2017 Fantasy Baseball, Week 15 Preview
After the All-Star festivities, we’re back to our regular scheduled programming with plenty of baseball on tap. I do still wonder why it’s not arranged to coincide with 04th July to really boost festivities and interest. But I’m not the Commissioner so I’ll let others ponder that.
The weekend has helped us dip our toes collectively into the pool of baseball so we can now look ahead to Week 15. Although technically it’s 16 as last week still counted as a week I guess.
Anyways, in the world of Fantasy Baseball, it’s Week 15 so that’s what we are going with.
So without further ado, let’s delve into week 15 and hope we can start the second half on fire.
Two Start Stars
First up with this week’s Two Start Star, I’m going to break one of my “kinda rules” by going with a guy coming off the DL. It’s the Boston Red Sox young lefty, Eduardo Rodriguez.
Rodriguez was having a bit of a break out before hitting the DL seven weeks ago with knee troubles. That feels me with a bit more confidence than if it was an arm injury and he improved across his three rehab starts and looks back to his early season self.
He’s facing the Blue Jays at home and the Angels away this week, neither great matchups but neither terrifying. Before his injury, Rodriguez struck out more than a hitter per inning and did so with a 3.54 ERA.
His last start on June 01st was a shocker but can be excused if the knee was bothering him. The 1.15 WHIP also tantalises and given he’s been heavily dropped since his injury, Rodriguez could make a nice pick-up for the remainder of the year.
Next up is Pittsburgh Pirates’ Chad Kuhl, who faces the Milwaukee Brewers at home and then the Colorado Rockies on the road.
Two bad matchups on paper. But the Rockies have cooled off a bit (before Sunday’s explosion) and the Brewers have only scored 19 runs in their seven games against the Pirates this year. That gives us reason for optimism.
Kuhl himself has pitched well in July, putting together back-to-back quality starts before the All-Star break. His ERA is finally below 5 and he could well build on his recent form to cement his place as a solid Major League pitcher.
Third and final pick is Milwaukee Brewers’ Brent Suter. The reliver turned starter tossed two quality starts against the Yankees and Orioles before the All-Star break and looks to secure a long-term rotation spot with a couple more stellar performances.
He will aim to do so with two road games, against the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Pirates have had a bit of a recent resurgence, led by Andrew McCutcheon but still don’t scare you off, whilst the Phillies have the worst record in baseball with a lineup which doesn’t scream danger at you.
No reason to be concerned by the opponents. Suter is still a bit of an unknown as a starter in the Majors but he’s off to a good start and has the perfect opportunity to continue that trend in Week 15.
Worthy hitter pick-ups
Two this week, with the first one being St Louis Cardinals young outfielder Magneuris Sierra. Sierra was called up again to replace the injured Piscotty and started on Sunday, going 4 for 4 with a stolen base and a run.
As a Major Leaguer, the 21-year-old is hitting nearly .400 and that will be crucial to his best asset, his legs. Playing time might be difficult to come buy with Pham and Fowler both secure and Grichuk due to return from the DL, as well as Martinez in the outfield.
But if Sunday is anything to go by, Sierra could get a run of games at least for the week ahead and notch a few steals. The Cardinals have 7 games this week, and five against right handed starters which could help the lefty Sierra into more playing time.
Those seven games come against the Mets and the Cubs, both teams have had their issues throwing out base runners. So in deeper leagues, in need of help for steals, go pick up Sierra for as long as he’s in the Majors.
Sticking with the speed theme, Tampa Bay Rays’ speedy outfielder Mallex Smith could also provide very nice value in Week 15.
Also a lefty hitter, Smith is due to face five righties (with one still undeclared) this week which also means five games hitting leadoff. The first three games are at the Oakland Athletics and their putrid defense. Then onto the Texas Rangers and their hitter friendly field.
Smith shouldn’t find it too difficult to keep up his .300 average and given the Rangers rank poorly in throwing out runners too, Smith should also be able to get some steals as the week progresses.
That’s your lot for this week. Remember to follow The Fantasy Fix on Twitter and you can reach out to me with any questions you have on there too. Until next week, happy fantasying.