2016 Fantasy Baseball: Week 13 Two-Start Pitchers
A fantasy owner’s best friend is the waiver wire—where finding value can make the difference between a great week and a very disappointing one. Most pitchers see the mound once every seven days, but if you want to maximize the number of starts per week, it’s important to look for players pitching twice and exploit favorable matchups if they exist. With that being said, let’s take a look at some pitchers you should be starting this week, and some you should just leave on your bench.
Noah Syndergaard | New York Mets
Opponents: Joe Ross (WAS), Jake Arrieta (CHC)
Noah Syndergaard is a force to be reckoned with when he takes the mound for the Mets. His matchups against the Nationals and Cubs are average, but Syndergaard has the stuff to make both these teams look silly. Regardless of whether or not he manages to pick up two wins, expect the righty to go out there firing bullets and dominating his opponents.
Jake Arrieta | Chicago Cubs
Opponents: Dan Straily (CIN), Noah Syndergaard (NYM)
Jake Arrieta did something almost unthinkable last week—he picked up a loss! The Cubs ace lost his second game of the season, despite giving up just one earned run in the contest. His matchups this week against the Reds and Mets are elite. Both teams rank in the bottom fifth in team batting average, so Arrieta should have no problem getting hitters out. If the Cubs offence can get their starter some run support early, Arrieta should have no problem picking up two wins this week.
Jon Lester | Chicago Cubs
Opponents: John Lamb (CIN), Matt Harvey (NYM)
Everything that was mentioned in the section above applies to Jon Lester as well. The southpaw is having himself another brilliant season and his streak of six quality starts shouldn’t be in danger this week. Neither team is really good at hitting against left-handed pitchers, so Lester has the advantage in both games. Fantasy owners who own a Cubs ace this week are in for a real treat.
Other Must Start Pitchers: Corey Kluber, Cole Hamels, Jeff Samardzija, Francisco Liriano.
Michael Wacha | St. Louis Cardinals
Opponents: Yordano Ventura (KC), Chase Anderson (MIL)
Don’t look now, but Michael Wacha has put together three excellent starts in a row, dropping his ERA from 5.16 to 4.41. An ERA over four isn’t great, but if Wacha can continue this hot streak he’s on, fantasy owners should soak it up because it won’t last forever. His matchup against the Royals is what should scare everyone off, as the Royals are ranked 2nd in team batting average. However, his matchup against the Brewers is a tad below average, which is good news. It could go badly for Wacha this week, because that possibility is there, but he’s worth the risk if you’re short on starters due to injuries.
Matt Shoemaker | Los Angeles Angels
Opponents: Collin McHugh (HOU), Eduardo Rodriguez (BOS)
Remember when Matt Shoemaker had a 9.15 ERA heading into May and couldn’t find a spot in the rotation despite multiple spots being available? Well, now he’s a fantasy option. The 29-year-old now has a 4.43 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP, which isn’t that great but, considering where he started, it’s phenomenal. His matchup against Boston is a nightmare, but his matchup against Houston is very appealing. If he can keep the ball in the ballpark against Boston and pitch a quality game against Houston, consider it a win. Fantasy owners who want to start Shoemaker are taking a risk, but it’s one worth considering.
Matt Harvey | New York Mets
Opponents: TBA (WAS), Jon Lester (CHC)
Trusting Matt Harvey is always difficult, but the 27-year-old has actually pitched pretty well over the last five games, picking up quality starts in four and allowing one run or less in three. As stated earlier, the Cubs and Nationals are average hitting teams, so this start for Harvey could go either really well, or horribly wrong. Problem is, no one knows which Matt Harvey will show up in both starts. He’s still a good pitcher, but his inconsistency will lead owners to bench him. For this week, it’s worth taking the risk and praying that it doesn’t backfire.
Other Options to Consider: Scott Kazmir, Trevor Bauer, Jose Quintana, Adam Wainwright, Eduardo Rodriguez, Joe Ross.
C.C Sabathia | New York Yankees
Opponents: Cole Hamels (TEX), Luis Perdomo (SD)
As of right now, C.C. Sabathia is expected to make his scheduled start on Tuesday, but there’s still a possibility that New York skips his start in the rotation to make sure his ankle is fully healed. Assuming he starts, Sabathia should be benched. Both the Rangers and Padres rank top-5 in team batting average against lefties, and considering Sabathia isn’t the ace he once used to be, things could get ugly real quick. His 2.71 ERA will fool people into thinking he’s worth a start, but his 1.29 WHIP is above his career average and his 4.9 K/start isn’t even close to being good. Let him ride the bench this week and look for other options.
J.A. Happ & Marco Estrada | Toronto Blue Jays
Opponents: COL (Coors Field), CLE
Anytime there is a game at Coors Field, you should bench the pitchers starting those games. J.A Happ and Marco Estrada are expected to start in Colorado this week, and starting them is not a risk anyone should be willing to take. Happ is due for some regression and Estrada is a pitch-to-contact pitcher, which isn’t what you want when taking on the Rockies at home. There’s a good chance that we see Toronto and Colorado engage in a good ole’ slugfest, so just avoid Happ and Estrada this week and watch a mini version of the Home Run Derby take place.
Chi Chi Gonzalez | Texas Rangers
Chi Chi Gonzalez will be making his 2016 MLB debut, but that doesn’t mean he should be making his fantasy baseball debut too. There’s a reason Chi Chi didn’t lock down a spot in the rotation out of spring training, and that’s because he’s #NotGood. The 24-year-old is still learning how to pitch in the big leagues, and that means he’s going to have some growing pains. He’s made 10 career starts in the Majors and has a 30:32 K:BB ration. He’s inconsistent, he walks too many batters and he’s young. Gonzalez may be good one day, but that day isn’t today. Move along and look for someone else.
Other Pitchers to Avoid: Jon Gray, Julio Urias, Blake Snell, Ivan Nova, Danny Duffy, Ubaldo Jimenez, Chris Archer