2014 Fantasy BaseballAndrew Miller

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Week 22 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.

Must-Starts

  1. Madison Bumgarner – Tue vs. COL, Sun vs. MIL
  2. Johnny Cueto – Tue vs. CHC, Sun at PIT
  3. Alex Cobb – Tue at BAL, Sun vs. BOS
  4. Alex Wood – Tue at NYM, Sun vs. MIA
  5. Jake Odorizzi – Mon at BAL, Sat vs. BOS
  6. James Shields – Mon vs. NYY, Sat vs. CLE
  7. Tanner Roark – Mon at PHI, Sun at SEA
  8. Rick Porcello – Tue vs. NYY, Sun at CWS

Odorizzi‘s 3.83 ERA and 1.26 WHIP on the season don’t stand out, but since May 9 he has a 3.06 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. His strikeout rate in that span is 28.2, which is almost two points higher than his season average (26.4). For the season he has the 10th best strikeout rate and the 16th best K-BB% among qualified pitchers. He’s been traded for Zack Greinke and Shields for a reason: he’s a stud and he should be started like one. In nine starts since July 7 Shields has a 2.06 ERA with a WHIP just over one and five strikeouts for every walk. He’s settled down after a rough stretch in late May and June, and he can be started like usual now.

Start in 12-teamers

  1. Chris Tillman – Mon vs. TB, Sat vs. MIN
  2. Danny Duffy – Tue vs. MIN, Sun vs. CLE
  3. Jose Quintana – Tue vs. CLE, Sun vs. DET
  4. Jeff Samardzija – Mon at HOU, Sat at LAA
  5. Kyle Lohse – Mon at SD, Sun at SF
  6. Brandon McCarthy – Tue at DET, Sun at TOR
  7. Dallas Keuchel – Tue vs. OAK, Sun vs. TEX
  8. Francisco Liriano – Mon vs. STL, Sun vs. CIN

Tillman has eight quality starts in his last nine, and he’s striking out more guys lately than he has all season. He’s throwing his curve a bit more, as it’s his out-pitch. He still allows a little bit too much hard contact and homers so he’s not a must-start, but in most leagues he’s a solid start. Duffy has a 2.53 ERA and 1.08 WHIP on the season, and he’s been a big reason behind Kansas City’s success. He’s not a must-start as he’s a little inconsistent with his innings, walks and strikeouts. But he’s pretty good and should be started in most leagues.

McCarthy has a 1.90 ERA in eight starts with the Yankees, and he’s cut his walk rate and upped his strikeout rate in the Bronx. He has 51 strikeouts and seven walks in 52 innings. He’s throwing more four-seamers and cutters, and the four-seamer has been dominant in his time as a Yankee. He’s got two tough matchups this week, but he’s only had one semi-stinker as a Yankee. Liriano has been good since coming off the DL in the middle of July. Cincinnati is a good matchup for the lefty, and while the Cardinals are 11th in wOBA against lefties they’re not very scary. Liriano can be a good play this week.

Deep-league starts

  1. Matt Shoemaker – Tue vs. MIA, Sun vs. OAK
  2. Jake Peavy – Mon vs. COL, Sat vs. MIL
  3. John Lackey – Mon at PIT, Sun vs. CHC
  4. Wei-Yin Chen – Tue vs. TB, Sun vs. MIN
  5. Michael Pineda – Mon at KC, Sat at TOR

Shoemaker is almost averaging a strikeout an inning on the year, and in his past 40 innings (six starts) he has 40 strikeouts and just four walks with a 2.25 ERA and .190 opponents’ average. The move to the National League has helped Peavy return to his old form. He’s striking out fewer guys while also walking fewer guys – his K-BB% is better as a Giant than as a Red Sox – and his FIP is well over a run lower in the Bay Area. He’s throwing more sliders and curves, and they’re his two best pitches by opponents’ Isolated Power. He can help you down the stretch.

AL-/NL-only starts

  1. Dillon Gee – Tue vs. ATL, Sun vs. PHI
  2. Jorge De La Rosa – Tue at SF, Sun at ARI
  3. Scott Feldman – Mon vs. OAK, Sat vs. TEX
  4. Roenis Elias – Mon vs. TEX, Sun vs. WSH
  5. A.J. Burnett – Mon vs. WSH, Sun at NYM
  6. Eric Stults – Mon vs. MIL, Sun vs. LAD

Pitchers to avoid

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

Jimmy Nelson – Tuesday at San Diego – San Diego is the only team under .292 in wOBA against righties this season, and Nelson is 5-for-8 in quality starts in his rookie year. One of those non-quality starts was a 5.2-inning, zero-earned run debut.

James Paxton – Tuesday vs. Texas – Paxton has pitched decently well in four starts since coming off the DL. He’s got 16 strikeouts and six walks for a decent ratio. Texas ranks just 24th in wOBA in the last 30 days.

Jacob deGrom – Friday vs. Philadelphia – deGrom got roughed up by the Dodgers in his return from the DL Saturday, but it was due to just one mistake – a three-run home run. He struck out seven in six innings and had a 1.17 WHIP on the night. He’s struck out at least seven in seven of his last 10 starts.

Tsuyoshi Wada – Saturday at St. Louis – Prior to Sunday’s start, Wada has pitched well in six of his seven starts. As a Cardinal fan I know St. Louis is always underwhelming against unknown Cubs pitchers.

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