2014 Fantasy BaseballAndrew Miller

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Week 10 Two-Start Pitchers and Streamers

There are only a couple aces with two starts this week, and just a few guys right below the ‘ace’ label with multiple starts. However, there are several quality pitchers you should want to start in most leagues but a majority of them are owned in most leagues. The guys you can pick up to start are lower-tier options that aren’t very sexy picks so the pickings are slim this week for two-start streamers.

There are several two-start pitchers who qualify for the streaming portion of this article. For sake of brevity I’ll only cover them in the top portion of the article, but you should definitely pick up any of the two-starters you want to stream. If you have any questions about these starters or other pitchers hit me up on Twitter @44AMiller.

Must-starts

  1. Felix Hernandez – Mon at NYY, Sun at TB
  2. Clayton Kershaw – Mon vs. CWS, Sun at COL
  3. Anibal Sanchez – Tue vs. TOR, Sun vs. BOS
  4. James Shields – Tue at STL, Sun vs. NYY
  5. Alex Cobb – Mon at MIA, Sat vs. SEA
  6. Scott Kazmir – Tue at NYY, Sun at BAL
  7. John Lackey – Mon at CLE, Sun at DET

There’s a clear drop off after the top two two-starters this week, in terms of individual talent and matchups. Sanchez has one tough matchup against Toronto, and Shields hasn’t been too sharp recently; the same can be said for Cobb. Lackey has two top-six offenses against righties. Kazmir is really the only player in the rest of the must-starts who has the skill and the matchups on his side.

Start in 12-teamers

  1. Chris Archer – Tue at MIA, Sun vs. SEA
  2. Jose Quintana – Mon at LAD, Sun at LAA
  3. Jaime Garcia – Tue vs. KC, Sun at TOR
  4. C.J. Wilson – Tue at HOU, Sun vs. CWS
  5. Homer Bailey – Tue vs. SF, Sun vs. PHI
  6. Bartolo Colon – Mon at PHI, Sat at SF
  7. Zack Wheeler – Tue at CHC, Sun at SF
  8. Jordan Zimmermann – Tue vs. PHI, Sun at SD
  9. Matt Garza – Mon vs. MIN, Sat at PIT
  10. Hiroki Kuroda – Tue vs. OAK, Sun at KC
  11. Yovani Gallardo – Tue vs. MIN, Sun at PIT

Archer‘s been very good lately, allowing just two runs in his past three starts. But that followed a stretch of four straight non-quality starts. A tough Miami squad, along with that inconsistency, keeps him from being a must-start, but he’s still available in a lot of leagues and can be a good pickup this week and probably kept for the rest of the season. The Angels (7th) and Dodgers (28th) are on opposite ends of the spectrum against lefties, but Quintana‘s worth starting as he’s been very good lately. He has six quality starts in his last seven tries, and his 3.02 FIP is backed up by normal left on base and BABIP rates. Garcia has 19 strikeouts and zero walks in his 19.2 innings this season. He’s throwing his fastball(s) harder than ever, and he’s getting more swinging strikes than at any point in his career. I am worried about the Toronto matchup, but with the still-stellar ground ball rate and increase in whiffs I’m starting him no matter what.

I used to think Wilson was overrated, but his 3.05 ERA and 1.11 WHIP rank 12th and seventh, respectively, in the AL. He’s been very consistent this year with career-high strikeout and ground ball rates, while giving up fewer line drives. He’s done that despite throwing softer than at any time in the last four years. He’s got two pretty good matchups this week. Bailey has five quality starts in his last six, but his strikeouts have dropped from the early season when he was getting clobbered. He’s actually throwing harder in May, so that may explain his improvement. He did miss fewer bats in May, however, but he also saw ground ball improvements on three of his five pitches. His Isolated Power against also improved in May, going from ‘What the heck?’ levels in April to ‘OK, much better’ levels in May. I’m starting him, but I can see why you’d still be hesitant. If he can pitch well this week I think he’s a must-start guy going forward.

