fourth-worst scoring team in the majors.
Jake Junis, Royals (at Cardinals, Wednesday): The de facto ace of the KC staff, Junis has five quality starts while developing into a steady, yet unspectacular hurler for a bad Royals team.
Joe Musgrove, Pirates (at Reds, Wednesday): Part of the haul from the Gerrit Cole deal with the Astros last winter, Musgrove makes his Pittsburgh debut after a shoulder injury curtailed him. Musgrove showed flashes of brilliance in his two seasons in Houston and is worth the risk here.
Kyle Freeland, Rockies (at Dodgers, Wednesday): Oddly enough, Freeland is more effective at Coors (1.40 ERA in three starts) than away. Still, his stuff is a good play against a Dodgers offense that continues to struggle.
Derek Holland, Giants (at Cubs, Friday): He’s settled down after a brutal April and had won three of his last four starts entering the weekend. Holland isn’t making bats miss often but offers enough Ks to merit a stream start.
Reynaldo Lopez, White Sox (at Tigers, Friday): Was finally tagged on Tuesday but he’s been an odd hurler to roll the dice on. Has pitched much better than his numbers indicate as the Pale Hose have scored a combined nine runs in his five losses.
Junior Guerra, Brewers (vs. Mets, Friday): Rebounded with a W against the D-Backs after a pair of rough outings. Guerra is fanning nearly a batter per inning and has allowed just three homers this season.
Francisco Liriano, Tigers (vs. White Sox, Saturday): Um, this might be one of the last times to stream him as signs of his roof caving are becoming stronger.
A Streaming We Will Go (Hitters Edition)
Trey Mancini, 1B/OF, Orioles (at White Sox, Monday-Thursday): Four games against the second-worst pitching staff in a homer friendly park? Mancini’s hot bat should carry over well into this week.
Matt Olson, 1B/OF, Athletics (vs. Diamondbacks, Friday-Sunday): Four hits -- including a pair of homers -- in three games at Boston is a sign Olson may be shaking out of his early May malaise.
Jon Jay, OF, Royals (at Rangers, Friday-Sunday): Entered the weekend hitting a blistering .397 this month. Won’t provide any pop, but Jay’s done wonders for the batting averages of those who own him.
Jefry Marte, 3B, Angels (at Blue Jays, Tuesday-Thursday): Platoon slugger who’s hitting lefties to the slash line tune of .375/.423/.792. He’ll see J.A. Happ on Tuesday...
Leonys Martin, OF, Tigers (at Twins, Monday-Wednesday): Fresh off the DL, Martin, who was hitting .367 this month before being sidelined, gets a shot at Minnesota’s Lance Lynn and his bloated 2.00 WHIP on Tuesday. Hopefully the hammy is healed. We’re missing the steals from you, Leonys.
Yolmer Sanchez, 2B/3B, White Sox (vs. Orioles, Monday-Thursday): Who wouldn’t want four games at home against Baltimore’s pitching staff? Sanchez isn’t much on power, but his steady bat should thrive early this week.
Tucker Barnhart, C, Reds (at Rockies, Friday-Sunday): In nine games at Coors Field, Barnhart has a .486 OBP despite hitting .240. Uh..consider catcher filled for the weekend, please?
Ryon Healy, 1B, Mariners (at Athletics, Monday-Thursday): Improved plate discipline has been the key to Healy’s success this month as the slugger raised his OBP over 100 points while also sporting a 1.053 OPS outside of Seattle this season.
Colin Moran, 3B, Pirates (at Reds, Tuesday-Thursday): Moran vs. the Reds this season: .538/.571/.615 with a 1.186 OPS. Carry on.
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