Welcome to the Pitching Planner for Week 18. This is an unusually good week for streaming pitchers. There are several middling starters with excellent matchups this week, so make sure you avail yourself and pick up some of them. In fact, several good streamers are among the two-start pitchers. Chad Kuhl, Dylan Bundy, J.C. Ramirez and Parker Bridwell are just a few of my recommended streaming pitchers with two starts this week.
The table below will be published each week showing the expected pitching rotation matchups, whether the game is at home or on the road, and it will include the pitcher’s handedness (left-handers are designated with an “L”). Finally, you will note that each matchup is assigned a ranking numbered #1-5. This number refers to my recommendation as far as starting that pitcher in Fantasy play and the rankings break down as follows:
1 – Must-Start – These pitchers are aces and are virtually matchup proof.
2 – Favorable Start – These pitchers may or may not be aces but the matchup is favorable.
3 – Streaming Option – These pitchers are in a favorable matchup, so they can be started if needed.
4 – Risky Start – The matchup is prohibitively risky. Owners are advised to avoid this pitcher.
5 – Bench – Do not start this pitcher in this matchup.[table “1751” not found /]
TWO-START PITCHERS RANKED
Max Scherzer MIA, SF – Scherzer has 50 strikeouts over his last 32 innings. He left his last start after just one inning but all indications are that he will start Monday’s tilt against Miami. He has two home starts against relatively weak teams, so he remains as automatic a start as there is in Fantasy.
Chris Sale @TB, @NYY – The Indians tattooed Sale in his last outing but he still has a 2.50 ERA and 61 strikeouts over his last six starts.
Corey Kluber COL, @TB – The Klubot is another pitcher with insane numbers; 67 strikeouts over his last 43.1 innings with a 2.28 ERA.
Jake Arrieta @SF, @ARI – Arrieta has a very human 4.11 ERA on the road this season but the Giants are pushovers and the Diamondbacks are a game below .500 in the second half so far.
Brent Suter @MIN, CIN – Suter took a beating at the hands of the Cardinals last time out but he still has a 2.55 ERA over his last six starts.
J.A. Happ NYY, PIT – Happ is 1-5 with a 4.25 ERA in seven home starts this season. Just sayin’.
Dallas Keuchel @CWS, @TEX – Keuchel was not his old dominant self in his first two outings off the disabled list. I’d still start him, though. The Rangers are very weak against LHPs (.300 wOBA).
Ervin Santana MIL, @DET – Even with his ERA inching closer to 4.00 lately, Santana continues to get it done for his Fantasy owners.
Michael Wacha @KC, ATL – Wacha has been outstanding over his last six starts with a 1.96 ERA and three shutout appearances. His season ERA is 3.66.
Adam Wainwright @KC, ATL – After a rough stretch in which his season ERA ballooned to 5.75, Wainwright has settled down and pitched to a 3.29 ERA over his last six starts.
Parker Bridwell BAL, @SEA – Bridwell has pitched to a 2.56 ERA over his last five starts.
Dylan Bundy @LAA, @OAK – Bundy has a 4.80 ERA in road games this season, but I’d still start him against the Angels and A’s.
J.C. Ramirez BAL, @SEA – He has a 2.63 ERA over his last six starts.
Edwin Jackson MIA, SF – He’s pitched well enough as a starter to toss him out there against two weak opponents.
Chad Kuhl DET, @TOR – Kuhl has a cool 2.70 ERA over his last seven starts.
Sal Romano SD, @MIL – I’d give him a whirl against the Padres and Brewers.
Zack Godley LAD, CHC – Godley has a 3.26 ERA over his last five starts, including strong starts against both the Dodgers and Cubs. He also has a 3.08 ERA in six home starts.
CC Sabathia @TOR, BOS – Toronto has beaten Sabathia up twice this season, and Sabathia has beaten up the Sox twice this season. He’s worth a roll of the dice if you’re so inclined.
J. Hellickson @LAA, @OAK – He had his best outing of the season in his Orioles debut. Go figure. I wouldn’t mind starting him against two weak teams like the Angels and A’s.
Jason Vargas STL, @CWS – Color me skeptical but Vargas has continued to pitch fairly well after two bad starts at the beginning of July. I still think he’s going to implode but the numbers say he’s worth starting.
Jordan Zimmermann @PIT, MIN – Zimmermann is another pitcher I don’t trust. However, both the Pirates and Twins are beatable teams.
I DO NOT RECOMMEND ANY OF THE PITCHERS BELOW THIS LINE FOR TWO STARTS
Matt Garza @MIN, CIN
R. Montero vs. TEX, @ PHI
Jhoulys Chacin @CIN, @LAD – Chacin has been good lately but not away from Petco. He has a 7.35 road ERA over 10 starts.
Ariel Miranda @OAK, LAA – With nine HRs allowed over his last 27 innings, you just can’t trust Miranda, even against weak opponents.
Trevor Cahill STL, @CWS – Cahill has been going steadily downhill over his last five starts. It’s time to bench him until he turns it around.
Robert Stephenson SD, @MIL – Stephenson has been unimpressive in three starts to date. I’d stay away until we see whether he can make the adjustments to big league hitting.
Matt Moore CHC, @WAS
I. Kennedy STL, @CWS
Chris O’Grady @WAS, COL
Luis Perdomo @CIN, @LAD
Jake Thompson @ATL, NYM
Trevor Williams DET, @TOR
Vance Worley @WAS, COL
Matt Boyd @PIT, MIN
Daniel Gossett SEA, BAL
Derek Holland HOU, KC
Adalberto Mejia MIL, @DET
Austin Pruitt BOS, CLE
One “best bet” streamer for each day of Week 18.
Dylan Bundy vs. LAA – The Angels have a .308 wOBA and .157 ISO against RHPs. Bundy can be hit or miss but should do well against the Angels.
Chad Kuhl vs. DET – Kuhl has been lights out of late with a 2.70 ERA over his last six starts.
Mike Leake vs. KC – The Royals have a .309 wOBA against RHPs.
Zack Davies vs. MIN – Davies has a 0.94 ERA over his last four outings (28.2 IP).
Jimmy Nelson vs. CIN – Nelson has been solid with a 3.19 ERA over his last six starts and the Reds have just a .311 wOBA vs. RHPs.
Dylan Bundy @ OAK – The A’s strike out 24.8 percent of the time vs. RHPs, which is right up Bundy’s alley.
Chad Kuhl @ TOR – Kuhl has been superb recently – see Tuesday!