2017 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

2017 Fantasy Baseball, Week 2 Preview

If you’ve read the week 1 review of trends, you’ll have seen that from next week, there’ll be a single weekly article reviewing the previous week and previewing the week ahead. But this week it’s split into two so this portion is your week 2 preview.

You’ll be getting 2-start stars, a gut call streamer and any other fantasy moves you should be thinking of to help you plan for the week ahead.

Firstly, one little titbit of advice. Now I play in 3 head-to-head leagues and my main one is the most challenging for strategy. Normally, one or two teams will draft only closers and forego winning wins and strikeouts to secure saves, ERA and WHIP. I’m not a fan as I prefer an all or nothing approach. I wanna win 10-0 every week!

Then there’s some teams who have starters only due to the lack of closers available. Some guys stream aggressively (again, I’m not a fan). So it’s vital that every week I check what I’m up against the following week and plan accordingly.

Every Friday, I’ll check who I’m facing the following week, work out how many starts he’ll get from his pitching and how many I’ll have. I don’t like streaming unless you’re playing catch-up later in the week as the pool of starters is so thin. But this allows me to plan accordingly.

This also allows me to consider who I might be able to pick up earlier in the week, to stream later in the week rather than being left with the dregs of the pitching pool. If I pick up a guy Monday who is starting Thursday, by then I might not even need to stream the guy but I already have him in case I need him.

I encourage everyone in head-to-head leagues to make sure you plan for the week ahead well before Monday. And if you play in weekly lineup leagues, that’s more critical than ever. So this should help you maximise your chances every week with the best options for streaming.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

Two Start Stars

The criteria is simple. A pitcher scheduled to have 2 starts in the next week who isn’t widely owned. Then all they have to do is pitch well and help you win your fantasy league. Told you it was simple.

First one who meets the requirement is young Rockies hurler, Antonio Senzatela.

He made his Major League debut on Thursday and pitched 5 shutout innings against the Brewers. He struck out 6 and gave up just 2 hits, although he did walk 3. Sezatela also had to throw 93 pitches for the 5 innings of work with just 56 strikes, reaching the mid 90’s on his fastball.

At 22 years of age, Senzatela never pitched in Triple-A and only managed 34.2 innings in Double-A. But his minor league numbers are impressive. In 489 innings across 89 games, he’s got a career 2.45 ERA in the minors, with a 1.065 WHIP. He doesn’t strike out a ton (6.6 K/9) and has a 2 BB/9. But there’s plenty there to be interested about.

Week 2 sees him face the Padres (and Jered Weaver) on Tuesday at Coors and then on Sunday against the Giants (and Jeff Samardjiza) at AT&T Park. Hardly the most daunting of matchups.

Considering he’s around 3% owned in most leagues, you shouldn’t have any problems picking him up. And I can see Senzatela easily coming out of next week with a 3.00 ERA, 8-10 K’s, a 1.20 WHIP and at least one win. All in all, not a bad haul.

The second Two Start Star is another young starlet, the Reds’ Brandon Finnegan.

Finnegan’s stock has seemingly fallen in recent times, but still only 23, he had an impressive first full season with the Reds in 2016. Over 172 innings, Finnegan compiled a 10-11 record with a 3.98 ERA.

Last year, Finnegan walked far too many, with a 4.4 BB/9 but his strikeout numbers were solid at 7.6 K/9. In 31 starts, he allowed 29 homers which for a Reds pitcher in 2016, was actually ok!

Against the Phillies on Wednesday, Finnegan allowed a hit and a walk in the first inning, before retiring the next 19 batters faced, striking out 9 over 7 innings of work. Yes, it was against the Phillies, but that’s still impressive.

In week two, Finnegan starts the week with a Monday game at Pittsburgh, facing off against Tyler Glasnow before heading home to face Milwaukee and Zach Davies. Neither of the opposing starters are concerning, however the offenses on both teams and the lack of run support may limit Finnegan’s fantasy effectiveness.

But there are strikeout opportunities and maybe he can pick up a win. 12 total innings, 12-15 K’s with a 3.50 ERA and maybe a win wouldn’t be the worst pick-up for week 2 would it? Around 30% owned, Finnegan could find that number increase a lot should he have two more good outings.

There’s also an honourable mention for Dylan Bundy, who had a great season debut on Wednesday, stymying the Blue Jays to just one run over 7 innings while striking out 8.

Week 2 sees Bundy head to Boston on Tuesday and Toronto on Sunday. At only around 50% ownership, if Bundy can come through those starts relatively unscathed, he’ll be a must add going forward. The time to speculate could be now if you want to add him and play it safe with him on your bench this week.

Gut Call

As mentioned, every week I’ll also pick out a streaming option (or two) which is based entirely on my gut feeling.

This week, I really like Mike Foltynewicz to bounce back from his poor outing against the Pirates. The cold conditions may have played a part in his struggles in that one (I hope). But he’s facing the Padres in week 2 so that’s hardly a difficult choice to go for.

But there’s also Patrick Corbin of the Diamondbacks who is facing the Dodgers on Saturday. Corbin struggled in his first start against the Giants and gets a tougher assignment this Sunday against the Indians.

But the Dodgers seem destined to struggle against left handed pitching and despite the lineup tinkering to correct things, it’s got to start playing a psychological part in the Dodgers clubhouse. None of the number suggest Corbin will have a great outing, but my gut does grumble some support for him.

Next week, there’ll be more hitters to start looking at as sample sizes swell. But until then, follow The Fantasy Fix on Twitter for the latest articles and you can Tweet at me too with any questions you have.

So until then, happy fantasying.

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