2014 Fantasy BaseballAndrew Miller

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Week 20 Two-Start Pitchers and 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, other pitchers or general fantasy baseball questions hit me up on Twitter.

According to The Star-Ledger, Michael Pineda may return the Yankees rotation for Wednesday’s start against Baltimore.

Must-starts

  1. Felix Hernandez – Mon vs. TOR, Sat at DET
  2. Adam Wainwright – Tue at MIA, Sun vs. SD
  3. Sonny Gray – Mon at KC, Sat at ATL
  4. Jon Lester – Tue at KC, Sun at ATL
  5. Jake Arrieta – Mon vs. MIL, Sat at NYM
  6. Julio Teheran – Mon vs. LAD, Sat vs. OAK
  7. Doug Fister – Tue at NYM, Sun vs. PIT
  8. Jacob deGrom – Tue vs. WSH, Sun vs. CHC
  9. Hyun-jin Ryu – Tue at ATL, Sun vs. MIL
  10. Rick Porcello – Tue at PIT, Sun vs. SEA

Most if not all these guys are no-brainers. Fister has a 1.96 ERA in his last eight starts, pitching almost seven innings a start with only a .078 Isolated Power mark against him. While the Mets are terrible against righties, the Pirates are really good. But Fister, to me, is an auto-start regardless of his opponent. deGrom has been great in his rookie year, and in his last nine starts (59.1 innings) he’s allowed one home run with 60 strikeouts and 15 walks.

Start in 12-teamers

  1. Collin McHugh – Tue vs. MIN, Sun at BOS
  2. Justin Verlander – Mon at PIT, Sat vs. SEA
  3. Jesse Hahn – Mon vs. COL, Sat at STL
  4. Shelby Miller – Mon at MIA, Sat vs. SD
  5. Drew Smyly – Mon at TEX, Sat vs. NYY

McHugh is really close to auto-start, as he has two neutral matchups this week. Since returning from the DL he’s made three starts with a 2.75 ERA and 22 strikeouts to two walks. Verlander has posted four straight quality starts, but his pitch mix, velocity and whiff rates haven’t changed much – and if they have it’s been negatively – from the rest of the season. But I think he’s worth trusting for now.

The next three pitchers are somewhat hard to rank due to matchups or inconsistencies. The Rockies have the third worst road offense in baseball, and the Cardinals offense continues to be very poor. Hahn has seen a marked decline in velocity and his ability to get swings and misses. But his matchups make him a good play this week. Miller has posted three straight good starts since returning from his two-week bullpen stay. Miller’s velocity has gone up, also. In Miami and against San Diego are two very good matchups, and he should continue his resurgence.

Smyly has two fairly tough matchups this week, although both lineups seem to be disappointing this year. He’s been struggling to go deep into games recently, and he also struggles to post consistently high strikeout totals. If you’re getting close to an innings limit I’d recommend sitting him this week.

Deep-league starts

  1. Yovani Gallardo – Mon at CHC, Sat at LAD
  2. Drew Hutchison – Mon at SEA, Sun at CWS
  3. Yordano Ventura – Mon vs. OAK, Sat at MIN
  4. Wily Peralta – Tue at CHC, Sun at LAD
  5. Jordan Lyles – Mon at SD, Sat vs. CIN
  6. Mat Latos – Tue vs. BOS, Sun at COL
  7. Tom Koehler – Mon vs. STL, Sat vs. ARI
  8. Kyle Hendricks – Tue vs. MIL, Sun at NYM
  9. Jon Niese – Mon at PHI, Sat vs. CHC
  10. Chris Young – Tue vs. TOR, Sun at DET

Gallardo has been very hit-or-miss in his last 10 starts; in six he’s pitched at least six innings with no more than two earned runs, and in four he’s allowed at least four earned without going more than six innings. His matchups aren’t too good, but I’m willing to roll the dice with the usually consistent Brewer. Hutchison has also been very inconsistent, but he almost shutout the Orioles in his last start – a dominant one. He’s gained velocity and seen his whiff rates rise after a mid-season lull. He’s had some very good starts this year, and with his abilities trending up I’m running him out there against a tough schedule this week, anyways.

Peralta is on a five-start stretch of quality ball, and he’s throwing harder in August than he has all season. He’s inducing several more ground balls recently thanks to an increased use of his sinker, which averages almost 97 mph. He also has a couple tough matchups, but he’s too good of a pitcher to bench during a hot stretch. Lyles has two really good matchups, as the Padres are the worst offense in the league and Cincinnati ranks 29th in offense in the last 30 days.

It looks like Latos has benefited from some batted-ball luck as well as low strand rates and home run per fly ball rates. A date in his home park as well as in Colorado doesn’t bode well for him this week, especially with his very career-low strikeout rate. He should be benched in all but the deepest of leagues.

AL-/NL-Only starts

  1. David Buchanan – Mon vs. NYM, Sun at SF
  2. Jeremy Hellickson – Tue at TEX, Sun vs. NYY
  3. Josh Collmenter – Tue at CLE, Sun at MIA
  4. T.J. House – Tue vs. ARI, Sun vs. BAL
  5. Jeremy Guthrie – Tue vs. OAK, Sun at MIN

Pitchers to avoid

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

Matt Shoemaker – Tuesday vs. Philadelphia – Shoemaker has pitched well in his last nine starts excluding one stinker. He has two 10-K games in that span, and he’s walked just two batters in his past five starts. Philly has the second worst wOBA and third worst Isolated Power mark against righties this season.

J.A. Happ – Tuesday at Seattle – Happ has been on a roll in his last four starts, but this is more about the Mariners than Happ. Seattle has the second worst wOBA mark against lefties and its the only team in the Majors to have an Isolated Power mark under .100 against lefties.

Ryan Vogelsong – Tuesday vs. Chicago White Sox – Vogelsong only has one calendar month from this season with an ERA below 4.55, but his seasonal ERA sits at 3.77. In his last three starts he has a 1.71 ERA with 12 strikeouts and three walks.

Danny Duffy – Friday at Minnesota – Prior to Duffy’s Sunday start against San Francisco, Duffy has five straight starts of at no more than one earned run allowed, including three starts of at least six strikeouts. The Twins rank just 23rd in offense against lefties via wOBA.

Phil Hughes – Saturday vs. Kansas City – Prior to Hughes’s Sunday start against Oakland, he rebounded from a rough three-start stretch to make two straight quality starts, albeit against poor competition. But he did strikeout 14 in 12 innings with just two walks, and the Royals – who rank 20th in wOBA against righties with a really low Isolated Power mark – were one of those teams.

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