Both Mets are pitching well lately with FIPS and xFIPS much better than their ERAs. Wheeler has three straight quality starts, getting better in each one. He has 21 strikeouts and three walks in those starts. I think both guys have earned our trust, especially with their consistency (Colon) and upside (Wheeler). With only a somewhat-tough Giants lineup as the lone menacing threat this week I recommend starting them both. Zimmermann gets two bottom-four teams against righties, so he’s a good start this week despite his last few starts. This year almost all his supporting stats are right in line with his career numbers, except a .369 BABIP, which is over 70 points higher than his career number. There’s nothing in his pitch mix that suggests anything has changed except his luck. He’s a buy-low guy for the rest of the season.

Deep-league starts

  1. Jorge De La Rosa – Tue vs. ARI, Sun vs. LAD
  2. David Phelps – Mon vs. SEA, Sat at KC
  3. Charlie Morton – Mon at SD, Sun vs. MIL
  4. Tim Lincecum – Tue at CIN, Sun vs. NYM
  5. Jake Arrieta – Tue vs. NYM, Sun vs. MIA
  6. Henderson Alvarez – Mon vs. TB, Sat at CHC
  7. Shelby Miller – Mon vs. KC, Sat at TOR

De La Rosa has been on fire lately, with a 1.93 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in May. However, his FIP in May was 4.9 thanks to a 92 percent left on base rate and a .200 BABIP. I’d continue to roll with him however, as the D’backs are just average against lefties and the Dodgers rank 28th. Phelps gets two bottom-seven teams against righties this week, and while he hasn’t been great starting he has a 3.18 ERA and 3.23 FIP as a starter in ’14.

There are conflicting reports on who will have two starts for the Pirates this week, Morton or Gerrit Cole. If it’s Cole he bumps up to a must-start, but if Morton sticks as the two-starter the Padres represent a great matchup while Milwaukee is a neutral one. I’d avoid starting him in weekly leagues, but you can in daily leagues against San Diego. I’d try to avoid Miller at all costs. The Kansas City start is appealing, but Toronto could be deadly. His strikeout, walk and home run rates have all worsened from last year, and his FIP is over 5 this year.

AL-/NL-Only starts

  1. Justin Masterson – Mon vs. BOS, Sun at TEX
  2. Danny Duffy – Mon at STL, Sat vs. NYY
  3. Drew Hutchison – Tue at DET, Sun vs. STL

I wouldn’t start any of these guys in mixed leagues, but each has enough bit of upside and some recent success to warrant starting in AL-Only leagues.

Pitchers to avoid

Top streaming options available in at least 50 percent of ESPN leagues

Gavin Floyd – Tuesday vs. Seattle – Floyd has been quite good in his five starts with his worst start being 6.1 innings, three earned runs, eight strikeouts and no walks. He’s got good supporting stats to back up his regular numbers, and the Mariners are just 25th in offense against righthanders.

John Danks – Wednesday at Los Angeles – The Dodgers are the second worst offensive team against lefties, and Danks has four quality starts in his last five turns with 28 strikeouts and seven walks.

Ian Kennedy – Wednesday vs. Pittsburgh – I’m cheating a bit as Kennedy’s owned in 56 percent of leagues, but he should be owned in a lot more. In the past week he has two starts of six innings and one earned run, with 15 strikeouts and just one walk. Despite a much better road ERA than at home, his FIP splits are much closer and his home xFIP is better than his road xFIP.

Nathan Eovaldi – Friday at Chicago Cubs – The Cubs are the third worst team against righties in wOBA, and Eovaldi’s been able to maintain his success even without striking out as many guys as he did earlier in the season.

Tanner Roark – Friday at San Diego – Roark has a 2.45 ERA in his last four starts, and the Padres rank last in wOBA against righties.

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